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Submission + - New York Investigators Obtain Fraudulent Ballots 97 Percent of Time (nationalreview.com) 8

cold fjord writes: National Review reports, "New York City’s Department of Investigation (DOI) has just shown how easy it is to commit voter fraud that is almost undetectable. Its undercover agents were able to obtain ballots for city elections a total of 61 times — 39 times using the names of dead people, 14 times using the names of incarcerated felons, and eight times using the names of non-residents. On only two occasions, or about 3 percent of the time, were the agents stopped by polling-place officials. In one of the two cases, an investigator was stopped only because the felon he was trying to vote in the name of was the son of the election official he was dealing with. Ballot security in checking birth dates or signatures was so sloppy that young undercover agents were able to vote using the name of someone three times their age who had died. As the New York Post reports: “A 24-year female was able to access the ballot at a Manhattan poll site in November under the name of a deceased female who was born in 1923 and died in April 25, 2012 — and would have been 89 on Election Day.” All of the agents who got ballots wrote in the names of fictitious candidates so as not to actually influence election outcomes."

Submission + - Cobalt-60, and Lessons From a Mexican Theft (thebulletin.org) 1

Lasrick writes: George Moore and Miles Pomper examine the theft of a truck containing Cobalt-60 and find that, while Mexico did the right thing and reported the theft promptly, they were under no obligation to do so according to international rules and the IAEA. This was true even though the stolen material was 3,000 curies, making it a Category 1 source (the most dangerous). Great discussion.

Submission + - Toyota's Killer Firmware (edn.com) 1

Smerta writes: On Thursday, a jury verdict found Toyota's ECU firmware defective, holding it responsible for a crash in which a passenger was killed and the driver injured. What's significant about this is that this is the first time a jury heard about software defects uncovered by plaintiff's expert witnesses. An interesting summary of the defects discussed at trial is interesting reading, as well the transcript of court testimony. Wonder what the impact will be on self-driving cars?
Google

Submission + - Oh Google, why? (google.im)

paleshadows writes: For years, gmail users have been able to utilize alternate email addresses from within gmail. One could send mail as foo@bar (bar != gmail.com), while still having all benefits of a gmail account. These days are over. In a bizzare move, Google more or less arranged things such that, if you use alternate emails, you will not be able to enjoy the associated google calendar. For example, as a publicly declared policy, gmail refuses to allow you to accept any calendar invites that were sent to your alternate address. Amusingly, in response to users' outcry, Google personnel proposed (in all seriousness!) to solve the problem using an elaborate procedure that, among other things, eliminates your alternate addresses...
Games

Correlation Found Between Brain Structure and Video Game Success 110

kghapa writes "Still want to argue that video games shrink your brain? While video games have been previously shown to stimulate brain activity and improve coordination skills, a recently published study has directly linked structures in the human brain with video game aptitude. And yes, apparently size does matter in this case. Quoting: '... each subject received 20 hours of training to play a video game specifically created for research purposes, called Space Fortress. It's basically an Asteroids-type arcade game, in which the object is to knock down and destroy an enemy fortress while dodging space mines. However, the game has lots of extra twists that require close attention. Some of the players were told to focus exclusively on running up a high score, while others were told to shift their priorities between several goals. The result? The subjects who had more volume in an area called the nucleus accumbens did significantly better in the early stages of training. Meanwhile, those who were well-endowed in different areas of the striatum, known as the caudate nucleus and putamen, handled the shifting strategies better.'"

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