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Slashback: Heat, Thought, Time 204

Posted by timothy
from the finest-corinthian-leather dept.
More information on calls for Canadian Web regulation, the fate of the famous Israeli AI called HAL, (yes, again) Intel's continuing dance with Rambus and more, below in tonight's edition of Slashback.

It's the incredible edible, heavy-investment waffle double gainer! steevo.com writes: "Intel has decided to stay with Rambus. Say it ain't so! Details are at C-NET.

Time was when ... wilkinsm writes: "When I tuned my shortwave to 5 Mhz today, I learned that NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) is currently doing a open survey on the time and frequency user community. I encourage all of you unix admins that use the network time protocol to show your support and fill the online survey out."

Has the code been tossed out with the bathwater? nonAI writes: "The Israeli company, which promoted a competition against an AI, closed its gates, as reported by an Israeli economic magazine (sorry, babelfish doesn't help). That's the end for the Child Machine HAL."

Now imagine you know of a freewheeling, opinionated discussion board ... Wael Islam, a member and volunteer with IslamWay.com, writes with some words on the objections B'nai Brith Canada raised to postings on IslamWay's message boards.

"In IslamWay.com discussion board we've more than 4000 Member and at the time of the media attack there was more than 28,000 posts!! Bnai Brith didn't only take one of the posts, but even took a statement out of context to prove that IslamWay.com is a terrorist website! ...

... The discussion post was between two people who were fighting each others by words, one called the other one that you are a hypocrite, so the other one was very angry so he told him - I'm just giving the meaning- : Let's see who is the hypocrite, Come with me to Afghanistan and let's train ourselves there .. so the person meant that army exercises will be a way to prove who is the coward and who is the brave!"

The people who attacked IslamWay.com based on the Discussion Board post didn't clarify that it was mentioned in the discussion board, and they just said a post on IslamWay.com."

Of course, we could require that all public communications be approved in advance, licensed, and inoffensive.

Please resume watching your educational audio-visual materials. echoSpades writes: "I guess I wasn't the only one to be annoyed with Apple's DVD playback. Apple's website has a small text link to info about a class action suit against them: 'There is a proposed settlement of a class action lawsuit against Apple Computer, Inc. involving issues with DVD playback in earlier models of the Apple iMac DV, iMac DV SE and Power Mac G4 computers."

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Slashback: Heat, Thought, Time

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  • by Sheldon_Brown (514313) on Monday September 17, 2001 @08:07PM (#2312383)
    ...and Islam Way is a terrorist site.

    Or neither is true. But the same argument has been used against both. The difference is, when Microsoft and the Church of Scientology attacked Slashdot, they used the DMCA. Islam Way was attacked with the threat of new legislation.

    The fact is, every weblog is going to have a seamy underside [n3.net]. Hopefully the public will not be so easily swayed by emotion as to outlaw weblogs because of the comments posted by a handful of fools.

    • It was worse than the threat of new legislation. IslamWay was pegged as a terrorist haven, recruiting and training terrorists under the guise of an official religous or political site.
      The stigma of these accusations will live long in the minds of the frightened citizens of the world. That is more damage than any legislation would have done. The Islam Way's credibility is shot, and the B'nai Brith walks away unscathed, and with a positive image to boot.
      The whole incident was fear-mongering to reach a desired result, and no amount of explanations will set that right now.
    • Of course, this being Bnai Brith Canada, requesting the Canadian government to act, the presence or absence of US laws is irrelevant.
      • But the US is still somehow tangentially involved. B'nai B'rith represents the interests of the state of Israel. Because the United States is on Israel's side in the Middle Eastern conflict, it would seem that B'nai B'rith's actions in other countries will reflect what happens here.

        (Actually their work here should be easy... they have all our politicians in their pocket...)
        • Actually,

          B'nai B'rith doesn't represent the interests of the State of Israel, Israel's ambassador does that.

          B'nai B'rith represents conservative Jewish congregations and Jewish Theological Seminary. No more, no less.
    • Not quite - there are good hackers and bad hackers - are you saying there are good terrorists and bad terrorists?

      Slashdot is most certianly a hacker site - no doubt about it.
      • Some people think so. I'll lay money that some of the people in Chicago and New York expressing outrage at the attack on the WTC have given money to the IRA to use to buy semtex to murder British civilians.

        For that matter, when bin Laden was attacking Soviets, he was a "good guy", now he's a "bad guy". Ditto Saddam Hussein and the Iran-Iraq war.

        None of the US millitary or government officials supplying Iran with weapons, a country then considered a rogue state backing terrorism by the US, recieved more than a slap on the wrist. And when they supplied the Contras with weapons, they weren't supplying terrorists, they were supplying freedom fighters. Apparently freedom fighters massacre villages full of peasants, but aren't terrorists.

        When Mossad murdered a Swedish diplomat, the USA didn't launch cruise missiles at Israel for acts of government-sponsored terrorism, nor when Ariel Sharon arranged for the massacre of unarmed Lebanese (a war crime he was convicted for in Israel).

        For that matter, attacks on off-duty servicemen resulted in the bombing of Libya. The French Resistancce did the same thing, and I don't see too many people lining up to condemn them.

        Whether someone is a terrorist or a freedom fighter is often a question of who you ask, not what they do, sadly. There'd probably be fewer dead innocents if that wasn't the case.
        • I'll lay money that some of the people in Chicago and New York expressing outrage at the attack on the WTC have given money to the IRA to use to buy semtex to murder British civilians.

          semtex? A deadly macro package? I know trying to use TeX [tug.org] has driven some to the brink of insanity, but I hadn't heard of it's having caused any murders...
        • Damn right. One of the reasons we're a little more cynical over here in the UK about the US call to remove 'terrorists and those who sponsor terrorism' is that the US have been the main sponsor of the IRA for quite a few years.

          When are we going to see people in the CIA convicted of sponsoring terrorism, or is this yet another case of "we'll kill anyone that goes against *our* laws, except *us*"?
        • Whether someone is a terrorist or a freedom fighter is often a question of who you ask, not what they do, sadly.

          Wrong, wrong, wrong. A terrorist, by definition, kills civilians in an attempt to destabilize the target society. A freedom fighter/soldier attacks military targets.

      • The world is crying out over the outrage suffered in NY and DC, demanding blood, etc. One has to recognise that since you cannot ignore the terrorist actions of the US through out the world, they must be the good terrorists while Osama Bin Laden is now a bad terrorist. (Remember, the CIA taught him everything he knows - he must have been a good terroristin that period?)
    • Now just when does the public ever do things based on emotional knee jerk reactions. The public is the most rational and logical being since Mr. Spock cmon. Note incredible sarcasim intended :)
  • by RogrWilco (522139) on Monday September 17, 2001 @08:07PM (#2312384)
    Intel packages the new P4's with RDRAM or SDRAM, so what's the big deal? If you want rambus, pay for it! If not, get the SDRAM. Let's let the market decide which one is better. Intel really only has to explain itself to its investors. It has to prove itself to its customers!
    • Of course the issue is Intel going to give us a choice? Of course not. That's why the i845 chipset only supports the older PC133 SDRAM and not the newer/faster DDR SDRAM. By limiting support to PC133, you can't truely take advantage of the P4's memory throughput potential.

      No, expect Via to come out with the real cost/price performer based on DDR SDRAM, which is of course why Intel is suing Via so that Intel can keep control of of the P4 platform and thereby increase it's revenues.

      For more info, read the i845 review on Tom's Hardware: http://www6.tomshardware.com/mainboard/01q3/010702 / [tomshardware.com]

      But let me save you your time: The i845 sucks. Really sucks.

      • Intel has given the license to other companies to make DDR chipsets, and they will all be coming out next year, along with Intel's version.

        So, yes, you *will* have a choice. And just about at the right time, when DDR memory will cost the same as SDR.

    • Intel is going to give us a choice. Our way, or the AMD way.

      --
      Very few animals were harmed in the creation of this message.
  • Well, no duh. They were going to dumb rambus when they had a chipset that they could sell exclusively that allowed you to use SDRAM in their computers. Now that that patent isn't theirs anymore, they're going to work to hype up rambus anymore try to marginalize their competition.

