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Submission + - Court Rules that the Flying Spaghetti Monster is Not a Real Religion 1

WheezyJoe writes: A court in Nebraska has officially ruled that Pastafarianism is not a real religion, and therefore a prison inmate with "several tattoos proclaiming his faith" will not get $5 million or privileges to order and wear religious clothing and pendants, nor meet for weekly worship services and classes and receive communion.

The Federal judge ruled that The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is not a "real" religion eligible for protection under the First Amendment. This Gospel, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster faith (FSMism), "is a parody" that was originally created as "a riposte to intelligent design that began with a letter to the Kansas State Board of Education when it was considering intelligent design." The letter argued that "intelligent design does not identify the designer, its 'master intellect' could just as easily be a 'Flying Spaghetti Monster' as any Judeo-Christian deity—and, in fact, that there is as much scientific evidence for a Flying Spaghetti Monster as any other creator."

In ruling against the inmate and the chuch of Pastafarianism, the judge wrote "there must be a line beyond which a practice is not 'religious' simply because a plaintiff labels it as such... A prisoner could just as easily read the works of Vonnegut or Heinlein and claim it as his holy book, and demand accommodation of Bokononism or the Church of All Worlds," (citing Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle and Robert A. Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land). Therefore, because the "FSM Gospel is plainly a work of satire, meant to entertain while making a pointed political statement," the Judge concluded that "FSMism is on the far side of that line" and thus not a "real" religion.

Submission + - Year long FSA UK survey finds campylobacter in 73% of chickens (

hypnosec writes: Campylobacter, the food bug which is mainly found on raw poultry and is considered one of the biggest cause of food poisoning in the UK, has been found in 73 per cent of chickens in the UK – a year long survey carried out by the Food Standards Agency has revealed. The FSA published its cumulative results for samples taken between February 2014 and February 2015 including results presented by major retailer. The survey found that 19 per cent of chickens tested positive for campylobacter within the highest band of contamination meaning that more than 1,000 colony forming units per gram (>1,000 cfu/g) were detected in those samples. The survey, which tested more than 4,000 samples of fresh whole chilled chickens and packaging, also found that 0.1 per cent (five samples) of packaging tested positive at the highest band of contamination and 7 per cent of packaging tested positive for the presence of campylobacter.

Submission + - GoPro enters virtual reality market with 16-camera capture rig (

mpicpp writes: GoPro is moving into virtual reality with the announcement of a 16-camera, 360-degree array that can capture stereoscopic and spherical video. But this early model is too big to wear on your head.

The rig, meant to be mounted on a tripod, has yet to be priced. It will support 16 of GoPro’s Hero4 cameras to record 360-degree video that can be used for virtual reality. It comes integrated with software from Kolor, the virtual reality company GoPro acquired last month, which stitches and synchronizes the recorded footage. GoPro introduced the camera at Google’s developer conference on Thursday.

“What people don’t know is we’re already the de facto capture device for capturing virtual reality content today,” said C.J. Prober, the head of GoPro’s software and services division. “GoPro cameras weren’t designed for virtual reality capture purposes, but the quality and the content they enabled just made them a natural choice.”

Submission + - FCC Proposes To Extend So-Called "Obamaphone" Program To Broadband (

jfruh writes: The FCC's Lifeline program subsidizes phone service for very poor Americans; it gained notoriety under the label "Obamaphone," even though the program started under Reagan and was extended to cell phones under Clinton. Now the FCC is proposing that the program, which is funded by a fee on telecom providers, be extended to broadband, on the logic that high-speed internet is as necessary today as telephone service was a generation ago.

Submission + - Android M to Embrace USB Type-C and MIDI

jones_supa writes: USB Type-C connection is showing up in more and more devices, and Google is rolling support for the interface in its Android M operating system. The most significant additions relate to the USB Power Delivery spec. Charging will now work in both directions. That effectively means that Type-C devices can be used as external batteries for other devices. Android M is also finally introducing a feature that musicmakers have been long asking for: MIDI support. This builds on some of the audio features Google introduced in Android 5, including reduction in latency, multichannel audio stream mixing, and support for USB microphones, amplifiers, speakers, and other accessories. As others have written, music and media creation apps are much more prevalent in iOS than they are in Android, and Google hopes turning that around.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Can the government use photos of me on their websites? (

Andurin writes: Hey photo folks: I'm pretty clear on my rights and responsibilities as a photographer, but I was wondering about non-civilian (or even non-person actors) and publicity rights. I know that most commercial ventures would require an image release before using my likeness for their website. But what about the government? If a federally-employed photographer takes my picture in a public space, can they post it to their agency's site? Or to a government Flickr account, or Facebook even?

