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Slashback: Things, Stuff, Items 260

Slashback tonight with more on patents, Douglas Adams, and becoming a Jedi in New Zealand. Please read below for the details;)

Fitting tributes? SEWilco writes "New Scientist reports that an asteroid was officially named "18610 Arthurdent" on May 9; it is not known if Douglas Adams heard of it before he died May 11."

And dclydew writes "We at Binary Freedom would like to propose "Towel Day." May 25, two weeks after Douglas Adams' passing, all fans worldwide are encouraged to carry a towel around for the day."

It would be nice to see Thursday renamed as well.

Wait till the Jedi control the Senate. Slightly aging news, but CuriousGeorge113 writes "According to this Theage.com.au article, the Australian Government has issued yet another warning to Star Wars fans intent on writing in 'Jedi' as their religion in the upcoming census. It appears that this e-mail is beginning to pick up some steam."

Join the parade. Macki writes "Three weeks ago, Ford Motor Company sued 2600 over a DNS entry pointing FuckGeneralMotors.com at the Ford website. A hearing is set for May 18th in Detroit. Supporters are invited to join a caravan to Detroit that will go through up state New York and Canada in time for the hearing. A motion has already been filed for a protective order from legal shenanigans while in Michigan-- it's a good read and gives a thorough run-down of the case."

Open for the public, yes. Delphion may be about to start charging for certain of its formerly free services, but my note that the USPTO should put more documents on the Web was too harsh. A USPTO employee helpfully wrote:

"The United States Patent and Trademark Office offers the entire USPTO Patent database online for free (we've been doing this for some time now) -- just click any of the Search Patents links to get started.

You can search text for all patents since 1976 and view images of all patents since 1790 (except those files lost in the early Patent Office fires and fractional patents). We have the entire available patent database on line. You will need a TIFF image browser plugin (we offer a link to a free plugin on our site).

We also offer Patent Application Publications online. These are pending patent applications received after the new rules went into effect (from March 15 2001 through the present weekly issue). The database consists of the full text of US published applications (including new utility and plant). The full text of a published application includes all bibliographic data, such as the inventor's name, the published application's title, and the assignee's name, as well as the abstract, the full description of the invention, and the claims. All of the words (text) in the publication are searchable."

Thanks for the information. Sorry for being the source of FUD. Now where are the searchable PDFs? :)

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Slashback: Things, Stuff, Items

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Am I the only one who thinks that Ford should, instead of going to court over this, try building decent cars?

  • by Anonymous Coward
    "There are no strict numerical criteria for a religion, but it must show an underlying belief system or philosophy, underpinned by an organisational structure, the ABS said. The census also recognises non-theistic belief systems such as humanism and rationalism." ... IANAA (I am not an australian), but even though Yoda etc. are fictional charachters, Jedi still easily matches the dictionary definition, as well as the aforementioned one.

    Philosophy: Regard for the force as a supreme supernatural power
    Organizational Structure: The Jedi Council

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Towel Day should be June 22nd (42 days after Douglas Adams died) not May 25th (14 days after).
  • by Anonymous Coward
    From a lecture at University of Connecticut by Mr. Adams himself: You can't make a Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster, since some of the ingredients aren't liquid under earthly conditions. The best approximation is to take one liquor store and pour it into another.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15, 2001 @05:59PM (#220607)
    I'm guessing you weren't known as a ladies' man.
  • *ahem* Scientology? *ahem*
  • by strredwolf ( 532 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2001 @09:50PM (#220609) Homepage Journal
    They finally replaced the touted in the Washington Post "Wildly Explosive Search Tool?"

    WolfSkunks for a better Linux Kernel
  • . It's just to piss the ABS off. Whee.

    But wait a minute! Pissing off large, statistics-collecting organizations is one of the guiding principles of my life! One could almost call it...a religion :-)

  • Hi, does someone want to explain why Towel day seems to be on the 25th and not the 11th?
  • by shogun ( 657 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2001 @07:36PM (#220612)
    And anyway Jedi is a formal religion in Australia: http://jediaustralia.org/ [jediaustralia.org]
  • Want a sure fire way to piss of a someone from Central or south america? Go to Costa Rica and call yourself an American. Guess what, they are too. Americans are anyone from north, south or central america, not people from the United States of America.

  • First reason we (In the US) do a Census, to figure out how many congress people each state gets. But also things like how many health care facilites each area needs. If a county has one hospital for 50,000 people it might be time to build a second one.
  • don't be shocked - a suprising number of USians have no idea where NZ is...

