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Politics

+ - The Romney family has investment ties to faulty voting machine company-> 1

Submitted by Lasrick
Lasrick (2629253) writes "Where is the FEC on this? "Through a closely held equity fund called Solamere, Mitt Romney and his wife, son and brother are major investors in an investment firm called H.I.G. Capital. H.I.G. in turn holds a majority share and three out of five board members in Hart Intercivic, a company that owns the notoriously faulty electronic voting machines that will count the ballots in swing state Ohio November 7""
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+ - Visa/MC Take fight to Scammers->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "In his latest story, Brian Krebs reports on a collaboration between brand holders and credit card companies to shut down payment processing for rogue online pharmacies, pirate software sellers and fake anti-virus scams. By conducting test purchases, they map out which banks are being used to accept payments for which scams. Writes Krebs, "Following the money trail showed that a majority of the purchases were processed by just 12 banks in a handful of countries, including Azerbaijan, China, Georgia, Latvia, and Mauritius." These results are then fed to Visa and Mastercard who typically shut down the merchant accounts "within one month after a complaint was lodged." If you can't accept payments, you can't make money and without money you can't pay the spammers who advertise your product. This effort is apparently quite effective and has led to much concern by those running such sites. Summing up this position is one rogue pharmacy affiliate who writes on a Russian-speaking underground forum, "IMHO, there is a general sad picture, fucking Visa is burning us with napalm.”"
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Comment: Re:much as I like NASA... (Score 1) 242

by vitriolum (#41355199) Attached to: NASA To Face $1.3 Billion Cut Next Year Under Sequestration

Yes, DoD money helps too. I don't know which (if either) is better. What I'm getting at is that fixing the deficit by cutting government spending is not guaranteed to do any good for the overall economy at all. In fact, it will probably hurt the economy. That leads to less tax revenue, which requires more cuts to spending, and so on.

I'm hoping we can avoid this sequestration and solve the problem with a combination of well thought out spending cuts and revenue increases.

Comment: Re:much as I like NASA... (Score 4, Insightful) 242

by vitriolum (#41354327) Attached to: NASA To Face $1.3 Billion Cut Next Year Under Sequestration

Except NASA's budget goes right back into the pockets of the American people, plus we get space missions.

"The economic benefits of NASA's programs are greater than generally realized. The main beneficiaries (the American public) may not even realize the source of their good fortune. . ." - paper in Nature, 1992

In 2002, the aerospace industry accounted for $95 billion of economic activity in the United States, including $23.5 billion in employee earnings dispersed among some 576,000 employees (source: Federal Aviation Administration, March 2004).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budget_of_NASA#Economic_impact_of_NASA_funding

Comment: Re:Turnout, not undecideds, will determine electio (Score 1) 124

by vitriolum (#41159467) Attached to: Can Data Mining Win a Presidential Campaign?
This. This is where data and turnout collide. Except it begins much earlier. The computers spit out lists of likely undecided voters and supporters likely to stay home and we call them and knock on their door. I've been doing it for over a month already, and will be at it twice a week until the election. It's the results of all that canvassing that gets put to use on election day. The data gets put to use much earlier. At least, that's how the Obama campaign is doing it. I guess the Republicans probably aren't spending a lot of labor on increasing turnout,.

+ - Anti-Bigotry Gaming Site Defaced With Racial Slurs->

Submitted by vitriolum
vitriolum (1280610) writes "Sam Killermann launched a website dedicated to fighting bigotry in online gaming. After accruing about 1,500 signatures on a pledge to abstain from using bigoted language in online games, the site was attacked. The signatures were wiped out and the site was defaced with racial slurs and Goatse imagery. It sounds like he has a partial backup, but the continued attack is preventing his restoration attempts. Does the Slashdot community have any advice for Sam? How do you think bigotry in online gaming should be addressed?"
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Comment: Re:Another interesting discovery what was made... (Score 1) 1046

by vitriolum (#39542393) Attached to: Forensic Experts Say Screams Were Not Zimmerman's
"The terms "Hispanic" or "Latino" refer to persons who trace their origin or descent to Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Spanish speaking Central and South America countries, and other Spanish cultures. Origin can be considered as the heritage, nationality group, lineage, or country of the person or the person's parents or ancestors before their arrival in the United States. People who identify their origin as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race." From wikipedia, quoting from the US Census Bureau

Comment: Filled my Cancelled Order (Score 4, Interesting) 127

by vitriolum (#37876454) Attached to: HP Officially Out of TouchPads

I had managed to get two orders for a 16gb model in on the Small/Medium Business site. One was before they said they were out of stock. The second one I placed after they had declared that stock was depleted. There was a link going around that let you add it to your cart even though the product page said "out of stock."

