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Comment Re:To clarify ... (Score 1) 246

Obviously, modifying the software in-house counts as a derivative work, and I'm okay with that - just not with the idea that customers would then onsell or give away the modified product to other potential customers.

Just selling source code and not granting any license at all would probably accomplish that in practice if not strictly by law. In-house modifications are arguably fair use, and even if not it's basically unenforceable law anyway.

Personally I'd want to go one step further. I'd like to allow (and encourage) distribution of modifications (for free or for a charge), to people who already purchased the original.

Comment I'd like something similar (Score 1) 246

I was thinking recently that I'd like something similar to this, though I wouldn't call it a "libre" license. The idea is that anyone who purchased the software would get full source code and a license to make any changes without restriction, and they could distribute the software, with or without changes, to anyone who purchased a license. Furthermore, they could resell licenses. So if the base license cost $10, they could make changes and sell the modified software for $15, as long as they turned over $10 to me for each license they sold. Incidentally, it seems to me that such a license is sufficiently "free", and could actually be more useful than traditional free software, because it allows people who make modifications the ability to make money.

Comment Re:Improvement at e-bay (Score 1) 412

i was told by a mortgage broker that it is illegal for the mortgage company to make interest on the money they're holding in escrow.

Sure they "make interest on the money". In fact, you're the one paying it. If you didn't have to pay that money into escrow, it'd go toward your principal, and lower the interest you pay on the loan.


Recognizing Scenes Like the Brain Does 115

Roland Piquepaille writes "Researchers at the MIT McGovern Institute for Brain Research have used a biological model to train a computer model to recognize objects, such as cars or people, in busy street scenes. Their innovative approach, which combines neuroscience and artificial intelligence with computer science, mimics how the brain functions to recognize objects in the real world. This versatile model could one day be used for automobile driver's assistance, visual search engines, biomedical imaging analysis, or robots with realistic vision. Here is the researchers' paper in PDF format."
The Internet

Submission + - Citizendium dumps WIkipedia

twilight30 writes: Nicholas Carr reports that 'Larry Sanger has changed his mind about forking Wikipedia. As you'll recall, Sanger, who cofounded Wikipedia with Jimmy Wales, has been working on creating Citizendium, an expert-edited alternative to the motley online encyclopedia. The original plan was to "fork" Wikipedia — in other words, make a copy of Wikipedia's contents and then re-edit the articles to bring them up to snuff. The theory was that borrowing the existing articles would provide a jump-start for the fledgling knowledge base. But that hasn't worked so well. The handful of early contributors to Citizendium have, says Sanger, become "disheartened by the fact that their first obligation seems to be to edit mediocre Wikipedia articles."'

Submission + - Pretexting Now Illegal

Investigative Lead writes: "Pretexting, better known as lying, is now illegal thanks to a law signed by President Bush last week. While the new law doesn't address many of the other times private investigators may lie in order to gather private information, it at least stops them from gathering telephone records under false pretenses. The bill itself was introduced late last year, but only finally got the necessary support after the HP spying scandal broke, where they used PIs on their own board members in order to identify press leaks. Anyone trying some of those techniques now could end up with a maximum of 10 years in prison."

Submission + - What tax software do you use?

r_jensen11 writes: I know this topic has been asked at least once before, but seeing as how 6 years have passed, I figured the question is due again. It's about that time of the year again when we find out how much we owe Uncle Sam (Or as in my case, how much Uncle Sam owes me.) Software has changed drastically in the past 6 years since the previous query I found on Slashdot, as well as many tax rules. Does anyone here use tax software other than TurboTax and TaxCut? I know that there are also online forms I can fill out, but which ones are accessable to people that use OS's other than Windows and OSX? I'd preferably use a program that I can use off-line and store my information locally instead of using eforms, but if I have to resort to eforms, which ones should I investigate and which ones should I stay far away from?