    And a surprising number of pedantic imbeciles use crappy invented words like "USians." At least have a sense of utility and, well, elegance, instead of using some lop-sided moniker. If you don't like "Americans," try "US citizens" or "US residents" or "people who live in the United States of America."

    Besides all that, "US" in any form could mean "United States of Mexico," couldn't it? So where does that leave your lame "USians"?
  • In the South American countries that I lived in they referred to US Citizens as "norteamericanos" or "North Americans." I always found this to be quite interesting in that technically Canadians and Mexicans are North Americans as well.

    The funny thing about language is that words are important. People have strange attachment to specific words, and an equally strange dislike for others. That's why some folks on this site don't mind being referred to as "geeks," but balk at being labeled a "nerd." That is why it is always best to try and use the word that your audience expects, and not the word that you personally feel is the best fit. It's just good politics.

    In this case while the original poster felt that USians was a proper way to address US Citizens most US Citizens would disagree. We prefer Americans, but will admit that US Citizen is probably a more accurate monniker. Arguing that "USian" is a better term with an American is a lot like arguing with someone from Japan about the term "Jap" or "Nip."

    In a nutshell, if someone takes offense at the label that you have put on them, it makes sense to simply agree and call them whatever they prefer (within reason, of course). You can call them whatever you want behind their back.

  • Unlike another certain /. editor, he has the balls to admit when he screwed up.

    michael, perhaps you should learn from this example.
  • by artdodge ( 9053 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2001 @06:30PM (#220621) Homepage
    As far as I can tell, Christianity and 'Jedism' would follow extremely similiar belief systems.
    Of the good you speak. But what say you of the dark side, Hmmmmm? Jedi and Sith, two sides of the same coin they are!
  • by Christopher Thomas ( 11717 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2001 @04:44PM (#220625)

    Any estimates on the size of the USPTO's patent database? If it's something that could reasonably fit on a few hundred CDROMs, it might be worth asking them to think about distributing it.

    Having an on-site copy of the database for searching and data-mining at your local university or large company's library would raise very interesting applications. Write the correct tools, and you could easily see what the state-of-the-IP-art is in any given field, and I'm sure that organizations like the EFF would like an easier way to peer-review the patent database, too.

    OTOH, if you'd need the proverbial 747 full of CDs, this wouldn't be practical.
  • There is a nice little trick that http 1.1 allows called listening for host headers.

    This trick can be used to not serve a document to a request with an invalid host header. Or to redirect the request. Or to do any number of things, for example, point the request to slashdot, which is hopefully listening for invalid host headers and redirecting those requests to trolldot.

    It's really not a big deal. Even IIS includes the ability to do this.

    This whole lawsuit is clueless, and hopefully the judge hasn't been bought and will throw it out immediately upon learning that Ford had options other than a lawsuit.
  • The real problem here is the process by which funding is allocated on the basis of census data.

    In the US, during the census push, they went on and on about how filling out the census would help your wise and powerful legislators appropriately apportion the largess of taxes to the people. To me, it completely damages the credibility of the census as an 'apolitical' process.

    I don't want a 'father government' who I must tell the truth to so that he might wisely care for the needs of the individual family members he is somehow responsible for. The whole belief structure leading to the idea of needing an accurate census is an anathema to me.

    If someone in my community wants my help, they can ask me. They shouldn't go running to the government to get them to take money from my pocket and put it in theirs. That kind of thing breeds dissension and distrust and destroys communities.

  • As did the Babylonians before them. They found some containers with residue left in them a couple years ago, I remember.
  • At Duckon [duckon.org] this weekend some friends and I intend to devise the definitive Pan Galactic Gargleblaster recipe. I haven't liked the looks of anything I've seen on the net so far. Since it's described as being "rather like having one's brains bashed in by a slice of lemon wrapped around a large gold brick", I think it's only fitting to start with Stolichnaya Limonnaya and Goldschlager and work from there.

    Assuming, of course, that our cocked-up room reservation is resolved... :-(

  • given the extraordinary us-centrism demonstrated by most usians, you could expect a comment modded up to +5 if it explained that new zealand was not AUSTRIA

    Oh, come one -- this isn't flamebait, it's freakin' hilarious!

  • by NMerriam ( 15122 ) <NMerriam@artboy.org> on Tuesday May 15, 2001 @06:01PM (#220635) Homepage
    What I find shocking/funny is that someone pointing out that New Zealand and Australia are two different countries is considered +5 insightful! (and that its necessary at all!)

    I guess now its "News for Nerds, and Computer Folks Who Never Looked at a Globe".

