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Comment It's been done, though (Score 2) 219

No one's mentioned Estonia yet, so here we go: secret ballot over the Internet, separation of voter and vote, vote verification, and last but not least, open-sourced voting software. Researchers have pointed out a few hypothetical attack vectors available to state-level entities (last from 2014) which have been closed ever since, but the bigger problem is actually handling the PR during the elections, in the sense that a malicious person or persons can claim their votes were "hacked", drum up the media coverage, and even though they'll be proved wrong, the integrity of the ongoing elections would still be compromised.

Comment Re:stupid germans (Score 1) 419

the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, has a PhD in Physics. Can any other country boast a top political leader who has a STEM leader . . . ?

Ene Ergma, long-time president of the Estonian Parliament, is an astrophysicist with a double PhD in physics and math.

Submission + - Near death experience caused by electrical activity in dying brain (

Dupple writes: A surge of electrical activity in the brain could be responsible for the vivid experiences described by near-death survivors, scientists report.

A study carried out on dying rats found high levels of brainwaves at the point of the animals' demise.

US researchers said that in humans this could give rise to a heightened state of consciousness.

The research is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The lead author of the study, Dr Jimo Borjigin, of the University of Michigan, said: "A lot of people thought that the brain after clinical death was inactive or hypoactive, with less activity than the waking state, and we show that is definitely not the case.

"If anything, it is much more active during the dying process than even the waking state."


Prolonged Gaming Blamed For Rickets Rise 254

superapecommando writes "Too many hours spent playing videogames indoors is contributing to a rise in rickets, according to a new study by doctors. Professor Simon Pearce and Dr Tim Cheetham of Newcastle University have written a paper in the British Medical Journal which warns of the rickets uptake – a disease which sufferers get when deficient in Vitamin D. The study boils down to the fact that as more people play videogames indoors they don't get enough sunlight and this has meant the hospitals are now having to combat a disease that was last in the papers around the time Queen Victoria was on the throne." At least the kids are eating enough snacks with iodized salt that we don't have to worry about goiters.

Comment Re:All I have is an anecdote (Score 1) 430

It's a stopgap measure that can be repeated every year. It's also not similar to over-prescription of antibiotics (we're not going to run out of surface proteins to use as antigens because the virus needs those for binding to target cells) - that'd be antivirals, and influenza A does develop resistance to them fairly quickly. Even so a temporary relief certainly beats no relief at all.
First Person Shooters (Games)

Left 4 Dead 2 Approved In Australia After Edits 134

Last month we discussed news that Valve's upcoming shooter Left 4 Dead 2 had been denied classification in Australia, which meant the game could not be legally sold there. Now, after a series of edits which removed "considerable amounts of gore from gameplay," Australia's classification board has given the game an MA15+ rating. Their new report (PDF) says, "No wound detail is shown and the implicitly dead bodies and blood splatter disappear as they touch the ground. ... The board notes that the game no longer contains depictions of decapitation, dismemberment, wound detail or piles of dead bodies lying about the environment." The unmodified version of the game may still be approved, pending a review that concludes on October 22nd.

Comment Killing them all is a bad idea (Score 5, Insightful) 830

Remember, terrorism isn't about money, it's about instilling fear in people, i.e. terrorizing. So if you start shooting down every hijacked plane, what actually happens, is that the terrorists will use their readily available supply of martyrs to continuously hijack airplanes with no other intent than getting shot down. Then you either keep your word, shoot the planes and the people within, and soon nobody in their right mind will ever board a plane again (public uproar notwithstanding), or you don't shoot the planes and start negotiating with the terrorists.

Submission + - Bill Gates on software, from 1989 1

An anonymous reader writes: The University of Waterloo has uploaded a talk by Bill Gates, on software, that took place there in 1989. Available here, the talk was only recently digitized and contains many predictions from someone who was already starting to become an industry leader at that time. Many are surprisingly accurate and quite relevant today.

Submission + - New York Taxi Drivers Will Strike if GPS installed (

wooferhound writes: " ers_threaten_two-day_strike_999.html New York's taxi drivers on Thursday said they would mount a two-day strike in early September if authorities did not scrap plans to introduce satellite positioning systems in the city's yellow cabs. "We are ready to go on strike on September 5 and September 6," Bhairavi Desai, executive director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, which represents some 8,400 of New York's 26,000 cabbies, told AFP."

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