California Decertifies Diebold Paperless Voting Machines
Apr 22, 2004

(This posting contains the full text of the linked article.)

California's Voting Systems Panel voted unanimously on April 22 to decertify use of the Diebold TSx paperless electronic voting system in California elections. Although the final decision is up to California Secretary of State Kevin Shelley, he is expected to follow the recommendation of the board before April 30, 2004, and remove paperless Diebold electronic voting machines from California polling places in time for the November 2004 election.

The Voting Systems Panel did not recommend against continued use of the Diebold TS electronic voting machines or use of optical-scan voting machines. The GEMs software is also not affected by this decision. Legislative Analyst Bob Kibrick testified at the Voting Systems Panel hearings as well as yesterday at the California Senate Elections and Reapportionment Committee which then voted unanimously to support Senate Bill 1438 requiring e-voting machines with an disabled-accessible paper trail by January 2005.

My email was preceded with:

This is a special Verified Voting breaking news alert about a
dramatic victory for verified voting in California that will
hopefully have a ripple effect nationwide. Thanks to all of the
advocates in our Verified Voting network who helped to make this
success a reality! - Will Doherty, Verified Voting Foundation

Here's hoping that's true; getting California to acknowlege the truth behind the paperless-voting-is-bad argument is huge step indeed.

Apr 22, 2004

There seems to be some buggy Spam software out there. There's this one spammer (or one spamming program) that is using my Michigan State University account, and many other MSU accounts as well. It's trying to "personalize" the spam by including the email address in the spam. In this case my email address is "bowersj2", so it's not particularly compelling, but hey, it's a fair try, right?

Thing is, I keep getting spam addressed to "bowman". It even says "bowman" on the To: line, so I'm not even sure how I'm getting it. (I must be bcc'ed or something.)

Also, there's a spammer who keeps using my Computer Science account from school (also "bowersj2"), but I keep getting spam sent to and personalized for "albeepau" instead of the correct "bowersj2".

Come on, this kind of templating system has been a solved problem for decades now. Who's so incompetent they can't even write that much correctly? Stupid spammers.

Edge: Learning to expect the unexpected
[The 9/11 commision's] mandate is "to provide a 'full and complete accounting' of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 and recommendations as to how to prevent such attacks in the future."... It sounds uncontroversial, reasonable, even admirable, yet it contains at least three flaws that are common to most such inquiries into past events....

Read the rest (841 words)

Microsoft's "Caller ID" non-solution to spam
Apr 20, 2004
"Caller ID for E-Mail: The Next Step to Deterring Spam" is
the Microsoft draft specification to address the widespread problem of
domain spoofing. Domain spoofing refers specifically to the use of
someone else's domain name when sending a message, and is part of the
larger spoofing problem, the practice of forging the sender's address
on e-mail messages.
Caller ID for e-mail would verify that each e-mail message
originates from the Internet domain it claims to come
from. Eliminating domain spoofing will help legitimate senders protect
their domain names and reputations, and help recipients more
effectively identify and filter junk e-mail.

This is a solution to the spam problem of two years ago. Now that
spammers control massive relay networks via the Windows viruses that
are now literally pop up daily, and send their spam through those
relays, source authentication is merely going to complete the push
toward using relay networks.

Source authetication won't help identify the relay network
computers any more then we already could today just by reading the

I see this as an almost political gesture by Microsoft;
their major customers expect "something" to be done, so Microsoft will
do something just for the sake of doing something. Why not? They can't
lose; when the spammers adapt, they can blame the spammers, not their
plan, even though most people at Microsoft must know this isn't going
to work, and none of the "major customer" types they are posing for will
call them on it. (At this point, all the "major customers" who
would call them on it are no longer "major customers"; the
selection process is pretty complete.)

Oh, and guess who holds a patent in this area?

How To Win Apprentice 2
Apr 16, 2004

Like many others in this country, I was pleasently surprised by the
quality of The Apprentice, the show on NBC that if I have to explain,
you will not want to read the rest of this post.

Considered as a game, Apprentice is almost identical to Survivor,
with one major difference: The selection criterion for elimination. In
Survivor, it is the majority vote of the rest of your tribe. In
Apprentice, it is the selection of Donald Trump. Trump is a
billionaire who has been to the brink and back, and whether I'd like
him as a person or not, I do respect the results he has in the
business arena.

Read the rest (2139 words)

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