    Next up: Georgia! It's both a state AND a country!

  • I am currently reading "Speaker for the Dead," and noticed that Ender clearly knows where his towel is.

    Back on topic, I for one will have my towel with me on May 25, with my name proudly displayed in old, unravelling embroidery.

  • It's akin to writing "call 555-1212 for a good time" on a bathroom wall. Lets pretend that YOUR phone number is 555-1212. All of a sudden, you have a bunch of weirdos calling you all the time and your friends can no longer reach you.

    DNS pointers do not consume bandwidth in and of themselves, but the traffic they generate can cost money. Why should Ford pay bandwidth fees for a domain it doesn't want or control?

    AFAIK, it's not about having a SomethingSucks.com website, it's about (a) damaging the image of a company and (b) unfair use of resources (Ford's bandwidth). 2600 _could_ have pointed the domain at their own servers. Instead they act like children and point it at Ford.

    Again, AFAIK General Motors has no relation to Ford. In fact, AFAIK, they compete with each other. If typing in "GeneralMotorsSucks.com" leads you Ford's homepage, what are you going to think about Ford? Oh, instead of competing they resort to slander. Yeah. Okay.

    Ford has been wronged here.

    2600 has not done ANYTHING in this case that could be "standing up for their freedoms". Grow up.

    Computer Science: solving today's problems tomorrow.
  • Er, I'd have thought putting 'None' would have achieved that.
  • The Unahted States of Amurikuh is rat heeuh. They's no uthah place wuth bein' at! Muh president is Charlton Heston and if enny of y'all Commie pinko faggits have a problem with that, y'all kin take it up with muh buddies: Smith and Wesson. If the U.S. wuzzn't the greatest country in the world, how comes we invented the pickup truck, beer, TNN, guns an d Jack Daniels? Yee hah! U.S.A! U.S.A.!

  • No offense, but it's pretty amusing when you try to correct a post, which is obviously deliberately wrong, with something wrong.

    Beer was brewed by many ancient civilizations long before Christ, most prominently was the Egyptians.

    The Chinese invented gunpowder and fireworks and probably the gun as well.

    IIRC, Daimler, who was German, I believe, built the first automobile. I dunno who first made a pickup truck, since many early models could have counted.

    I would strongly suspect corn whiskey predates the U.S., so the only item that is truly American (U.S.A.ian, for all you Canadians and Mexicans) is TNN. Hey, who else could invent the show "18 Wheels of Justice"? Yee hah!

  • by skribe ( 26534 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2001 @06:13PM (#220648) Homepage
    P.S.- In America denying someone the chance to put down their religion, whatever it is, would be unconstituational.. is something like this the case in Australia?

    I believe this is the relevant article in the Australian Consitution:

    116. The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth.

  • by SEWilco ( 27983 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2001 @05:53PM (#220652) Journal
    Well, the patent disc prices [uspto.gov] are low enough that there can't be too many discs in the set.
  • so, the Oz government is really saying "I find your choice of faith... disturbing."?

  • When you could be a follower of The Invisible Pink Unicorn [demon.co.uk] (blessed be her hooves)
  • Besides all that, "US" in any form could mean "United States of Mexico," couldn't it?
    Nope, it is called the "Estados Unidos Mexicanos" or "United Mexican States" [cia.gov] in English.
    So where does that leave your lame "USians"?
    "Estados Unidos" or "United States" is usually used to refer to the U.S.A., so USians is just a valid as any of the labels that you listed...
    You think being a MIB is all voodoo mind control? You should see the paperwork!
  • Can't people just understand that we're all people, regardless of heritage, gender, religion, politics, etc?
    You must be White.

    White Europeans enslaved Black Africans and killed Native Americans because they thought them to be sub-human. As as result, the descendants of the White Europeans have the lion's share of the money and property in this country.

    Once we minorities get reparations from the descendants from the Whites that fucked over our ancestors then maybe we could compromise.

    For now "compromise" is impossible as long as Whites insist that everyone be "colorblind", which is really code for minorities to ignore their heritage and act White (white as in the absence of color when you mix paint, not all colors as in light)...
    You think being a MIB is all voodoo mind control? You should see the paperwork!
  • Yes, YOU ARE, you can't say you're a practising Jedi, light sabres just don't exist (unfortunatly... ;)

    ...and according to Episode 1, you'd have to have a particular level of midichlorians in your blood? If you don't have them, the Jedi Council won't train you, therefore you are not a Jedi.

    Maybe you can apply with the Sith? I hear they're hiring.

