Xinhuanet: Russian claim discovery of ET spaceship wreck

blogging, wtf?

Link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2004-08/12/content_1766126.htm

BEIJING, Aug.12 (Xinhuanet) -- Russian scientists said they have discovered the wreck of an alien device at the site of an unexplained explosion in Siberia almost a hundred years ago, China Daily reported today, citing the Interfax news agency as the source.

The scientists, who belong to the Tunguska space phenomenon public state fund, said they found the remains of an extra-terrestrial device that allegedly crashed near the Tunguska river in Siberia in 1908.

Bill Gates mugshot

open source

Link: http://novalis.org/talks/compliance-for-developers/slide-1.html#top

"And so people should understand the GPL." --Bill Gates

Bill Gates mugshot from 1977

Saw this in a presentation by the FSF's GPL Compliance guru, Dave Turner... hats off for the best chuckle I've had in a while.

A reflective post...

system, blogging

This is a reflective post... what does that mean for all 2 of you reading it? Well, that means that any notion you had of this being a topical blog is about to be blown out the window. From this sentence onwards, it's all belly button lint and me, me, me, me...

If you're still reading, and you're not me, then know this: I like footnotes... I like parantheticals. I use them liberally... and without shame or guilt. So, be prepared. The following will contain a lot of paranthetical statements. Word.

I've been studying blogging for a while now... and I feel the need to take a moment and talk about blogging itself. Danah (who, by the way, is the first result on Google for query "danah", which means that she'll get wicked software discounts from these guys and whose name can be capitalized when used as the first word in a sentence) taught me a while back to appreciate the fact that there are bloggers, journalers, xanga-ers, etc. Each one of these lives within a different culture of blogging (shout out to SIMS-incoming Judd!!!). I came into blogging largely through my first conversation (and subsequent friendship) with Mary... the first blogs I started to read (or recognize that I was already reading and just didn't call them "blogs") were largely Movable Type blogs... (which is a classification I use for some vaguely defined notion of a culture of bloggers that I started reading which were largely but not exclusively Movable Type blogs... I don't link to Movable Type because I don't agree with their end user license agreement... which you'll have to find yourself).

I read very few journalers. I still think I read only one journaler (Ping) regularly. Something that I have come to appreciate in my study of bloggers (with Yuri, the man "with the insights we all wish we had") is that people regularly appreciate making use of their blog in a way that mimics a traditional diary. People who tend to use their blogs more as journals are often called "journalers".

All this build up and for what? Well I'd like to start infusing more of a journaler-like vein into my blog. And, unfortunately, there's nothing you can do about it (unless you're me, of course).

So here goes: I've been a little stressed lately. Fortunately, I've got some serious vacation coming to me, soon... I'll get to see a good chunk of my family. What's got me stressed? I'm working on three projects. That may not sound like a lot, but they're all jobs that seem to require a commitment of half-time at the least to do anything substantial. As I've been saying to a few people I see regularly on a face-to-face basis: The more projects you take on, the less you can do on any one project. This is damn frustrating for me... I like to be able to do a good job and do it on time. And a few things, like rock criticism and being a licensing volunteer at the FSF, have basically become distant memories.

A large part of this is because two projects are related to election systems. The November election is approaching and looking ever so much as close as 2000 and seeming ten times as hopeless. And this hopelessness I feel is not related to the merits of the two candidates... it's related with a basic funciton of our society: the right and duty we have to be informed about persons running for political office and even more basically, to use this information to express our preference for the people that occupy these offices based on the information we have. Can you imagine a Florida 2000 but without anything to recount (and by anything I mean votes and laws and regulations the govern what should happen when official records of the votes are stored on electonic storage media)

I'll have to stop... if you've read this far, you'll be pleased to know that I'll have more journal-like entries coming your way.

LawGeek: Video unmasks closed-door Diebold meeting in Texas

elections, reform, vendors, news

Link: http://lawgeek.typepad.com/lawgeek/2004/07/video_unmasks_c.html

Jason gets all the good stuff first... I'll post comments when I get a chance to watch the movie. This material could be yet another reason for AGs to prosecute... as if they didn't already have enough. What the fuck does it take for a little prosecution, anyway?

Check out this amazing video from Texas Safe Voting in which a Diebold representative talks about various error and flaws in e-voting systems with Texas public representatives. Some of the dialogue is absolutely stunning.

My thoughts: The fact that this video doesn't have the complete context of the meeting (raw) makes me uncomfortable. For example, the reason totals don't match in a particular race could be due to write-in candidates which are counted differently depending on jurisdiction. We should press for the release of the entire video unedited. As for talking about machines that don't add... that sounds like an exec. pressuring his staff about press reports. As for thinking about the consequences of a bug that allows multiple-voting... that's a very real consideration that they should be thinking about.

In all, I think, above all else, this video in its current form does reinforce something we've seen: that Diebold is a ends-concerned corporation. They don't even seem to understand their own technology or have the confidence that past problems are fixed! How the hell can they sell this totally-crappy stuff that is mission-critical for our democracy? I'll watch it again soon.

CVF: California Online Voter Guide

elections, news

Link: http://www.calvoter.org/voter/elections/2004/index.html

The awesome folks at the California Voter Foundation have released their 2004 California Online Voter Guide for this November's general election.

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