Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Vote Fraud in St. Clair County

Eric Weidmann was quoted in the paper as saying he is not interested in hearing what constitutes vote fraud; his interest is in how to fit it. To prevent vote fraud, two things need to take place. One, only accept ballots from valid voters; and two, prevent the voter from being influenced by outside sources. Both of these preventive measures seem to be a feasible request.

In order to verify the validity of a voter, the election judge should require each person requesting a ballot to present their voter ID card and some other form of picture ID. These documents should be compared to the poll-books given to each election judge. If we can ask this of people boarding an airplane, then we can ask this of people deciding the fate of our democracy.

To prevent outside influence, or vote buying, simply require receipts for every cent spent for an election. This information should also be accessible to anyone via the Internet. The State of Illinois already provides a web-site to facilitate this. The only thing missing the degree of granularity for which receipts are required. If the IRS can audit an individual, down to the dollar, then we should demand the same for our elected officials.

If the laws do not permit such processes, then it should be the committee’s duty to inform us of the procedure for changing the laws. If petitions need to be signed, let us know. This is one issue our elected officials should be very proactive at resolving. Given the small turnout at the public meetings, they should now take the first steps.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Google Pack

Pack it up.

Google has recently released what they are calling “Google Pack.” This is a collection of software being offered/supported by Google. This collection includes the tool-bar, IM, Earth, and other assortment of programs. It also includes AdAware and a special version of Norton Antivirus.

All of the software is maintained by a special application called
Google Updater . This program is used to help the consumer install all of the Google offerings, as well as keep everything up to date.

I wonder when “Open Office” will be added to “Google Updater?”

Friday, January 06, 2006

Technology Predictions for 2006

In no particular order:

1) Google will continue to innovate with more hosted solutions. The effect of this will be continued increases in Google’s stock price. Is a split in store for 2006? Maybe a Google home-device.

2) More companies will settle on using Microsoft’s .NET architecture. Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005 will fuel this.

3) Java will continue to be the programming language of choice for corporate America. C#, however, will close the gap. In St. Louis, is reporting 39% (98 to 38). By the end of the year, expect to see Java with only a 15% lead. J2EE will see a decline and will be replaced with Spring/Hibernate frameworks.

4) Cell phones will continue to increase in use. By the end of the year, video messages will be the rave with teenagers.

5) On-line video will start to become more prevalent. Content providers will still be trying to apply television-style revenue patterns, but this will not bode for the new medium. A new revenue technique will be needed in order for this to be successful. Expect to see a new wave of RIAA/MPAA lawsuits.

6) Sony will release the PS3 and will usher in a new era of multi-media. The PS3 will overtake the XBOX 360 both in popularity and in games. The PS3 may become the media-convergence device.

7) Linux will still not be ready for prime time at home. This will change in 2007. Red Hat, IBM, and Apple will have a stake in this.

8) Popular Application Frameworks for 2006:
a. Eclipse
b. Spring
c. Google Earth
d. Microsoft .NET Compact Framework
e. Firefox

9) VoIP will continue to be big. Expect to see more PC-based use both in home and business use. Employees will notice they no longer need a telepone at their desk. Headsets with a microphone will be the replacement. Google, Vonage, and Skype will be leaders -- followed by Microsoft. EBay might be the first "Big" pusher of this.

10) Expect announcements in alternative energy -- particularly in BioFuel and Solar.


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