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Journal Journal: Indian Operation Successfully Removes 20,000 Cows

After enacting the most comprehensive legislation to date, regarding the controversial cow menace in Haryana, India, it is being reported that the one year milestone can claim more than 20,000 cows have been successfully removed from the streets. The legislation required a yearly registration of all animals within municipal limits, proof of diseaselessness, heavy fines for violators, and selling off of all captured animals, that were neither branded nor tokened, to the highest bidder.

In this part of the world, opinions regarding cows are complex and diverse. Positive viewpoints include seeing the cow as a symbol of motherhood and as a giver of life. In rural areas cows provide milk, pull carts, and even their dung can be put to use as a slow-burning cooking fuel. Negative viewpoints include traffic jams, scavenging through refuse and defecating everywhere, producing greenhouse gases like methane, and giving diseased milk (tuberculosis causes 300,000 deaths a year in India).

Journal Journal: Farmers Test New Diet To Reduce Environmental Harm From Cows 3

A new diet is being introduced, to cattle in Britain, that has been developed to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of their digestive process. The specific gas being reduced is Methane, which has over 20 times the heat trapping effect of carbon dioxide. Farmers participating in the trial have also reported a 15% higher milk yield.

Globally, livestock are the largest human related source of methane, producing about 80 million metric tons annually, 28% of total. Comparatively, wetlands are the largest natural related source of methane, producing about 144 million metric tons annually, 76% of total. Humans also emit methane as part of their digestive process, but the amount isn't notable. (Statistics derived from EPA.gov)

Journal Journal: Mandatory TV Conversion Creates Complications For Prisons 12

Over-the-air analog TV is free to be received, and is considered an appropriate method to disseminate news and entertainment to prisoners in order to keep them informed of current events, to keep peace within a very stressful and often violent environment, and to reward and encourage civilized behavior for the day when they are reintegrated into society.

But some prison officials are struggling with how to pay for the upgrade, brought on by the mandatory digital TV conversion, and others face additional legal hurdles that ban upgrades, because it was assumed there would always be free analog broadcasts available. Read more about - Why U.S. prisons want their digital television.

Journal Journal: 150,000 Mexicans March in Abduction Protest

With the rising wave of abductions, as seen earlier on Slashdot's Idle section (our offtopic humor/meme/viral video/pictures section), Mexicans have marched (Saturday video) down Mexico City's main street to bring attention to just how serious they consider this issue, and to call upon President Felipe Calderon to carry out promises to crack down on crime.

Notable facts:
  • For those able to afford $4000 USD, with an annual $2200 USD fee, they can have a microchip injected into their body, for use with an external 'panic button' device, that will alert authorities of their location via satellite.
  • Between January and June of this year, Mexico has reported 194 kidnappings compared to 172 in Colombia, and 169 in Brazil, which for this time frame makes Mexico the new world leader in kidnappings.
  • This protest was sparked in part because of a recent abduction of a 14 year old boy, Fernando Marti. Kidnapped on June 4th, by men dressed in Federal Agency of Investigations uniforms, and after negotiations of a ransom thought to be around $2 million, he was killed.
It's funny.  Laugh.

Journal Journal: Barack Obama Q&A with Sarah Palin 7

McCain and Biden have both been around a long time, and are known factors, and thus boring. So after watching too many speeches that were so vague that either side could have read them, I decided a Q&A between Obama and Palin could be very interesting.

Obama: What did you think of my acceptance speech, where I spoke of my vision for America based on my "belief that I am my brother's keeper"? (1)
Palin: I can't say that appeals to me, thinking of Americans living in 2 by 3 meter shacks, and living off only a dollar a day.

