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Comment: Summary completely pointless (Score 1) 457

by goodben (#38598034) Attached to: Mathematics Says Romney and Santorum Tied In Iowa
The summary is completely incorrect (haven't read the article). What statistics says is that from the vote you can't tell whether Romney or Santorum is more popular among eligible caucus goers. The rules for determining delegates from the caucus are independent from the statistics of popularity. In this particular contest, this is only the first round and so it's hard to estimate how the final delegate count will end up. CNN estimates that the delegates will be split 7-7-7-2-2 for Romney, Santorum, Paul, Gingrich, and Perry, respectively. The AP, based on what appears to be a more careful examination of the rules estimates that the delegates will be split 13-12 for Romney and Santorum. (The AP estimate is based on congressional districts and since Paul and the others didn't carry any of the districts, they don't think they'll get any delegates). However, even the later caucus rounds are non-binding and delegates don't have to stick to someone who does poorly later on. What this means is that the entire point of the Iowa Caucus is media perceptions. What's more, since this is a caucus, the second part of the blurb makes no since, especially the part about ballots sticking. In caucus you count supporters, not ballots and they aren't secret anyway.

Comment: Not technically correct (Score 1) 546

by goodben (#27225021) Attached to: Rocket Hobbyists Prevail Over Feds In Court Case

While APCP will not detonate, it will deflagrate (which is what it is designed to do).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deflagration

APCP when burning produces large amounts of gases quickly, which if confined, will cause the container to burst (dry ice also bombs work on this principle). For safety reasons (more than fear of terrorism), the US Department of Transportation regulates shipping materials that strongly deflagrate as explosives under the HAZMAT cateogory of Class 1.3 explosives.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HAZMAT_Class_1_Explosives

There is a large misconcetption between a detonation and explosion. All conventional military bombs desgined to explode use a detonation as the mechanism because it is easier to control, more powerful, and more precise, but explosions can be caused by other mechanisms as well.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Detonation

Rockets are powered by materials that will explode under confinement (like gunpowder), but will usually not detonate.

Comment: Re:General Assembly is worse (Score 1) 505

by goodben (#25158543) Attached to: State of Kentucky Seizes Control of 141 Domain Names

It may be that this isn't a big deal to the various assortments of petty dictators, but they will often gang up on unpopular countries. Witness how the UN commission on racism is consistently and ironically hijacked by antisemitic agenda. It is worth noting that censorship is a universal concern for dictators and other autocrats and totalitarians. Control over the internet would likely inspire the various anti-freedom forces which make up the majority of the UN to work together for their individual benefit.

If I have not seen as far as others, it is because giants were standing on my shoulders. -- Hal Abelson

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