    This of course isn't to be critical of Intel, they're just trying to cover their hiney, but it is to mention WHY they would.
  • (sorry, babelfish doesn't help).

    That's a babelfish phrase if I've ever seen one.

  • Already fixed... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by singularity (2031) <nowalmart.gmail@com> on Monday September 17, 2001 @08:17PM (#2312422) Homepage Journal
    Ahh, class action lawsuits. As has been pointed out on numerous Mac-related web sites, the problems with Apple's software DVD player were fixed in later versions of the software (included with 9.0.4, 9.1, and 9.2)

    This software was available as a free download. I believe it was even included with the Software Update control panel (so that with minimum user input, it would update itself), also as a free download.

    So now Apple settles this lawsuit, and they have to provide the software for free (been there, done that, now they just have to provide the CD) and provide support on the update.

    It seems that the only real winners in this lawsuit are the lawyers. Apparently they get a cut based on possible takers. So they figure there are 100,000 people effected by the bum software. They figure that 20,000 might take Apple up on their over-priced offers. They get a cut of those 20,000 people's purchases, even if they do not actually buy the items in question.

    Strange...

    Anyway, this just shows commercial software places "Do not 'Release early, release often.'" - you might get sued if it is too buggy, even if you provide free updates.
    • It seems that the only real winners in this lawsuit are the lawyers.

      Welcome to the world of class action lawsuits. A while back there was one that covered airline fare setting. The lawyers got millions of dollars, and members of the class got "AirScrip"--coupons for a few dollars off your next airline ticket.

      They didn't even have the decency to print the AirScrip on nice soft paper so it'd be useful for something....

      (People who'd flown 5 or more trips but didn't itemize got a whopping $79 in coupons; that was two $25, two $10, and one $9. Whee!)

      • Can't say I see a problem with it. The lawyers are working on contingency basis. They don't get paid unless they win. In exchange for assuming the greater risks, they get the opportunity, if they can earn it, of greater reward. If a plantiff doesn't like it, he can always pay for the litigation out of pocket.

        Besides, only an incredibly small fraction of cases get anywhere at all, much less an award or settlement that big. The chances of any particular lawyer getting that lucky are as low, if not lower, than a company going IPO, making everyone instant millionares, and not crashing with the rest of the dot coms. Infinitesimal.
        • The point is that the problem was already fixed. I suppose people could argue that they were due something for the problems they suffered before it was fixed, but that is a loose argument at best (given the details of the case, which no one really seems to have).

          The big fix was access to the fix, which Apple has already provided in several forms.
      • Can't we use the power of the internet to all opt out of these dumb-ass lawsuits and render the lawyers' cash-outs moot?
    • Ah, the DVD player may be "fixed", but the slightest hiccup of the datastream (scratch or dust on the disc) makes the damn thing crash with a "9882" error. Actually, you don't get the error until the player has been stumbling along for 5 minutes trying to paint a frame. Then the OS crashes.

      Xine and VideoLAN never have these problems, because they weren't written by the grossly incompetent hacks they employ down there in Cupertino. Problem is, Linux DVD playback turns my powerbook into a space heater. BAH.

    • Ahhh... not exactly true that this is fixed for free.
      I have an early iMac DV with system 8.6. The upgrade to 9.0.x which fixes this is not free from 8.6, so I will be a beneficiary of this upgrade.
      I think this is a good example of a small class-action suit working properly: it causes Apple to fix a problem at low cost to them (since the fix is just a CD mailed out) and benefits the users.
  • Because everyone would be to worried about keeping warm. Everyone should move up here to the antartic, and build igloo's. Except of course for Steve Jobs, as one poster already pointed out, he would turn everything into fruity coloured "I-Gloo's." I will have none of that. So come up north, and join me as I keep warm next to my nice wood burning stove. We can hunt polar bears, and download stare at the Pr0n K1ng's pr0n. I stole it from him! All of it! He has none left!
  • According to Rambus CFO Bob Eulau, the deal was less for the 'financial' implications, but rather was about the 'strategic' implications. Although the 'ole chipmonster gets complete access to Rambus' patents for fixed quarterly payments, Rambus gets the important longterm test of ...uh... not dying tomorrow as users realize that RDRAMs speed increase doesn't quite make up for the fact that one can purchase gigs of DDR SDRAM for the same price as megs of RDRAM. Oh well, there are always the lawsuits to support them... The company has spent millions pursuing patent infringement suits against three memory makers.
  • Bnai Brith didn't only take one of the posts, but even took a statement out of context to prove that IslamWay.com is a terrorist website! ...

    Like we have never seen this before.!

    But be sure to thank them for the free advertising! Especially once it is made clear the the comments were rhetorical questions in the middle of a heated discussion.

    The may feel rather silling about it after the fact.

  • ...So long as you're running 4 or 8 chips in parallel. :-P

    I don't know why Intel is cutting its own throat, tying its processor to the most expensive memory around, especially since that same memory is holding the processor back. I suppose they signed some agreement years ago and now they're stuck.
    • I suppose they signed some agreement years ago and now they're stuck.

      Yeah, that's exactly it. I believe they promised to only (ONLY!!) use Rambus and have been trying to wheedle their way out of it ever since. I believe they also bought a shitload of Rambus stock, then promised to only use Rambus, then sold the stock so it serves them right.

      Athlon good. DDR gooder. Interlaced DDR (nVidia crush) goodest.

      Dave
    • "I don't know why Intel is cutting its own throat, tying its processor to the most expensive memory around, especially since that same memory is holding the processor back."

      That statement isn't really valid anymore. Check out pricewatch.com, the prices aren't even remotely close to what they once were.

      Hell, I remember when I payed out the ass for a stick of pc-100 SDRAM corsair micro, when memory was really expensive.

      " I suppose they signed some agreement years ago and now they're stuck."

      Heh, yep, it was going to expire next year or so, I believe. They ended up extending that very agreement. :)
  • Of course, we could require that all public communications be approved in advance, licensed, and inoffensive.

    Nevertheless, it is very irresponsible to misrepresent a statement deliberately.

    For example, I could take the quote above and claim Slashdot is about to sensor posts. Ridiculous, yes, but to an outsider it makes sense.

    The price of greatness is responsibility.

  • Regarding IslamWay (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tweek (18111) on Monday September 17, 2001 @09:59PM (#2312671) Homepage Journal
    I read over (I must admit rather quickly) some stuff regarding the B'nai article. The IslamWay site made some rather slight attacks at Jews in thier response.

    This leads me to two questions:
    1) From all that we have seen on the news lately with Islamic scholars, Islam means peace and the Q'uran teaches that a Muslim should respect his Christian and Jewish brothers and love them since we all come from the same God. It goes back to Islam teaching that Abraham and Jesus were in the same vein as Muhammed as prophets. Why is then that there is such a thread of hate when it comes to Muslims and Jews? I understand the biblical aspect of the conflict (It goes back to Cain and Able if I remember my studies). But sitting that aside, why the hate?

    2) Again, on the news, we keep hearing that true Islam does not teach Jihaad but the concept had to come from somewhere, correct? I can't find any unbiased reporting and I don't have a copy of the Quran here with me to check myself. If Jihaad is indeed mentioned in the Quran, what are the circumstances surrounding it and what are the justifications.

    I understand that many Muslims are saying that Bin Laden has hijacked TRUE Islam but where did he get the ideas for Jihaad? Where did this all start? (not his hatred of the US but the concept of a holy war at all costs.

    Further more, I've read all the passages about killing innocents and how it is forbidden but if a Jihaad is allowed does that bypass that rule?

    I guess this is really a question for someone versed in Islamic apolegetics but it can't hurt to ask.

    And no one post any bullshit condeming all religions and the typical comments we get on slashdot about religious people being sheep. It doesn't float.
    • by ndnet (3243) on Monday September 17, 2001 @10:43PM (#2312786)
      1) From all that we have seen on the news lately with Islamic scholars, Islam means peace and the Q'uran teaches that a Muslim should respect his Christian and Jewish brothers and love them since we all come from the same God. It goes back to Islam teaching that Abraham and Jesus were in the same vein as Muhammed as prophets. Why is then that there is such a thread of hate when it comes to Muslims and Jews? I understand the biblical aspect of the conflict (It goes back to Cain and Able if I remember my studies). But sitting that aside, why the hate?

