Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment Re:Why? (Score 2, Informative) 658

Compare that to the other religions. To the best of my knowledge, there is no super-secret ultra-eyes-only version of the Bible that only the elite Christians get to read. There is no "not for the viewing of non-believers" version of the Qu'ran that only the most devout Muslims get to read. But there are secret Scientology documents which explain core beliefs of Scientology that the general rank and file of the CoS do not have access to.

Unfortunately, it's a bit more complicated than that. Esotericism is, at least historically, a common religious practice. Gnosticism, Mormonism, at least a few Buddhist sects, and arguably the Masonic tradition all spring to mind. All of these have the idea that there are truths which should not be made available to the uninitiated, as they are not prepared to receive them correctly.

So this is the complicated problem: there are no really good grounds for condemning Scientology as a religion. The problems arise, rather, from the Church of Scientology as an institution. Letting aside the heavy-handed tactics used to recruit new members and to protect the Church, the fees charged for initiation seem to shift the practice from esotericism to exploitation. It's worth pointing out that very few people have objections to the Free Zone, emphasizing that the primary objection to the Church of Scientology is fundamentally organizational, rather than religious per se.

The Courts

Submission + - Julie Amero granted new trial (courant.com)

Dynamoo writes: "As previously covered on Slashdot, Connecticut teacher Julie Amero was facing the possibility of a 40 year jail term because of a spyware infection on a school computer.

The judge in the case today ordered a new trial citing that the original evidence was flawed. This comes after a campaign by security experts and bloggers to have the earlier conviction overturned. It looks unlikely that Amero will actually be tried again, which looks like a great victory for common sense."

It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Computer case made from stuffed beaver

gotw writes: "Wow, someone has built a working PC inside a stuffed beaver! Quite macabre, oddly fascinating. Welcome to compubeaver. Gross. The creator gives a full photographic run-down of the creation process."
Links

Submission + - Public Toilets Database with Maps and Locations

William writes: "A publicly accessible database has been set up at www.publictoilets.org . You can search for public toilets in 19 countries and find out information that includes the address, Googlemaps and detailed information about the facility as well as geographic coordinates. A user can submit comments and enter new locations. There is a wiki, forum and mailing list linked from the main page of the database with information related to public toilets. It is hoped that public exposure to this resource will add to it's content and help expand coverage.

For more information contact:
wstan@publictoilets.org

or go to:

www.publictoilets.org"

Feed EU Court Calls Employee Computer Monitoring A Human Rights Violation, In Some Ca (techdirt.com)

The European Court for Human Rights has ruled in favor of a woman who sued the British government after her boss in her public-sector job monitored her personal phone calls and internet use while she was at work. While the decision does set some precedent that monitoring employees' personal communications, even if done on work time over work equipment, contravenes the EU's human-rights laws, it also makes it clear that it's only in certain circumstances. Basically, to avoid legal problems, an employer has to have a policy covering acceptable use of its systems and equipment, and that policy has to say that employees' communications could be monitored if it wants to spy on employees' communications. While it seems a little strong to call this a human-rights violation, and it would seem wise to err on the side of caution and assume your employer can or will monitor what goes across their networks, the court's decision doesn't seem unreasonable. If employers want to waste their time trying to find all that lost productivity by spying on their employees, some disclosure would probably be appreciated. If only all potential human-rights violators would be so courteous.
Input Devices

Submission + - Kensington Vo200 VoIP Mobile Phone Reviewed

joggeroftoday writes: CoolTechZone.com has published a review of Kensington's Vo200 VoIP Internet phone that stores in your notebook and turns into a mobile handset when you are taking calls. The review states, "The Vo200 is PCMIA slot compatible (and incompatible with ExpressCard slots), which essentially means that all you need to do is slide it in your notebook's PCMIA slot for storage and recharging. How cool is that? Another interesting thing that we really enjoyed working with was its handset mode (for private conversations) and speakerphone mode (for more transparent calls) with the swing of the base. It was fun to sit back, turn on the speakerphone mode and talk away.
Media (Apple)

Submission + - EMI's entire catalogue available DRM free

rohan972 writes: The Sydney Morning Herald reports: EMI Music has become the first of the big four record companies to break from the pack and make its entire catalogue available as downloads free of copy control measures.

The announcement to offer the unprotected format was made in London overnight by EMI Group CEO Eric Nicoli. He was joined by Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who said his company's market-leading iTunes Store would also carry the new EMI tracks, marking the first time that DRM-free music would be offered to on iTunes.
Movies

Submission + - Good Science/Math Lectures online?

nitroamos writes: Every once in a while I find myself searching for a good science or math lecture online, a talk on the general interest level. Feynman was well known as an excellent lecturer, able to make non scientists understand him. However, there is relatively little available for viewing online. Examples of what I'm interested include Caltech Watson Lectures and Vega Science Trust. Are there any other websites people can recommend from their fields of interest?
Patents

Submission + - Control water with electricity

MattSparkes writes: "French researchers have discovered a new way to create super-hydrophobic surfaces, which could make completely electronic control of water possible. This could replace messy pumps and valves. By passing a voltage across a water droplet on the surface, it's shape can be deformed, and when the voltage is removed, it springs back into shape. Although the distortion is small, it should be enough to push droplets around by controlling the voltage between many different surface electrodes."
Quickies

Submission + - Monster squid caught in Antarctica

zakkie writes: "New Zealand fisherman have caught a massive 450 kg colossal squid fishing in the Antartic waters. This is by far the biggest yet found, measuring over 10 metres in length and weighing 450 kg. It has been taken back to New Zealand to be studied."
Google

Submission + - Google to charge for web apps

zakkie writes: "According to BBC News, Google is to start charging businesses for guaranteed availability and more features in the web apps like Gmail. The article suggests the timing is bad for Microsoft and their release of Office 2007, and is a "shot across their bows"."

Slashdot Top Deals

Real Users are afraid they'll break the machine -- but they're never afraid to break your face.

Working...