Monday, December 31, 2007

Blogroll Update

I'm ending the year with a big revision to my blogroll (it's that section in my sidebar labeled "I Read".) It's not a complete list of everything I read, but it's what I find to be consistently good or relevant. For those of you reading this via RSS, I'll provide the entire list here. Items with a star are new to the list today. I've found some really great new blogs this year and I'm looking forward to seeing what they have in store for the next year.

* Around and About

Building Cincinnati

Buy Cincy

Chris Glass

* Cincinnati, As I See It

Cincinnati Blog

Columbus RetroMetro

CoolTown Studios

* Design Cincinnati

* ekalb

* GetCincy

Live Green Cincinnati

* New to Cincinnati


* Porkopolis (CityBeat)

* Queen City Survey

Report This! (Joe Wessels)

* RRD Photo


The Cincinnati Beacon

* The 'Nati Life

The 'Nati (Joe Hansbauer)



Also, (if you're reading in a feed reader) you may not have noticed that I have a "Recently Shared Items" widget over there in the sidebar as well. This is a feed of all the items that I "share" while reading my feeds in Google Reader. I try to highlight things that I think people might not otherwise see. It has a lot of Cincinnati stuff in it, but there are other things mixed in too. You can read the feed at this page, or subscribe to it with this feed link.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Gateway Quarter featured on CoolTown Studios

The 'Q' was featured today in a short blurb on CoolTown Studios, one of my favorite blogs.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Lions Rampant

It's funny how things can move into your consciousness really rapidly sometimes. A couple weeks ago, when I went to The Mad Hatter I had never heard of The Lions Rampant. In the Mad Hatter men's room there were several of the band's stickers and I thought they were pretty cool looking so I actually bothered to try to remember the name. I did manage to remember the name long enough to go home and google it and I checked out their website. It said that they were "blues infused, garage brewed rock n roll" and that was enough to get me to download the mp3s they have on the site. So, I listened to 'em and liked 'em. Then just a couple days later I read that The Lions Rampant were going to be on an upcoming Lounge Acts. And then I saw them listed in this post on EachNoteSecure's favorite music of 2007. Now whenever I see the name it jumps out at me and I'm seeing it everywhere. I've listened to pretty many of their songs at this point from various places and I have to say I'd probably go see them play if I had the chance. Their next show is this weekend in Indianapolis, then they'll be going to Philly and then Dayton.

See Also:

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Tomorrow Night -- One World Wednesday: Canada

One World Wednesday - Canada:
One World Wednesdays at the Cincinnati Art Museum are the hottest cultural event in town for young professionals. This month we bring you the culture of Canada.

- Live performance by Siqiniup Qilanta, Inuit
Throat Singers from Ottowa, Canada
- Canadian tunes spun by DJ Splotty Kaeco
- Fashion Show by Dillards of Nygaard and other Canadian designers
- Art making
- Gallery strolls
- And more

Admission is free for museum members and $8 for non-members and includes 2 free drink samples. Free parking is available at the museum.


Full Season:

Sunday, December 02, 2007

BOE needs a smack upside its head

It'd be hilarious if it weren't so soul-crushingly disappointing.

Ars Technica reports on ( and rightly mocks ) this story involving the Board of Elections in Cuyahoga County near Cleveland. ( original story in the Cleveland Plain Dealer )

This is surreal. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports (via TechDirt) that Ohio's Cuyahoga County—ground zero in the nationwide e-voting debacle that I've been chronicling here at Ars—is holding a "recount" of their November 6 local elections by going back to the memory cards in their Diebold touchscreen voting machines and reprinting all the paper ballots, so that they can tabulate paper copies of the votes in compliance with a law that defines the paper record as the only official record of the vote. How stupid is this idea?

This is like printing out all of your bank statements from Quicken, and totaling it all up by hand because you don't trust that the software is displaying your real balance on the screen... no, actually, it's even dumber than that. Let me see if I can explain.

And the worst part is that our new Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner has approved this as a perfectly logical and appropriate course of action! Either she truly mis-understands the concept of a Voter Verified Paper Trail, or she is willfully ignoring it. I don't know what to say. It is truly ridiculous. I never thought my confidence in the integrity of the electoral process would actually go DOWN after we managed to get Ken Blackwell out.

"When I'm faced with the situation where counting the actual ballot may result in not counting all the votes, I think the public would prefer me to err on the side of counting all the votes," she said.

Here is the problem: they are assuming that the votes on the memory card are correct.

The way it is supposed to work is when a voter casts their vote, they see a printout and confirm that it is what they really voted. Then these printouts are preserved as the true record of the vote. They are "voter-verified". They are to be used if the integrity of the electronic records is suspect.

Instead of using the paper votes as the true record, they are using the electronic votes as the true record. This is the opposite of what should happen because the electronic votes are not "voter verified".

Also, if the electronic votes are assumed to be correct, printing them out has no effect on their validity. In fact, printing will likely introduce more errors to the counting process than simply using software to count. They are saying that they trust the software to record all the votes, but not add up how many of them there are.

Brunner explicitly states that she would rather count "all the votes" even if the votes being counted are the non-verified electronic votes, rather than count the official voter-verified paper votes which is what is required by law.

That is a serious problem if you ask me.