Imported From Livejournal

Adventures in setting up GPG for home, work, and SHA-256

Peter Cooper Jr.
So, 2011 is the year that really brought home just how broken the modern Certificate Authority system is. Basically, if you have a company whose entire revenue model is taking money from people to say that they are who they say they are, it shouldn’t be surprising that they’ll just take money to say somebody is whoever they want. I’d been using S/MIME with a free certificate to sign my emails (at least when emailing people who wouldn’t be too confused by doing so), but I decided that really I needed to switch to the OpenPGP Web of Trust model for it to really be making any sense.

On Password Management Programs

Peter Cooper Jr.
The recent high-profile hacking of many sites has brought to my attention that I probably ought to change many of my passwords. While I don’t think any passwords of mine that I use in more than one place have been compromised, it’s only a matter of time, especially as like many people I tend to only use a few passwords and variants thereof, particularly on “low-security-needed” sites like message boards.

On tie results in elections

Peter Cooper Jr.
It seems to me that there have been a number of ties in Massachusetts recently. First of all, the 6th Worcester District State Rep. race in November, which after a number of recounts and court challenges was deemed to be a tie. (Whether or not it should have been a tie might be up for debate, but that’s what our legal system seems to have produced.) A new election was held on May 10, and Mr.

Elections in Charlton 2011 Summary

Peter Cooper Jr.
I’m always a little confused when people call a year an “election year”. Every year is an election year for something. Charlton has quite a bit happening in a short time: April 12, 2011: 6th Worcester District State Rep. Special Election Primary On the Republican side, Peter Durant is running unopposed. On the Democrat side, Joanne Powell is challenging incumbent Geraldo Alicea. May 7, 2011: Charlton Municipal Election Board of Selectmen (seat 4): Incumbent Scott Brown is being challenged by Brent Sellew and Joseph Safarowicz Board of Selectmen (seat 5): Incumbent Kathleen Walker is unopposed.

It’s a tie

Peter Cooper Jr.
The judge has ruled that our State Rep. election has resulted in a tie, and that a new election be held (Telegram, Boston.com, Walter Bird). The final decision, of course, rests with the State Legislature, which I’m guessing will comply. If they’re feeling generous, they may even help the towns pay for it. In the meantime, I suspect that Alicia will start getting his paycheck again and start voting, since people can reasonably claim that he wasn’t defeated.

6th Worcester District Election Trial Coverage

Peter Cooper Jr.
News and commentary of the trial so far: Telegram 1/18/11: Shunned voter’s friend testifies Telegram 1/19/11: Man testifies he was barred from voting in disputed 6th District race Telegram 1/19/11: Southbridge election worker testifies Walter Bird 1/19/11: Alicea, Durant election trial winds down Telegram 1/20/11: Durant’s lawyer attacks flaws What I find most interesting is that there is very little talk of the infamous “spoiled absentee ballot” that nobody knew anything about.

6th Worcester District Election Update

Peter Cooper Jr.
I haven’t updated this in a while, but the election is still in court, even though the legislative session started yesterday. I briefly turned on the video feed of the state house yesterday in the background while I worked, and during the roll call of voting for the Speaker of the House, they called Alicea’s name. It appears Alicea remains state rep for now. I think there was a court hearing today, although I don’t know if there will news coverage of it.

6th Worcester District Recount Update

Peter Cooper Jr.
Following up on my prior post, Oxford’s recount, just like the other towns other than Southbridge, came up with the same exact result as election night. Alicea’s going to bring the election to court. The main issue is an absentee ballot in Southbridge that was in the “spoiled ballots” envelope, marked for Alicea. The spoiled ballots envelope is for if one is at the polls and makes a mistake marking one’s ballot, one can bring it back to a poll worker, who puts it in the spoiled ballots envelope and gives you a new ballot.

A Recount Timeline

Peter Cooper Jr.
A saga of the election in the 6th Worcester District of the Massachusetts State House, between challenger Peter Durant (R–Spencer) and incumbent Geraldo Alicea (D–Charlton). The district is composed of all of Charlton, East Brookfield, and Southbridge, two of the four precincts in Spencer, and one of the four precincts in Oxford. November 2: Election Day. That night, as the votes are counted, the initial count has Durant leading by 2 votes.