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Slashback: Little Red Hoax, Firefly, Google 508

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the taking-what-isn't-yours dept.
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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Slashback: Little Red Hoax, Firefly, Google

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  • by jellomizer (103300) * on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @08:00PM (#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.
    • by gkuz (706134) on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @08:08PM (#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.

    • 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.

      • 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.
        • How do you prove a negative?

          MEEP! BEEP! The bullshit-o-meter just burst!

          Any statement of fact can be written in positive or negative form, so your statement simply says you can't prove anything at all. Positive: "I am going to the park today." Negative: "I am not going to remain outside the boundaries of the park today." Or more simply, "It is not true that it is not true that I am going to the park today."

          And in case you really believe the statement, "You can't prove a negative.": I'd like to see yo
          • Any statement of fact can be written in positive or negative form, so your statement simply says you can't prove anything at all. Positive: "I am going to the park today." Negative: "I am not going to remain outside the boundaries of the park today." Or more simply, "It is not true that it is not true that I am going to the park today."

            Double negatives are not true negatives. So sorry, you lose on that one. Please try again.
          • Careful - rightnext to the bsometer is the wasnt-paying-attention-in-junior-high-ometer.

            The g.p. is refering to the scientific principle that you cannot prove an absolute negative. In general, it is a warning not to infer too much from one's own limited perspective of the universe.

            For example, "I can see no stars in the sky at this time" is much more easily supported than the statement "There are no stars in the sky." The statement, "I found no fish in this pond" is sensible, but the statement, "This

            • by MustardMan (52102) on Thursday December 29, 2005 @01:22AM (#14356390)
              This is misleading. The theories have not been disproven. They have simply not been proven. The fact that they have not, to date, been proven, does not imply that they are disproven.


              This is incorrect. It HAS been proven that hidden variables are mathematically incompatible with quantum mechanics. Try looking into the EPR paradox and bell's inequality. That's not to say there are no hidden variables, but quantum theory works damn well, and it's incompatible with hidden variables - so it's a whole lot more convincing an argument than simply "it hasn't been found yet"

              Ask any metaphysicist.

              Yeah, while you're at it, ask an astrologist, a tarot card reader, a televangelist, and a reporter for a tabloid mag.
        • God IS in the gaps. He always has been. The gaps are just perpetually shrinking as science fills the gaps with explanations that prove things behave deterministically. :)
        • by phritz (623753) on Thursday December 29, 2005 @12:39AM (#14356198)
          How do you prove a negative?

          Two ways:
          1)if a theory says A is true, find an example where A is not true. I.e., a counter-example = proof of a negative.
          2)Logical deduction, i.e. mathematical proof. Hidden variables are proved not to exist by a mathematical theorem (Bell's Theorem, specifically).

          You can't prove there's no god, because God isn't formulated as a scientific theory. You can prove there are no hidden variables, since quantum mechanics is a scientific theory.

          • > if a theory says A is true, find an example where A is not true. I.e., a
            > counter-example = proof of a negative.
            A counter-example disproves a positive, which is quite different from proving a negative in general.

            e.g. someone claims that all apples are red.
            I produce a green apple.
            I have proven that not(all apples are red), that is there exists(apple which is not(red)). I have not proven all apples(are not(red)), which is proving a negative, because I only showed you one example.

            However, you are corre
    • by kermyt (99494)
      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!
      • by Anonymous Coward
        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.
        • Darwinism (Score:3, Insightful)

          by sadtrev (61519)
          Evolution is a process that is a logical consequence of three observable phenomena :
          1 - random mutation
          2 - suvirval of the fittest
          3 - inheritance of characteristics from parent(s) - including the random mutation
          Darwinism is the theory that all variation in life on Earth has arisen solely as result of this process. Proponents of ID are not the only people that object to Darwinism - there is credible evidence for some mechanisms of non-random mutation.

          Creationists using these subtleties is comparable t

    • by tgibbs (83782) on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @08:24PM (#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.
    • by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @08:27PM (#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.

    • 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.
    • 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 f
      • "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 "

        Your comment has sparked me to point out one of the reasons that many athiests are so against people who believe in heaven. Now, please do not take this as an insult...its just a personal view that I've known many people to share.