  • Not strictly related to meteors but the DNA page at h2g2 [bbc.co.uk] now has links to two of his favourite charities: The Dian Fosseey Gorilla Fund [dianfossey.org] and Save the Rhino [savetherhino.co.uk] for those who would like to make donations in his memory.
  • by Grendel Drago ( 41496 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2001 @06:33PM (#220662) Homepage
    No, no... the really disturbing part is

    "Yes, of course they're anonymous. Unless we don't like the answers, then we hunt you down and fine the shit out of you."

    Anyone else notice this bit? Isn't there something very, very wrong with looking at census results before stripping off the identifying information?

    -grendel drago
  • by Thalia ( 42305 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2001 @04:55PM (#220663)
    I agree with 2600 that Ford should've asked them nicely first, to remove the pointer of www.fuckgeneralmotors.com. On the other hand, I can understand Ford's point of view. How would you feel if someone pointed the URL of allslashottersareassholes at your site? The problem is that people who see this pointer will assume that Ford owns the site. Yes, people are that stupid. So Ford's just trying to protect itself... not in the smartest way possible, but still reasonably.

    As a side note, doing a car caravan to protest actions by a car manufacturer is a fairly bizarre idea, isn't it? Why not do a bicycle rally instead? It might hurt Ford more...

  • by cafeman ( 46922 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2001 @08:32PM (#220671) Homepage

    116. The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth.

    This is true, but the Census and Statistics Act 1905-1973 doesn't prevent you from believing what you want. You have the right not to declare what religion you practice. However, if you choose to answer the question, you must answer it honestly. If you can honestly answer that you are a practicing Jedi (and show proof thereof), the ABS can't fine you.

    This is confusing two issues - one is the freedom to practice religion, one is lying on a government form. You have the right to practice any religion you want, you don't have the right to lie to the government.

    On a different note, S.52(xi) of the constitution gives the federal government the right to make laws concerning the census. Just a bit of trivia ...

  • by cafeman ( 46922 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2001 @06:21PM (#220672) Homepage

    Unlike most people here, I actually contacted the ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics, the organisation that does the census to ask about this. The $1,000 fine for putting false information on the census is an actual penalty. The key issue, though, is knowingly providing false or misleading information. You don't have to answer the religion question if you don't want to. However, if you do ansewr it, you must answer truthfully. Jedi would be a legitimate answer if you can demonstrate a clear belief structure or if you can show that you try to live your life according to those precepts.

    The information about religion is used by the government for distribution of funds. For example, a area surveyed with a high number of Orthodox Jews will see a lot of community funding going to Orthodox Synagogues. People who deliberately falsify their religion interferes with this process (making it more difficult for the ABS, which is only trying to do their best).

    This isn't a case of 'the man' trying to shut people down. It's a case of a bunch of idiots thinking they're protesting (because they received chain mail that's been circultating since the NZ census - duh) when all they're actually doing is screwing up funding for other people in their community. If you don't want to answer, don't. What's the point? It doesn't matter how many people put Jedi down, it's not recognised as a religion. Before the devil's advocates come out the woodwork, it is not a religion that people currently follow. People could probably build a belief structure around it, but I doubt you could show active Jedi belief. You might as well say Trekkies are religious.

    For the record, the person I spoke to at the ABS was very helpful and friendly.

  • H2G2 fans in NZ should list their religion as "worshippers of the Great Prophet Zarquon".

  • And a surprising number of pedantic imbeciles actually object to others "using crappy invented words" like "USians."

    Maybe I should say "Slashdot member" as opposed to Slashdotter.
  • What I want to see is the Bush administration funding Satanists to run soup kitchens and after school programs.
  • your midichlorian count is above 250.



    Honk if you've never seen a bazooka fired out a car window.
    This sig 80% recycled bits, 20% post user.
  • Though not impossible, it is improbable that a fully-functioning light sabre will appear in front of me.
  • by Dwonis ( 52652 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2001 @07:27PM (#220682)
    I dunno. I think ethnicity is kinda cool. I like learning about other people's cultures. I'd hate for those cultures to suddenly melt into one.
  • by joq ( 63625 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2001 @05:17PM (#220689) Homepage Journal

    Join the parade. Macki writes "Three weeks ago, Ford Motor Company sued 2600 over a DNS entry pointing FuckGeneralMotors.com at the Ford website.

    Lets get some facts straight here. This is slander which is illegal, not only that but it is a waste of Ford's resources via way of bandwidth which is unfair. Aside from that 2600 may be whoring themselves in too broad fashions nowadays to make some outrageous statements for "the cause" well which cause of Hacking/Phreaking does General Motors fall into?

