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Comment Try changing 10,000 votes by mail. (Score 1) 454

Can vote by mail possibly be gamed? Yes. Everything can possibly be gamed. If you are worried there are places in every county where you can directly drop off your ballet. What is incredibly difficult to do by mail is change 10,000 votes at once. This is entirely possible with electronic voting.

Comment Re: Have Fun Wrangling (Score 1) 94

Is this subtle sarcasm, cleverly pointing out the parallel to windows 8? Or is it pure self assured ignorance? Many times I observe people who assume that the new realization they just had is too brilliant for Microsoft to come up with on it's own. Sure, Microsoft has made some colossal blunders. But they aren't as stupid as some people think. In this case, one of the destiguishing features of windows 8 is that it splits enterprise application develpement from casual user application developement. The casual side uses the "app store" concept. Clearly the intent is to attract thousands of independent developers. Of course the implementation of the change is part of what people despise about windows 8, and why many are considering it a failure... and Microsoft can attract developers by its name alone (and repel them as well, I know).

Comment Re:"Oh noes! The people keep voting it down!" (Score 1) 153

I'm not sure the point you are trying to make; are you saying special interests keep trying to get bad bills past, are you saying they dont, or are you saying it doesn't matter? Oh, and I keep hearing the tired old argument of "assault rifles are only good for one thing: killing people". This is still as false as it ever was. With the literally MILLIONS of assault rifles sold, why aren't ther millions of deaths? Because millions of people have found things to do with them other than killing people, that's why. If you can only think of killing someone when you hold an assault rifle, I guess I'm glad you choose to not have one. But for the rest of us we've found other ways to occupy our time.

Comment This is hardly new in and of its self (Score 1) 247

For decades Iceland has been contemplating ways to export their cheap geothermal electricity, and aluminum batteries are one such idea. I'll leave it to someone not on a mobile phone to do a detailed search, but here is one link: The gist of Slashdot's linked to adver.... uh, article, is they think they have improved the process. Of course it appears they do it in their own custom built demonstration vehicle. There are ways to make custom built gas cars get almost that range on a tank of gas, but they aren't anything most of us would want to drive, and wouldn't pass US safety standards. So although this is probably good news, it also probably isn't as exciting or new as the marketing hype.

Comment Talked my Dad into new Ubuntu instead of mac (Score 1) 320

Even though the machine was new from a Ubuntu mfg, it randomly hangs. In this case there is no console available and the machine isnt pingable. Happens with the lid open or closed. Sometimea happens a few times a day, Sometimes happens after 3 days. It waa a major purchase for him as well; it cost half what he makes in a month. Now I dont know if I gave him good advice or not. Of course I've heard horror stories about major mfgs as well (yes even Macs) so it happens to all of them.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 488

I'd mod you +1 funny for your take on my typo, but of course I can't.

I'd typed "stalin" without caps, and accidentally clicked the wrong choice. On a re-read I corrected the caps, but missed the "g". :( Oh, and the correct link to the siege of Leningrad is here. Stupid copy-n-paste doesn't all ways copy when you think it does.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 3, Informative) 488

Wait; Bell Labs - the lab which INVENTED the transistor ...(ignoring the Russian guy, named Oleg Vladimirovich Losev who Stalling starved to death during the siege of Leningrad before he could bring it to the world)... and made it possible for you to be typing this... They didn't contribute anything? How about IBM's research, which drove their HDD business to such success that at one point IBM was predicting they would own the entire industry in 6 months (but then IBM's mfg department "lost the formula" i.e. they couldn't upscale their success to larger densities, and IBM sold their entire drive business). How about all the research which has been done by a lot of companies around fiber-optics, which wasn't immediately turned into a product, but which now run the communications backbones of the world?

When you get it it looks like a product; that doesn't mean there wasn't a lot of theoretical research done before hand.

As an aside, can you imagine how world history may have been different if Oleg Losev had lived? We may very well have not "won" the cold war, as the impact of the Russians having the transistor decades before us would have had far greater repercussions then just them being able to listen to portable radios before us. One of many of our advantages was that we were using transistors in military technology while they were still using vacuum tubes, whose only advantage was that tubes required less radiation hardening.

