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+ - Mathematicians Study Effects of Gerrymandering on 2012 Election 1

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Gerrymandering is the practice of establishing a political advantage for a political party by manipulating district boundaries to concentrate all your opponents votes in a few districts while keeping your party's supporters as a majority in the remaining districts. For example, in North Carolina in 2012 Republicans ended up winning nine out of 13 congressional seats even though more North Carolinians voted for Democrats than Republicans statewide. Now Jessica Jones reports that researchers at Duke are studying the mathematical explanation for the discrepancy. Mathematicians Jonathan Mattingly and Christy Vaughn created a series of district maps using the same vote totals from 2012, but with different borders. Their work was governed by two principles of redistricting: a federal rule requires each district have roughly the same population and a state rule requires congressional districts to be compact. Using those principles as a guide, they created a mathematical algorithm to randomly redraw the boundaries of the state’s 13 congressional districts. "We just used the actual vote counts from 2012 and just retabulated them under the different districtings," says Vaughn. "”If someone voted for a particular candidate in the 2012 election and one of our redrawn maps assigned where they live to a new congressional district, we assumed that they would still vote for the same political party."

The results were startling. After re-running the election 100 times with a randomly drawn nonpartisan map each time, the average simulated election result was 7 or 8 U.S. House seats for the Democrats and 5 or 6 for Republicans. The maximum number of Republican seats that emerged from any of the simulations was eight. The actual outcome of the election — four Democratic representatives and nine Republicans – did not occur in any of the simulations. "If we really want our elections to reflect the will of the people, then I think we have to put in safeguards to protect our democracy so redistrictings don't end up so biased that they essentially fix the elections before they get started," says Mattingly. But North Carolina State Senator Bob Rucho is unimpressed. "I'm saying these maps aren't gerrymandered," says Rucho. "It was a matter of what the candidates actually was able to tell the voters and if the voters agreed with them. Why would you call that uncompetitive?""

+ - Ubisoft apologises for Assassin's Creed

Submitted by BarbaraHudson
BarbaraHudson (3785311) writes "As reported here:

As an acknowledgement of the botched launch of Assassin's Creed Unity, Ubisoft has offered free additional content to everyone who purchased the title, cancelled the game's season pass and offered a free game to users who purchased the pass.

The anticipation for Assassin's Creed Unity was such that the myriad of bugs and technical issues experienced at launch felt like an even greater slap in the face for gamers.

"

Comment: Re:Great, now let's talk filesystems (Score 0) 289

by jones_supa (#48474885) Attached to: Windows 10 To Feature Native Support For MKV and FLAC

Microsoft has finally caved in and acknowledged that Linux exists.

Have they really? They still seem to very much talk in language which pretends that something called Linux has never existed. Linux is only discreetly mentioned in places where absolutely necessary, such as in the silly "Get the Facts" comparisons or in their Hyper-V stuff.

+ - Windows 10 to Feature Native Support for MKV and FLAC

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) writes "Windows Media Player is going to become a more useful media player for those who want to play geeky file formats. Microsoft has earlier confirmed that Windows 10 will come with native support for Matroska Video, but the company now talks about also adding FLAC support. Microsoft's Gabriel Aul posted a teaser screenshot in Twitter showing support for this particular format. It can be expected to arrive in a future update for people running the Windows 10 Technical Preview. Not many GUI changes seem to be happening around Media Player, but work is done under the hood."

Comment: Cheap laptops (Score 1) 196

by jones_supa (#48472625) Attached to: Consortium Roadmap Shows 100TB Hard Drives Possible By 2025
Cheap $300 laptops these days slap in a 500GB HDD to satisfy the requirement of a hard drive. A basic 500GB disk is what they can source cheaply and easily from the market. However, I suspect that they could ship a smaller capacity disk as well, if that allows the manufacturer to shave off some of the laptop's price. What follows is, that I also suspect that when making a 128 GB SSD becomes cheaper to manufacture than a mechanical HDD, many low-end laptops will move to the SSD format.

Comment: Re:No longer supports 32-bit architecture (Score 1) 64

by jones_supa (#48470051) Attached to: DragonFly BSD 4.0 Released

Another OS that has dropped support for 32-bit architecture. This is probably not an issue for most users as 32-bit processors are less common these days. If you have an older machine with a 32-bit processor, you can't slap on the latest and greatest *nix OS.

PC-BSD also dropped 32-bit support a year ago.

One possible reason that things aren't going according to plan is that there never was a plan in the first place.

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