      It goes back to ancient Rome. When Rome uprooted the Jews for defying them (though I can't remember WHY), they let the Arabs move in. Starting around WWII (I believe), Zionism, or the desire for a Jewish homeland started to grow. The Allies (mainly England) said they would support Zionism for their support in WWII, but later gave the issue to the UN. The UN created Israel (sp?), uprooting the Arabs. Who had the right to the land? Both.

      2) Again, on the news, we keep hearing that true Islam does not teach Jihaad but the concept had to come from somewhere, correct? I can't find any unbiased reporting and I don't have a copy of the Quran here with me to check myself. If Jihaad is indeed mentioned in the Quran, what are the circumstances surrounding it and what are the justifications.

      Could this be the equivalent of the Crusades in the middle ages?

      I understand that many Muslims are saying that Bin Laden has hijacked TRUE Islam but where did he get the ideas for Jihaad? Where did this all start? (not his hatred of the US but the concept of a holy war at all costs.

      Further more, I've read all the passages about killing innocents and how it is forbidden but if a Jihaad is allowed does that bypass that rule?


      This is a question that is NEVER taught in schools, but should be. Any "holy" war is a economic war being excused for religious reasons. This is used to encite the people to fight. During any "holy" war you will hear a protest, "Would God want us doing this?". The Jerry Falwells of the world use the Bible to push their opinion; why can't the economy?

      Another level to look at it is this:The US, with their powerful economy and military, are the "Great Satan," because they deny, through not passing an "equal" share of the money (namely, that which would make the US and Arabs equally economically powerful).

      I'm a senior this year, yet I have never had a social studies teacher come out and say "God is their excuse for war".

      BTW, hate to say it, but all religions are the same. I believe in a God, but have yet to find a religion which I don't take exception with for some supposedly moral practice. God and religion are two seperate things, and if and when everyone realizes this, the world will be a better place.
      • God and religion are two seperate things, and if and when everyone realizes this, the world will be a better place.

        Amen brother.


      • I believe in a God, but have yet to find a religion which I don't take exception with for some supposedly moral practice. God and religion are two seperate things, and if and when everyone realizes this, the world will be a better place.


        I agree. I am Christian.. attend church (nearly) every weekend, read the bible regularly (though I don't feel I read it enough :), and I'm even am employee of my church.

        IMHO there's too much "tradition" in "religion" and the bottom line is really our relationship with God. None of us are perfect and can never hope to be, however having a strong relationship with God motivates me to try... whether that means being a good listener, a good helper, whatever...

        I hope your "exception to [religion]... moral practice" is not an excuse to do it anyway. :-)

        -sid
      • This is a question that is NEVER taught in schools, but should be. Any "holy" war is a economic war being excused for religious reasons. This is used to encite the people to fight. During any "holy" war you will hear a protest, "Would God want us doing this?". The Jerry Falwells of the world use the Bible to push their opinion; why can't the economy?
        I'm a senior this year, yet I have never had a social studies teacher come out and say "God is their excuse for war".

        If a teacher told you that he would probably be fired on the spot. Someone would probably be offended by that statement, and/or the implication that Crusades, Holy Wars, Revolutions and Wars of Independence are made because of pragmatic interests, not religion/ideology.
        After all, the education system exists to provide the population with a common myth-history and set of skills that will make them tame, productive members of society. Not to teach critical thinking or anything like that.
      • Well said. Jews, Christians, and Muslims have lived peacably together for long periods of time. Every group has it's fanatic wing, and this wing gains predominance when people are poor, hopeless, and desperate. It's no surprise that fundamentalists have so much power in countries that have been ravaged by war, in which generations of people know nothing but miserable existences. This is why it is so ludicrous that our solution to the problem of terrorism is to just go bomb the "bad guys". The bad guys are bad guys because they have no hope. There is *nothing* we could do to make this worse. It's like jailing a blind, mute, starving, paralytic beggar. There is nothing worse you could possibly do. We need to get out of the mind set of good guys and bad guys. There are situations, circumstances, opinions, emotions. There isn't a class of sub-humans we can hunt down. People are people, and just because they do things we cannot comprehend does not make them "crazies", or any less human. It's like the force - killing the enemy only makes them stronger.
      • God and religion are two seperate things, and if and when everyone realizes this, the world will be a better place.
        Well said.

        John McDowell [josh.org] mentioned in one of his books an incident in college. He scoffed at a female Christian's beliefs, saying he wasn't into religion. She replied, "I didn't say I was into religion, I'm into Jesus Christ!" Politics and God should have nothing to do with each other. After all, it was Jesus who said, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's."

      • Starting around WWII (I believe), Zionism, or the desire for a Jewish homeland started to grow.

        Not to pick nits, but the Zionist movement actually started much earlier, in the late 1890s in western Russia, basically as a response to jewish persecution. The movement expanded as the problem became more widespread, reaching a fever pitch in the 1930s. Here's more information on the "What is Zionism [us-israel.org]" page at JSource. Yes, it's a pro-zionist page, but sometimes going to the source is the best way to define a movement.
      • Just a couple of points of clarification:

        1) Most of the Jews were thrown out or left during Roman occupation of the region. At least that's my understanding of it. Who were the people who stayed and converted to Islam and are now known as the Palestinians? I believe that they were mostly Hellenized/Christianized residents of the region. They were probably descended from Jews if you go back far enough (they claim ancestry from the Canaanites/Philistines, but those people were largely assimilated into the Jewish population during the era of the Jewish kingdoms).


        There have been small numbers of Jews continuously living in the land that was known as Palestine, though they were far outnumbered by the Arab Palestinians during the Ottoman and then British occupation of the area. They peacefully coexisted with the Arab population for the most part.


        Zionism as a movement for a Jewish homeland in the modern world geoscape has its roots in the early 19th century. By 1914 there were many tens of thousands of Jews who had immigrated to Palestine and made their home there again in response to antisemitism and growing troubles in Europe.


        In 1928-29 or thereabouts serious hostilities broke out when Arab mobs attacked and killed large numbers of Jewish residents. This was caused primarily by fears over the Zionist movement. But the hostilities were not initiated by Jews. Jews did organize for self defense when it became clear the British did not particularly care enough to defend them.


        After WWII, Israel was established as a state in the old British Mandate, and the adjacent Arab states spilled blood trying to prevent it. That probably didn't help things. Did they just want the territory for themselves? Was it out of religious or nationalistic sympathy for the Arab Palestinians? I don't really know. I wish I could make more sense out of the roots of this conflict myself.


        If you have any other thoughts or insights I'd love to hear them.

    • Again, on the news, we keep hearing that true Islam does not teach Jihaad but the concept had to come from somewhere, correct? I can't find any unbiased reporting and I don't have a copy of the Quran here with me to check myself. If Jihaad is indeed mentioned in the Quran, what are the circumstances surrounding it and what are the justifications. I believe it can only be used to fight religious persecution of Muslims. That is, it can only be used in self-defense against aggressors trying to limit people in their practice of Islam.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Like anything the whole has to be judged as a whole. But non-violence and no peace with non-muslim's is very superficially evident. From the Koran:

      Al-Maidah 5:33*The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger,
      and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: *execution,
      or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides*,
      or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy
      punishment is theirs in the Hereafter;*

      Al-Maidah 5:51 O ye who believe! take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends
      and protectors: They are but friends and protectors to each other. And he
      amongst you that turns to them (for friendship) is of them. Verily Allah
      guideth not a people unjust.

      (be tolerant?)

      Sura At-Tawba 9:29 Fight those who believe not in God nor the Last Day, nor hold that
      forbidden which hath been forbidden by God and His Apostle, nor acknowledge
      the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until
      they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.

      (People of the Book refers to the Jews, the forbidden includes alcohol)

      Sura At-Tawba 9:30 The Jews call 'Uzair a son of God, and the Christians call Christ the
      son of God. That is a saying from their mouth; (in this) they but imitate
      what the unbelievers of old used to say. God's curse be on them: how they
      are deluded away from the Truth!

