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Government

Submission + - Germany: Voting computers ruled unconstitutional 1

Micha Lenk writes: "The German Federal Supreme Court has ruled that the use of electronic voting machines for the General Election (Bundestagswahl) 2005 has been unconstitutional. The judges acknowledge the claim that that the voters were not able to supervise neither the cast votes nor the vote counting itself.

They also decided that the election remains valid because of the low share of electronically cast votes. Approximately two million out of 61.9 millionen voters had voted using electronic voting machines in the election almost four years ago."
Government

Submission + - German Supreme Court says No to Voting Computers

WalterSobchak writes: "Germany's supreme court banned current voting machines from further elections. While the court found no issues with the elections that had already been held, they banned the current technology from further use, deeming them too in-transparent and not tamper proof.

The court specifically said that this decision is not "technophobic", and applies only to the currently used technology (mainly NEDAP machines), If new technology meets the high standards required for elections, it could be used for elections. Also, the court said that given proper technology, even voting by internet is imaginable

Source: Spiegel Online (German)"

Comment Telstra: No problems here and better agree with us (Score 3, Interesting) 98

Paul Budde an Australian Broadband honcho had the following experience with Telstra and the way they see broadband:

Telstra and Freedom of speech Last week I was involved in an interesting but disheartening incident - one that further highlights the problems we are facing with Telstra in Australia.

Tomorrow I will be chairing Day One of the Broadband World conference, organised by terrapin. This event included a panel session entitled 'Can open access regulation truly work in Australia without retail separation?' in which Telstra had agreed to participate.

At the last moment, however, Telstra asked the conference organisers to withdraw two people from the panel, saying they wouldn't participate otherwise. It was also very interesting to see that they even came up with the names of the people they would like as replacements. more

The Internet

Submission + - How the Net works: Peering and Transit explained (arstechnica.com)

Raindeer writes: "Ars Technica just posted an article I wrote, where I explain Peering and Transit. In 2005, AT&T CEO Ed Whitacre famously told BusinessWeek, "What they [Google, Vonage, and others] would like to do is to use my pipes free. But I ain't going to let them do that...Why should they be allowed to use my pipes?" The story of how the Internet is structured economically is not so much a story about net neutrality, but rather it's a story about how ISPs actually do use AT&T's pipes for free, and about why AT&T actually wants them to do so. These inter-ISP sharing arrangements are known as "peering" or "transit," and they are the two mechanisms that underlie the interconnection of networks that form the Internet. In this article, I'll to take a look at the economics of peering of transit in order to give you a better sense of how traffic flows from point A to point B on the Internet, and how it does so mostly without problems, despite the fact that the Internet is a patchwork quilt of networks run by companies, schools, and governments."
The Internet

Submission + - Japan: 900 Gigabyte upload cap, download uncapped (yahoo.com)

Raindeer writes: "While the Broadband Bandits of the US are contemplating bandwidth caps between 5 gigabyte and 40 gigabyte per month, the largest telco in Japan has gone ahead and laid down some heavy caps for Japans broadband addicts. From now on if you upload more than 30 gigabyte per day, your network connection may be disconnected. Just think of it... if you're in Japan and want to upload the HD movie you shot of yesterdays wedding, you soon might hit the limit. The downloaders do not face similar problems"
The Internet

Submission + - Will ferrets bring you the Exaflood?

Raindeer writes: "Ars Technica had two good stories on the future of the Net. One story examines the future of broadband networks and how ferrets will be bringing it to you. The article points to a new OECD-study on how we will need 50Mbit/s minimum in the coming years. (Also explaining why squirrels and sharks are natural enemies of the internet)The paper also examines business models and regulation for new networks.
The other one is an interview with Andrew Odlyzko of the Minnesota Internet Traffic Studies (MINTS) project, explaining how the predicted Exaflood that would overflow the web is not happening and the growth of traffic is actually slowing and there is no sign that ISP's cannot keep up with bandwidth growth."
The Internet

