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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 12 declined, 4 accepted (16 total, 25.00% accepted)

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Submission + - Who is liable if open source autonomous car software causes an accident. (

Registered Coward v2 writes: IEEE Spetrum asks that question in an article about’s and its CEO George Hotz who have released, on GITHub, their open source software for self driving cars. It currently adds capabilities to some Hondas and Acuras. Given the difficulties in testing such software it is possible bugs exist and might cause a crash. While many legal experts agree OSS is "buyer beware" and that and Hotz would not be liable, it is a gray area in the law.


SCOTUS,in a series of court cases in the 1990s, ruled open source code as free speech protected under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The question is does that release the author(s) from liability. The EU has no EU wide rules on liability in such cases.

One open question is even if the person who used the software could not sue, a third party injured by it might be able to since they are not a party to the license agreement.

Submission + - Should college tuition vary by major, based on the college's costs for the major (

Registered Coward v2 writes: Vault, in a blog post, discusses wether colleges should base tuition on the actual cost of providing the education rather than on a once price for all credits basis. Their argument is base on an article in Quartz that shows engineering and science degrees costa school a lot more to provide than a liberal arts degrees; for a variety of reasons including higher professor salaries and equipment / infrastructure costs. As a result, those majors are subsidized by the cheaper ones; and they also have the highest earnings in aggregate.

Submission + - Need dating advice? Call Netflix (

Registered Coward v2 writes: Netflix takes a different tack on customer service. Call center reps are encouraged to be themselves and have fun; even it includes pretending to be a starship captain (I winder if he answers ... questions ... with ... this ... cadence) or offering dating advice.

Submission + - Get off my lawn (

Registered Coward v2 writes: Identifying a nerd was easier years ago — calculator on the belt and a box of Hollerith cards. Part computer program, part note card, and part bookmark, they were a readily available source of nerd badges at any campus. As with many tech icons, they have drifted into oblivion.

So what do you do if:

you got a new computer, or maybe a software upgrade, only to find — error message! — that some of your old files are incompatible.

and the files you have are valuable historical data needed for current research? How about finding a USB compatible Hollerith card reader?

Submission + - Mavericks Pricing - Free

Registered Coward v2 writes: Apple just announced price of OS X- Free to all users. Started with a jab at MS' $199 Win 8 pricing. Amazing move by Apple and it is available today.

Submission + - Supreme Court to hear First Sale Doctrine case (

Registered Coward v2 writes: SCOTUS is set to hear a case to determine how copyright law and the doctrine of first sale applies to copyrighted works bought overseas, imported to the US and then sold. The case involves a foreign student who imported textbooks from Asia and the resold them in the US to help fund his education. He was sued by the publisher, lost and was ordered to pay $600k in damages. Now SCOTUS gets to weigh in on the issue.

Submission + - iPads as overhead projectors (

Registered Coward v2 writes: A University of Michigan professor has combined iPads with a set of software tools to create an effective replacement for projected Powerpoint, clickers, and the like to allow students to interact and annotate the lecture notes on iPads, iPhones, and computers. As he puts it, he has used these tools to create " show your slides + ask questions of students (multiple-choice, true-false, rearrange lists, image-based and free response — take THAT clickers!) and display the results in real-time + collect and answer student questions + have access to analytical data on student participation + DRAW ON THE SLIDES LIKE WITH AN OVERHEAD!"

Even better — a roller equipped overhead.

Submission + - Apple Time Capsules Dying (

Registered Coward v2 writes: Reports are surfacing of dying power supplies in Apple's Time Capsule drives, leaving users with vey nicely designed 9and expensive) paper weights. The problem appears to be failure of the internal power supply, making it impossible to power up the device. One website logged 260 reports of dead Apple Time capsules since going live last weekend. Apple has not yet responded to reports of this problem.

Submission + - It's football, not a funeral

Registered Coward v2 writes: From a Notre Dame University press release: In an effort to encourage appropriate behavior, fans will be able to utilize a new text messaging system to report any instances of unruly or disruptive behavior in conjunction with home games, including inside Notre Dame Stadium. The system will be in place beginning at 8 a.m. on Saturdays. Fans can simply text 41513 and type into the message the word "Irish" followed by a space, followed by a brief description of the issue and its location. Ushers, public safety personnel and/or University officials will respond as needed.

Interesting use of technology; but even with ND's performance on the field it's still a football game. I guess they expect people to sit quietly and occasionally utter a "nice play" and clap politely. At least you now have a way to complain about cold hotdogs and dirty toilets.
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Best Buy for whom?

Registered Coward v2 writes: Best Buy has been caught using an intranet to limit price matching of their own web site., 0,5198012.column?coll=hc-utility-local Apparently, according to a company spokesman, their employees find it difficult to distinguish between accessing an internal site and their own external ones. Of course, they have no problem distinguishing between a higher and lower price nor charging the higher one.

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