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Comment All about the rewards (Score 1) 214

Someone needs to come up with a system where the cows receive a reward immediately upon defacating in the nominated area. I.e. When the cow stands on the grate facing the right way and drops a pat, some tasty treats appear in a bowl at mouth level. Other cows which are ready to drop and wanting their reward would hustle any cubicle-occupiers out of the area, ensuring a good level of throughput and discouraging the cows from hanging around in the toilets like naughty schoolchildren (minus cigarettes)

Comment Future Uri Gellers / Peter Popoffs? (Score 1) 386

Do you think that, as time goes by, it's becoming harder for individual performers to hoodwink large sections of the population for financial gain in the way that Peter Popoff and Uri Geller did, in their respective heydays? Do you think the internet could be helping to keep such charlatans at bay through unhindered discussion and criticism? Or are we just as vulnerable as ever?

Comment Free wifi (Score 1) 149

In case you don't end up with a decent data plan, free open wifi is available in branches of the Chinese fast food chain Dico's ( - there are over 1000 of them across China. Also, think about what service you're planning to upload photos to and check it's not listed here:'s_Republic_of_China

Comment Re:Without evidence of tampering? (Score 3, Insightful) 251

"Without evidence of tampering" obviously refers to the state of the machines if the alien circuitry is removed before inspection. The attack does not require any wires to be cut or internal components to be destroyed or removed, which would leave physical evidence. You do have a point about the screen blanking, though. Although it only blanks for a split second and I guess most users could be led to believe that this was normal behaviour. Is it suspicious enough for the regular Joe election supervisor to call off the poll and open up the machine?

Comment Re:Well, good thing I didn't research this area. (Score 5, Insightful) 251

The key point is SUPERVISION. Yes, the voting station staff might be corrupt, but if you have representatives from each of the parties with a stake in the election present during the entire voting and counting process, then sleight-of-hand becomes is much trickier. With a pencil-and-paper-based system, you need to distract a great number of people *on election day* (assuming the votes are counted immediately after polls close, as in the UK) in order to 'interfere' with the vote. With the electronic system, all you need is a moment alone with the machine, at basically any point after its manufacture, to make your modifications (whatever they may be - software/hardware - just preferably hard to trace) - and it suddenly doesn't matter how rigorous the supervision is, come election day. Human beings can't supervise at the electron level.

Comment Re:A word of advice (Score 1) 338

You've made a false assumption regarding what I meant by "/". Let me expand it correctly for you: "If this situation unfolds for Canada, or even North America as a whole, as it has done for Europe...." Also, there are of course more than two countries which make up North America.

Comment A word of advice (Score 4, Insightful) 338

If this situation unfolds for Canada / North America as it has done for Europe, they may wish to revise their means of communicating cancellations to passengers. The 'marker pen on a whiteboard' technique may be suitable for a handful of flights at a small regional airport but doesn't scale very well once an entire continent's airspace has been closed. Also, the hand-drawn "Sorry" with a sad face next to each flight number will start to take on a somewhat patronising tone.

Comment Re:What happens when... (Score 1) 457

Actually, this announcement has neatly coincided with the beginning of an 11-year period of increased solar activity with the peak expected in 5 years' time. NASA issued a warning about this very recently. Source:
Wireless Networking

Best Pre-Paid Data Plan For a Visit To Germany? 153

code prole writes "With two upcoming trips to Germany, and no readily available Internet (Wi-Fi or otherwise) in the location where we'll be staying, I'm looking for a no-contract USB stick and pre-paid data plan. Vodafone has a huge selection of USB sticks but has proven to be unresponsive to questions about data plans. And the US-based T-Mobile Help Center was clueless about getting the device in Europe and using it there. Hopefully the Slashdot community has some suggestions. Any duds to avoid?"

Comment Re:When the news first aired, they talked to a loc (Score 4, Informative) 100

That's a deeply cynical opinion of the world's humanitarian aid charities. I couldn't disagree more. After the US army has been and gone it will be the likes of Red Cross/Red Crescent, and Medecins Sans Frontieres who will provide ongoing medical support to the recovering community. These charities all declare breakdowns of where the donated money is spent. The initial relief effort has been hampered by a number of factors, but your claim that the Red Cross aren't really there to help people but simply to promote their brand and accumulate wealth is way off the mark. The people of Haiti will be in a much worse position if these groups are not present, and without donations from the public these groups would not exist at all. Maybe you're trying to justify your decision not to donate, and to some extent I'm trying to justify my decision TO donate, but I don't think you're representing these groups fairly with your statements.

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