Just a few links and excerpts I’ve come across lately.

Use absentee voting ballots so there will be a paper trail:

Michaan said, “I consider this to be the greatest threat to our democracy of anything we have ever faced in this country. There is so much possibility of fraud that there has to be a voting system that is verifiable with paper trails. Absent that we’re totally at the mercy of whoever controls this equipment.”

I have always thought it interesting that Diebold, known mostly for ATMs, has said that it would be too much trouble to have voting machines give voting receipts or some physical record of the vote when ATMs have no problem giving you a paper record of every transaction.

Quarantining dissent: How the Secret Service protects Bush from free speech:

When Bush went to the Pittsburgh area on Labor Day 2002, 65-year-old retired steel worker Bill Neel was there to greet him with a sign proclaiming, “The Bush family must surely love the poor, they made so many of us.” The local police, at the Secret Service’s behest, set up a “designated free-speech zone” on a baseball field surrounded by a chain-link fence a third of a mile from the location of Bush’s speech.

Similar suppressions have occurred during Bush visits to Florida. A recent St. Petersburg Times editorial noted, “At a Bush rally at Legends Field in 2001, three demonstrators — two of whom were grandmothers — were arrested for holding up small handwritten protest signs outside the designated zone. And last year, seven protesters were arrested when Bush came to a rally at the USF Sun Dome. They had refused to be cordoned off into a protest zone hundreds of yards from the entrance to the Dome.”

When the police attack sparked a geyser of media criticism, Mike van Winkle, the spokesman for the California Anti-Terrorism Information Center told the Oakland Tribune, “You can make an easy kind of a link that, if you have a protest group protesting a war where the cause that’s being fought against is international terrorism, you might have terrorism at that protest. You can almost argue that a protest against that is a terrorist act.”

Why does this secure CIA form for reporting terriosts use a Netscape favicon? I suppose I would be more scared if it was a Microsoft favicon. Maybe they should read my favicon tutorial.

The Myth of SUV Safety:

In a thirty-five-m.p.h. crash test, for instance, the driver of a Cadillac Escalade–the G.M. counterpart to the Lincoln Navigator–has a sixteen-per-cent chance of a life-threatening head injury, a twenty-per-cent chance of a life-threatening chest injury, and a thirty-five-per-cent chance of a leg injury. The same numbers in a Ford Windstar minivan–a vehicle engineered from the ground up, as opposed to simply being bolted onto a pickup-truck frame–are, respectively, two per cent, four per cent, and one per cent.

Matthew Thomas: Why I use WordPress:

WordPress is licensed under the GNU General Public License. I generally prefer GPLed software, because over a period of decades, it maximizes the rights of those who use it. (In the short run things may be different, but I’m a long-run sort of person.)

Right on. Plus all the cool Matts are doing it.

Grants for captioning? How quaint:

The U.S. Department of Education has apparently decided that certain programming will receive sponsorship for captioning and certain other programming will not.

Joe is also running WordPress. He uses more lists than anyone I know. I wasn’t sure if Joe, a militant hand-coder, would appreciate a fully dynamic content management system, but he has taken to it swimmingly.

5 thoughts on “Browsing

  1. Matt: to the first, I say, “We vote best in Alabama.” We use OCR scanners to check our ballots, which are paper. You simply connect the head and tail of an arrow with a line to indicate your vote. The scanner looks for a full line. If it sees one, it records a vote. It will invalidate wrong voting [votes for two candidates, etc.] and ask the poll worker to have you vote again. It does the entire checking process in three seconds, and then ballots are held in a physically secure location inside the machine after voting.

    If necessary, the paper ballots can be used to verify the vote.

    We’ve had this for years. It’s how I’ve voted since I’ve been an Alabama resident [1997].

  2. Regarding free speech zones, the Secret Service did this under Clinton too. They have been getting increasingly thuggish over the past several administrations. For some history, see here.

  3. I’ve noticed the trend of Netscape Favicons on many a site recently. Possibility that some of the larger ones were programmed by people taking part in the Mozilla projects? As for the smaller sites, code ripping has become more generally accepted, and novices, similar to myself tend not to cut anything out of the code that they don’t quite understand for fear that this will cause the page to explode. Who knows!