    2600 which is a semi good magazine should be a slight bit more responsible with their actions, especially now that they're under the gun with e DVD case. I believe they should have the right to say whatever they want, its an Amendment, but they have no right to point Fuckgeneralmotors at Ford's website. I'm sure Ford never authorized it. They should have just created a virtual directory on their own sites with their own petty propaganda.

    What if it were Apple making a "FuckLinux" website which pointed to Microsoft? I'm sure they'd be an uproar.

    Get responsible 2600

  • To any government survey that asks for your religion is:

    "None of your damn business!"
  • What I find shocking/funny is that someone pointing out that New Zealand and Australia are two different countries is considered +5 insightful!

    don't be shocked - a suprising number of USians have no idea where NZ is - I've seen it put off the coast of Africa (Madagascar), Brazil, etc - one of my co-workers (an intelligent engineer) thought I came from the east coast of Canada (New Foundland)

  • by taniwha ( 70410 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2001 @09:50PM (#220698) Homepage Journal
    yup you're right - if you're allowed to claim you believe you're haunted by prehistoric murdered space aliens and that exorcizing them will give you powers over matter and energy surely you must be able to claim you belive little latex guys with an hand stuck up their butt can teach you to do the same thing (and at $7.50 a pop it's way cheaper than the Co$ alternative)
  • As someone pointed out, it's in Ottawa :)

    That aside, last time I was there, it was an ... erm ... interesing experience. I seem to recall a fair bit of leather, whips, body paint and bikers.

    Just to warn all you geeks out there; don't show up in slacks :)

    Barclay family motto:
    Aut agere aut mori.
    (Either action or death.)
  • Your sad devotion to that ancient religion hasn't conjured up the stolen data plans nor given you clairvoyance enough to find the location of the rebel's hidden forghhghhhg.
  • What's the difference between pointing my DNS to your server and copying your entire web site onto my web server? The second is clearly a trademark and copyright violation, so why isn't the first?
  • Geeze -- to think that people would confuse fuckgeneralmotors.com as a domain name owned by general motors, and to further still describe Ford's actions as "reasonable"... ..hey wwaaaaitasec here.... I've been gobbled up by the ford troll!
  • New Zealand is to Australia as Canada is to the United States...

    ...except New Zealand has sheep insted of beavers.

  • I don't know if you are being a troll or just plain ignorant.

    Australian Constitution [miredespa.com].

    That site (found in 5 seconds with Google [google.com]) seems to have many constitutions of many nations listed, and it might be worth a read next time you feel like insulting some country you know nothing about.

  • The law is that you must put accurate information onto the census sheet.

    Yes, people are constitutionally free to practise whatever religion they choose, however 'Jedi' is not a religion, but a fictional way of life from an 20 year old trilogy of films. So, if you put it on the census, you are lying. Yes, YOU ARE, you can't say you're a practising Jedi, light sabres just don't exist (unfortunatly... ;)

    And sorry about the original angry reply, I just haven't had enough caffeine today I think ;)
  • by Xenex ( 97062 ) <xenex&opinionstick,com> on Tuesday May 15, 2001 @06:30PM (#220725) Journal
    But it's just a battle to 'beat the law'. Everyone knows that people don't practise Jedi as a religion, and that it was merly the name from Star Wars.

    If there were really a group of people, however small, following 'Jedi' then it should be (and would be) allowed on the census. But there is not; there is simply a bunch of people that think a stupid stunt like this is 'beating the system'.

  • Jedism isn't a religion because nobody has killed millions of people in the name of Jedism yet.

  • You mean this link ... ?


  • Nah.

    But it will be sued out of existance for infringing on the intellectual property of Adams...

  • And, arguably, Christianity is a fictional way of life from a 2000 year old set of scrolls written by some people who had a real fondness for mushrooms and wine. What's your point? In other words, prove to me that Jesus was ressurected, and I'll prove to you that these aren't the droids you're looking for.
  • by crashnbur ( 127738 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2001 @04:16PM (#220746)
    I think that many of us will be greatly surprised to see how many people actually support "Towel Day" in remembrance of Douglas Adams. I also think that we won't be greatly surprised by the Australian government's refusal to acknowledge "the Force" as a genuine religion. Sorry, Yoda is not your god.

    Although that would have been a great twist for Adams to have thrown into one of his stories...

