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Comment: Tampered EVMs may have already been used (Score 1, Troll) 179 179

There have been allegations in the past that political parties in India have rigged EVMs and I think that is quite likely despite the lack of "evidence". To understand that, you need to know how the voting system works in Indian elections.

The educated elite in India are apathetic to voting. They have no trust in the administrative system and have no hope that the endemic corruption will ever end. So come election time, the people who vote are mostly the poor who hope that some day, the extravagant promises made by the political parties will be kept . Before election day, the voters are bribed with free liquor and food. The women folk are given new clothes. And finally cash is also distributed to bias the voters to chose a particular candidate. The system which issues voter identification cards is broken and sometimes you can find impostors voting on behalf of actual voters.

Given the amount of money that politicians spend on rigging manual voting, tampering EVMs is just good business practice. It is cheaper and you don't need to chase around thousands of voters.

+ - "Piracy as been a source of progress"-> 1 1

seasunset writes: Jose Mariano Gago, minister for Science and Technology of Portugal said that Piracy and been a source of progress and globalization (Google translation). This senior official of the south western EU country also suggested that value of cultural products might sometimes be increased by piracy.

Regarding downloads, Gago stated that the Portuguese government is studying regulation, but that it "must be sensible" and that "The Internet is a matter of adding freedoms, not restricting them.

Link to Original Source
Space

+ - Life's Building Blocks Found on Asteroid 24 Themis

Hugh Pickens writes: "The LA Times reports that scientists analyzing of infrared light reflected by 24 Themis, one of the largest asteroids in the solar system, have discovered evidence of water ice as well as organic compounds — findings that bolster a leading theory for the origins of life on Earth that the essential building blocks of life came from asteroids. "Up until now there was no sign that asteroids had any abundant organics or ice on them," says Joshua P. Emery, a planetary astronomer at the University of Tennessee. Typically, ice on the surface of an object such as 24 Themis would quickly vaporize and vanish, says planetary scientist Richard Binzel. "Seeing freshly exposed ice on the surface, now that's a surprise. It has to be replenished from below, somehow." The possibility that water could have come from asteroids adds weight to the theory that water and organic molecules may not have originated on Earth because the Earth did not become conducive to water or organic molecules until relatively recently. "In the Earth's early history, it was very hot liquid molten rock, and if the Earth had any organic molecules back then, they were burned in that stage of its evolution," says astronomer Humberto Campins. "As the crust solidifies, it is subsequent impacts with asteroids or comets that brought the building blocks of life." Beyond the scientific interest in ice on the asteroid's surface lies a practical one, adds Binzel. If asteroids rich in accessible water ice are common, they hold the potential of serving as oases for future astronauts during interplanetary trips."

Comment: Re:SuddenOutbreakOf... (Score 1) 192 192

Caste system has been made illegal only in name, but is still practiced in a different form by the people in power. In fact it has become endemic to the entire administrative structure of the government. Pick any government office and I'll eat my shoe if you can't find caste politics at play.

Politicians do everything they can to keep people divided on caste lines so that come election time, they are guaranteed a certain percentage of votes. Instead of backing off affirmative action for under-privileged classes after they attain some economic freedom, as was originally intended at the time of writing of the Indian constitution, politicians work very hard at bringing in more people under affirmative action, to build up their voter base. Casteism is far from gone from India. It is just thriving in a different form.

Comment: Re:So are you redirected to wholesome Bollywood? (Score 1) 167 167

There really is no sex in Bollywood. Everything upto the point of getting nude and having sex is allowed, but the line is drawn at sex. Now a days the situation is better. At least they show people kissing each other, but a decade earlier, movies used "rich" symbolisms like bees hovering over a flower, two flowers jostling each other in the wind and shots of lightning to indicate that actors are engaged in passion and sex.
Music

+ - Jammie Thomas hit with $1.92 million verdict-> 1 1

An anonymous reader writes: After less than five hours of deliberations, a federal jury has found Jammie Thomas liable for copyright infringement and awarded the record labels $1.92 million in damages. She was determined to have infringed the record labels' copyrights willfully, which led to the award of $80,000 per song; otherwise it would have been capped at $30,000 per song.
Link to Original Source
Linux Business

+ - Michael Dell says Linux server sales are up->

00_NOP writes: "Linux is growing faster in the server space than Windows says the Dell CEO:

"On the server side Linux continues to grow nicely, a bit faster than Windows. We're seeing a move to Linux in critical applications, and Linux migration has not slowed down."

With Netcraft statistics in recent months showing a big increase in Windows as a webserver and with the renewed assault on Linux's legitimacy over the issue of software patents — not a problem for those of us in Europe ;-) — this is reassuring news for FOSS advocates."

Link to Original Source
Software

India Decides to Vote "No" For OOXML 120 120

Indian writes to mention that after an intense meeting at Delhi's Manak Bhawan the 21-member technical committee has decided to vote against Microsoft's Open Office Extensible Mark Up Language (OOXML) standard at the September meeting of the International Standards Organization (ISO). "Microsoft said it respects the government's decision. 'There were only three options "Yes", "No" and "Abstain" to be taken and we respect the government's decision,' Microsoft's legal affairs head Rakesh Bakshi said. He, however, added that India's 'No' vote will become a 'Yes' if Microsoft is able to resolve all technical issues with OOXML before the ballot resolution committee of ISO."
Software

