Thursday, April 05, 2007

French concerns about e-voting

Voters in France are apparently raising concerns about the electronic voting process to be used in over 80 municipalities in the coming presidential elections. The machines are scheduled to be used by a little over 3% of the electorate.

Noise polluting CCTV cameras

John Reid's latest nutty mythical magical tech-fix idea is noise polluting CCTV surveillance.

""Talking" CCTV cameras that tell off people dropping litter or committing anti-social behaviour are to be extended to 20 areas across England.

They are already used in Middlesbrough where people seen misbehaving can be told to stop via a loudspeaker, controlled by control centre staff.

About £500,000 will be spent adding speaker facilities to existing cameras."

Spyblog nicely dissects the notion.

"Overall, this scheme looks to be a NuLabour "Must Be Seen To Be Doing Something" about anti-social behaviour, ahead of the forthcoming Local Elections., with obvious appeal to the authoritarian mentality of the ex-Communist Home Secretary John Reid.

At best it will simply be a further waste of public money, at worst, it will cause genuine alarm and a noise pollution nuisance to nearby residents and businesses i.e. an increase in anti-social behaviour."

as does William Heath

"Wibbi: - we installed CCTV cameras in the Commons with kids ticking off MPs for posturing, passing laws without thinking of the effects on people when they’re implemented, and wasting public money.

I wonder what these are going to be like? What outlet do you have if you find them extremely annoying? Can you “game” them by doing fake transgressions? "

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

US Supreme Court rebuke Bush administration on emissions

From Findlaw: U.S. Supreme Court rebukes Bush administration on greenhouse gas emissions.

"The U.S. Supreme Court ordered the federal government on Monday to take a fresh look at regulating carbon dioxide emissions from cars, a rebuke to Bush administration policy on global warming.

In a 5-4 decision, the court said the Clean Air Act gives the Environmental Protection Agency the authority to regulate the emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from cars...

The court had three questions before it.

-Do states have the right to sue the EPA to challenge its decision?

-Does the Clean Air Act give EPA the authority to regulate tailpipe emissions of greenhouse gases?

-Does EPA have the discretion not to regulate those emissions?

The court said yes to the first two questions. On the third, it ordered EPA to re-evaluate its contention it has the discretion not to regulate tailpipe emissions. The court said the agency has so far provided a "laundry list" of reasons that include foreign policy considerations."