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Comment Re:If you don't vote... (Score 1) 390

So you're saying since you're not in a traditional "swing state", there is no point in voting. I wonder how many people like you in Kansas feel the same and therefore don't bother voting either, AND I wonder if you all did decide one year to vote anyway, would Kansas all the sudden become a swing state? Maybe not, but not even trying is real shame and in no way an effective way to protest the system. I assure you that if not voting is your way to rebel against the electoral college concept, that message is WAAAAY lost.

The one thing that makes me madder than seeing certain states (like Kansas) being take for granted by a certain party, is hearing about people like you in that state not even bothering to try. And then pretending it's some sort of political statement.

Comment Re:If you don't vote... (Score 1) 390

In some countries, where the election system is just a sham designed to "re-elect" whatever dictator is in place, then yes, an election boycott is a political statement of sort.

In countries where elections actually mean something and have a real outcome (yes, even in two party countries like the US) an election boycott is just silly. It just means your voice doesn't count. If it is political participation, it is of the pointless kind.

Comment Re:If you don't vote... (Score 1) 390

Complaining is part of the democratic process. The point is that if you're willing to make your voice count at the ballot poll (the ultimate/key part of the democratic process) then don't bother us with the rest please. It's not a legal requirement, just something We The Voters are asking nicely.

Comment Re:Gross assumption (Score 1) 543

Sure, just as soon as the federal government issues everyone an ID card (like most countries in the world) so we can use that number instead.

The "social security number" became the magic number by accident (due to lack of alternative) not by choice.

The bottom line is that financial transactions need ID and ways to do credit checks.


Winnie Wrote a Math Book 638

SoyChemist writes "Hollywood is not known for providing a wealth of positive female role models. Danica McKellar, the actress that played Winnie Cooper on The Wonder Years and Elsie Snuffin on The West Wing, has written a math book for teenage girls. 'Math Doesn't Suck' is done in the style of a teen magazine. It even includes a horoscope, cute doodles of shoes and jewelry, and testimonials from attractive young career women that use math at work. It focuses on fractions and pre-algebra and uses mnemonics like calling a reciprocal a 'refliprocal', because you just take the fraction and flip it upside down. Wired interviewed McKellar about the new book and her crusade to eliminate the achievement gap between boys and girls in math courses. McKellar graduated Summa Cum Laude from UCLA. While studying there, she co-authored a proof and presented it at a conference. After she and Mayim Bialik — star of Blossom and a PhD in neuroscience — appeared in a 20/20 episode about intellectual actresses, several literary agents came knocking on her door."

Worm Threat Forces Apple To Disable Software? 201

SkiifGeek writes "After the debacle that surrounded the announcement and non-disclosure of a worm that targets OS X, the vulnerability in mDNSResponder may have forced Apple to remove support for certain mDNSResponder capabilities with the recently released Security Update 2007-007. 'Seeming to closely follow the information disclosed by InfoSec Sellout, Apple's mDNSResponder update addresses a vulnerability that can be exploited by an attacker on the local network to gain a denial of service or arbitrary code execution condition. Apple goes on to identify that the vulnerability that they are addressing exists within the support for UPnP IGD... and that an attacker can exploit the vulnerability through simply sending a crafted network packet across the network. With the crafted network packet triggering a buffer overflow, it passes control of the vulnerable system to the attacker. Rather than patching the vulnerability and retaining the capability, Apple has completely disabled support for UPnP IGD (though there is no information about whether it is only a temporary disablement until vulnerabilities can be addressed).'"

Submission + - Department of Defense blocks HTML-based email

oKAMi-InfoSec writes: "The Department of Defense (DoD) is blocking HTML-based email and is banning the use of Outlook Web Access email clients.

The DoD is making this move because HTML messages can easily be infected with spyware and executable lines of code that enable the bad guys to access DoD networks, according to an article in Federal Computer Week by Bob Brewin .

From the article:

In an e-mail to Federal Computer Week, a Navy user said that any HTML messages sent to his account are automatically converted to plain text.
A spokesman for the Joint Task Force for Global Network Operations (JTF-GNO) claims that this is a response to an increased network threat condition. The network threat condition has risen from Information Condition 5 to Information Condition 4 (also called Infocon 4). InfoCon 5 is normal operating conditions and Infocon 4 comes as a result of "continuing and sophisticated threats" against DoD Networks. The change to Infocon 4 came in mid-November, after the Naval War College suffered devastating attacks that required their entire system be taken offline, but the JTF-GNO spokesman claims there is no connection."

Using Cellphones to Track Your Kids 209

David Pogue at the New York Times wrote this week about a new, novel use for cellphones: tracking your children. Several new ventures, including ones from names like Disney, Verizon, and Sprint, will offer web-accessible locating services by pinpointing the G.P.S. signal in their commercial devices. There's also some discussion of child-specific services, like the 'Whereifone', which is more 'Star Trek communicator' than actual cell. From the article: "To pinpoint the phone's location, you call up the Web site, enter your password, click 'locate,' and presto: an icon appears on a map -- either a street map or actual satellite photo. In the photo view, you can zoom in enough to see individual buildings. These are existing satellite photos --you won't actually see your child standing there -- but this feature is still creepy and awesome. You can even watch 'bread crumbs' appear on the map as the phone moves around (cost: one talk-time minute apiece). That could be helpful if you're trying to assist someone lost on the road, or in the kinds of emergencies encountered primarily in your nightmares."

Submission + - Hard-drive intrusion law passed in Germany

pimpimpim writes: (in german) reports that in the german state Nordrhein Westfalen an "anti-terror" law has been passed that will allow the intrusion of personal hard-drives over the internet by law enforcement. Probably this will be done by the use of trojans, that are to be developed by "police hackers".

No political party performed any significant opposition against the law, it appears that only one single person will try to stop the law on grounds of being unconstitutional. This can only happen after the law has been officially published and added to the state laws.

It seems that the people of Nordrhein Westfalen got a Christmas present they'll never forget, it will probably not take long before the record and movie industry will start asking for court orders and stop the "copying terror". And who knows who will legally spy on your harddisk next.
Technology (Apple)

Submission + - A Real, Working Jetpack

serutan writes: "A Swiss airline pilot and self-described adrenaline junkie named Yves Rossy has developed a working jetpack and flown it more than 30 times. Actually it's a pair of rigid carbon fiber wings strapped to his back, with two small kerosene-powered jet engines on each wing — essentially a small jet airplane using the pilot's body as the fuselage. His flights have lasted up to 6-1/2 minutes at speeds over 100mph. Rossy's website and YouTube have some pretty cool videos of him flying around over the mountains like Buzz Lightyear. He is working toward ground takeoffs and landings, but currently he jumps out of an airplane, unfolds the wings and flies until he runs out of fuel, then parachutes to the ground."

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