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Slashback: Little Red Hoax, Firefly, Google

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the taking-what-isn't-yours dept.

Slashback 508

Slashback tonight brings some corrections, clarifications, and updates to previous Slashdot stories, including the "Little Red Hoax", a follow up on the Firefly post-mortem, another episode in the Intelligent Design battle, the EU's Galileo project gets off the ground, deconstructing AOL's decision to go with Google over Microsoft, endgame for the Blackberry patent case and more. Read on for details.

A little red hoax. MyNameIsFred writes "In an earlier Slashdot story, it was reported that a student was investigated for requesting Mao's Little Red Book on inter-library loan. It appears that the story was a hoax."

Firefly franchise death greatly exaggerated. Kazzahdrane writes "Joss Whedon has spoken out against the Entertainment Weekly that claimed he has turned his back on the Firefly/Serenity franchise. From his post at Whedonesque: 'All right, now I have to jump in and set the record straight. EW is a fine rag, but they do take things out of context. Obviously when I said I had "closure", what I meant was "I hate Serenity, I hated Firefly, I think my fans are stupid and Nathan Fillion smells like turnips." But EW's always got to put some weird negative spin on it.'"

Intelligent Design tantamount to teaching religion. rcs1000 writes "After much deliberation Judge John Jones has ruled that teaching Intelligent Design is tantamount to teaching religion. The judge was pretty forthright, arguing that 'it is unconstitutional to teach Intelligent Design as an alternative to evolution in a public school science classroom.'"

EU launches first Galileo navigation satellite. Xserv writes "The EU launched the first in the series of Galileo Navigation Satellites signifying the start of a lessening of dependency on US Military GPS Systems in Europe. The new Galileo system is touted to be much more accurate and will also be more accessible on higher latitude zones where the US GPS system is known to be less than ideal."

Why AOL chose Google over Microsoft. gambit3 writes to tell us that the Wall Street Journal has a nice article deconstructing AOL's decision to go with Google instead of Microsoft. From the article: "Two weeks ago, when Time Warner Inc. was on the cusp of signing a sweeping online deal with Microsoft Corp., a team of executives from the media company's AOL unit traveled to Microsoft's headquarters in Redmond, Wash., to make sure everything was in order. When the executives returned, they reported back to Time Warner's top deal negotiator, Olaf Olafsson, with some less-than-satisfactory findings. They had found some of Microsoft's technology to be clunky, while the contemplated joint venture with the software king contained what they thought were financial pitfalls."

Endgame in Blackberry patent case. waynegoode writes "The New York Times is reporting that a recent decision could spell the end of the NTP vs. RIM Blackberry case. The US Patent Office apparently took the unusual step of telling NTP & RIM it will likely reject all 5 of NTP's patents, meaning the basis for NTP's lawsuit and it's billion dollar claim will most likely disappear. This puts pressure on the judge to not issue an injunction against RIM but to instead delay until the USPTO gets around to actually rejecting the patents."

Katrina aftermath still making waves. An anonymous reader writes "Approximately 50 people have been indicted in relation to a scheme that drained almost $200,000 from a Red Cross fund designed to put money into the hands of Hurricane Katrina victims. From the article: 'Seventeen of the accused worked at the Red Cross claim center in Bakersfield, Calif., which handled calls from storm victims across the country and authorized cash payments to them. The others were the workers' relatives and friends, prosecutors said last week.'"

More cloning doubts emerge. LukePieStalker writes "The Boston Globe is reporting that the South Korean cloning team whose troubles have recently been chronicled here on Slashdot used "borrowed" photos in their Science journal article that "appear in the journal Molecules and Cells, in a research article by another Korean team, submitted before the Science paper". In the earlier article, the cells in the photo are described as having been created without cloning."

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508 comments

Intelligent Design tantamount to teaching religion (4, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 8 years ago | (#14354873)

I am sure that some Religious fundaments will call this ruling of some crazy liberal judge. I am conservative myself and I personally do believe in inelegant design but I do not believe that it should be tough in schools as science. Intelligent Design is not science it is faith-based assumption. I believed in Inelegant Designed when I was taught Darwinism. I just replaced Random with God. It was not an eureka moment, just about anyone can make the connection without any hoaxing, just an understanding based on my faith that nothing is truly random but work of God, as Einstein said God doesn't roll dice. But that being said teaching science that there is a force that we cannot measure or prove or disprove is not science. Science is not guaranteed to be absolute truth, science is a process of observations and finding a theory that best fits the observation, if a pattern cannot be found it is called random. If God is behind random that is fine but because God cannot be proven or disproved scientifically, it shouldn't be placed in science. Just saying God did it is a shortcut that ends further investigation, but by leaving God out of the equation then it shows that you have more to examine thus growth in understanding.

Re:Intelligent Design tantamount to teaching relig (4, Funny)

gkuz (706134) | more than 8 years ago | (#14354909)

and I personally do believe in inelegant design

I also believe in inelegant design. How else do you explain the Edsel?

But there's still no reason for the "blink" tag.

Re:Intelligent Design tantamount to teaching relig (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 8 years ago | (#14355053)

I also believe in inelegant design. How else do you explain the Edsel?

