Linked by HAL2001 on Tue 8th Feb 2011 14:10 UTC
GNU, GPL, Open Source "A recent survey by Gartner found that more than half of organizations surveyed have adopted open source software (OSS) solutions as part of their IT strategy. Nearly one-third of respondents cited benefits of flexibility, increased innovation, shorter development times and faster procurement processes as reasons for adopting OSS solutions. However, the survey revealed that only one-third of responding organizations had a formal OSS policy in place."
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dont forget to donate
by fran on Tue 8th Feb 2011 14:47 UTC
fran
Member since:
2010-08-06

All the companies out there making use of open source.
Dont forget to donate.
Make this part of of your open source policy.

Reply Score: 3

RE: dont forget to donate
by Yamin on Tue 8th Feb 2011 15:32 UTC in reply to "dont forget to donate"
Yamin Member since:
2006-01-10

lol.

Reply Score: 4

RE: dont forget to donate
by vodoomoth on Tue 8th Feb 2011 15:56 UTC in reply to "dont forget to donate"
vodoomoth Member since:
2010-03-30

Quick reaction before reading the linked page.

I think this is very candid wishful thinking. Just reading the teaser in the rss feeds in Opera, I had a very nasty thought against these hypocritical "organizations": have you realized that the cost isn't cited among the reasons?

(
Btw, open source is necessarily freeware in my opinion. OSS is welcome and certainly has its merits, but no software that helps me out in significant tasks should be free, in my book again.
)

I believe in giving back to open source projects, who, as demonstrated by the shocking item about GIMP weeks ago, direly need contributions. I've done it in recent months and even thought about writing and submitting an article to OSnews about that topic.

I currently work in the premises of a company that has 12500 people on this site alone. Granted, it's not an IT organization but it's a big organization that has factories throughout the world. We all use Eclipse in the IT department, and this organization has never thrown a penny (or, more correctly, a eurocent) in the Eclipse foundation's tip box. Organizations are just too happy for an opportunity to cut costs. Why would they cut their cost cuts by "donating"? What does that weird word mean anyway?

Edited 2011-02-08 16:00 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: dont forget to donate
by fran on Tue 8th Feb 2011 16:44 UTC in reply to "RE: dont forget to donate"
fran Member since:
2010-08-06

voodoo you should write that article.
This issue need some pushing.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: dont forget to donate
by Laurence on Tue 8th Feb 2011 16:59 UTC in reply to "RE: dont forget to donate"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Just reading the teaser in the rss feeds in Opera, I had a very nasty thought against these hypocritical "organizations": have you realized that the cost isn't cited among the reasons?

Some might be using enterprise solutions and thus pay for support. Or even have purchased licenses for their open source software (remember, GPL isn't the only OSS license and nor does all open source licenses restrict against software sales).

The fact is, OSS is everywhere these days from fairly menial applications like Filezilla to heavy duty operating systems. It's so widespread that it is very easy to use OSS without even realising it (Firefox being a common example).

However, there's also plenty of occasions when neither the license nor the cost were a deciding factor in choosing a product. For example, one might choose a Linux webserver over Windows Server 2008 as CentOS will run Apache / lighttpd with less overhead and thus you get more performance for you buck.

Sometimes (not always, but sometimes) OSS /IS/ better than proprietary software because the actual product itself is better.

Reply Score: 6

RE[3]: dont forget to donate
by Soulbender on Tue 8th Feb 2011 17:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: dont forget to donate"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Sometimes (not always, but sometimes) OSS /IS/ better than proprietary software because the actual product itself is better.


More often than not, really.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: dont forget to donate
by nt_jerkface on Tue 8th Feb 2011 18:01 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: dont forget to donate"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

I disagree, most open source alternatives to proprietary solutions are limited in functionality. It's only on the server that open source is very competitive and even then there are plenty of cases where the proprietary solution outperforms open source (Oracle DB).