Comparison of Internet Book Databases? 53

An anonymous reader asks: "There have been several attempts at creating a book database like the IMDB. I list several [in the full article] and I would like to know which you like best, and which you use most often. What are the features you find the most useful out of the book databases you use?"

Design Software Weakens Classic Drawing Skills 268

mosel-saar-ruwer writes "A recent conference, hosted by UC-Berkeley's College of Environmental Design, sought to 'examin[e] the need and role for drawing today in the design professions and fine arts'. In this Reuters summary, via C-NET, the participants seem to agree that the emergence of sophisticated graphics software has coincided with a startling decline in the basic drawing skills of university students. Apparently teenaged boys don't need to practice drawing their nudes when they can just download them off the web."

When Ads Go Wandering 69

conq writes "BusinessWeek explores yet another click fraud scam, this one utilizing Yahoo!'s ads." From the article: "Somewhere along the way, an ad can wander off this trail. This happens when one of Yahoo's partners decides to give its own partners a cut in return for traffic, Edelman says. According to the study, a Yahoo partner called served an Overture advertisement through another site, NBCSearch (no affiliation with General Electric's NBC), unaffiliated with Yahoo. That company, in turn, passed it along to one of its own partners. (NBCSearch didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.) When that happens, Yahoo can't track its ads. Sometimes, the ads show up in undesirable places, like a pop-up from a spyware program. The average user simply sees the pop-up, unaware of how many networks it traversed beforehand."

Prof Denied Funds Over Evolution Evidence 953

radarsat1 writes "The Montreal Gazette today reported that a professor at Montreal's McGill University was refused a $40,000 grant, allegedly because 'he'd failed to provide the panel with ample evidence that Charles Darwin's theory of evolution is correct.' Ironically, the grant was for a study into the detrimental effects of intelligent design on Canadian academics and leaders." From the article: "Jennifer Robinson, McGill's associate vice-principal for communications, said the university has asked the SSHRC to review its decision to reject Alters's request for money to study how the rising popularity in the United States of 'intelligent design' - a controversial creationist theory of life - is eroding acceptance of evolutionary science in Canada."

Vonage Puts VoIP 911 Caller on Hold 464

kamikaze-Tech writes "It is being reported on the Vonage Forums that last month when Loren Veltkamp's Chanhassen, Minnesota home caught on fire, he immediately called 9-1-1 using Vonage. Unfortunately, Vonage put him on hold, causing a delay in the response from emergency workers. By the time fire crews arrived, the fire had become a five-alarm blaze. The house was a total loss."

Professor Bans Laptops from the Classroom 1260

An anonymous reader writes "USAToday is reporting that students are up in arms over a University of Memphis Professor who has decided to ban laptops from her classroom. Earlier this month Professor Entman sent an email warning to her students to bring paper and pens to take notes and leave the laptops at home. From the article: '"My main concern was they were focusing on trying to transcribe every word that was I saying, rather than thinking and analyzing," Entman said Monday. "The computers interfere with making eye contact. You've got this picket fence between you and the students."'"

DoJ Following Porn Blocker Advances? 265

GreedyCapitalist writes "A new filter called iShield is able to recognize porn images based on the content of the image (other filters look at URLs and text) and according to PC Magazine, it is very effective. The next generation will probably be even better -- which highlights the retarding effect regulation has on technological progress - if we relied solely on government to ban 'inappropriate' content from the web, we'd never know what solutions the market might come up with. Will the DOJ (which argues that porn filters don't work) take note of filtering innovation or continue its quest for censorship?"

SCOTUS To Hear Patentable Thought Case 394

skayell writes "The Supreme Court of the United States will hear a landmark patent case involving whether or not thoughts and relationships are patentable. Michael Crichton's essay in the New York Times attempts a thoughtful summary of Metabolite's primary assertion: they not only own the connection between homocysteine levels in the blood and vitamin B12 deficiency, but also any thought connecting the two."

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