Freaky computer woes...

wtf?

Why, God of Bits and Silicon, do you choose finals season to take our computers away from us to the hallowed hall of computer repair?

I just had the freakiest behavior ever from my Powerbook.

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New paper on ballot design...

elections, accessibility, reform, politics, problems, research

It's an exciting time to be a voting systems researcher.

Michael Alvarez of CalTech points ("New research paper on ballot design") to a new paper where researchers apply survey design heuristics to ballot design and find that several common features can increase the likelihood of a misrecorded vote and that this might track with racial demographics. Find the paper by David Kimball and Martha Kropf here: "Ballot Design and Unrecorded Votes on Paper-Based Ballots".

Voting System Information Database

elections, reform, open source, politics, SIMS, research

I just presented the Voting System Information Database that I've created for my final project in Ray Larson's databases class. The data was taken largely from the VVF's Verifier tool but I intend for the VSID to be a more research-oriented collection of information. If you're a voting systems researcher and would like to give the database a test drive, go here:

http://www.josephhall.org/vsid/

Note there is a lot I'd like to do before I consider this thing out of beta status. If there's something that I could add or a different set of things you'd find useful, please let me know.

Cool Voting Machine on eBay...

elections, vendors

I can't afford this, but I encourage someone to buy it... it's a neat old-school voting machine made by Automatic Voting Machine Corp.:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=7728361357

Anarchism and Open Source...

open source, politics, SIMS, berkeley, friends

Mano over at the OSDDDI blog posts on the similarities and differences between anarchism and open source ("Open source and politics"). One thing he says is particularly interesting about how Wikipedia revisions can yield important information about the social dynamics of a group interested in a certain subject:

On a side note, recently, for an application Judd and I are designing, we started parsing Wikipedia. the only article so far that we have not been able to parse is the one on Anarchism. It is too big. Not the article itself, but all the revisions are something like 500 megs. Anarchists are still debating over what it means.

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