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Comment MIT invents everything (Score 3, Informative) 326

I saw a presentation on exactly this technology a few years ago at a conference, not from an MIT researcher. It's a strange phenomena, but within science MIT is just one of many research institutions doing great work, but to the public it has the most significant and frequent press releases. I mean, this isn't even a leaf, it's a silicon wafer which happens to be green and splitting water using catalysts is very old. The only innovation I'm seeing here is a new catalyst, which is pretty common in these fields. I also like the token quote from Bob Grubbs who won a Nobel prize in catalyst research and thus is interviewed in every catalyst article.

Submission + - Tiny Core Fraud on Source Forge - A Slippery Slope ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: The Tiny Core page on source forge was not added by anyone from the Tiny Core project itself — but simply by someone trying to solicit donations from themselves with someone else's work! And Source Forge refuses to take the page down.

Submission + - Half Of Used Phones Still Contain Personal Info (

jhernik writes: Personal details left on used mobile phones make it easier for ID thieves to access sensitive data

More than half of second-hand mobile phones still contain personal information of the previous owner, posing a risk of identity fraud, CPP has warned.

The study found 247 pieces of personal data stored on handsets and SIM cards purchased from eBay and second-hand electronics shops. The information ranged from credit card numbers to bank account details, photographs, email address and login details to social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.

According to data security firm CPP, 81 percent of previous owners claim they have wiped personal data from their mobile phones and SIM cards before selling them. However, deleting the information manually is “a process that security experts acknowledge leaves the data intact and retrievable”.

Comment Re:You really want to emulate the UN? (Score 1) 167

This is the OP. The system they use in the GA hall in New York would be perfect, actually. They basically have a push button at each table that records each county's vote and all the results are displayed. That's exactly what I want to do. This doesn't have to be something super flashy or modern, it just needs to be more or less instantaneous and able to display the results of each student's vote.

Comment Re:Don't abandon WiFi (Score 1) 167

Yes, this may be a good idea. We're thinking of getting a robust AP that can handle 200 or so clients and have them access as website supplemented with SMS messaging. Specifically, there was some FOSS software from Michigan mentioned in a comment further down that can work with smartphone apps, a web site, and SMS. We're really interested in using electronics over paper, which many commentators seem to prefer, because getting realtime results and feedback can make these events much more interesting and interactive. Waiting for 15 minutes to count ballots can make the kids lose their interest. I'm really pleased with all the helpful suggestions, thanks again!

Comment Re:No GPS data please. (Score 2) 77

There is a simple solution! We can set up a mail network to prevent the postal service from tracking our mail. As a node on the network, you receive sealed letters which contain stamps with them. The final destination is indicated on the inside of the envelope with the letter (away from the prying eyes of those evil mailmen) and you mail the letter to the next nearest node in the direction of the destination in a new envelope. This will always make the mail look like it is local as well as hiding the destination/sender pair. Eventually it will reach its destination after a few deliveries and you can safely continue your trade of obscure 18th century books. I think the bandwidth should be OK, but we'll need to work on the lag.

Comment Paper Voting (Score 1) 167

OP here! The roll call votes are NOT anonymous, everyone gets to see/hear the results. That's the point of doing a roll call vote; so everyone knows how everyone else voted. Paper ballots would take longer than just calling out everyone's name and recording the vote. Using poker chips or anything else reusable that we would collect would also take a long time to tally up, plus all the time to hand back the chips to the owners. I'm really trying to come up with an alternate solution so that we spend less time voting and more time doing Model UN.

Comment Re:Cool Factor (Score 1) 167

We use a modified version of Roberts Rules in Model UN already. Currently what we do is every delegate in the committee has a card stock placard with their county's name printed on it. For procedural votes we just call for yes, no and abstention votes and count up the votes as best we can. Every delegate is required to vote on procedural matters, but there is no way to enforce this unless a very obvious large number of students don't vote. When someone calls for a roll call vote on substantive matters, like passing a resolution, we must record each delegate's vote. There is one round where we go through the list and call everyone's name, and a second round to go back and get the votes from anyone who passed on the first round. This takes a very long time with 200 votes to record.

Comment Re:Vote by SMS? (Score 1) 167

I'm the original submitter. Suggestion 1 is excellent, thanks very much. I think I'll look into for counting the SMS messages. Also, just to clarify we have about $5,000 of budget so it would be no problem to get some cell phones or another solution for people who don't have them. As to your other suggestions, we must match the person to the vote so an anonymous system like counting hands or using a lux meter may not work. I think the scantron may be almost as slow as a normal roll call. Thanks for the great suggestions though!

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Wireless Voting

RabidRabbit23 writes: I volunteer for a non-profit that organizes Model UN conferences for high school students. We need a quick and low cost way to record votes done by the students in large committees. There will be two or three committees with about 200 students in each. We need to be able to record yes, no or abstention vote and must be able to identify each student's vote. We looked into radio response clickers but it is very expensive to buy 400-600 clickers. They cost about $40 at university bookstores, which is way out of our budget, but we don't know what kind of discount we could get by buying directly from the manufacturer. We do have wireless internet but we do not have enough bandwidth to support everyone using a laptop. Does the Slashdot community have any suggestions for a better way to record the students' votes?

Comment Re:No Don't Ruin This, I Need This! (Score 2, Informative) 175

For your future knowledge, it is 1-in-5 not 1-in-4. I would consider those to be almost the same. "Female students (20.4%) were significantly more likely than male students (3.9%) to report they had ever been forced to have sexual intercourse."

Comment Lithium Polymer (Score 1) 77

This problem should be irrelevant soon with the lithium polymer batteries. The explosions are caused by the leaking organic solvents necessary for lithium ion transport. In lithium polymer batters, the ions move along solid ethylene glycol polymers and do not require any solvents. So, basically lithium polymer batteries are the greatest things ever, except we can't manufacture them cheaply yet.

Comment Re:Flashbacks.... (Score 2, Informative) 343

That is not true and is a common misconception. The lift is generated from the buoyancy which depends on the difference between the density of air and the density of the gas. Since hydrogen and helium are both very less dense than air, the lift differences are small. For example, a 20,000 liter balloon will generate about 500 lbf if it is hydrogen and 460 lbf if it is helium []. Also, of interesting note is that the Wikipedia article on on the Hindenburg argues that the Hindenburg disaster was caused by the frame being too flammable, not the Hydrogen.

Comment Again? (Score 1) 135

Although I enjoy bashing Microsoft as much as the next Slashdotter, haven't we seen enough obvious patents? We get about one per week. Maybe we could hear stories about people trying to change the system? Anything constructive? Judging from what I've heard on slashdot, the patent office is run by retarded rodents that approve patents based on the applications' fiber content.

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