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Comment Whatever happened to free? (Score 2) 82

Time & time again I experience this: I have a task, I look for a free opensource solution, I find one, only to discover that it's essentially bait for a commercial version, and it is nigh-on impossible to get it to work without coughing up for the pay version, which is almost always ridiculously overpriced, and to add insult to injury, the broken version is covered in ads for the commercial one.

I've wasted my time, the company will never get my money because they pissed me off with a broken "free" version which appears only to exist to satisfy the license of the source they based their product on, and is published in the most obfuscated and undocumented way they can get away with.

I'd be happy with something that worked with a given feature set, and offered more functionality for pay, I'd pay for that. This is not the same as figuring out how to cripple the most core feature in order to force people to buy...

This is not the opensource we were looking for.

Comment streisand etc. (Score 4, Insightful) 107

Siemens claims they don't want their reputation risked by using the motor this way, and threaten to go to the press over it.
Both UK & French authorities have signed off that they find the safety aspect acceptable.

I can't see how this can do anything but harm Siemens' reputation, and the sudden day-of-departure withdrawal of consent stinks a long way.

Some say Siemens is a very risk-averse & conservative company, and it is this that is driving their "better safe than sorry" attitude..

I don't buy it, and neither should you.

Submission + - Lakka: Linux distro turns your PC into a retro console (

dotarray writes: Something for the Linux fans — Lakka is a new lightweight distro that will turn any PC (no matter how small) into a retro gaming console. It can emulate a pretty serious stack of old gaming hardware, and supports new-fangled things like video streaming, time-rewinding and both PS3 and Xbox 360 controllers.

Submission + - Rats forsake chocolate to save a drowning companion (

sciencehabit writes: We’ve all heard how rats will abandon a sinking ship. But will the rodents attempt to save their companions in the process? A new study shows that rats will, indeed, rescue their distressed pals from the drink—even when they’re offered chocolate instead. They’re also more likely to help when they’ve had an unpleasant swimming experience of their own, adding to growing evidence that the rodents feel empathy.

Submission + - Animal Copies Reveal Roots of Individuality (

An anonymous reader writes: Benjamin de Bivort’s lab at Harvard University is Groundhog Day for fruit flies. In de Bivort’s version, a fly must choose to walk down a dark tunnel or a lighted one. Once it has made the choice — THWOOP! — a vacuum sucks the fly back to the starting point, where it has to decide again and again and again.

The contraption, which tracks scores of individual flies, makes it possible to analyze how behavior varies from fly to fly. What de Bivort found when he first used it surprised him: The animals’ behavior varied much more than he expected, even when the flies were more or less genetically identical and raised under the same conditions. “If you hold genetics constant and the environment mostly constant, you still see a lot of variation,” de Bivort said.

De Bivort and his team are now exploring this phenomenon in detail, hoping to discover what drives that unexpected individuality. He’s found that different fly strains show different levels of variability. Some strains are like a troop of well-trained soldiers, with each fly mirroring its neighbor. Other strains resemble a wild group of dancers, with individuals moving to their own beat. By comparing soldier and dancer strains, de Bivort thinks he’s identified both a gene and a neural circuit that may underlie some of these differences.

Comment Re:What we actually lost (Score 1) 255

I'd say what we actually lost was user base..

I still use the same "social" networks as I used pre-myspace, facebook, twitter et al. it's just that now they resemble ghost towns more than anything else.


Submission + - City issued speed camera ticket to motionless car ( 1

SternisheFan writes: "The Baltimore City speed camera ticket alleged that the four-door Mazda wagon was going 38 miles per hour in a 25-mph zone —and that owner Daniel Doty owed $40 for the infraction. But the Mazda wasn't speeding. It wasn't even moving. The two photos printed on the citation as evidence of speeding show the car was idling at a red light with its brake lights illuminated. A three-second video clip also offered as evidence shows the car motionless, as traffic flows by on a cross street.
    Since the articles' publication, several lawmakers have called for changes to the state law that governs the way the city and other jurisdictions operate speed camera programs. Gov. Martin O'Malley said Tuesday that state law bars contractors from being paid based on the number of citations issued or paid —an approach used by Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Howard County and elsewhere. "The law says you're not supposed to charge by volume. I don't think we should charge by volume," O'Malley said. "If any county is, they need to change their program.""

Comment Increasingly typical police behavior (Score 5, Insightful) 936

It seems the concept that violence is a last resort has disappeared from policing.. Increasingly, even quiet, cooperative people are pinned down, handcuffed and manhandled as a matter of course. Violence has become one of the "perks" of policework, and the evil cycle of abuse and intimidation means fewer and fewer people object. Can anyone see any reason whatsoever for the violent treatment of this woman, who at worst is guilty of conspiracy to illegally export some telephones?

"When it comes to humility, I'm the greatest." -- Bullwinkle Moose