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Politics and VoIP [10 Oct 2006|10:45am]
Here's another reason to collect politicians in a big pile, drench in kerosene, and set on fire.
The operation, somewhat ominously for Democrats, is not simply to re-elect Schwarzenegger, although that seemed challenge enough when they began building it in February. It benefits the entire Republican ticket, as a recent visit to one of the 48 Voice Over Internet Protocol calling centers around the state made plain. The operation was humming with some 40 volunteers, all of them calling targeted voters computer selected, the calls computer monitored for quality control, their messages determined by sophisticated research. Multiply that by the number of calling centers and it was easy to see how this operation is able to effectively work the selected voter universe to turn them out to vote, either by mail or on election day.

Seeing this kind of VoIP bullshit is what moves Dan York one step closer to ulcers. How is it relevant that VoIP is used, he often asks? This is how: the use of VoIP reduces the cost dramatically, and shifts the economy of the operation away from "telemarketer" mode towards "spam" mode.

It was noted long ago that spam costs nothing to those who send it and a lot to those who receive it, which is why it's a crime (and it is, regardless of what written laws say).

It is remarkable how the politicians and pundits (like the one who wrote the article) are disconnected from the reality. The article sounds as if the author admires this operation, and nowhere it mentions that few people more hated than spammers and telemarketers. He probably hopes that we forgot how politicians inserted an exception for themselves into Do Not Call law. If a friendly volunteer calls me, I will let them know that yes, I will be coming out to vote and yes, I will be voting against them.

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"Ginormous" [10 Oct 2006|03:23pm]
I saw this word a few months ago, in a Usenet posting about Divergence Eve:

300 years from now humanity will be defended by hot chicks with ginormous tatas piloting lame looking mechs. After five episodes, I still don't understand anything else about this OVA.

Today, Jon Goff uses it:

The delivered payload to station isn't tightly coupled with the drymass. For example, the theoretical numbers I used for a tug sized for the K-1 had about 200lb drymass, and about 360lb of propellant, for a delivered payload of 9855lb (compared to 8800lb without the tug). Upping the drymass of the tug to 500lb only costs about 21lb of payload. Upping it to 1000lb only drops the payload by about 62lb compared to a 200lb tug, and a ginormous 2000lb tug (at this point a gold-plated one with manned compartment, robot arm, solar panels, berthing interface, and lots of other goodies) only drops the on orbit payload by 145lb vs the 200lb drymass version. That's still over 9700lb to the station, which is still almost a 10% increase.

Maybe it's a new slang, but it appears in circulation.

By the way, behold the power of ESR (or at least the power of ESR's rhetoric), according to the same post:

Not having to have each cargo module or space station chunk have its own avionics suite, its own star tracker, its own RCS system and plumbing, its own AR&D hardware makes them a lot cheaper and easier to make. The actual interfaces for these dumb cargo containers could be standardized and open source.

I do not know if Jon actually expects the interface implementation to be available in CAD files at Savanna, kernel.org, or even Open-Space-Tug.net under a true Open Source license. If he does not, then it's "open specification", "patent-free standard", "sourced from subassembly vendors on an open market", or any of these things, but it's not Open Source. Also... Such use might be something Bruce Perens wants to talk over with users, because it dillutes the Open Source trademark [Ed: jokes never work online].

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