Bend Over, Diebold! and more

“Another Blow to E-Voting Company”
Associated Press (11/29/05); Robertson, Gary D.

A North Carolina judge has ruled that electronic voting machine manufacturer Diebold will not be protected from criminal prosecution in the event that it does not make its software code available, as required by state law. Due to the ruling, Diebold could halt sales of new voting equipment in that state, where lost votes cast doubt on the results of a statewide election last year. “We will obviously have no alternative but withdraw from the process,” said Doug Hanna, a lawyer for Diebold, which supplies voting machines to roughly 20 North Carolina counties. The dispute originates from the requirement that suppliers make available the code that powers voting machines and the programmers who design it. However, Hanna says that because Diebold uses Windows, it does not have the right to disclose Windows code, nor is it possible to provide the names of every programmer who designed Diebold’s software. No criminal charges have been brought against Diebold yet, though the company’s reputation was further tarnished for supplying voting machines that were responsible for election disruptions in California last year.
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And then we’re on to Chicken Hugging. Hell Yeah!

Techtree (11/29/05)

James Teh of the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore says his “Poultry Internet” technology will lead to “human-to-human virtual hugging.” For the past two years, Teh and Adrian David Cheok and Lee Shang Ping, director and manager, respectively, of the interaction and entertainment research center, have been working on developing a “hug suit” for chickens, as part of a system for tracking activity in the coop by video camera, and transmitting information via the Internet for a 3D simulation of movements. The “hug” technology that a chicken wears is a wireless, sensor-rigged “jacket.” The idea is for the owner to touch the 3D model of the chicken, to translate the instruction into data, and reproduce the information as a series of vibrations via the jacket worn by the animal. The researchers are currently testing the technology. Teh says children could soon wear “pajama suits” studded with sensors that are able to pick up signals via the Internet, and interpret the data to adjust to changes in pressure and temperature to deliver a hug from their mom or dad, and parents who wear the suits will be able to receive a hug from their kids. He believes such hugging and touching will become a key element of future communication.
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