Most proprietary software in fact does not have an open source alternative. Once you start looking at industry-specific software the gaps really become obvious.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: dont forget to donate
by Soulbender on Tue 8th Feb 2011 18:26 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: dont forget to donate"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

It's only on the server that open source is very competitive and even then there are plenty of cases where the proprietary solution outperforms open source (Oracle DB).


Sure. Oracle is a niche product that is not suitable in the majority of deployment scenarios but I'm sure it's good at something (other than financing Ellison's next fighter jet). There must better examples of closed source that is "better" than open source.

Most proprietary software in fact does not have an open source alternative.


Obviously we are talking about when there is an alternative.

Once you start looking at industry-specific software the gaps really become obvious.


Depends on what industry you're looking at.

Reply Score: 4

RE[6]: dont forget to donate
by nt_jerkface on Tue 8th Feb 2011 18:46 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: dont forget to donate"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Oracle is a niche product that is not suitable in the majority of deployment scenarios but I'm sure it's good at something (other than financing Ellison's next fighter jet). There must better examples of closed source that is "better" than open source.


It's a good example because MySQL is well funded and Oracle can easily outperform it. Sure Oracle is not cost effective for most organizations but it is quality software.


Obviously we are talking about when there is an alternative.

You are the one who made a broad generalization, I'm not going to make any assumptions about the limits of your generalization especially since there are plenty of open source fanatics that have no idea as to how much industry specific software exists.

I use both open source and proprietary and judge software by its usefulness on a per application basis. I'm using Chrome right now and have Filezilla and Keepass open the background. Being wed to open source ideology seems like such a burden.

Depends on what industry you're looking at.


Only the software industry has an ample selection of alternatives. Every other industry has at least one Product X that has no open source alternative.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: dont forget to donate
by TechGeek on Tue 8th Feb 2011 19:44 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: dont forget to donate"
TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

As someone who works with Oracle and has for the last decade, its a piece of shit. When the official installation instructions have you patching files part way through installation, so that the installation won't fail, that's crap software. When they changed the length of daylight savings, which occurs on a weekend, Oracle put out patches for it the wednesday after. Thats crap software.

Now if you look at sheer numbers, then Oracle very much is a niche product. There are thousands of times for mysql and postgres installs out there than Oracle. Most people needing a database don't require the feature set or support that Oracle gets you.

There are plenty of markets where open source leads the way, clusters being one of them. Embedded electronics are another.

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: dont forget to donate
by Soulbender on Wed 9th Feb 2011 02:12 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: dont forget to donate"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Sure Oracle is not cost effective for most organizations but it is quality software.


It seems from others in this thread that Oracle matches my own experience of many "enterprise" products: software of such low quality that Joe User won't buy it and therefore it is sold to companies instead.

'm not going to make any assumptions about the limits of your generalization especially since there are plenty of open source fanatics that have no idea as to how much industry specific software exists.


If you are comparing and stating that something is better than something else then obviously that something else has to exist. If a product is the sole player in a field then it is the best by default (although that does not necessarily mean that it's good) no matter if it is OSS or not.

I use both open source and proprietary and judge software by its usefulness on a per application basis.


So do I and my experience is that OSS generally outperform (whatever your relevant metric may be) closed-source software. Not always, but more often than not.

Being wed to open source ideology seems like such a burden.


Good thing I'm wed to my wife then, eh?

Edited 2011-02-09 02:24 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: dont forget to donate
by lucas_maximus on Wed 9th Feb 2011 11:02 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: dont forget to donate"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Sure. Oracle is a niche product that is not suitable in the majority of deployment scenarios but I'm sure it's good at something (other than financing Ellison's next fighter jet). There must better examples of closed source that is "better" than open source.


Oracle is the big daddy RDMS, It been years since I used it but quite a few large fininacial organisations up in London are paying people £100,000 a year for Oracle Database admins ... It is definitely good for something.

