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Voting Drops 83 Percent In All-Digital Election 156

For the first time ever, Oahu residents had to use their phones or computers to vote with some surprising results. 7,300 people voted this year, compared to 44,000 people the previous year, a drop of about 83 percent. "It is disappointing, compared to two years ago. This is the first time there is no paper ballot to speak of. So again, this is a huge change and I know that, and given the budget, this is a best that we could do," said Joan Manke of the city Neighborhood Commission. She added that voters obviously did not know about or did not embrace the changes.

Submission + - Encryption passphrase deemed protected by the 5th

Takichi writes: CNET is reporting on a case of a man accused of transporting child pornography across the Canadian border. A federal judge in Vermont has ruled that prosecutors can't force the defendant to divulge his PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) passphrase. The ruling was given on the basis that the passphrase is protected under the 5th amendment to the United States Constitution (protection against self-incrimination).

There two arguments for and against this are the following:
  • Since the passphrase exists only within the defendant's memory, demanding the passphrase would be an act of compelling a defendant to divulge the contents of their mind — an act that is protected against.
  • The passphrase is more like a key to a safe, which can a defendant can be lawfully compelled to produce. Also, since the actual passphrase isn't relevant to the case, but the evidence it unlocks is, immunity from divulging the passphrase should be limited.
Operating Systems

Submission + - What should I put in my Dreamcast Linux distro? (

00_NOP writes: "I have been working for months on getting the codebase back up to scratch for Linux on the Dreamcast. I have now, more or less, just finished a driver for the CD Rom, so it is time to think about publsihing a distribution but what should I put on it? Just games? And if so, which ones — given we have only bare bones X and no accelerated 3D available? Or are there other things people would find useful?

And how many of you have Dreamcasts these days anyway?"


Submission + - The pros of upgrading from Vista to XP! ( 4

An anonymous reader writes: A reviewer takes on the daunting task of upgrading [sic] from Vista to XP, and gives a very nice breakdown of the Pros and Cons (yes, there are a couple...;)
Operating Systems

Submission + - Embedded Linux OS providers compared (

nerdyH writes: Recent market research shows Linux to be just as good an embedded OS as traditional RTOSes (real-time OSes), with MontaVista emerging over Wind River as the best commercial vendor of embedded Linux OS stacks and development tools. Another finding: commercial embedded Linux is much more effective than DIY, in-house, roll-your-own Linux at getting products out the door. Juicily, the report is from EMF, which as recently as four years ago maintained that Windows Embedded OSes had much lower "total cost of development" than Linux.

Submission + - Chinese bloggers encouraged' to register real info (

Raver32 writes: "— Blog service providers in China are "encouraged" to register users with their real names and contact information, according to a new government document that tones down an earlier proposal banning anonymous online blogging. At least 10 major Chinese blog service providers have agreed to sign the "self-discipline pledge" issued by the Internet Society of China, the state-run Xinhua News Agency reported Tuesday. Online bulletin boards and blogs are the only forum for most Chinese to express opinions before a large audience in a society where all media are state-controlled. China has the world's second-biggest population of Internet users after the United States, with 137 million people online. It also has 30 million registered bloggers, and more than 100 million Chinese Internet users visit blogs regularly, according to the ISC. The group is under the Ministry of Information Industry. The guidelines, issued Tuesday and effective immediately, "encouraged" real-name registration of users, according to a copy posted on the Internet group's Web site. The information — to be filed with the companies, not posted online — should include the user's name, address, contact numbers and e-mail address, it said."

Submission + - Myspace goes homophobic

Seto89 writes: Since the beginning of the week Rupert Murdoch-owned MySpace has omitted the "Gay" option in the profile sex preference settings. More details in the AC article.
Also it is now impossible to post a bulletin with a content similar to the one posted in protest (can be found here) — the bulletins just don't appear (though bulletins with other content work fine).
Is Rupert Murdoch going into unstoppable censorship spree? Or does he only assume that all gays will hide from him in a closet?

Submission + - Marine Biologist To Live Underwater For 14 Days

An anonymous reader writes: An Australian marine biologist will live in a self-sufficient underwater habitat for two weeks, using an experimental biological life support system to survive. 29-year-old Lloyd Godson will live in BioSUB, at the bottom of a freshwater lake, where he will tend an algae bio-reactor for air and food. Water will come from a machine that extracts moisture from the air. A combination of solar panels, fuel cells and a bicycle-powered generator will provide electricity. The science teacher who built the bio-reactor admits that it is touch and go: 'I am terribly nervous... It's very untried technology. I think it's a pretty big gamble.'

Submission + - Microsoft Update Memory Leak

mksolid writes: "I'm a computer technician for a small IT company and I have been driven absolutely crazy since Friday with a problem that occurred when I would boot up any Windows XP desktop machines. When I opened Task Manager to monitor the resource usage, I noticed that the 'svchost.exe' process (run by the SYSTEM account) would take up 99% CPU time and cause a massive memory leak for the first 5-10 minutes after logging into a user account. I did virus scans, anti-spyware scans and anything that I could to ensure that the problem wasn't related to malicious software, and I even setup a clean test system and still had the same problems. I finally decided to use TDIMonitor and check the network for the culprit resource hog, and I discovered that the system was repeatedly sending out requests for various Microsoft files. I simply disabled Microsoft Update from the Windows Update page and the problem has gone away. Our machines now startup and operate very smoothly within seconds. I suppose the discovery is that there is a bug in Microsoft Update that causes a massive memory leak and it needs further investigation by Microsoft."
User Journal

Journal Journal: Argonne Hydrogen Catalyst Tools For Desalination

Argonne Labratories has just announced some advances in catalysts for fuel cells. They have developed some cool tools for catalytic research in doing so -- which I think might be applicable to desalination research as well. The idea would be to have a catalyst settle Na & Cl out of solution and skim off the fresh water. This would be an extremely cheap process. So cheap it would make it

Wind, Solar & Biofuels to Power Remote Cell Towers 119

tcd004 writes "How do you set up a cell network when there's no power grid? Namibia, India and Nigeria are building towers using localized power sources to provide critical cell phone access to the most remote parts of their countries. Wind/solar hybrids, and biofuel power plants will power the radio towers, peripheral communications, and even the protective fencing around the installations."

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