      (curse upon Jews & Christians who won't covert)

      Sura At-Tawba 9:38 O ye who believe! what is the matter with you, that, when ye are asked
      to go forth in the cause of God, ye cling heavily to the earth? Do ye prefer
      the life of this world to the Hereafter? But little is the comfort of this
      life, as compared with the Hereafter.

      (suicide or extreme risk of death in the name God)

      Sura At-Tawba 9:39 Unless ye go forth, He will punish you with a grievous penalty, and put
      others in your place; but Him ye would not harm in the least. For God hath
      power over all things.

      Those who wish to research further can do so at http://www.al-quran.org.uk
      • Did you hear Bush reading excerpts from the Koran. He was trying to make the case that the Koran could not be interpreted to condone acts of violance. I guess he didn't read it from cover-to-cover :)
    • by Zero Sum (209324)
      >But sitting that aside, why the hate?



      It is more exciting for the media. It gives scope to people who seek power.



      >If Jihaad is indeed mentioned in the Quran, what are the circumstances surrounding it and what are the justifications.



      Jihad is the personal religious struggle that one goes through (or ignores) in life. A sutra in the Q'uran says that religion should NOT be forced on people. A religious war is only permissible (by the Q'uran and religious law) in the case of pysical invasion that exterminates muslims.



      >I understand that many Muslims are saying that Bin Laden has hijacked TRUE Islam but where did he get the ideas for Jihaad? Where did this all start?


      I'm not sure where the idea originated but it was probably a heritage of the crusades where jihad was permissible because the crusaders were invading muslim lands and slaughtering muslims indiscrimately.


      With respect to how THIS started, it started in Pakistan. Pakistan set up Islamic schools for Afghani refugees, which provided free food if you studied the Q'uran using their (Pakistan's) teachers originally. The then sent these people back to Afghanistan to 'liberate' it. These people became the Taliban and conquered the country (Afghanistan) fairly (relatively) peacefully (they went in waving white flags). The reason that such fundamentalism was accepted was that it seemed the only way to obtain peace and physical safety.

      The problemis not the Afghanis, per se, it is the people who are using them.

    • by dkoyanagi (222827) on Monday September 17, 2001 @11:07PM (#2312881)
      First of all, let me start by saying I am not a Muslim, nor am I particularly religious. I am interested in different religions as an academic study but I am not a practitioner in any of them. I am simply interested in facts. I do not wish to offend anyone. I apologise if I have made any mistakes.

      I am getting my information out of a book called "Teach Yourself Islam", written by Ruqaiyyah Maqsood. It is a beginners guide to Islam and the Muslim way of life.


      It goes back to Cain and Able if I remember my studies

      Actually, I think you're thinking of Isaac and Ishmail. From TY Islam:

      The cube-shaped Ka'aba temple was rebuilt by Abraham and his son Ishmail.



      TY Islam regarding Jihad:

      The word 'jihad' acutally means 'striving', and in the spritual sense, it is a constant battle against sin and all its aspects. A Muslim's real, daily striving is to be pure in spirit, and to resist evil.

      Muslims believe that whenever a tyrant is successful, even if there is no actual fighting, there is no peace, because:
      there is no security
      people feel dishonored and ashamed in allowing the situation to continue
      people feel frustrated and helpless, and unable to do anything about it
      people feel ashamed because they think they have acted in a cowardly manner.

      Islam cannot acquiesce in wrongdoing, and this is where military jihad is sometimes the only answer. It is regarded as weak adn irresponsible cowardice to ignore tyranny, or to fail to try to root it out.

      'If God did not check certain people by using others, surely many monastaries, churches, synagogues and mosques would all have been pulled down. God will aid those who fight for Him.' (Surah 22:39-40)


      Jihad, therefore, does not mean 3every single battle fought by any Middle-Eastern soldier, who may be anything from a Marxist to a member of a private bodyguard, and not a martyr for God. Many battles have nothing whatever to do with Islam.

      The Qur'an is quite clear on the limits that define jihad:

      It should be declared only:
      in defence of the cause of Allah, not for conquest;
      to restore peace and freedom of worship;
      for freedom from tyranny;
      when led by a spiritual leader (as opposed to an angry mob) [Note: bin Laden is not a sprititual leader]
      It should only be fought until the enemy lays down arms.
      Women, children, and the old and sick, are not to be harmed, and trees and crops are not to be damaged.

      Jihad does not include:
      wars of aggression or ambition;
      border disputes or either national or tribal squabbles;
      the intent to conquer and supress, colonise, exploit, etc;
      forcing people into accepting a faith they do not believe.

      Some relevenat Qur'anic teachings
      'If the enemy inclines towards peace, then you must also incline towards peace' (Surah 8:61)

      'The reward for an injury is an equal injury back; if a person forgives instead, and makes reconciliation, he will be rewared by God.' (Surah 42:40)

      'If two sides quarrel, make peace between them. But if one trespasses beyond bounds against the other, then fight against the one that transgresses until it complies with that law of God; and if it complies, then make peace between them with justice, and be fair.' (Surah 49:9)

      'And hold fast, all together, to the Rope which Allah stretches out for you; be not divided amongst yoruselves; remember with gratitude Allah's favour on you. For you were enemies, an dHe joined your hearts in love, so that by His grace you became brothers. You were on the brink of the pit of fire, and He saved you from it.' (Surah 3:103)

      'Goodnes and Evil cannot be equal. Repay evil with what is better, then he who was your enemy will become your initimate friend.' (Surah 41:34)

      It seems to me that the concept of jihad has been completely twisted by extremists to serve their ends. The only conflict that truely fits the description of jahad is the Afghan war against the Soviet invasion.

      • It seems to me that the concept of jihad has been completely twisted by extremists to serve their ends. The only conflict that truely fits the description of jahad is the Afghan war against the Soviet invasion.


        This is very insightful. In fact, as I understand it, the concent of jihad lay dormant for many many centuries, and was only revived in the 1980s. The revival was for the reason that you state: for the Afghans to fight the Soviets.


        What is almost incredible is that this revival was brought about by the CIA. The CIA wanted to find a way to motivate the Afghans to fight the Soviets (this was during the cold war, remember). So the CIA pondered how to do this, and eventually came up with the idea of reviving the (largely-forgotten) notion of jihad. More details are available here [iranian.com].

    • here [zmag.org] is a good start. Note that this barely scratches the surface. Read more articles at zmag.org
    • It means "to struggle to better oneself".

      Those who wish to further their own political agendas in these countries will tell the people that the holy war they are fighting is for jihaad. Now the word has only bad connotation in all contexts (just like "hacker")
    • And no one post any bullshit condeming all religions and the typical comments we get on slashdot about religious people being sheep. It doesn't float.
      Quite the contrary. Individual sheople float very well.
      It is when they all group together in ignorance and panic that they start pulling each other under the waves.
      Often dragging bystanders and those who try to help with them.
    • As for the view of Jews by Islam, IMHO there are three main threads:

      1) minor conflicts between jewish tribes and Moslems during the Prophet's exile in Medina, told from the Islamic point of view in the Haddiths

      2) the Crusades caused a hardening of opinion about the large Jewish and Christian populations under Islamic rule ca. 1000AD,

      3) fallout from the collapse of the Ottoman Empire after 1918.

      After reading the article: Bin Laden's successors - NY Times Magazine, June 25, 2000, which has been floating around on Usenet lately, it's clear that the basic problem with the Afghans and Jihad is that the vast majority of Afghans (in this case, ethnic Pathans) are barely educated hicks.

      It would seem that even those lucky enough to get into a religious school are getting only the sketchiest outline of Islamic theology and jurisprudence. Instead, they spend years phoenetically memorizing the Koran while not being the least bit conversant in Arabic. Filling the void are traditional Afghan cultural biases. Hence, Afghan attitudes regarding Jihad are almost completely uninformed, and molded by almost 20 years of continuous warfare and city-slicker outside opportunists like bin Laden.

    • here is a more relevant link:

      http://www.merip.org/palestine-israel_primer/int ro -pal-isr-primer.html
    • by wytcld (179112)
      In the Topaki Palace Museum in Istanbul is a letter from Mohammed to the head of the Egyptian Coptic Christians explaining (according to the translation posted with it) that those Christians could either (1) convert or (2) be killed. Since Muslim practice follows not just the Koran but also the examples from Mohammed's life (and from the example of the customs of the community around him), and since Mohammed seemed to offer genocide to the Coptic Christians in this instance ... well, I'm not a Jew or Christian either, but neither Moses nor Jesus is on record threatening genocide towards nonbelievers. Moses may have drowned an Egyptian army, but they were chasing him.

