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Comment Give Up and Go Back to Ballot Boxes (Score 1) 111

I propose that, for the people to trust their democracy, they must be able to understand all aspects of the voting system. This rules out pretty well all automated systems, especially computers with cryptography and hashes. Just go back to people writing on paper and ballot boxes.

Sure counting the ballots by hand is expensive but it's tiny compared to the cost of travel and time for the voters. The risk of serious, undetected fixing of results can't be eliminated with automated systems.

Comment Okotoks Video A Hoax (Score 4, Informative) 62

The Christian Science Monitor appears to have been taken in by the hoax posting of a video ( supposedly showing reentry near Okotoks. Looks like the video was posted too early to be legit. UARS is definitely down but nobody seems to know exactly where yet.

Submission + - Australian ISP's Copyright Win (

jaa101 writes: "Medium-sized Australian ISP iiNet has won a copyright case against the major movie studios. Local studio Village Roadshow was joined by 33 others, including the US majors, in arguing that iiNet was not doing enough to stop its users pirating content. iiNet may have been chosen as a target big enough to set an example but small enough to beat. Today's victory was on appeal in the Australian Federal Court, confirming an earlier ruling a year ago that was won with costs."

Comment Re:Hype? (Score 1) 126

Yes, it happens all the time and satellites get hit way less than the earth because, think about it, their surface area is *way* less. Sadly, hitting satellites will make the orbital debris problem worse since every hit just makes more smaller pieces. Even little pieces are a disaster for other satellites at 10km/second, though they fall out of orbit faster.

Interestingly, the frequency of hits is inversely proportional to mass (weight) of the object. Guessing this thing weighs about a 100 tonnes (probably more) and one hits earth every two years (burning up in the atmosphere). That means a 1000 tonne object will hit about every 20 years and a 10000 tonne object every 200 years, etc. ... on average. It also means 1 gram objects (a millionth of a tonne) hit the earth about once a second ... making shooting stars.

Comment Google Slows My Site Down (Score 1) 202

I have a simple commercial site that uses Google maps but is otherwise trivial. Using Google webmaster tools tells me my average page load time is 19.5 seconds and slower than 99% of sites. Guess how happy I'm going to be using Google maps if it causes my Google page rank to fall?

Personally I see much faster load times with a 1.5Mbps link. To get to 19.5 seconds implies the timings are coming from robots or customers with slow links or computers.

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