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Firefighters Let House Burn Because Owner Didn't Pay Fee 2058

Dthief writes "From MSNBC: 'Firefighters in rural Tennessee let a home burn to the ground last week because the homeowner hadn't paid a $75 fee. Gene Cranick of Obion County and his family lost all of their possessions in the Sept. 29 fire, along with three dogs and a cat. "They could have been saved if they had put water on it, but they didn't do it," Cranick told MSNBC's Keith Olbermann. The fire started when the Cranicks' grandson was burning trash near the family home. As it grew out of control, the Cranicks called 911, but the fire department from the nearby city of South Fulton would not respond.'"

Comment Re:It is a phone (Score 1) 178

in the UK you can buy an unlocked 64Gb iPhone 4 for £599. The equivalent iPod Touch is £329.

There are more differences between the iPod touch and the iPhone than just the phone components:
GPS, compass, battery capacity. In the previous generation the touch was also missing the cameras and microphone.

OK, that's still less than £270 worth but the difference is closed somewhat.

Comment Re:Why is it a crime (Score 1) 448

The law concerned is national, but to qualify as child pornography it would have to be "posed" and in a sexual context.
(or an image of, or apparently of, sexual interaction with a child).
But good luck in trying to persuade a magistrate (not a jury!) that an image that the prosecutor claims to meet that description doesn't really.


Frustrated Reporter Quits After Slow News Day 178

Norwegian radio journalist Pia Beathe Pedersen quit on the air complaining that her bosses were making her read news on a day when "nothing important has happened." Pedersen claimed that broadcaster NRK put too much pressure on the staff and that she "wanted to be able to eat properly again and be able to breathe," during her nearly two-minute on-air resignation.

Comment Re:Nonsense (Score 1) 200

Which is odd, as one of the design goals for DAB was that the receiver should be able to move freely throughout the broadcast area and always get a signal, automatically switching to the strongest available transmitter whenever it changes.

In fact it was designed so that multiple transmitters could broadcast the same signal on the same frequency without multipath problems.
Which is great - except that the regulatory authorities require each transmitter to uniquely identify itself which means they cannot broadcast identical bit streams and thus that mechanism just doesn't work.

Comment Re:Or people don't think it's worth it. (Score 1) 200

"Is government regulation anything to do with this? "

Not really, it is more that the bundle of "intellectual property" licenses you need to build a DAB radio is a significant cost.

At least until very recently it was about £10 a unit ... it must have come down a bit or they couldn't make a £20 set (unless there is some sort of kick-back in operation)

Just think of it as a Philips tax :-(

Classic Games (Games)

Where Are the Joysticks For Retro Gaming? 262

Doctor O writes "With all those nice emulators for classic gaming around (such as MAME, VICE or Stella) I want to establish monthly retro gaming evenings with some friends. The problem is I can't find any good joysticks for that purpose. There's a new version of the legendary Competition Pro, but judging from the many one-star reviews on Amazon, it's terrible. I found the USB version of the classic Atari Joystick, but it doesn't seem to be available and would have prohibitive shipping costs to Germany anyway. So, Slashdot to the rescue — where are the suitable USB joysticks for retro gaming?"

Comment Just choose your date of Supercomputer ... (Score 2, Interesting) 247

When I started work as a computer programmer the Supercomputer of the time was the CDC6600 which had just taken the crown from the Ferranti Atlas.

When I took early retirement about 7 years ago, I often carried four devices which each needed about the power of the 6600 to function effectively:
    A mobile phone
    An MP3 player
    A PDA (mainly used as an ebook reader)
    A GPS (OK, I didn't carry this all that often)

A composer/researcher was using our University Mainframe (not quite that powerful) to produce music - his jobs typically ran for a whole 8 hour nightshift with an output of some 30 seconds of "music".

GNU is Not Unix

FSF Asks Apple To Comply With the GPL For Clone of GNU Go 482

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "The Free Software Foundation has discovered that an application currently distributed in Apple's App Store is a port of GNU Go. This makes it a GPL violation, because Apple controls distribution of all such programs through the iTunes Store Terms of Service, which is incompatible with section 6 of the GPLv2. It's an unusual enforcement action, though, because they don't want Apple to just make the app disappear, they want Apple to grant its users the full freedoms offered by the GPL. Accordingly, they haven't sued or sent any legal threats and are instead in talks with Apple about how they can offer their users the GPLed software legally, which is difficult because it's not possible to grant users all the freedoms they're entitled to and still comply with Apple's restrictive licensing terms."

iPad Steering Wheel Mount 230

kevin7kal writes "The Apple iPad is the ideal automotive communications and entertainment device. It is sized perfectly to mount using the iPad Steering Wheel Mount without obscuring the driver's view. 'I don't think that I am exaggerating when I say that the iPad Steering Wheel Mount probably has saved my life...'"

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