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Comment: It's not a technical problem (Score 0) 258

by wertigon (#49689723) Attached to: Online Voting Should Be Verifiable -- But It's a Hard Problem

The problem with online voting is not a problem of technical merits. PGP already solved the digital signing bit ages ago.

The problem, instead, is how do we ensure that the vote cast was not in any way coerced?

In the current system with anonymous votes, it is very hard to force or coerce a voter to vote as one wish. Furthermore, it's more or less impossible to know which vote a certain person cast since the act of voting itself is done in secrecy. This is not so in the case of online voting.

To take an extreme example - let's say your best friend partakes in the election. How do you know that your best friend didn't vote for a particular candidate with a gun pointed at his or her face?

Comment: Re:Why we use office (Score 1) 178

by wertigon (#49391735) Attached to: UK Forces Microsoft To Adopt Open Document Standards

Not to nitpick, but OOo/LO spreadsheet is named Calc, not Gnumeric. Gnumeric is part of the Gnome project, but yeah.

File loading speed is a fair point. Since LO use ODF which is a text-based format, it will always be slower than the binary formats of MSO. This is usually not a huge issue (a few seconds more) for all but the more obnoxious data formats. And if you have a 400MB+ spreadsheet, you really *should* consider moving that data to a *real* database, but yeah...

Other than that it seems that for the three important programs (Wordprocessing, Spreadsheets, Presentation) we get:

Wordprocessing: Just about neck to neck, you need anything better go LaTeX.
Spreadsheets: MSO has a slight edge over LO.
Presentation: MSO beats LO hands down in features, but LO covers the basic premises.

Thank you, that was the kind of answer I'm looking for.

Comment: Re:Why we use office (Score 1, Troll) 178

by wertigon (#49389977) Attached to: UK Forces Microsoft To Adopt Open Document Standards

I keep hearing this "LibreOffice is great for basic tasks" thing, but whenever I ask for concrete examples people tend to avoid the subject. It covers all my basic needs, but maybe there is something I'm missing? Maybe Office got a better templating system or something I dunno...

For word processing though, I vastly prefer the OO/LO paradigm of creating an actual document structure instead of the Office way of having to mark the text and apply styling to it.

Comment: Re:Star Trek gave us a future to shoot for. (Score 3, Interesting) 233

by wertigon (#49162899) Attached to: Spock and the Legacy of Star Trek

Actually Star Trek *does* touch upon the subject of religion multiple times. Religion does indeed exist - but since Star Fleet regulations does not allow religion to influence it's operations, we rarely see it manifested in the series, other than as a convenient plot device. It's just simply not a big factor of the daily life on the Enterprise.

Matter Replication and Transmutation, and by extension nearly unlimited energy, is indeed essential for a Star Trek society. When nearly everything* can be provided on an when-I-need-it basis, capitalism does not work, since capitalism require scarcity.

As for how Earth could be united in a unified secular government, well, the official explanation is that thanks to Cochrane inventing the warp drive reactor in the mid 21st century, Vulcans appeared and helped the Earth gradually prepare for their new space age. It is not unthinkable that Earth itself will be run by a single government when you have humans on around 20 000 other planets, owned by the federation coalition. And while one shouldn't underestimate humanity's ability to quarrel with each other, one should neither ignore the xenophobic effect created when outsiders show up - especially if those outsiders are far more technologicly advanced than us.

* The only thing lacking would be living matter such as pets and humans.

Comment: Re:Artists paid 16 times as much for Spotify than (Score 1) 305

by wertigon (#49121685) Attached to: Pandora Pays Artists $0.001 Per Stream, Thinks This Is "Very Fair"

Sure they do, especially if customers are using the result of the work, a song in this case. If you drink lemonade from a lemonade stand, you need to pay for the drink. Making lemonade is no guarantee of income to the lemonade owner, but if he finds a customer, he needs to get paid.

Ah, the old "Unauthorized copying is theft" fallacy. No, unauthorized copying is not theft, have never been theft and won't ever be theft, no matter how much you want it to. Even SCOTUS has confirmed that in the landmark ruling Dowling vs. US, 1985.

Unauthorized copying is a violation of rights, but it is much more akin to trespassing than anything else. It's like this. Imagine there is a lake. The lake has a beach. The beach and the lake itself is public property, but all the land around it is farmlands and thus private property, so the only way to (legally) get to the beach is by air. Those darn local people though, they do not wish to hire a helicopter ride over there. They'd rather just like to walk on the outskirts of some of that private property so they can get to the lake and enjoy a nice, cozy swim in the summer heat.

These people, trespassing on the private property just in order to be able to take a dip they, in fact, are entitled to, are technicly commiting a crime - but they do not harm any land by walking over that property, and they do not disturb anyone by simply walking. Depending on where you are from, this is even legal in some countries, provided certain rules are followed.

Are these people doing something so bad that they need to serve a jail sentence or maybe even death sentence for their lawbreaking?

Comment: Re:We are all copyright holders (Score 1) 78

by wertigon (#49106101) Attached to: Australian ISPs To Introduce '3-Strike' Style Anti-piracy Scheme

How right you are.

That's why I believe copyright is completely outdated. It only favors the rich companies. However there do need to be some regulatio of what one can do with regards to creative works.

In short: the creator must be given some leverage against companies seeking to profit on the fruits of his/her labor. Today, copyright does the exact opposite.

Comment: Re:UX (Score 1) 323

I like to go down the middle road myself.

Every link, button and form in my webapp can be used with JS turned off. Every single one. This means I can write automatic bot scripts with a simple HTML parser that tests my webpages for any UI regressions and report those. That's a great help when refactoring code and guaranteeing .

However, should you have a JS-enabled browser, I simply check if the call was made with AJAX - if it was, I simply bypass rendering the entire UI and instead focus on the part that was requested. All ajax calls are made by a slightly edited regular anchor tag, like this:

<a class="ajaxlink" href="index.php?action=foo#bar">load foo</a>
<div id="bar">Foo loads here</div>

Never seen this anywhere else, wonder why?

Comment: Re:except the investors, who paid everybody up fro (Score 2) 181

by wertigon (#48952545) Attached to: The Pirate Bay Is Back Online, Properly

"most movies don't make back their initial investment in first release."

Correction. Most Hollywood movies that have spent hundreds of millions of dollars don't make back their investment. Solution: Cut down production costs.

Actors demanding 40M bucks for their role? Yeah, that will fade, sooner or later.

Look, it's market economics 101. If your product/service/whatever don't make enough money it is time to trim the fat. Why should hollywood business be any different?

Comment: Re:SIP Replacement? (Score 1) 282

by wertigon (#48917889) Attached to: EFF Unveils Plan For Ending Mass Surveillance

Skype isn't what killed the VOIP industry. NAT and the "tiered internet" did. Once you experience the internet with no public IP addresses, well... Welcome to hell my friend. All in the name of saving a penny today and losing a dollar tomorrow.

Net Neutrality isn't just the idea of unfiltered traffic. It's the idea that everyone on the internet are peers. Sure Google have more bandwidth than me, but I can still talk to Google as a peer, not as a lower-class citizen. Even my ISP is my peer, not my master. That's the great thing about the internet. :)

I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which, when you looked at it in the right way, did not become still more complicated. -- Poul Anderson