b2evolution: How to clear evo_hitlog?

system, blogging, feeds, hacks, open source, wtf?

Link: http://forums.b2evolution.net/viewtopic.php?p=13648

So, as Dave has pointed out, I'm having some problems with N.Q.B.'s MySQL database (You can see the error by highlighting the text at the bottom of this page). I've posted a lengthy comment to the b2evolution forum and hope that some of those clever bastards (specifically Françios) can help.

If anyone knows anything about MySQL out there, I'd appreciate you taking a look at my problem.

Lost Sounds @ BoTH

music

The Lost Sounds - rat brains t-shirt image Michelle and I saw The Lost Sounds at BoTH this past Thursday (4 Nov). They were amazing. It's hard to communicate in words how good musical artists like this are live. They're a mix of punk rock, death disco and avant punk. "What the hell is that?" Well, I'll start with a clip from their new album ("The Lost Sounds"):

Song: "Clones Don't Love" (MP3 26sec, 64kbps, 204KB) [1]

These guys are very good musicians and it shows. They were crazy active, effortlessly played songs from their entire repetoire and got the crowd moving (which is saying something for a San Franciscan crowd... on a Thursday). A little more than halfway through their set, Alicia - playing keys, organ, vocals, etc. - and Jay - playing guitars, synth, vocals, etc. - traded places. They were equally insane on the guitar with their amazing voices and the clever composition combining for an amazing sound. I must say, I'm a big fan of the electro-bug sounds characteristic of The Lost Sounds - like Beehive and the Barracudas, Trans Am, etc. - along with the organs, it really adds to the rock n' roll.

[1] This file will only be up for a short while (~1 week).

My E-Day at the Legal Command Center in SF

elections, reform, vendors, news, politics, problems, litigation, San Francisco

Other have penned their experiences on Election day (here are some of my favorite write-ups), I will know write mine.

My Election Day was bound to be different. As a one-stop human information dump for electronic voting information across the nation, my phone started "ringing off the hook" (if a cell phone can be said to do that) at about 5:15am PST (8:15am EST). The calls were from EFF-deployed technical attorneys on the East Coast. They were all concerning one type of machine: the Shouptronic / ELECTronic 1242 made by Danaher Controls, Inc.'s Guardian Voting Systems division. The calls were exclusively about these machines being used in Columbus, OH and Philadelphia, PN. The machines were "breaking" left and right and many precincts were going to their back-up paper ballots. Unfortunately, there were only about 30 back-up ballots per precinct and hours-long lines. All reports were from non-technical voters, so not much more information other than "they're broke" was available.

Our team consisted of about 60 technical attorneys coordinated by Cindy, Matt and Ren of the EFF and about 1000 of the TechWatch volunteers. We had decided on a bright line-type of test for E-Day repairs: there should be none more complicated than plugging the machines in; anything more complicated and the machine should be taken out of service.

It became clear very quickly that election-day repairs of certain machines would be inevitable. The 1242 and the Sequoia AVC Advantage are old, very complex voting machines. Instead of a touchscreen - like more modern voting machines - they have a "button-matrix" underneath a large piece of paper. Voters make their choices by pressing parts of the paper which causes buttons underneath to be pressed. Needless to say, there are a lot of moving parts in this machine and a lot that can go wrong.

SF Legal Command Center

After dealing with the phone calls I was getting at home (unshaven and unshowered), I finally got my things together and made a bee-line for the Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights' Legal Command Center (pics below) in San Francisco at 795 Folsom St. I got there and Wendy Seltzer had already been there since 6am. Q: How cool is she? A: She had already set up a WiFi router for the EFF section of the command center and even came with a power strip! Other EFF staff and attorneys joined us like Jason, Kurt, Kevin and Genevieve.

Wendy Seltzer

Wendy Seltzer of the EFF. (note the WiFi Access Point at the left)

Wendy and Jason of the EFF

Wendy and Jason of the EFF.

Fairly quickly, we started getting reports of a complete and utter disaster in Louisiana. Most (if not all) of the AVC Advantage machines in New Orleans (Orleans Parish) were failing. To complicate things, election officials had not prepared for this with back-up paper ballots. So, what we had on our hands was a situation where all voters in New Orleans were being forced to use the very few machines that were working properly. We had attorneys in the field file a request for the polling place hours to be extended and to force the county to have to go to Kinko's and print paper ballots to accommodate all voters. It was denied, despite the fact that people had been waiting in lines for seven hours in some places.

In Ohio, late in the day, we did get a TRO to keep the polls open and to allow paper ballots to be used to alleviate some of the wait for people that had been in line forever.

Then at 15:00 PST, I took part in my first press conference (available in mp3 and ogg) facilitated by Annalee Newitz. It consisted of 40 journalists and Ren Bucholz (EFF), Cindy Cohn (EFF), Matt Zimmerman (EFF), David Dill (VVF), Will Doherty (VVF), Ed Felten (Princeton) and myself (Bruce Schneier and Dan Wallach were no-shows). I didn't say much other than pointing out one thing: I was concerned that people were shunning back-up paper ballots when machines broke-down in their polling places. It seemed as if they were insisting to vote on the machines despite them having broke down! I guess it's common sense to us geek types that you wouldn't want to vote on broken machinery... but most people don't think like that. They would rather use whatever system was supposed to be in place. It could also be that ad hoc or shoddily produced paper ballot back-ups seemed "sketchy" to people. Here is more on the press conference by Donna at EFF's DeepLinks.

Here's something for you social technology types: because the press conference was being done on the phone with about 50 people, and because I was in a very hectic legal command center using a bluetooth headset for the call, I was wary of people walking up to me and asking me things during the press conference as they couldn't see I was doing something (marginally) important. So I affixed some signage:

joe with sign on head

Of course, we had to be non-partisan due to all the members of the coalition being 501(c)(3) non-profits... and, of course, that's really how election protection should be done.

What's Next?

Well, first we'll have to sit down in our copiuos amounts of free time and actually analyze the machine reports that came into the EIRS. We'll need to try and obtain documentation from local governments to be able to actually construct what happened yesterday. It will be very important to check the number of voters that entered each polling place (signed the poll book) versus the number of cast ballots. If there are any wild differences, we'll need to investigate further. It sounds like Bev Harris and the BlackBoxVoting.org crew have already gotten a good start on this.

That's just the beginning. We'll need to have a sound, long-term strategy. California, via SoS Kevin Shelley, has made great regulatory strides in the area of e-voting. California isn't perfect and far from being a state where most of the computer scientists I know will "trust" these machines. Transparency will need to increase, much to the chagrin of the vendors... who find themselves in a highly competitive and not-so-profitable market flooded with federal money due to HAVA.

Ugh... (local)

elections, news

Link: http://vote2004.ss.ca.gov/Returns/prop/00.htm

I need to move to a different state and a different country... most of the propositions we voted for here in CA didn't go the way I had wished... save the Public Records and Stem Cell Research provisions. I am severely bummed.

Kerry Concedes

elections, news

Link: http://apnews.myway.com/article/20041103/D864G8201.html

"We really have to do something about it."

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