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Comment: Re:Gaming isn't always fun (Score 1) 693

by jay-za (#22804768) Attached to: Why Aren't More Linux Users Gamers?

Haha, nice. So you're claiming to have gotten a PSP, a wii, and PS3 for free? I mean, I know it's slashdot, but maintain SOME credibility!!
This is slashdot. I claim I got a bunch of tech toys for free, and you think I'm making it up. I also mention I'm married, and that you accept?

On a slightly more serious note:
* PSP - won in an office competition. Two weeks after I bought the thing for the competition.
* PS2 - Upgraded a cellphone contract and got a R1000 gift card, which I used to buy the PS2
* WII - Bought 5 for the office competition, supplier gave me one for free
* PS3 - Got a tax refund on my birthday, my wife used it to get me a PS3 (technically still for free).

But there are many other things I've gotten for free in the past, when I was more actively involved in hardware acquisition. When you spend large amounts of money with large organisations they tend to give you "incentives". When it happens through my company I have to declare it (one of the reasons most companies have policies governing this is because it happens so often). When it happens to me personally (or through the company I own to buy computer equipment), I just accept it. Currently, the office prizes are a good source of free things. Over the past year + we've given away 2 x PSP, 1 x XBox, 5 x PS3, 5 x WII, and an assortment of LCD monitors, GPS units, you name it. We even gave away a 7 night holiday to Mauritius for 2, all expenses included, including spending money.

Jus on this note. I'm not sure about anywhere else, but in South Africa it pays to negotiate EVERYTHNG (and I would tend to believe this applies everywhere). I've gotten free samoosas from an indian curry shop (owner wouldn't drop the price on what I was buying, so I persuaded him to give me some free (inexpensive) food). I often get an additional item thrown in for free if I buy enough of something (do your monthly shopping in bulk!). Sometimes vendors will give you something for free if you just ask for it. I once had a terrible experience at a hardware vendor, which they tried hard to resolve. Afterwards the guy apologised, and I asked if he'd give me a free 40GB HDD to make up for it. I was joking, he said yes (obviously I hadn't been a screaming banshee mad customer during the problem). My brother-in-law (who's a golf pro on the Sunshine tour) has gotten:
* Satelite decoder
* 2 TVs
* 3 Lounge suites (one pretty tacky)
* Seemingly limitless free services on all his cars
* Seemingly limitless free medical and dental checkups (and one set of free braces)
* and more

So, look around and you will find many opportunities to get free stuff.
Idle

Mayor Outlaws Dying 3

Posted by samzenpus
The mayor of Sarpourenx, a small village in the southwest of France has forbidden locals from dying there. The ordinance is designed to help fight the overcrowding problem in the local cemetery. Mayor Gerard Lalanne told the 260 residents of the village that, "all persons not having a plot in the cemetery and wishing to be buried in Sarpourenx are forbidden from dying in the parish." He added, "Offenders will be severely punished." I'm pretty sure this is how a couple Twilight Zones and a Lovecraft story start.
Transportation

Underground Freight Networks 284

Posted by kdawson
from the yesterday's-tomorrow-today dept.
morphovar writes "The German Ruhr University of Bochum is conducting experiments with a large-scale model for an automated subterranean transport system. It would use unmanned electric vehicles on rails that travel in a network through pipelines with a diameter of 1.6 meters, up to distances of 150 kilometers. Sending cargo goods through underground pipelines is anything but new — see this scan of a 1929 magazine article about Chicago's underground freight tunnel network (more details). Translating this concept to the 21st century would be something like introducing email for things: you could order something on the Internet and pick it up through a trapdoor in your cellar the next morning."
Privacy

