Home is a feeling

I wrote this a few years ago on a previous incarnation of the web site. I was reminded of it because of some recent events so here it is again. Minor edits made, mostly grammar stuffs.

I was inspired by something I read today to write about homesickness. First, let me be clear that I am NOT homesick; I enjoy Austin alot and would much rather be here than there (except for Monday nights at the Flying Saucer). But anyway, time for a meloncholy digression.

So about being homesick… that was me when I went to college. Yes, I cried when my parents left (no, I’m not ashamed of it, well, not any more). But there was more to it than that. I hated the high school I went to because it was full of fake people — not fake as in non-existant people, but fake as in “daddy bought me a brand new mustang for my 16th birthday” people. I didn’t belong to that click; I had my own friends, all of whom fell outside the Plano preppy-kid norm by quite a bit.

So when it came time for me to choose a place to go to for college, I decided to go anywhere that wasn’t Texas so I could migrate away from the Plano stereotypical people and branch out from my old friends. Most of my other high school friends chose to go to UT or stay close to home, and I can’t blame them either. I live in Austin now and this is a great place, but college was my first opportunity to get out of the nest and away from all of that for the first time, and I wasn’t about to pass it up.

And I ended in St. Louis, Missouri. And I cried when my parents left because they were the last tie I had to anything – ANYTHING – that I knew in my 18 years previous to then. For the first time in my life, I was truly on my own.

Then there was the bout of homesickness. Homesickness isn’t wanting your mom and dad or your friends – it’s about wanting something familiar. The intersection you drive by every day. Watching a video with your friends. The feeling you get when you know exactly where you are beacuse you know the roads or the buildings that well…

Homesickness lasted a while, but then I started meeting more people and growing new friendships – the exact reason why I decided to go somewhere far away from the rest of my friends. And my new freinds and I bonded and had fun, and the unfamiliar became familiar, and the homesickness faded.

And then came the first big homecoming – Thanksgiving. Everyone went home to see their folks and friends – and for me, this was the first time I visited home since I left school. It wasn’t quite what I expected.

The first thing I noticed were the little things – oh, he got his ear pierced. Wow, Texans really do have accents (you pick up on the slightest twang when you’ve been away from it for four months). Hey, how have you been? You know the routine…

Then I started noticing something different – like all the old bonds that we used to have weren’t quite there. That even though we were all still good friends, something was missing. I had missed 4 months of their lives as they were going through the same growth that I had.

But then I realized the biggest change – my own change. Even in a short 4 months, I had become a little more jaded, a little more grown up… And with my new freedoms at school, home just wasn’t the same place that it used to be. Sure it was home, but it didn’t carry the same weight that it used to. School offered something different — something unlike anything else I had experienced up to that point. I was more eager to get back to school than I was to catch up with my old friends…

And that was about it. I briefly caught up with my old friends then went back to school. When I got back to school, I had a disjoint sense of what home was. Home/school wasn’t home – it was my occupation for 9 months then I returned to home/home. And home/home was a temporary location until I went back to school… It didn’t offer the same sense of home-ness that it used to.

Now, Austin is home. It feels ‘right’ when I get back here. It welcomes me back when I walk off the plane or drive over the border or even going around town. Home/home is still home, but more in a nostalgic sense. My parents, the dog, old friends… That’s not to slight my friends in any way – I love them to death, but I’m only a guest when I visit now, not a resident. It offers a complacency that I can’t get anywhere else, but it’s not the same home that it was during my 18 years of living there.

Home is a feeling. It’s a place that you feel safe and happy in. I had no home for my college years only because it was too disjoint – family and old friends and new friends and new experiences. Now that I have some more permanence in my life, this feels like home.

And because I believe in not repeating what someone else said better…

When I see a place for the first time… I notice everything, the color of the paper, the sky, the way people walk, doorknobs, every detail.

Then, after I’ve been there a while, I don’t notice them anymore. Only by forgetting can I remember what a place is really like… so maybe for me forgetting and remembering are the same thing.

David Byrne, True Stories

and homesickness is forgetting and remembering those details…

So take this however you will. Just remember that a place is only as much a home as you make it.

Down with freedom!