Submission + - Bill would require public information to be online (

Andurin writes: "A bill that was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives last week would require all Executive Branch agencies to publish public information on the Internet in a timely fashion and in user-friendly formats. The Public Online Information Act would also establish an advisory committee to help craft Internet publication policies for the entire U.S. government, including Congress and the Supreme Court. Citizens would have a limited, private right of action to compel the government to release public information online, though common sense exceptions (similar to those for FOIA) would remain in place."

Dying Man Shares Unseen Challenger Video 266

longacre writes "An amateur video of the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger explosion has been made public for the first time. The Florida man who filmed it from his front yard on his new Betamax camcorder turned the tape over to an educational organization a week before he died this past December. The Space Exploration Archive has since published the video into the public domain in time for the 24th anniversary of the catastrophe. Despite being shot from about 70 miles from Cape Canaveral, the shuttle and the explosion can be seen quite clearly. It is unclear why he never shared the footage with NASA or the media. NASA officials say they were not aware of the video, but are interested in examining it now that it has been made available."

Submission + - 95% Of Email Is Spam (

An anonymous reader writes: The European Network and Information Security Agency released its new spam report which looks at spam budgets, impact of spam and spam management. Less than 5% of all email traffic is delivered to mailboxes. This means the main bulk of mails, 95%, is spam. This is a very minor change, from 6%, in earlier ENISA reports. Over 25% of respondents had spam accounting for >10% of helpdesk calls. The survey targeted email service providers of different types and sizes, and received replies from 100 respondents from 30 different countries.

Submission + - UK's third largest paper blames games for rickets ( 1

mr_sifter writes: This morning, Metro, the UK's third largest newspaper ran a front page story with a headline clearly blaming gaming for a rise in a serious disease. This feature takes a look at this wild claim, and what it has to say about the ways in which research and gaming are reported by the mainstream media.

Submission + - Space Station Astronauts Gain Internet Access

cyclone96 writes: Internet access on the International Space Station went live this morning. The crew now has full browsing capability via a special LAN and the Ku-band data link on the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) network, as described in this NASA press release. Flight Engineer T.J. Creamer used the access to post to twitter. Previous astronaut twitter postings had been performed through a third party on the ground via email.

Submission + - TSA plays joke on traveller at screening ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: As a 22 year old female student at the University of Michigan went through security at Philadelphia International Airport, a TSA worker was staring at her. He motioned her toward him. Then he pulled a small, clear plastic bag from her carry-on — the sort of baggie that a pair of earrings might come in. Inside the bag was fine, white powder. Answer truthfully, the TSA worker informed her, and everything will be OK. After 20 seconds of crying, the TSA agent waved the baggie. It was his, and it was all a joke. Ann Davis, a TSA spokeswoman, said this afternoon that the worker is no longer employed by the agency as of today. She said privacy laws prevented her from saying if he was fired or left on his own.

Submission + - Supreme Court rolls back campaign spending limits (

lorenlal writes: The Supreme Court of the United States must have figured that restrictions on corporate support of candidates was a violation of free speech, or something like that.

By a 5-4 vote, the court on Thursday overturned a 20-year-old ruling that said corporations can be prohibited from using money from their general treasuries to pay for campaign ads. The decision, which almost certainly will also allow labor unions to participate more freely in campaigns, threatens similar limits imposed by 24 states.

Submission + - Deforestation Unveils Lost Amazon Civilization (

Deathsoldier11 writes: "Satellite flyovers of newly cleared land in the Amazon have uncovered a vanished civilization that could rival the Incans or Aztecs in sophistication.

Researchers found mysterious geometric trenches and other earthworks carved into the landscape as early as a decade ago, but satellites have paved the way for the discovery of over 200 giant structures.

Writing in the journal Antiquity, the researchers say the the formations stretch for some 250 kilometers (155 miles) across the upper Amazon basin east of the Andes mountains and appear to be of a similar style throughout, suggesting one vast, united civilization that could have totaled some 60,000 inhabitants.

Researchers also found stone tools, bits of ceramics, and other artifacts buried in mounds along the trenches. So far, the uncovered areas date to between 200 and 1283 A.D., but the team thinks they've seen "no more than a tenth" of the true extent of this archeological wonder."

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