Not to mention the prostate and appendix. Also it seemed to be a factor in the Google story as well.

But there's still no reason for the "blink" tag.

I thought most browsers had evolved away from that.

Re:Intelligent Design tantamount to teaching relig (1, Offtopic)

jZnat (793348) | more than 8 years ago | (#14355177)

text-decoration: blink; is in the CSS specs (forget which), so it's still here. marquee, however, is not, so it is done via an XBL binding in Firefox at least.

Re:Intelligent Design tantamount to teaching relig (2, Insightful)

ZombieWomble (893157) | more than 8 years ago | (#14354919)

Einstein said God doesn't roll dice

You know he was pretty much wrong when he said that, right? Hidden variable theories of quantum mechanics have been pretty thoroughly disproven.

Re:Intelligent Design tantamount to teaching relig (3, Insightful)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 8 years ago | (#14355119)

You know he was pretty much wrong when he said that, right? Hidden variable theories of quantum mechanics have been pretty thoroughly disproven.

How do you prove a negative? Proving that there isn't an underlying pattern to the apparent pseudorandom behavior on a quantum level is like proving there is no God. And in fact, being a firm believer in the "God of the Gaps" theory- that's exactly what you're attempting when you claim there are no possible hidden variable theories of quantum mechanics. At best, you can only say there are no proven hidden variable theories- yet.

The parent in not a troll (2, Insightful)

kermyt (99494) | more than 8 years ago | (#14354925)

Just because someone expresses an unpopular viewpoint (in this case that they believe in god perhaps?) does not make them automagically troll. the parent is a well thought out statement of position. NOT A TROLL!

Re:The parent in not a troll (1, Funny)

CitizenJohnJohn (640701) | more than 8 years ago | (#14354975)

Agreed it's not a troll, but "well-thought out"? It's barely coherent.

Re:The parent in not a troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14355047)

Agreed.
Hell. I had to read it word by word to figure out what he was talking about.
I can see a careless moderator locking onto a few key words and making a (wrong) snap decision.

Re:The parent in not a troll (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14355041)

Saying "Darwinism" makes it lean toward trolling, in my opinion. You don't hear people referring to Newtonism, Einsteinism, or Hawkingism; it's an attempt to implicitly place science on the same level as religion, which tends to get on the nerves of people who have an understanding of the difference between the two.

Re:Intelligent Design tantamount to teaching relig (4, Insightful)

tgibbs (83782) | more than 8 years ago | (#14355011)

I just read the decision. Many have expressed concern over judges deciding scientific issues. But the judge in this case has done a truly admirable job of identifying the key scientific issues, and identifying the flaws in ID doctrine.

Re:Intelligent Design tantamount to teaching relig (4, Insightful)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 8 years ago | (#14355024)

I am sure that some Religious fundaments will call this ruling of some crazy liberal judge.

That would be delusional. The judge is a rather conservative Bush appointee.

I am conservative myself and I personally do believe in inelegant design but I do not believe that it should be tough in schools as science.

Believe whatever you want according to the dictates of your own conscience. So long as you don't try to put it in public school science curricula, that is fine with me.

Science is not guaranteed to be absolute truth, science is a process of observations and finding a theory that best fits the observation, if a pattern cannot be found it is called random

Science is a bit more than you give it credit for. There is a pretty well defined set of philisophical principals that extend it well beyond pure empiricism.

As far as 'random', this is whare I disagree. Self-organization is easy to show on many scales and doesn't require any faith to accept. This argument is an approach used to try obfuscate the fact that there are real ways of dealing with the question of self organization. Unfortunately they require some pretty careful thinking to undersand and are not as easily presented to the general public as Darwinism is.

Just saying God did it is a shortcut that ends further investigation

And that is the problem. Progress ends when you stop looking for alternative explanations.

Re:Intelligent Design tantamount to teaching relig (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 8 years ago | (#14355138)

"That would be delusional. ..."

Yes, fundies aren't known for having delusions at all....

Re:Intelligent Design tantamount to teaching relig (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14355140)

...that there are real ways of dealing with the question of self organization. Unfortunately they require some pretty careful thinking to undersand and are not as easily presented to the general public as Darwinism is.
Such as?

Re:Intelligent Design tantamount to teaching relig (2, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 8 years ago | (#14355106)

too bad evolution doesn't equal random.
And god can be scientifically disproven. In fact, I have ran tests, and in each and every one of them this god fellow failed to show up, deliver lottery numbers, or cure children inflicted with AIDS.
God doesn't exist, QED.

Re:Intelligent Design tantamount to teaching relig (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14355156)

Or, perhaps he's just really, really backlogged and hasn't been able to get back to you yet. Can you imagine the number of tickets in his queue after several thousand years of prayers by billions of users?

Re:Intelligent Design tantamount to teaching relig (2, Insightful)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 8 years ago | (#14355142)

Myself I am a strong believer in evolution (belief not being the best word) , I consider myself a very observant Jew(and a Tanakh minimalist )
I find it ridicules that some people can not combine faith and science , the two things do not mix normally (unless science can define the view in question) .

