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Comment Re:What?! (Score 3, Informative) 642

That's incorrect. The president of Germany is elected by the Federal Convention, which is made up of all members of the German Federal Diet (Deutscher Bundestag, elected by proportional representation every four years) plus the same number of representatives elected by the states' parliaments. Therefore, half of the result is determined by indirect vote, and the other half by double indirect votes (populace votes for representatives in the state parliament, those vote for representatives in the Federal Convention, and that in turn votes for the president). There is however, no popular vote at all for the president, the elections for the president don't coincide with any federal or state elections. Few people really care, because the president usually has a much lower profile than the chancellor..

Comment Re:Counter-takedown notice? (Score 1) 475

[...]and they must IMMEDIATELY restore it – and they face full legal responsibility of any losses you incur if they do not!

Sadly. that's not the case.

  • (1) No liability for taking down generally. — Subject to paragraph (2), a service provider shall not be liable to any person for any claim based on the service provider's good faith disabling of access to, or removal of, material or activity claimed to be infringing or based on facts or circumstances from which infringing activity is apparent, regardless of whether the material or activity is ultimately determined to be infringing.
  • (2) Exception. — Paragraph (1) shall not apply with respect to material residing at the direction of a subscriber of the service provider on a system or network controlled or operated by or for the service provider that is removed, or to which access is disabled by the service provider, pursuant to a notice provided under subsection (c)(1)(C), unless the service provider —
    • (A) takes reasonable steps promptly to notify the subscriber that it has removed or disabled access to the material;
    • (B) upon receipt of a counter notification described in paragraph (3), promptly provides the person who provided the notification under subsection (c)(1)(C) with a copy of the counter notification, and informs that person that it will replace the removed material or cease disabling access to it in 10 business days; and
    • (C) replaces the removed material and ceases disabling access to it not less than 10, nor more than 14, business days following receipt of the counter notice, unless its designated agent first receives notice from the person who submitted the notification under subsection (c)(1)(C) that such person has filed an action seeking a court order to restrain the subscriber from engaging in infringing activity relating to the material on the service provider's system or network.

And if that doesn't help, there's certainly something in youtube's terms and conditions that they can host or not host anything they want at any time they want for any or no reason, and that it is your own fault to rely on their services. I'd expect their liability to be limited to what you pay them for hosting your content, some very low symbolic amount or just plain nothing, whichever they can get away with in the relevant jurisdiction.

Comment Re:Moon bounce (Score 1) 386

There's about 1kW of photons centered around the visual spectrum hitting every square meter of the moon. It's very difficult to detect a measly laser among all that noise. In the radio spectrum, it's much easier to get a few kW of transmit power, and there's not all that much natural noise, so the signal is much easier to detect.

If you want to know how hard it is to bounce a laser off the moon, read up on the Apollo Retroreflectors, where "Even under good atmospheric viewing conditions, only one photon is received every few seconds".

Comment Re:What about UDF? (Score 1) 569

There was a crash bug in linux quite some time ago (around the 2.6.18 timeframe, CVE-2006-4145) involving large files on UDF filesystems. The workaround fomr 2.6.18 on was a hard limit of the filesize on UDF filesystems of only 1GB. This limit was still around when I last tried to create a UDF DVD filesystem, but that was 1-2 years ago. Is this limit still in current kernels?

Comment Re:S3 has always been a synonym for "avoid" (Score 1) 132

My experience from 1996 is quite the oppiosite. I bought a S3 964 based card after those were on the market for more than a year, and I had to find that XF86 was running in false-color so to say. S3 sent me the printed programming for free by international airmail essentially no questions asked.

It turned out that the problem was the way the external IBM RAMDAC was wired to the S3 chip - easily fixed with a 2 or so lines patch, Back in those days manufacturers of graphics cards dodn't just implement a reference design, but had lots of choices which components to connect in which way, which didn't really make things easier for open source developers without access to every hardware variant out there.That essentially ended with the S3 Trio/Virge and the ATI and NVida 3d cards.


Submission + - 5 sins of Vista

sproketboy writes: Interesting article discussing 5 major usibility flaws in Vista that weren't there before. Is Windows getting worse — not better over time?

Submission + - Microsoft pays blogger to Wikipedia on OOXML

David Gerard writes: "Rick Jeliffe from O'Reilly Media has had an offer from Microsoft: to be paid to edit articles on OOXML. As a Wikipedia editor and press contact, I found this interesting — the community is very negative about people being paid to edit Wikipedia, but articles on open source and free software are often a wasteland of advocacy from people who don't know or care about Neutral Point Of View[[Internet Explorer]] is carefully written, but [[Mozilla Firefox]], [[]] (try saying it's fat and slow) and [[Linux]] seem IMO to suffer a surfeit of advocates. Slashdot readers who are Wikipedia editors are invited to look over all our software articles with attention to Neutral Point Of View ..."