It certainly is not suitable for a e-commerce site (unless it is truely massive), but nonetheless for very large scale stuff I don't think anything else comes close

As for closed software being better than open source, my opinions are as follows,

Microsoft Office > Open/Libre Office / Star Office

Skype > Ekiga

Photoshop > Gimp

Illustrator > Inkscape

CuteFTP > Filezilla (FileZilla 1 out of 10 times won't upload something reliably, CuteFTP always seems to work and I upload a lot of files).

Fireworks > GIMP/Photoshop/Paint.NET (ultimately what you are using it for).

ImgBurn > Everything else

However, there are some apps that are open source, don't have any compelling commercial alternatives .. such as,

Paint.NET (It isn't now, but it was)
WinMerge
Putty
WinSCP
7Zip (better compression than rar and can use multiple cores)
CDEX
Virtual Box (seems to work with everything I throw at it)
Handbrake
Windows Media Player Classic/VLC
Synergy+
Tortoise SVN

All highly reliable applications and IMO better than any commercial alternatives.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: dont forget to donate
by Nth_Man on Fri 11th Feb 2011 17:36 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: dont forget to donate"
Nth_Man Member since:
2010-05-16

Skype > Ekiga

We should investigate the recent versions and the adequate programs. For example Ekiga was substituted by Empathy in 2009 as the default VoIP client in Ubuntu. Also we should take into account that Skype uses Qt, which is free software, so Skype wouldn't also be 100% closed source software.

CuteFTP > Filezilla (FileZilla 1 out of 10 times won't upload something reliably).

Strange. You don't mention WinSCP now, but you do it later as a recommended program. I used WinSCP years ago, and it can be used for ftp transferences, have you tried it also for your ftp uses?
http://winscp.net/eng/docs/screenshots

ImgBurn > Everything else

Mmm... "everything else", that's a big claim. I use sometimes the Cdrkit programs (www.cdrkit.org/) and habitually its graphical interfaces like K3b.

However, there are some apps that are open source, don't have any compelling commercial alternatives .. such as

For the uses I have: I would add to the list Apache, Emule, Amarok, Workrave, Qt Creator, ....

And a really nice advantage of them is that you can improve them, you can develop new features, a company can contract a developer to modify a program, etc.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: dont forget to donate
by SReilly on Tue 8th Feb 2011 19:10 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: dont forget to donate"
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

Here we go again!

Another bunch of unsubstantiated views based on personal bias sold as fact without a shred of evidence to back it up. Please show us the metrics in support of your sweeping statements, I dare you!

Let's look at Oracle DB being all singing and dancing. Why do you think Oracle kept MySQL alive and the MSSQL engine is distributed for free? Oracle is an 800lb gorilla that does NOT always outperform FLOSS, specifically PostgreSQL. As Oracle's license specifically disallows benchmarks to be published without their consent, we'll never know the exact numbers beyond some unsubstantiated anecdotal evidence but that seems to be an area you're more than comfortable in.

Industry specific software is NOT most software! In fact, if you stop your anti-FLOSS foaming at the mouth crusade long enough to read over your following statement:

Most proprietary software in fact does not have an open source alternative. Once you start looking at industry-specific software the gaps really become obvious.

Since when does industry specific software equate with most software, something you not too subtly hint at without stating it outright? Also, industry specific is by it's very definition niche!

Before you start your usual flaming on me being a freetard (tm), let me set the record strait. I regularly use both FLOSS and closed source software both at work and at home. For me both types have their strengths and weaknesses but I certainly don't let the politics influence my decision on what I use.

Reply Score: 7

RE[6]: dont forget to donate
by nt_jerkface on Tue 8th Feb 2011 19:35 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: dont forget to donate"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Another bunch of unsubstantiated views based on personal bias sold as fact without a shred of evidence to back it up. Please show us the metrics in support of your sweeping statements, I dare you!


Personal bias? I don't use Oracle DB, I use SQL Server.

I pointed out that Oracle outperforms MySQL. This is a consensus in the industry, maybe you should calm down and explain why you think everyone is wrong.

Also, industry specific is by it's very definition niche!