Aussie Cops Want Powers To Search Any Computer 262

Posted by kdawson
from the cold-dead-fingers dept.
goatherder23 writes in with news that the New South Wales cabinet has proposed new powers for police to search computers anywhere under a search warrant, and adds: "The Four Horsemen of the Infocalypse are invoked to explain why police need the new laws, which have yet to be introduced into Parliament. Would someone please explain to them before this happens that all computers on the Internet are "networked" and that some computers may be found outside NSW (or even Australia)?" "Police Minister David Campbell says police are currently only able to search computer hardware found on a premises named in a search warrant. He says with the changes, they will be able to go a step further and search other networked computers, regardless of where they are located. 'What we know is that there are organized crime gangs who use the Internet and other forms of technology to hide their crimes,' he said."
Robotics

A Modular Snake Robot 103

Posted by kdawson
from the snakes-in-a-pipe dept.
StCredZero writes "Researchers at CMU are working on a Modular Snake Robot. A video from this site is up on YouTube. In addition to being able to traverse a wide variety of terrain, the robot can also climb poles, the inside of pipes and conduits, small grooves in walls, and probably more. It can also swim. Many robots can do one of those tasks. This one can do them all. That's quite an accomplishment. This has tremendous potential for the maintenance of fiber optic networks, pipelines, and plumbing in large buildings; and also as a spy device. (I wonder how loud it is?)"
Cellphones

Jobs Says Flash Video Not Suitable for iPhone 387

Posted by samzenpus
from the too-good-for-you dept.
Lev13than writes "Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs said the iPhone won't be using Adobe Systems' Inc.'s popular Flash media player any time soon, saying the technology doesn't meet his company's performance standards for video. Jobs said the version of Flash formatted to personal computers is too slow on the iPhone while the mobile version of the media player is "is not capable of being used with the web." The comments come a day before Apple is set to introduce the company's plan for iPhone SDK, the software developers kit which will allow third-party developers to create applications that can work in conjunction with the popular handheld device."
It's funny.  Laugh.

+ - Vermont towns vote to arrest Bush & Cheney->

Submitted by
jay-za
jay-za writes "From the article:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — Voters in two Vermont towns on Tuesday approved a measure that would instruct police to arrest President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney for "crimes against our Constitution," local media reported.

The nonbinding, symbolic measure, passed in Brattleboro and Marlboro in a state known for taking liberal positions on national issues, instructs town police to "extradite them to other authorities that may reasonably contend to prosecute them."
Now I'm by no means an expert on US law, but aren't crimes against the constitution almost the same as terrorism? At least by the current administration's definitions. And if they are, does this mean Bush and Cheney can be arrested and held indefinitely without trial as suspected terrorists? Would they be held in Guantanamo Bay? Would this qualify as a US president visiting Cuba (in Bush' case)? Would they be tortured? Should we care?"

Link to Original Source
Security

Feds Have a High-Speed Backdoor Into Wireless Carrier 229

Posted by samzenpus
from the all-the-better-to-snoop-with dept.
An anonymous reader writes "An unnamed U.S. wireless carrier maintains an unfiltered, unmonitored DS-3 line from its internal network to a facility in Quantico, Virginia, according to Babak Pasdar, a computer security consultant who did work for the company in 2003. Customer voice calls, billing records, location information and data traffic are all allegedly exposed. A similar claim was leveled against Verizon Wireless in a 2006 lawsuit."
Software

AOL Opens Up the AIM Instant Messaging Network 209

Posted by Zonk
from the horse-of-a-different-color dept.
AVIDJockey writes "In a pleasantly surprising move, AOL has changed its tune when it comes to third-party access to the company's chat network. America Online has recently launched a service called OpenAIM 2.0, which provides open, uninhibited access to services like Meebo, or all-in-one IM clients like Pidgin, allowing them to freely and easily use the AIM instant messaging network. 'At the moment, multi-platform IM desktop clients like Pidgin or Adium (the popular Mac client) generally rely on hacking and reverse engineering access to chat networks run by AOL, Yahoo, Microsoft and others. Not only is that bad for developers since it means more work, it also means that such clients often can't use all the features of a particular network.'"

A method of solution is perfect if we can forsee from the start, and even prove, that following that method we shall attain our aim. -- Leibnitz

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