CFP 2004: Preaching to the choir

The Computer Freedom and Privacy Conference for 2004 is quickly approaching and I’m pretty pissed off. This is a conference for exploring issues in, go figure, computers, freedom, and privacy. To me, it’s as much a catch-all as “alternative rock.” Sure, freedom and privacy are important, but then again…

I was checking the list of speakers to find the interests represented at the various sessions during the conference. I estimate that at least 3/4 of the participants are representing left-leaning organizations or universities (and university types tend to also sway left). Occasionally there’s a government official or corporate interest represented, but largely this is a “pat yourself on the back” kind of clinic for the liberal-type front line fighters in the freedom and privacy battle.

So who in their right mind would defend less privacy or less freedom? Of course everyone wants freedom and privacy. Just like mom and education and apple pie, nobody could defend decreasing freedom and privacy and live to tell about it, especially at a conference held in Berkeley.

Is this the most self-serving conference ever? I would absolutely love the opportunity to go and (fraudulently) profess my hatred of freedom and privacy. You know — explain to everybody how futile their efforts are and destroy their dreams that they’re actually “making a difference.” Bring blight and strife across the lands and leave a swath of destruction in my wake.

But I digress… I feel sorry for any representitives of the MPAA or RIAA and the like. They’re outnumbered and certainly will have many hard fought arguments ahead of them during that week. I’m on their side — not that I agree with their point of view, but I like rooting for the underdogs.

This conference is the ultimate collection of subjects that the left-leaning people care about that everyone else doesn’t care about. Does this mean we shouldn’t care about these issues? Of course not, but we don’t have solutions to most of the problems. Will open source software fix the issues with electronic voting systems? Absolutely no, and most people wouldn’t know the difference between an open-source powered electronic voting system versus a proprietary one.

My concern is the lack of concern about these issues. Surprisingly, there’s only one session about organizing people for protest and change, but that was about sites such as and the like. The conference presenters are ice skating uphill; they don’t realize that most of their problem isn’t solving the issue at hand but rather creating a movement behind their beliefs.

And this brings me back to where I started from. Bring in more RIAA people, more anti-privacy folks, more anti-freedom advocates. Make them show their true colors. Piss people off. Generate a following of others not part of the intellectual elite or conference participants. These people are trying to start a rebellion but don’t realize it. Don’t they understand that the issues they’re fighting for can stir the passion of everyone in this country or maybe even start a worldwide movement?

I suppose not… Instead, they’ll enjoy buffets and organized discussions and leave the conference with “contacts” and not come to any new conclusions about how they can achieve their goals. If these issues are so fundamental to every person in this country, then why don’t most people care? Or do they care and are apathetic to the calls to fight?

Lawyers and technologists make bad evangelists. I think I’ll hire Mr. T or someone of similar standing when I start my campaign. At least then people outside those who already care might actually listen…


Let the feedback flaming begin…

So I added a comment script to my web site. It’s ok… uses <object> to show the full text of the article, but it’s at least minimally functional in terms of letting people throw around the feedback.

There’s also a new RSS feed that includes these comments. Check it here: The new RSS!

As you might expect, this is a work in progress so please let me know if there are any problems, errors, or cosmetic issues with the new comments.

UPDATE: So I think the script works correctly now. And it doesn’t use <object> any more so BOOYAH! That is all…

UPDATE: Still issues… hold off on comments for now.

UPDATE: Comments are totally working now. Much thanks to Jack at Calamarco, my web hoster, for the assistance.


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The Law of Diminishing Opinions

Would you PLEASE stop talking about YASNS/gay marriage/(insert topic of the day here)?

I propose the following:

The Law of Diminishing Opinion

For each additional blog/op-ed/statement produced about a subject, less and less interesting material will be produced such that eventually no more arguments of value will be made.

What I mean is that only so many useful opinions can be made about a subject. Everyone else just piggybacks off those ideas, and people off those ideas, and eventually nobody says anything new anymore. The value of the next opinion is less than that of the previous one due to this repetition/lack of originality, and eventually you hit a point of zero-gain opinion addition.

You’ve probably experienced this in your daily events… You have an argument with someone and eventually neither of you has a new opinion to offer so you end at an impasse. There’s a group discussion and everyone keeps repeating the same sentiment but phrasing it differently. All of the news channels run the same stories and provide the same information and you think to yourself, “Why have I been watching this for the last three hours when the same news is reported every half hour?”