      Of course, we should recognize the Copts were not innocent in the eyes of Mohammed, since they failed to convert. Nor can we be.

      Dan Rather was just on Letterman crying about how this isn't about Islam, but just "pure evil that can't be explained." Since I doubt anyone reading /. believes in pure evil that can't be explained, let us at least consider that there may be serious flaws in Islam, particularly concerning the evil that can be explained in its false founding prophet, who was an empire builder using religion as a cover, somewhat as Lenin, Mao and Pol Pot used Marx, all of whom managed to say some beautiful things. And Marx, like Mohammed, had a vision of an impossible paradise, that led people to die, and to act against others, in explainably evil ways.

      They hate us because we have good lives here, now; not in a worker's utopia beyond the fall of capitalism, and not in a Muslim heaven beyond the end of life. We are not as harsh as their prophet; their choice is not to convert or be killed. But their choice is certainly to cease attacking us or be killed, because if they come after us they will find themselves like the army chasing Moses. Self-defense is not genocide. If they're there when the Red Sea closes, it's their own damn fault.

      • Most Christians in Northern Africa were quite happy to live under Islam as Christians. At a time when the church in Rome was persecuting and killing all breakaway sects of Christianity, Muslim conquerers had a simple policy: convert and become a full citizen, or don't convert and live in peace, but be taxed.

        Hmmm, peaceful life under another religion vs. being hunted and killed by your own religion. Hard choice.

        This is one reason that Islam swept through Africa so fast in the years following Mohammed's death.
    • Sura Al-Baqarah 2:221
      "Do not marry unbelieving women (idolaters), until they believe: A slave woman who believes is better than an unbelieving woman, even though she allures you. Nor marry (your girls) to unbelievers until they believe: A man slave who believes is better than an unbeliever, even though he allures you. Unbelievers do (but) beckon you to the Fire. But God beckons by His Grace to the Garden (of bliss) and forgiveness, and makes His Signs clear to mankind: That they may celebrate His praise."

      Interesting how the message seems to be addressed to men - was/is the koran for men?

      Are the terrorist themselves afraid that their religion is being degraded in the U.S. because of interfaith marriage?
      • >Interesting how the message seems to be addressed to men - was/is the koran for men?

        The Moslim religion has no concept of the rights
        of woman. Strict Moslim law allows a husband to beat his wife with a stick if she refuses him
        sex. Its this kind of Medievil treatment of people
        that makes the Taliban worth eliminating whatever
        there position on terrorism.

        Lets not forget
        Shiamen Rashedee, a UK citizen that had a Fatwai
        and million pound price put on he's head because
        Iran considered his (fiction) Novel, the Satanic
        verses to be Blasphemous. Islams is still fundementally against such basic beliefs as
        equality and freedom of speech. We should not
        tolerate such repressive groups merely because
        they are a religious in nature.


        We're are the Culture, they are the Iridans, the
        beliefs are imicable, war is inevitable.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      1. for the terrorist, it's more about having a revenge for the us, the bigest israeli ally. why muslim hates jews? because they're israeli or come from israel. i think that's quite simple to understand.

      2. about the jihad (aka the attack), they did it for solidarity, for their brothers in palestine got killed on their own land. on the other hand, i'm a muslim, if i should find the terrorists, i'd have to kill them according to islam. even in true holy war, killing women and kids is something you could loose your head on.

      mind you, i say it again, i'm a muslim, and i have no sympathy for the action. in fact, i mustn't agree to people who object on dead sentence on the terrorist.

      if you're against the israeli for killing palestinian, then we're on the same neutral ground.
    • >why the hate?

      Over the past week I have struggled with many of the same questions, and I have been browsing around the web looking for, if not answers, at least perspective.

      Interestingly enough, I happened to visit Islamway over the weekend before this b'nai brith story broke on slashdot (and apparently before they had taken down much of the content on their site, including the message boards).

      I came across an article that helped me gain some perspective (it didn't answer every question I have, but it did provide some valid insight). Muslims feel unjustly persecuted and oppressed, and I can understand how this would instill hatred in many individuals who have experienced this.

      It is a long piece, and I probably shouldn't post it in its entirety; but the link I bookmarked doesn't seem to work at the moment, and I don't feel I could adequately summarize, so at the risk of being modded down:

      Islam: Misunderstood throughout the World http://www.islamway.com/eng/html/article.php?sid=9 1

      James A. Bill (professor of government and director of the Reves Center for International Studies at the College of William and Mary in Virginia) writes - 'By the turn of the century, for the first time in history, the number of Muslims (those who practice Islam) will have surpassed the number of Christians in the world.

      Islam is a monotheistic religion, civilization and way of life now practiced by 1.1 billion people. Easily the world's fastest growing religion, Islam is not confined to the Middle East. It is a truly universal force. More Muslims live in America today than all the Presbyterians and Episcopalians put together.

      There are more than 1,200 mosques in the United States and 1000 mosques in England, where the Muslim community has established its own national parliament. There are more Muslims in Indonesia than in Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Saudi Arabia put together. More live in Malaysia than in Jordan, Lebanon and Kuwait combined. Nearly 20 million Muslims live in China.

      Wherever one looks, Islam is on the move. As the people of many societies find themselves rootless, disconnected and alienated, they increasingly seek help in a comforting Islamic ideological refuge. In a world of incoherent violence, widening inequities, political corruption and shattered families, many are massing behind the green flag of Islam. This is essentially a populist movement, a bubbling up from below, a march of the distressed, the dispossessed and the oppressed. ....

      ... Although the great bulk of Muslims seek to improve their status through quiet, moderate and pacific means, violent methods have been adopted by fringe groups--elements also present in Christianity and Judaism. Oblivious to their own profound ignorance and often harboring crude political motivations, many Western opinion leaders consistently label all Muslims with words such as 'aggressive', 'militant' and 'uncivilized'. Islam is the 'religion of the sword'; Muslim activists are 'terrorists,' and Muslims countries that challenge Western policies are 'outlaw states'.

      Muslims themselves maintain quite a different worldview. It is in the deepest interest of the United States to attempt to understand this perspective. In brief, Muslims see themselves as the afflicted, not the afflictors; they feel themselves desperately on the defensive, not on the offensive; they consider themselves the objects of violence, not the initiators of violence. In sum, Muslims across the world consider themselves victims. In support of their position, Muslims will take their Christian and Jewish neighbors on a quick tour of the world. They inevitably begin with Bosnia, where nearly 200,000 Muslims have been slaughtered by Serbian Christians. Muslims are horrified and sickened by the fact that 22,000 Muslim women, aged 9 to 82, have been raped by Christian troopers. Muslims wonder privately about the weak and very late Western response.

      In Kashmir, Indian occupying forces violently oppress Muslims, killing thousands of Kashmiris. Elsewhere in India in December 1992 and January 1993, violent Hindu mobs went on a rampage in Bombay, killing over 800 Muslims, destroying 5000 Muslim homes and forcing 200,000 Muslims to flee the city. Mosques were firebombed and mothers watched as their sons were pulled from their homes and slain or burned alive. In Tajikstan and other places in Central Asia, the Communists have made a comeback and, with the help of Russian troops, have attacked and killed more than 20,000 Muslims. Another 350,000 have been forced to flee.

      Even in China, Muslims find themselves under heavy military pressure. Chinese troops oppress Muslims in the western province of Xinjiang.

      Even in many of the predominantly Muslim countries of the Middle East, Muslims find themselves under attack where the leadership is essentially secular. In Iraq, Saddam Hussein continues his war of genocide against the Shi'ites in the south.

      In Algeria, when the Islamists scored a surprise victory in the December 1991 elections, the regime declared the election null and void. Since then, Algeria has been the scene of a bloody civil war. The government blames Islamic fundamentalists of striking terror in the very same areas where they had received majority of votes from. The governments explanation of fundamentalists unleashing waves of terror in their own strongholds, sounds very plausible indeed and casts shadows of dound over the credentials of the secular government instead.

