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Slashback: BlackBerry, Cloning, Smart Hotels 378

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the a-turn-for-the-worse dept.
Slashback tonight brings some correction, clarifications, and updates to previous Slashdot stories, including more news from the BlackBerry case, a follow up on the South Korean Cloning pioneer, China promising a strong continuation in space exploration, a behined the scenes look at Smart Hotel technology, a change in direction for the Massachusetts OpenDocument war, and a slightly different approach to the intelligent design in schools question. Read on for the details.

BlackBerry closer to a shutdown. WebHostingGuy writes to tell us MSNBC is reporting that Research in Motion Ltd, the company who makes the BlackBerry is nearer now to a shutdown of their US mobile email service than ever due to the recent ruling handed down. From the article: "U.S. District Judge James Spencer Wednesday ruled invalid a $450 million settlement between RIM and NTP Inc., a small patent holding firm of McLean, Va., that maintains the technology behind the popular BlackBerry infringes on its patents."

Cloning pioneer admits to wrongdoing and resigns. moraes writes "The first research group to clone human embryos ran into some ethical difficulties concerning the source of the eggs - allegations were made indicating that the eggs were taken from junior research assistants. The South Korean pioneer, Hwang Woo Suk, has since resigned his official posts and apologized for lying about the sources of eggs used.."

China on the moon by 2020. IZ Reloaded writes "China will send its astronauts to the moon by 2020 according to the Deputy Commander in Chief of China's manned space flight program. Hu Shixiang said that the goal is subject to the government's funding and their ability to build a rocket with 25 tons capacity."

Behined the scenes with Cisco. molotov writes "Cisco installed the system described in the recent Slashdot article about Smart Hotel Rooms in New York City and has a great video about the technology used in a similar project for the Mandarin Oriental Hotel."

Massachusetts gives Microsoft a second chance. An anonymous reader writes "CNet is reporting that Massachusetts is considering adopting the MS Office XML format as a standard to be used to store the state's documents now that it is under review as an ECMA standard. From the article: 'The commonwealth is very pleased with Microsoft's progress in creating an open document format. If Microsoft follows through as planned, we are optimistic that Office Open XML will meet our new standards for acceptable open formats.' Microsoft still does not intend to support the OpenOffice standard." IBM also took the time to weigh in on the issue with a recent letter to Thomas Trimarco.

University sued for supporting evolution. Hikaru79 writes to tell us that two parents are suing the University of California-Berkeley based on the contents of a website aimed at educating teachers. From the article: "Jeanne and Larry Caldwell, the couple bringing the suit against the site, claim that the site delves improperly into religion. While most debates center around whether or not Intelligent Design is "religion in the classroom," the Caldwells are looking to spin it the other way."

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Slashback: BlackBerry, Cloning, Smart Hotels

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @07:04PM (#14152229)
    "Look, we're using a document format that abuses an open standard! That means we're using open standards too!"

    Groklaw's dissection of MS's "open format" is a lot more thorough than mine. Go read it.
    • by MightyMartian (840721) on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @07:12PM (#14152284) Journal
      It appears that politicians and bureaucrats are, after all, mental retards, because they will indeed buy into the notion that if a convicted monopolist puts the word "open" in front of some non-open "standard" (which is itself an abuse of the very notion of a standard), then everything is A-okay. I'm beginning to think that the majority of human beings are sub-standard intellects who deserve to be kicked around by the Napoleon of Redmond and his spooky, violent sidekick Steve "Stinky" Ballmer. I mean, to think that anyone could be some severely mentally challenged that they would buy into this bit of Microsoft's bullshit can only point to mental capacities hovering close to that of brain damaged squid. Such people should be put on display as examples of how retarded the average citizen is that they don't demand and physically force the removal of such an individual should they somehow find themselves in a position of responsibility, even if that position is taking a shit without some help.
      • that the majority of human beings are sub-standard intellects who deserve to be kicked around by the Napoleon of Redmond and his spooky, violent

        With props to Garrison Keillor, I think at best half of human beings are of sub-standard intellect. (If we assume the standard is set at the median).