Remember the Internet ideal of a voice for everybody? Well, it backfired. Big time. LiveJournal claimes to have over a million active blogs. I won’t even hazard a guess at message board/IRC/other interactive service user numbers. People want their opinions to be heard, and fuck are they ever doing it. I’ll come back to this in a little bit.

This Law also raises the issue of what I call the “Information Problem” — what most other people consider “Information Overload.” Overstated, it means that more information exists than you can possibly hope to absorb in a lifetime, so why try to keep up with it all? Tools can only help so much. I’m conscious only 16 or so hours a day and I have more important tasks than getting the latest blog postings (such as watching The Simpsons). I still do want to know what they wrote, but I have more interests to keep up with than time needed to keep up with them.

This leads me back to a point that I made in some earlier blathering and noted above. We only have so much time, and opinions are a many varied lot so only a few rise above the noise of the fray. (I dare anyone to read EVERY updated LiveJournal on a regular basis. For that matter, try to keep up with more than 30 regularly updated sites every day.) This is a good thing for the Law of Diminishing Opinion — the fewer opinions that you read, the less likely they repeat. Likewise, you probably pick those few opinions because they seem interesting or original. You can only hope that the noise is repetition or useless ideas, but you never know when a voice trapped down there should be broadcast because it’s actually interesting and is not being heard.

That’s the price we pay for our limited time and attention spans. This partially explains the music industry. What if the most popular bloggers suddenly turned expressing their opinions into a pay service? Would you pay money to read their blogs? Similarly, would you pay money to listen to music? I bet you already have…

But there I go digressing again… The limited time/limited resources problem leads to many other troubles. I believe more interest (hence $$$) lies in creation and retrieval tools rather than updating and (oh please someday) deletion tools. Think about it — It’s much easier to post to a web log (create) or search on a search engine (retrieve) than it is to go back and proofread your spelling errors (update) or get rid of old posts (delete). I shouldn’t say easier — again, it’s a matter of interest. I would rather spend my time adding new stuff and learning new information than changing old stuff.

Because we have a create-but-not-delete inclination, the Information Problem will only get worse. Opinions will proliferate but not differ, and the Law of Diminishing Opinions will be proven time and time again. I know we all feel the impetus to express our thoughts, but can’t you please keep it to yourself every so often?

The Law of Diminishing Opinion does have a corollary, but that’s the subject of yet another rant…

Overthrow Everquest (or your MMORPG of choice)

I have a +3 Vorpal Sword of Civil Disobedience and a +5 in Nonviolent Protest

I have many friends who play MMORPGs — Massively Multi-player Online Role Playing Games — and have always wondered what it is about them that turns my friends into computer gaming addicts. Is it the way that the games allow you to interact with so many other people in a computer generated fantasy realm? Maybe its the fetish for leveling up, twinking, and creating the greatest character ever. Perhaps these people just want to get the most for their monthly fees.

But tonight I don’t seek to explain the behaviors of these people. Instead, I want to focus on what makes an online world and how to overthrow Everquest. For those of you out of the loop, Everquest is one of many online role playing games where you play the part of a character in a fantasy realm, complete with cities and magic and other players. You fight monsters and complete quests and work on your abilities, earning experience and money and items in an effort to become the best whatever-you-choose-to-be. The game ends once Sony decides to shut it down or until you stop paying your bill, whichever comes first.

Back to the issue at hand. How much of the game comes from the players themselves? Sure, you pay $10 a month to play the game, but you go on missions with your friends and have a clan and enjoy the group aspects of the game more than roaming on your own. Without you and the interaction of your fellow players, the game would be no fun at all.

You make the game.

So why not take it back?

Let’s overthrow Everquest. I’ve got a few ideas for how we can do this…

  • Make an emulator:

    Even though Sony’s terms of service prohibit reverse engineering and emulator creation, it’s still well within your rights to create a system that recreates the Everquest server. This task will be time consuming and difficult, but well worth it once you don’t have to pay your monthly fee any more.

  • Strike:

    Get as many people as you can online at once, find a nice spot in the world, and bring everyone to that spot. Then do nothing. For a very long time. Keep your connection up for as long as possible to waste the server bandwidth. Make Sony waste their money supporting the servers while and use their processing power and bandwidth to the fullest. Furthermore, you’ll bring all other activity on the server to a standstill. Hopefully this will teach them some lessons.

