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Submission + - Facebook lets beheading clips return to social network (

theMassOfToe writes: Facebook has de facto become an arbiter of morality whether it likes or not.

After a few months, it has rescinded a temporary ban on beheading videos and such like. I consider myself a fairly liberal person, support the Electronic Frontier Foundation and all that, but I can't understand any justification for this. How is hosting videos of extremely violent crime (including murder) different from hosting video of (extremely violent) sex crime? Presumably the latter is illegal (certainly as far as minors are concerned), but the former is left up to whether Facebook can be bothered. We're not talking video game violence or anything — there is meant to be no suspension of disbelief here. Most people here are deeply anti-censorship, but surely this kind of stuff shouldn't be available on such a mainstream website?


Submission + - Ask Slashdot: The Projects That Will Save The World?

theMassOfToe writes: Civilisation faces many looming difficulties; peak population, climate change, threats arising from the increasing ability of the few to harm many, along with perhaps fundamental problems in our economic system.

A person’s response to these future perils seems to depend largely on a kind of ‘faith’. On one side, technological optimists say ‘don’t worry! The inexorable forces of the market and technology will provide solutions, just as they’ve always done’. The other side points out that past events provide no certainties about the future, and claim that without substantial cultural change, our civilisation is headed for a ‘Global Somalia’. Either viewpoint demands some major developments if the general trend of increasing wealth and health is to continue.

Slashdotters: Which are the projects you are watching, rooting for, or helping with, that’ll hopefully provide the solutions to these looming global predicaments?... ITER? Open source governance? Alternative currencies? Golden Rice? ... SETI? And where on the techno-optimism/pessimism spectrum do you lie?

Comment Slashdot can be so boring... (Score 1) 199

People on Slashdot often exhibit a depressing lack of spirit when stories like this come up. Yes putting a monolith on the moon is pointless, but so was sending the Voyagers (or should that be 'V_ger') into space with a gold record and a picture of a naked man and woman on them (and don't tell me they'll be spotted by aliens in eons or something - a monolith on the moon is just as likely to be discovered by the next Neil Armstrong monkey astronaut). Big budget movies cost an insane amount of money and are mostly crap. I go and see them, but given the choice, I'd give my £15.00 ticket price to something like this - a lot more affecting, entertaining, and satisfying than Avatar or something. We (/. community) should support stuff like this! Rubbishing people's artistic ideas because they're not immediately practical or whatever is so easy, and lazy, and sometimes I reckon is down to sort of creative jealousy or something. Lift your nose from the keyboard, think of all the shit in the world, then think of the universe. Different scales - both important.

UK Man Prevented From Finding Chipped Pet Under Data Protection Act 340

Dave Moorhouse was elated when he was informed that a microchip provider had information on the whereabouts of his stolen dog. This joy soon faded when the company informed him that it could not divulge the Jack Russell terrier's location because it would breach the Data Protection Act. Last week a court agreed with the chip company and refused Mr Moorhouse's request for a court order compelling them to reveal the name and address of the new owners. Steven Wildridge, managing director of the chip company said: “This is not a choice, it’s an obligation under the Data Protection Act. If the individuals involved do not want us to pass on their details to the original owner then we cannot do so unless compelled to following a criminal or civil proceeding."

Scientists Cut Greenland Ice Loss Estimate By Half 414

bonch writes "A new study on Greenland's and West Antarctica's rate of ice loss halves the estimate of ice loss. Published in the journal Nature Geoscience, the study takes into account a rebounding of the Earth's crust called glacial isostatic adjustment, a continuing rise of the crust after being smashed under the weight of the Ice Age. 'We have concluded that the Greenland and West Antarctica ice caps are melting at approximately half the speed originally predicted,' said researcher Bert Vermeeersen."

Comment Motivated by reputation? (Score 1) 302

I would guess that giving your time to a prestigous project that's used by millions (e.g. Firefox) is much more satisfying than working for free on some application used by a small number of people in back offices (e.g. ?). So you'd expect a lot more people to be motivated to work on wide use things like Firefox.

Education has it's own motivations - everyone wants to help da kids right?

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