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Current Topic: Current Events

Daily Kos: Nonpartisan GAO Confirms Security Flaws in Voting Machines
Topic: Current Events 3:12 pm EST, Nov  2, 2005

1 Some electronic voting systems did not encrypt cast ballots or system audit logs, thus making it possible to alter them without detection.

2 It is easy to alter a file defining how a ballot appears, making it possible for someone to vote for one candidate and actually be recorded as voting for an entirely different candidate.

3 Falsifying election results without leaving any evidence of such an action by using altered memory cards.

4 Access to the voting network was easily compromised because not all digital recording electronic voting systems (DREs) had supervisory functions password-protected, so access to one machine provided access to the whole network.

5 Supervisory across to the voting network was also compromised by repeated use of the same user IDs combined with easily guessed passwords.

6 The locks protecting access to the system were easily picked and keys were simple to copy.

7 One DRE model was shown to have been networked in such a rudimentary fashion that a power failure on one machine would cause the entire network to fail.

8 GAO identified further problems with the security protocols and background screening practices for vendor personnel.

Holy shit!

Daily Kos: Nonpartisan GAO Confirms Security Flaws in Voting Machines

FBI to get veto power over PC software?
Topic: Current Events 8:29 pm EDT, Sep 30, 2005

The Federal Communications Commission thinks you have the right to use software on your computer only if the FBI approves.

No, really. In an obscure "policy" document released around 9 p.m. ET last Friday, the FCC announced this remarkable decision.

According to the three-page document, to preserve the openness that characterizes today's Internet, "consumers are entitled to run applications and use services of their choice, subject to the needs of law enforcement." Read the last seven words again.

FBI to get veto power over PC software?

Hurricane RITA
Topic: Current Events 7:02 am EDT, Sep 21, 2005

And now, the other shoe.

Hurricane Rita at this time yesterday was a tropical storm. As of an hour ago, Rita was a Cat2, with strengthening expected. Where is she going? Galveston/Houston. Hopefully, the storm will blow itself out before it does any damage. That and a tank full of gas will get you the hell out of Houston to someplace safe(r) like Dallas.

The only thing I ca say for sure is, New Orleans had best hope it keeps going that way. If it turns right like Katrina did, it could dump everything on New Orleans, and worse, into the Mississippi watershed. The Lake Ponchetrain levees failing was bad. Dump an entire hurricane into the Mississipps and you risk losing the levees on that side. If that happens, it's all over. The level of the river is much higher than the lake, and it has a constant inflow of water. Lots of it.

Stay Tuned...

Hurricane RITA

Bush - I am responsible.
Topic: Current Events 10:45 am EDT, Sep 15, 2005

President George W. Bush took responsibility on Tuesday for any failures in the federal response to Hurricane Katrina and acknowledged the storm exposed serious deficiencies at all levels of government four years after the September 11 attacks.

I don't want to meme CNN's homepage so I'm linking a different copy of this story. This is important. It means the Administration has acknowledged that the federal response wasn't rapid enough and will work to address the problem going forward. Its the best sort of answer you could expect.

[ And more than I expected, in truth. Just the day before, the administration official line was "It's no one's fault...", while subtly insinuating that, in fact, it was the fault of the mayor and governor. I've got to admit, it's actually refreshing to see the president sac up for this one. You know, a little.

That being said, I'm not certain that the "my bad" will necessarily lead to the administration working to address the problem. I'd like to think it will, but I'll hold off on praise until I see for myself. As someone said in the other thread, if i run over your foot and then say "Sorry, dude, that was me." and then do nothing more, it's a pretty meaningless gesture. -k]

Bush - I am responsible.

Barbara Bush on those lucky refugees
Topic: Current Events 12:48 am EDT, Sep  9, 2005

"Somebody asked George H.W. Bush Monday about the criticism of his son's handling of Hurricane Katrina, and the former president said that the critics ought to tell it to his wife -- and that they ought to don a flak jacket before trying. But this morning, it's Barbara Bush herself who might want to think about some protective clothing, at least metaphorically speaking.

The former first lady toured the Astrodome Monday, and along the way she opined that many of the refugees from New Orleans were so poor to begin with that they ought to be pretty happy with their temporary digs in Houston. "What I’m hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas," Barbara Bush said in comments first aired on the public radio program "Marketplace" and reprinted by Editor & Publisher. "Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them."