  • ftp://arnold.c64.org/pub/games/h/Hitchhiker_s_Guid e_To_The_Galaxy.Infocom.zip Whack it straight into your favourite c64 emulator, and relive the heady days.
  • I had the Apple II version of the text based Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy game. It came with some great stuff, including a DON'T PANIC button (this was back when people wore those things). Even though I never beat it, I found it much more enjoyable than the PC RPG's of the time, which used beautiful CGA (EGA for a few) graphics. My imagination was always more colorful. I've been quite tempted to find images and run it on an emulator.
  • We Canadians take our census a little less seriously, as I made a point of contacting a region Census representative about that very question.

    In short, I am officially registered with the government of Canada census as 'Jedi'. If we get more than 10,000 in Canada - someone could apply for a grant...

    Then I could indeed become a Jedi Knight. Wait, that gives me an idea... I could move to Ohio and become a Jedi Knight of Columbus.

    MaasNeotek - Building42.com
  • by HuskyDog ( 143220 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2001 @01:31AM (#220760) Homepage
    Here in the UK we have just had our census and as in Australia and New Zealand there was a question on religion. Interestingly, the instructions on the front of the form said (paraphrasing) "It is a criminal offence to give a false answer to any question except for number 11 on religion.

    So, I wrote in "Linux". After all, we have a diety (Linus), a satan figure (Gates), rituals (compiling the kernel) and wars (KDE/Gnome).

  • by Pxtl ( 151020 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2001 @04:39PM (#220765) Homepage
    Well, while it is not with the late Adams' approval, I believe there is a bar in Montreal called Zaphod Beeblebrox's, and of course they serve a drink they'd like to call the pan-galactic gargle-blaster. It is simply a shot from every bottle of hard liquor on the shelf poured into a very tall glass. Personally, I figure a pan-galactic gargle blaster is pure ethyl alcohol with LSD and a thimbleful of pear-flavouring. I'm more interested in how to make a martimmy anyways.
  • This reminds me of a situation I read about a few years ago. I don't remember many of the details, but a group of prisoners tried to get their "Church of the Harley-Davidson" officially recognized for some reason or another. Naturally, they were denied.

    Check in...(OK!) Check out...(OK!)
  • If your teachers don't understand, explain it. If they actually try to get you in trouble, complain about them stifling your desire to read. I can't imagine this being a bad thing.
  • Hell, if GM was like AOL, by now they would have changed the administrative information on the domain name by now, and made it into a dead link.

    Err, how? Last I heard, running the host that has an A record or a CNAME record for a given domain doesn't automatically give you the ability to fiddle with the registration. The email address used in the registration is hosted out of 2600.com and presumably it's their DNS servers that all this points to, as well. Finally, the domain name doesn't reference 'ford', so it's not like they can attempt the standard trademark-based bullying.

  • by TrumpetPower! ( 190615 ) <ben@trumpetpower.com> on Tuesday May 15, 2001 @05:10PM (#220785) Homepage

    Anybody want to take bets on when 18610 Arthurdent will be demolished in order to make room for the Mars-Jupiter expressway?


  • Having an on-site copy of the database for searching and data-mining at your local university

    Quite a few universities, and even some public libraries, already do. See here [uspto.gov].

  • What about a Jynnan tonnyx, geeN'N-T'N-ix, jinond-o-nix, chinanto/mnigs, or a tzjin-anthonyu-ks? Does this bar serve any or all of these??
  • by Lieutenant Kije ( 207553 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2001 @04:09PM (#220793)
    As a New Zealander I should point out that New Zealand and Australia are not the same place. The suggestion that they are is one that people in both countries would find equally offensive ... :-) We've had our census recently and I believe there was a similiar move to make/prevent Jedi being recorded as a religion.
  • Unless you could patent a way to get that much bandwidth from them to you....
  • What I want to know is why "Estados Unidos" (referring to the USA) is abbreviated "EEUU".
  • It should have been called Dentarthurdent!
  • Does anyone else remember this game or should I just check myself into a "home" (as my wife has threatened to do to me recently)?

