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Submission + - Project Orca: How an IT disaster destroyed Republicans get-out-the-vote effort ( 4

cheesecake23 writes: Many talking heads have attributed Obama's success to an unmatched "ground game". Now, inside reports from campaign volunteers suggest that Project Orca, a republican tech-based voter monitoring effort with 37000 volunteers in swing states, turned out to be an epic failure due to dismal IT. Problems ranged from state-wide incorrect PINs, to misleading and lately distributed information packets to volunteers, a server outage and missing redirection of secure URLs.

Comment Re:Church and Einstein (Score 5, Informative) 414

Einstein was wrong about this one, if it is in fact an authentic Einstein quote. Can someone please verify for me?

Here is an apparently honest attempt at verification by a math professor who put a lot of effort into sourcing the quote in 2006. He concludes that it is probably not authentic.

HOWEVER, in 2008, a woman brought a series of letters to an episode of Antiques Roadshow. Apparently her father had also attempted to source the quote. Her father finally received a letter from Einstein himself:

"It's true that I made a statement which corresponds approximately with the text you quoted. I made this statement during the first years of the Nazi regime-- much earlier than 1940-- and my expressions were a little more moderate."

Comment Re:this whole story is just sad... (Score 1) 533

just make prostitution legal (and regulated) like most of Europe.

To qualify that statement: prostitution is legal in most of Europe, but it is only regulated in a few countries. See this map.

In my opinion, the most interesting system is in Sweden, Norway and Iceland. In these countries, buying sex is illegal, but selling sex is not. The idea is to not criminalize the prostitutes who are already in a vulnerable position and may have ended up where they are by unfortunate social circumstances, but still provide a strong deterrent for the buyers.

Submission + - Einstein letter calling Bible "pretty childish" to be auctioned on eBay (

cheesecake23 writes: In an admirably concise piece in The Atlantic, Rebecca J. Rosen summarizes Einstein's subtle views on religion and profound respect for the inexplicable, along with the news that a letter handwritten by the legendary scientist that describes the Bible as a 'collection of honorable, but still primitive legends' and 'pretty childish' will be auctioned off on eBay over the next two weeks. Bidding will begin at $3 million.

Submission + - Semantic v. SfY (

dgharmon writes: A brief recap: In March, I wrote about a lawsuit that posed a threat to my daughter’s voice. Maya, who is four years old and unable to speak, uses an app called Speak for Yourself (SfY) to communicate, and the creators of SfY were being sued for patent infringement by Prentke Romich Company (PRC) and Semantic Compaction Systems (Semantic), two much larger companies that make designated communication devices (not iPad apps)

"In connection with the settlement, Semantic has agreed to grant a non-exclusive license as to two of Semantic’s patents, i.e., U.S. Patent Nos. 5,748,177 and 5,920,303"

"A dynamic keyboard includes a plurality of keys, each with an associated symbol, which are dynamically redefinable to provide access to higher level keyboards", U.S. Patent No. 5,748,177

"An apparatus, comprising: integrated input and display device for displaying a plurality of keys of a displayed keyboard", U.S. Patent No 5,920,303

Comment Re:Atlas Shrugged (Score 1) 700

Atlas Shrugged
fantastic book
Atlas Shrugged part 2 is in theaters today as luck would have it

Yes, "as luck would have it" that misanthropic bile is in theaters today, and the timing with the ongoing US elections is purely coincidental.

I also assume that you were just as "lucky" to get first post with this book recommendation, and that you have absolutely no connection with the person who submitted this to Ask Slashdot in the first place.

Comment Re:C'mon man... (Score 1) 396

Yes, it's a (piece of a) spaceship named Curiosity. Seriously, the robot finds a metallic piece of something close to where it landed... what are the odds that part is not from Curiosity itself? (answer ~0%)

So you're saying Curiosity found a piece of Occam's razor? :)

I mostly agree with you, but just to play devil's advocate: assuming there actually are interesting chunks of metal lying around on Mars, it isn't exactly a coincidence when they turn up close to Curiosity ...

Comment Re:Thorium reactors? (Score 1) 226

Very good summary of the arguments against Thorium, but your first point can be put more succinctly:

1) They are more complex than Uranium reactors we use now. The fuel is cheaper but fuel is not a major contributor to the cost of running a nuclear power plant.

1) There is no economic advantage to Thorium reactors.

And make no mistake: the main factor holding back nuclear all over the developed world is not safety issues, public opinion, waste management or proliferation, but cost.

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