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Submission + - US Supreme Court affirms legislative prayers are constitutional

JakartaDean writes: Eugene Volokh, in the Washington Times, says, "The Court is unanimous in its view that, generally speaking, some legislative prayers are constitutionally permissible." Even the dissenters agree that "such a forum need not become a religion-free zone." Apparently the whole thing is based on tradition: "Under Marsh, legislative prayer has a distinctive constitutional warrant by virtue of tradition." Is this really the best the USA can come up with in terms of decision making at the highest level?

Submission + - U.S. Plunges To 46th In World Press Freedom Index... Below Romania ( 1

schwit1 writes: As one might expect, the economic decline of a nation into rule by a handful of corrupt oligarchs will have many other negative repercussions. One of these is a loss of civil rights and freedoms that many of us have taken for granted. Reporters Without Borders puts out their Press Freedom Index every year, and the 2014 ranking came out today. It was not a good showing for the USA. Specifically, the U.S. registered one of the steepest falls of all nations, down 13 slots to the #46 position, just above Haiti and just below Romania.

Submission + - First 'Habitable Zone' Galactic Bulge Exoplanet Found (

astroengine writes: For the first time, astronomers have discovered a sun-like star playing host to a “habitable zone” exoplanet located inside the Milky Way’s galactic bulge — some 25,000 light-years distant — using a quirk of Einstein’s general relativity. But don’t go having dreams of exotic getaways to the glistening lights of the center of our galaxy, this exoplanet is a huge gas giant world, about five times the mass of Jupiter. However, there is something (potentially) very exciting about this new discovery. Like Jupiter, this newly discovered giant exoplanet may possess small satellites; exomoons that could have life-giving potential. “Indeed, although the data do not explicitly show any signature of a companion to the Jupiter planet, this possibility is not ruled out,” the researchers write [arXiv]. “The planet is apparently at the edge between the snow line and the habitable zone, but considering a potential greenhouse warming effect, the surface temperature of a possible companion (exomoon) can be suitable for habitability.”

Submission + - Guild Wars 2 announces release date (

Woldry writes: After 5 years in development, Guild Wars 2 has announced a launch date: August 28, 2012. Their aim is to provide "a living breathing online world that challenges convention, that’s designed for fun instead of grind". There's a beta weekend planned for July 20-22 for those who have prepurchased the game (and for those who have gotten legit beta keys in advance).

Submission + - Wind Map project brings Americas hidden winds into view (

techfun89 writes: "They say seeing is believing and that is just what the Wind Map does. The Wind Map is an art project found on that was founded by Fernanda Viegas and Martin Wattenberg who also lead Google's "Big Picture" visualization research group in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The Wind Map shows the winds as they flow across the United States. Surface wind data is taken from the National Digital Forecast Database. The data is revised once per hour. This effectively makes what you see a live portrait."

Submission + - FBI used FedEx to sneak Dotcom information out of New Zealand ( 1

bpkiwi writes: FBI agents, working with New Zealand police on the Megaupload case, took a copy of Kim Dotcom's hard drives and then immediately sneaked out of the police facility and FedEx'ed them back to the USA. Despite the fact that removal of evidence in this manner without official approval (and a chance for the defendant to challenge it) appears to be illegal, the New Zealand government is now left arguing on a technicality — that the law only covers 'physical' items.

Submission + - Groupon Set For IPO (

jfruhlinger writes: "Groupon has announced that it will aim to raise $750 million with an IPO in the near future, after spurning a $5.3 billion takeover bid from Google last fall. Not yet three years old, Groupon's revenues are rising and it made a profit, though it has an accumulated half-billion dollar deficit and says that "we expect our operating expenses to increase significantly in the foreseeable future.""

Comment Re:the real threat will be government intervention (Score 4, Insightful) 388

Fox News fought a fight against government oppression of freedom of the press. Just like freedom of speech, I would rather idiots have the right to say their idiotic things than leave it up to the government to decide what idiotic things can be said.

The government should not exist to keep you happy nor to keep you from being sad/mad/whatever other emotion. If you feel a news outlet is lying to you, get your news from a different source. Trusting what ANYONE without verifying is your own damn fault.

Exactly right! And this should not only be true of news journalism, this should be extended to other industries as well...

- Is your doctor is lying to you about your tumor? Go to a different doctor!
- Engineer lying about the safety of that bridge, use a different engineer!
- Is your teacher lying to your children about whether the Holocaust occurred, find a different teacher!

All of these people should be allowed to make up whatever lies they feel like, cause I'd much rather have idiots have the right to say their idiotic things than leave it up to the government to decide what idiotic things can be said. Get yourself a medical/engineering/teaching/etc degree so you can verify everything anyone ever says to you. Obviously nobody should be held to any kind of professional accountability, because freedom of speech trumps all!

And because this is Slashdot, I feel the need to point out that the above post is sarcasm...

Comment Re:said it before, am saying it again (Score 1) 378

The plan is to take all the sales 'lost' to piracy whilst maximising theatrical profits and cutting costs. I bet you could pay your lead actors less if they didn't have to schlep around the world pimping the film. Wasn't Jurassic Park the first film whose advertising budget equalled its production budget?


Submission + - Bail set at $750,000 for ex-Goldman programmer (

DaGoatSpanka writes: A former Goldman Sachs Group computer programmer accused of stealing secret trading codes from the investment bank was being held in federal custody on Monday, pending the posting of $750,000 (462,000 pounds) bail.

Sergey Aleynikov, 39, was ordered by U.S. Magistrate Kevin Nathaniel Fox in Manhattan on Saturday to post a $750,000 personal recognizance bond to be secured by three financially responsible people, according to court documents.


Submission + - World's First Cargo Ship Propelled by Solar Panels (

Mike writes: "The M/V Auriga Leader cargo ship recently unveiled an impressive array of 328 solar panels that feed solar energy directly into its main electrical grid, making it the world's first ocean liner to be directly propelled by the sun's rays. The panels will provide for 10% of the ship's total power, reducing its dependence on dirty diesel fuels and setting a bright example for the shipping industry."

Submission + - Bozeman, MT speaks up, city at a loss (

indrora writes: "Yesterday, the city of Bozeman, Montana decided to put into effect the ridiculous bill that made applicants for city jobs to pony up their usernames and passwords on what equivocates to be any website or system they use. The residents baulked at it and began to deluge the city officials building with emails and phone calls in protest. This morning, they held a closed-door hearing to determine what to do. They have not however said anything about what the result was (granted, they will have to soon, because of the Open Meetings Act). The local news station held a vote; the results? Astonishingly un-astonishing:

As of 10 a.m. 6,454 people had voted in a poll on asking "What do you think of the City of Bozeman requiring job applicants to provide social network site login and password information?" So 6,347 people have voted "I'm against it — It's an invasion of privacy," 62 people have voted "I'm for it — It's important for the City to judge the applicant's character," and 45 people have said they don't care either way.

The same local news station has a consistent stream of updates that those interested can take a look at."

"Of course power tools and alcohol don't mix. Everyone knows power tools aren't soluble in alcohol..." -- Crazy Nigel