        Many of us see religion as the "opiate of the masses". Faith truly does offer some solace from the void that ultimately lies before us

  • by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @08:01PM (#14354876) Homepage Journal

    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.
    • 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 bef

    • "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
      • "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.
    • I agree, and to start the ball rolling:

      I don't believe in ID. That said, I don't at all agree that it's unconstitutional, or even improper. Perhaps it *should* be (although I don't think so), but I don't see anything to substantiate the argument that such prohibitions currently exist. The two arguments in favor of separation are as follows: 1) The constitution prevents the establishment of religion in the First Amendment, and 2) Congress has no power except that which is explicitly granted to it, theref
      • by d34thm0nk3y (653414) on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @10:02PM (#14355450)
        1) The constitution prevents the establishment of religion in the First Amendment, and 2) Congress has no power except that which is explicitly granted to it, therefore it can neither support nor discourage religion.

        You don't consider teaching one particular sect's creation story in a science class support?

        The theory of ID...

        ID is not a theory, at most it is a hypothesis

        ...on its own makes no claim as to whom this being might be, what its motives were, or how we should regard it.

        Except (by your own words) that it must be a being in the first place. That is a pretty specific claim

        Acknowledging an opposing viewpoint is not anti-science; rather it is the very foundation of science. To blindly follow any hypothesis or theory without regard to alternatives is the definition of bad science.

        All opinions are not equally valid in science. Only those opinions that can be tested in some way count. To blindly posit a hypothesis with no way to verify it and call it a theory is the (literal) definition of bad science in that it does not follow the scientific method.

        On the second point, sociology is science, and religion is part of sociology. Sociology is not hard science like chemistry or physics, but it's science nonetheless.

        Sociology class is not Biology class. People would not be nearly so upset it they were suggesting it for the sociology curriculum.

        On the third point, Congress only has powers which are granted to it by the Constitution.

        And converselty cannot wield powers that are specifically denied it. Of course, we are talking about the judiciary branch re: the article. To get to the heart of the matter (FTA): We find that the secular purposes claimed by the board amount to a pretext for the board's real purpose, which was to promote religion.

        Case closed (thank God).
        • ID is not a theory, at most it is a hypothesis

          And ID doesn't even qualify as that. ID is innately untestable and therefore not falsifiable. If we can't even test the validity of a statement, can we call it a hypothesis?

          Jason.

      • I don't believe in ID. That said, I don't at all agree that it's unconstitutional, or even improper

        Neither does the judge, as far as I understood him. The whole thing was not about whether ID is constitutional or proper, it was about whether ID should be thaught in science classes or not.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @08:04PM (#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.
    • 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?

  • Yeah (Score:4, Funny)

    by Idimmu Xul (204345) on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @08:05PM (#14354901) Homepage Journal
    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!
  • by Television Viewer (941923) on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @08:06PM (#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??

    • "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... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by susano_otter (123650)
    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... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rbochan (827946) on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @08:13PM (#14354948) Homepage
      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... (Score:2, Insightful)

        by superchkn (632774)
        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... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jordang (31620)
      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
    • Re:Ah, but... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Pharmboy (216950) on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @08:32PM (#14355051) Journal
      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... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Belseth (835595)
        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.

        Got to differ with you are the rariety of civil rights abuses. They are getting out of control in this country. In some cities people are getting shot for disorderly conduct and other crimes that wouldn't nessaccarily involve jail time. Ignoring an officers orders shouldn't be grounds for execution in

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

        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.

        Well, it is completely theoretically possible that the government is violating the amendment about unwarranted search and seizure for thousands or millions of people without any of them knowing
    • 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.

    • 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

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

        by NeutronCowboy (896098)
        I don't understand how the quote helps your case. When pressed for clarification, the general simply states: we have got information through this program that would not otherwise have been available.

        He said nothing about whether that information was actually useful. It doesn't contradict his initial statement, but it's really more of an obfuscation rather than a clarification.

        I also don't see how the fact that after 2001, 179 FISA requests have been modified illustrates that abuse has lessened. If anyth

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

        by technos (73414)
        Gen. Hayden: I can say unequivocally, all right, that we have got information through this program that would not otherwise have been available.

        So he got information he didn't already have. So what. It could have been anything from the bust size of a 1930's pinup girl to the fact the wiretap recipient likes to say "unh hun, and then what?" every five seconds while his mother in law is on the phone to piss her off.

        The fact they obtained information doesn't mean it was useful, or legally, or morally correct t
  • by creimer (824291) on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @08:08PM (#14354908) Homepage
    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.
    • 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.
    • by Kazzahdrane (882423) on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @08:16PM (#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.
      • Well that certainly explains.....er....no.....seriously, wtf is he talking about!
        • Basicly what Joss is saying is that about the only thing that EW got right on their report is that he is comfortable with the prospect that there will be no more Firefly adventures. That is not to say that he does not love the show. It is not to say that there is anything about the show that he does not feel could be continued. It is not to say that he has any issues with any of the actors or actresses in the show or the movie.

