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Comment Relevant scientific links at NCAR (Score 2) 195 195

The National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, CO has this to say about a new Maunder Minimum: https://www.google.com/url?q=h... or, for the more scientifically literate: http://opensky.library.ucar.ed... The original hype would, therefore, appear to be pseudo-science.

Comment Re:They want you there... (Score 1) 294 294

I've often wondered if pair programming, coupled with an appropriate voting system, would allow compensation to be distributed more fairly. The developers would all experience their relative levels of expertise and could rate themselves accordingly. Naturally, the voting system would have to be carefully chosen.

Comment Replace the first-past-the-post voting system (Score 1) 694 694

The first-past-the-post (or plurality) voting system used in most public elections in the United States is arguably the worst possible choice of voting systems because it favors two parties, is relatively easy to manipulate, is relatively easy to gerrymander, wastes votes, and has resulted in a dysfunctional congress. It should be replaced in all elections with a superior system (e.g., Approval voting, a Condorcet method, Majority Judgment, or Range voting).

Comment Public funding of elections (Score 1) 694 694

As it stands now, members of congress apparently spend 40 to 60% of their time *on the job* seeking campaign donations. This raises reasonable doubt as to their true constituency. Public funding of all elections would eliminate this source of potential corruption at a cost that is much less than the benefit to society.
Censorship

Submission + - Google TV censors political ads->

Jewfro_Macabbi writes: Last week, the Jill Stein for President campaign placed over a hundred thousand dollars worth of airtime on cable TV nationally and in select markets across the country. The ads were scheduled to air September 4th through September 6th. Yesterday Google, which served as a broker for national satellite and cable television ad placements, informed Jill Stein's campaign that they were censoring the campaign's ads due to "inappropriate language." (The ads in question can be viewed here: http://www.jillstein.org/first_tv_ad_campaign).

The ads comply with FCC regulations regarding appropriate content, and federal law prohibits broadcasters from censoring ads submitted by candidates for public office.

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Piracy

Submission + - Most Torrent Downloaders Are Monitored, Study Finds->

derekmead writes: A new study from Birmingham University in the U.K. found that people will likely be monitored within hours of downloading popular torrents by at least one of ten or more major monitoring firms. The team, led by security research Tom Chothia, ran software that acted like a BitTorrent client for three years and recorded all of the connections made to it. At SecureComm conference in Padua, Italy this week, the team announced that they found huge monitoring operations tracking downloaders that have been up and running for at least the entirety of their research. According to the team's presentation (PDF), monitors were only regularly detected in Top 100 torrents, while monitoring of more obscure material was more spotty.

What’s really mysterious is who all of the firms are. Chothia’s crew found around 10 different monitoring entities, of which a few were identifiable as security companies, copyright firms, or other torrent researchers. But six entities could not be identified because they were masked through third party hosting. Now, despite firms focusing mostly on just the top few searches out there at any given time, that’s still a massive amount of user data to collect and store. Why? Well, if a reverse class-action lawsuit were feasible, those treasure troves of stored data would be extremely valuable.

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NASA

Submission + - 35 years later, Voyager 1 is heading for the stars->

DevotedSkeptic writes: "Thirty-five years after leaving Earth, Voyager 1 is reaching for the stars.

Sooner or later, the workhorse spacecraft will bid adieu to the solar system and enter a new realm of space — the first time a manmade object will have escaped to the other side.

Perhaps no one on Earth will relish the moment more than 76-year-old Ed Stone, who has toiled on the project from the start.

"We're anxious to get outside and find what's out there," he said.

When NASA's Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 first rocketed out of Earth's grip in 1977, no one knew how long they would live. Now, they are the longest-operating spacecraft in history and the most distant, at billions of miles from Earth but in different directions.

Wednesday marks the 35th anniversary of Voyager 1's launch to Jupiter and Saturn. It is now flitting around the fringes of the solar system, which is enveloped in a giant plasma bubble. This hot and turbulent area is created by a stream of charged particles from the sun.

Outside the bubble is a new frontier in the Milky Way — the space between stars. Once it plows through, scientists expect a calmer environment by comparison.

When that would happen is anyone's guess. Voyager 1 is in uncharted celestial territory. One thing is clear: The boundary that separates the solar system and interstellar space is near, but it could take days, months or years to cross that milestone.

Voyager 1 is currently more than 11 billion miles from the sun. Twin Voyager 2, which celebrated its launch anniversary two weeks ago, trails behind at 9 billion miles from the sun."

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