Palin: You are only 40 something, and the Junior Senator of Illinois, do you really think you have the experience to be President?
Obama: You too are only 40 something, and the Governor of Alaska, but do you really think a woman should even be considered for vice-president? (2)

Obama: I heard you're a NRA member, could you show me how to load a gun? Just kidding, I don't believe in the 2cd Amendment.
Palin: I read your voting record, could you tell me how you could possibly support infanticide? Just kidding, I couldn't even consider feticide. (3)

(1) Yes, Obama actually used that metaphor in his nomination acceptance speech, August 28th 2008.
(2) Obama didn't even have the courtesy to vet Hillary Clinton as a possible vice-president, ouch.
(3) Palin's 5th child, in the womb, was diagnosed with Downs Syndrome, but she kept him anyway.
It's funny.  Laugh.

Journal Journal: Voter Fraud Crackdown in Washington

While some may consider defending the integrity of our democratic vote to be a racist act, that label hasn't discouraged one 67 year old grandmother from speaking out and making a difference. Jane Balogh, in the Federal Way, Washington area, single-handedly began a campaign of letter writing and phone calls to elected officials, in order to bring attention to just how easy voter fraud has become.

As a result of her efforts, officials were able to identify and foil a single case of a dog registered to vote. An Australian shepherd-terrier mix to be exact, that had signed all required forms with his own paw print, and had gotten an absentee-ballot to mail in. To ensure that no good deed goes unpunished, grandma was charged $240 for court costs, sentenced to 10 hours of community-service, and at the courts urging, pay an attorney $1000 to represent her.

The article fails to mention if the dog was registered Democrat or Republican, so for those of you that require that information to determine if this voter fraud situation, was ethical or not, I'm sorry.
User Journal

Journal Journal: O HAI 11

Well, I'm back. I've been back for about a week but not much time to post. I see that many a socks were created in my absence *grin*.

First off, responses to a few of the emails I got and couldn't reply to for whatever reason -

- guy with the soft drink nick: The answer is yes. But your reply-to: address is bouncing and your from: addy looks like it's work related so I didn't want to use it. Also, sorry but I don't know who you are on Slashdot.
- gourmand: Thanks for the list of trollpuppets, I'm in the process of updating the list. No problem on the other thing, will do.
- YeShallRemainAnonymousAsRequested: I digested your email and I think I agree. I think one of those comments was the missing link to the whole anti-slash connection that I did not have. But I need a bit more information, and your spoofed SMTP server or whatever it is is not working. I also need your permission to publish your message here. So please email me again if you can.

Thanks also to everyone who emailed me with possible socks, words of encouragement, etc. Funny how fighting abuse in a community brings out good things in people.

On a more personal note, my 2 weeks work/2 vacation ended up being more like 3/1, but it was good to back in Europe nonetheless. (hey clampolo, I did have a beer. Several actually, thanks). This is the first time I've ever been to Dublin, highly recommended. Beautiful place.

My company is probably going to merge with another similar firm that operates out of Dublin and Hamburg (I chuckled two days ago when I saw that AT&T commercial about the guy that has no bars and misses the call about not discussing the merger, that almost happened to me). What this means is my comfy DC wizard job will come to an end, replaced with a less comfy one that pays more but is probably boring as heck. I always envisioned spending my last few working years before retirement surfing the web and writing chapters of my book (20 year delay so far...), but it looks like that's not going to happen. The extra $$ is good, but not necessary at this point (unless the stock market collapses completely), so my real motivation is curiosity, because I've never had an upper management job. We'll see if I can stand being a PHB. Hah!

Well enough about me.

Anyway, I'm going to start updating the lists now, because I don't know if I'll have much time later.

Catch you all later-ish.


Journal Journal: More Tax Credits for Alternative Vehicles

The IRS has announced the continuation of its very popular plan of tax exemptions for hybrid cars. Traditionally, poor people whom travel by walking, biking, or bus, have been unable to help the environment because they cannot afford a hybrid car with insurance, gas, and maintenance. But now, with help from the IRS, they will be able to subsidize those rich enough to afford hybrid cars. Tax breaks for the rich, and the poor can help save the environment, it's a win-win situation.