Science is there to help us understand the world and how things work , faith is there to help us accept the things we can not understand , till the time comes that we may understand those things .

Science and faith should never be opposed and have no reason to be .

I like to think of it like this , if g-d is all mighty then surely it would have the power to architect a world an existence than can construct itself and follow its own rules , such as the laws of physics . Much as I do as a systems admin to automate my tasks . Science helps me to understand the way things works . Perhaps my views are naive and cowardly and there to help me cope with a short term life , but they do not affect my scientific views as I hope they would not any person who is religious .
sadly they do as they are too blind sighted to accept anything.

To them I say this , if g-d is all mighty then perhaps g-d would do as us sysmins do and automate the creation process . Why would the divine waste time on something which us mere mortals would have found a simple solution for .

These things need not be a dividing line , they are only made so by hatred and fear . Fear to know truth and to understand the workings of the world and if you choose the workings of g-d

As I peer into my crystal ball... (5, Insightful)

grub (11606) | more than 8 years ago | (#14354876)


Predicted comment breakdown for this Slashback

"Little Red Hoax" -- 2 comments
Firefly post-mortem -- 8 comments
EU's Galileo project -- 7 comments
Google/AOL 2purchase -- 9 comments
Blackberry patent case -- 8 comments
Intelligent Design -- 1436 comments
I love the ID stories, those are where I can tell rational people from kooks by my "Fans/Foes" changes that day.

Re:As I peer into my crystal ball... (0, Offtopic)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 8 years ago | (#14354950)

I love the ID stories, those are where I can tell rational people from kooks by my "Fans/Foes" changes that day.

Lets see how well I fare.

ID is done for now until it gets renamed and reincarnated :)

My position to the ID people has been "What would even the undeniable proof of ID give you?" And even in my best devil's advocate (heh!) mind cannot come up with an answer. Evolution gives us genetics, selective breeding, hybridization, and things that we benefit from on a daily basis. Even if we didn't fall from the trees and become Homo Erectus or Homo Sapians (sp??) the theory of evolution does give us some basis in our daily lives.

I would say that ID is done, and for good reason, or at least some reason.

Thank the FSM!

Re:As I peer into my crystal ball... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14354964)

I say just let the ID people have a bone. Append to the end of evolution "may or may not have been due to a higher power" and move on. Saying it wasn't a higher power is religion, saying there was a higher power is religion.

Re:As I peer into my crystal ball... (1)

pe1rxq (141710) | more than 8 years ago | (#14355031)

If you want to mention a higher power at all, the only sensible thing to say is 'according to our current knowledge no higher power is needed to explain all this'. But it would be a waste of time... its like saying that a higher power might be involved when 1 + 1 equals 2 in a math class.

Re:As I peer into my crystal ball... (1, Insightful)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 8 years ago | (#14355136)

Too bad a higher power IS needed to explain this- the only question is whether that higher power is intelligent (God) or uninteligent (quantum random). Both are basically theological concepts that absolutely require faith to believe in.

Re:As I peer into my crystal ball... (1)

eclectro (227083) | more than 8 years ago | (#14355055)

Append to the end of evolution "may or may not have been due to a higher power" and move on. Saying it wasn't a higher power is religion

No, saying it in that context would make it string theory.

Re:As I peer into my crystal ball... (1)

The_Sock (17010) | more than 8 years ago | (#14355059)

How about we teach evolution, and don't say one way or the other if a higher power was involved, because science cannot tell either way. That's how it is currently taught, at least in my neck of the woods.

The only peoples religion this steps on is people who believe that we were created by a god in our existing form. The only way to appease them would be to ignore the mountains of evidence and not teach evolution at all. This leads to ignorance.

Re:As I peer into my crystal ball... (2, Interesting)

Television Viewer (941923) | more than 8 years ago | (#14354974)

Predicted comment breakdown for this Slashback

"Little Red Hoax" -- 2 comments
Firefly post-mortem -- 8 comments
EU's Galileo project -- 7 comments
Google/AOL 2purchase -- 9 comments
Blackberry patent case -- 8 comments
Intelligent Design -- 1436 comments

I need lotto numbers. Lotto!!!

But seriously. Why is Intelligent Design such a big deal? I don't get it. Is it possible that God did make everything, and that science is our way of understanding how and what? Do scientists need to say a prayer before measuring how many millilitres is in the graduated cylinder- "Oh dead God, give me the wisdom to tell where the meniscus rests"?

I like to think God made gravity, and he gave use the eyes, ears, hands, and ability to figure out his gigantic crossword puzzle.

Re:As I peer into my crystal ball... (1)

dkf (304284) | more than 8 years ago | (#14355013)

Do scientists need to say a prayer before measuring how many millilitres is in the graduated cylinder- "Oh dead God, give me the wisdom to tell where the meniscus rests"?
Just for your information, most people normally say "Oh dear God, ..."

Well, unless they happen to be worshippers of Osiris or Cthulhu or something else unusual. If that's a description of you, I sincerely apologize.

Re:As I peer into my crystal ball... (1)

The_Sock (17010) | more than 8 years ago | (#14355028)


I like to think God made gravity, and he gave use the eyes, ears, hands, and ability to figure out his gigantic crossword puzzle.


