Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Sad State of Voting in America

So this is an interesting read from Rolling Stone:

Rolling Stone Article

It's a somewhat biased look at the 2004 election (although it makes some significant observations that should be noticed...). The basic premise of the article is that a staggering amount of evidence indicates that the 2004 election was tampered with by a number of external factors. This tampering favored Bush's party to a statistically improbable degree. Evidence of such tampering can be found in the discrepency between exit polls and actual election results, paying particular attention to the voting history of the areas that showed the greatest schisms between expected and actual results. Additionally, many reports indicate that Kerry-favoring areas had significantly longer lines and waits at polling stations as a result of the fact that voting machines were not uniformly distributed among the population (they were concentrated on the wealthier, more conservative communities). As a result, the article suggests that a number of would-be Kerry voters were denied their right to vote in a timely manner due to the unethical behavoirs of election officials.

Read through the article carefully... its worthwhile. Even if you disagree with it, the statistics are staggering and worth some attention. Our freedoms are what make this country great. They are what keep fringe powers from taking over and radicalizing our nation. Free and fair elections are critical to maintaining this environment. And right now, I'm afraid our election system is seriously ill.

As though the news couldn't get worse, we're rapidly moving towards fully software driven elections. Without some SERIOUS security considerations, this will be a fraud nightmare. And to build some confidence, check out these reports on one of the leading software driven polling systems: the Diebold AccuVote-TS

Princeton Report on Voting Machine Security

Also check out an article about the above report:
Another Article about the above

Oh yeah, and these guys that did this study more recently found out that you can actually open these things up with generic keys:

Mini bar keys open voting machines

So yeah... depressing.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Mt Biking RULES!!!

narrator: A little flashback humor.

Anyhow, went to Avalon for the first time this year. Man, I wish I lived up in Columbia. ::sigh:: Avalon rocks. So much more technical than the other trails I ride. I crashed today. For the first time in maybe two years. Yes, its been that long. I've come close a few times... lost a pedal, or ran into a tree, but never fell off the bike of flipped. but today it happened. And it happened in classic slow-motion. Was riding down into a stream, and had to make it down a steep 3 ft embankment. Thought I was going to be fine, tossed the front wheel into the little rut that led down the bank, and then tried hopping the rear wheel around to follow... only... the unthinkable happened. The rear wheel went the wrong way. My weight shifted the wrong way (cause I suck and havent been mt biking enough lately) and I basically flipped down a 3 ft rocky/gravelly bank. No blood though, unfortunately. Whats the point in crashing and denting up the bike if there's no blood. But yeah... I jumped up pretty quick and got back on the bike. Its nice to be back to the good ole days of wrecking myself when I mt bike. Thats what makes it so fun :P