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Can Data Mining Win a Presidential Campaign?

VolciMaster Re:An election this close? (124 comments)

I think the race is close, but the percentages are probably fixed. In short, Obama will likely win because certain groups would never not vote for him. Most women, the huge majority of blacks, Hispanics (other than Cubans) and union voters will simply vote for him because they won't vote for a Republican. The Republicans have their own base that will not budge either. There are independents, but they have probably already decided too, or are staying home.

In short, the Democratic base is likely to be slightly bigger than the Republican one, so the Democrats will win, but the actual percentages will be close in an absolute sense

Which really means it will depend on where the "majority" comes from. Remember, in this country we do NOT vote for president - we vote for electors who vote for president (the Electoral College). A "majority" does not guarantee a win.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Clean Up My Work Computer Before I Leave?

VolciMaster Re:Nuke it from orbit (547 comments)

That is correct - when reimaging is not an option, it's a [close] second

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Clean Up My Work Computer Before I Leave?

VolciMaster Re:Nuke it from orbit (547 comments)

For a Mac or Linux machine, I run a dd from /dev/urandom into a file until it crashes (that way apps are still "ok" .. but a reimage is an option, too).

For Windows, I either reimage myself, or erase/uninstall everything and then run a simple script to dump 1s into a file till it crashes.

If you're really worried people are going to be poking around your laptop, don't use it for personal work. It IS a work machine, after all.

If you "need" to use the work machine for personal work, do it in a VM. You can move the VM off later, and then just overwrite that part of the disk on the host.

more than 2 years ago
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SEC Calls For Review of Facebook IPO

VolciMaster Re:WWWBD? (267 comments)

Thing is, in the Cayman islands you still pay taxes, just not income taxes. The people who use it as tax haven only exist there on paper so they avoid both the income taxes and the taxes involved with living there,.. though they also do not consume any resources there either. So for people who actually live there the tax burden (and services) are pretty comparable to the US.... but all people outside the territory see is 'no income tax' and make all sorts of examples from there.

And if you're a US citizen, you're still taxed federally based on how you make and where

more than 2 years ago
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NY Times: 'FBI Foils Its Own Terrorist Plots'

VolciMaster Re:Mabye you should look elsewhere? (573 comments)

...Come on, they just admitted they're not very good at their actual assignment so they make something up to look good..

Or maybe, just maybe, they don't have any real work to do, and are instead worried they'll lose their cushy government gig, so they make crap up to stay employed

more than 2 years ago
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Congress Asks Patent Office To Consider Secret Patents

VolciMaster Re:Blatant corruption as usual (285 comments)

Though I'm not intimately familiar with the business workings of Ancient Babylon (and other civilizations), the vast majority had private enterprise (ie capitalism) in place long before the feudal system

more than 2 years ago
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Drugged Honeybees Do the Time Warp

VolciMaster cicadian rhythms? (103 comments)

What is this about a bee's cicadian rhythms? Bees are nothing at all like cicadas!

more than 2 years ago
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US Unhappy With Australians Storing Data On Australian Shores

VolciMaster Re:I'm an asshole too (386 comments)

I try to never "thrust the US government" anywhere, myself - they tend to 'thrust' back

more than 2 years ago
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Scientists Discover Link Between Trees and Electricity

VolciMaster so is this good or bad? (173 comments)

Negative ions at double the concentration sounds bad (who like negativity?). But positive ions sound good (I like positive).

So - is this a Good Thing or a Bad Thing? Or is it just an observation?

more than 2 years ago
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Why Linux Can't 'Sell' On the Desktop

VolciMaster Re:heh (1091 comments)

My experience is that Windows is missing lots of features. No SSH support; no support for filesystems other than NTFS and FAT; no low level disk tools (dd); poor NFS support; doesn't come with a decent text editor.... I could carry on, but you get the idea.

fwiw, most people just do not care about what filesystem they run on. It doesn't matter to the vast majority of end-users. For that matter, it doesn't matter to an awful lot of the server world, either - if it really did, Window Server would not have the footprint in enterprise computing that it does.

While I'd love to have something like ssh for Windows standard, the fact of the matter is that Windows is a GUI environment, and ssh access to that just doesn't make sense - especially when compared to RDP (which, btw, is quite secure).

more than 2 years ago
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The Risk of a Meltdown In the Cloud

VolciMaster Re:It has to happen (154 comments)

At some point, there is going to be a massive failure. Someone big is going to lose *all* of their data. I still don't trust virtualization despite it being years old. It's still nascent in the grand scheme.

Someone wake me when they invent the holodeck.

