DeForest Soaries resigns

elections, certification/testing, standards, news, policy

This is bad news... Chairman Soaries of the EAC has resigned due to a lack of support for election reform from the federal government ("Chairman of Voting Reform Panel Resigns" from the WaPo):

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Geek Tourist in Iraq...

blogging, wtf?, politics, SIMS

So, Matt from SIMS has a friend Jake who is doing some (unofficially sanctioned) geek tourism in Iraq... heavily armed... and heavily decked-out with technology. This is some crazy shiznit! Check out the text, photos and videos:

Slight changes to NQB2 feeds...

blogging, feeds

So, at the request of a respected reader, I've made some slight changes to the RSS feeds for this blog. If you read this via a web browser (and not a news aggregator) you won't notice a difference... if you read this via an aggregator, you'll notice that the text below [More:] now comes through via RSS instead of necessitating that you click through to my blog website.

I need to mention that this quick little hack took all of 5 minutes using b2evolution... it really is the blogging software for geeks. If you would rather subscribe to the old version of my feed (where you had to click through to my blog to read below-the-fold content) please let me know as it is really trivial to publish two feeds (although you'll have to re-subscribe to the sparse feed as this verbose version will remain the default).

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Another Berkeley laptop theft... with video!

privacy, berkeley, legal
[from Boing Boing, "Berkeley laptop thief is scared out of his wits by professor"]

Check out this 5 MB movie of UC Berkeley professor Jasper Rine explaining the consequences of the theft of his laptop to his Biology 1A class. Wow.

UPDATE [2005-04-20 17:26:22]: I changed the link to a .torrent of a smaller, much prettier file (how the hell do people get things this small (in MB) and so clean?).

A few of us SIMS PhDs thought that most of what this guy said is bullshit. That is:

  • Of the three methods of tracking the guy that Prof. Rine mentions, only one of them seems to be effective. Specifically, Microsoft knowing that there are two installs of the same version of Windows won't give you much. Further, knowing that someone has connected to a wireless network with a specific MAC address will only tell you vaguely where this person is. If he did have his laptop fitted with a transponder, this could conceivably do a great job of locating the laptop.

  • Why would he tell the world about the sensitivity of the data on his laptop? Wouldn't he want to keep quiet about this (especially if he had a reasonable idea about who did it)? We think he was just making a show to get the laptop back right then and there. (I wonder if it worked?)

UPDATE [2005-04-21 13:40:29]: Here's a great cartoon making fun... "MEANWHILE, BACK AT UCB"

Apple breaks freakin' Java


In their infinite pushy wisdom, Apple has broken Java in their update of Mac OS X to 10.3.9. If your favorite Java applications are no longer running (try java -version at the command line... you'll likely get a segmentation fault), the current fix (from seems to be:

  1. Download the older update to Java: Java142Update2.dmg

  2. Remove Java142Update2.pkg from `/Library/Receipts/'.

  3. Reinstall the Java 1.4.2 update. Reboot.

  4. Run Software Update and reinstall Security Update 2005-002. Reboot.

Unfortunately, this means that you'll be running an older Java framework than the bleeding edge as released from Apple... however, until they can get their shit together and release something that doesn't seg. fault, we'll have to use an older framework to get things done.

UPDATE [2005-04-18 10:47:03]: Well, none of this worked for the one Java app that I've been using a lot lately. In fact, following the above instructions wouldn't even allow me to install the older version of Java. I was able to download the security update and install that and this seems to have fixed incidental Java crashes (of the java -version type). Ho hum.

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