        -m

    • In closed discussions politicians decided open formats were required to open closed data exchanges. M$ offered a closed word format opposed to the open 'open office' format as they were closed to an open format, thus opening an opportunity for M$ to close the open exchange of data. They could not open thier closed format and they wern't open to implementing an open format so they offered a closed open format. This has closed out the open format and keeps the closed format close to the open closed document f
  • Blackberries? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by PlayfullyClever (934896) <playfull@playfullyclever.com> on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @07:08PM (#14152256) Homepage Journal
    Because clearly, Blackberries only exist so that your bosses boss can send you an email with a sig at the bottom that says "sent from Mr. Big's Blackberry (while rolling down the hgwy in his Z4).

    But seriously, the company I work at recently yanked all blackberry devices and replaced them with Treo 600 and treo 650's.

    the fact that you dont need any "special" software to access email and has the capability of viewing doc and excel attachments was the death spike for the blackberry here at this company.

    and honestly, the treo's have much better sounding audio for phone calls than even the latest blackberry's did.
    • Re:Blackberries? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Until the recent news we were considering replacing our Treo's with blackberries. The Treo's have proven to be too fragile for use by the sales and executive staff. Drop it once, and it usually dies. The black berries are more durable in our experience. T-Mobile is our carrier and they have told us then intend to stop selling the Treo's because they get so many broken ones returned that they are losing money!
    • That's why you tell your boss that the Blackberry 5-Alarm Virus is loose, and if he sends more than five e-mails from his blackberry a day, it'll erase his inbox;-)
    • Re:Blackberries? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Zro Point Two (699505) on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @09:16PM (#14152987)
      Ok, let's go off on a tangent here...

      First, common, be original. Last time there was an article about NTP and RIM I'm pretty sure there was the same comment about the BlackBerry just being something for your boss to email from while speeding down the road. And as you can see by the vast number of different sigs here on /., you don't have to have a BlackBerry to have your sig say "Sent from my BlackBerry".

      That aside, if you are referring to the fact that only execs can afford it, let's take a quick peek at prices here. I can get the newest BlackBerry (8700r) for $499 or I can get the Treo650 from the same provider for $899...hmmmm

      I use a BlackBerry 7290 for my cell phone, and it's pretty decent, I can hear the other person, they can hear me (even in noisy environments) and that's good enough for me. Have you happened to have noticed that the BlackBerry is an EMAIL device, not a phone? You cannot tell me that the Treo can do a better job at email. But the new BlackBerry sure does an amazing job at being a phone as well as an email device.

      I get an attached doc, xls, pdf, ppt, jpg, gif, txt, etc on my BlackBerry and I have no trouble opening it up and viewing it...so that can't really be considered a death spike.

      Obviously your company doesn't take security too seriously if it would rather have every employee using POP to check their email that is sent plain text over the wireless network....as apposed to having a single port open for outbound initiated connections only and full 3DES or AES encryption of messages on the wireless network.

      And "technically" you don't even need special software to use a BlackBerry for email (before you pounce, yes it is email only, not attachments or wireless synchronization) because you can use the desktop redirector.

      This brings up another point. I'm sitting on the bus, I schedule a meeting with someone, and automagically that meeting is in my calendar at work....or how about being out at a conference and getting someones email address...that contact is now synchronized wirelessly to my contacts at the office.

      So, let's see what else people will fire back with....It can't do music. Well, no, but that's what my MP3 player is for, and it sounds a hell of a lot better than ANY pda does.

      It doesn't have a camera. No, but then again it also doesn't have a crappy camera. If I need to take pictures I'm going to bring my digital camera instead of the crappy ones I can get from a cell phone or pda...have you seen the quality of most of them?

      It doesn't do video playback. That's ok, I don't like watching video on a 2.2" screen anyway....hurts my eyes.

      It doesn't have an SD slot. I'm actually up in the air on this one. Given what the BlackBerry actually does, I don't see a need for an SD card. If it did multimedia, then maybe, but then you get into SD or miniSD? What about security? etc.

      The point is that not everyone WANTS or NEEDS all the functionality that the Treo offers, and the core components that most people want/need are offered in both.

      Why the parent was modded to +4 Interesting is beyond me. Is it because one company switched from BlackBerry to Treo? Was it because of their opinion that the phone calls sounded better on the Treo? or was it the rehashed comment about Execs only using it for the Sig?
  • Stupid NTP!!! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by the_humeister (922869) on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @07:08PM (#14152258)
    I don't have respect for such patent holding companies that don't produce anything but litigation. On the other hand, if RIMM loses, I hope they have the balls to pull the government services too.
    • Re:Stupid NTP!!! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by diersing (679767)
      Agreed. How can the judicial branch strike something down but allow an exception for the other two branches of government whilst in the process screwing all the other users?