      In Egypt, Hosni Mubarak's regime, facing widespread disaffection of its people, pursues a policy of torture and execution of members of the Muslim opposition. In March 1993, his troops fired upon 500 unarmed Muslims at prayer in the Rahman Mosque in Aswan, killing nine and injuring 50. In the West Bank, another more widely publicized mosque massacre occurred a year later in Hebron when a Jewish settler killed 30 in a group of praying Muslims before the survivors could beat him to death. This litany of anti-Islamic violence is recognized and recited by Muslims everywhere. The situation is exacerbated when Muslims incredulously find themselves labeled as terrorists and when Western governments encourage their secular Middle Eastern allies to confront Muslim populist movements with brute force. One result of these Western perceptions and policies, of course, is that they begin to radicalize the huge mass of moderate Muslim believers. Meanwhile, the extremists on the fringes become more active and militant.

      A vicious cycle of misunderstanding, misguided policy and increasing violence has been set in motion. Before this vicious cycle begins to spin wildly out of control, it is essential that non-Muslims make a major effort to slow it down. Such an effort will, as the very first step, require that stereotypes be discarded.

      Second, recent history shows that the application of force is not always an effective way of countering a system of deeply held ideas and beliefs. The steady flame of resurgent Islam will not be extinguished by the breeze of bullets or the blast of missiles. A recently published report in Washington Post, confirms Islam to be the fastest growing religion in the United States despite hostile government policies and negative media stereotyping, only goes on to prove the truth of this statement. It is time for everyone to take a crash course on Islam. More recently, CNN too published a report, first of US kind ever done in this part of the World, titled as: Islam in US - Growing and maturing.'

    • I see no one has answered your question.

      There is a branch of Islam which wishes to have Islam be the established religion mush as Christianity was the established religion in Europe until recently. This means Islamic punishments for crimes and restrictions on women that they interpret is present in the Koran.

      Western culture undermines these attitudes. Women are encouraged to work outside the home and dress as they wish. Individual liberty and freedom of (and from) religion are not the values they want to promote. Converting someone from Islam to another religion is illegal under the kind of legal system they wish to institute. Humanism, the underlying philosophy for the West is not compatible with their fundamentalist Islamic worldview.

      There is an economic component. The areas of the world where this branch of Islam predominates are poor and underdeveloped. Even the Palestinian occupied territories are economically dependant on Israel, a Western-style state. The Western economic powers have embargoed Afganistan, Iran and Iraq which they view as keeping these areas poor becuase of their religion.

      The war they have declared is cultural and economic.

      Thus the World Trade Center was an ideal target. It represented American and Western economic power. It was a very visible attack on the society which represents evil to them.
    • "Do not kill." is often considered "Do not commit civil murder." Killing on the battlefield has been accepted by Jews in the first conquest of Israel, Christians in the Crusades, and by Islam when it was first spreading. Islam did a lot of converting by the sword in it's first century or two.
  • by gnovos (447128) <.ten.deppihc. .ta. .sovong.> on Monday September 17, 2001 @10:00PM (#2312675) Homepage Journal
    Good thing they got rid of HAL before he reached his teenage years. You think dealing with him is hard now, well you just wait and see what he's like at 15!
  • HAL: artificial intelligence by some Israelis? perhaps a formidable opponent to...
    GWB: organic intelligence by some Americans.
    funny how their fake "18 month old healthy baby boy" seems to have more decision making power and intelligence than our "uh, uh, um, uh, uh..."* pres.

    woops. unity, right, not diessention, sorry.

    *as quoted today in yet another mind poppingly whiny, gramatically incorrect, uninspiring presidential speech.

    • Foresight Standards (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      And GWB was the man who is quoted as saying that he thought he would concentrate on domestic affairs from now on. I guess foreign affairs implied too many "furriners with funny accents", and almost none of them had a lobby group.

      Guess what Bushie baby, from now it's foreign affairs morning, foreign affairs noon and foreign night, except for a few panic-stricken moments that will involve domestic security!

      By the way, would any Republicans reading this care to expound at length on the wisdom of airline de-regulation. Include in your discussion an explanation of how bankrupt airlines can compete fairly or at all. Include a paragraph on the security efforts that nearly bankrupt airlines are likely to be willing to pay for! Discuss the cost of bailing out bankrupt airlines and the tax increases that will be required. Oh well, there is a precedent for that isn't there?
      • Who the hell modded up this troll! You complain about the president wanting to focus on domestic problems, but if he had focused on foreign affairs he would have been a meddling warmonger.

        As far as the airlines, he is planning to fund the ones in trouble to help them get through this dry spell. Try reading something other than Slashdot, like a newspaper.

  • Watching and listening to the speeches in the House of Parliament today, I was very much relieved. Positions by the major leaders included (these are not quotes):

    Jean Cretien: We will not curtail freedoms in this country in order to stop terrorism. Airport inconveniances, sure, but he very strongly said that we could not benefit from a reaction out of fear and hate, and that while a responce was deserved, we would not let anyone force us into an action that was not well thought out.

    Stockwell Day: This action must be resolved, and it will be resolved (quoting Sir Winston Churchill) through 'blood, toil, sweat, and tears', but we will not give up our way of life, because when terror is allowed to flourish, the terrorists have won.

    Alexa McDonough: Terrorists thrive on martyrs, and we must provide a measured, thought-out, and diplomatic action to counter this threat of terrorism.

    Joe Who?: We must seriously reconsider things in this country, and not hold anything over if it needs to be changed - including funding for areas of government, laws, and so forth.

    All in all, some quite rousing speeches (considering who was giving them), and definitely a lot that made me feel proud to be Canadian. What Ottawa's responce will actually be, we will have to wait and see.

    --Dan
    • That coming from the government that had a huge database with many Canadians personal information in it.
      Canadians don't have very much to lose. The government knows where I live, where I work, How much a year I make, all about my family, and get an updated picture of me every four years, thanks to my drivers licence. The banks know where I spend my money, and unlike the U.S., there are really only six banks in Canada, all closely tied to the government.
      We have a strong illusion of freedom, but I wonder just how much is just that, an illusion.
      • I think you fail to make a very important distinction here. The Canadian government knows about us, sure. They track our income, our movements, our spending, and so forth. Does this mean we have no freedoms? Of course not.

        People always seem to equate one with the other. One cannot have freedoms unless no one else knows about them. That seems rather silly to me. I don't care if the government knows where I go to school, where I work, where I like to have lunch. If they didn't have it in a database and they needed it, they could send a 'covert (female) agent' to chat me up on the bus, and I'd probably tell her whatever she wanted to know anyway. I can't cheat on my taxes, I can't murder someone with a (legal) .357 without ever being suspected because no one knew I had it, sure. Can I smoke marijuana at home? Absolutely. Can I pay for sex? Sure. Hell, there are even legal ways to get that accomplished. Can I cheat on my wife? You bet.

        We have freedoms and then some. The government knows about us as much as it needs to to accomplish what it needs to do. If I get fired, they know enough to help me out until I can find a new job, by paying me what my old wage was. If I get sick, they know enough to find my doctor and get me the medical treatment I need without giving me drugs I'm allergic to.

        The government keeps track of us, sure, but they manage every aspect of our lives, from public transportation to food safety to representing my interests around the world. If you can't trust them with a little statistical data, who can you trust? This is my criticism of American governments - so many Americans I talk to are proud of their country, their politics, their government, yet if you asked them, they'd express the same sentiments you do - the government wants to control our lives, or something.

        Personally, I trust them, and I know they're accountable for what they do. Until they give me a reason to distrust them, then I won't. How could I?

        --Dan
        • Distrust of government is a virtue.

          Government is human and fallable. Maybe most civil servants are honest, trustworthy, and dependable, but it only takes a handful willing to betray that trust. These bad apples can do a great deal of harm if they have too much information or power. Information will eventually be used in inappropriate ways. For example, it may illegally sold to other people. By carefully controlling what information the government has, and who in the government has access to it, you can reduce the risk.

          Take medical records. What if they were leaked? A woman who had an abortion may become a target of radical anti-abortion activists. An HIV positive man may find himself shunned. An alcoholic who is under control and not touched a drink in years may be declined employment because he's considered "too risky."

