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Comment Jesus, I don't what's more annoying.... (Score 1) 387

...Christians that insist on injecting quaint little refrigerator magnet-style philosophy and superstitious dogma into conversations about death, or pseudo-intellectual atheists that hamfistedly bring up their personal beliefs (or lack of beliefs) at every fucking opportunity. For the more vocal atheist like the OP, here's a tip for winning over middle-of-the-road crowd : When you haphazardly ejaculate your "deep" musings into topics that really have nothing to do with them, you look just as fucking retarded and self-righteous as the zealous Bible-thumper prattling on about eternal hellfire or heaven or whatever they're talking about these days.

I am an atheist, believing in no life after this one, and the upshot of this is I find all human life to have indefinite value - indefinite but basically equal. If you are mourning right now and your surname isn't "Jackson", then it is a direct affront to those who die through no fault of their own and are implicitly disregarded by the rest of the world during the absurd rituals we employ to mark the death of somebody famous.

I don't believe in human nature or historical inevitability. I believe in free will, and thus I believe people have a choice. Masses of people have made the wrong choice, and it makes me both sad and angry. The reaction to Michael Jackson's death, rather than the death itself, has put a real downer on my day.

Wow! That's fascinating!

Please be sure and keep us updated on your personal beliefs and what they imply for your vision of the world! Afterward, take a moment to reflect on how you have the social and intellectual high ground on annoying theists who invoke their religion at times that are inappropriate and to an audience that doesn't care.

Comment Re:Glad to see.. (Score 1) 1188

2) If my wife calls me and says she is lost, if I can get Google Street up, I can get a fair sense of what she is seeing once I have an intersection. Much, much better than guiding someone around over the phone using a map.

Mod this shit up, yo!

Streetview is especially useful when you're in a big city other than your own - rows and rows of skyscrapers and highrises can all blend in and obscure the actual street and location you're looking for, but Streetview allows you to look around and pick a landmark as an identifier. When I first saw it demoed on mobile devices, I was like "Why the fuck would I want to see (what is essentially) a Power Point presentation of city blocks on my phone?", but one set of wonky directions from my GPS provided an opportunity for Streetview to prove its usefulness.

I can't speak to the usefulness of the service to criminals, but I can definitely find legitimate purpose in it.

Comment Re:Not sure about other places but the US has... (Score 1) 148

Not if your net worth is below something like $5,000,000. Those poor multi-millionaires!

So because they're worth a certain amount of money, it's okay to plunder the estate state of the deceased?

What a peculiar outlook. Not necessarily a wrong outlook - it just strikes me as odd to see the "us vs. them" mentality justified because those "poor multi-millionaires" are somehow less deserving to pass their worldly gains to their children with less taxation than those who are worth less.

I don't really get it, but then I suppose that doesn't really matter.


Submission + - Monkeys and humans learn the same way (

Lucas123 writes: "A new study from UCLA showed that monkeys, like humans, learn faster by being actively involved in the learning process rather than just having information placed before them, according to a story in ScienceDaily. In the study, two rhesus macaque monkeys learned to put up to 18 photos on an ATM-like touch screen in a row. 'The monkeys did much better on the first three days when they had the help than when they didn't, but on the test day, it completely reversed.'"

The 10 "Inconvienient Truths" of File Sharing 587

54mc writes "The IFPI, an international recording industry organization, has released a list of Ten "Inconvenient Truths" of file sharing. Though the group has a vested interest, it's still an interesting read as it tears apart some of the most common arguments in favor of file sharing. Ars Technica follows up with a more thorough explanation of some of the points. 'Point five is an attempt to turn the "innovation" argument on its head. For years, pundits outside the music industry have accused labels of pandering to teens through boy bands and "manufactured" celebrities instead of being concerned with finding, producing, and releasing art. The IFPI suggests that the labels could (and would) be doing exactly that if file-swapping went away. And then there's point seven, which isn't an "inconvenient truth" at all but more of a rant against those who prefer giving copyright holders less than absolute control over reproduction rights. An "anti-copyright movement" does exist, but most of the critical voices in the debate recognize the value of copyright--and actually produce copyrighted works themselves (Lawrence Lessig, etc.).'"
United States

Experts Now Say JFK Bullet Analysis Was Wrong 550

Spy Handler writes "Researchers analyzing bullet fragments from the 1963 Kennedy assassination using new techniques say that the government's 1976 conclusion that the bullets came from only one gun (Oswald's) is wrong. 'Using new guidelines set forth by the National Academy of Sciences for proper bullet analysis, Tobin and his colleagues at Texas A&M re-analyzed the bullet evidence used by the 1976 House Select Committee on Assassinations, which concluded that only one shooter, Oswald, fired the shots that killed Kennedy in Dallas. The committee's finding was based in part on the research of now-deceased University of California at Irvine chemist Vincent P. Guinn. He used bullet lead analysis to conclude that the five bullet fragments recovered from the Kennedy assassination scene came from just two bullets, which were traced to the same batch of bullets Oswald owned.'"

Submission + - Someone In Congress Actually Understands Mixtapes!