      Selective enforcement of a ruling is NOT justice (or so I have been told).
    • Re:Stupid NTP!!! (Score:3, Informative)

      Don't forget that RIM sued several companies over the years, enough to get the nickname "Lawsuits in Motion" on theregister.co.uk.

      Live by the sword, die by the sword.
    • My understanding of the situation is that the man behind NTP DID try to innovate and bring a product to market, but his product failed in the marketplace (it was a few years ahead of the market's interest or need of such a product).

      So RIM comes along a few years later, and makes a device that supposedly uses very similiar technology that the patent covers, and makes big bucks with it.
  • RIM Fact or RIM FUD? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Scoria (264473) <slashmailNO@SPAMinitialized.org> on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @07:08PM (#14152259) Homepage
    From the relevant Money article [cnn.com]:

    RIM said in a statement that it would continue efforts to get the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case. The company also reiterated that it has prepared a software upgrade that can be used to work around the disputed patents.

    Several analysts believe that RIM is likely to avoid an injunction by settling, whatever the cost. At the moment, this all certainly makes me glad that I use a Treo.
  • by garcia (6573) on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @07:08PM (#14152260)
    China on the moon by 2020. IZ Reloaded writes "China will send its astronauts to the moon by 2020 according to the Deputy Commander in Chief of China's manned space flight program. Hu Shixiang said that the goal is subject to the government's funding and their ability to build a rocket with 25 tons capacity."

    The Chinese have a huge population and apparently an unknown AIDS victim population that keeps growing. Some estimates are in the 10+ million range.

    China is full of amazing scientists that have been making huge advancements. Why are they pushing so hard for the space race and not for eliminating AIDS and opening their *real* numbers of infection to the world?

    I'm unimpressed with anything they do until they get their ass in gear and stop w/the human rights issues and the government coverups that go along with it. That includes ANY country, not just them.
    • Some estimates are in the 10+ million range.

      Population control?

      Or the belief that advances in one area will carry over into others?

      For example, what would happen to medicine today if we were to take out all the advances in materials and microelectronics due to the space race? No more fancy hip replacements, no more CT and MRI scans, etc. Heck, even finding yur records would be a huge drain on resources.

    • by Lifewish (724999) on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @08:07PM (#14152624) Homepage Journal
      There is a reason Chinese scientists don't protest much and that's because those who are still alive are those who kept their mouths sufficiently shut last time [wikipedia.org].
    • by JanneM (7445) on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @08:12PM (#14152647) Homepage
      China is full of amazing scientists that have been making huge advancements. Why are they pushing so hard for the space race and not for eliminating AIDS and opening their *real* numbers of infection to the world

      Um, because the research knowledge, skills and interest do not transfer well between things like celestial mechanics and materials engineering on one hand, and biomedicine and disease control on the other?

      This kind of thing always seem to crop up, and implicitly assumes that "science" is one monolithic activity within which people are essentially interchangeable. They aren't. Specific skills and talents - and personal interest, which is hugely important in develop the other two - are very different across disciplines. A really, really good physicist could perhaps become a middling plod of a physician, though their heart wouldn't be in it. More likely, they'd become a really good engineer, designing new DVD player models or Hello Kitty merchandice instead.

      Besides, there is no nation on earth without poverty, AIDS or [insert favourite physical ailment here]. What are you doing posting on slashdot when you should be working on your medical degree?
      • by Lord_Dweomer (648696) on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @09:13PM (#14152971) Homepage
        Please mod parent up. I'm so sick of whining "Why are they doing X instead of ignoring all their interests, talents, and passions and trying to cure AIDS?"

        Parent is exaclty right, this isn't like a video game where you just focus your society's scientific developments towards aids research. In real life people have different interests and goals, and not everybody sees their destiny as curing AIDS.

        And who knows what developments a quest to outerspace could unearth that might be relevant to AIDS! Remember, science and technology do not evolve in a linear fashion. Don't believe me? Just watch any of James Burke's Connections series.

        Now...if you want to make an argument about a government aiming in one direction and not another, perhaps you should be discussing their budgets for the alotted programs. Of course you run into the same issue which is that a government cannot simply devote all its resources to one endeavor. Just like any proper investment, you need to DIVERSIFY FOR MAXIMUM GAINS WITH MINIMUM RISKS.

