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Comment The electoral college is already 60% dead (Score 1) 436

According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... about the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, the Electoral College is already on it's last legs. If states with at least 105 more Electoral College votes adopt this compact, then the Electoral College will have been eliminated. No need to amend the Constitution.

Yours was one of the more insightful posts mentioning the Electoral College, though it received no favorable mods. Typical for today's Slashdot. Your sig was interesting, however.

Comment And who shall rate those self-same raters? (Score 2) 9

Seriously, unless the personal reputation of the raters as actual human beings is taken into account, then the system will be worthless. There has to be symmetry between the reliability of the raters for their ratings to have any reliability.

Almost all of these systems get polluted by gamesters and trolls, often using sock puppets. I'm not saying that anonymity needs to be eliminated, but if you do elect to be anonymous, then your opinions should be discounted as not really representing your public position. However in a situation like this, I do think that anonymous raters should be discounted to zero.

However, I've made basically the same argument as regards fixing the Slashdot moderation system. Haven't noticed any progress yet.

Comment Re:Why go for a simple majority? (Score 1) 613

This is the other one of only two comments to mention this obvious solution, and neither one of them was moderated upwards. Slashdot really has fallen on hard times, eh? This approach would effectively eliminate the Electoral College, and is already more than halfway to becoming effective (as measured by Electoral College votes that have been committed to it).

Again, it appears that no karma bonus was used. Why not?

Should I complain that my comment about the coalition government solution was also ignored? Or just put it on the list of hard-times-at-Slashdot-and-no-one-cares?

On reflection, I do have one more thought about my earlier comment. I think the Judicial branch would be better off as a pure meritocracy with as little political (AKA partisan) political involvement as possible. One approach might be to nominate judges for promotion based on objective metrics of their judicial performance. The judges whose opinions are most often cited by other judges and whose decisions are least often overturned would be the top candidates. When a vacancy appears on a higher court, the top few candidates, perhaps 5, would automatically be considered for the position, and only if all of them were rejected for the promotion (and I find it hard to imagine why that would ever happen) would the process be opened up for other candidates.

I actually think one benefit of this kind of system is that the top judges would tend to be older and therefore not stay in place for so long. Then again, I don't think it would be bad to include special criteria that do favor younger judges, as long as the criteria are applied impartially. Perhaps reduce the penalty if a young judge is overturned, counting it as a learning experience? Or give extra credit for younger judges who spent some time teaching at law schools? Maybe even consider teaching at a law school as counting as much as being a judge in terms of judicial seniority?

Comment can I change my TV channel? (Score 1) 38

Maybe I'm looking in the wrong place but is there a simple interface that I can just name the TV channel and have my TV show it? I don't want 10,000 different choices on hulu or crackle. I just want to be able say, show PBS and it gets the over the air channel or the cable channel by that name.

Comment Interesting they're shutting down devices and not (Score 2) 179

First off this no-charge strategy is not confirmed.

Second what Samsung has been doing til now was installing nag screens and limiting battery charging to sixty percent. I'd be surprised if the US is the first country where they roll out no-charging. All their other methods were first launched in smaller markets.

Thirdly it is interesting they're supposedly software shutting-down the handsets and not simply denying them service. It'd be trivial to place every Note 7 on the blacklist maintained by US carriers for stolen devices.

Of course denying service means the devices are unreachable, so this might be the step before that, to ensure they're not kept around as wifi devices or fancy alarm clocks. Blocking the battery means they're effectively defanged - no charge means no chance of fire.

In my part of the world I haven't seen a Note 7 in weeks. I expect when a clerk points out a Note 7 is keeping a known fire hazard next to their genitals, or in their purse-of-important-stuff, or holding it to their face is asking for trouble, or charging it in their bedroom while sleeping is really scary, and insurance will no longer cover it's damages, the sane ones figure it's time to trade-in.

Comment Re: Ahh (Score 1) 66

From one device, you're right. From a few tens of thousands or more, it does, and the costs of storing it all on the server add up very quickly. Even if it's only 9.6Kb/s (enough for telephony), ten thousand users adds up to around 100MB/s, or about 7.7 TB/day. With a million users, that's a pretty difficult cost to justify.

Comment Re: Ahh (Score 1) 66

Typically, these things use a very low-power DSP to recognise the pattern of plosives and sonorants that match the trigger word. They keep a very small ring buffer of audio and wake up a more power-hungry chip if there's a possible match. They won't record all of the audio, because it would be too power hungry and they won't stream it all to a remote server because the bandwidth costs would be too high.

Comment Re:Google, Motorola, Intel . . . (Score 1) 262

And California would be sucking pretty badly without Silicon Valley too.

Without Silicon Valley, California would still have Hollywood, which adds a lot to the state's economy. California would look pretty bad if you took out San Francisco, Los Angeles, and their surrounding areas, but most states would look pretty bad if you took away 75% of their population.

Comment Does insight have to involve a deeper truth? (Score 1) 108

Most insightful of the comments that got the mod. More deserving if you considered the topic a bit more broadly, for example by appealing to the orange counterexample who is about to occupy the White House.

I think the answers to your question largely revolve around economic models. Or you might prefer to see the situation in terms of the "military-industrial complex" that Ike warned us about, but I still think that's just another version of the money thing. I don't want to call it a "money problem" because I think problems should be defined in terms of solutions, and there is no solution for infinite greed, just as there is no final digit of pi. People like Trump will never have enough money.

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