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Ireland's Blasphemy Law Goes Into Effect 845

stereoroid writes "As of January 1, it is a crime in Ireland to commit Blasphemy. The law was changed in July 2009 to fill a gap in the Irish Constitution, which states that it is a crime but does not define what it is, an omission highlighted in a Supreme Court decision in 1999. To mark the occasion, Atheist Ireland published a list of 25 blasphemous quotations on the website, from such controversial figures as Bjork, Frank Zappa, Richard Dawkins, Randy Newman, and Pope Benedict XVI. (The last-mentioned was quoting a 14th Century Byzantine Emperor, but that's no excuse.)"

Submission + - SPAM: Who Wants to be a Billionaire Coder?

theodp writes: "Computerworld reports that 60-year-old billionaire John Sall still enjoys cranking out code as the chief architect of JMP ('John's Macintosh Project'), the less-profitable-but-more-fun software from SAS that's used primarily by research scientists, engineers, and Six Sigma manufacturing types. 'It's always been my job to be a statistical software developer," explains SAS co-founder Sall. So if you didn't have to work — and had more money than George Lucas and Steven Spielberg — would you be-like-Sall and continue to program? And if so, what type of projects would you work on?"

Submission + - Logan's Run, IBM-Style 1

theodp writes: "Robert X. Cringely offers his take on IBM's patent-pending way to suck knowledge out of experts and inject it into younger, stronger, cheaper employees, possibly even in other countries. IBM's 'Platform for Capturing Knowledge' relies on immersive 3-D gaming environments to transfer expert knowledge held by employees 'aged 50 and older' to 18-25 year-old trainees, even those who find manuals 'difficult to read and understand.' It jibes nicely with an IBM White Paper (pdf) that advises CIOs to deal with Baby Boomers by 'investing in global resources from geographies with a lower average age for IT workers, such as India or China.' While Cringely isn't surprised that Big Blue's anyone-can-manage-anything, anyone-should-be-able-to-perform-any-job culture would spawn such an 'invention,' he can't help but wonder: When you get rid of the real experts, who is going to figure out the new stuff?"

Submission + - Taking Free Software to The Streets

An anonymous reader writes: It's that time of year again, the nights are drawing in, the leaves are beginning to turn, and literally hundreds of teams of dedicated F/OSS enthusiasts, from around the world, are preparing to hit the streets in celebration of Software Freedom Day 2009. In an effort to increase awareness of free and open source software among the general public, SFD teams will be standing around town centres and shopping malls, holding talks at schools and universities, giving demonstrations and handing out Linux and FOSS collections for Windows on CD.
With money being tight and paranoia about malware and viruses at an all time high, the time is right to help consumers switch on to the myriad of quality open source applications available. If you would like to check for an SFD team in your area and consider attending, be it to help out or simply learn more about free software for yourself, there's an interactive map to help you find your way.

Submission + - Google, Apple spat resumes over Google Voice's fat (

CWmike writes: "Contradicting Apple, which maintains it has not rejected Google's Voice application in its App Store for iPhones, Google has asked the FCC to make public a section of a letter that had been previously redacted, explaining that several organizations had filed Freedom of Information Act requests asking to see the text that was previously omitted from the public version. According to Google, it outlines that Apple rejected Google Voice on July 7, when Google's senior vice president of engineering and research, Alan Eustace, spoke with Philip Schiller, Apple's head of marketing, in a telephone call. "It was during this call that Mr. Schiller informed Mr. Eustace that Apple was rejecting the Google Voice application," said Google's letter to the FCC, which launched a probe into the matter last month. Google also noted that discussions between the companies lasted most of July, starting July 5 and ending July 28. "In a series of in-person meetings, phone calls, and e-mails ... Apple and Google representatives discussed the approval status of the Google Voice application that was submitted on June 2, 2009," Google told the FCC on Friday."

Submission + - Police Want Identities of Online Critics 2

An anonymous reader writes: The police chief in Ausitn, TX is not happy that people are voicing their disapproval of him via anonymous blog posts and comments. The chief claims that "such posts erode public trust in the department". The chief wants to find out who these people are and investigate and prosecute such posters of what he deems defamatory and libelous. Interestingly, the article notes that "the Associated Press has reported that most of the cases fail because statements of opinion are protected under the First Amendment." One wonders if this is a legitimate problem that warrants public money to investigate, or whether it is the people who deserve the most public scrutiny don't like it when others take issue with their job performance.

You are in the hall of the mountain king.