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Comment: In Brazil... (Score 1) 4

by John Harrison (#23426454) Attached to: Primary Preferences and Nominations
Many politicians in Brazil go by a nickname. Take for example their current president who goes by the stately moniker of Lula.

So on the ballot you get to list two names: your legal name and your nickname.

Another aspect of elections in Brazil is compulsory voting. In order to have your equivalent of a social security card be valid you must vote. But if you don't want to vote for anyone you can mark your ballot as "Branco" or blank.

So in the mid 90's some guy running for the legislature caused a big stink by claiming that his nickname was Branco. You can imagine the confusion this might cause.
First Person Shooters (Games)

Journal: Marshie Attacks - Halloween Project 3

Journal by John Harrison
If you came to my house for Halloween this year the first thing you noticed was 18 inch tall green vampire marshmallows moving around on a 8 foot tall screen hung from the garage door. The next thing you noticed was that a laser assault rifle was placed into your hands and you were commanded to kill Marshie for candy. Ok, by laser assault rifle I mean a laser pointer put into a bunch of PVC, but it looked pretty cool. When a dot appeared on the screen it was detected by my iSight camera and M
Input Devices

+ - Halloween Laser Game->

Submitted by
John Harrison
John Harrison writes "For Halloween I set up a video game in my driveway. But not just any video game. This one features laser pointers as the only input device. The idea is to use the laser to shoot vampire marshmallows before they reach the bottom of the screen. While the game itself is simple the setup that makes it run (projector, iSight, PyGame) is something that would be of interest to /. readers, so I've posted details including video of the behind the scenes set-up and the game in action."
Link to Original Source
Democrats

Journal: Pete Ashdown, geek candidate, needs your help

Journal by John Harrison
Senator Barbara Boxer is giving away free money to candidates that are challenging incumbents. The catch is that you have to vote for who you want the money to go to. Pete Ashdown is not only running to unseat Senator Hatch (enemy of geeks everywhere) but is tech savvy himself, given that he is the founder of Utah's oldest ISP. His positions on tech issues should be of interest to many a slashdotter. So if you have a moment, click on the link below

OSS Web Stacks Outperformed by .Net? 349

Posted by Zonk
from the sad-penguin dept.
Gimble writes "eWeek has an article up that looks at the performance of portals using open source stacks and comparing them to their MS equivalents. The article's conclusion is that .Net outperforms the open source stacks, mainly because of its tighter integration, but also notes that running the open source stacks on Windows (WAMP) delivered strong performance." From the article: "Based on our forays into user forums for many top open-source enterprise applications, there are many IT managers attempting to run open-source products on Windows servers--attracted, no doubt, to the benefits and efficiencies of using open source without having to become Linux administrators. The results of our WAMP stack tests indicate that these folks might be on to something."

A New Workhorse For DARPA 111

Posted by Hemos
from the but-can-it-transform dept.
Roland Piquepaille writes "Later this month, Carnegie Mellon University and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) will unveil the successor of the Spinner, a 7-ton unmanned robotic vehicle. Dubbed Crusher, this new 6.5-ton robot will be able to carry payloads of up to 2 tons on very complex terrains. Crusher will rely on surrounding sensors to keep its balance and learn about its environment. After intensive testings, it should start to perform its duties in 2008. Read more for additional details and pictures of Spinner and Crusher in action." However, I can see they have not yet performed the test of having Sigourney Weaver fight a hitchhiking alien with it, which is obviously crucial to our national defense.

GDC - Ron Moore Keynote 180

Posted by Zonk
from the sit-right-back-and-you'll-hear-a-tale dept.
Ronald Moore may have done a lot for the Trek series of shows, but recently he's been making new fans with his work on the Battlestar Galactica title. He was invited to speak at GDC to relate ways in which intelligent folks can adapt an existing franchise. He focused on not only adapting and improving the original, but maintaining the core goodness of the inspiring work. Read on for notes from his talk. Update: 03/22 22:11 GMT by Z : Fixed Adama/Psylon spellings. I need a nerd-friendly spellchecker.

