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epiphani (254981) writes "At about 9pm EST today sunspot 1158 erupted in an X-class 2.2 flare. This is currently in orientation to result in an earth-facing Coronal Mass Ejection (CME), which would be the first time in modern history that the results of an X class flare hit earth. If the CME is deemed to be on course for earth, this will likely cause serious problems. The 1989 Quebec power grid failure was the result of an X class flare and its CME that almost completely missed earth." Link to Original Source top
epiphani writes "Byron Sonne of Toronto, was arrested today by a task force of around 50 police officers associated with the G20 summit taking place this week. An independent contractor, IT security specialist and private investigator, he had notable ties to the Toronto technology and security communities. According to friends and associates, he had been purchasing goods online and speaking with security groups about building devices to collect unencrypted police broadcasts and relay them through twitter, as well as other activities designed to test the security of the G20 summit. By all accounts, it would appear that Mr. Sonne had no actual malicious intent. In Canada, the summit has been garnering significant press for the cost and invasive nature of the security measures taken." Link to Original Source top
epiphani (254981) writes "While politics threads here on Slashdot are rare in themselves, Canadian politics are even less common. But in Canada this week, a truly interesting situations has developed that could see the current sitting government removed and replaced by a coalition of the opposition parties. In the Canadian parliamentary system, we elect a local representative to the house, and those representatives are generally associated to a specific party. The party with the most seats (not necessarily a majority of the seats) then forms the Government. In the current case, a minority of the seats were won in an election about six weeks ago by the Conservative party. The three remaining opposition parties have now presented an arrangement that would see them form the Government, after an economic update provided by the Conservatives caused a significant stir — leading to a vote of confidence next Monday. This presents a large challenge, constitutionally, to Canada. The Governor General, the unelected representative of the Queen in Canada, will be making a decision that will dictate the next steps — coalition government or another election after such a short period. This has never before happened. How does the Canadian Slashdot contingent view this situation?" top
epiphani writes "On Sunday, outspoken Scientology critic Mark Bunker posted a teaser of an interview with actor Jason Behge on Youtube — and announced that the full interview would be posted today. The actor had recently left Scientology after 12 years in the organization, and wanted to tell his story to as many people as possible. This afternoon, Youtube suspended Mark Bunkers' account with no notification or explanation. The teaser trailer, mirrored here (NSFW language), had been viewed nearly 600,000 times in the four days since its release. This is the second time in less than a week that a major Scientology critic has had their account suspended — the first being Tory Christman. See a video from Mark Bunker stating his situation here." top
anonymous (254981) writes "This Sunday, February 10th, marks the birthday of Lisa McPherson. Lisa is one of the most high-profile deaths associated with Scientology, and several people were indited from the organization on charges related to her death. After the attempted censorship Tom Cruise propaganda video, Internet communities across the world began to organize responses. Under the vague banner of "Anonymous", protests were held at various Scientology buildings over the past few weeks, now culminating in a worldwide day of protest this Sunday. Rallies have been planned in over 14 countries at more than 75 locations to start at 11am local time, with many locations expecting more than 100 people. The goal is simple: inform the general public to the activities that the church is involved in under the guise and protection of religious freedom. Feel free to join the protests! More information can be found online in many different locations under the term "Chanology"." top
epiphani (254981) writes "At my company, we make heavy use of open source products in almost all work we do. We also spend significant amounts of time customizing those open source packages to our needs, be they for performance or functionality. With the exception of actual bug fixes, we are not generally permitted to return those customizations to the community. The GPL allows us to customize these packages for internal use, and we do not distribute our changes outside our organization. Being an open source developer in my spare time, I can see the value of these customizations, and can see how they could be improved by releasing them into the community. However, the company does not allow us to return them because they are seen as our investment and as our competitive edge over others in the same market. We have thousands of hours of code development and packages we are being forced to maintain internally as a result. My question to the slashdot community — how can I, being a lowly developer, convince our management that it makes more sense to release many of these customizations back into open source? How have people convinced old-corporate management that its a good idea to give away something we just spent three months building?" top
epiphani writes "I'm not an American, and I suppose I see a very different view on what is happening in the USA these days. Recent news has been especially disturbing to me — specifically, the news of legislation passing allowing "detainment" with no requirement on charges, or due process. Also, the news that the Bush Administration has effectively passed laws pardoning themselves from war crimes. Lastly of note, the leaked report on Iraq stating that the war has made the terrorist threat worse. And in the midst of all of this, all I've been reading lately is about how a republican congressman is a pedophile. I have been hearing more and more talk of election fraud here on slashdot and elsewhere, and forum and blog posts have started to take a distinctly different tone on political issues. I would really like to know what the Americans here are actually thinking. Is there actually a general-public concern over what is happening? What is going on in your country?"