    It did exist, we all loved it (that damned babel fish!), and you can play a java version of it here. [xcalibur.co.uk]

    For the Goatse-paranoid, that's http://www.xcalibur.co.uk/games/hitchhik.html

  • by the_rev_matt ( 239420 ) <slashbot&revmatt,com> on Tuesday May 15, 2001 @05:47PM (#220810) Homepage
    Slander is "oral communication of false statements injurious to a person's reputation" (emphasis mine). You're thinking libel, unless the web page talks. Libel is "A false publication in writing, printing, or typewriting or in signs or pictures that maliciously damages a person's reputation". However, the Supreme court has determined that OPINION is protected by the 1st Amendment. Fordsucks.com is OPINION, not FACT and is not presented as fact, therefore it fails to meet the legal requirements to be libel or slander. There are several "Linux sucks" websites and I for one think that the people who run them have every right to express their opinion.
  • by Omerna ( 241397 ) <clbrewer@gmail.com> on Tuesday May 15, 2001 @04:43PM (#220817) Homepage
    If they won't let someone put Jedi, why do they let people put Christian? Muslim? Jewish? All of these religions are recognized by some people, while others think the whole religion is full of it. Just because a few government officials don't think that 'Jedi' counts as a religion doesn't mean that it's NOT a religion.

    On a side note, it's not like even following the 'Jedi Code' would get one locked up! As far as I can tell, Christianity and 'Jedism' would follow extremely similiar belief systems. Nobody (well, a very small minority) would say that Christianity encourages bad things- murder, rape, etc. Jedism wouldn't either. If I lived in Australia you can bet I'd put Jedi!

    P.S.- In America denying someone the chance to put down their religion, whatever it is, would be unconstituational.. is something like this the case in Australia?
  • There must have been 5 New Zealanders with mod points today. Go for glory, countrymen! We may not have the Rugby world cup, but dammit let's take Slashdot!

  • by MadCow42 ( 243108 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2001 @07:53PM (#220819) Homepage
    Well, if they don't accept Jedi, would they have similar objections to Satanism? Hey, I'm not a Satanist, but in most people's views, it's probably a "legitimate" religion (meaning that they believe in Satan, although worshiping him may not be a popular or supported passtime...).

    I guess that in my view, ANY attempt to decree what is a "valid" religion, no matter how hokey it seems, would be ludicrous and immoral. Hey, if some guy worships tulips, good for him, hey may well believe it's his religion. All the (flower) power to him. q:]


  • Today they sue for pointing a domain name at a site.

    Tomorrow they sue for linking [ford.com] to a site.

    is that what you want?

  • Surely the real point behind this whole jedi/census issue is that it hilights the hypocrasy underpinning all major religions. Namely that they all seek to understand, explore and explain what is ultimately unknown. No religion is based upon fact and furthermore no religion has been proven to be anything other than fiction anyway! So why, I find myself thinking, is the 'religion' Jedi any different? The answer is political power and who controls it. Here in the UK the church has been devolved from Parliament for hundreds of years (since the reformation) and yet shops were only allowed to open on sundays 10 years ago...! The point is that people have the right to believe whatever they want to believe, it should never be tied to politics, ever. For the record I placed my belief as jedi in the recent UK census, I will however be counted as an 'other' - hmmm
  • I have to imagine that it would take little more than it does in the USA to make this perfectly above-board and legal - that is, someone going to the trouble of registering some minimal paperwork and actually starting a legitimate church of Jedi. I think the point of the government's protest is the census is a tool to collect legitimate information about the population, it is not a vehicle for people to express what is essentially an opinion about religion and an homage to a movie series. And they're combatting misinformation - the idea that some kind of magic number of respondents will make Jedi legitimate in the eyes of the government. Of course, typical of governments they've gone overboard and made stupid threats. But really - it isn't as if they would or could prevent anyone from starting a legitimate, legal, state-recognized Church of Jedi. Look at the Universal Life Church, after all - http://www.ulc.org/ulchq/ - I know several people who have received their non-denominational ordination, filed the appropriate papers, and are now able to perform legal weddings etc. So, who's going to start the International Universal Church of Jedi? (I'm a Lutheran or, you know, I'd do it myself. Plus my midichlorian count is too low).
  • How many people really would fill in Jedi as their religion if their religion meant anything to them?

    Well, my religion means something to me (I'm Council President at my church), but my government's curiosity means little to me, and their need to know my religious beliefs means nothing to me. To the contrary, any government's request to know my religious beliefs offends me, and I would gladly enter "Jedi" or just leave the form blank.

  • My wife gave me a copy of Douglas Adams' "Hitchhiker's Guide" for an anniversary present many years ago. Upon learning of his death, I went to the library and pulled it down from the shelf and blew off the dust to look at it one more time.

    The illustration on the jacket ignited a few brain cells that I thought I had long ago killed with alcohol, and memories of my Commodore-64 days rushed through what is left of my brain. I recalled a "Hitchhiker" game for the C-64 that I had nearly completely forgotten. I vaguely remember being Zaphod and Ford and every other character in the book, saving the universe and everything in 64 k-bytes through a text interface.

