It’s crashing, and it won’t boot up!

It’s not who votes, it’s who counts the votes that counts


A California judge is likely to order a Berkeley city initiative back on the ballot because of local officials’ mishandling of electronic voting machine data, a public-interest lawyer arguing the case said Friday.

In a preliminary ruling Thursday, Judge Winifred Smith of the Alameda County Superior Court indicated she would nullify the defeat of a medical marijuana proposal in Berkeley in 2004 and order the measure put back on the ballot in a later election. A hearing on Friday morning in advance of a final ruling brought out nothing that indicated Smith would deviate from her preliminary decision, said attorney Gregory Luke, who is representing Americans for Safe Access. The medical-marijuana advocacy group is suing the county, assisted by the technology rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation.

The case points to the dangers of electronic voting systems, which make it harder to ensure fair elections, Luke said. Electronic voting machines have been widely adopted in the U.S. since the disputed presidential election of 2000. Laws in California and some other states now require paper records of all votes, but the California law wasn’t in place for the Berkeley election.

There is no spoon.

The GPL version 3 will be released tomorrow; I will consider dual licensing for those who do not consider intellectual property imaginary.

Hat-tip PJ at Groklaw.

Exploding psychology

That’s inappropriate

Change for the machines

Bigger, Slower, More Intrusive is not necessarily better

I remember the bomb that was Windows ME. Well, Microsoft has done it again,

Vista is been such a success that CNet reports that Dell is bringing XP back. In response to customer demand, Dell is going to make Windows XP available on its home machines, as it still is on its business machines.

Hat-tip Bryan at Why Now?

By the way, I really do like the MacBook. It’s a comfortable machine to use, as opposed to merely being powerful.

He might want to postpone that some more…

ABC News:

April 16, 2007 — Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ assertion that he was not involved in identifying the eight U.S. attorneys who were asked to resign last year is at odds with a recently released internal Department of Justice e-mail, ABC News has learned.

That e-mail said that Gonzales supported firing one federal prosecutor six months before she was asked to leave.

Gonzales was scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday, but his testimony was postponed until Thursday because of the shooting rampage at Virginia Tech University.

This is my message to you.

Recommended listening:

What is six times nine in base thirteen?

The act of writing is the means by which our consciousness can be focused and analyzed for coherence. If our thoughts are jumbled we would write in such a fashion. If we have a point to make, our thoughts can be arranged around that point. If we are searching for something which others could help find, our thoughts might be phrased as questions. If we already know the answer, it might be that in asking it of others we answer it to everyone.

What is the Ultimate Question?

You know. Life, the Universe and Everything.

Can you compute?

Following, the back of the Regional Transit Connection ID Center Processing Fee Receipt calculation, and verified by my wife, the graduate statistician.

Read the rest of this entry »

Social Anxiety- A common thread?

Hypothesis: Anxiety disorders play a key role behind the immense popularity of internet interactions.

Disclaimer: This observation isn’t backed by Harvard studies (as far as I know), I didn’t read up on it or seek supporting statistics; Im working from simple observation.

Basis: First a reference here or there: A favorite blogger will mention a bout of agoraphobia, a reader comments on ‘being shy’. A friend links to a friend who has just endured a terrible panic attack.

Skip to a thread forum where one person admits to crippling anxiety disorder. First one, then three, then nine people come out of the woodwork with words of encouragement and similar confessions.

Overthink: Doesn’t it make sense that the internet would provide the best socializing alternative for those with acute shyness, agoraphobia or crippling anxiety? We all need to socialize. Trends in westernized cultures actually exacerbate feelings of isolation, both through social stigmas toward people with mental health hang-ups, and a general movement toward solitary activities, independent pursuits, and families that are supposed to be ‘self-sufficient’ rather than integral members of cohesive societies that rely upon, and provide for others in their community.