  • Go do something else:

    You’re a nerd. Leave the game. Find something else to do like play another game, find online porn or music, or start a web site to do your own blathering. At the very least, go outside every so often. The sunlight will do you good. Plus you can spend your extra $10 a month on a movie or sunscreen lotion.

So it’s not an amazing list, but you get the point. This leads to the next question — what do you do once you have your own virtual world? I’ll answer the question with a question — what do you do in your world now? Can a virtual world designed for fantasy role playing evolve to support people with jobs, bars with healthy attendance, religious organizations, law enforcement, fast food restaurants, governments, and all the other aspects of life that we’ve come to expect day to day?

Yeah, there’s already Second Life and similar wanna-be reality games out there (The Sims anyone?). Do these games really model reality? How much of it? How much of the world do you have to program to satisfy an individual’s perception of reality?

These games prove two things to me. First, reality is relative, so these worlds are as real as there are hundred of thousands of participants worldwide using them and individuals known for their role playing characters’ exploits rather than their own. And second, the corollary, people are very willing to suspend their perception of reality when they’re paying $10 a month to use a computer generated fantasy world, no matter how much their real life suffers as a result (and no matter how much that virtual world is total crap).

Once again I’m not going to delve into the psychology of the individual who wants to spend all of his or her time playing these games. If someone can find their emotional and mental well being through a computer, who am I to complain?

Ok, I’ll complain. But I’ll save that for another evening.


Give me 100 megabytes and I’ll give you a piece of my mind.

I would like to make it perfectly clear that this web site is not a blog. Somehow people get confused that just because I core dump all over this web page it’s suddenly a blog.

This is my rant space. This is not a diary. This is not a catalog of my daily events. I am not begging for compliments, looking for pity, or asking for anything in return for doing this. I am not pining, whining, or offering constructive criticism. I do not want your questions, comments, or snide remarks. I may digress from time to time, but do not confuse that with anything of positive value.

Some people are obsessed with recording every moment of their lives on a web page for everybody to see. These people are disturbed. Somehow, real life is not providing them enough stimulation or social interaction so they feel obliged to share their internal monologue with the world.

And I have found no way to make them stop.

For some reason, the Internet has turned into a giant psychiatrist’s office. Web forums, IRC, instant messaging, WebMD, GroupHug, and others beg this kind of activity. People you never have seen in real life confide in you, revealing their secrets, all through their web site. The Internet has grown a mentality of “get it all out,” furthered by the cover of anonymity that the Internet provides.

If a blog has personal revelations from a person, at what point does the person end and the blog begin? If I stumble upon my friend’s blog that reveals their deep, personal thoughts about me, should I ignore it or confront them? Is that an invasion of their privacy? Why would you put something like that on the web in the first place? Should I believe everything on a person’s blog or is it all bullshit or maybe something in between? Better yet, what if your parents or siblings stumble onto your blog? Do you want them reading those details of your life?

My rants are just that — rants. They’re angry, pointed, and exaggerated. Is there a message in them? If there are, I don’t inject it consciously. I’m not going to put something up here that I don’t want other people to read, especially my deepest and most heartfelt thoughts that might harm the feelings of my friends, family, or random strangers stumbling across this text.

But above all, blogging does not empower you with a voice. Just because the text is there doesn’t mean anyone is going to read it. So before you go off and get yourself a web journal, ask yourself if what you have to say is something you want someone else to hear.

Speaking of being heard, I always wonder why it is certain blogs are more read than others. How does one person’s opinions gain more value than another? A blatant hypocrisy is at work here — the Internet idealizes democracy because everyone has a voice, yet few individuals have a voice loud enough to be heard over the noise. Is this what we want to construct? Is blogging a culprit rather than a solution? Or is there something entirely different at work here?

I will have more to say in the future about blogging. In the mean time, give serious thought to the nature of blogging with respect to the Internet as a whole.

Bang! Zoom! To the moon!

Ralph Kramden joins NASA, uppercuts astronauts into orbit.

I find the history of space endlessly fascinating. If you’re interested, find a book about the history of western science. Suffice to say, many ideas about the nature of space and the universe were proposed. For the history books, please remember that Copernicus was part of a religious sect that believed that the sun was the embodiment of God and, therefore, the center of the universe.