Not when looking at it collectively. There is also some key mainstream software for which there is no functionally equivalent open source alternative. Quickbooks, Turbotax, MS Office, Photoshop, and Final Cut are a few that come to mind.

Before you start your usual flaming on me being a freetard (tm), let me set the record strait.


I don't use that term, and you can check my history. So that means you are the one with unsubstantiated views.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: dont forget to donate
by SReilly on Tue 8th Feb 2011 20:05 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: dont forget to donate"
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

Personal bias? I don't use Oracle DB, I use SQL Server.

And I'm not talking about your use of SQL server, I'm talking about your personal bias dictating your software evangelising.

I pointed out that Oracle outperforms MySQL. This is a consensus in the industry, maybe you should calm down and explain why you think everyone is wrong.

No you didn't. I quote: I disagree, most open source alternatives to proprietary solutions are limited in functionality. It's only on the server that open source is very competitive and even then there are plenty of cases where the proprietary solution outperforms open source (Oracle DB).

First of all, you sweepingly state the open source "alternatives" to proprietary solutions are limited, without any evidence to back up your claim. You then fail to mention MySQL but instead point out, again without any evidence to back it up, that "even then there are plenty of cases where the proprietary solution outperforms open source (Oracle DB)."

A consensus in the industry? How can it be a consensus if Oracle's license specifically disallows the publishing of benchmarks without their consent? By the way, I was talking about PostgreSQL where the industry "consensus" is that it has forced Oracle to up it's game due to kicking it's rear end in the past on performance.

Not when looking at it collectively.

Again you fail to get it. Where are your metrics?

There is also some key mainstream software for which there is no functionally equivalent open source alternative. Quickbooks, Turbotax, MS Office, Photoshop, and Final Cut are a few that come to mind.

I know a swath of people that prefer OpenOffice to MS Office, specifically since the ribbon interface (though I'm not one of them). Same goes for GIMP as they'd rather not pirate the ridiculously priced Photoshop. I've never met anyone who uses either Quickbooks or Turbotax so I'm not going to comment on them. As for Final Cut: Sure, if you run a Mac.

I don't use that term, and you can check my history. So that means you are the one with unsubstantiated views.

Really? Your blog says otherwise.

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: dont forget to donate
by Laurence on Tue 8th Feb 2011 21:41 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: dont forget to donate"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

I pointed out that Oracle outperforms MySQL

And OpenOffice writer outperforms MS Notepad.

However neither examples are comparing like for like.

Have a read up on this next time you want to comment about open source databases:
http://www.postgresql.org/

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: dont forget to donate
by lemur2 on Tue 8th Feb 2011 22:12 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: dont forget to donate"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

I disagree, most open source alternatives to proprietary solutions are limited in functionality. It's only on the server that open source is very competitive and even then there are plenty of cases where the proprietary solution outperforms open source (Oracle DB).

Most proprietary software in fact does not have an open source alternative. Once you start looking at industry-specific software the gaps really become obvious.


Closed source software is focussed all about making a profit from the sale of the software itself. It is often characterised by addressing a unique specialist market, where there is not much competition, and it is possible to become the "best of breed" aplication. There are typically few enough users of such software, and their business area is itself unrelated to software, so that they are unable to band together, form an alliance and "roll their own" product.

Open source software is just about the opposite, it is more about reducing costs for everybody. It is not about making a profit from the sale of software, but rather about making and using low-cost quality software to make some other product for sale. Open source software flourishes in areas where just about everyone uses such software, and the software is very often even useful to people who write software themselves. Poeple from all over are able, and motivated, to work together and make a product of their own, thereby reducing ongoing costs for everyone.

Now the thing that most advocates of closed source software cannot seem to admit is that both models work. As a software company one can have a business model of making best-of-breed niche software, and selling it to a small market. Also, as a company that does not specialise in making software, one can still hire one or two staff to collaborate with others on a community project to develop open source software, and thereby reduce overall the software costs for the company. "Profit from slaes" and "reducing costs" are both valid ways to make profits for a business.