+ - India rejects Microsoft OOXML in favor of ODF->

slashthedot writes: "In a major setback to Microsoft's effort to further its OOXML standard, India on Thursday gave Microsoft a thumbs-down in the war of standards for office documents. In a tense meeting at Delhi's Manak Bhawan, the 21-member technical committee decided that India will vote a 'no' against Microsoft's Open Office Extensible Mark Up Language (OOXML) standard at the International Standards Organisation (ISO) in Geneva on September 2.
The Open Document Format (ODF) alliance — enjoying widespread support from academia and corporates like Oracle, IBM, Red Hat, Sun Microsystems, Google — were in a jubilant mood having succeeded in stalling OOXML from being accepted as a standard in India.
Microsoft,however, is still hopeful that India's 'No' vote will become a 'Yes' if Microsoft is able to resolve all technical issues with OOXML before the ballot resolution committee of ISO.
The voting was a hot issue in India for some weeks, with most of the institutions, including IITs and IIMs, supporting ODF, and only a few favoring OOXML as a choice. During the days before voting, there were reports that both the parties were offering director-level jobs at 200% hike to each other to help switch votes in their favour."

Link to Original Source
Businesses

+ - Dell begins their largest layoff ever. 3 3

cyphercell writes: Dell has begun their largest series of layoffs ever. This morning at about 10:00am more than two hundred employees at Dell's Roseburg Oregon Call center found out that they no longer had jobs. Sparking what appears to be the beginning of year long run of layoffs for the company. http://www.newsreview.info/article/20070802/NEWS/7 0802014

Refuting local suspicions of malice Dell spokesman David Frink states:

... the closure has nothing to do with a lawsuit filed by employees of the Roseburg center in February, claiming Dell violated federal and state wage and hour laws.
http://www.newsreview.info/article/20070213/NEWS/7 0213020

and later says

...plans to reduce employment worldwide by 10 percent at the end of May.


Their plans to reduce employment can be found here:
http://www.statesman.com/business/content/business /stories/technology/06/01/1dell.html

Here are some highlights:

Dell set to shed 8,800 workers...

Dell has 82,200 permanent workers, including 18,000 in Central Texas, and 5,300 temporary workers worldwide. The layoffs are expected to affect both groups...

In its last large-scale layoffs, Dell cut more than 5,000 jobs in Austin after the high-tech bust in 2001.

...many of the layoffs could come in Central Texas, where Dell is headquartered. In a March 29 report to clients, Goldman Sachs analysts said Dell might reduce the work force at its test and assembly facilities in the U.S. and Malaysia.

Comment: Re:Are you *kidding* me? (Score 1) 360 360

The Shiv Sena and RSS are Hindu chauvinist thugs that aren't taken seriously by anyone educated.

Unfortunately, that isn't the case always. RSS and their likes have some very strong student unions who actively campaign in many colleges and people do join them. Its usually these students who are sent to do low level vandalizing (like disrupt Valentine's day celebrations, thrash Internet cafes).

Also there are many people (highly educated, mind you), who I know, support this censorship. It basically comes down to not being able to ignore badmouthing. No one is gets hurt when someone writes some inflammatory things on some website. But people chose to get insulted and they are happy that Shivsena and RSS are fighting the "fight" for them.
Censorship

+ - YouTube banned nationwide in Turkey

unity100 writes: "As of 07.03.2007, access to YouTube.com has been banned nationwide in Turkey through the nations' one and only internet backbone provider, Turkish Telecom, in accordance with decision no: 2007/384 dated 06.03.2007 of Istanbul First Criminal Peace Court.

The reason for this court's decision is a recent video that has been published on YouTube.com recently which is said to be insulting Turkish Republic's founder, Mustafa Kemal.

Curiously, this follows on the heels of a 3-4 month long campaign by the ruling party and the media supporting them against the freedom in the internet, citing "internet needs to be 'straightened up'".

All internet users nationwide are met with the below message that apparently emanates from Turkish Telecom DNS server or access filters :

"Bu siteye eriim mahkeme kararyla engellenmitir !...

www.youtube.com sitesine eriim stanbul 1. Sulh Ceza Mahkemesi'nin 2007/384 say ve 06.03.2007 tarihli karar gerei engellenmitir.

Access to www.youtube.com site has been suspended in accordance with decision no: 2007/384 dated 06.03.2007 of Istanbul First Criminal Peace Court.""
Microsoft

+ - Microsoft attack Google over 'fair use'

Theendisnigh writes: Quoted from the Guardian online: "Microsoft will today launch a blistering attack on Google, accusing the Silicon Valley giant of a "cavalier" attitude to copyright.
In a prepared speech to the American Association of Publishers, senior Microsoft lawyer Tom Rubin is expected to hit out at Google for profiting from other people's work.
"Companies that create no content of their own, and make money solely on the backs of other people's content, are raking in billions through advertising revenue and IPOs," he says."

Complete Guardian story available here.
Media

+ - AnyDVD updated, now removes Blue-Ray DRM

mariushm writes: "SlySoft has just updated AnyDVD HD, offering users the possibility of watching Blue-Ray media without DRM. This comes after only two weeks from the first release which was able to remove DRM from HD-DVD.

Version 6.1.3.0 has lots of features but probably the most important one is stripping the evil DRM infection from Blu-Ray and restore your fair use rights.

The free upgrade can also remove region encoding, works on Windows XP-64 and Vista-64, and fixes a ton of bugs. You can get the update or a trial copy here."
Operating Systems

+ - Vista Brute Force Keygen

Miasik.Net writes: "It seems that there's a script on the loose which can generate valid Vista keys. It does it but a brute force approach so the generation can takes days sometimes, but it is reported to work. More trouble for Microsoft because this keygen is capable of generating valid keys for Vista copies already in circulation which haven't been yet activated causing their legitimate users some troubles with WGA."

UNIX enhancements aren't.

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