Submission + - Big Business Wants Bush to Go Green

Nitack writes: CEOs of ten major industrial corporations call for Bush to address global warming in the State of the Union. Climate change is finally an issue that has galvanized those would be opponents such as BP, DuPont, and others. Even utility giant PG&E is on board.

Submission + - Climate Challenge game launched on BBC

Gobion writes: "The BBC have launched our game "Climate Challenge" on their Science and Nature website: imate_challenge/

The game mixes a Sim City style strategy game with real scientific and policy data from several sources, including several UK Department of Trade and Industry energy reports (especially on microgeneration), the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports (SRES), and EU data. Along with the scientific assistance we received from Oxford University Centre for the Environment and (the distributed climate modelling project using BOINC), Climate Challenge game was designed to be both realistic and fun. It is the most ambitious game of its type. The game accompanies the David Attenborough programme "Climate Change: Britain Under Threat" and the BBC's Climate Chaos season.

Climate Challenge is aimed primarily at 20-40 year old professionals and during the development process we conducted extensive testing and found that most players came away from the game feeling more confident about their ability to help prevent major climate change, and also had a better understanding of the issues involved. Hopefully it will spur further discussion in the field!

As the game is meant as a starting point, the game is accompanied by further scientific notes for those interested in learning more about the subject."

Submission + - Math Education: An Inconvenient Truth (shocking!!)

thr4wn writes: Apparently, some elementary math curriculums are no longer concerned if students can multiply or divide well. Instead of teaching the standard algorithms for multiplication and division, they teach some other less-efficient algorithms — of which, some are vehemently abominable! This is hopefully not a sign of some national trend, but is nonetheless scary.
United States

Submission + - Gonzales denies Americans have habeas rights

TrumpetPower! writes: "This past Thursday, in response to questioning by Senator Arlen Specter (R, PA), US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales told the Senate Judiciary committee that ``The Constitution doesn't say every individual in the United States or citizen is hereby granted or assured the right of habeas corpus. '' The exchange between Mr. Gonzales and Senator Specter has received virtually no attention from the press; Google News currently has all of a dozen or so stories. Habeas corpus is the right, in America guaranteed by Article I, Section 9, of the Constitution, which ensures that people are not unjustly imprisoned and tried."

Submission + - Worlds biggest wind farm gets the go-ahead

cliffski writes: "According to the BBC website The UK govt has just given the go ahead to two large offshore wind-farm projects. Between them the schemes would produce enough renewable electricity to power about one million households. The larger London Array project covers 144 sq miles (232 sq km) between Margate in Kent and Clacton, Essex and will be the world's biggest when it is completed. The £1.5bn scheme will have 341 turbines rising from the sea about 12 miles (20km) off the Kent and Essex coasts, as well as five offshore substations and four meteorological masts"

Submission + - Matsushita Claims A Safer Li-Ion Battery

Anonymous writes: After millions and millions of notebook battery recalls this year, not to mention notebook fires, Matsushita says it has developed a safer way of mass-producing lithium-ion batteries. According to this story, the company says that it offers a "clean" manufacturing process free of the potential for contaminating battery packs; that's the problem Sony said it encountered when it ran millions of suspect battery packs off its assembly lines.

Submission + - Microsoft is King

Reginald Hairston writes: "Is it time to jump on the Microsoft bandwagon? Let's face it, Microsoft is the king of castle, and there doesn't seem to be a contender for the throne in sight, so why aren't the geeks and techies of the world leveraging the power of Microsoft to make money for themselves. It just a matter of time before Microsoft moves into and takes over the blogging world so now is the time to get ahead of the power curve. Bottomline, Microsoft self reports as a multinational computer technology corporation with global annual revenue of US$44.28 billion and 71,553 employees in 102 countries as of July 2006. The company is the world's largest software company by sales, profit or market capitalization. It develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of software products for computing devices. Headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA, its best selling products are the Microsoft Windows operating system and the Microsoft Office suite of productivity software, each of which has achieved near-ubiquity in the desktop computer market. Microsoft possesses footholds in other markets, with assets such as the MSNBC cable television network, the MSN Internet portal, and the Microsoft Encarta multimedia encyclopedia. The company also markets both computer hardware products such as the Microsoft mouse as well as home entertainment products such as the Xbox, Xbox 360 and MSN TV. Learn how to get blog traffic to your site instantly by visiting"

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