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Comment What about Scientology, then? (Score 5, Insightful) 527

From the summary: "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]. "

I don't get it -- so inventing a religion from science fiction authors Kurt Vonnegut or Robert Heinlein would be bogus. But inventing a religion from science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard yields a viable and constitutionally protected religious practice. What's the difference?

Comment size (Score 1) 192

I tell you, when I look at a map of Europe, I always think, "Wow, you know, those countries are just way too big. We need to break them up into a whole bunch of tiny ethnically-uniform microstates".

Comment no privacy issues here (Score 3, Insightful) 146

I guess that I don't understand people's privacy objections here. Those people who got free BlackBerries are well aware of the monitoring. Legally, either party may record a conversation and save it and provide it to whomever they want (Though this varies by state). It's the responsibility of the BlackBerry owner to make sure that their friends know the situation -- and based on the last drug-text, they do.

The bigger question that should be in a /. poll soon, is: "I would give a researcher all of your phone data, text, and other information, in exchange for a free:

(1) dumb phone
(2) BlackBerry
(3) iPhone
(4) RAZR smart phone
(5) CowboyNeal "

Comment Re:Titan life bleak. (Score 2, Informative) 139

The other problem, I think, is a lack of oxygen.

There's plenty of oxygen on Titan. The whole crust is made out of water ice. True there is no free molecular oxygen, but neither was there on Earth before about a billion years ago.

As for life on Titan, the suggestion is that there might be an opportunity when the liquid water beneath Titan's 50-km-thick ice crust bubbles to the surface (a "cryovolcano"), or when a meteor impact leaves a patch of melted local bedrock (which is water ice, so the patch would be a lake). When liquid water from one of these sources combines with the organics in the atmosphere, who knows what happens. But it better happen fast -- the whole thing freezes over in 10^4 years!

Comment Re:Problems (Score 1) 151

I don't understand the problem, here. All data from NASA planetary missions are made public 1 year after they are taken. Here, you can go download them and use them for whatever you like at the Planetary Data System . There's a group of enthusiastic amateurs that use and interpret the raw data at UMSF , among other places. You're welcome to use these data and do science with them and publish them, scooping other scientists. Believe me, there's plenty of science left to be done in there.

Submission + - Google Tops 100 Best Places to Work For

inetsee writes: "Forbes Magazine reports that Fortune Magazine has released their 10th annual "100 Best Companies to Work For" list and Google is at number 1. Some highlights of the benefits of working for Goolge that caught my eye were the free gourmet meals and the massages. The chance to spend 20% of your time working on your own personal projects also sounds very appealing. Of course, with resumes rolling in at the rate of 1300 a day, the competition is fierce. Maybe I should look at some of the other companies on the list."

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