          The quote that he provided in his rebutal is to say that EW took statements of hi
      • 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.
    • by Tackhead (54550) on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @08:24PM (#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!*

    • 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.
  • 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 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jellomizer (103300) * on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @08:09PM (#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.
    • Re:A little red hoax (Score:4, Interesting)

      by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland @ y a hoo.com> on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @08:50PM (#14355121) Homepage Journal
      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?
    • by d34thm0nk3y (653414) on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @08:58PM (#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.
  • by Frequency Domain (601421) on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @08:10PM (#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.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @08:12PM (#14354940)
    ...was just entertainment, weakly.
  • by hey (83763) on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @08:14PM (#14354955) Journal
    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."

  • by jtorkbob (885054) on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @08:14PM (#14354957) Homepage
    Seems the editor forgot to post any link to any article about the discovery of the Little Red Book hoax. Here's one.

    http://www.southcoasttoday.com/daily/12-05/12-24-0 5/a01lo719.htm [southcoasttoday.com]
  • by gooman (709147) on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @08:17PM (#14354970) Journal
    They had found some of Microsoft's technology to be clunky

    Let me guess, they were running Windows, right?

  • by Sheetrock (152993) on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @08:23PM (#14355001) Homepage Journal
    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?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      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 t

  • by FlopEJoe (784551) on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @08:25PM (#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."

    • 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?
  • by bodrell (665409) on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @08:27PM (#14355026) Journal
    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.
  • by Anti_Climax (447121) on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @09:09PM (#14355202)
    I really think my Freshman biology book got the creationism vs. evolution thing right. In the first chapter, probably within the first few pages, as it was introducing students to biology at large, it mentioned how most, if not all, of modern biology is built on the theory of evolution.
     
    It went on to say that there are groups which believe that the earth and the creatures as we know them, were created by a higher power. And while this could be possible, it was beyond the scope of a science class as it was not a scientifically testable hypothesis. It finished with suggesting that, should you wish to learn more about the idea of creationism, you should contact the clergy of your church of choice.

    Simple, Factual, not more than a parapgrah. Now if only I could remember who published that text book.
  • Hoax Hoax? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by lousyd (459028) on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @09:14PM (#14355227)
    Just for the record, if you believed so readily in the "fact" that Homeland Security was visiting this guy for requesting the Little Red Book, then what makes you think you're not doing it again with the "fact" that it's a hoax? Is there any more evidence or proof that it's a hoax than that it was true in the first place? If an article on the Internet can deceive you in the first place, what makes you think it's set you straight now?

    Just food for thought. I believe there is a reality, and that there's a truth in this situation. But I'm not sure I have the evidence for what it is. "It's a hoax!" just means that we have to start thinking rationally and not be so ready to accept everything we read. Let's start right here.

  • NTP v. RIM rtfc... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Internet Ronin (919897) <internet...ronin@@@gmail...com> on Thursday December 29, 2005 @12:08AM (#14356076)
    Okay, I am not a lawyer, but I play one on TV...
    (seriously though, I often do legal research)
    and quite frankly people need to RTF case. The judge has explicitly said "I don't tell [the patent office] their job, they don't tell me mine." What that means, and it's listed EXPLICITLY that the judge in the case doesn't give a hoot about the Patent Office ruling, and that he (not will not, implying no decision has been rendered) DID not grant RIM's motion to stay pending patent ruling.

    He also clearly states that part of the main reason for his rejection of this judgement is that he buys COMPLETELY NTP's argument that if the patents are rejected, they will appeal, a process that could drag on for years (RIM contends it would only be a few short months).

    Furthermore RIM is guilty throughout the trial of what is considered 'bad behavior.' There was considerable question that RIM followed all necessary protocols (particularly with an internal investigation of whether the patents were reasonably valid). This is backed up by conflicting evidence from the varies executive party at RIM.

    Okay, so no one seems to get this, but I'll spell it out for you, and link the document: RIM lost. Not will lose, not might lose, HAS lost. Their 45 page appeal proceeding (one needs Lexis Nexis to access it, thus I won't be posting that one here) reads VERY poorly for RIM. In fact the only part that was remanded to a lower court does little to allow them to win. NTP won. RIM is in violation (imho because they a.) engaged in 'bad behavior,' which is to say trial etiquette and b.) during the Markman hearing [a hearing where the judge determines things like definitions and scope of patents, est. 1996, Markman v. Westview Instruments] they did horrible job allowing NTP to fully dominate definitions of email and patent scope, giving them enough broad leeway to technically sue any computer manufacturer that makes a wifi laptop that can check e-mail, but I digress... and c.) their initial arguments (which cannot be dropped in favor of new arguments unless the appeal strikes those specifically, and it didn't) were ridiculously weak, and essentially claimed that the Intel chipset inside was the RF device (the NTP patents specifically call for an RF device), not the Blackberry pager itself, and therefore was not liable for infringement (no judge in the WORLD would buy this argument on common sense alone, but there is numerous precedent in US patent law that clearly says that by possessing this part, RIM infringes)...

