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Submission + - km-range shit thrower being developed in New Zealand (bbc.co.uk)

RockDoctor writes: A man has been bailed by a New Zealand court for allegedly planning to [...] throw horse manure at [the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall].

The 76-year-old "known anti-royalist" was ordered to stay at least 500 metres (550 yards) away from the royal couple

Very obviously therefore, the Republican (sense: anti-imperialist, e.g. Brutus Senior or Junior ) campaigner is working out how to throw shit from significantly more than 500m away.
I can think of two [edit : three] credible technologies : a trailer-mounted trebuchet ; a shit-atomiser sited over 500m upwind and producing a miasma blowing downwind ; or a remote-controlled plane fitted with a real-time camera and a shit-dispenser.
Can Slashdot come up with better suggestions for assisting this vital free speech task?

As a corollary, the mechanism for dispensing shit from the model plane needs a name. Preferably a "backronym", such as an "ADAM — Automated Dispenser of Aerial Manure" or a JAMIE ... which I can't think of anything for. (Yes, those names are suggested by the Mythbusters and their "shit hits the fan" experiments.)


Submission + - Statistical tools for detecting electoral fraud (pnas.org)

RockDoctor writes: A recent paper published in PNAS describes statistical techniques for clearly displaying the presence of two types of electoral fraud — "incremental fraud" (stuffing of ballot boxes containing genuine votes with ballots for the winning party) and "extreme fraud" (reporting completely contrived numbers, typically 100% turnout for a vote-counting region, with 100% voting for the winning party). While the techniques would require skill with statistical software to apply in real time, the graphs produced in the paper provide tools for the interested non-statistician to monitor an election "live".

Examples are discussed with both "normal" elections, fraud by the techniques mentioned, and cases of genuine voter inhomogeneity.

Other types of fraud, such as gerrymandering and inhibiting the registration of minority voters, are not considered.

The paper is open access, so anyone with the technology to access it can read it.

Do not underestimate the value of print statements for debugging.