UC Blogging Class

blogging, berkeley, education

via Scot:

UC Extension Blogging Class

Local blog news -- Birdhouse user Tom Abate writes:

UC Extension will offer a one-day seminar for aspiring bloggers on Saturday, January 21. Instructors Tom Abate and Tim Bishop will be joined by noted bloggers Lisa Stone and J.D. Lasica. Beginners will get the confidence and basic skills to start a blog or take an existing blog to the next level. The class starts at 9:00 am and will be held at 425 Fremont Street in San Francisco (near Embarcadero Bart station). Visit bloggingclass.com to learn more about the topics and instructors, or enroll at the Extension web site.

E-voting source code NOT to be opened in Wisconsin

elections, reform, copyright, news, open source, policy, legal

UPDATE [2006-01-05T12:56:32]: Unfortunately, all the hub-ub was about a draft of the bill as introduced, the version as passed into law has none of the disclosure of code language and instead favors escrow and evaluation (sort of like what N.C. requires but not nearly as comprehensive).

The post below is now obsolete.

The Governor of Wisconsin, Jim Doyle, has just signed into law ("Voting machine source code must be made open") a verified voting bill (AB-627) that also would mandate open source code. This appears to be the first serious attempt by a state to mandate that voting system code be accessible by the public. The pertinent language:

5.84 (3) If a municipality uses an electronic voting system for voting at any election, the municipal clerk shall provide to any person, upon request, at the expense of the municipality, the coding for the software that the municipality uses to operate the system and to tally the votes cast.


5.91 (19) The coding for the software that is used to operate the system on election day and to tally the votes cast is publicly accessible and may be used to independently verify the accuracy and reliability of the operating and tallying procedures to be employed at any election.

The effective date of this law is the day after it is published (enrolled) as law. That means within a week or so, I would imagine.

Wisconsin is going into uncharted territory here... as we've seen lately in North Carolina ("After EFF Litigation, Diebold Pulls Out of North Carolina"), vendors are highly reluctant to hand over source code even to state government entities that would arguably do a good job of protecting the code while it's being subject to evaluation. If other states don't do this quickly, Wisconsin will find itself with zero vendors (other than, possibly, the OVC) willing to do business in their state.

Paste plain text into Mac Word documents using a shortcut

hacks, usability, education

Man, one thing that makes my life a tad bit more difficult is pasting copied text into Word documents and then having Word render the text in some font other than what the document font is set at.

One way around this is a kludge: you can hit Edit -> Paste Special... and then select "Unformatted text" and then hit return. That's not fun when you have to do it often. So, here are the steps to set up a quick macro (plus key combo) that will allow you to do this yourself with a keystroke.

Full story »


wtf?, secrecy, chilling effects, privacy, politics, policy

President Bush acknowledged on Saturday that he had ordered the National Security Agency to conduct an electronic eavesdropping program in the United States without first obtaining warrants, and said he would continue the highly classified program because it was "a vital tool in our war against the terrorists."


Upon his brow shame is asham?d to sit;
-- William Shakespeare (Juliet in Romeo and Juliet (act III, scene ii)

Note: this is taken out of context from the original text in which Juliet is trying to make the case that Romeo is wrongly shamed. I thought casting it as "even shame is shamed to sit on George W. Bush's brow" was a nice twist on the quote.

Working with people...


Lately, interactions I've been having with certain groups remind me of a Lyndon Johnson quote in reference to J. Edgar Hoover:

It's probably better to have him inside the tent pissing out, than outside the tent pissing in.

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