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Comment: Re:Ada? (Score 1) 385

by ajdlinux (#47862603) Attached to: Unpopular Programming Languages That Are Still Lucrative
I'm currently studying for my bachelor's in CS, and I've taken two courses taught in Ada. Quite an alright language, IMHO. I'm also aware of at least two private-sector companies in my relatively-small city who are starting new projects in Ada (in addition to all the established defence contractors around here). So it's not completely dead! Mostly, but not completely!

Comment: Doesn't help public sector transparency (Score 2) 288

by ajdlinux (#41526809) Attached to: Scientists Want To Keep Their Research Work Out of Court
As much as this may be beneficial to scientists, I feel that in the case of publicly-funded institutions, it would set a bad precedent for the overall cause of public sector transparency. It has been a long, hard fight for increased transparency in government (FOI laws and such) and I think creating an exception for scientific agencies doesn't send the right message.

Comment: And in Australia... (Score 3, Insightful) 500

by ajdlinux (#41280561) Attached to: Election Tech: In Canada, They Actually Count the Votes

In Australia, for most purposes we still use paper ballots. (There are a few exceptions - ACT territory elections have *optional* computer-based voting, and NSW state elections have an *optional* online voting system for some absentee or disabled voters.)

On election night, officials at every polling place - who are required to sign a declaration, under penalty, that they are not politically active - do an initial hand count of first-preference votes (yes, we have IRV and STV ballots here) and the votes for the top two front runners. These are the numbers that make their way to the internet in a matter of minutes and are used for the election night media coverage - but they actually have no legal significance at all, they're basically purely for the media coverage.

The real counting happens the week after election day, when all ballots are transported to the local electoral office for counting. For elections that use IRV ballots (e.g. the federal House of Representatives), the ballots are all hand counted. For STV ballots (e.g. the federal Senate), they do use computer based counting, however the paper ballots are retained and a hand count can be done if necessary. If there are any issues that arise, the Returning Officer has the discretion to order a recount as necessary, without necessarily needing court orders or anything like that.

The *entire process* - opening the polls, conducting the polling, closing the polls, the first count, the second count, and any recounts - takes place in front of candidate-appointed scrutineers (not quite as good as being public, but it's close enough). Every candidate can appoint scrutineers to witness the whole process and make objections.

And this is how Australia has elections that are virtually unchallengeable - for a typical federal election, there will usually be at most one serious dispute, and only in districts with the tiniest of margins where they need a judge to make the final decision. Heck, we're experimenting with computer-based and internet-based voting systems, and no-one's raising concerns because the Electoral Commission has such a high reputation for integrity and accuracy.

Comment: Re:Massive farms of artificial trees... (Score 1) 368

by FredThompson (#38682820) Attached to: New CO2 Harvester Could Help Scrub the Air


There is no appreciable atmospheric effect from co2 created by human activity. there is no appreciable heat effect from human co2 production. you are coupling where there is no such statement. human bodies handle excessive heat better than excessive cold. cold is more deadly than heat. there will be no 100ft sea rise. co2 levels rise and fall over time.The earth is far more resilient and self-correcting a system than you assume. People are nowhere near capable of destroying it.

Comment: Re:Massive farms of artificial trees... (Score 1) 368

by FredThompson (#38677612) Attached to: New CO2 Harvester Could Help Scrub the Air

CO2 is used by plants the way you use oxygen. First, the complaint was the predicted "population bomb" where there would be too many people for the Earth's resources. Then came "global warming" where human life overheats the planet. The solution? Lower CO2 so life dies. Brilliant. Here's another idea: More CO2 means more plants means more food means warmer earth means fewer human deaths from weather with less ability for a few people to control the food supply. So...more CO2 means more freedom for everyone on earth. The earth is a self-regulating enivronment. Outlawing food is a death cult.

Comment: Re:CS is part of IT (Score 1) 520

by ajdlinux (#37513238) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: CS Grads Taking IT Jobs?
Agreed. I'm Australian, and I'm enrolled in a CS major - but I do my classes along side IT and SE students... as far as I'm concerned, all three terms are fairly close, just with some subtle differences. The umbrella term for everything, whether it's programming, consulting, sysadmin, etc. is 'IT'. This American differentiation between IT and CS just confuses me...

I judge a religion as being good or bad based on whether its adherents become better people as a result of practicing it. - Joe Mullally, computer salesman