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Comment Re:In other words. (Score 1) 283

More often than not it's at the 'Tabulator', the computer in the precinct that sums the votes of all the machines at that location and relay it to the county seat. Interestingly, although the actual voting machines now have to pass some tests (after years of Republican obstructionism) the tabulators do not. They're all highly proprietary, closed source, not interoperable between manufacturers, and most of them use either Access or Excel for their database.

Comment Re:In other words. (Score 1) 283

IIRC, the law says that in order to get the court order to unseal the ballot records the requester must first prove that vote fraud had taken place, but they're unable to prove fraud without access to the ballots. There is only one reason that I can think of to write the laws that way.

Comment Re:Oh dear (Score 1) 587

There's an antenna farm near here where we installed access control and security video. There was so much radiation that card readers couldn't work, and the weatherized piezoelectric keypads just sat there and beeped randomly. We had to dig up old-school contact-switch keypads and make a housing for them. The neighbors who lived just outside the gate were in their 80s and had lived there most of their adult lives without any issues.

My folks used to know a farming couple who lived across a small field from an inner-circle DEW Line radar station. The only problem they ever had was that they apparently had problems with color TVs failing almost immediately, so they had to stay with their old tube-based black and white set until the DEW Line was finally shut down.

Comment Re:ADA act? What's their disability (Score 1) 587

It's an elite private boarding school full of old-money snobs, "daunting and unpleasant" wouldn't begin to describe that environment. If I had been sent there I would have found pretty much any excuse possible to be sent home (or anywhere else). Reform school would probably be preferable. Fortunately my dad worked in an iron foundry so this wasn't a concern.

Comment Re:Still wouldn't have made Ray Nagin competent (Score 1) 89

Not any more, the Alternet Forums are long gone. One of the regular posters there owned a petroleum distributorship in Pennsylvania. They drove a truck of diesel down with the intent of donating it to one of the hospitals, but were turned back. They were specifically told that only trucks contracted by Halliburton or KBR (can't remember which) were being allowed in. The only links I can find at the moment are for the Walmart trucks full of water being refused entry, and qualified first responders being made to wait for a week or more and never being allowed entry, and the Coast Guard vessel that wanted to offload 1000 gallons of diesel to trucks supplied by one of the parish governments and not being allowed to.

Comment Re:Still wouldn't have made Ray Nagin competent (Score 4, Informative) 89

The school buses didn't belong to the school district, much less the city. These free-market idiots who believe in privatizing everything to make it more expensive and less efficient had ensured that there were no school buses available to move people. Nagin was an idiot, but that was one failure that can't be laid at his feet.

More disturbing to me was that Cuba had sent a ship full of doctors and Venezuela had sent a tanker full of fuel for hospital generators, and both were turned back by the Navy. Most of the hospitals stayed staffed by nurses and candy stripers (the doctors could afford to evacuate) until the All Clear, and the generators ran out of fuel until Halliburton trucks could get to them (even domestic trucks of donated fuel were turned back because only authorized vendors selling at elevated prices were allowed in).

Comment Re:Well, nice but that was not the problem... (Score 5, Insightful) 89

The poor couldn't leave, because free/cheap transportation wasn't available except in a few situations (church buses and the like). ( And if you're poor in Louisiana you're about as poor as you can get in the US.) Even many of the nursing homes weren't evacuated unless they were able to afford to arrange specialty transportation.

Yeah, it would have been nice if more people had evacuated, but after a series of free market fanatics running the state government there just wasn't the capacity.

Comment Re:Yes, you've increased the precision (Score 4, Insightful) 89

building a home that can handle the winds from a Category 1 storm isn't that hard.

It is when the primary criteria is "build it as cheaply as we can get away with and not have to bribe the building inspector". It's embarrassing the crap being slapped together today, especially to a former remodeler. When you step into a multi-million dollar house and notice that the counter tops aren't even level, the floor trim and cove molding rely on caulk and plastic wood to come together, and the ceiling is so wavy that the chandelier base plate doesn't even touch in places you know damn well that there aren't hurricane braces on the roof joists and the wall framing isn't anchored to the floor joists.

Comment Re:The Jetson's want their camper back (Score 1) 164

The architects also recommend

Ah, there's the problem. My dad was a high-end remodeler for many years. He never got a set of plans from an architect that was actually buildable as received. Generally he could sketch something on a note pad that would be far more practical and functional.

Comment Re:Solves part of the mystery. (Score 1) 272

This was 2001. It was still mostly batch processing, and a 56k frame relay was considered a high speed connection. Replication was primitive at best, mostly consisting of log files swapped back and forth. The database world of today doesn't even vaguely resemble that of 14 years ago.

There were almost no hot disaster recovery sites then, the expense and complexity made them unmanageable. Most DR sites were designed to be brought up by loading backup tapes carried there by hand, because it was faster to fly across country than transferring a multi-gigabyte database by wire. (And the data transfer would probably fail half-way through anyway.)

What we anticipate seldom occurs; what we least expect generally happens. -- Bengamin Disraeli