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Comment That's not (just) continuous voting (Score 1) 490

What you describe is much more than continuous voting. It is also direct democracy, or at least liquid democracy.

If your question is not rhetorical, the first answer which comes to mind is that we did not have online voting. Online voting is still extremely rarely used by governments (below 1%).

If you are describing a form of direct democracy, then I would say this is rare because real direct democracy is highly inefficient (I described disadvantages in an introduction to liquid governance).

If you are describing "liquid democracy", then I would say it has been considered by many, just not deployed yet. So if are asking why liquid democracy has not been deployed, I would say this is because implementing liquid governance is much more technically challenging than implementing representative democracy. Liquid governance basically requires electronic voting, and even electronic representative democracy is still marginal. The page linked above also discusses the implementation status of liquid governance.


Greenland's Fastest Glacier Sets New Speed Record 136

vinces99 writes "The latest observations of Jakobshavn Glacier show that Greenland's largest glacier is moving ice from land into the ocean at a speed that appears to be the fastest ever recorded. Researchers from the University of Washington and the German Space Agency measured the speed of the glacier in 2012 and 2013. The results were published Feb. 3 in The Cryosphere, an open access journal of the European Geosciences Union. Jakobshavn Glacier, which is widely believed to be the glacier that produced the large iceberg that sank the Titanic in 1912, drains the Greenland ice sheet into a deep-ocean fjord on the west coast of the island. This speedup of Jakobshavn means that the glacier is adding more and more ice to the ocean, contributing to sea-level rise. 'We are now seeing summer speeds more than four times what they were in the 1990s, on a glacier which at that time was believed to be one of the fastest, if not the fastest, glacier in Greenland,' said lead author Ian Joughin, a glaciologist at the UW's Polar Science Center. The new observations show that in summer of 2012 the glacier reached a record speed of more than 10 miles (17 km) per year, or more than 150 feet (46 m) per day. These appear to be the fastest flow rates recorded for any glacier or ice stream in Greenland or Antarctica, researchers said."

Comment Re:About Slashcode, not Slashdot per se (Score 1) 763

I'm not sure what you mean by "ask". I can blame Slashdot for this survey, but I don't blame it for having an issue tracker (or one for Slashcode). Having an issue tracker should not even necessarily be considered as asking for input. An issue tracker may be useful for the sole purpose of documenting issues and workarounds. Putting up a survey *is* on the other hand definitely asking for input, which appears to be terribly inefficient if Slashdot doesn't already have an issue tracker, doesn't let it be found, or indeed doesn't minimally respond to issues reported there. Asking for feedback to black boxes like Contact Us forms and email addresses when you don't have a prominent issue tracker seems like a marketing campaign to me. That will be my feedback :-|

Comment Really misguided (Score 1) 345

If you're using Ubuntu (or Linux Mint, or Mepis...), you're really using Debian with some enhancements.

Oh, please. I hurt when I hear people saying Mepis, Knoppix, Xandros or whatever is Debian [except foo]. A non-insignicant portion of questions on Debian forums is about derivatives, please don't encourage. If your Debian-based distribution has some issue, Debian people most likely can't even help you. If the distribution you use is not Debian, then you're really *not* using Debian. Most people forking take Debian, remove half of it, add themes, a few "user-friendly" interfaces, a couple of bugs along the way, then proceed to shipping something twice more outdated that they won't maintain. If your problem is with an outdated piece of software, Debian people cannot help you. There are, however, some "distributions" that *are* Debian. These are called Debian Pure Blends, see


Small Nuclear Power Plants To Dot the Arctic Circle 255

Vincent West writes with news of a Russian project currently underway to populate the Arctic Circle with 70-megawatt, floating nuclear power plants. Russia has been planning these nuclear plants for quite some time, with construction beginning on the prototype in 2007. It's due to be finished next year, and an agreement was reached in February to build four more. According to the Guardian: "The 70-megawatt plants, each of which would consist of two reactors on board giant steel platforms, would provide power to Gazprom, the oil firm which is also Russia's biggest company. It would allow Gazprom to power drills needed to exploit some of the remotest oil and gas fields in the world in the Barents and Kara seas. The self-propelled vessels would store their own waste and fuel and would need to be serviced only once every 12 to 14 years."
The Courts

Italy May Hold Its Own Pirate Bay Trial 120

hyanakin writes with an excerpt from TorrentFreak: "Following the Swedish verdict, Italy is now considering starting its own trial against the people involved with The Pirate Bay. This would be the first criminal prosecution against the Pirate Bay 'founders' outside their home country." Funny thing: almost 20 years ago, CD stores in Germany all seemed to be full of bootleg concert CDs pressed in Italy.

Microsoft Office 2007 SP2 Released, Supports ODF Out of the Box 274

shutdown -p now writes "On April 28, Microsoft released service pack 2 for Microsoft Office 2007. Among other changes, it includes the earlier-promised support for ODF text documents and spreadsheets, featured prominently on the 'Save As' menu alongside Office Open XML and the legacy Office 97-2007 formats. It is also possible to configure Office applications to use ODF as the default format for new documents. In addition, the service pack also includes 'Save as PDF' out of the box, and better Firefox support by SharePoint."

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