June 18, 2007
September 01, 2006
I'm actually following through on a promise! What a concept.
I'm pretty proud of this one: it's the 2006 Election Day Advent Calendar. You guessed it: instead of counting down to Christmas, you count down to Election Day. Instead of opening up doors on wintry scenes, you'll reveal key moments in the history of our electoral process, narrated by the likes of Teddy Roosevelt, Susan B. Anthony, and Jon Stewart.
The Calendar is the first serious for-sale production of Gerrymander, a new business based here in Chicago that I'm starting with my partner in crime Ben Helphand. Our goal is to make fun, democracy-themed stuff.
The D.C. edition of the DailyCandy featured the Calendar Friday. They ran with the concept and produced a poem in the style of 'Twas The Night Before Christmas, even managing to rhyme "George Stephanopoulos."
I'm particularly excited that überblog Boing Boing picked it up. *sniff*
I do hope you'll check it out and I'd love to hear your feedback.
July 28, 2006
He's going to be attending U. of MD's School of Public Policy this fall, and if I weren't so irreparably biased, I'd say he's a political writer to watch in that blue state.
June 14, 2006
Capt. Phineas Q. Douchebag is up to his wacky old tricks again!
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush, who often teases members of the White House press corps, apologized Wednesday after he poked fun at a reporter for wearing sunglasses without realizing they were needed for vision loss.
The exchange occurred at a news conference in the Rose Garden.
Bush called on Los Angeles Times reporter Peter Wallsten and asked if he was going to ask his question with his "shades" on.
"For the viewers, there's no sun," Bush said to the television cameras.
But even though the sun was behind the clouds, Wallsten still needs the sunglasses because he has Stargardt's disease, a form of macular degeneration that causes progressive vision loss.
The condition causes Wallsten to be sensitive to glare and even on a cloudy day, can cause pain and increase the loss of sight.
June 06, 2006
I might do another round to catch the nine-to-fivers coming home. Then sit back and watch the results. Should be an interesting night.
May 09, 2006
Bush visited with some waiting in a courtyard where Frank Sinatra's "Young At Heart" played on the loudspeakers, then he went indoors where people were looking over the laptops. He walked around giving handshakes and hugs to those who rose for his entrance, and greeted a man who remained sitting in a wheelchair with, "You look mighty comfortable."
May 04, 2006
Early in the movie, Gore talks about professor Roger Revelle at Harvard, who was the first to blow the whistle on warming, a diligent, careful scientist and clearly a skilled teacher, to judge by Gore's reverence. And at some point later on, after maybe the third or fourth vignette in his lecture, you realize that Gore has become that figure, the great teacher, in command of a vast array of data but never at a lost to explain lucidly. Of course, he's got great material to work with: I've never seen charts and graphs of data have such a visceral reaction from an audience. But Gore walks us through it, the patient teacher, obviously driven by a moral imperative he asks us to share. By the end, you'd be hard pressed to turn it down.
In the Q&A session afterwards, perhaps because he knew he was with the choir - the screening was organized by ELPC and attended by the environmental literati of Chicago - he was a bit flat, gamely trying to field questions that included details such as the amortization of power plants. Which, of course, he's fully capable of answering, just as much a wonk as ever. But towards the end, he seemed to find the fire that's been fueling him since the most powerful position in the world was taken away from him, and looking relaxed and dressed in an all-black suit, he reminded me of Johnny Cash, the Man in Black, up front, daring to tell the inconvenient truth until it becomes history.
April 20, 2006
Oh, you're sorry? You apologized to your girlfriend? Pussy. God! You're an American! And this is America! And you let big bad China scare you? You let Censorship Jim boss you around, make you ashamed of your own country and its freedoms? Looks like he's the one smiling here.
Bush later addressed the matter when he met with Hu in the Oval Office. "He just said this was unfortunate and I'm sorry it happened," said Dennis Wilder, acting senior director for Asian affairs on the National Security Council staff.What are you sorry about? What? That people are allowed to protest freely here? That we can speak truth to power and that's a right that can't be run over with a tank? What are you sorry about?
March 07, 2006
Come join us for the first ever Early Voting Blues Brunch at the Hideout this Saturday, March 11th, from 11am to 2pm. It's free.
There'll be music from Revelator and delicious food. You need not have already early-voted, so long as you intend to, or are aware that you can.
February 22, 2006
February 15, 2006
January 24, 2006
One part of the media coverage of this Google v. DOJ story that's unsatisfying to anyone who is familiar with IP networks is that an IP address doesn't necessarily uniquely identify something the way most people think it does. They can be dynamically assigned and therefore change regularly (though there is certainly no reason to think that ISPs aren't keeping track of IP assignment history). With the advent of NAT and private IP networks, an IP address is less likely than ever to even uniquely identify a single computer: there could be many Internet-accessing devices behind a router with a single IP address, which is certainly the case in many home and small business networks where the scarcity of available public IP addresses make it infeasible and an administrative burden to try and assign numbers to each machine. Think of a coffee shop with a WiFi access point: each of those macchiato-sipping laptop users are known by the rest of the Internet by the same IP address. It's far more likely that web browser cookies, tracked across many sites with sharing agreements and usually tied to a login session where a user has provided information that could ultimately be traced back to them, would yield interesting, per-surfer metrics.
But there are plenty homes out there with a single PC and connection to the Internet, so why even bother with storing IP addresses? Once a cursory examination of them is done -- for instance, country of origin, which can easily be discovered by widely available tools -- run them through your encryption scheme and toss the originals. Then if you ever do get in a situation where you're forced to hand over the data, you can at least do it secure in the knowledge that you're not compromising your user's privacy. You still have problems, just one less one on your conscience.
* The information space of a typical hash is 128 bits, or 2 to the power of 128, or 3.4e38, or an extremely large number of possible outcomes. So while "collisions" -- two different inputs that yield the same output hash -- can happen, and have, in the case of the MD5 algorithm, the odds of them occurring are infinitesimally small, and in any case would not diminish the practical utility of day-to-day use of such hashes; that is, until quantum computers get their hands on them, but that is another, terrifying matter.
January 23, 2006
Every day Hotline's Last Call has a section called "Shot and Chaser" --(via D)
typically two quotes that are somehow strangely related.
Today's was:SHOT . . .
"The president does not have a personal relationship with Mr. Abramoff" --
Dan Bartlett (1/23/06).
. . . CHASER
"I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky" -- Bill
December 19, 2005
October 19, 2005
Here's the skinny: if you live in the Chicagoland area, in less time than you can say "Cook County Clerk David Orr" you can get a list of the elected officials who represent you and a spiffy map of their districts. Sure, you could try to reverse engineer the info on your voter reg card or tediously crawl through a slew of disconnected and user-unfriendly websites to find this info, but it would still suck a lot more than our one-stop show. Plus, our's looks sweet.
It's a young project but we think it's already pretty cool and we have big plans for it. I hope you like it.