The big deal is that some people want that line taught in science class, as a scientific theory on par with evolution.

Honestly, I couldn't care less if you or any one else believes that God made them out of dirt, or Allah started the ball rolling and created evolution.. or that everything is just one possibility that was bound to happen, given enough time.. that's fine if that's what you want think. Any could be correct, sure, and millions more possibilities. But lets keep science, like evolution, in the science class and keep the rest out.

Re:As I peer into my crystal ball... (4, Funny)

B3ryllium (571199) | more than 8 years ago | (#14355074)

Allah started the ball rolling?

Allah is the Prince?

Islamatari Damacy!

Re:As I peer into my crystal ball... (1)

EnderWiggnz (39214) | more than 8 years ago | (#14355149)

that is one of the funniest non-sequitors that i've ever read.

(grumble grumble... non-sequitors)

Re:As I peer into my crystal ball... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14355022)

If God created Man in His image then that must mean God has man-nipples too.

Re:As I peer into my crystal ball... (1)

grub (11606) | more than 8 years ago | (#14355044)

Does god's cock shrink when it's near something cold like, say, Neptune or Pluto?

Re:As I peer into my crystal ball... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14355113)

And does it get bigger when it gets around uranus? You know you love the heavenly cock.

Re:As I peer into my crystal ball... (2, Funny)

superchkn (632774) | more than 8 years ago | (#14355159)

In my religion, God's a hermaphrodite. Of course God's also on fire, so God needn't be concerned with planets such as Neptune or Pluto. God's also everywhere which, though it may seem to conflict with my assertion that God is on fire, does not because this is a religious statement which needn't pass any scientific tests. Which is odd, since I still cannot understand why Christians (are there any other religions pushing ID?) want this taught in a science class.

Of course, as I'm merely a newly converted hermaphrodite worshipper who created this religion mere seconds ago, I cannot begin to imagine what thoughts may race through my mind after faith permeates my psyche to the point that I can no longer differentiate science from religious belief.

No really, I'm a true believer and strong supporter of religion. There isn't a cynical bone in my body...honest!

Re:As I peer into my crystal ball... (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 8 years ago | (#14355068)

"Little Red Hoax"
This will get the least press because it disproves slashdot Liberal majority that the Bush Administration is out to get them all.

EU's Galileo project
This is a Good for you. For Europe Space Travel. But sending satellites is common practice around the world and although a better GPS system is good it is not that needed for common people.

Firefly post-mortem
Well being I don't get Firefly with my ell-cheapo $7.50 basic cable I can't say much about it.

Blackberry patent case
This is one technology that most techs don't care much for. If slashdot was targeted to PHB then there may be more discussion about it. And basically the ruling continues the status quo.

Google/AOL 2purchase
We all Hate Microsoft, we don't use AOL. We see google as the best that we currently have. It just seems logical.

Intelligent Design
This is something that causes all sides to boil. It is just an easy topic to rant at because it is something that all scientific people have a position on, thus the massive response.

Re:As I peer into my crystal ball... (1)

Photon Ghoul (14932) | more than 8 years ago | (#14355110)

"Little Red Hoax"
This will get the least press because it disproves slashdot Liberal majority that the Bush Administration is out to get them all.


Well actually, it proves nothing about the Bush administration because it had nothing to do with the Bush administration. It only had to do with a student pulling a hoax and some people taking it on face value that someone wouldn't do such a thing.

It could have easily have happened with Clinton in respect to conservatives. Some would say it did happen.

The cloning was real! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14354897)

Turns out the researchers really meant to say they had used the Photoshop clone tool to copy the pictures of the cells. The next step would be to clone the actual cells instead of just the pictures. Small misunderstanding.

Re:The cloning was real! (2, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#14354921)

Turns out the researchers really meant to say they had used the Photoshop clone tool to copy the pictures of the cells. The next step would be to clone the actual cells instead of just the pictures. Small misunderstanding.

Actually, Cloning was determined to be Intelligent Design and tossed out by the courts.

Didn't you get the memo?

Obligatory Office Space... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14355103)

Yeah, uh, so cloning was shown to be intelligent design, so we're going to be using evolution now. Yeah, uh, I'll be sure to send you another copy of the memo...

Yeah (4, Funny)

Idimmu Xul (204345) | more than 8 years ago | (#14354901)

n an earlier Slashdot story, it was reported that a student was investigated for requesting Mao's Little Red Book on inter-library loan. It appears that the story was a hoax.

But that's exactly what they want you to believe!

Re:Yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14354980)

By they, which do you mean:
a) The Man
b) Mass Media
c) The Government
d) Aliens
e) CowboyNeal and his fanboys
f) All of the above

Re:Yeah (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 8 years ago | (#14355039)

if you RTA it doesn't say anything it has soem one high up saying it is unlikely because it would have been in violation of the law.. humm bush.. violating the law.. nahh that is right he is above the law.. yea that is it..

it is one thing to come out and say he is lieing and another to say it is unlikely

Can there be anything worse? (5, Insightful)

Television Viewer (941923) | more than 8 years ago | (#14354904)

"Approximately 50 people have been indicted in relation to a scheme that drained almost $200,000 from a Red Cross fund designed to put money into the hands of Hurricane Katrina victims. From the article: 'Seventeen of the accused worked at the Red Cross claim center in Bakersfield, Calif., which handled calls from storm victims across the country and authorized cash payments to them. The others were the workers' relatives and friends, prosecutors said last week.'"