Gates Mocks MIT's $100 Laptop 816

Posted by Zonk
from the at-leat-they're-trying dept.
QuietLagoon writes 'Reuters is reporting that Bill Gates is making fun of the one laptop per child initiative to revolutionize how the world's children are educated. 'The last thing you want to do for a shared use computer is have it be something without a disk ... and with a tiny little screen,' Gates said at the Microsoft Government Leaders Forum in suburban Washington. 'Hardware is a small part of the cost' of providing computing capabilities, he said, adding that the big costs come from network connectivity, applications and support. 'If you are going to go have people share the computer, get a broadband connection and have somebody there who can help support the user, geez, get a decent computer where you can actually read the text and you're not sitting there cranking the thing while you're trying to type,' Gates said.'

The Definitive Guide to ImageMagick 173

Posted by samzenpus
from the worth-a-thousand-words dept.
Michael J. Ross writes "To modify a digital image, most computer users turn to a GUI-based image processing application, such as Photoshop. However, while Photoshop and many other similar programs can process multiple images in batch mode, they still require manual usage, and thus typically are unable to process images via a command line or within a second application. Those capabilities call for a programmatic digital image manipulation tool such as ImageMagick, which is explored in a relatively new book, The Definitive Guide to ImageMagick." Read the rest of Michael's review.

Google Enters Web-Office Market 232

Posted by Zonk
from the looking-forward-to-online-clippy dept.
jaiva writes "Google's official blog tells us that Google has acquired Writely, a collaborative word processor." From the article: "To be clear, Writely is still in beta, and it's far from perfect. Upholding our great user experience means everything to us, so we're not accepting new registrations until we've moved Writely to Google's software architecture. If you're interested in giving us a try, we hope you'll get on the waitlist so we can let you know when you'll be able to try out Writely."

IBM Germany Leaving Vista for Linux 351

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the that-just-seems-strange dept.
UltimaGuy writes "During a presentation on IBM's involvement with Open Source, Andreas Pleschek from IBM in Stuttgart, Germany, who heads open source and Linux technical sales across North East Europe for IBM made a very interesting statement..."Andreas Pleschek also told that IBM has cancelled their contract with Microsoft as of October this year. That means that IBM will not use Windows Vista for their desktops. Beginning from July, IBM employees will begin using IBM Workplace on their new, Red Hat-based platform. Not all at once - some will keep using their present Windows versions for a while. But none will upgrade to Vista." "

Handling a Cross Country Move? 188

Posted by Cliff
from the things-to-ask-your-boss dept.
Tarin.n asks: "For the past 2 years, I have worked remotely from the East Coast for a Silicon Valley company. The company is now considering moving me to the west coast, so that I can be closer to their headquarters. I'm trying to make a list of questions to ask of the company as we discuss this transition, as well as a list of items to take care of personally for such a move. What experience have others on Slashdot had with a cross-country move? Specifically, what should I ask and watch out for?"

Legal Issues of Opening Up Proprietary Standards? 269

Posted by Cliff
from the consequences-of-reverse-engineering dept.
mrjb asks: "The Alesis HD24 is a 24-track, hard disk audio recorder with a built-in 10 megabit FTP server. To improve on file transfer speed, Alesis offers an external Firewire drive with a program called FST/Connect which reads the disks under Windows. I've contacted Alesis about a Linux solution, but none is planned. Also, they are (understandably) not very eager to reveal the file system specs. After a few days of staring at hex codes, I now know enough about the FS to read HD24 IDE disks under Linux (no Firewire required). As I know I benefit from the efforts of the Samba and OpenOffice teams, I'd love to share this info. I'm not, however, the least bit interested in Alesis suing me (in fact, I might want to send them my CV at some point). What would your advice be in such a delicate situation of conflicting interests?"
User Journal

Journal: WalMart and the illusion of low prices 7

Journal by John Harrison

I have now entered WalMart three times in my life.

Before I go on I should mention that I really don't have time to be shopping today. I am moving today and tomorrow. I have other things to do.

Yet I was a WalMart today at 4:10 am. The prospect of a $378 laptop was too much to resist. There were about a hundred people in line in front of me. Assuming that they didn't all want a laptop I figured that I would be ok.

Wrong.

No amount of genius can overcome a preoccupation with detail.

Working...