In the midst of that last line, you can hear the former first lady chuckling."

There just aren't words, really, to say how tactless that was.

Barbara Bush on those lucky refugees

Ray Nagin
Topic: Current Events 6:40 am EDT, Sep  2, 2005

Tonight, I heard a politician speak on CNN with passion, fire, truth and caring.

It was amazing.

Ray Nagin

The Interdictor: Admining in Hell
Topic: Current Events 4:14 am EDT, Sep  2, 2005

I've been moving and dumping 55 gallon drums all day. It's back breaking work, but it's a good thing I've got a strong back. I haven't fooled with that much diesel since I was on shit-burning detail in the first Gulf War. I used to volunteer for it because it meant I could skip morning formation. Never been much of a garrison soldier. I was always a field soldier.

So here at Outpost Crystal, we're set pretty good. Thanks for the heads up on the 12-15 feet of water that you guys are telling me I can expect in the CBD tomorrow. That's fine, I'm trained for water operations too. I appreciate all the recommendations, but we're not going.

Exmilitary guy who runs a datacenter in a tower in NOLA is still there and his systems are operational! He has a Livejournal and several cam feeds running. In a way I think all this effort and risk to keep some computers running is a bit silly. On the otherhand, this is absolutely the most hard core systems administration that I have ever heard of.

The Interdictor: Admining in Hell

RE: Atlanta may run out of gas.
Topic: Current Events 10:59 pm EDT, Sep  1, 2005

ibenez wrote:

You know, if you LIBERALS (aka communists) would let us rational people build refineries, build nuclear power plants, and drill for oil - this problem wouldn't really be so bad because we'd have much greater supply and distribution channels.

Oh well... thanks a lot tree-huggers.

ibenez wrote:

You know, if you LIBERALS (aka communists) would let us rational people build refineries, build nuclear power plants, and drill for oil - this problem wouldn't really be so bad because we'd have much greater supply and distribution channels.

Oh well... thanks a lot tree-huggers.

Tons of new refineries means dick when the two major pipelines for the south go down.

This isn't a manifestation of not having enough refineries. 40% of refineres are on the Gulf Coast for a reason: Thats where the oil tankers come. 40% of the refineries us horrible liberals "stopped" you from building would be damaged as well.

What I, and pretty much all the Liberals I know are against aren't new Nuke plants or refineries or wells. We are against the blind abandonment of reason. We are against the pityful view that if we simply would build more refineries and drill all of Alaska, somehow all our problems will somehow disappear. They won't. Our energy problems are much more severe and require a much larger solution and anything that doesn't try to address more than "oil" is a complete waste of time.

Funny how your misplaced anger isn't directed at the FUCKER in the White House whose energy policy did NOTHING of substance to lower our oil demands.

You blame "Communists." I blame every Presidential Administration from Carter on for failing to act. Did the Embargo's of the 1970s teach us nothing?

Supply has become a problem because we have done nothing to slow the demand.

What Acidus said. :)

RE: Atlanta may run out of gas.

Atlanta may run out of gas.
Topic: Current Events 12:13 pm EDT, Aug 31, 2005

The metro Atlanta region generally has about a 10-day supply of gasoline in inventory, said BP spokesman Michael Kumpf. The pipelines have been down for two days.
Alpharetta, Ga.-based Colonial Pipeline Co., cut off from its suppliers on the Gulf Coast, is now pumping gas from huge storage tanks, many in Powder Springs, Ga. Whether electric power can be restored to the pipeline pumps before supplies run out is "the great uncertainty ... that hangs over all of us," said Daniel Moenter, a spokesman for Marathon Ashland Petroleum, a major supplier of metro Atlanta's fuel.

Delta has already cancelled 300 flights due to fuel shortages.

I just went to wal-mart for a watch battery. When I went in, gas was 2.75. I came out - didn't even stand it line cause they didn't have my darn battery - and gas was 2.87.

10 minutes. 12 cents.

Atlanta may run out of gas.

New Orleans - A flood of Biblical Proportions
Topic: Current Events 4:19 pm EDT, Aug 28, 2005

This is an old article, but how relevant! I love that phrase- "A Flood of Biblical Proportions."

New Orleans - A flood of Biblical Proportions

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