  • by Filthysock (557067) on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @07:10PM (#14152272)
    "Hu Shixiang said that the goal is subject to the government's funding and their ability to build a rocket with 25 tons capacity."
    Good news then, finally something that will be able to lift american space tourists :)
  • In soviet russia (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dr_labrat (15478) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [renoops]> on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @07:11PM (#14152280) Homepage
    religion was illegal...
    ...and people on the whole preferred it that way because it stopped people messing with observable fact. Or lawyers.

    On the other hand they had salt mines...

    But then again if we were to send the lawyers to the salt mines, I think it would solve most of our problems...


    I shal call the new ideology Communiapitalism, or capitunism.


    Crawl before me, ye wealthy, or state funded rather-well-off.

    • Religion was illegal... ...and people on the whole preferred it that way because it stopped people messing with observable fact. Or lawyers.

      On the other hand they had salt mines...

      But then again if we were to send the lawyers to the salt mines, I think it would solve most of our problems...


      Sure thing, and If you ever get arrested, call your doctor.
    • Re:In soviet russia (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Pembers (250842)

      In Soviet Russia, they didn't have God telling them how He'd designed the world and everything in it. Instead they had Comrade Lysenko [wikipedia.org] telling them how to increase agricultural yields through methods that sounded plausible but didn't have a hope of working. It mightn't have been so bad if he didn't have the ears of Uncle Joe and the party machinery...

    • The Intelligent Being chooses YOU!
    • But then again if we were to send the lawyers to the salt mines, I think it would solve most of our problems...

      I disagree. I think that it would just cause more problems.
  • by sinsofthedove (898187) on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @07:17PM (#14152323)
    The more heated the debates over the teaching of creationism/evolution get, the more I worry that it's actually education itself that's being threatened. The article gave a very snarky summary of the learning process - teachers teach, and hopefully the students learn - and it's that very process that's continually being challenged. If this debate leads to a massive shift in favor of homeschooling among parents who oppose the teaching of scientific theory, there will be serious problems in this country.

    Also, their argument is partially based on the fact that the site is government funded. Does this mean that eventually private institutions are going to be the only places allowed to teach without getting hassled? Schools shouldn't operate under fear of suit.

  • by TrumpetPower! (190615) <ben@trumpetpower.com> on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @07:18PM (#14152335) Homepage

    Oh, for crying out lo--

    Look, it's simple. The only thing science and religion have in common with each other is that they're both methods people use to try to make sense of the world around us. Period, full stop, end of the matter.

    Science holds most dear that which can be objectively, repeatedly, independently verified. Religion, on the other hand...religion is nothing without faith.

    And a person with faith is one who makes conclusions about that which he has concluded is inconclusive, has knowledge about that which she knows is unknowable. Faith is not ``willful ignorance,'' but rather ``willful insanity'' or ``willful idiocy.'' Faith is a thing deserving not praise and respect, but pity and scorn.

    To equate science with religion in this context in an attempt to force their superstitious mindfuck on people is just about the most reprehensible thing I can think of--especially when you consider that these people would be dead without modern medecine, and that modern medicine wouldn't exist without that oh-so-hated cornerstone of science, the Theory of Evolution.

    </rant>

    Cheers,

    b&

    • by Texodore (56174) on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @07:38PM (#14152470)
      Maybe you should read some M. Scott Peck. He argues that science and religion - well, spirituality - aren't that different. He argues, and correctly I believe, that people that question to the point of being agnostic or athiestic are more advanced spiritually than zombies in a church building, be them fundamentalists or progressives.

      Both are a way to make sense of the world. Conclusions from science will come and go just as do religions. A better model of the world will be developed in physics one day, the Big Bang theory may change, just as deism is in its dying throes.
      • This is a pretty odd claim. The only scientific theories I know of that were actually tossed out were some early views on the geological evolution of the planet. Theories are very rarely ever thrown out. They may be subsumed into another theory (as Newtonian mechanics was subsumed into Relativity), but scientific theories are such rigorous entities, and based solely on the evidence, that it's very unlikely that theories will be outright thrown out. Whatever replaces the Big Bang is still going to have t
        • by Planesdragon (210349) <slashdot@@@castlesteelstone...us> on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @11:42PM (#14153916) Homepage Journal
          You're kidding me, right?

