Postcards from the Bleeding Edge
Thursday, October 27, 2005

  Speaker of the House now blogsl

The Speaker of the US House of Representatives now has a blog: Yes, Denny, this is the future, and I note, that if you'd enable comments on your blog - it would be a good way for the rest of us that you supposedly represent - to get our message IN.

RSS would be nice, too.
 

  Greg and Cherie meet Wilma

Greg and Cherie had planned to go to the Florida Keys this week, but are holed up near Miami... wednesday's report:
 
Tuesday, October 25, 2005

  Valuation

Sigh. I've noted recently that my number of incoming links has fallen to an all time low. I guess I have to start writing about sex and politics again.


My blog is worth $3,387.24.
How much is your blog worth?

 

  Voting Fraud - Are you paranoid enough yet?

I have been reading google news's long list of largely positive reports about the Iraqi election. (600+ articles) I have been re-training myself to ask questions, to think more critically, so I did a google news search for voter fraud on the same subject. 1200+ articles. I don't know what algorithm google news' main pages uses, but I'm beginning to be certain it can be affected by spin control.

Along the way, found two Brad Blogs on the security of california's voting machines..., with a nice podcast, and an old post on Diebold and a very, very long list of posts on the same topic in the US.

I was proud, fiercely proud, last week, when Estonia (where my family came from originally) conducted the first ever internet election, on software written on Linux.

A totally open and fully audited voting mechanism is a requirement for democracy to flourish. I don't know if Iraq had that, and I don't know if americans do, either.

The GAO has released a report on the flaws of our voting machines and systems. Read it.
 
Sunday, October 23, 2005

  Cleaning up the conversation

Blogger has finally instituted a means of preventing blog spam via the classic "type in the characters of this picture" method. I like it, except that I would prefer not to have to type it in when writing drafts, just on the final post.

I had been thinking seriously about putting adwords on my blog in recent weeks, in part because I'd like to be able to justify to myself the effort required to write bigger pieces... when I discovered that many of my old entries had 10 to 15 entries of blog spam on them. Yuck! How am I going to clean all this up? I hope there's a bulk comment editor in the works....

And do I really want to add to the noise level on the net?

Naw, I'm just going to clean this up and remain ad-free for a while. I wouldn't mind doing some sort of combination scheme - make a micropayment and get no ads, don't and get ads, but I don't know how to make blogger do that. (I've also long thought about getting off of blogger, too, but I don't have time... highest on my list is getting dragon dictate working again so I can do larger pieces more effectively)

Another idea - commercializing and leveraging the power of a blogroll association - where there is one login across a huge number of bloggers - would perhaps make the micropayment idea a reality.
 

  Wilma heads for the gulf coast

My parents are based on the gulf coast and are fleeing in-land. I asked my mom, "OK, now which do you prefer, earthquakes or hurricanes?" She replied: "At least there is plenty of warning for hurricanes!".

I still wish there was better hurricane prediction software, stuff that was so good as to be able to predict the exact location of the hit more than a few hours in advance.

Some friends of mine are going to the keys for a big festival. Hope they don't get rained out. They are going prepared however - see pic (left)!

I wish I had time to take off for a big festival, but after spending a week in conferences I have a lot of work to do at work, and my tree-laden property has dumped an entire truck's worth of leaves on the driveway in the last month, so I have to spend today digging out from Fall's fall.

Far better to dig out from fall than a hurricane, though, I believe. Here's hoping the damage is minimal!
 

  Miers Mired

I've watched the overall reaction to Harriet Miers with some amusement. According to the mainstream media this morning, it's looking doubtful she'll be confirmed - but I'm always dubious of the MSM. It always comes down to a vote sooner or later.

Two paranoid thoughts struck me first about her nomination.

1) Someone so obviously a crony and so obviously unqualified for the position on the court must have been nominated as a means to distract the media and the public from something else.

I tried to pay extra attention to the other news stories of the day - am I the only one who noticed that the broadcast of Saddam's trial was 20 minute delayed (so that, presumably, anything he said that offended the US, or could incite the Arabic world, could be cut).

Not one American media outlet I could find documented the differences between the broadcasted tape and the reality of the trial. I got kind of weirded out, actually, when the first facts I got from google news about the delay were from news sources in China and in Yemen!

I think justice would best be served in all cases by a fair and speedy trial - and, if broadcast, an uncensored one. It reeks of soviet-style oppression and of show trials for our supposedly open democracy to ever do otherwise.

2) The most important disqualification for Miers was not that her opinions on Roe vs Wade were unknown, but that she had spent her entire life mired in corporate law. The Supreme Court is the last recourse for persons to face down injustice ... and I regard the change in American law that gave corporations the legal rights of people to be seriously flawed. Putting a corporate representative in the supreme court bothers me at fundamentally deep level.
So I'm going to digress off the topic of her nomination for a while, and trust that the rest of the democratic process still works, even in what has largely been a rubber-stamp congress, and talk about the problems of corporatism. Sound familiar?

In Miers we have the near-certainty of a justice that has bought completely into the legal fiction that corporations are people under the 14th amendment. If, in her record, was some balance of representation between the rights of corporations and rights of people, maybe even a youthful indulgence or two in ambulance chasing, I'd be more inclined to trust her sense of balancing the scales of justice.
 
David Täht writes about politics, space, copyright, the internet, audio software, operating systems and surfing.


Resume,Songs,
My new blog, NeX-6, My facebook page
Orgs I like
The EFF - keeping free speech in the world
Musical stuff I like
Jeff, Rick, Ardour, Jack
Prior Rants - Wireless and Wifi in 2015 - not what I dreamed of Saving wifi! Fixing Bufferbloat! Fighting the vend... Virgin Media - Fixing the epidemic of bufferbloat ... 49... and trying to find my navel Wheels down on mars! Tracking the landing of Curiosity, from Seattle spotting NEOs from around venus's orbit Asteroids as lunar orbit resources SOPA is bad news Departing France for England, then 'home'.
Best of the blog:
Uncle Bill's Helicopter - A speech I gave to ITT Tech - Chicken soup for engineers
Beating the Brand - A pathological exploration of how branding makes it hard to think straight
Inside the Internet Mind - trying to map the weather within the global supercomputer that consists of humans and google
Sex In Politics - If politicians spent more time pounding the flesh rather than pressing it, it would be a better world
Getting resources from space - An alternative to blowing money on mars using NEAs.
On the Columbia - Why I care about space
Authors I like:
Doc Searls
Where's Cherie?
UrbanAgora
Jerry Pournelle
The Cubic Dog
Evan Hunt
The Bay Area is talking
Brizzled
Zimnoiac Emanations
Eric Raymond
Unlocking The Air
Bob Mage
BroadBand & Me
SpaceCraft
Selenian Boondocks
My Pencil
Transterrestial Musings
Bear Waller Hollar
Callahans
Pajamas Media BlogRoll Member

If you really want to, you can poke through the below links as well.

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