Comment Re:Frequency of use is not so relevant (Score 2) 857

My understanding is that it was originally called an emergency brake. My '64 dodge pickup truck actually had a separate brake drum and brake shoes attached between the transition and the drive shaft. This was truly an emergency brake, as it was a redundant system which used a completely separate mechanism to stop the vehicle. No modern manufacture would go to this expense, and they use a mechanical linkages to the car's existing brakes. The linkage is redundant, but the brakes are not. Thus it is sufficient for "parking" but will not help in certain "emergency" failure modes. As an added curiosity, when we were out horsing around in the mud with my truck, my buddies told me that when I applied my emergency brake one wheel would spin backwards. Not sure exactly why this would be other than for the same reason the differential causes one wheel to spin backwards when you turn the wheel of a car which is jacked up (unless it has a locker or posi, of course).

Comment Alternative to Unity? Kubuntu (Score 1) 543

Congratulations to all of you you had no problem with Mint 12, but I had no end of problems. The gui kept hanging on me, and no amount of ctr-r or whatever (I forget the combo now) would restart it. I spent hours and days trying to sort it out; I tried loading Gnome 3, Gmome 2, different drivers, all to no avail. :( I wanted to retain an X based system so that things like ssh -X and all the other X based connections would work, and I wasn't sure how well Unity/Wayland would "play" with these. In the end I went to Kubuntu 12.04, and I couldn't be happier. For those who fret about Unity, I highly recommend Kubuntu.

Comment Opposing oppinions (Score 1) 120

Fox News reports is reporting that although Tepco can't see the fuel because of steam in the containment area, and although they can't find the current water level, the internal temperature of 112F qualifies as proof that the "cold shutdown" has been successful.

The other point of view at the washington post is that if they can't see the fuel, it has broken completely through the containment system, and "Given that steam forms when water boils this is an indication that the reactor is not in cold shutdown." Also "If the reactors are “cold”, it may be because most of the hot radioactive fuel has leaked out."

The New York Times pointed out last month: A former nuclear engineer with three decades of experience at a major engineering firm who has worked at all three nuclear power complexes operated by Tokyo Electric [said] “If the fuel is still inside the reactor core, that’s one thing” . But if the fuel has been dispersed more widely, then we are far from any stable shutdown.”

Comment Another monitizing opportunity (Score 1) 276

1) Include female synthesized voices in Germany and other places which prefer male.
2) Include male synthesized voices in the USA and other places which prefer female.
3) Sell "value enhancement" packages of other voices for $10 a shot.
4) Profit!
5) Uhm, where's my slice of the pie for thinking of the idea?

Comment Re:Losing neflix would be a loss to us all (Score 1) 349

Not at all; then the low price solution would be DEAD and the only alternative would be the $$ cable companies. The studios got along just fine without Netflix before, they'd be happy to "get along" without Netflix again, provided they keep their lucrative contracts with traditional media. No, they don't care at all if Netflix goes under. You talk about sending a message. If people really want to send a message, they would cancel their cable/HBO and order Netflix. Actually that may be what has been happening, and the additional scrutiny this brings is perhaps a bit uncomfortable for Netflix. In my case I didn't cancel cable because Cable/HBO/Direct TV was never worth it at the price point they offered (even if they'd offer it at half the price point it wouldn't have been) so my Netflix subscription is actually a gain to the studios.

Comment Losing neflix would be a loss to us all (Score 3, Interesting) 349

Don't be too hard on Netflix; It seems they are caught between a rock and a hard place. The studios let them get by on table scraps before because they didn't see them as a serious revenue source, and saw them as just an opportunity to pick up minor bits of revenue which they wouldn't otherwise collect. Now Netflix has everyone's attention, and the studios are going to want the full slice of the pie. Analysts predict that Netflix licensing is going to increase from $180M to 1.98B in the next few years. With that looming over Netflix, they must be desperate to find a strategy to cope. If the studios get their way and Netflix goes down or concedes to their desired licensing, then we all lose and we end up paying $60 to $120 per month like we pay for cable instead of $8 / month. Personally I just have the Netflix streaming service and no DVD. I don't care about the DVDs, but I wish they streamed more videos. It would be nice to have Netflix under Linux though, so I wouldn't have other options than my console.

Submission + - Anonymous kills websites, cartels kill bloggers. (

katarn writes: While drug cartels in Mexico are disemboweling people they accuse of blogging about drug violence Anonymous, busies its self taking down Mexican government websites. With all the problems facing people in Mexico right now, including drug cartels extorting teachers for 50% of their pay and killing schoolchildren Mexico's Cantarell oil field in terminal decline and drug cartels kidnapping bus loads of people and forcing them into gladiator-style contests to the death Anonymous' actions appear particularly petty. In light of all the problems Mexico is facing, Anonymous' attacks seem about as appropriate as kicking the crutches from under under Tiny Tim.

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