The model that also works, but which should not and does not deserve to, is lock-in. This is where a software company has a business model of making non-interoperable anti-feature software, and selling it to a large-but-captive market.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: dont forget to donate
by Yamin on Thu 10th Feb 2011 17:33 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: dont forget to donate"
Yamin Member since:
2006-01-10

"The model that also works, but which should not and does not deserve to, is lock-in. This is where a software company has a business model of making non-interoperable anti-feature software, and selling it to a large-but-captive market."

On the contrary... this is a very good way to sell software. We don't live in a perfect world and all companies have the desire to ensure competitors don't come in. This is especially true of keeping out lower cost copy cat competition.

I would argue that in the absence of 'interoperability issues', the natural thing for companies to do is engage in patents.

Just my opinion, but wars based on patents are much worse than wars based on interop... due to the legal nature of patents which drags the whole legal system into it. Whereas interop issues are always carefully balanced by the desire of users to interop and clever engineers reverse engineering things.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: dont forget to donate
by Nth_Man on Fri 11th Feb 2011 05:03 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: dont forget to donate"
Nth_Man Member since:
2010-05-16

That hurts customers. If you have bought something that later forces you to go to the same vendor, with abusive prices, you already have experienced what's a vendor lock-in.
For a classic example: buying a printer from X that only accepts ink from the vendor X (hey, you have even to pay the microchips that come in the cartridge because they want you locked into X) with abusive prices, because now you have to depend on them.

There's an alternative, and is standards. That allows you to:
- use petrol, tyres, etc. in your car even if they are not from the car manufacturer.
- change screws, etc in your devices even if they are not from the device manufacturer.
- use a TV even if it's not from the tv channel station. Note: this can change with the possible Apple, Microsoft or Google TV, we'll see.

On the contrary... this is a very good way to sell software.

A "funny" and graphical way of seeing the effects of vendor lock-in in software sales is seen in:
http://www.antipatterns.com/images/lock-in.gif

Edited 2011-02-11 05:05 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: dont forget to donate
by nt_jerkface on Tue 8th Feb 2011 17:54 UTC in reply to "RE: dont forget to donate"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Organizations are just too happy for an opportunity to cut costs. Why would they cut their cost cuts by "donating"? What does that weird word mean anyway?


Well when open source gets into these organizations on the basis of being free to license you can't be that surprised.

The GPL allowance of internal changes really works in the favor of big corps. They can add changes that give them a competitive advantage and then use a web interface for public access. Small companies don't have that kind of manpower and can only make use of existing functionality.

Reply Score: 3

Personal experience
by infidel on Tue 8th Feb 2011 22:04 UTC
infidel
Member since:
2011-02-08

From my personal experience in a fairly big company as a .Net developer, FOSS has a way of sneaking in. As a developer sitting at the bottom of the hierarchy you dont have to ask for a license. You just use it. Mostly without modification. A library here, a bit of JQuery there, a little application that solves a need. You don't have to ask permission to use it, because it costs nothing. Of course in my position I cannot ask my company to give donations, but given a higher position I would definitely throw money at OSS that we use actively.

Open source was a problem solved by developers for developers, it starts with us and our choices of what to use. Evaluating, motivating, and procuring proprietary software creates a serious hit in productivity and sometimes a marketing rep will sell the worst software at a ridiculous price, that refuses to integrate with anything because you need to pay them more to integrate with their systems. You pay exorbitant support fees to often be given the finger and your business suffers from serious inefficiencies.

Open source has none of these problems and you can throw something out if it doesn't work. You are not stuck on an infinite bandwagon of inefficiency.

There is a change in attitudes that needs to take place. Throwing money at an open source project is not always the answer. It may be better to pay the OSS developer to add features or fix bugs in his code, or to get your developers to do that and submit patches.

Businesses should also identify useful projects of their own and contribute those to the open source community. The community enhances your code, and everybody wins. Many good ideas die in the confines big business because nobody has the time to maintain or implement them.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Personal experience
by lucas_maximus on Wed 9th Feb 2011 11:31 UTC in reply to "Personal experience"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

You are not stuck on an infinite bandwagon of inefficiency.


