Diaemus youngi, yo

photos, friends
White-winged Vampire Bat by Jennifer Rae Atkins

Mammalathon starts tomorrow!

friends
illustrated image of an Eastern Spotted Skunk

Jennifer Atkins starts her 2nd 24-hour Mammalathon tomorrow, where she illustrates one mammal per hour for 24 hours. Jennifer is a gifted illustrator and all the money goes to a worthy cause. Donate $35 or $50 bucks and get your own mammal (for the higher price, she'll matte it so that it's ready for mounting).

The Need for Cellphonebooths

berkeley, research

Architects and urban planners take note: we desperately need cellphonebooths.

?Huh??, you ask. Well, think about it. How long has it been since you?ve last used a pay phone in a phonebooth? Most payphones don?t even have booths these days... take a look around next time you're in a city. You?d be surprised how many payphones have non-working payphones or no phone at all.

However, with the increasing use of mobile devices and cell phones, there is a growing need for sound isolation, even in places where traditional phonebooths haven't existed. For example, in open-plan office spaces, it can often be a nuisance to take a phone call. I hardly need to mention taking an important phone call while you?re walking down a busy street.

Architects could design cellphonebooths into office floor plans and office furniture firms, like UC?s supplier Steelcase, could produce modular cellphonebooths. Urban planners could design public versions, even with a charge and timer of some sort (power and internet access for an additional fee?).

The new cellphonebooth should probably be designed differently, though. For example, to first order, just an old phonebooth without the phone would be ok. However, what if you need to pull out your laptop or have a reasonable working surface? Maybe they could offer a place to sit and a working surface on a slightly larger footprint.

UPDATE [2008-05-07T13:53:44]: A Steelcase employee responds in the comments to the effect that Steelcase does have such a thing, called the Cell Cell:

OFFICE CONFIDENTIAL: Conversations are hush-hush in the Cell Cell, designed by Steelcase to give cube dwellers cell-phone privacy and spare the rest of us from TMI. It lights up when occupied, and boosters aid phone reception

Come to My PhD Thesis Talk!

system, elections, certification/testing, accessibility, reform, vendors, standards, copyright, news, open source, secrecy, privacy, berkeley, problems, litigation, friends, research, policy, usability, legal, iSchool

I?ll be giving my PhD thesis talk in 202 South Hall (UC Berkeley) on 5/14 (Wed) at 10am. Abstract below...


Public Policy Mechanisms for Increasing Transparency in Electronic Voting

Joseph Lorenzo Hall, UC Berkeley School of Information

Abstract:

In the early years of the American republic, only white male landowners could vote, and then typically by expressing their preferences in a public setting, for all to witness. Our electoral system has changed drastically since that time; now almost all Americans cast votes with the assistance of computerized equipment. While much good stems from the use of computerized equipment in elections---notably increased efficiency, enfranchisement and flexibility---unintended consequences of this mechanization have left us with complicated, insecure and opaque voting systems.

My PhD thesis focuses on the issue of transparency in e-voting; that is, what public policy mechanisms can serve to make our voting systems less opaque? After exploring what we mean by ?governmental transparency?, I examine the question of e-voting transparency on three fronts. I analyze the role of disclosed and open source software in election systems and conclude that, while fully disclosed source code is a valid goal, limited disclosure to experts serves many of the same goals in the short-term while preserving vendor trade secrecy. I investigate how contractual provisions between local election jurisdictions and voting system vendors serve to frustrate transparency and find that election officials need to be more careful in these negotiations. Finally, I turn to the question of auditing black box elections systems; that is, since we cannot know how these systems work in the full-disclosure (?white box?) case, possibly because of contractual provisions that limit investigation, what methods and procedures can we use for ?checking the math? behind our elections?

?Good Yontiff, Pontiff?

wtf?

I am no longer in New York during passover and a papal visit (which means the chance of my actually being able to say ?Good yontiff, pontiff?, has now dropped back from astonishingly faint to none).

-- Neil Gaiman (?Fair Use and other things?)

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And a few words about the structure of the eye . Everyone " retina ". Especially often we hear it buy clomid online in the phrase " retinal detachment ." So what is the retina ? This - the front edge of the brain, the most distant from the brain part of the visual analyzer. The retina receives light first , processes and transforms light energy into irritation - a signal that encodes all the information about what the eye sees . The retina is very complex and in their structure and function . Its structure resembles the structure of the cerebral cortex. The shell of the retina is very thin - about 0.14 mm.