          Let's ignore for a moment anything that isn't an aspect of the extant world -- so, no "historial theories" like the discovery of Troy. And we'll let the computers count.
          1. Humors - the idea that our bodies are controlled by four distinct fluids, whose proportions to each other determine our health and general character. Earlier theories about how the heart worked focused around this one. The pre-modern practice of bloodletting was tied directly to this one.
          2. Eugenics - specificially, the sub-theory that pretty white folk are superior to ugly non-white folk.
          3. Columbus's theory on the size of the planet. (No one else wanted to go not because they thought the world was flat, but beause Columbus undershot the estimated size of the world by about 50%)
          4. Life on the Moon: "From the Earth to the Moon" was closer to Science Fiction than Science Fantasy
          5. Hollow Earth: Once a rather well-respected theory, as recently as the 20th century still considered a plausible position.
          6. Infinite Divisibility: There was a time when the concept of both atoms and cells was unheard of in scientific discussion. If you just kept cutting something, you would keep on getting smaller and smaller things of generally the same nature as the larger things.
          7. Bad Air: A theory that disease was caused by the aroma of swamps, graves, illenss, and other forms of decay. Can be considered a variant of Humors.
          8. Atomic Holocaust: Before Truman gave the OK to test the first atomic bomb, there was a scientific theory that such a detonation would ignigte the helium in the atmosphere and destroy all life on Earth.
          9. Spontaneous Genesis: My favorite dead-theory (the debate over Intelligent Design is really between I.D. and S.G., if you go back far enough). Rather than having all creatures under the sun born from like creatures, scientific minds once held that life sprang naturally fron an environment -- a frog would spring from a swamp, for example. (Frogs are actually a good test for this, as if you don't realize that tadpoles are baby frogs you don't have any baby Frogs.)
          10. Merchantilism: A theory about human behavior is still a scientific theory, and the idea that a nation's economic health is best measured by the gold in its coffers took a long time in dying.
          11. Alchemy: The granddaddy of all debunked theories. At the time of the dawn of science, all learning was in the form of Alchemy -- its mystic and purposefully cryptic overtones hid the foundations of what became chemistry, but those foundations were wrapped up in a theory of how things worked that was fundamentally different than even early medieval chemistry.
          12. Homosexuality as a mental illness: Medicine is also a science.
          13. Freud's picture of the Psyche: While Freud was the pioneer of his field, his actual theories have been largely discarded. Even those that still practice Freudian psychoanalysis generally use different theories to guide in their interpretations.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Science answers 'how'. Religion answers 'why'.

      Yes, that's somewhat broad, but I don't see why you need to call those who are religious idiots or insane. Let's not forget there are plenty of scientists out there who also happen to be religious. Just because they have faith doesn't mean they stop searching for the answer to questions.
    • Personally, my faith is a perosonal choice about certain things that cannot be conclusively proven either way.

      You can't prove there isn't a God, and I can't prove there is a God.

      It's technically falacy to make the assumption either way that he does or does not exist.

      Still, I prefer a world where God exists, thus I choose to believe in him.

      Call it "willful idiocy" if you want, but if it's a knowing, concious and rational decision... I don't see how you can support such an assertion.
      • Krach42 wrote:

        You can't prove there isn't a God, and I can't prove there is a God.

        Sorry to burst your bubble, but I almost certainly can prove that your god doesn't exist. I've a rather good track record at proving various deities to be as real as a married bachelor.

        Tell me a defining characteristic of your god--something that, if your god didn't have it, it would be nothing--and I'll tell you if your god could even possibly exist outside the realm of fantasy and illogic. For exampl

        • My God is neither omnipotent, omniscencient, nor morally perfect. He is also non-coporial, and non-physical. He simply drove the creation of the universe, and set into motion the events that resulted in us.

          Why isn't he omnipotent? Because he can't intrude upon freewill.

          Why is he not omniscencient? Because this causes too many problems with him knowing the result of a freewill choice before that choice is made, thus leading to a paradox. The only way I can resolve that paradox is with God being less tha
      • "You can't prove there isn't a God, and I can't prove there is a God."
        first, you don't prove a negative.

        Second, all test I have conducted returned the results that there is no god.

