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It's funny.  Laugh.

Monty Python 40 Years Old Today! 298

cheros was one of several readers to note that today, Oct 5, in 1969 was the very first airing of Monty Python. Although not every sketch has aged particularly well, you'd be hard pressed to find a more influential and funny show. Heck, look at the Icon we use here to indicate humorous stories! Who among us can't claim to have viewed the Holy Grail at least somewhere in the double digits.
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Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch Provokes Bomb Scare Screenshot-sm 186

Bomb disposal teams were called in and a nearby pub evacuated after water company engineers mistook a Monty Python film prop for a hand grenade. After nearly an hour of examination by bomb experts, they counted to three. No more. No less. Three was the number they counted, and the number they counted was three. Four they did not count, nor two, except to proceed to three. Five was right out. Once the number three had been reached, being the third number, they declared that the grenade was actually a copy of the "Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch" used in the film Monty Python And The Holy Grail. A police spokeswoman confirmed that the device was a toy and that it had been no danger to the public.
The Courts

Wife of Harried Pirate Bay Witness Gets Buried in Internet Love 470

treqie writes "During the trial of pirate bay yesterday, a professor (Roger Wallis) took the witness stand. He told the court things that the prosecutors did not want to hear. The prosecutors then tried to discredit both him and his team's work in the area, as well as his title, it was a real spectacle. In the end, the judge asked if he wanted compensation for being there — he replied that he did not want anything, but they could send flowers to his wife. Many listening online heard, and began sending her flowers, from all over the world. As of this submission, the sum is over 40,000 SEK worth of flowers. There's even a Facebook group for it."
Patents

McDonalds Files To Patent Making a Sandwich 346

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "McDonalds has applied for patent WO2006068865, which carries the title 'METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR MAKING A SANDWICH.' John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich, can eat his heart out (unless that's been patented, too). Undoubtedly, some people are contemplating whether there's anything novel in this patent that is somehow obscured by its generic title. Feel free to examine their flowchart for yourself and see exactly how novel their sandwich 'subroutines' are. The good news is that, given that it only mentions generic sandwich making 'tool(s),' rather than any specific machine, it might not survive after the In Re Bilski decision, which was meant to put a stop to absurdities such as this. But until McDonalds's application is rejected or invalidated, make sure you don't use their flowchart when making sandwiches. After all, if you 'apply appropriate condiments to appropriate compartment,' you might infringe upon their IP."
Programming

Scripting In Commodore BASIC For Windows & Linux 213

SomeoneGotMyNick writes "Someone more nostalgic than I am, and with a lot of time on their hands, had created a scripting language based on Commodore BASIC for Mac OS X. They recently finished a version that works on Windows and Linux. You can pass the text of a BASIC program as a parameter to the program. I found it odd that it took 1.8 MB of source code to compile to an interpreter that used to fit in 8K of ROM space. If this ever becomes popular, perhaps we'll see Obfuscated CBM BASIC contests." In a simliar vein, in the comments someone points out what is essentially an open source AmigaOS Classic.
Movies

Adobe Flaw Allows Full Movie Downloads For Free 166

webax writes with this excerpt from Reuters: "[An Adobe security hole] exposes online video content to the rampant piracy that plagued the music industry during the Napster era and is undermining efforts by retailers, movie studios and television networks to cash in on a huge Web audience. 'It's a fundamental flaw in the Adobe design. This was designed stupidly,' said Bruce Schneier ... The flaw rests in Adobe's Flash video servers that are connected to the company's players installed in nearly all of the world's Web-connected computers. The software doesn't encrypt online content, but only orders sent to a video player such as start and stop play. To boost download speeds, Adobe dropped a stringent security feature that protects the connection between the Adobe software and its players." webax also notes that the article suggests DRM as a potential solution to the problem.
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NASA Produces Rap Video On Astrobiology Screenshot-sm 113

An anonymous reader writes "You've seen the Large Hadron Rap by Kate 'Alpinekat' McAlpine. Now a NASA magazine has commissioned an astrobiology rap. Jonathan Chase, aka 'Oort Kuiper', produced a six-minute YouTube rap video on astrobiology, the scientific search for extraterrestrial life. The lyrics include: 'We've been on Earth for many years and we are still producing answers; as time passes, collective knowledge advances.' This epic rap battle sees Alpinekat/CERN on top with over three million views on YouTube compared with about ten thousand for Oort Kuiper/NASA."
Education

