BlogHer (or not)

I didn’t go to Chicago. I don’t know if it’s because I didn’t go, or that BlogHer wasn’t in NoCal, or if I’m still recovering from my blissful away-from-all-things-media trip to North Rim of Grand Canyon (complete with new life goal: Hike down to Phantom Ranch and spend a few days down there and then hike back up again), but I haven’t heard a whole lot about BlogHer this time around.

So I’ll so my own Blogging Hers roundup. It may have nothing or something to do with a conference. Or not. Nor do the linked posts have anything to do with each other.

Kelly on poetry and community and publicized shootings that are too close to home. She told me about this post at a party over the weekend (hey, blog update services that are face to face, rather than some automatic notification service!) and we discussed the Navarro street shootings. Whereupon not long after Doc M and I left the party, went to his house and heard loud noises nearby that sounded like gunshots, a pow-pow-pow-pow-pow answered by a pow-pow-pow. Cars driving up and down the street. This, followed soon after by circling helicopters above. Apparently there was a large party at a house not too far away. Reports of lots of sherriffs/cops close by, by friend of neighbor who witnessed same en route home. We heard no sirens, so apparently (?) no one hurt.

Shelley Powers on the latest with Mandatroy Arbitration, a not so artibrary thing. Long story short (so short that this statement may be inaccurate): Web 2.0 and other online agreements are fraught with statements You Must Settle Disputes with Arbitration. Shelley describes their shortcomings. I think she’s been personally involved in this, and seen the dark underbelly (from a previous post):

This wholesale movement of companies forcing mandatory arbitration clauses, using for profit arbitration companies where cases are processed in assembly like fashion–six to an hour being typical–for fees far in excess of what courts charge, and typically favoring corporations over the individual (and disregarding many laws of the land, including the civil rights) is not a good choice. [Read More]

Hackable, Hackable, hackable, hackable: heads we win, tails you lose: California Secretary of State Deborah Bowen has been conducting a full-on investigation of voter machines.

The results? SF Chronicle reports:
Hackers: 1
Vote Machines (and citizens): 0

The researchers “were able to bypass physical and software security in every machine they tested,” said Secretary of State Debra Bowen, who authorized the “top to bottom review” of every voting system certified by the state.

I was very impressed with SecState Bowen’s Voters bill of rights and her dedication to ensuring fair elections. Glad to see this kind of follow up. Her deadline to decertify any of the machines is this Friday, 6 months before 2008 Primary. (in Februray. wow). So expect more news on this angle this week. Oh, full day’s worth of hearings today to hear from the test/study group on their results.