        "It's technically falacy to make the assumption either way that he does or does not exist."

        but all testing for god comes back negative. so the thoery there is no god stands, while the hypothosis that there is a god should fall to the way side.

        "Still, I prefer a world where God exists, thus I choose to believe in him."

        even the most
        • If you attempt to test for the presence of something, and get a negative result, there are two possible reasons -

          1. The thing does not exist.
          2. Your test was not sufficient to test for its existence.

          I see no reason for a failed test to cause someone to stop believing in the existence of someone. If people did that, science wouldn't exist.

          A scientist believes something - then designs a test to prove it.
          If he proves it, he publishes his results and (hopefully) others are able to verify it.
          If he fails to prov
      • by TubeSteak (669689) on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @08:28PM (#14152747) Journal
        The only problem is that most* people don't make a rational decision about it. They just stick to what their parents believe in.

        An 8 year old child doesn't have the mental capacity to make a rational decision about what God is and whether he exists. Young minds are unable to distinguish between fact and fiction.

        Teaching children relegion from a young age is no different than teaching love for Chairman Mao. It's just like any other kind of programming: garbage in, garbage out

        *most != all
      • You can't prove there isn't a God, and I can't prove there is a God.

        It's technically falacy to make the assumption either way that he does or does not exist.

        Uh- no.

        Whomever makes the positive assertion (i.e. something exists) has the burden of proof.

        In this case the people who claim there is a god/deity/supreme/whatever have to prove their assertion.

        It is not the responsibility of the challenger to prove their assertion, in other words to prove that god/deity/supreme/whatever does not exist.

        Any attempt to p
    • modern medicine wouldn't exist without that oh-so-hated cornerstone of science, the Theory of Evolution.

      What is this argument based on? The fact that both modern medicine and evolution are both "modern", and must therefore be intimitely interrelated? What, exactly, about anaesthetics, or surgery, or germ theory, or gene theory, or antibiotics, or you-name-it related to modern medicine depends on the idea that all life is descended from a common ancestor? And if it wasn't the "common ancestry" part of evolu

    • Faith is not ``willful ignorance,'' but rather ``willful insanity'' or ``willful idiocy.'' Faith is a thing deserving not praise and respect, but pity and scorn.

      And how much faith do you have in evolution being true?

      • Faith? I have no faith in evolution.

        I do have knowledge that the hypothosys of evolution has been tested enough to make it a theory, and that continuing tests seem to bear it out.

        remember, Gravity is a theory as well; Or do you believe your god sucks?
    • by fade-in (839519) <f4d3.1n@gmail.cPLANCKom minus physicist> on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @07:58PM (#14152579) Homepage Journal
      Kind of funny how the comments that are pro-faith ( or at least tolerant to faith ) don't get modded up like the anti-faith comments. I thought the beef was as much about people being bigots as it was about who's "theories" stand up best in a lab... but I digress

      To me, the funniest thing about this whole debate is how nobody seems to see that science and religion don't need to be stepping on each other's toes. They provide answers to two completely different questions. Science asks "how" and religion asks "why"? What's the problem with that?

      Being a believer myself, I can understand the need some folks feel for having faith in their life. It gives us hope, resilience, and teaches us how to find happiness and peace.

      But believing doesn't mean that I can't see the value of science - I know that my life is quantifiably better because of medicine and other technologies, and I'm very thankful for those as well.

      I guess the bottom line for me is that science doesn't try to tell me how I should live my life, and relgion doesn't tell me all of the nuts and bolts of how I came to be alive. They both have their own domains, and they are both very important within their own bounds.

      Fundies trying to teach religion in a science class is just as shameful as a scientist saying that I'm deluding myself by believing in something that he/she hasn't experienced.

    • Science holds most dear that which can be objectively, repeatedly, independently verified. Religion, on the other hand...religion is nothing without faith.

      Yes that's true.

      And the reason evolution is often categorised into the latter is due to evolution so far standing up to none of the former.

    • We are apes. We exhibit a degree of dimorphism between the sexes in that males tend to be larger. Other than sexual dimorphism there is little in the male's repertoire to court females as is seen in the bright plumage of birds and other species. One thing that distinguishes us from other speicies is our relatively big brain and, as an outgrowth of our big brain, language. Our brain uses huge amounts of resources and, it's been suggested, is co-evolutionary with growth of our complex social organization.

      It f

    • > Faith is a thing deserving not praise and respect, but pity and scorn.

