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More fun with the visitor log

Keratoconus International, a support site for patients who share my disorder, posted a list of personal anecdotes found online. This blog is one of them. I’ve started to see a trickle of visitors come from there.

A second set of visits is laced with irony. This semester, I teach Jour 319 from 9:15 to 11:30 Wednesday mornings. The class meets in the Mac lab, room 3.217 of the CJ building, which used to be the DS building.

My visitor log indicates that the computer known as journ-maclab5-ds3217.concordia.ca visited my site at 9:38 Wednesday morning, and stayed until near 10:00. That means that the computer identified as maclab5 in the class – while I was teaching there – spent 20 minutes at my blog. Whoever was using that computer spent about 20 minutes reading what I wrote because what I was saying was too boring. That cracks me up.

If the computers are labelled by the department on the outside with the same scheme the network uses, that means that the bored surfer was either Lucas or Gabriella. I’m not sure which Mac is #5 in the class, but I’ll check next week.

Bonus comment on electronic voting:

Quebec’s chief electoral officer has released a report on a trial of electronic voting used in municipal elections last year, and recommends that Quebec continue to ban the use e-voting machinery. We’ll continue to rely on paper ballots.

With this in mind, it behooves anyone interested in the debate over the security of American e-voting machinery to read a new Ars Technica feature on how insecure these machines are and how one person of only moderate skill can hack election results. I hadn’t previously been swayed by claims of insecurity, or by claims of security, although I’ve never figured out why people are so eager to abandon the slow but reliable paper-ballot system. Is the speed of results that important?

Go read “How to steal an election by hacking the vote” and shudder at the hypothetical as well as the evidence that such hacking has already taken place. The only thing preventing mass election fraud in the US this November is security through obscurity, and that’s a mighty flimsy liferaft.

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