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Submission + - .. this software has bugs.

no@bo.dy writes: I know of a pretty heavy bug (causes a crash) in very popular software which affects thousands of users. As I am a software developer myself I have found out why exactly it crashes (off-by-one error). I also know how to work around it, but the 'fix' is too complicated for the majority of users. The developer (big company) doesn't have a web form nor email address for bug reporting. I could send it to their 'technical support' or use a forum, but the success to have the bug fixed that way has proven to be marginal. The hardest thing is that the company doesn't give any sort of feedback about accepted bugs or their status. The bug has already been reported many times through the available channels, but I don't even know whether they are aware of it (may have been overlooked etc). How do I best tell the developer? What are my options (besides of making all relevant data public and hoping that the public pressure will force the company to fix it). Thanks.

Submission + - Robots to Replace Migrant Fruit Pickers

Vicissidude writes: As if the debate over immigration and guest worker programs wasn't complicated enough, now a couple of robots are rolling into the middle of it. Vision Robotics, a San Diego company, is working on a pair of robots that would trundle through orchards plucking oranges, apples or other fruit from the trees. In a few years, troops of these machines could perform the tedious and labor-intensive task of fruit picking that currently employs thousands of migrant workers each season. The robotic work has been funded entirely by agricultural associations, and pushed forward by the uncertainty surrounding the migrant labor force. Farmers are "very, very nervous about the availability and cost of labor in the near future," says Vision Robotics CEO Derek Morikawa.

Submission + - Google Unveils Hybrid Car that plugs into Grid (

mytrip writes: "Not content with seeking to control the information super-highway, Google wants to influence what kind of car you drive.

The online search company has unveiled a new, hyper-advanced model of hybrid car that can be charged directly from the grid, and, when its battery is not in use, the stored electricity can be sold back to the utility company.

By selling their excess electricity to the grid owners of plug-in hybrids will be able to earn up to $3,000 a year. Such savings are likely to be offset by the higher initial retail price of hybrid cars."


Submission + - Lenovo can't deliver

LazyBoy writes: A data entry snafu has apparently screwed the Lenovo laptop orders place during two specific weeks in May. Lenovo still hasn't recovered from the problem, leaving one lone blogger to mollify a group of increasingly irate would-be customers upset at seeing the orders placed after theirs get delivered while they get a changing series of reasons why and no firm ship dates. If you haven't been able to get through to Lenovo customer service lately, this is why.

Submission + - Google Alternatives (

jcatcw writes: "Peter Smith has a minitour of Google's competition up at Computerworld. Only one, Mahalo, got a positive review for both user interface and day-to-day searching results. Clusty is worth visiting for deep searches, Kartoo has decent search results but a confusing interface, and KoolTorch has the user experience, but the results just aren't there. He concludes:

So, should Google be worried? Not just yet. But it's good to see that there are companies out there trying to carve out a segment of the market. Competition means that search tools will continually improve, and that's good news for all of us.

The Courts

Submission + - Patent Injunction Could Roil Wi-Fi Industry (

Arguendo writes: From the article: "A little-noticed federal court decision on June 15, issuing an injunction against wireless-LAN equipment vendor Buffalo Technology in its patent fight with the Australian science agency CSIRO, could have broad implications for the entire Wi-Fi industry." CSIRO has sued quite a few other major players in the industry (including Dell and Nintendo) in the same district where the patent was already been held valid and infringed. Now with the injunction order, could this be a Blackberry fiasco all over again but with Wi-Fi?

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