          How about your spending habits? Anyone who makes regular donations to Islamic organizations would probably not like that widely known at the moment. Maybe you have (or had) an expensive gambling habit that you'd rather your employer didn't know about.

          Criminal records? A youthful mistake might haunt you many years later. False charges you were aquitted of may make an employer suspicious.

          Misused information can ruin lives. The government has a lot of this potentially dangerous information. It's only natural to be wary of government's access to it. (And relately, natural to fear the growing mass of information corportations has.)

        • I missed the most obvious point:

          Personally, I trust them, and I know they're accountable for what they do. Until they give me a reason to distrust them, then I won't. How could I?

          The US government has a long history of breaking our trust. Secret chemical experiments on citizens. Providing weapons to terrorists. Spying on poltical enemies. Using census data to help imprison Americans whose only crime was having a Japanese heritage during World War II. Illegal wiretaps.

          Maybe Canada has somehow managed to to only get honest, upright public servants. Count yourself lucky.

    • Amazing how as ol' Joe becomes older, he goes further and further to the right...
  • I am new to the /. community. I was lucky enough to get a good mod on my first post and now I'm hooked. One topic looms above all others recently of course. In light of this, what other good, high visibility sites with similar moderation schemes are there, especially venues more appropriate for WTC attack posts? Once again I have waited for a slashdot headline close to topic, rather than go to older more on-topic headlines that few will read.

    On with tonight's rant:

    There is a lot of debate, analysis, planning, work, sacrifice and struggle ahead for America in its battle against global terrorism. The first few days, in the wake of the September 11, 2001 tragedy, I saw well reasoned debate, much of which I agreed with. America seemed to have the right attitude about rooting out the fanatical zealots that had wrought so much death, destruction, suffering, and which if unchecked will cause far more. Four or five days later I see we are dangerously off message. Everywhere I look now I see American flag waving, and often accompanied with the phrase "God Bless the USA."

    Nationalism and religious extremism is what motivated these misguided men. We must not answer it with nationalism and extremism of our own. This must not become Our-God versus Their-God. Say that we have one of the best governmental systems in the world, if not the best, and I will not argue. Extend this to say we are right and just because God favors our form of government or vise versa, and you will be no better than they, using religion to guide us into acts of retribution instead of justice.

    Am I saying not to retaliate? No. I think terrorism must be rooted out everywhere for the sake of a safer and most just world. We cannot stop at fighting Islamic extremists in middle-east locations. We must tell the IRA, no more. We must look within our own borders and stop soldiers of fortune, eager to engage in the fight for the sake of the fight. We must not turn a blind eye to the plight of lower Africa just because we have no pressing concerns there, not just because it is right, but also because one day we will have interests there.

    We must make sure our governmental agencies are not funding terrorists for short-term goals by calling them freedom fighters. Perhaps they are, but if we support them covertly, we are no better than those we must now deal with. If a cause is just then America must not be secretive or indirect in its support. We may have to choose our fights, and these may from time to time involve the practicality of considering if American interests are at stake (we cannot be everywhere at one), but the first question must always be "is this just?" The second question must then always be "is this a just way to achiever our goals?"

    I warrant if you where to burn an American flag in public at the moment, you risk being put in the hospital if not the morgue. My point is not the burning the American flag is a good thing to do, but that it is easy to do the absolute wrong thing for what you think are just reasons, in this case assaulting someone because they have disrespected a symbol you hold dear. Certainly, the terrorists that have fought and died think they are doing the right thing. Dismissing them as evil, and making their Holy War our Holy War will pull us down into a morass from which there is no escape.

    War must from time to time be waged by freedom loving people, but don't do it in God's name and don't make the American flag a surrogate for God. God is not for war of any kind. Most of Christianity's most cherished biblical figures are martyrs that refused to fight. I do not advocate turning the other cheek in this case, but to persecute a war with God in the rallying cry will surely keep us from our most basic goal here -- to prevent religious fanaticism from motivating men to barbaric acts.

  • by Robber Baron (112304) on Tuesday September 18, 2001 @12:30AM (#2313089) Homepage
    ...is to impose their own brand of censorship. That way they don't have to run the risk of embarassing articles such as this one [zmag.org] being read by thinking individuals.
    • Talk about one sided (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Quila (201335)
      The US has done a lot of bad things, but this is stupidly one-sided.

      Starts in 1948, long after the Jews had been kicked out of their homeland in the first place (makes it look like they just came into a foreign land and took it)

      "U.S. blocks Sadat's efforts to reach a peace agreement with Egypt." Completely forgetting Carter at Camp David. Of course, no mention of the peace deal with Arafat.

      The dam? Hmmm, you deal with my enemy, should I keep giving you money?

      About the airliner, let's just say there are a lot of questions out on that one that make it look like a provoked incident by Iran. The ship was threatened militarily from sea and air, putting it into defensive mode, and Iran sent that airliner straight at the ship it the middle of it all.

      "U.S.-backed rebels in Afghanistan fire on civilian airliner," like we're responsible for a rebel with an itchy trigger finger on his Stinger. These people were fighting for their freedom, we helped.

      "U.S. rejects any diplomatic settlement of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. (for example, rebuffing any attempt to link the two regional occupations, of Kuwait and of Palestine)" And why should we have accepted? They invaded and refused to get out, end of story. To fall to a tactic like that would be essentially giving into terrorism in that all someone has to do to get their way is invade a country and negotiate from there.

      "Washington makes it known that the sanctions would remain as long as Saddam remains in power." Okay, let him stop his weapons program and cooperate fully and see what happens.
  • I could not find any evidence that Artificial Intelligence NV, the creators of HAL, has "closed its gates".

    Their site [a-i.com] is up, the Machine Learning Challenge [a-i.com] is still under way and there is even a new article [a-i.com] about HAL, with logs of HAL's interactions with its teachers.

    Since no link was supplied, I think it is safe to assume for now the original poster is just misinformed.
    • Re:HAL is alive (Score:2, Informative)

      As the Chief Scientist at Ai, I can confirm that the news is true. However, we're not closing our operations, we're freezing them. In the short-term future we would need investment to continue. This doesn't seem likely in the current climate, so it was decided to go into hibernation. We will still honour the Learning Machine Challenge, our website will still remain online, and our Open Lab will still operate.
      • Re:HAL is alive (Score:2, Interesting)

        by benjah (522800)
        As my AI company, Webmind Inc. (formerly Intelligenesis) dissolved in April 2001, I can sympathize with the situation. We have also been in hibernation ever since -- a small team of us continuing the AI work without pay, and striving to line up new funding. (see goertzel.org/webmind.htm for more of the story). It's a hell of a shame that "real AI" efforts can't be consistently funded these days, either in academia or in industry. I'm happy Jason and his team aren't giving up the fight. AI really is achievable in the near future, all it takes is the persistence to work through the various technical problems and to test and teach patiently. And there are many different ways to get to real AI -- Jason has one, we Webminders have another. Eliezer Yudkowsky (www.singinst.org) may have another, I'm not sure yet.... Don't believe the mainstream AI community that real AI is decades or centuries away. This will only be true if the "conspiracy" to deny real AI R&D funding prevails ;-p

        -- Ben Goertzel
  • by istartedi (132515) on Tuesday September 18, 2001 @01:20AM (#2313179) Journal

    What If IslamWay.com Really Was A Terrorist Board? Wouldn't it be better to leave it in place and have the CIA monitor it?

    In the wake of the attacks, there are just far too many people letting their emotions do the driving.

    Take the attacks on Arab-Americans for instance. Not only are these vigilante idiots mistaking Sihks for Moslems, they are totally forgetting what Arab-Americans (even if persecuted) will probably end up doing for us in ways that we can only begin to imagine and may never know about becase many operations will be secret.

    What am I talking about? I'm talking about the Tuskeegee Airmen, The Navajo Code Talkers, and the Japanese "Nisei" who fought in Europe.

    If you don't understand the last paragraph, do some reading and get back to me. Then let me know if it still makes sense to vandalize Mosques and shoot people who look like Arabs.

    • Your post really is insightful, and your first statement brings up a question that has bothered me at least since last Wednesday. The newsman was in "How could we let this happen" mode, and he was interviewing someone highly placed at the NSA. The NSA was talking about all of the sophisticated (mostly American) technology available to the terrorists and the difficulty of combatting it.