News stories like this make me sad. I am sad for the people of New Orleans who are suffering. They have lost so much, many have lost loved ones. Many have lost homes. But I am also sad that there is a small number of people who could take advantage of others and steal funds which should have helped the people of New Orleans. What kind of deprived life can a person have where they think it is okay to steal from the less fortunate?

And what is worse is these kinds of actions will make people less likely to donate. They will be wondering "Is my gift really going to help people, or will it be sucked up by greedy people taking advantage of a situation". What can a person do? Give and hope for the best??

Worse? No. (2)

Alaren (682568) | more than 8 years ago | (#14355027)

"What kind of [depraved] life can a person have where they think it is okay to steal from the less fortunate?"

I know what you mean. Just wait until the indictments are over and all of these guys return to their regular jobs as CEOs, lawyers, and politicians.

Ah, but... (2, Insightful)

susano_otter (123650) | more than 8 years ago | (#14354906)

That particular story ("the Little Red Hoax") may have been fake, but it does illustrate, in a very compelling and inspiring way, the very real civil rights abuses going on every day in this country.

Abuses that are so thoroughly not in evidence that the people who believe in them are forced to manufacture them.

Re:Ah, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14354943)

You're kidding, right?

Re:Ah, but... (4, Insightful)

rbochan (827946) | more than 8 years ago | (#14354948)

Yep, the fact that it was a hoax is, of course, one main aspect.

However, the fact that so many people were neither surprised nor outraged that the original story might have happened in the US... just indifferent... was rather depressing.

Re:Ah, but... (2, Insightful)

superchkn (632774) | more than 8 years ago | (#14355042)

So, it could have been the government testing the public's reaction to yet more erosion of our civil liberties, right?

Hey, I'm just kidding...
* superchkn quietly assembles a tinfoil hat out of his holiday Hershey's Kisses...

Re:Ah, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14354958)

You're kidding right?

Re:Ah, but... (3, Insightful)

jordang (31620) | more than 8 years ago | (#14354965)

It does quite the opposite. Any piece of untruthful paranoid rhetoric like this does nothing but dilute the real abuses going on. It adds a level of suspicion and disbelief to anyone with a legimate claim. Really hope you are being facetious with the forced manufacturing claim

See Wolf, Boy who Cried

Hoax? (1)

Stalus (646102) | more than 8 years ago | (#14355016)

I'm a little confused. Nowhere in TFA does it say that the Dartmouth student's claim is a hoax. It says an earlier claim of a similar incident at UC Santa Cruz was false, but does not directly address the Dartmouth claim, which is what the previous Slashdot story is about. They got some random official to say that he doubts it happened, and would be surprised, but no quote in that article says it didn't happen. They admit that the student requested the book, but by a means other than was originally reported.

Sure, the original story should be looked at with skepticism, but keep looking for better evidence that it really was a hoax before reporting it as such.

Re:Hoax? (1)

Russ Steffen (263) | more than 8 years ago | (#14355144)

It reason the article say anything about the student's claim being a hoax is becuase the submitter picked just about the worst possible story to link to. Here a better link [southcoasttoday.com] , taken randomly from a Google search for "Little Red Hoax".

Re:Ah, but... (4, Insightful)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 8 years ago | (#14355051)

but it does illustrate, in a very compelling and inspiring way, the very real civil rights abuses going on every day in this country.

You have got to be kidding.

No, it would seem to prove there are so few cases regarding civil rights abuses that someone had to make one up. Or at least it would lead a logical person to conclude this. I mean, if there are 10s of thousands of real stories, and no one hears about them, and we only hear about this one, and it is fake? Do the math.

There ARE problems with civil rights in limited circumstances in the US, and these fake stories do nothing but HURT those who really have a legitimate bitch. So, rather than prove your point, it counters it.

Re:Ah, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14355162)

I mean, if there are 10s of thousands of real stories, and no one hears about them, and we only hear about this one, and it is fake? Do the math.

Too bad we can't get the religious nuts to apply this same sort of reasoning to the existence of their "god".

Re:Ah, but... (1)

eclectro (227083) | more than 8 years ago | (#14355069)

Abuses that are so thoroughly not in evidence that the people who believe in them are forced to manufacture them.

Please contact the Dept. of Homeland Security in order to report to the nearest reeducation center so you can be reprogrammed.

Re:Ah, but... (1)

snilloc (470200) | more than 8 years ago | (#14355099)

To tell the truth, the strangest part of the story was that the kid didn't get the Little Red Book at the end. I guess I believed the story, but it didn't feel right.

Oh, and how does a fake story illustrate real abuses? wtf?

How about the fact that prior to 2001 the FISA court "modified" only 2 warrants, where after 2001 it has been 179 [nwsource.com] ? Now, if you're the Prez, and you have the choice between letting these cases drop or exercising executive authority (that may, contrary to popular opinion, be perfectly legal) to find terrorists in-country? Even if you come down on the side of sticking w/ FISA, at least admit that it's not exactly a no-brainer to do so when you've been shut down by them so many times.