    Here's how it's going to end:
    RIM is going to pay NTP a ton of money.
    Everyone's going to keep their Blackberries.
    In 2012 (when the original patents expire, and thus the payments mandated by the court) or whenever RIM migrates every BB customer to a non-infringing system (whichever comes first) NTP stops getting paid.

    Please note, I'm a huge fan of RIM. I think RIM should have won this case hands down, and I passionately pursue research in the area strictly as a hobby, as a fan of both law and technology. I believe that RIM was doomed from the beginning, and a few /. nerds on the defense team would have heavily swung this in the opposite direction (also a little more corporate courtesy on RIM's part). Seriously though, I've heard nothing but nonsense about this case, and I'm happy for a chance to set the record as straight as I have found it.

    Here is the rejection by the honorable James Spencer of RIM's motion for a 'stay of proceedings' pending review of the patents by the USPTO.
    http://news.findlaw.com/hdocs/docs/rim/ntprim11300 5opn.pdf [findlaw.com]
    It's a PDF, and an enlightening read.
    Enjoy.
  • by edeity (190828) on Thursday December 29, 2005 @01:28AM (#14356414)
    Intelligent Design is not provable as a theory, because they are yet to admit that Midiclorians prove the truth of Intelligent Design.

    The Force is the manifestation of Intelligent Design. Midiclorians are its agents, shaping and forming all life.

    Light Saber training should be included within the High School Science Curriculumn. This will also be very popular with High School students and renew their interest in Science, and additionally is a mechanism to make sporting oriented students have as much to offer science in the classroom as academically oriented students. In this way Science will also be more supportive of diversity.
  • by starX (306011) on Thursday December 29, 2005 @03:03AM (#14356791) Homepage
    Because I hadn't heard of the "Little Red Hoax" story, but if I had, I wouldn't have believed it. The department of Homeland Security showing up to harass a colege student for requesting a book through ILL that anyone can go to the local Barnes and Noble and buy right off the shelf? That doesn't make any sense. Misguided and draconian as some of the DHS's policies may seem, I have to believe that really they do have the best of intentions, and besides, if the government did ever think to institute a thought police, any right thinking individual would know that the first place they would go would be those darker corners of the net, not books published by trade paperback publishing companies.

    It's got to mean something that prominent people and news organizations picked this up. At face value, it could very well mean that they're just gullible, but I think there is something more legitimate going on. In the wake of the revelation of the Bush administration using the NSA to spy on citizens without getting wiretap warrants (when they are fairly easy to obtain) we have had a range of official responses from "so what?" to "yes we did it, don't you like freedom?" Sadly, this kind of wavering and uncertainty where the truth is concerned is the hallmark of this administr~~~~~ persons with power. This leaves those without power in a position where they don't know what to believe, but always feel safe in assuming the worse. DHS stormtroopers showed up to implant your new baby with a RFID chip? Page one above the fold!

    Unfortunately the natural paranoia that beaten down feel is only exacerbated by a media all too eager to jump on stories like this. Edward R. Murrough turns in his grave at the concept of this talking head journalism, but it sure does sell papers. Rightwing Extremist Nutcase vs. Leftwing Extremist Nutcase generates the sort of polarizing, us or them, emotional reaction quotes that make headlines. For those of you not paying attention, they make headlines because they sell papers.

    So now we have some college student trying to feel good about himself and justify his own existence. With narry a street protest to find to have his head bashed in by the cops (a clear sign that the system has failed when peaceful protests go uninterrupted), and probably not enough initiative to walk downtown to where the proletariat live to participate in one anyway, this anonymous fellow makes up a story that maybe will score him some points with whatever hippy chick in philosophy 101 that he's had his eye on. Really, this kind of story isn't the sort of thing you tell your professor when you're looking for an extension to a paper, nor is it really the sort of thing one admits during an advising session; this is really the sort of thing you say when you're three sheets to the wind drunk and looking to score (score what, exactly, I'll leave to your imagination). So everyone in this thing winds up with egg on their face. The kid who started it, those who believed him, and the journalists who spread the story because it sells papers. Us sane folk who realize we're not living in a police state yet just kind of shake our heads and wonder which is worse, thought police or freedom of stupidity.

Pause for storage relocation.

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