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Comment: Re:Yet another unconstitutional law (Score 0) 326

by ral315 (#43512625) Attached to: Senate To Vote On Internet Sales Tax (For Real This Time)
Article 1, Section 9 does not apply to the states, it applies to Congress/the federal government, in that Congress cannot institute a federal tariff on exports from states. Nothing in this section is applied to the individual states. Not to mention, as another poster mentioned, this is not a tax on exports, it's a tax on imports.

Comment: Misleading (Score 5, Informative) 106

by ral315 (#39836487) Attached to: FCC To Require TV Stations To Post Rates For Campaign Ads
This is technically true, but that's not the story. The story isn't that the rates will be available, it's that we'll know how much candidates spend, and where they're spending it.

The rates themselves are, by law, the lowest rate that the stations charge (to avoid stations charging different rates based on whether they support that candidate) - so that's not really that informative. It's actually knowing that Candidate X purchased 800 points of TV time in Market A and 1200 points in Market B that is interesting. Currently, this information is available, but only by driving to the stations during business hours to view them, which is of course not very useful.

Comment: Re:Excellent news for Unesco (Score 1) 735

by ral315 (#37914310) Attached to: US Defunds UNESCO After Palestine Vote
This has nothing to do with the current administration. As the article (and the summary!) clearly state, the law that requires ending UNESCO's funding was passed in 1994. Maybe they would have done so anyway, but as it stands, it was not a choice, it was them following a law passed 17 years ago.

Comment: Re:Soaring costs? (Score 1) 62

by ral315 (#35815610) Attached to: Census Tech Makeover Includes Innovation "Oasis"

You'd need more than 50% to not return the form before it would make any practical difference at the statistical level.

Except that the census isn't designed solely for macro-level statistical information. One of the most important roles of a census is determining a city/county/state's population, which is used to allocate funding, and determine the number of representatives in the US House and state houses/senates, which does have a significant impact on the makeup of those bodies.

Return rates are not uniform across the board. Large cities are notoriously under-counted, because of the difficulty of counting the homeless population, renters, those who move during the course of the census, those who do not speak English (even though the Census prints in multiple languages, return rates are still lower among non-English speakers), and various other groups that tend to be much more prevalent in large cities than in smaller cities and more middle-class suburban neighborhoods. This map of Census forms returned county-by-county provides an interesting look at the issue. While the percentages can't be considered completely accurate due to issues like vacant apartments, etc, there's still significant variance. In New York state, for example, mail return rates per county range from 43% to 84%. That's a staggering variance, and when it comes to ensuring that residents have adequate funding and representation, having fairly accurate results is essential.

As an aside, statistical sampling for the census has been discussed in the past to avoid these issues. I'm not opposed to using a reasonable sampling technique, so long as it accounts for areas with statistically low return rates. However, Republicans oppose sampling because they feel it overcounts groups that tend to vote Democratic (and, Democrats tend to support sampling because they feel it's a more accurate count). In 1999, the Supreme Court ruled that sampling cannot be used to determine population for the purposes of apportioning US congressional seats, and while it could be used for drawing state/local lines and for allocating federal funds, it's such a political football that it probably won't happen in the foreseeable future.

Comment: Re:Casino's blaim bugs all the time. Its a scam! (Score 1) 479

by ral315 (#32473406) Attached to: Malfunction Costs Couple $11 Million Slot Machine Jackpot
As has probably already been stated, that's 4.2 billion pennies - i.e. an integer overflow. I agree that slot machines shouldn't have these issues, but by the same token, if a machine whose posted top prize is, say, $10,000 says that I won $42 million, I would expect that there's an error. Similarly, if my bank has a computer error and tells me that I have an extra $1 million in my account, I wouldn't expect them to honor the error.
Space

George Takei Now an Asteroid 181

Posted by samzenpus
from the lock-phasers-on-gimmick dept.
ineedbettername writes "In recent news, the International Astronomic Union has decided to rename the asteroid "1994 GT9" to 7307 Takei in honor of George Takei, the actor who played Sulu in Star Trek. He now joins the ranks of other famous sci-fi figures in space, such as 4659 Roddenberry, 68410 Nichols, Robert Heinlein and Isaac Asimov."
Biotech

Alzheimer's Could Be a Third Form of Diabetes 251

Posted by kdawson
from the i-forget-why dept.
Atzanteol writes "Insulin, it turns out, may be as important for the mind as it is for the body. Research in the last few years has raised the possibility that Alzheimer's memory loss could be due to a novel third form of diabetes. Scientists at Northwestern University have discovered why brain insulin signaling — crucial for memory formation — would stop working in Alzheimer's disease."
Mozilla

+ - Mozilla admits Firefox is flawed just like IE-> 1

Submitted by jdelator
jdelator (1131933) writes "In a public mea culpa, Mozilla Corp.'s chief security officer acknowledged today that Firefox includes the same flaw that the company called a "critical vulnerability" in Internet Explorer during a two-week ruckus over responsibility for a Windows zero-day bug.

"Over the weekend, we learned about a new scenario that identifies ways that Firefox could also be used as the entry point," said Window Snyder of Mozilla. "While browsing with Firefox, a specially crafted URL could potentially be used to send bad data to another application.

"We thought this was just a problem with IE," Snyder continued. "It turns out, it is a problem with Firefox as well.""

Link to Original Source
Privacy

+ - MySpace finds 29,000 sex offenders among users

Submitted by StonyandCher
StonyandCher (1121349) writes "MySpace has identified more than 29,000 registered sex offenders among those registered to use its site — more than four times what the company said in May it had found from an investigation, according to North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper.

"[The 29,000] includes just the predators who signed up using their real names and not the ones who failed to register or used fake names," Cooper said in the statement. Cooper is one of eight state attorneys general who asked MySpace in May to turn over the names of users who are registered sex offenders.

In May, MySpace reluctantly revealed it had uncovered 7000 sex offenders."
Bug

Apple Safari On Windows Broken On First Day 595

Posted by kdawson
from the bigger-they-come dept.
An anonymous reader writes "David Maynor, infamous for the Apple Wi-Fi hack, has discovered bugs in the Windows version of Safari mere hours after it was released. He notes in the blog that his company does not report vulnerabilities to Apple. His claimed catch for 'an afternoon of idle futzing': 4 DoS bugs and 2 remote execution vulnerabilities." Separately, within 2 hours Thor Larholm found a URL protocol handler command injection vulnerability that allows remote command execution.
Operating Systems

+ - Is Gentoo in crisis?

Submitted by
TheCoop1984
TheCoop1984 writes "A recent article on distrowatch, and an extended thread on the gentoo forums, have pointed out that gentoo is not what it used to be. Daniel Robbins came back and went again after only a few days, developer turnover is as high as ever, personal attacks on the mailing lists are common, and people are generally not happy about the current state of affairs. Is gentoo rotting from the inside, and can anything be done about it?"
Security

+ - Chinese figher plane and missile up for sale

Submitted by
Madas
Madas writes "Apparently a Chinese man has up for sale from his "personal collection" a Jian-5 fighter jet as well as a Red Flag 2 surface-to-air missile. The auction has been running on www.taobao.com for a while. The seller said that the missile has been disarmed and for a small fee the items can be disassembled and reassembled at the winning buyers site."
Communications

Trolltech Qtopia Greenphone and SDK Review 37

Posted by Hemos
from the for-the-wee-little-ones dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Greenphone comes at a time when there are countless mobile Linux platforms, but not many of them are open for easy development. This little device aims to fill a niche for a community-oriented mobile development platform. How does it perform? Linuxlookup.com has the Trolltech Qtopia Greenphone and SDK review."

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