Journal Journal: Get Out The Vote - an opposing viewpoint 4

Low Voter Turn Out == Higher Quality
Get Out The Vote campaigns are disingenuous at best, and voter fraud at worst. In fact, countries should take pride in having a low voter turn out, because that means they have a more concentrated percentage of concerned citizens, that are doing the voting. Think of the quality difference of Slashdot stories on the firehose (all 100%) when compared to the choosen few on the frontpage (1%).
"Don't even get me started on the frickin' Firehose." - Captain Splendid

Coercion vs Choice
Countries with near 100% voter turn-out often have widespread ballot-stuffing (hollow appearance of choice), or use threats of violence (coerced choice) to maintain their hold on power, but in a free country you have free choice, and that includes choosing not to vote.
"If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice." - Rush

Funny Exception To The Rule
Australia is an exception with their mandatory turn-out laws (not mandatory vote), which can be explained by the fact that they are down-under. It also explains why, when it's winter here, that it's summer down-under, and why their toilets drain water clockwise instead of counter-clockwise. (Corilis Effect) Not to mention they look kind of tough, so it's probably not wise telling them what to do.
"Where does an Aussie croc crash? Anywhere he wants to." - Mate

Journal Journal: Idle section for making fun of Mexicans? and the Blind? 3

As I'm writing this, the front page has an Idle story about Mexicans getting chips implanted because abductions are up over 40%. Is this funny because many abductees are never seen again (the subject matter), or is it funny to /. editors because it's happening to Mexicans?

Earlier I submitted this story, of the National Federation of the Blind asking for help, along with an article about developing technical solutions, and along with an article about growing government involvement. But I see it just ended up rewritten by Samzenpus to be a joke in Slashdots new Idle section. (our offtopic humor/meme/viral video/pictures section)

Here is an example of something that is actually funny, without being racist or belittling the blind. Polish actors hired to stand in line for iPhones. It's not funny because of Poland, but because the subject matter is about a company that hired actors, to pretend to stand in line, in order to manufacture hype, for an already over-priced product. So, is this Slashdot:Idle section really a good idea?
It's funny.  Laugh.

Journal Journal: Polish actors hired to stand in line for iPhones. 2

In Poland, the mobile operator Orange has admitted to hiring actors to stand in line (picture and video) and talk to passers-by in order to hype the launch of the iPhone 3G. Some offered to sell their place for 100-300 zlotys (30-90 euros, 45-135 dollars). Wojciech Jabczynski, a spokesman for Telekomunikacja Polska said "It was a marketing move. We thought it was a pretty interesting strategy,"

Journal Journal: Microsoft Influence at Democrat and Republican Conventions

Microsoft is making sizable technological contributions to the upcoming Democrat and Republican National Conventions. (August 25-28 and September 1-4 respectively) Both parties will take advantage of Microsoft software and services for online collaboration, document management, instant messaging, email, scheduling, and web conferencing, as well as Microsoft Surface Computing to deliver local information about transportation, restaurants, and hotels, as well as media of the current and past conventions.

For virtual attendees, the Democrat convention site is providing a progressive web experience (high definition Silverlight video , Digital Rights Management), while the Republican convention site is providing a more conservative web experience (low definition Flash video , downloadable MP3 audio). It would be going too far to say that Microsoft has a monopoly on the election process, but one could confidently say that the next President will have made judicious use of Microsoft technology.

Journal Journal: Low Noise Vehicles Can Be Highly Dangerous 2

As concerns over high gas prices, pollution, and conservation rise, so does the number of hybrids and electric cars on public streets. While these vehicles consume less resources, they also produce less noise, which for the most part is great, but at low speeds some are virtually silent thus making them a hazard to others sharing the road. Headlights and running lights are used to make oneself seen, similarly sound solutions are being called for and developed to make oneself heard. If vehicle manufactures don't proactively institute a solution themselves, then governments may form various commitees that will then each pass a different set of standards for each of their respective jurisdictions.

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