Depends ... I've been recently been working with a .NET 1.1 CMS that community stopped working on in 2006 called Rainbow.

I was given a whitepaper with an example module code, and that was my docs ... all the other devs that knew how it worked had gone, and the projects website has a lot of dead links.

Project took me 3 times as long as it would if I had used something more modern ... but I wasn't allowed to since that is what was used in the company.

Open source is good until you are stuck using something that the community has long since abandoned.

Edited 2011-02-09 11:31 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Personal experience
by Nth_Man on Wed 9th Feb 2011 12:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Personal experience"
Nth_Man Member since:
2010-05-16

At least people should have the source code of "Rainbow" and could improve the project, continue it, etc (That... if there's no other usable but better free software project available, of course, which could explain a lot).

Another different thing is that: companies that use "Rainbow" earn money but... don't want to contribute in any way to the project (neither donations nor submitting code nor documenting nor anything), and later demand the work to be done by others, and if it's not done, it's their fault.

But without collaboration of people there's no free software :-(.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Personal experience
by lucas_maximus on Wed 9th Feb 2011 13:38 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Personal experience"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

The thing is that we don't have resources to improve it. Many companies can't afford to improve it, because there is simply too much work on.

There is 25 mb of source code and another 10mb of dlls, without docs the source may as well be closed. Lots of class hierachies etc.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Personal experience
by TheGZeus on Wed 9th Feb 2011 22:23 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Personal experience"
TheGZeus Member since:
2010-05-19

You 'sniped' the Debian article, so I'm replying here.

You are full of vitriol and misdirected rage.

I've done nothing to you, I simply made a conjecture as to the reason for the situation described in the post to which I replied.

You became confused.
I explained myself.

You then insulted me and used vulgarity to order me to leave.

You need to relax, or get perspective in _some_ way.

Reply Score: 2

correction
by TechGeek on Tue 8th Feb 2011 22:50 UTC
TechGeek
Member since:
2006-01-14

For the record, above when I said I work with Oracle, I meant the software not the company. I am the support person for my department. The rest of the stuff about the patching is true though. It has gotten better, but Oracle's (the company) support is sometimes very lacking.

Reply Score: 3

Ah statistics ... again
by mrhasbean on Tue 8th Feb 2011 23:49 UTC
mrhasbean
Member since:
2006-04-03

In my country the debate is again raging about banning the use of mobile phones - even with hands free devices - while driving, with claims being made that 33% of all accidents are "caused" by mobile phones. My wife works in insurance claims so I know for a fact that those numbers are over-exaggerated to say the least - for example I could be sitting at a red light chatting away (hands free) on my phone and some clown who's been fiddling with his stereo runs clean up my butt and that accident would be included in those figures.

So statistics can say whatever we want them to. In fact it could be argued that many more companies have chosen FOSS as part of their IT strategy if their web sites are hosted on Linux based servers. Similarly I use Adium, CoRD, VirtualBox and a number of others on a daily / weekly basis but I didn't specifically set out to pursue an opensource path, I simply found a tool that I liked that did the job and stuck with it.

Statistics are useful for marketing and propaganda.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Ah statistics ... again
by Hypnos on Wed 9th Feb 2011 03:10 UTC in reply to "Ah statistics ... again"
Hypnos Member since:
2008-11-19

I get annoyed when people malign statistics -- they make perfect sense, and are an invaluable tool to help you understand what is signal and what is wishful thinking.

However, like any other mathematical tool, it's susceptible to "garbage-in/garbage-out".

Whether or not driving while using a cellphone is hype or real is off-topic, but I will point out that your example is silly: it's like saying that drinking while driving is safe because it doesn't matter if you're drunk while sitting at a red light. The point is that while the vehicle is moving your driving ability is impaired; the same is (argued) of cellphone use.

Reply Score: 4