"nascent in the grand scheme" ... of what, exactly?

it's been in use in computation [nearly] since the beginning

more than 2 years ago
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Battery Turns Saltwater Into Drinking Water

VolciMaster Re:How much energy? (114 comments)

Of course, it only works in parts of the world that get a lot of sunshine, so for example it would be a non-starter in northern Ohio.

I think the fact that Ohio is not near any source of saltwater would be the real non-starter.

Love how you excised the OP's context-clarifying statement that said, "Not that we need desalination in Ohio"

Still pretty darn funny, though

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Open Source vs Proprietary GIS Solution?

VolciMaster Re:The Obvious answer (316 comments)

I'd like to be worth $20K/month, but I'm not

Are you sure ? If you're making $60k a year, the overhead in terms of benefits, insurance, employer half of ssi, etc bring you to about a total cost of $120k. That's $20k per month.

more than 2 years ago
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Wikipedia Still Set For Full Blackout Wednesday

VolciMaster Re:Chicken! (291 comments)

Shut it down for a week and you'll be able to almost hear the roar of a billion college students having their term papers failed!

A billion college students? Since when did 1/7 people go to college around the world?

more than 2 years ago
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Mathematics Says Romney and Santorum Tied In Iowa

VolciMaster Re:Chose winner with weighted random sample. (457 comments)

Or do a ranking system - favorite to least favorite, and keep *every* candidate in until election day: no primaries, just an election. You get the number of points as you position on the list, lowest score wins. So, with ten candidates, you can get from 1-10 points from any given voter. If you have a tie after round one, you take the lowest three point getters and go again.

more than 2 years ago
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Mathematics Says Romney and Santorum Tied In Iowa

VolciMaster Re:Does anyone really care? (457 comments)

Seriously, it's Iowa, the only thing this one's good for is showing who definitely should not run, and even that's questionable.

They really should run all the caucuses in just a few days. There's no good reason, other than lots of opportunities to bribe, err, donate to your favorite candidate, that these should run more than a day or two for all 50 states. But, that would go against the political machine and those that keep it greased purposes.

I've never understood why caucuses and primaries aren't run all on the same day across the country ... splitting it up the way they do makes for a very lopsided outcome

more than 2 years ago
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Mathematics Says Romney and Santorum Tied In Iowa

VolciMaster Re:It's sad either way (457 comments)

I gotta say I've been enjoying watching people have fun with the headlines. My favorite was :"Romney squeezes out Santorum"

Probably that headline author knew full well what Santorum means, and did it on purpose! Ew, still gross.

And you'll find "santorum" means precisely bupkis. "sanitorium", on the other hand, does have a meaning, and one that is distinctly not "gross".

more than 2 years ago
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GM, NHTSA Delayed Volt Warnings To Prop Up Sales

VolciMaster Re:Ohhhh shit (344 comments)

Ahh, funny you mention the Pinto.

It was no more fire prone than any other car at the time. The Pinto also had lower Fatality rates than similar cars of the era.

Overall it was comparable to other sub-compacts. Looking at rear end impacts though, it had a much higher fatality rate due to a strong propensity of rupturing the gas tank.

There's a strong propensity for most vehicles to rupture the gas tank when driving in reverse on a limited-access highway

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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ISS not targeted for sinking in 2020

VolciMaster VolciMaster writes  |  more than 3 years ago

VolciMaster writes "MSNBC reports that the story yesterday about the International Space Station being destined for the ocean in 2020 is wrong.

Now that the space shuttle fleet is out of service, the Russians are in charge when it comes to getting people to the International Space Station and back — so when a Russian space official talks about sinking the station as early as 2020, that may sound ominous to some ears.
In reality, it's not that big a deal: Vitaly Davydov, deputy director of Russia's Federal Space Agency, was simply stating current policy when he told TV interviewers that the station would be in use until 2020 or so, and that it would have to be taken out of orbit when it's obsolete.
The interview from "Good Morning Russia" ("Utro Rossii") caused a stir when a Russian-language transcript turned up on the space agency's website, but don't panic: If anything, the International Space Station will be in operation well after 2020. Russia, NASA and the other partners in the 16-nation venture are looking into extending the station's lifetime to 2028 — that is, if they can verify that its components will still be in working order that far into the future.

"

Link to Original Source
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16GB iPhone and 32GB iPod Touch

VolciMaster VolciMaster writes  |  more than 6 years ago

VolciMaster writes "I was perusing their site this morning, and Apple has updated their iPod and iPhone offerings, doubling the maximum capacity of both. New prices: 16GB iPhone $499; 32GB iPod Touch $499.

Data plans start at $59/month from AT&T"

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