And since I know not many /.ers read conservative news sources, a recent editorial in The Weekly Standard included this....

On Monday, December 19, General Michael Hayden, former director of the National Security Agency and now deputy director of national intelligence, briefed journalists. The back--and--forth included this exchange:

Reporter: Have you identified armed enemy combatants, through this program, in the United States?

Gen. Hayden: This program has been successful in detecting and preventing attacks inside the United States.

Reporter: General Hayden, I know you're not going to talk about specifics about that, and you say it's been successful. But would it have been as successful-can you unequivocally say that something has been stopped or there was an imminent attack or you got information through this that you could not have gotten through going to the court?

Gen. Hayden: I can say unequivocally, all right, that we have got information through this program that would not otherwise have been available.

Re:Ah, but... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 8 years ago | (#14355166)

sorry, I don't care what he says, I will consider it a lie unless proof or examples are put forward.
We're talking about people who lies are getting are citizens killed, and there civil rights abused.
No more trust, now we need proof.

By they way, I have used my home intelligence to keep tigers away from my home. I can't tell you how it works, what it is, but since I haven't been attacked by tigers, clearly Iave used it to gather information to prevent attacks from tigers.

Firefly translation please... (2, Interesting)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#14354908)

Can someone tell what the heck Joss Whedon's comment is supposed to be? What I read was too weird to be understandable on Slashdot. Either way, sounds like Firefly/Serenity is history and/or J.W. had a massive brain fart without knowing it.

Re:Firefly translation please... (1)

thephotoman (791574) | more than 8 years ago | (#14354928)

What I think he means to say that he's gotten to a point in the story, where, if he cannot find another way of continuing it, he's fine with where it's been left off.

At least, that's how I read things. Your milage may vary.

Re:Firefly translation please... (5, Informative)

Kazzahdrane (882423) | more than 8 years ago | (#14354961)

In my defense, when I submitted the story I included a link direct to Joss Whedon's comment, but it seems it wasn't included when the story was posted (thanks for accepting my submission though, mighty /. Overlords!).
Linky: http://whedonesque.com/comments/9027 [whedonesque.com]

In case you can't be bothered with the link:

"All right, now I have to jump in and set the record straight. EW is a fine rag, but they do take things out of context. Obviously when I said I had 'closure', what I meant was "I hate Serenity, I hated Firefly, I think my fans are stupid and Nathan Fillion smells like turnips." But EW's always got to put some weird negative spin on it. But so we're clear once and for all: If you read a quote saying "I'd love to do more in this 'verse with these actors in any medium" all I'm saying is that Nathan has a turnipy odor. It's not his fault, he doesn't eat a lot of them but everyone else in the cast noticed it and tht's not really something I'm prepared to deal with any more. And Jewel said outright she wouldn't do scenes with him except stuff like the SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER funeral scene which was outside in a high SPOILER wind. So if I do manage to find another incarnation for my beloved creation, it will have been totally against my will.

I hope that clears everything up. Oh, and when I say I want to do a Spike movie, it means I have a bunion on my toe.

-joss (by which I mean Tim)

(no, actually me.)


If that still doesn't make any sense, Joss is basically saying that EW took what he said and claimed he meant something different. He still wants to make Firefly/Serenity stories if he can.

Actually EW (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 8 years ago | (#14355129)

paraphr5ased that very quote:
"Joss loves firefly, and in fact, feels the no one has a turnipy smell at all."

You got to know this grape vine.

Re:Firefly translation please... (4, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 8 years ago | (#14355009)

> Can someone tell what the heck Joss Whedon's comment is supposed to be? What I read was too weird to be understandable on Slashdot. Either way, sounds like Firefly/Serenity is history and/or J.W. had a massive brain fart without knowing it.

Firefly was a leaf on the wind. *CRUNCH!*

Re:Firefly translation please... (1)

Androclese (627848) | more than 8 years ago | (#14355019)

He is being funny. He is taking a shot at EW by saying exactly opposite of what he truely thinks, which is an oppsite exaggeration of what EW printed.

Rest assured, he does *not* hate us Browncoats.

Re:Firefly translation please... (1)

Asakusa (941025) | more than 8 years ago | (#14355075)

Except that he does have a bunion. Don't make less of that. They suck. I know. I have a cousin who does that shit for a living.

About Firefly (1)

thephotoman (791574) | more than 8 years ago | (#14354911)

Well, at least that makes things a little more clear. I want to know how Jewel felt in the pilot of Firefly (by which I mean "Serenity", not "The Train Job") when she had to kiss Nathan on the cheek, given the fact that he smelled so bad.

Though, honestly, I hope he does find another way to tell the story.

