CompaniaHill writes: Hastily passed in the wake of the 2000 election mess, the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) supposedly offered funding to help states "update" their voting systems, while in reality using short deadlines to push the sale of untested and uncertified new e-voting systems. Manystates continue to demonstrate that the new e-voting machines are not reliable. The New York State Board of Elections (NYSBOE) took the time to pass their own voting legislation with additional testing and certification standards including a voter verified paper trail, then more time to craft agency rules and procedures, all of which far exceed the HAVA standards. Of course they missed the HAVA deadlines. In March 2006, the Department of Justice (DOJ) sued New York to comply with HAVA. Now, the DOJ is serving a motion to try to take away New York's right to select and acquire their own voting machine systems — in effect, to force e-voting machines on New York anyway. Too soon to say how the NYSBOE will respond yet. Hard to find good links on this developing story, but there are bits more on the DOJ motion herehere and here, civil group responses herehere and here.
from the good-to-know-i've-never-offended-anyone dept.
pragueexpat writes "Do we have free will? Possibly not, according to an article in the new issue of the Economist. Entitled 'Free to choose?', the piece examines new discoveries in the fields of neuroscience and psychology that may be forcing us to re-examine the concept of free will. The specifically cite a man with paedophilic tendencies who was cured when his brain tumor was removed. 'Who then was the child abuser?', they ask. The predictable conclusion of this train of thought, of course, leads us to efforts by Britain: 'At the moment, the criminal law--in the West, at least--is based on the idea that the criminal exercised a choice: no choice, no criminal. The British government, though, is seeking to change the law in order to lock up people with personality disorders that are thought to make them likely to commit crimes, before any crime is committed.'"
An anonymous reader writes: Web developers can find many free resources, although some are freer than others. If you design a Web site or Web application, whether static or with all the dynamic Ajax goodness you can conjure up, you might find resources to lighten your load and spice up your content. From free icons to Web layouts and templates to on-line Web page tools, this article demonstrates that a Web architect can also get help these days at little or no cost.
lessthan0 writes: "If you have been using MySQL for a while, you have a knowledge investment that may discourage you from exploring other databases. This short guide shows how common tasks in MySQL are accomplished in PostgreSQL. It also highlights some unique features of each database."
falconwolf writes: "Mac Envy
Are Apple computers better than Windows PCs? The guy who led development of Microsoft's new versions of Windows apparently once thought so.
In a January 2004 e-mail to Microsoft (nasdaq: MSFT — news — people ) chiefs Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, Vista boss Jim Allchin said he would buy a Mac if he wasn't working at Microsoft.
Allchin, who is now a co-president of Microsoft, was complaining to Gates and Ballmer that Microsoft had lost its way in developing Vista and lost sight of what customers wanted.
The e-mail has become public since it was cited by attorneys in Iowa who are pursuing an antitrust case against Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft.
Allchin oversaw development of Vista, the new version of Windows. The new operating system looks a lot like Apple (nasdaq: AAPL — news — people )'s OS X operating system. This hasn't escaped the notice of Apple executives who delight in pointing out similarities.
On Monday night, after reporters began making inquiries about the e-mail, Allchin published an item on a Microsoft blog in which he claimed the e-mail statement was being taken out of context.
He said that he'd made the comment about buying a Mac "for effect," that the e-mail was nearly 3 years old and that he was trying to shake things up at Microsoft. "We needed to change and change quickly," Allchin writes. Today, he says, "Vista has turned into a phenomenal product, better than any other OS we've ever built, and far, far better than any other software available today."
Allchin has announced plans to retire from Microsoft after the commercial version of Vista ships at the end of January. Note to employees of Apple retail stores in Bellevue, Wash., and Seattle: On or around Feb. 1, be on the lookout for a white-haired man wearing a Groucho mask, furtively purchasing an iMac."
melikamp writes: A four-year-old hugged his teachers aide and was put into in-school suspension, according to the father. But La Vega school administrators have a different story. Damarcus Blackwell's four-year-old son was lining-up to get on the bus after school last month, when he was accused of rubbing his face in the chest of a female employee. The prinicipal of La Vega Primary School sent a letter to the Blackwells that said the pre-kindergartener demonstrated "inappropriate physical behavior interpreted as sexual contact and/or sexual harassment." [Verbatim from