The Null Device


Struggling UNIX vendor/patent owner SCO sues IBM, making nebulous claims of stolen trade secrets in Linux. Penguinheads hold protest outside SCO offices. And SCO staffers hold counter-protest. with identical-looking hand-drawn signs reading "I (heart) Software Piracy" and "Give Communism a try - use Linux". Are they sure it was SCO employees, though, and not some group of Ayn Rand zealots? (via Slashdot)

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Atheists have received a bit of a bad rap over the years. In the U.S., where the word is still tainted by McCarthy-era associations with Soviet Communism, the people who openly call themselves atheists tend to be those with massive chips on their shoulders about religion, whereas everybody else who doesn't believe in a deity is an "agnostic" or "unitarian universalist" or some other equally euphemistic term. Godlessness is widely seen as a moral failing, to the point where belief in the right brand of supernatural mumbo-jumbo is an essential qualification for any sort of public office.

Richard Dawkins, Atheist headkicker extraordinaire, wants to remedy this by taking a leaf from the gay pride movement's book, appropriating a more cheerful and positive word for the atheist/agnostic/skeptic community. Just as homosexuals became gays, atheists can now call themselves Brights. Which strikes me as a bit silly, though maybe it'll catch on. (Though wasn't the word "gay" used as a term of abuse for people deviating from sexual norms before the gay-pride movement reappropriated it? Perhaps a catchy meme would require setting up a puppet anti-atheist vilification movement to plant an easily invertible term of abuse in the ideosphere.) (via FmH)

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Thieves cut off a Sydney man's fingers to steal his rings on a CityRail train. Or so he says; mind you, he was unconscious at the time, and only woke up later to find his fingers, rings, wallet and mobile phone missing. He puts this down to the thieves somehow having drugged him beforehand. The plot thickens.

Meanwhile, an Austrian man was sniffing gas when he was seized by the munchies and faced with the dilemma of having nothing to eat; so he came up with an ingenious solution: he cut off his toes, fried them and made a toe sandwich. When the ambulance men arrived, he offered them a toe sandwich. Perhaps next time it'll be a knuckle sandwich? (via NWD)

A police spokesman added: He told the ambulance men that he had more toes than he needed and didnt think he would notice if he got rid of a few.

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