Firebird and Thunderfox

I did it. It did not hurt (much). I downloaded Firefox and Thunderbird after spending hours pruning my email inbox in order to get the back up to fit on a CD. I still messed up and killed my private inbox. Oh well. No backup here, unfortunately. Maybe the one in the office is still alive.

It will take a bit of getting used to, as some of my favorite short cuts are missing. I switch between the browser, the letter I am writing and the Inbox all the time when I am correcting exercise reports. I miss the little icons at the bottom that helped me switch applications when I had finished reading a page. I can't seem to find a customize button for the bottom, but that, too, will surely be available soon.

Did have one blue screen since the download, no idea if it is conneted to Firefox. And Firefox once crashed on a PDF file. But Netscape used to do that all the time if I forgot to start Acrobat first. Picky, picky. So we shall see - I can work with it. The RSS feeds are not as comfortable as AWASU, I may end up going back there, even if AWASU bugged my by screaming every minute or so when not online. I probably just missed an option somewhere.

But at least it is working, haven't hit too many pages that I couldn't read. We'll see next week if the Firefox survives a week of real work.


The Counting of the Votes

In the aftermath of the US American election there have been many questions raised about the validity of the vote totals. Not only did they vary widely from the exit polls, but they also are significantly different, depending on whether a county used a computer-aided voting mechanism or not. See the inconsistant error poll analysis done by eRiposte.

After a friend pointed me to Chuck Herrin's Hack the Vote page, I began to doubt the results of the election. If it is this easy to hack a Diebold machine (I mean, even a middle-aged computer science professor understands every detail of what one needs to do - open up Access, find the file, change the data, save it. Okay, hacking into the Intranet takes a little bit more effort, but it is easy to do), then I do not believe any results that are not independantely verifiable.

Bev Harris at BlackBoxVoting.org has filed suit against some of the counties in Florida. Rebecca Mercuri spells out some simple steps for making an electronic vote verifiable in her Statement on Electronic Voting. To make a long story short - the machines should print a slip with the votes that can be independently verified to match the machine totals.

Why is the American public not taking to the streets like the Ukrainians and demanding accountable voting machines? Why are they not protesting the results of the election? Are they too brainwashed with entertainment TV to care?

My friend Lilian Friedberg hat just posted her observations on all of this, chock full of good links: I Love the Smell of Cold Turkey in the Morning: A Week in the Life of America.