Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 9 declined, 1 accepted (10 total, 10.00% accepted)

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Submission + - Go Daddy still officially supports SOPA. (

blind biker writes: Much has been said in the previous few days of Go Daddy's support for the SOPA and PIPA bills. Go Daddy has helped draft SOPA, but reacting to a boycott campaign initiated from a Reddit post, the reviled registrar decided to engage in a half-hearted PR move to stop the exodus. Many have warned that Go Daddy hasn't truly changed stance, only that they will hide their true intentions from the public view from now on. Well, it turns out Go Daddy's general counsel and corporate secretary (who helped draft SOPA) still throws the company's weight firmly behind the bill. In her blog post, Christine Jones signs in her official figure of Go Daddy representative, and states: In our view, Internet policy should strive to balance the sometimes competing goals of the global free flow of information (which is clearly critical to U.S. businesses), with enforcement of the rule of law. We don't see those competing goals as mutually exclusive, but rather, complimentary. In fact, that balance is essential to a flourishing, yet safe, Internet. As you can see, there is absolutely no reason not to take part in the Dump Go Daddy Day by moving your domains to an anti-SOPA registrar. Here is an easy, step-by-step illustrated guide on how to move your domains out of Go Daddy.

Submission + - Does space belong to China?

blind biker writes: I will not bother providing links, as it has been reported by all news outlets: China sent another exploration mission to the Moon on October 1st: this time it is a satellite provided by a laser altimeter and a high resolution 3D camera. The purpose of the mission is to find a suitable landing location for the next lunar mission, an unmanned landing of a rover.
I watched the take-off of the Long March 3C (the one that carries the current probe to the Moon), and realized that China is very serious about their ambitions. Their Moon program will certainly have a seeding effect on Chinese science and technology.

Submission + - New Gulf oil well off Louisiana approved by feds (

blind biker writes: AP reports that federal regulators approved Wednesday the first new Gulf of Mexico oil well since President Barack Obama lifted a brief ban on drilling in shallow water, even while deepwater projects remain frozen after the massive BP spill.

While there is a huge difference between drilling at 5000 feet and at 115 feet (the newly approved project), I am not at all sure that we have any credible technical means of stopping a new spill, nor the laws necessary to hold the culprits of an unmanaged accident financially responsible.

Social Networks

Submission + - Resisting other's ideas? You are unsure of yours.

blind biker writes: According to a paper published this month by the American Psychological Association, people tend to avoid information that contradicts what they already think or believe, while certain factors can cause them to seek out, or at least consider, other points of view. The analysis included data from 91 different studies involving a total of almost 8000 participants. The paper concludes, among other things, that "people who have little confidence in their own beliefs are less likely to expose themselves to contrary views than people who are very confident in their own ideas".
United States

Submission + - Catcher in the Rye "sequel" banned in the

blind biker writes: Judge Deborah Batts ruled that a novel centering around "Mr. C", a character resembling Holden Caulfield from J.D. Salinger's "Catcher in the Rye", was "an infringement on Mr Salinger's main character, Holden Caulfield.". The book is now indefinitely banned from publication, advertising or distribution in the USA. Fredrik Colting's book is, however, available in the UK.

Submission + - Hummer takeover blocked: environmental concerns 1

blind biker writes: Apparently, the takeover of the Hummer brand by Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery was blocked by the Chinese authorities, on environmental gronds. Quoting the article: "Hummer is at odds with the country's planning agency's attempts to decrease pollution from Chinese manufacturers." While China and concern for the environment don't often come in the same paragraph let alone the same sentence, the world is definitely changing, and maybe the climate is less friendly (pun intended) towards gas-guzzlers, i.e. energin inefficient vehicles.
The Courts

Submission + - Jammie Thomas-Rasset fined $1920000!

blind biker writes: Apparently Jammie Thomas-Rasset lost her retrial and was sentenced to pay $80.000 per song — she was found guilty of downloading 24 songs. Interesting quote from the article: "Steve Marks, executive vice president and general counsel of the Recording Industry Association of America, estimated earlier this week that only a few hundred of the lawsuits remain unresolved and that fewer than 10 defendants were actively fighting them." Probably after this sentence, even less will be encouraged to defend themselves against the RIAA.
Social Networks

Submission + - Iranian blogger dies in prison

blind biker writes: The Iranian blogosphere had its first casualty on the 19th of March when Omidreza Mirsayafi died in prison where he was incarcerated. Most of his blog was about traditional Persian music, but he did dab occasionally into politics, and the topic of "freedom". According to a doctor who is himself incarcerated "The death of this young blogger is entirely due to a failure to provide assistance." What got him into trouble, I think, are statements like "I feel like a stranger in my own house...Is it really the ancient Persia I am living in? Is it the land of Cyrus the Great?... It must be a nightmare I am having. This is not Persia. This is the Islamic Republic."

Submission + - Mistakes haunt US automakers, begging for bailout 1

blind biker writes: According to this AP report, Democratic leaders are pressuring the Bush administration to give more of the $700 bailout package, to ailing automakers, who have nobody but their very own mistakes to blame for their current situation:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said in a letter to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson that the administration should consider expanding the $700 billion bailout to include car companies. Critics say leaders over the years at Ford Motor Co., General Motors Corp. and what is now Chrysler LLC were slow to take on unions, failed to invest enough in new products, ceded the car market to the Japanese and were ill-prepared for the inevitable rise in gas prices that would make their trucks and SUVs obsolete.

Whether this is a good or bad idea, I don't know, but I am at least a bit surprised because I had the impression that president-elect Senator Obama is very pro-environment and against CO2 emissions. But maybe this is the carrot-approach to get the big US car manufacturers to start finally producing fuel efficient cars — albeit on the taxpayer's tab.


Submission + - Syrian blogger sentenced to three years in jail

blind biker writes: The AP reports (via the Herald Tribune) of Tarek Bayassi, a 24-year old Syrian blogger sentenced to three years in jail for "undermining the prestige of the state and weakening national morale". The original sentence was 6 years but it was commuted on appeal. Apparently, this isn't an isolated case in Syria.

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