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Comment "Western"? (Score 5, Informative) 614

Excuse me, but a great number of what I'd call 'Western' countries use other systems than pluralist votes. For example, the German Federal Diet is elected by a hybrid of the first-past-the-post election system and party-list proportional representation. Proportional systems are also used in countries like Finland, Austria, Spain and many others. Remember: Just because the USA and the UK use it, it doesn't make it "Western" by default. (Just because -their- minds boggle when we here get along well with a four-party coalition government....)

Submission + - DoD block soldiers' access to YouTube, MySpace

Anonymous Coward writes: "US soldiers will be unable to access many popular Internet sites including Youtube and Myspace from today, after the Depart of Defence blocked access to these sites claiming they were taking up too much bandwidth.

If I remember correctly, it is DoD's (D)Arpanet initiative that developed into what we call the Internet today. How ironic is it that few years down the line, DoD is censoring it's own creation?"

Submission + - Microsoft takes on the free world

k-hell writes: "Free software is great, and corporate America loves it. It's often high-quality stuff that can be downloaded free off the Internet and then copied at will. It's versatile — it can be customized to perform almost any large-scale computing task — and it's blessedly crash-resistant. A broad community of developers, from individuals to large companies like IBM, is constantly working to improve it and introduce new features. No wonder the business world has embraced it so enthusiastically: More than half the companies in the Fortune 500 are thought to be using the free operating system Linux in their data centers. But now there's a shadow hanging over Linux and other free software, and it's being cast by Microsoft (Charts, Fortune 500). The Redmond behemoth asserts that one reason free software is of such high quality is that it violates more than 200 of Microsoft's patents."
Operating Systems

Submission + - Torvalds releases version 2.6.22-rc1 o

Legithrand writes: "Linux.com announces the new kernel release, 2.6.22-rc1, looking for active testers. Changelog is too long for the mailing list but Linus Torvalds says they're all over the place. According to the article: "You want a new firewire stack? We've got it. New wireless networking infrastructure? Check. New infiniband drivers? Digital video drivers? A totally new CPU architecture (blackfin)? Check, check, check." More changes are planned for a near future."

Submission + - Freest Phone Calls Ever?

drowe67 writes: "Li Yuqian (Beijing, China) and I (Adelaide, South Australia) just made the first VOIP call using the IP04 Open Hardware IP-PBX. Unlike any other PBX projects the IP04 hardware is free (as in speech). Anyone is welcome to copy, modify, manufacture and hack the design. The hardware was designed using open source gEDA CAD software, and it even runs uClinux and Asterisk. Could these be the freest phone calls ever? Even the inventor of the telephone Alexander Graham Bell was wrapped up in 19th century patent wars over his hardware!"
United States

Submission + - Super-green minivans are possible today

Roland Piquepaille writes: "According to the Mercury News, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) has designed a super-green minivan. The Vanguard is a vehicle concept that could cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent and exceed California's 2016 global warming standards. This minivan, which only exists as a computer simulation, would use existing technologies and could run on a gasoline-ethanol blend. Such a vehicle would only "cost $300 more than one of today's minivans, but it would save an owner $1,300 over the lifetime of the vehicle." Of course, as UCS is not a car maker, it's hard to know if such a concept will really be used by the automotive industry. Here is a link to more references and pictures about this concept vehicle which may reach the U.S. roads one day."

Submission + - Marvel Comics Hottest Girls

scarletwitch writes: "Marvel Database has compiled a selection of the most popular and attractive comic book heroines and villains. The selected girls include, but are not limited to the playable female characters featured in Marvel Ultimate Alliance and X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse: Elektra, Phoenix (Jean Grey), Scarlet Witch, Invisible Woman (Sue Storm), Black Widow (Natasha Romanoff), Mystique (Raven Darkholme), Psylocke (Elisabeth Braddock) and Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew). The others are included in the current comics roster or have had an impact on the marvel universe."

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