But tonight’s digression is a little more modern. A friend of mine loves space and satellites. He told me the reason he got interested in space was Star Trek. He also told me the history of satellites. Apparently Arthur C. Clarke, writer of the famous 2001 series of books, wrote an essay basically describing the modern satellite. The only different between his description and the eventual reality was that Clarke envisioned people living in the satellites replacing the vacuum tubes as they burned out. Then again, the Greeks believed that the Earth was at the center of the universe. I suppose we can’t always be correct.

Still, an overriding goal throughout the history of mankind was to find a way to send humans into space. The curiosity of humans drives us to explore places that we cannot otherwise reach. And so, in the tension formed after World War II, the U.S. and U.S.S.R. found themselves showing off their nuclear delivery technology by strapping people in a cockpit where a warhead would normally go. This dual nature of the space program is often forgotten; instead the triumphs (and certainly the calamities) are remembered in the history textbooks as triumphs are much more in line with the human spirit, rather than the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Today, manned space flight is in serious trouble. The returns on investment are pitiful, and having people in space no longer carries the same meaning as it once did. Suddenly George Bush, readying his 2004 election campaign, uses NASA as leverage to further his base of support. A trip to Mars? A base on the moon? And with a price tag of only $800 million, it’s a deal you can’t refuse!

Man was not meant to be in outer space. If we had, then our bodies wouldn’t need absurd amounts of protection to survive in the lack of atmosphere. Even worse, we don’t have the technology to protect the passengers on a trip to Mars from the deadly radiation astronauts would be exposed to over the 6+ month, possibly several year, journey. But for the rest of this argument, let’s assume that we do have the technology, and that the technology won’t fail like the last few Mars rover missions have.

So first, let’s get the facts straight. Neither teflon, velcro, nor Tang were the results of space flight. Each was invented before astronauts took to the skies. In general, most innovations that made it to the space program were not invented for the space program. For that matter, many of them were not made by Americans either. The developments from manned space flight are questionable at best. I can’t name anything that came from a space shuttle trip that has affected my life.

And the costs… Remember that $800 million is only for planning and preliminary research. I don’t know the numbers, but I would estimate the cost of a manned space flight is many (hundreds?) times greater than an unmanned flight. Go back to Clarke’s satellites — think of how much it would cost to keep a person alive in a satellite, including food, pay, entertainment (after all, it does get boring in space alone), and eventually getting that person back from space. That’s to say the least of a satellite much larger (5-10 times larger), much more expensive, and much more prone to problems than an unmanned satellite. If you don’t believe me, do some research on the budget overruns of the International Space Station.

So we went to the moon, but for some reason it was decided to keep going back to space. I suppose we needed to keep paying all our scientists to stop them from going to one of the communist countries. Another reason was to further the dreams of Americans, but somehow space lost its romance after we went to the moon. Today, a space shuttle getting destroyed is a tragedy worthy of weeks of news coverage, but another space flight is a 20 second news item on the 6 o’clock news.

And so NASA is set to receive some $14 billion this year. This may be adjusted because the Bush administration has little affinity for the ISS — deciding to scale back the station in the face of budget shortfalls in the rest of the government. I couldn’t be happier. Putting a person in space was a noble act but largely brought upon by tensions between the U.S.S.R. and the United States (in short, one-upsmanship).

The ultimate failure here is that the goals of manned space flight are not in line with any other goals of the space program or even goals of Americans as a whole. People live in many uninhabitable environments: Antarctica, under the ocean, and in trees, and we don’t care about those people at all. Likewise, we don’t care about the space shuttle. We don’t care about the ISS. We won’t care about a base on the moon. We might care about man on Mars, but getting there is infeasible currently. Perhaps the best way to state this case is to ask yourself which you would rather have: $800 million spent on the planning stages of a moon base and Mars trip or $800 million spent on education?

If money was abundant, I would be more than willing to revisit this argument. Given the state of things, I can only hope Bush gets ridiculed mercilessly until he pulls the plan. Bush already had to take that plan out of the State of the Union speech after being pressured by his fellow Republicans, afraid that it would be fiscally irresponsible to propose such a plan given the current economic conditions. No shit — I can spell “political suicide” even if Bush can’t.

So what should we do in space? Satellites are fine. Maybe people up there would be nice eventually. I feel that the time and money spent on manned space flight could have been better spent making huge strides in technology for unmanned space devices.

