Betsy Devine: Funny ha-ha and/or funny peculiar

Making trouble today for a better tomorrow…

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Entries Tagged as 'voting'

Fooled again: Your bailout billions at work

October 25th, 2008 · 5 Comments

Christmas came early to US banks, says the New York Times, when Treasury Secretary Paulson decided to use the first installment of the $700 billion bailout money to recapitalize banks instead of buying up their toxic securities. That would be, he claimed the fastest way to get banks making loans again. If Congress didn’t hand over the money at once, recession would hit us!

By October 17, banks had figured out just what to do with all that free money, and making new loans was not part of their plan.

Is it too late for Congress to rein Paulson in again, just to attach a few strings to the rest of the bailout?

Tags: Editorial · politics · voting

The trouble with Crime 2.0

August 7th, 2008 · Comments Off on The trouble with Crime 2.0

Poisoner eyes her victim

Originally uploaded by betsythedevine

You already know to watch out for poisoned teacups, but what you should have been worrying about instead …

An internet-based team of “three people from the United States, three from the Ukraine, two from China, one from Estonia and one from Belarus” (says Reuters) stole credit card numbers by millions from US retailers, and sold them “… to people in the U.S. and Europe for thousands of dollars. The buyers then withdrew tens of thousands of dollars at a time from automated teller machines, officials said.” Even so, the chief conspirator’s lawyer sounds very confident that his client will never enter a jail cell.

After all…. the guy who made possible the NH 2002 election phone-jamming got his conviction overturned because the interstate denial-of-service attack on Democrats’ phones was not covered by Federal laws against phone “harassment.”

It’s hard for the laws against doing bad stuff to keep up with human innovation in stuff we can do. Maybe that’s how it should be.

But let’s hope the US Attorney’s office works smarter on identity theft cases than they chose to do in the matter of NH phone jamming.

Tags: Good versus Evil · New Hampshire! · politics · Reputation systems · Science · voting

Giant security hole for 2008 voting

July 30th, 2007 · Comments Off on Giant security hole for 2008 voting

People voting in Cambridge, MA, November 7, 2006

Originally uploaded by betsythedevine

Just in: California’s test of its paperless voting machines show that all are hackable, reports Ars Technica.

The news comes less than a week after Senate Democrats declared it’s “too late” to demand paper trails for 2008.


Paper-trail legislation has been creeping through Congress since Rush Holt introduced it in 2003. Holt re-introduced, citing vote irregularities in Ohio, after the 2004 Presidential election.

Despite many co-sponsors, the bill couldn’t get out of committee, thanks to Representative Bob (“Friend of Diebold”) Ney (R-Ohio), more widely known for mandating Freedom Fries.

It’s more than a year from now until November of 2008. That’s time enough for black-hat hackers to create and offer up for sale the kinds of code tricks California researchers identified–many of which require no more access than a few minutes privacy with one machine. The kind of privacy that you expect when you’re voting.

It ought to be time for the Democrats we just elected to make sure that all votes will be counted fairly in 2008. That’s much more important than investigating Gonzales.

Update: It turns out the Democrats agree–and (even before I wrote this blogpost) had already crafted a compromise bill to for secure voting in 2008.

Tags: Editorial · politics · voting