Solutions: Hm. Do you approach the individual or the society? I don’t know how to cure societal ailments, but on the individual anxiety issue, maybe ask whig.

Space, the final frontier

Watch this from NASA via Carnacki.

Various items

1. I began this post intending to write about broadcast reform, but got sidetracked. The public airwaves belong to the public, they are not the private property of licensees to spectrum. We the public own the spectrum in common and for our benefit, not for private profit unless that is consistent with our own public interest. I will come back to this in a future post but welcome general discussion in the comments.

2. It happens that America has come to believe in an economic theory of competition, a capitalist Darwinian survival of the fittest. Shamefully, we treat people as human capital, as resources to be exploited and consumers to be sold, and not as independent members of the public whose object the government is meant to serve. But we do not have a government of, for and by the people today. We have a government of, for and by the rich and powerful.

3. We do not need to compete in everything, we can cooperate instead. We can help one another with our ideas and our efforts to achieve a common purpose. This is not communism, this is just community.

Free software has taught me to be generous with my own talents, and to be able to use the commons at will means we are assured of our freedom and independence, because we cannot be held hostage to the proprietary limitations of the rent seekers.

4. I’m going to be posting another version of the Chromosphere in a day or so, maybe later tonight if I’m inspired enough. This project is really a life’s work for me, even though it is only a bare skeleton of the idea currently sketched out and on display. This is a new way of communicating, a living language. It is an old way of communicating, too. Perhaps we are all having conversations around one another and not understanding.

In the meantime, please do check it out if you can spare ten minutes, and if you feel like tossing me a dime or buying me lunch sometime you can use Paypal from there. I prefer not to ask donations here at Cannablog, because I don’t ever want to have my politics or my religion or any of my beliefs a matter of monetary gain. But if you like my work and want to support free software, art and music, I sure appreciate it.

Update: version1 has been released.

Chromosphere now playing

At this new website.

No warranty, this has been tested to work only on Firefox on Mac OS X, and might not even so in your case.

To reduce the chance of difficulties, install the JSyn plug-in before proceeding.

Related post:


And a buried reference in the words of this song, leads to this.

And now, for something completely different

Two minute break

Rough sketch of Chromosphere


If you don’t know what this is about, see the related post below. This design is published under the Imaginary Public License version 1.0, as described therein.

Artistic help is always welcome.

Related post:

Democracy in California

Debra Bowen,

“As Secretary of State, I intend to begin a thorough review of all voting systems currently certified for use in the State of California.”

Hat-tip Brad Friedman, and if I haven’t written about the voting machine issue in awhile, BradBlog has remained on top of it and I know they could use your support.

The problem with current voting machines is they are proprietary and inherently untrustworthy. There is a strong political incentive to cheat, so there must be every protection against cheating. The consequences of a stolen election are dire indeed, as most people may realize. This is a matter of not merely life and death for one person, but potentially for the whole world, all of humanity. So if machines are used, they cannot be a black box that “does something” which cannot be audited publicly. No count which is stored in electronic form should ever be trusted if it cannot be checked against paper ballots, and such checks should be performable without cost to a candidate. It should never be the case that democracy is held hostage by the lack of financial resources on the part of outsider candidates to get a fair counting.

I’m pleased that Debra Bowen is doing her job, she is an exceptional human being in politics.

Musical language project

Here is complete source for the Chromosphere, my project to create a machine that uses a 26-letter alphabet plus a few operators to combine them as a system of musical notation, in its initial, skeletal state. It is presently designed to run as an applet, and will offer you two buttons, one of which (“Play”) works, the other (“Stop”) is not yet enabled. If I can find a good place to host this applet, you will be able to listen if you have the ability to run Java from your web browser. The initial score is about 10 minutes long.

I could use any amount of assistance and support with this project.

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Pass it on

Hat-tip Cory Doctorow.

Punk, what have you wrought?

Res ipsa loquitur

Plug in, turn on, hook up

Inter-City 123