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Submission + - Lessig's Equal Citizens: "Why we need technical people to take on corruption" (medium.com)

Funksaw writes: An article in "Equal Citizens," Lawrence Lessig's Medium-based blog dealing with issues of institutional corruption in democratic politics, explains why, specifically, the reform movement needs (more) people with technical minds and technical skills.

FTA: "What we need are more people willing to look at the laws of this country based on their function. And when I use the word “function,” I mean very specifically the same sense that a computer programmer means it. (Because lord knows, government isn’t functioning by any other definition.)...

It’s not just that big money politics is being injected [like a code injection] into the function of democracy. It’s also that the function of democracy can be warped by an injection. Stopping the injection of money into our democratic function still leaves the function vulnerable to the same—or similar—injection attack.... We need people who can solve the problems of politics like a programmer solves problems in computer code, because a democratic system with vulnerabilities is a democratic system that can fail or be made to fail.
"

The article was authored by the technical adviser to the New Hampshire Rebellion and Mayday.US, two of Lessig's major reform projects.

Submission + - Rich and American? Australia wants you

An anonymous reader writes: Following the success of a millionaire visa program to attract wealthy Chinese, Australia has launched an invite-only visa program that promises citizenship to rich American entrepreneurs. To meet the requirements of the Premium Investment Visa plan Americans must first invest around 15 million Australian dollars. Reuters reports: "Investment advisors who have been briefed on the plan by government officials expressed doubts about the wisdom of targeting Americans, with several telling Reuters the more obvious place to start was Australia's Asian neighbors. After all, why would a successful U.S. entrepreneur want to invest a large chunk of cash in Australia — a country very similar to the United States, just further away from everything — in exchange for a passport that carries few additional benefits to their own? 'The U.S. has some problems that Australia doesn't have. It's got a lot more racial crimes, it's got a lot more gun-related crimes, but I don't think that is going to drive a whole bunch of ultra-rich Americans out of their country,' said Bill Fuggle, a partner at law firm Baker & McKenzie who advises wealthy Chinese migrating to Australia."
Databases

Submission + - Google's F1 - Scalable Alternative to MySQL (i-programmer.info)

mikejuk writes: Google has moved its advertising services from MySQL to a new database, created in-house, called F1. The new system combines the best of NoSQL and SQL approaches.
The store is dynamically sharded, supports replication across data centers while keeping transactions consistent, and can deal with data center outages without losing data. The downside of keeping the transactions consistent means F1 has higher write latencies compared to MySQL, so the team restructured the database schemas and redeveloped the applications so the effect of the increased latency is mainly hidden from external users. Because F1 is distributed, Google says it scales easily and can support much higher throughput for batch workloads than a traditional database.

Space

Submission + - Soviet moon lander discovered water on moon in 1976 (tech-stew.com)

techfun89 writes: "Luna-24 was the last Soviet mission to the moon. It returned to Earth with water-rich rock samples from beneath the lunar surface only to be ignored by the West. New research uncovers this story from obscurity.

Arlin Crotts, a professor in the Department of Astronomy of Columbia University in New York City found that the Soviets found evidence of water in the 1970s, in particular the Luna-24 sample-return mission. During this mission the Soviets drilled 2 meters into the lunar surface and extracted 300 grams of rock then returned to Earth. This was an impressive feat for its time. Analysis showed the rock was made up of 0.1 percent water. This result was published in 1978 to the Russian journal Geokhimiia. There was an English version but wasn't widely read in the West."

Google

Submission + - Larry Page: Have a Healthy Disregard for the Impossible (singularityhub.com) 1

kkleiner writes: "In a talk titled “Beyond Today”, Google’s CEO Larry Page infused Zeitgeist 2012 attendees with a healthy dose of optimism and a call to make ambitious bets, be better organized and work harder to accelerate technology and improve people’s lives. Donning a Google Glass prototype, Page highlighted Google’s current efforts and cast a vision for where Google is headed next, guided by a slogan he borrowed from a University of Michigan summer leadership course: with a healthy disregard for the impossible, people can do almost anything."

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