Pickens writes: "The Guardian reports that the government is urging councils across the United Kingdom to stop giving hundreds of thousands of pounds in tax breaks to the Church of Scientology. In the first time a cabinet minister has intervened in the long-running dispute over the tax breaks for Scientology, communities secretary, Eric Pickles, says a majority of the public do not want the "controversial organization" to be given the kind of favorable treatment usually reserved for charities and questioned this use of public money. "Tolerance and freedom of expression are important British values, but this does not mean that the likes of Church of Scientology deserve favored tax treatment over and above other business premises," says Pickles. "The Church of Scientology is not a registered charity, since the Charity Commission has ruled that it does not provide a public benefit. Nor are its premises a recognized place of worship." However Scientology has won some victories to gain tax-free or low-tax status. In 2000, it persuaded Revenue & Customs that it should be exempt from VAT on payments received because its services were educational and non-profitable and in a test case before the VAT tribunal, the Scientologists' lawyers forced the taxman to return £8m in overpaid VAT."
destinyland writes: ""We're going to have to do extensive robotic exploration," says the director of NASA's Ames Research Center, suggesting nanotechnology to build self-replicating robots on Mars. Genetically engineering extraction and construction microbes could "grow" electrical components, and eventually convert carbon dioxide on Mars into oxygen. "If we really want to settle Mars, and we don't want to have to carry millions of tons of equipment with us to duplicate the way we live on Earth, these technologies will be key." This interview with Peter Worden, the director of NASA's Ames Research Center, was just featured in the summer issue of H+ magazine, and he also argues that robots will be necessary to first survey Mars for underground microbes and protect the unique Martian biosphere, since it may contain clues about earth's own first life forms. In fact, given the water and carbon that's been discovered on Mars, the possibility of underground microbes is still considered real, and Worden argues that Mars "may already be supporting life."" Link to Original Source
zwei2stein writes: I found this question with far reaching implications in offtopic section of one forum:
My economics teacher is forcing us to give up all of our work for the semester. Every page of notes, and paper must be turned over to her to be destroyed to prevent future students from copying it. My binder was in my backpack, and she went into my backpack, and took my binder. Is that legal?
Besides of issue with private property invasion which was trigger of that post, there is much more important question:
Can teacher ask student not to retain knowledge? Can school command pupils to become ignorant once again? How does IP law relate to teaching? Whose property are those notes?
from the what-they-don't-know-won't-hurt-you dept.
Lucas123 writes "The State of Washington's Division of Child support has forced hundreds of workers to turn in personal USB flash drives and has instead begun issuing corporate-style USB drives. The goal is to centrally monitor, configure and prevent unauthorized access to storage devices. So far about 150 common drives have been issued. The agency eventually plans to destroy all existing thumb drives collected as part of the security policy change."