An anonymous reader writes: Most of us (for pretty good reasons!) have come to assume that our Congressional representatives are pretty far out of touch when it comes to things like technology and culture, but it's nice to see that at least one Congressman seems to understand that mixtapes and mashups aren't such a bad thing. Techdirt has the transcript of Rep. Mike Doyle's speech, which talks about the benefits of mixtapes, while wondering about why DJ Drama was arrested: "I hope that everyone involved will take a step back and ask themselves if mash-ups and mix-tapes are really different or if it's the same as Paul McCartney admitting that he nicked the Chuck Berry bass-riff and used it on the Beatle's hit 'I Saw Her Standing There.' Maybe it is. And, maybe Drama violated some clear bright lines. Or, maybe mixtapes are a powerful tool. And, maybe mash-ups are transformative new art that expands the consumers experience and doesn't compete with what an artist has made available on iTunes or at the CD store. And, I don't think Sir Paul asked for permission to borrow that bass line, but every time I listen to that song, I'm a little better off for him having done so...."
The Courts

Are DMCA Abuses a Temporary or Permanent Problem? 163

Regular Slashdot contributor Bennett Haselton wrote in with a story about the DMCA. He starts "On January 16, a man named Guntram Graef who invoked the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to ask YouTube to remove a video of giant penises attacking his wife's avatar/character in the virtual community "Second Life", retracted the claim and stated that he now believes the video was not a copyright violation. (He had sent similar notices to BoingBoing and the Sydney Morning Herald just for posting screen shots of the video.) His statements in a C-Net interview suggest that he didn't mean to alienate the anti-censorship community and was probably angry over what he saw as a sexually explicit attack on his wife. But the event sparked renewed debate over the DMCA and what constitutes abuse of it. I sympathize with Graef and I admire him for admitting an error, but I still think the incident shows why the DMCA is a bad law." Hit that link below to read the rest of his story.

Submission + - Is the DS game you bought off eBay a fake?

VonSnouty writes: With the console manufacturers taking an increasingly hard line towards import specialists, ever more gamers after new titles released in other territories are turning to eBay. While plenty of sellers are legitimate, it's worth looking out for these tell tale signs of fake DS games. (That said, apparently the biggest giveaway in this instance was the manual — which consisted of a photocopied review!)
Christmas Cheer

Submission + - A modest request for some assistance...

Ryan Pringnitz writes: "Dear editors of,
I come to you today with a proposal which I hope you will take in great respect. Recently my mother has become ill with cancer, and currently does not have the means to fully treat herself. I am offering a mint condition Tickle Me Elmo doll to help raise some funds for her treatments. This Doll is in good shape, and is an Original doll from the 1993 Elmo onslaught from years past. I would like to thank those of you ahead of time for helping me with this situation. I only hope that you can please help,
With sincere gratitude,

P.S. Below I have included a picture of the doll....and my bald and beautiful mother. This picture is before she went for her next 35 sessions of radiation. She wears the cap to keep her head warm, and her left. m1.jpg C01662.jpg"

Submission + - Vista cheat sheet

D Bug writes: It's not even out yet but boy has Vista kept us waiting... This Cheat Sheet dissects the (very) longhorn saga — from why it's taken so long, to what new features to expect and whether it's worth the wait...

From the article:
"Bill Gates' vision for a true next-generation operating system has been scaled down somewhat in the final version of Vista and some of those promised features will not now appear until the next version of Windows, codenamed Blackcomb. And some Vista beta testers have commented there are more similarities than differences to XP. A survey of European businesses also found half have no plans as yet to upgrade to Vista, as they no doubt wait for the bugs to be ironed out in Service Pack 1."

RIAA Subpoenas Neighbor's Son, Calls His Employer 593

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "To those who might think that I might be exaggerating when I describe the RIAA's litigation campaign as a 'reign of terror', how's this one: in UMG v. Lindor, the RIAA not only subpoenaed the computer of Ms. Lindor's son, who lives 4 miles away, but had their lawyer telephone the son's employer. See page 2, footnote 1." From Ray's comments: "You have a multi-billion dollar cartel suing unemployed people, disabled people, housewives, single mothers, home healthcare aids, all kinds of people who have no resources whatsoever to withstand these litigations. And due to the adversary system of justice the RIAA will be successful in rewriting copyright law, if the world at large, and the technological community in particular, don't fight back and help these people fighting these fights."
User Journal

Journal Journal: Pop music set to 4 chords: BRILLIANT 5


Brilliant in the fact that most of pop music is so useless that a very simple chord progression used in an 80's song will accommodate tens of songs from the 60's to songs a few months old.

The Almighty Buck

Submission + - McDonald's files patent for sandwich making

Cauchy writes: McDonald's filed a patent application in the UK on their method for making a sandwich,,1952246,00.h tml. I was recently in a very lively debate on Slashdot concerning IP and patents. I stand by my claim that it is the system, not the concept of patents that is broken. This sounds like a great example of abuse. I'm sure Subway would have a real issue with some of their claims including
> "pre-assembly of sandwich components and simultaneous preparation of different parts of the same sandwich"

They even went so far as covering how to name a sandwich:
> "Often the sandwich filling is the source of the name of the sandwich, for example — ham sandwich."

They were even nice enough to cover making finger sandwiches for the Queen:
> It also describes how to make cocktail sandwiches, by taking a full-sized version that is "cut up into smaller pieces".

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