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Introducing the Slashdot Firehose 320

Logged in users have noticed for some time the request to drink from the Slashdot Firehose. Well now we're ready to start having everybody test it out. It's partially a collaborative news system, partially a redesigned & dynamic next-generation Slashdot index. It's got a lot of really cool features, and a lot of equally annoying new problems for us to find and fix for the next few weeks. I've attached a rough draft of the FAQ to the end of this article. A quick read of it will probably answer most questions from how it works, what all the color codes mean, to what we intend to do with it.
The Courts

Web Contracts Can't Be Changed Without Notice 169

RZG writes "The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled on July 18th that contracts posted online cannot be updated without notifying users (PDF of ruling). 'Parties to a contract have no obligation to check the terms on a periodic basis to learn whether they have been changed by the other side,' the court wrote. This ruling has consequences for many online businesses, which took for granted their right to do this (see for example item 19 in Google's Terms of Service)."

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"I shall expect a chemical cure for psychopathic behavior by 10 A.M. tomorrow, or I'll have your guts for spaghetti." -- a comic panel by Cotham

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