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Comment: Re:same as vote by mail (Score 1) 190

Actually Oregon was getting high turnout decades before they switched to vote-by-mail. There was one study which showed that Oregon got increased turnout from vote-by-mail, but a more recent study was unable to replicate that. It showed that Oregon's increased turnout was due to a "novelty effect", but it has since disappeared (except for a very small effect in some small special elections).

Furthermore, Oregon's anti-fraud measures are inadequate (e.g., the handwriting analysis isn't done by fully trained people, and has never been subjected to third-party scrutiny). And the much-touted "ballot parties" -- where groups of friends get together and talk about the issues and then fill out and mail their ballots out together -- are a classic example of a violation of the secret ballot and peer pressure in voting. (And remember: this doesn't actually increase turnout.)

Vote-by-mail increases the risks, doesn't effect turnout, and removes the secret ballot. But at least it's cheaper, I guess?

I do agree that online voting increases the risks monumentally, though. Even the much-lauded Estonian system is fundamentally flawed.

Comment: Re:if you want your day in court (Score 1, Insightful) 215

by Raul654 (#46979675) Attached to: Plaintiff In Tech Hiring Suit Asks Judge To Reject Settlement

> Why does the legal system allow settling class action suits?

Because when all the basic facts are the same, it makes *a lot* more sense to have one trial covering 64,000 victims than it does to have 64,000 trials. The *only* people who benefit from having all those unnecessary trials are the lawyers. If anything, class actions are less profitable for lawyers than the alternative.

Furthermore, unlike this case (where each plantiff suffered substantial harm: tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars each), imagine a case where the harm suffered is small-but-nonzero. (For example, a few years back, the music CDs with the rootkits on them. For most people, the harm is the cost of the CD, around $15. Maybe twice to four times that if you want to include the cost of rootkit removal) In those cases, nobody in their right mind is going to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to file a lawsuit to recover $15. So the victim's choice is a class action suit or nothing at all.

+ - Heartbleed: Serious OpenSSL zero day vulnerability revealed-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: ZDNet reports: New security holes are always showing up. The latest one, the so-called Heartbleed Bug in the OpenSSL cryptographic library, is an especially bad one. The flaw can potentially be used to reveal not just the contents of a secured-message, such as a credit-card transaction over HTTPS, but the primary and secondary SSL keys themselves. This data could then, in theory, be used as a skeleton keys to bypass secure servers without leaving a trace that a site had been hacked.
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Too Bad. (Score 1) 40

by Raul654 (#46414465) Attached to: US Drops Link Sharing Charges Against Barrett Brown

I'm not a lawyer either, but FYI even if the judge had agreed to dismiss the charges, that would not be binding on other courts either. It would not have become binding unless one side or the other appealed and the circuit court and got a decision there. That decision would then become binding on *only* that circuit.

Comment: Re:Pitivi is such a POS (Score 3, Interesting) 79

by Raul654 (#46313801) Attached to: Open Source Video Editor Pitivi Seeks Crowdfunding to Reach 1.0

Agreed - it's a POS.

I installed Pitivi .15.2 from from the repos. It literally took me less than 2 minutes to crash it. It died as soon as I imported an mp3 to use as audio. (NOTE: Their website says not to report .15.2 bugs. They are evidently not supporting it anymore)

Then, following the suggestions posted here, I grabbed the latest version from source (which through trial and error, I found required adding a source repo and installing build dependencies before attempting to install from source). I configured it, built it, and tried to run it. It immediately errored out, complaining that I need to install yet more missing dependencies (GES this time). I googled the problem, saw lots of people complaing about this, and found some vague instructions on the pitivi wiki (http://wiki.pitivi.org/wiki/Building_with_GES) explaining how to install it.

At this point, I threw in the towel.

Comment: Re:or stop hiding... (Score 1) 377

by Raul654 (#46237715) Attached to: Assange's Lawyers: Follow Swedish Law, Interrogate Him In the UK

"Face it, the evidence is that the USA has no real interest in Assange." - that's bullshit. Even while denying that he's under indictment, the official who said it was only half-hearted in his denial: "Nothing has occurred so far," ( -- http://www.washingtonpost.com/... )

"So far" being the operative word. And that sounds like a lot more interest than none at all.

Comment: Re:or stop hiding... (Score 2) 377

by Raul654 (#46237137) Attached to: Assange's Lawyers: Follow Swedish Law, Interrogate Him In the UK

"It would be easier for the US to get him extradited from the UK than from Sweden." -- except he isn't in the UK. He's in Ecuador. And when Whitehall floated the idea that they could violate the integrity of the Ecuadorian embassy to arrested him, it blew up in their faces. Doing so would effectively open up their embassies to similar retaliation by every other country in the world.

Comment: Re:EC2 is scriptable (Score 3, Interesting) 80

by Salis (#45558909) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Scientific Computing Workflow For the Cloud?

The OP needs lower-priced spot instances, which are intermittently available and designed exactly for this workflow.

Here's how to utilize lower-priced spot instances for scientific computing:

1. Set up one long-running, low-cost instance (a small is fine) that creates a distributed queue using Amazon's SQS, and adds jobs to the queue corresponding to each "unit" of the relevant computational problem of interest. New jobs can be added using a command line interface, or through a web interface.

2. Create a user start-up Bash script for the spot instances that runs your main program -- I prefer using Python and boto for simplicity. The main program should connect to the SQS queue, and begin an "infinite" while loop. Inside the loop, the next job off the queue is pulled, containing the input parameters that define the "unit" of the computational problem of interest. These input parameters are fed to the main algorithm, and the resulting output is uploaded to Amazon S3. The loop continues.

3. Any time the queue is empty or the spot instance remains idle for ~5 minutes, the spot instance then auto-terminates using EC2's command line interface.

4. Finally, just write a simple Python script to pull all the results off S3, combine & analyze them, and export to another useful format.

You'll also need to set up your spot instance price threshold, and make sure the queue has jobs to run. That's it, it's fairly simple.

Comment: Re:"free" market solution (Score 3, Informative) 452

by Raul654 (#44963459) Attached to: Undiscovered Country of HFT: FPGA JIT Ethernet Packet Assembly

"Because the effect of that would be to push even more transactions into unregulated "dark pools". Why do you believe that HFT is harmful? Do you have any evidence, other than fear of something you don't understand?"

Yes - (1) HFT has the potential to cause extreme volatility swings. (2) HFT essentially introduces a tax on every other buyer and seller in the market (because it actually widens the difference between the post and the offer).

On point #2, I'll just leave this here: http://qz.com/95088/high-frequency-trading-is-bad-for-normal-investors-researchers-say/

Comment: That OO-My-God Moment of Emergence (Score 1) 242

by Salis (#44610901) Attached to: Interviews: Q&A With Guido van Rossum

Emergent OOism -- that everything is an object, including the variable types -- can provide continual surprises of what is possible, even to veteran programmers in other languages. As you were developing and using Python, Guido, what was your favorite surprise? What was now easily possible using Python that would have been very difficult with another language (at the time, or even nowadays)?

Mine: a dictionary of lambda functions for parsing text, and writing a custom MapReduce capability for AWS in 372 lines.

UNIX was not designed to stop you from doing stupid things, because that would also stop you from doing clever things. -- Doug Gwyn

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