They sent an email not long after stating that my order would be cancelled due to being placed after they ran out. Then, a few weeks ago I got two emails saying my order would be shipped within two weeks, specifying two different order numbers.

Sure enough, this past week I got two 16gb Touchpads via Fedex. So, it wasn't just the employees that wiped out the supply, but all the past-posted orders as well.

Comment: Re:Esoteric mumbo (Score 1) 94

by vitriolum (#37845124) Attached to: Copiale Cipher Decoded

But, the ritual itself is an encoding of esoteric knowledge. Or, at least, that's how all secret society ritual I've studied is. That's the point... the ritual is easy to remember and pass down to future generations. It acts as a mnemonic device for the knowledge itself. It may not be obvious or explicit in the ritual, but in theory one should be able to glean the knowledge solely from study of the ritual and its related symbolism.

The esoteric knowledge would never be committed to writing in explicit form. That is only passed from lip to ear.

Comment: Get a good mouse and a good martial arts school (Score 1) 235

by vitriolum (#37727268) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Ergonomic Office Environment?

Two things I haven't seen mentioned yet:

I use a Cyborg RAT 7 mouse. It has a two-way adjustable thumb rest, adjustable palm rest (which I removed completely) and interchangeable pinky rests. You can also adjust its weight. I set the sensitivity very high to minimize the amount I have to move it. There's a button on the side you can hold down to drop down the dpi for precise movements, too.

Exercise has been mentioned, but I specifically suggest martial arts. Within a month of training twice weekly I could notice a difference. My posture is better in general. My muscles are more toned. I'm more aware of my body mechanics. And, it doesn't feel like I'm exercising... it feels like I'm doing something fun and happen to get exercise along the way.

I believe that practicing martial arts will strengthen your bones, tendons and ligaments in addition to muscles. Also, punching drills will teach you to keep your wrists straight very quickly. You'll be around people who understand body mechanics very well and who can give you good advice on keeping in good shape.

Shop around to find a school that suits you. Look for someplace that teaches a wide variety of techniques and will work every muscle in your body. Avoid places that give black belts to children. Avoid schools that require to you sign a long term contract. Hopefully you can find a passionate teacher with more than a few geeks in the classes. Bullshido is a good place to go to get expert opinions on the schools you check out.

The school I train at teaches a type of Kajukenbo. They cover a huge variety of practical techniques. The head teacher is an MD PhD student and most of the students are geeks... seriously, like playing D&D and going to renaissance fairs. It's the best thing I've done for my body since becoming a full time developer, and has been good for my social life to boot.

Blackberry

+ - BlackBerry servers crash, millions without BBM->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "RIM has confirmed that it has had an outage at one of its BlackBerry servers, which has taken BBM, internet and email offline for millions of its users. The outage began at 11am Monday and is still affecting users at the time of this article's publication. The server that went down is thought to be situated in Slough and is affecting the EMEA region, which comprises Europe, the Middle East and Africa. There are also reports that the main server in Canada, where RIM is based, may also be affected."
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Piracy

+ - Where can I buy ROMs? 1

Submitted by
PktLoss
PktLoss writes "I'm interested in building an arcade machine, following the footsteps of Cmdr Taco amongst many others. Not being all that interested in piracy, I need to find somewhere to buy games. Starroms used to be the kind of thing I was looking for, though with an incredibly short catalog. The MAME people have a few available for free (non-commercial), but this isn't going to sate my needs.

There's an entire cottage industry supporting this goal. People are ready to sell me plans, kits, buttons, joy sticks, glass marquees, and entire machines. That's fantastic, but where can I get the games? I refuse to believe that this entire industry is built on piracy."
Idle

+ - Crowdsourcing ancient Egyptian scrolls->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Dons at Oxford University were on the BBC Radio 4 'Today' programme this morning asking for help from listeners to transcribe unearthed ancient Egyptian texts and scrolls via their website. Visitors to the site are asked to match-up letters on scanned fragments of papyrus with an on-screen Greek alphabet. By doing so, they can help reveal some of the amazing documents that the ancient Egyptians last read. You too can become a papyrologist!"
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Social Networks

+ - Researcher Trolls MMO, Ethical violations->

Submitted by Chas
Chas (5144) writes "Approximately two years ago, a story popped up on Slashdot about a researcher, David Meyers (aka Twixt) who had supposedly spent time "studying" players in the City of Heroes MMO. At the time, there was a lot of media attention about the subject. After a short time, it dropped and nothing more was heard on it until now.

Apparently one of the players who was upset did more than simply rant on a board. The player, who had some of their own training in sociology contacted both NCSoft and Loyola University to notify them about the ethical violations of experimenting on people (especially minors) without their permission.

Since then the Mr. Meyers has scrubbed almost all reference to his paper from his CV, and a book deal was quietly killed."

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