      Ah, the legendary inclusiveness and tolerance the left is famous for is again on display for all to behold. NOT.

      Listen up moron, boiled down to the basics every 'religion' is just an attempt to understand the universe. Science is just one of the many religious belief systems practiced on this world so why don't you just learn a little tolerance for those with differing beliefs.

      After all it was RAH who said "One man's religion is an
  • Why not China? It is an awesome adventure and everyone would learn from it.

    NASA would rather spend their money on a space station, I think they should go back to the moon instead. Send an unmanned mission first maybe, then they could learn from this probe and send another manned mission.

    I think there is still much more to learn from the moon. It seems to be a better use of money rather than simply orbiting Earth, which many satellites already do very well.
    • Someone needs to go to the moon, eh? Why? That's the question NASA couldn't answer in 1973, and that's the question they can't answer now. I'd rather see my tax money go into something that had some chance of being usefull, like the space elevator or solar power satellites.
      • How is the space elevator more useful than exploring the moon?
        • Because spending tons and tons of money on something that we have neither the technology nor the materials to build is good Slashdot policy. Oh, wait, I forgot, we can build it from Buckminster fullerenes! Nevermind that they're well below the physical tensile strength required to build a space elevator. Nevermind that we can't even build a bridge out of them, or anything else. You have to understand that there's a Slashdot Reality Distortion Field that is generated by too much Science Fiction (don't ge
      • Considering the recent five Mars landers:
        • The first was good. We tried out a neat new landing technique. We got some modern sensors on the planet.
        • Mars Polar Lander failed. Damn. The poles have interesting frost or snow. Try again? No, too hard...
        • The UK threw something at Mars. Whee. Supposing it had worked, so what? It wasn't polar or otherwise special.
        • We send a rover. It's basically a clone of the last success.
        • Uh... make that two.

        Now what do we plan? More non-polar Mars landers! Big ones! We can se

    • For crying out loud... we've already been to the moon!
    • I think they should go back to the moon instead.

      Have you looked [nasa.gov] at the NASA webpage lately?

      Send an unmanned mission first maybe

      You mean like the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter [nasa.gov]?
  • 1+1=2 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fermion (181285) on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @07:41PM (#14152483) Homepage Journal
    Most teach that 1+1=2, that phenomem require a cause, and that even if the cause is unknown, the cause is natural origin, not the arbitrary whim of supernatural being. There is a matter of faith in all this. We have faith that the laws of physics have been in effect since the t=0 that some would call the big bang, and will be in effect until such a time the universe might disintegrate. We also have faith that the laws of physics work uniformly throughout the universe. The articles of faiths are called assumptions, and are as often ubiquitous as 1+1=2.

    Science may someday become a religion. Science may sometimes hunker down behind it assumptions, basking in the booty that it's greed and prejudice has gained, arguing that others are profiting immorally while it'w own priests are sitting in palaces, wearing funny hats, eating scrumptious meals, handing down edicts, while the rest of world starves and die becuase protective devices and medicines are prohibited due to vague holy sciprt, but that has not happened yet.

    What has happened is that science has the metacognition to understand that the dangers lie in the assumptions. Scientists dare each other to prove that the constants are constant. They dare each other to come up with wilder hypothosis, and then destroy each other in the process of proving it.The holy wars are bloodless fueds posited through the journals, not barbaric spats on involving noose, or fire, or rape. The vested interests can be unseated with a simple allegation of impropriety. All work is open to public, not hidden behind doors that never see an opposing opinion.

    Now, i am not implying that all is perfect, but sciences subversion of religion is deeper than religion. if one believes in natural cause and effect, then one cannot believe that god destroyed new orleans for being a city of sin. One cannot believe that god sent AIDS to kill the infidels of sub saharan africa. One cannot believe that one or two or a few people have a holy authority to dominate the rest of the world. One cannot believe that killing people who look different of believe different from you will result in your ascent to the promised land.

    So, all this is not about evolution. Evolution is applied science, biololgy. Useful, and part of cause and effect, but only important as a stepping stone. This is about various groups of people ability to say I am better because I believe in this piece of writing or this creed. This is about someone saying I have the right to impose my will on other people and damage other people, or discriminate against other people, because I believe that god has given me that right. And if I have to kill people, then god has given me that right as well.

