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Comment Re:Arbitration == Corporate Justice (Score 2, Interesting) 134

This reminds of the time where I was at a go-kart track in NW Atlanta with my 11 year old son. Tons of signs "not liable for injury, we maintain no insurance"... He smacked the kart into the end of a concrete lane separator at ~20-25 mph, and his mouth hit the steering wheel of the kart, and his upper lip hit his teeth, resulting in a fair amount of blood. People from the track came to help, and they were looking at him and suggested that we take him to the emergency room. I suggested that they had not strapped him in correctly, or it would have been impossible to occur in the first place, and that I expected them to cover the medical bills. We took him on the hospital, and as it turned out his injuries were minor. The interesting things was that the next day, we heard from the track's insurance company that they would in fact take care of any deductibles or out of pocket expenses.

Arbitration mentions in a contract are a lot like the signs at the go-kart track - they are designed to make people think that they have no legal recourse. To paraphrase a previous poster, judges don't take kindly to those who say they don't have a say in a situation that is placed in front of them. These clauses often get thrown out if a lawyer is involved, from what I have seen.

Hardware Hacking

Grad Student Invents Cheap Laser Cutter 137

An anonymous reader writes "Peter Jansen, a PhD student and member of the RepRap community, has constructed a working prototype of an inexpensive table-top laser cutter built out of old CD/DVD drives as an offshoot of his efforts to design an under $200 open-source Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) 3D printer. Where traditional laser cutters use powerful, fixed-focus beams, this new technique dynamically adjusts the focal point of the laser using a reciprocating motion similar to a reciprocating saw, allowing a far less powerful and inexpensive laser diode to be used. The technique is currently limited to cutting black materials to a depth of only a few millimeters, but should still be useful and enabling for Makers and other crafters. The end-goal is to create a hybrid inexpensive 3D printer that can be easily reconfigured for 2D laser cutting, providing powerful making tools to the desktop."

Comment See this also. (Score 1) 1

There was a 60 minutes story regarding farmers that were sued by monsanto for patent infringement when their fields we found to contain monsanto genetically modified plants within them. See http://www.mindfully.org/GE/GE4/Heartbreak-In-The-Heartland21jul02.htm for more details and the link to the 60 minutes video. this is important in a lot of areas because even accidental/ incidental migration of the plants is being considered a patent infringement.

Submission + - Digg being censored by "Digg Patriots"? (alternet.org)

n4djs writes: Looks like a bit of a Tempest is starting up in the Digg space, with a group of "Digg patriots" working to kill stories on the front page with which they disagree.
Biotech

Submission + - Genetically Modified Canola Spreads to Wild Plants (npr.org) 1

eldavojohn writes: A research team conducting a survey has found that about 86% of wild canola plants in North Dakota have genetically modified genes in them and 'two samples contained multiple genes from different species of genetically modified plants.' Canola usually has little competition when cultivated but does not fare well in the wild. The Roundup Ready and Liberty Link strains of genetically modified canola appear to be crossing over to wild plants and helping it survive. The University of Arkansas team claims that the ease in which genetically modified canola has 'escaped' into the wild should be noted by seed makers like Mansanto because this is proof that it will happen.
Software

Ubuntu Replaces F-Spot With Shotwell 361

climenole writes "Finally! The much discussed F-Spot vs. Shotwell battle is over. The new default image organizer app for Ubuntu Maverick 10.10 is going to be Shotwell. This is a much-needed change; F-Spot was simply not enough. Most of the times when I tried F-Spot, it just keeps crashing on me. Shotwell on the other hand feels a lot more solid and is better integrated with the GNOME desktop. Shotwell is also completely devoid of Mono."

Comment try choice hotels/comfort inns (Score 2, Interesting) 157

I was staying at the Renaissance in Las Vegas, booked for a week for a HP training class. Checked out after the first night when I realized that Wi-fi was $10/night. Where did I go? The Choice Hotel 2 blocks down the street.. room was quite nice.
How much did that cost the Renaissance? about $500 for the week....
I haven't stayed at a Mariott in years for the same reason.
Wi-fi is a basic assumption in my hotel choices today. I won't even spend the company's money on this.
Networking

Throttle Shared Users With OS X — Is It Possible? 403

whisper_jeff writes "I work in a design studio where the production director is also the owner's son (translation = he can do no wrong). He is fond of accessing a designer's computer via filesharing and working directly on files off of the designer's computers rather than transferring the files to his computer to work on them there. In so doing, he causes the designer's computer to grind to a near-halt as the harddrive is now tasked with his open/save requests along with whatever the designer is doing. Given that there is no way he's going to change his ways (since he doesn't see anything wrong with it...), I was wondering if there was a way to throttle a user's shared access to a computer (Mac OSX 10.5.8) so that his remote working would have minimal impact on our work. Google searches have revealed nothing helpful (maybe I should Bing it... :) so I was hoping someone with more technical expertise on Slashdot could offer a suggestion."

Comment Re:Spotty 3G on T-Mobile? (Score 1) 146

and I really enjoy trying to make any complaint about their crappy coverage (for example, downtown Decatur GA).. "We show 3 bars of coverage there"... blah blah blah... and they can't seem to handle handoff between particular towers either (at least places I know around the Atlanta area always result in a call drop while traveling along the same path...
Math

Man Uses Drake Equation To Explain Girlfriend Woes 538

artemis67 writes "A man studying in London has taken a mathematical equation that predicts the possibility of alien life in the universe to explain why he can't find a girlfriend. Peter Backus, a native of Seattle and PhD candidate and Teaching Fellow in the Department of Economics at the University of Warwick, near London, in his paper, 'Why I don't have a girlfriend: An application of the Drake Equation to love in the UK,' used math to estimate the number of potential girlfriends in the UK. In describing the paper on the university Web site he wrote 'the results are not encouraging. The probability of finding love in the UK is only about 100 times better than the probability of finding intelligent life in our galaxy.'"
Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft banned from selling Word (computerworld.com) 3

priyank_bolia writes: "It sounds like a joke. But, it's real and it's anything but a joke for Microsoft. Judge Leonard Davis, of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, has issued an injunction (PDF link) that "prohibits Microsoft from selling or importing to the United States any Microsoft Word products that have the capability of opening .XML, .DOCX or DOCM files (XML files) containing custom XML.""

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