      It occurred to me then that the NSA has no peer when it comes to technology and the gathering of information--even, many of us would say, in ways we don't especially appreciate. But how much of what occurred in the development of this attack relied on technology? And how much was plain old-fashioned talking, recruiting, development of loyal followers, fostering of relationships--stuff you do in person?

      It seems to me that Internet sites such as this one and the one you refer to are the modern equivalent of coffee houses, marketplaces, and town squares--places where people gather to talk. Have our intelligence organizations foresaken old-fashioned human contact in favor of technological wonders? If so, I don't think it served any of us very well.

      Anne
      (I can answer your question about the Nisei, Navajo Code Talkers, and Tuskeegee Airmen. But I'll leave it as an excercise for the student.)

  • I was born at the Jewish General in Montreal, for what it's worth, and was Bar Mitzvah in Cote St Luc.

    I'm deeply disturbed at the news I'm reading on the tech websites that B'Nai Brith Canada is treating a single incident of exagerrated speech as a call to terrorism, and in turn accusing the website where such speech occurred as itself encouraging terrorism and thus liable to hate speech controls.

    As an avid internet user for the past ten years, I have grown used to childish excesses of speech. These are a small cost to pay for genuine free exchange of ideas. Any effort to require editorial control of public exchanges on the internet is tantamount to the elimination of the new freedom that the internet affords every individual, to be a publisher as well as a consumer of information. No one can police any facility that allows people to say what they will - there are too many people.

    In these grim times, it is good to remember that there are good people and bad people in every community. I don't want all Jews to have to shut up because one Jew may say something offensive, however offensive it may be. I can't see how we can rightfully do anything but extend the same right to every other community.

    The internet allows people to contact people, to break out of the narrow constraints of the mass media. If we are to ever learn to live together in peace, there is hardly a better tool. The new freedom of speech that the internet affords has its costs, but its potential is enormous. This is a delicate time in the history of the internet, as many people are focussing on the difficulties and ignoring the immense potential.

    The tragic events of the last year and especially the last week result from too little communication, not too much. Please don't join the forces that want to limit communication to the few and the powerful.

    sincerely
    Michael Tobis, Ph.D.

    • Well said. The one thing that strikes me about this piece though is that the author feels it is necessary to identify himself as Jewish in the first sentence. While I understand why he did it, the question I have to ask is if he wasn't Jewish would his statement be any less valid or well-said? My fear is that if we qualify our statements by saying, basically, "I'm Jewish, so I can criticize what this Jewish organization is doing without coming off as antisemitic." then we create an atmosphere where valid, non-antisemitic criticisms of Jewish organizations by non-Jews are automatically suspect as antisemitic (the point is everyone is responsible for creating this atmosphere, not just the organizations). People shouldn't feel that if they make valid, nondiscriminatory statements that they might be labeled as bigots. Qualifying your statement like this only contributes to this atmosphere.

      I saw some posts in yesterday's topic that raised my eyebrows because they stated things like: "Jews think that we [non-jews?] can't criticize jews, because millions of them were killed." or "B'nai Brith is a strongarm organization spreading zionism." Statements like that are discriminatory. The point here isn't that B'Nai Brith Canada is a jewish organization, but that because B'Nai Brith is seeking to ban certain speech, the organization is placing itself at odds with a widely held and accepted notion of civil liberties. It's perfectly valid to challenge B'Nai Brith for taking a stance that is in opposition to civil liberties. The bottom line is the issue of whether B'Nai Brith is a jewish organization, or a critic of B'Nai Brith is jewish, is a red herring; what is important is the content of both sides' statements.
      • Interesting questions, and relevant to the whole mindset of various self-identified ethnic and religious communities in general, the Jewish community in particular, and eventually to the whole conundrum we find ourselves in.

        In the case at hand, though, I identify myself as both Jewish and Canadian, in order to emphasize to the recipient that I can be considered part of their consituency. This is in the same spirit as writing your elected representative and identifying that you live in their district.
  • 1. bin Laden is reported to be extremely wealthy.
    2. bin Laden is the head of a very sophisticated terrorist organization with contacts all over the world.
    3. bin Laden probably uses highly sophisticated communication equipment to keep in contact with his network
    4. bin Laden has eluded caputure for the last 10 years.
    5. bin Laden is the prime suspect in the greatest acts of terrorism in history.

    and finally

    6. bin Laden is using a public web site that even my grandmother could monitor to recruit members to his cause.

    Point 6 doesn't quit fit.
  • If you owned as many rambus options as intel did you wouldn't be too quick to trash the company either ;-) The real question is will the chipsets support alternative memory architectures? That will probably mean de facto that Rambus looses, but if they save face and intel does a little better on the stock, what do we care?
  • I actually own one of the iMacs that are a target of the class action lawsuit. Here's the synopsis:

    Someone was too dumb/lazy to download the patch to the DVD player application and sued Apple.

    Everyone with one of these models of Macintosh gets a fifteen dollar discount on a mouse or keyboard, or some equally ludicrous discount on painfully overpriced software.

    Thanks, Apple, but I think rather than paying the "discounted" 44 dollars for one of your piece of shit no-button lucite mice, I'll just stick with my fifteen dollar Logitech three-button.

    What a joke.

    --saint
  • I'm sorry to see that Artificial Intelligence NV [a-i.com] is having troubles. My computer science dissertation research at the LSU Department of Computer Science [lsu.edu] involves building a computer model of human language acquisition, and I feel that the more working in this area, the better.

    For those of you that might be interested, I just launched a new site dedicated to models of human language acquisition [greatmindsworking.com]. Over time I hope to provide a repository of relevant news on researchers, conferences, papers, and books from fields including A/I, computational linguistics, developmental psychology, machine learning, and cognitive science.

    I will also use the site to share information about my own work. Like HAL, my model learns (and "learn" should always be taken with a grain of salt) from the bottom-up, but the words it acquires are grounded in visual perception. The basic idea is to resolve nouns to objects and verbs to actions/relationships in short spatial-motion videos. My work is based on work by Jeffrey Mark Siskind [nec.com], David Bailey [berkeley.edu], Jan Norris [lsu.edu], and Katherine Nelson [cuny.edu].

    Upon completion of my dissertation, I hope to release some or all of the Java [sun.com] code for my model on the site [greatmindsworking.com].

  • Quite bluntly, I have no interest in whether or not those terrorists were from a wealthy, middle-class, or poverty-stricken nation -- there are simply some things that are not done.

    We need to be proactive and reach a decision regarding whether we (the world) are going to allow people --who refuse to adopt a peaceful frame of mind -- to continue to exist on this planet.

    If it was my decision, I would wipe the entire middle-eastern bloc off the face of the earth -- preferably by carpet-bombing with 100 megaton, very dirty nukes. That way, after the survivors come out (as is inevitable) they would succomb to radiation-poisoning. Then start up a large Chevron station where the oil wells were.

  • ... The discussion post was between two people who were fighting each others by words, one called the other one that you are a hypocrite, so the other one was very angry so he told him - I'm just giving the meaning- : Let's see who is the hypocrite, Come with me to Afghanistan and let's train ourselves there .. so the person meant that army exercises will be a way to prove who is the coward and who is the brave!"

    I'm not saying what Islamway is or isn't, but does this person honestly expect me to believe this was a challenge to a pushup contest?
    • Regardless of whether the message was a pissing contest, you can clearly see from the wording of the message that it was not an incitement to terrorism.

      If I happened to be discussing this terrible incident in a restaurant, and just to make a point, as part of my conversation, I happened to utter the words "I am a terrorist...I am planning to attack a large target," would that instantaneously make me into a terrorist? Of course not. I would simply be invoking the hypothetical situation wherein I was a terrorist. I would be invoking this hypothetical situation in order to expound some (anti-terrorist) point I wanted to make.

      I should point out that, as of this day, the words "I am a terrorist" are forever emblazoned in the Slashdot discussion archives. Perhaps in a few days, someone will come across my comment and report it to the US government, saying simply that terrorist elements are operating on Slashdot, hiding encrypted messages in the comments. And that will be the end of slashdot.

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