    Church, unfortuntaly in many cases, has become the last holdout to a civilized society. Nowhere else can one legally hire on the basis of color or belief, caste out on the basis of belief, and get away with hate speech. The evolution debate is one of the last gasps in a long war perpetuated by those who profit off discrimination and hate. Many more will be hurt because those who are willing to kill for profit are vanquished.

    • Re:1+1=2 (Score:5, Funny)

      by the_humeister (922869) on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @08:06PM (#14152617)
      I thought 1+1=10
    • Re:1+1=2 (Score:5, Insightful)

      by benjamindees (441808) on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @08:57PM (#14152906) Homepage
      if one believes in natural cause and effect, then one cannot believe that god destroyed new orleans for being a city of sin. One cannot believe that god sent AIDS to kill the infidels of sub saharan africa. One cannot believe that one or two or a few people have a holy authority to dominate the rest of the world. One cannot believe that killing people who look different of believe different from you will result in your ascent to the promised land.

      Sure you can. Just depends on what you believe the original "cause" is. Somehow I don't think there is even yet a theory of an ultimate "natural" cause.

      Church, unfortuntaly in many cases, has become the last holdout to a civilized society. Nowhere else can one legally hire on the basis of color or belief, caste out on the basis of belief, and get away with hate speech. The evolution debate is one of the last gasps in a long war perpetuated by those who profit off discrimination and hate. Many more will be hurt because those who are willing to kill for profit are vanquished.

      Now listen to you. Who's "imposing their will on other people" now? Who's casting their arguments in terms of good versus evil? You want the freedom to propagate your speech, on the public dime no less, yet you would deny the same right to others based on your arbitrary determination of what is "hateful"?

      You believe taking money from the public in order to fund an agenda with which you happen to agree is "civilized". And those who are in opposition to your agenda, in fact, who are being targeted by it, disagree. Why should my government support either of you via my taxes?
    • Re:1+1=2 (Score:3, Funny)

      by Turbs (916600)
      Science may someday become a religion.

      Scientology?
    • Re:1+1=2 (Score:3, Interesting)

      by marcosdumay (620877)

      Just to clarify things a bit...

      Nobody never said that you should belive that the uneverse, or life or anything else has a complete explanation. What we want you to do is to try to explain it, what is a completelly different beast. And we also have some nice explanation to encorage you, and they work! But are not complete. If you go into any science, you'll find several people that are awsomed by the fact that we can explain something, what is not a trivial thing.

      Science don't belive blindly on cause and e

  • by OzPhIsH (560038) on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @08:09PM (#14152631) Journal
    Most people here seem to agree that this whole Blackberry fiasco is rediculous. From the article:

    "NTP, inc. a small patent holding firm of McLean, VA., that maintains the technology behind the popular blackberry infringes on their patents" This is a textbook case of the abuse occuring in our patent system. NTP doesn't make stuff. They're a patent holding firm. Did RIM steal resources and technology from NTP? NO. Was the idea of a wireless e-mail device a non-obvious one? NONo. Did NTP really create any kind of technology? No. Did RIM come up with the idea independently of NTP, and actually execute on it, actually spending the money to engineer an actual device? Yes. If NTP wants to bitch, I think they should at LEAST have a fucking PRODUCT on the market. Instead, they sit on a non-invention and decide to sue when someone else thinks of it as well, because they think they can just prfit from everyone else's hard work. This is complete bullshit.
    What REALLY gets me, is that congress practically runs on Blackberry. Just this past Thanksgiving I happened to be sitting on an airplane right next to my state senator Mitch McConnel. He's blackberrying away like the whole time from Louisville to Philadelphia. (I couldn't help but think of that American Dad episode where they steal Cheney's). But it is pretty well known that almost all of these senators and representatives are using blackberries for their wireless communications. So why aren't they speaking up about this. When a product they they use and rely on daily is threatened out of existance in the US, because of the laws that THEY have enabled, I mean, shouldn't this send some kind of wake-up call that patent law is serious FUCKED UP? I have actually read (please correct if wrong or confirm if really true) that blackberry service would shut down for everyone in the US except except for high ranking government officials, because they rely on the devices so much. Isn't this a huge double standard? Can they really say that our laws outlaw this technology for everyone except for them, because while it infringes patents, it is just too important for us political elite to not have. Obviously this should show that patent law in its current form is NOT contributing or encouraging the progression of science and useful arts.

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