Yet Another Reason to Dump Windows

(via The Laporte Report)

Image virus spreads via chat:

According to the Internet Storm Center, the victims received AOL Instant Messenger messages that directed them to Web sites that hosted the dangerous JPEG images.

The instant messages read: “Check out my profile, click GET INFO!” When visited, the Web site automatically sends malicious code embedded in the JPEG image to the computer, Ullrich said. Once infected with the code, the computer sends the same message to other contacts in the instant-messenger list.

The code also installs a back door that can give hackers remote control over the infected computer.

Can anyone give me a compelling reason for using Windows?

Some Debate Questions for George W. Bush

I’d like to see Dubya try to answer these…

Of God and War (soul stealing registration required):

  • Do you really believe that there are fewer terrorists plotting against America today than there were before you began the invasion of Iraq?

  • Your version of Christianity supports and blesses preventive war. What relation is this to the Christianity preached by the pope and by mainstream Protestants who oppose preventive war?

  • Since you obviously did not anticipate the troubles in Iraq, what do you plan to do to the incompetent advisers who misled you and are responsible for the deaths of more than 1,000 American G.I.’s and 20,000 Iraqi civilians? Or do you not see an accountability problem? President John F. Kennedy fired the people who led him into the Bay of Pigs. Why do you not do likewise?

— Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr

Presidential Stuff

(via the DNRC newsletter)

The United States is having a presidential election involving a number of confusing things such as issues, platforms, and electoral votes. As a member of the DNRC, you know that this is an elaborate scheme concocted by the Founding Fathers to protect voters from the embarrassing realization that they always elect the candidate with the best hair.

Democracy might have some rough edges, but it’s still the best system in the world. If you don’t believe it, here are some true quotes overheard from the citizens who will help decide which leader should have the nuclear launch codes:

“If there was a rainbow at night, how would you know it was there?”

“Just because he’s our landlord doesn’t mean he owns the place.”

“Wasn’t bronchitis a dinosaur?”

“All old people should be shot at birth.”

“I know that area of town like the back of my head.”

The biggest issue this election is something called flip-flopping, and all candidates are accused of doing it. A strong leader is expected to maintain steadfast resolve in his opinion even if the environment changes or he gets new information. In any other context, that would be considered the first sign of a brain tumor. When presidents do it, it’s called leadership, and frankly, we can’t get enough of it.

Tip: Place your houseplants in front of the television during the next presidential debate and watch how leafy they get.

This election the decision is especially difficult because it pits a sitting president who started a war in order to find things that don’t exist, versus an ugly guy. I don’t think I’m alone in saying I’m not totally comfortable with either choice.

— Scott Adams

GOP Voter Vault Shipped Overseas

(via Daily Kos)

GOP Voter Vault Shipped Overseas

When the Republican Party clinched close gubernatorial races in Mississippi and Kentucky in 2003, it relied heavily on its Voter Vault database to get people to the voting booths. Though party officials are tight-lipped about what’s inside the Vault, they’ve acknowledged it contains records on an estimated 168 million voters.

PC World has recently learned that the major development work on the Voter Vault was done in India. Though the RNC began work on a national database of voters in the mid-1990s, the Voter Vault wasn’t ready to be put into the field until the 2002 elections. Two years prior to the 2002 elections, the RNC hired Advanced Custom Software (ACS) of Seattle to build a Web-based database to help campaign workers target likely Republican voters. According to information posted on, an online directory of outsourcing firms, ACS subcontracted development of the database to Compulink Systems of Maharashtra, India.

The Republican party isn’t the only one using a massive voter database. Since 2002 the Democratic Party has relied on two databases–DataMart, containing the records of 166 million registered voters, and DemZilla, a smaller database used for fundraising and organizing volunteers.

DataMart, which would be considered the Democratic equivalent of the Voter Vault, is an open-source application created by PlusThree, a software developer with offices in Washington, D.C., and New York City. Vice President of marketing David Brunton says PlusThree did not outsource any of the development work on the DataMart.

The Republicans outsource their work to India, while the Democrats use an application from a U. S. company. Hmmmm….