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July 28, 2004

More voting woes courtesy cnn.com

Another compulsory link on electronic voting issues.

CNN.com - Florida officials: Some voting records wiped out - Jul 28, 2004

Posted by beamz at 12:09 PM | Comments (0)

DOWN FOR THE COUNT

Will your vote count in this years election? Maybe, maybe not. Electronic voting baffles me due to the fact that people who should be concerned about the reliability don't seem to be and the issue isn't getting enough press.

DOWN FOR THE COUNT At around 8:50, Soubirous’s campaign manager, Brian Floyd, received a call from an election observer in Temecula informing him that the vote count had been stopped – apparently by Registrar Mischelle Townsend herself. The reason was not made clear. So Floyd and another Soubirous campaigner named Art Cassel jumped into a car and drove to Townsend’s office to investigate. Sure enough, the counting area appeared to be near-deserted. But then they noticed two men huddled at one of the vote tabulation computers. [MetaFilter]

Posted by beamz at 11:52 AM | Comments (0)

July 11, 2004

More than a third of service jobs can be outsourced

Forrester Research Inc. analyzed 505 U.S. service occupations and determined that 175 of them could be done abroad. Forrester estimated the United States would lose 26% of computer programming jobs during that period and 4% of architects. [IT Facts.biz]

This falls in line with my previous post of a friend's opinion. The traditional line of thinking on this has been, "Don't worry about outsourcing manufacturing jobs, we're moving to a service-based economy." Are we so sure that other countries can't perform service-industry jobs as well?

Posted by beamz at 7:46 PM | Comments (1)

July 7, 2004

Opinions about "Free Trade" from a friend...

A friend of mine sent me an email he was forwarding on to a news service and I thought it was definitely worthy of posting here. Agree or disagree, the point is to participate in the process if only in a pure commentary type fashion which my friend does very nicely.

Greetings,

I wanted to write you about the Post's editorial today on `Kerry's Choice'. I do not want this letter attributed, however otherwise please feel free to use the contents in any other way.

For the most part, I shared the Editor's opinions, except when it came to the description of a `lurch towards protectionism'.

In that case, I really think they don't get it. I belive in fair trade, and with relativly unencumbered trade. But to not recognize that there are deep policy problems with our current trading practices and structures is simply ludicrous. By allowing wealthy and influential elites to define anything they want as "Free Trade", and therefore good, and any restrictions on trade they don't like as "protectionism", the issues are greatly, and stupidly diminished beyond the point of credibility.

We, as a country, must at some point start to recognise and deal with our trade deficit. Other countries and international
financial bodies are very concerned about the situation with the current account deficit, but yet we blindly ignore that
in any consideration of trade policy. The Post is by no means alone in falling for these convienently reductionistic arguments.

The fact is that the GATT & the GATS, NAFTA, and all the other controversial trade agreements in the past few decades
were all passed with allegations that they would reduce the trade deficit and create better broad based economic conditions in the US. Unfortunatly these well intentioned theories have proved to provide no improvement, and things have gotten worse.

On the ground this means lost jobs. And strangely enough, it's never the people being tossed into the street who think that this is somehow good for them. When confronted with the issues of economic devistation associated with the offshoring of manufacturing, the trade zelots claimed that knowledge jobs would replace those lost. This only proved to be a limited solution, even during the boom, and now those few jobs that did show up, mostly call center ones and the like, are being sent offshore as well. The only difference is this time the zelots have nothing to point to as a credible replacement.

The fact is that offshoring only helps the profits of the few in this country, at the expense of the many. It doesn't help
the countrys population in the majority at all, and represents a rush to the economic bottom who's key characteristic is the total and utter callous disreguard for one's countryman. The truth is the average offshoring buisness cycle could be
most characterized as one that's filled with lies and deception. The results are that it's somehow more desirable to send jobs to some complete pesthole, that's quite possibly suffering from internal warfare or armed conflict on it's soil, over
sending the same work to impoverished areas in rural and urban America. As an example I'll offer this, what would you,
O Editors who're supposed to be in touch with the pulse of the nations capital rather see, jobs going to Bangalore, or
jobs going to Anacostia? Unfortunatly, I don't see them going downtown anytime soon... I suppose the schools arn't as
good as those in an overpopulated country without good roads or reliable electricity and sanitation...

Considering the history of the current account deficit, the history of utter ruination of the manufacturing sector in the US, and the history of localized economic devistation that's gone with this not-so creative destruction, perhaps it might be
worthwhile to reevaluate some of the hyperbole, mischaracterizations, omissions, and outright lies surrounding trade policy in the US.

I will go one further than Mr. Kerry or Mr. Edwards in defining the behavior associated with these issues. I say traitors offshore jobs, and the recongnition of the disloyalty and national harm associated with the reckless disreguard (much less fictional creation & ommisions) for what's occuring should not go politely by the wayside to avoid embaressing the individuals responsible for this dispicable behavior.

Posted by beamz at 6:00 PM | Comments (1)

July 4, 2004

Sam Shaber does it again.

Tonight Sam Shaber was in town again playing at Cath Inc. It's always a pleasure to see her play and that's an understatement. She never ceases to perform without immersing herself in her music. She's now winding down her tour but I whole-heartedly recommend you check her out if you can. You can find more information about where she's playing here. I'm no music critic but I can tell you that she's under-appreciated and her down-to-earth senses combined with her witty humor make you wish you could hang out with her for a nice dinner when she's in town.

Visit her site and listen to some of her music. I highly recommend her latest album, eighty numbered streets, which you can find out more about and purchase here. Great show Sam, we'll be sure to see you again when you're in Indiana.

Posted by beamz at 1:17 AM | Comments (1)

Open Source and Linux ROI migration presentation

I gave a talk at Indianapolis technology conference and trade show this past Wednesday which went well. The audience was small, only 20-30 people, but I seemed to keep people interested. The goal was to tell people how we've found ROI in utilizing open source technology. The standard disclaimer applied which was that arguments for and against can be made for anything but the ultimate decision comes down to what is important to you. People understood this and asked fantastic questions at the end.

If you're interested, here's a pdf of the presentation. If you have comments, let me know and keep in mind that not every point I brought up is in pdf.

Posted by beamz at 1:06 AM | Comments (0)