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Comment Re:There is a more immediate problem (Score 2) 221

Mail votes can be secret to. The Swedish vote system uses the same voting envelopes as for normal voting, but then you need to send them in packaged in a special outer envelope (and with a few exception, this is done at special stations at that, not in private). These are opened under the same scrutiny and together with the voting boxes, unless there are voters who voted both by mail and at the station to (e.g. for changing their mind). Then the mail vote is discarded.

Comment Re:Scrap them all (Score 1) 378

Just as in the above Canada case, there is similar regulation in Sweden. There is a special board which examines the problem (which may not need to be fraud, it does include regular screwups like just "losing" votes, e.g. if election logistics are screwed up which occasionally happens). If the board determines that a different actual election outcome would have been likely (not even the highest plausibility), a re-election occurs. The rules say this should happen if the difference would just be for a single seat, and even if it is only likely (50%).

For the last election, there were such re-elections occuring at several places on the local level, and even in one of the biggest regions (VÃstra GÃtalands lÃn). There were actually a maths professor from my university involved in doing the probability analysis for the board, to find the likelihoods of impact on the result. A few other local and regional elections were not deemed to be as flawed (1% probability) and were not redone.

Comment Re:Power? (Score 1) 352

> if you plug a powered USB port into the thing to be able to have multiple peripherals, then you could likely get power from the hub.

No. Only USB outlets of type A (rectangular, the type you have on the back of your PC) supply power. Your peripheral (with a squarish USB type A outlet) would instead expect power...


How Sperm Whales Offset Their Carbon Footprint 150

Boy Wunda writes "Scientists at Flinders University in South Australia found that in an awesome example of design by Mother Nature, Southern Ocean sperm whales offset their carbon footprint by simply defecating – an action that releases tons of iron a year and stimulates the growth of phytoplankton which absorb and trap carbon dioxide. If only we humans could say the same for our poop, which really doesn't do much more than just sit there." I'm going to do my part by buying some iron supplements and a can of chili, and heading off toward the ocean.

Justice Not As Blind As Previously Thought 256

NotSoHeavyD3 writes "I doubt this is much of a surprise but apparently Cornell University did a study that seems to show you're more likely to get convicted if you're ugly. From the article: 'According to a Cornell University study, unattractive defendants are 22 percent more likely to be convicted than good-looking ones. And the unattractive also get slapped with harsher sentences — an average of 22 months longer in prison.'"

Comment Re:works fine in Sweden (Score 2, Informative) 613

>Whilst I don't live in Sweden (I'm in the UK), I have to ask quite what your point is?
I do live in Sweden. Let's check your claims...

>The Swedes may pay more in taxes, but in return get free healthcare
Untrue. Low cost only (there are small fees). And (sometimes very long!) queues...

>good roads
Questionable, depends a lot on where you drive! Many smaller roads and streets in towns have suffered badly during the last decades from reduced maintenance.

>low crime free schooling and university
Probably both correct (at least the crime rate is not high)

>(i believe) free (or heavily subsidised) childcare
Heavily subsidised. Very costly for society...

>efficient public transport, and much more.
Questionable, in Stockholm it's great, in most medium cities it's okay, anything more rural it's often quite spotty.

>They're also very highly rated in terms of their low wealth disparity (road fines for example are based on a percentage of your annual income so that a rockstar in a ferrari feels the same sting in their speeding ticket as does a poor person in a skoda)
No, fixed amounts for speeding tickets etc. Fines for "normal" (non-road) crimes (ordered by court) use the day-fine system you describe though.

>, and human development index.


Nmap 5.20 Released 36

ruphus13 writes "Nmap has a new release out, and it's a major one. It includes a GUI front-end called Zenmap, and, according to the post, 'Network admins will no doubt be excited to learn that Nmap is now ready to identify Snow Leopard systems, Android Linux smartphones, and Chumbies, among other OSes that Nmap can now identify. This release also brings an additional 31 Nmap Scripting Engine scripts, bringing the total collection up to 80 pre-written scripts for Nmap. The scripts include X11 access checks to see if on a system allows remote access, a script to retrieve and print an SSL certificate, and a script designed to see whether a host is serving malware. Nmap also comes with netcat and Ndiff. Source code and binaries are available from the Nmap site, including RPMs for x86 and x86_64 systems, and binaries for Windows and Mac OS X. '"

Tower Switch-Off Embarrasses Electrosensitives 292

Sockatume writes "Residents in Craigavon, South Africa complained of '[h]eadaches, nausea, tinnitus, dry burning itchy skins, gastric imbalances and totally disrupted sleep patterns' after an iBurst communications tower was put up in a local park. Symptoms subsided when the residents left the area, often to stay with family and thus evade their suffering. At a public meeting with the afflicted locals, the tower's owners pledged to switch off the mast immediately to assess whether it was responsible for their ailments. One problem: the mast had already been switched off for six weeks. Lawyers representing the locals say their case against iBurst will continue on other grounds."

Game Endings Going Out of Style? 190

An article in the Guardian asks whether the focus of modern games has shifted away from having a clear-cut ending and toward indefinite entertainment instead. With the rise of achievements, frequent content updates and open-ended worlds, it seems like publishers and developers are doing everything they can to help this trend. Quoting: "Particularly before the advent of 'saving,' the completion of even a simple game could take huge amounts of patience, effort and time. The ending, like those last pages of a book, was a key reason why we started playing in the first place. Sure, multiplayer and arcade style games still had their place, but fond 8, 16 and 32-bit memories consist more of completion and satisfaction than particular levels or tricky moments. Over the past few years, however, the idea of a game as simply something to 'finish' has shifted somewhat. For starters, the availability of downloadable content means no story need ever end, as long as the makers think there's a paying audience. Also, the ubiquity of broadband means multiplayer gaming is now the standard, not the exception it once was. There is no real 'finish' to most MMORPGs."

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