Jedi Knights Course Offered By Queen's University Belfast 180

Starting in November, Queen's University Belfast will offer a course that will use the psychology of the Star Wars Jedi Knights to teach students communication skills and personal development. The university's publicity material reads 'the course "Feel the Force: How to Train in the Jedi Way" teaches the "real-life psychological techniques behind Jedi mind tricks"' and promises to explore 'wider issues behind the Star Wars universe, like balance, destiny, dualism, fatherhood and fascism.' The course is very affordable but the droid fees are outrageous.
Puzzle Games (Games)

Solving Sudoku With dpkg 190

Reader Otter points out in his journal a very neat use for the logic contained in Debian's package dependency resolver: solving sudoku puzzles. To me at least, this is much more interesting than the sudoku puzzles themselves. Update: 08/24 02:51 GMT by T : Hackaday just ran a story that might tickle the same parts of your brain on a game played entirely with MySQL database queries.
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Slashdot's Disagree Mail Screenshot-sm 264

In this week's Disagree Mail, I try to show the range of messages I get. It's not all angry or insane, sometimes it's sent to us for no apparent reason. We start off a little mad, slip into a whole bunch of crazy and finish with someone who has a complaint about racism at his favorite restaurant. Read below to get started.
Mozilla

2008 Mozilla Summit Affected By Rock Slide 84

An anonymous reader writes "The recently concluded 2008 Mozilla Summit, held in Whistler, Canada, was impacted by a rock slide that cut off the main highway between Whistler and Vancouver, where most attendees planned to depart via airplane. In true open-source fashion, summit attendees collaborated on a solution, opening a Bugzilla bug (severity: "blocker"), posting crash dumps, and proposing solutions, including chartering a flight (which would land first in TRUNK, then BRANCH). Eventually, attendees settled on a workaround which seems to have been successful. For next year's summit, organizers might want to consider a location with more redundancy."
The Internet

Six Degrees of Wikipedia 296

An anonymous reader notes that someone has applied the game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon to the articles in Wikipedia. Instead of the relation being "in the same film," he used "is linked to by." From the blog post: "We'll call the 'Kevin Bacon number' from one article to another the 'distance' between them. It's then possible to work out the 'closeness' of an article in Wikipedia as its average distance to any other article. I wanted to find the centre of Wikipedia, that is, the article that is closest to all other articles (has minimum [distance])."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Line Forms At Apple's Always-Open Manhattan Cube 445

SpectreBlofeld writes "According to EngadgetMobile, a line has formed in front of Apple's flagship Cube store in Manhattan. From the article: 'So word on the street (literally) is that a large number of people are queuing in line outside of Apple's flagship store on 5th Avenue in New York City — keep in mind the Cube is open 24 hours a day. Our intrepid girl-on-the-scene reports that the group is more than 60-deep, though most people seem confused about what they're waiting for, but some believe they're actually camping out for a 3G iPhone.' Prank, or mass hysteria?" I wonder if the crowd already has its own Flickr group set up -- if not, what are they waiting for on that front?
It's funny.  Laugh.

Inventor to Launch Pop Bottle Rocket into Space 285

DrButts writes "An inventor in British Columbia wants to be the first to launch a pop bottle rocket into space. 'This could be impossible, but the CEO of AntiGravity Research already holds the altitude record for boosting an elongated plastic pop bottle — propelled by a bicycle pump, water and a bit of soap — into the air. Firing the ubiquitous, two-litre plastic container usually consigned to the recycle bin into space might create a whole new definition for space junk, but the dream keeps Schellenberg going.'"
Windows

The Advantages of Upgrading From Vista To XP 765

An anonymous reader passes us a blog posting, which may be just a bit tongue-in-cheek, about the pros and cons of upgrading from Vista to XP. "...there is only one conclusion to be made; Microsoft have really outdone themselves in delivering a brand new operating system that really excels in all the areas where Vista was sub-optimal. From my testing, discussions with friends and colleagues, and a review of the material out there on the web there seems to be no doubt whatsoever that that upgrade to XP is well worth the money. Microsoft can really pat themselves on the back for a job well done, delivering an operating system which is much faster and far more reliable than its predecessor. Anyone who thinks there are problems in the Microsoft Windows team need only point to this fantastic release and scoff loudly."

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