Submission + - OECD: fiber may mean less broadband competition (arstechnica.com)

foptical writes: A massive report (PDF) from the OECD says that fiber is the key to keeping up with expected demand for broadband in the years ahead. Conversely, the reliance on fiber may ultimately result in less broadband competition, even in places with mandated line sharing like Europe. From Ars Technica's coverage: 'Even if line-sharing is still desired by regulators, it may be more difficult in practice. It turns out to be much cheaper for alternative ISPs to provide one backhaul link from a central office serving 70,000 people to their own network. Doing that from 20 local nodes is substantially more expensive and could also prove technically difficult on systems that share bandwidth, such as cable and fiber PON networks (separating out one user's traffic is much harder than on point-to-point systems like DSL).'
Communications

Submission + - OECD says 50Mbit/s minimum and wireless not enough (oecd.org)

An anonymous reader writes: The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (famous for the Broadband Stats the US has been slipping in) has published two papers on Developments in Fibre Technology and Investment and Public rights of way for fibre deployment to the home Conclusions are: For the period 2010-2020 speeds of 50 Mbit/s downstream and 10 Mbit/s upstream may be required to enable the parallel consumption of services (HDTV, radio, videoconferencing, security etc.) over the network. These speeds are significantly higher than the current OECD definition of broadband at 256 kbit/s, but are necessary to allow the end-user to enjoy a full range of services in parallel and to allow competition between the providers of these services over the network.
Both in performance as in investment the wired technologies have the advantage. Wireless will be used to bridge the first meter, but not the first mile.
Cable and DSL-based networks are already deployed worldwide and it is likely that Docsis 3.0 and VDSL2 respectively will be the upgrade technologies chosen by most telecommunications companies. Both, however, have limits to the amount of bandwidth they can provide to end-users and no clear upgrade paths should bandwidth become constraint. All-fibre networks have no foreseeable bandwidth problems.

Google

Submission + - OECD Broadband stats using Google Moving Graphs (blogspot.com)

Raindeer writes: "Google recently gave people the possibility to use motion charts, just like prof. Hans Roslin of Gapminder.org fame. I haven't used it to show the distribution of wealth and health around the globe, but to display the progress of broadband in the OECD. One of the variables is the amount of households that have a PC. In countries where this percentage is relatively low (USA) broadband penetration is low too."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - RIPE 55 Sings For IPv6 1

An anonymous reader writes: To promote the switch to IPv6, Gary Feldman gave an exciting performance of "The Day The Routers Died" at the RIPE 55 meeting in Amsterdam. The song (to the tune of "American Pie") included lyrics like "be persuaded to upgrade it or your network will die". Gary received a standing ovation.
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - The day the Routers died (secret-wg.org)

Raindeer writes: "The RIPE 55 meeting has just concluded. There was much debate on what to do on the imminent depletion of the unallocated IPv4 pool in 2010. We could do nothing or we could create a market place and facilitate transfer of IP-adresses, but it's all a train wreck waiting to happen. This is best shown however by a beautiful song "The day the routers died" also available on Youtube written and performed by Gary Feldman. So please all upgrade to IPv6 soon, or else you will not get 40Gbit/s to your mother."
Privacy

Submission + - U.K. kids get RFID chips in school uniforms

Stony Stevenson writes: Ten schoolchildren in the United Kingdom are being tracked by RFID chips in their school uniforms as part of a pilot program. If the program proves successful as a way to hasten registration, simplify data entry for the school's behavioral reporting system, and ensure attendance, Trevor Darnborough, whose company, Darnbro, filed for a patent on securing RFID tags to clothing, hopes other schools will be interested.

David Clouter, a parent and founder of Leave Them Kids Alone, a children's advocacy group, condemned the plan. "With pupils being fingerprinted and now this it seems we are treating children in a way that we have traditionally treated criminals," he told the Doncaster Free Press.
User Journal

Journal SPAM: Honest feedback 6

Exit interview:

I don't have to fix you. I think you know that. You are a natural leader, and you quickly established yourself as the leader of this team, without question. You're very smart, very capable. You're extremely flexible, creative, hard-working and very goal-oriented. There is a nobility in how idealistic you are, how focussed you are in serving the public and in your overriding concern with the mission of the organization.

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