But above all, why the hell should we keep going to space when we can’t even get things right on Earth? Maybe the people in government and at NASA know something we don’t — that we must go to space because we’ve royally fucked things up on Earth past the point of repair. The first resident of the new moon base will be George Bush, and he’ll have a front row seat to the destruction of the earth a few hundred thousand miles away. I can see the advertisements now: Watch the Earth crumble under the rule of humans from your own suite in the GWB Moon Base! Act now and get your own lunar rover!

But I digress. Be very sceptical of the space program. The way I see it, we should only allow people in space, underwater, and other places only if I can afford it. That means you might have to wait until I die to get back to space. For that matter, you might have to wait a while to travel by plane. I hope you’re patient.


On the cookies for this site.

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How to throw an election

Overthrowing the government through democratic power.

With electronic voting machine fiascoes tallying up quickly, I feel it’s appropriate to say a couple of words that may put me in the camp of felon or saboteur of the government.

I am completely in favor of using these electronic voting machines to throw an election. With little or no public source code reviews, known defects (like counting -16,022 votes for Al Gore in the 2000 election), and no audit trail, these machines are rife for hacking.

To be perfectly clear, I am suggesting that we get an electronic voting machine, reverse engineer it, then publicly announce an easily exploitable security flaw hoping that other people will abuse it on election day. I would love to see the looks on the election officials’ faces when one candidate gets ten million votes in a single precinct. If you invalidate enough precincts and choose those precincts well, you can selectively decide any election in this nation.

We need to do this at a critical point in time — the 2004 national elections. This way we maximize the publicity of the event and throw even more dirt in the faces of the government workers who thought this would fix the problems from Florida in the 2000 elections. At the very least, we can raise the question about how bad these machines are for democracy. At best, we can invalidate a national election. Quite frankly, I would be happy with either outcome.

This argument presupposes that these machines are bad. If you search the net for Diebold’s leaked emails and for analyses of their leaked software, you’ll see the serious nature of the problems with these electronic voting machines. The potential for electoral fraud has never been greater. Compared to electronic voting machines, dimpled and hanging chads are a good thing.

Also, the companies who make these machines have questionable ties to government. The C.E.O. of Diebold is quoted as saying he will deliver Ohio to George Bush in 2004. A senator is a major stockholder in an electronic voting machine company where those machines were used to elect him to office. Former government officials often work for these companies in a blatant conflict of interests.

To put yourself over the edge, you should seek out the leaked Diebold emails. If any of the other companies treat this exercise in democracy in the same way as Diebold, their abhorrent behavior alone should be enough to put them out of business.

For those of you interested in committing a major act of fraud against the single strongest embodiment of democracy — the act of voting — let me suggest the following. As a side note, this is extremely illegal and will likely get you and your conspirators thrown in prison. No amount of civil disobedience protections will save your ass here…

  • Get a voting machine

    Do whatever it takes. Pose as an election official for a county. Pay off a poll worker or electronic voting system company employee. Steal it. None of this works if you don’t have a machine to play with.

  • Get a dedicated team of workers

    You’ll need lots of people and lots of time to get this done. They will need to be smart, computer savvy, and they have to be able to keep a secret. Trust is the key word here. You don’t need a snitch in your group.

  • Hack the box

    Do whatever it takes. Find the hole.

  • Wait to announce your results

    You need to wait until about two to three weeks before the election. That way they can’t postpone the vote, they won’t be able to produce alternate ballots in time, and people who may be willing to commit the fraud still have time to register to vote.

Australia uses electronic voting, but the software is publicly available for scrutiny. Their method for verifying the software’s security is significantly better than any of the methods used in the U.S. (most of which are unknown or scripted (not using real people)). The problem, however, is in the very nature of electronic voting, not the method of doing it.

In Canada, they use pen and paper. Funny how we have to spend millions of dollars on electronic voting systems when millions of others worldwide have no problem writing down their votes.

That reminds me of a story… In the U.S. space program, we developed a space pen suitable for writing upside down and in zero-G environments. In the U.S.S.R., they just used a pencil. Sometimes the most appropriate tool for the job is the least technical one.

But I digress. What I am suggesting is the single greatest act of hacktivism ever conceived. This will make Y2K look like Christmas. Credit fraud? No way — stealing money is easy. In the past, stealing an election was much more difficult. Now, thanks to technology, stealing an election can be as easy as popping a smart card into a slot and touching the screen.

I just hope it never has to come to this…