A little red hoax (2, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 8 years ago | (#14354914)

This hoax has gotten to NPR and other (More liberal) news agencies as well. Which is really sad, I do want to hear both sides of an argument but when both sides jumps to find a story that proves that other side is bad just makes me sick. Ok you don't care of the of Many of Bushes Anti-Terroism laws but making up stories that show how bad it could be will only smear your side when they find out that it was only a hoax.

the link doesnt say it was a hoax (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14354959)

it says several people claim it was 'unlikely'

Re:A little red hoax (3, Interesting)

geekoid (135745) | more than 8 years ago | (#14355121)

These orginization did not make up the story, they reported what the person said happened.
Of course they jumped on it, they should have, no matter who is in office.
The person who failed here is the liar.

I am so sick of hearing the media called 'liberal'. There is no liberal media, and looking at how they lambasted Clinton over his lie ought to prove that. But then, who would people have to blame for the failings of there party?

Re:A little red hoax (3, Insightful)

d34thm0nk3y (653414) | more than 8 years ago | (#14355143)

What is interesting is how the retraction itself has made front page news. Yet when retractions that would be favorable to "liberals" or whatever always get buried on the back page. The Democrats really need to get their PR machine into the frickin game if they ever want to regain their influence.

Editors - do some editing! (2, Insightful)

Frequency Domain (601421) | more than 8 years ago | (#14354931)

Do we really have to rehash the ID thing yet again? The link is to an article dated December 20, there's nothing new here.

Re:Editors - do some editing! (4, Insightful)

grub (11606) | more than 8 years ago | (#14354953)


Intelligent Design stories (no pun intended) get /. a lot more page views and ad hits.
CmdrTaco: Damn, I need to fill the car.
ScuttleMonkey: No problem, Chief, I'll run another ID rehash!

Re:Editors - do some editing! (2, Funny)

eclectro (227083) | more than 8 years ago | (#14355128)

Do we really have to rehash the ID thing yet again? The link is to an article dated December 20, there's nothing new here.

Yes, but it is a dead horse. And as you know, dead horses need punishing.

Joss Whedon's quote in Entertainment Weekly... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14354940)

...was just entertainment, weakly.

Slightly evil (3, Funny)

hey (83763) | more than 8 years ago | (#14354955)

Should read:

"Two weeks ago, when Time Warner Inc. was on the cusp of signing a sweeping
online deal with Microsoft Corp., a team of executives from the media company's AOL unit traveled to the beast's lair in Redmond, Wash., to make sure everything was in order. ... They had found some of Microsoft's morals to be evil, while the contemplated joint venture with the satanic king contained what they thought were hellish pitfalls."

AOL - Google - Microsoft (3, Funny)

gooman (709147) | more than 8 years ago | (#14354970)

They had found some of Microsoft's technology to be clunky

Let me guess, they were running Windows, right?

With regards to the hoax... (2, Interesting)

Sheetrock (152993) | more than 8 years ago | (#14355001)

It'd be best for liberals to just step away from this one.

I remember after the CBS memo thing a number of people yielded to the temptation to say "Well, maybe the memos were fake, but the information in them must be true."

Occasionally you need to concede that the news gets it wrong instead of trying to bail out a leaky story. It reeks of desperation when instead of simply admitting you've been had on this one you cling to something that is rapidly being proven false. Isn't this the mentality you're trying to fight against?

Re:With regards to the hoax... (0, Offtopic)

LaMuk (257751) | more than 8 years ago | (#14355067)

'Effect' is used as a noun. 'Affect' is used as a verb.
-- Dr. Spock, stardate 2822-3.

Except when it is not. Here is what my Dad says:

The word affect can be both a noun and a verb. The
word effect can be both a noun and a verb. The word affect has a
specialized meaning in psychiatry.

The usual problem is much simpler. To affect something is to
change it. You affect something and cause an effect. In this case,
affect is a verb and effect is a noun. You are usually speaking of a
cause that is related to an immediate and obvious effect.

There are many minor meanings of the two words. Many of the
meanings are obsolete or archaic.

Affect, as a psychiatric noun, means the emotional make up of a
person.

Effect as a verb means to bring something to pass. Example: I
will try to effect a compromise.

As I said above, in most discourse affect is a verb and effect is a
noun.

I hope that I have not affected your interest in words. I hope that
the effect of this message is to enable you to differentiate the
meaning of the two words.

Re:With regards to the hoax... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14355151)

It'd be best for liberals to just step away from this one.

Why did you have to turn this into a partisan issue? Was it such a stretch to think that ALL defenders of American liberties - liberals, democrats, conservatives, republicans, libertarians - could be equally concerned over a (thankfully false) report that the government was investigating people who read Mao's book? Did you honestly think only liberals would raise a stink over such an issue?

Because if that is what you're saying, then you are tacitly admitting that only liberals are defenders of American liberties.

Dartmouth, little red book hoax? (2, Interesting)

FlopEJoe (784551) | more than 8 years ago | (#14355014)

How about the Little Red Book Draws Government Attention hoax [google.com] ? Where slashdot [slashdot.org] and Ted Kennedy [boston.com] believed:

"An unnamed Dartmouth student was visited by Homeland Security for requesting a copy of Mao Zedong's Little Red Book for a class project." From the article: "The student, who was completing a research paper on Communism for Professor Pontbriand's class on fascism and totalitarianism, filled out a form for the request, leaving his name, address, phone number and Social Security number. He was later visited at his parents' home in New Bedford by two agents of the Department of Homeland Security, the professors said."

when, it turns out,

"The University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth student who claimed he had been visited by agents of the Department of Homeland Security for requesting a book written by Mao Zedung through interlibrary loan has confessed to making up the story. The unnamed senior tearfully admitted to the hoax after UMD history professor Brian Glyn Williams confronted him with inconsistencies in his story at his parents' home December 23, the New Bedford Standard-Times reported December 24."