    Does anyone else remember this game or should I just check myself into a "home" (as my wife has threatened to do to me recently)?

  • It gets worse.
    • Britain has a constitution, it's just not a written constitution. Trust me, it's perfectly possible for someone to be forbidden from doing something because it's unconstitutional, in the UK as with virtually every other governed place.
    • US law has its roots in English common law. Need an authoritive reference? Ask the CIA [cia.gov].
    • The appearance of a (written or otherwise) constitution has no bearing, in itself, on whether a religion is recognised or not. Only if the constitution actually mentions religion does it become an issue. In the US constitution, religion is relevent because of the 1st Ammendment, part of the bill of rights. In the British, the Queen is both the head of state and head of the Church of England. In British law, the concept of "recognised religions" is largely irrelevent, the government not formally recognising religions, nor granting any but the CofE special status, nor banning nor confering any other special rights upon them, but Britain does have several written bills of rights, varying from the Magna Carta to the European Declaration of Human Rights which was recently signed into British law.
    So, other than demonstrating cluelessness about the workings of worlds outside that of the US, it's difficult to work out what the poster you're replying to was trying to say...
  • Um, the Germans invented beer. (Or was it the Austrians?)
  • Funnily enough, 2600 had their domain name hacked at NSI. I have lost the story url but it seems that over the past year persons unknown have hacked into NSI system and removed 2600.com from the database. It was then registered by another company.
    You can check their version of the story out at 2600.com [2600.com]. They don't mention the fact that it was hijacked, but then, if you were a hacker group and had your domain name hacked, would you let the world know. I submitted the story, but it was rejected (as usual).
  • The PC version (for Windows or your favorite DOS emulator) is available here [gamingdepot.com] (from www.gamingdepot.com, in the 'adventure' section, if you don't trust links)

    It's a great game.

    -Jade E.

  • You make a good point. I guess there isn't really all that much difference between pointing a DNS name and a plain hyperlink .. although most people perceive them to be quite different things .. the domain name somehow has more "authority". If what they did is wrong, then why wouldn't fuck General Motors [ford.com] be wrong too .. ? Hmm .. its not really slander either, is it. Still, either way, the public will side against 2600 just because of the word "fuck".

  • by SpeelingChekka ( 314128 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2001 @01:17AM (#220841) Homepage

    I can't really agree with 2600's actions here. This doesn't come off as a valid protest of any sort - it comes off as a childish prank, and this is how the general public will see it. This doesn't do anything positive for "the cause", rather, it is only likely to hurt it. Would you (for example) use this incident as an example when trying to convince your mother? There are many far more mature ways to make a statement. This makes h(cr)ackers look really bad to the public, and provides exactly the kind of material organizations such as the FBI love to have for their anti-hacking campaigns to convince the government to give them more power and people less freedom.

    I'm sorry, I just can't for the life of me see how pointing a DNS entry "fuckgeneralmotors" at ford's website can be construed as "making a statement" (unless the statement they're trying to make is that the DNS system can be too easily manipulated or something). I think its childish. I can imagine having found this sort of thing funny when I was 14.

  • 2600 like to provoke big corporation it don't like, for example www.fuckmicrosoft.com they got heat on it but it's still up. If they have to take down the site because of the name what happen to free speech which 2600 lives for. If you are in the New York area listen to 2600 show it interesting it is broadcasted on wbai on wednesdays.
  • by Guppy06 ( 410832 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2001 @06:18PM (#220848)
    Why throw a hissy-fit over it? There are far more kookier religions out there that are "legitimate."


  • by Supa Mentat ( 415750 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2001 @04:46PM (#220851)
    Put Transcendentalism as your religion. The whole Jedi system is a direct rip off (not that it's a bad thing) of Transcendentalism. Some may argue that Transcendentalism isn't a religion (I agree with them) but hey it's as close as you can come to putting Jedi. Seriously, read "Self Reliance" by Ralph Waldon Emerson, it's a great read and you'll start seeing the references there are to it everywhere in society. "The Force" is really the "Oversoul," and then there's the whole, "evil is simply a lack of good," thing. I could go on for hours, but I did that for English class already, so I'll spare you.
  • With the refernce to the Guideand the Ford Motot Company in one article, I surprised that nobody has commented on DNA's refernce to the Ford Prefect.

    Apparently Ford chose his name after an imperfect understanding of what would be a suitably common name in England (the Ford 'Prefect' was very popular model for a few years).

How many NASA managers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? "That's a known problem... don't worry about it."