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Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch Provokes Bomb Scare Screenshot-sm 186

Bomb disposal teams were called in and a nearby pub evacuated after water company engineers mistook a Monty Python film prop for a hand grenade. After nearly an hour of examination by bomb experts, they counted to three. No more. No less. Three was the number they counted, and the number they counted was three. Four they did not count, nor two, except to proceed to three. Five was right out. Once the number three had been reached, being the third number, they declared that the grenade was actually a copy of the "Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch" used in the film Monty Python And The Holy Grail. A police spokeswoman confirmed that the device was a toy and that it had been no danger to the public.
Linux

2009, Year of the Linux Delusion 696

gadgetopia writes "An article has come out claiming (yet again) that 2009 will be the year of Linux, and bases this prediction on the fact that low-power ARM processors will be in netbooks which won't have enough power to run Windows, but then says these new netbooks will be geared to 'web only' applications which suits Linux perfectly. And, oh yeah, Palm might save Linux, too." The article goes on to skewer the year of Linux thing that seems to show up on pretty much every tech news site throughout December and January as lazy editors round out their year with softball trolling stories and "Year End Lists." We should compile a year-end list about this :)
The Internet

Knol, the Wikipedia Maybe-Fork? 102

Bennett Haselton contributes the following essay on the consequences of license choice as it applies to sites based on user contributions; read on below for more of his big idea for making Knol a more useful resource. "Google Knol should allow its writers to publish under a Creative Commons Share Alike license. The preceding sentence may not mean much to you, but if you've ever wanted to cite a Wikipedia article as a source, or simply read a Wikipedia article with some assurance that someone wasn't pulling your leg with some creative editing, or if you've wanted to contribute to Wikipedia but couldn't afford the time unless you received some modest compensation for it, then the addition of this one simple feature to Knol might make all the difference." (More below.)
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Slashdot's Disagree Mail Screenshot-sm 354

There is an old Japanese proverb that goes, "Better than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with a great teacher." This week's mail is all about teaching. Whether it is about the seriousness of psychic ability, a short history of trolls or explaining how much free time and malice your dad's attorney has, these people just want to impart information. If what they sent me is any indication, they had a lot of sick days. Click on the link below to become enlightened.
Government

Data Retention Proven to Change Citizen Behavior 261

G'Quann writes "A new survey shows that data retention laws indeed do influence the behavior of citizens (at least in Germany). 11% had already abstained from using phone, cell phone or e-mail in certain occasions and 52% would not use phone or e-mail for confidential contacts. This is the perfect argument against the standard 'I have nothing to hide' argumentation. Surveillance is not only bad because someone might discover some embarrassment. It changes people. 11% at least."

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