Re:Dartmouth, little red book hoax? (1)

dkf (304284) | more than 8 years ago | (#14355035)

The unnamed senior tearfully admitted to the hoax after UMD history professor Brian Glyn Williams confronted him with inconsistencies in his story at his parents' home...
The confrontation was at the home of Professor Brian Glyn Williams?

Re:Dartmouth, little red book hoax? (1)

superchkn (632774) | more than 8 years ago | (#14355061)

Sure, the pronoun usage is a bit ambiguous, but don't you mean:
The confrontation was at the home of Professor Brian Glyn Williams' parents?

Re:Dartmouth, little red book hoax? (1)

ender- (42944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14355100)


        The unnamed senior tearfully admitted to the hoax after UMD history professor Brian Glyn Williams confronted him with inconsistencies in his story at his parents' home...

The confrontation was at the home of Professor Brian Glyn Williams?


No, it was at the home of Professor Brian Glyn Williams' parents. :)

RIM is getting special treatment (3, Interesting)

bodrell (665409) | more than 8 years ago | (#14355026)

And I'd be willing to bet it has something to do with the 10% of Blackberry users who work for the federal government. Don't get me wrong--I'm also sure NTP's patents are bogus, but that hasn't stopped the millions of other bogus patents (such as Myriad Genetics' downright immoral patent of breast cancer genes [nswccl.org.au] ), or any of the many software patents that keep popping up in /. articles. Why the special treatment for RIM? If I were less cynical, I'd think this was the dawn of an age of rejecting bogus patents, but let's be realistic.

RIM is getting special treatment (1)

Analogworm (941859) | more than 8 years ago | (#14355098)

People should review RIM's behavior during this long struggle before being so glib as to equate NTP's patents to patents for a breast cancer gene. They came to crush a competitor because they duplicated technology in a US company's patent. They didn't do a prior art search before starting manufacturing. It's been a political, not technological battle for them all along. The reason that the money involved has balloned has been due to their blatent disregard for previous judgements. Previously judges wanted to penalize them for flouting US Patent law.

Many techies view Microsoft with contempt because of its monopolistic anti-competitive behavior. Why give RIM the pass to satisfy the argument that there are bogus patents out there? They are crushing the small guy, pure and simple.

I agree, it seems like special treatment to review these patents again. Seems like someone said, "Make this go away." Now, "who said it?", is the question.

Re:RIM is getting special treatment (1)

rewt66 (738525) | more than 8 years ago | (#14355134)

Crushing the small guy? When "the small guy" is a patent vampire, I'm all for it!

Desperation in the patent office (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14355112)

The patent office is starting to attract some serious attention of an official kind. We will likely see legislation that will cause the bureaucrats a world of hurt.

Prior to this, they had pretty much said they would patent anything including business methods. Undoubtedly someone high up in the patent office got a call from someone in a senator's office describing graphically what would happen if the patent office showed itself unable to deal effectively with this problem. It won't help them. Legislation is already in the works.

A Hoax? (1)

jmcharry (608079) | more than 8 years ago | (#14355057)

About the only thing I got from the article was that there was an error in how the book was reported to have been ordered, and there was a similar story from another college that turned out to be false. That gives some credence to the notion it is a UL, but doesn't prove anything. After all, there appear to be mis-statements or mistakes in most news articles. Also, the article didn't claim it was a hoax, just that there was an error in the original reporting.

Re:A Hoax? (0, Redundant)

Swift Kick (240510) | more than 8 years ago | (#14355132)

Yes, it was a hoax, as in "It never happened, the kid made it up"

Go read, please: http://www.southcoasttoday.com/daily/12-05/12-24-0 5/a01lo719.htm [southcoasttoday.com]

The error in the original reporting is that it was all fake. The kid made it up. The parents had no clue. No Homeland Security agents, or any government agents ever spoke to him about any book requests.

Please, please, please just do a google news search if you don't believe it.

I Look Forward to Thread Posters Apologizing (0, Flamebait)

Nova Express (100383) | more than 8 years ago | (#14355084)

..for rushing to make such hasty and ill-informed comments in the original Little Red Book thread [slashdot.org] such as quoting Goering [slashdot.org] or the usual Orwell reference. [slashdot.org]

Then again, this is the Bush-hating crowd, on Slashdot, so perhaps I shouldn't hold my breath.

Re:I Look Forward to Thread Posters Apologizing (1)

nitemayr (309702) | more than 8 years ago | (#14355161)

Yes, because there have never been any documented cases of the US government (any one)overstepping it's bounds and goose-stepping over the rights or freedoms of the citizenry. Never happens, nuh uh. Never ever.

If I even have to, y'know, illustrate that, you are so going to fail History class next fall.
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