Judge OKs electronic voting machines for May primary Allegheny County's primary election will go on May 16 with the new electronic voting machines bought less than a month ago.Could be a train wreck.
U.S. District Judge Gary L. Lancaster issued his ruling this morning after three days of testimony and argument on a preliminary injunction requested as part of a lawsuit filed in federal court.
The suit was brought by seven Allegheny County residents and the People for the American Way. In it, they claimed that the county's newly purchased electronic voting machines are not accessible to people with certain types of disabilities and that there is not enough time to educate local poll workers and voters about the machines.
Several witnesses said the county's 11th hour switch to the new iVotronic machines would likely result in 'chaos.'
Friday, April 28, 2006
Sunday, April 23, 2006
Lloydletta's Nooz and Comments Stadium Boondoggle Update
Kate Parry, the Reader's Representative asks why no Minnesota Poll this year:
Strib Editorial Writer Lori Sturdevant seems to think the Stadium Boondoggle faces one more hurdle in the Senate.
This is a rare year when the Star Tribune is not conducting a Minnesota Poll during the legislative session. In a perfectly bad bit of timing, the Pioneer Press hasn't published a statewide poll about public issues so far this year either.
The result is a muffling of the sentiments of the average citizen during the session, when debates on stadiums, immigration and the amendment to ban gay marriage and its 'legal equivalent' would sure be enriched by knowing what the taxpayers think. Although there are old polls available on those topics, opinions can change in a year. Those old data don't wield the same clout at the Capitol as a fresh poll on what Minnesotans think. . . .
The lack of polls is another matter. If the newspapers don't do statewide polls, there is no one who steps in to fill the void -- in print or online.
Friday, April 21, 2006
Sunday, April 16, 2006
Thursday, April 13, 2006
Allegheny County voters try to bar new machines A group of Allegheny County residents and the national People for the American Way filed suit in U.S. District Court yesterday to block the county from switching to touch-screen voting machines and paper ballots for the May 16 primary election.
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
The Media Giraffe Project, a non-partisan, interdisciplinary research effort of the UMass journalism program, is hosting the roundtable summit and how-to sessions designed to:
* Consider and recommend answers to changes to the financing and
practice of journalism
* Bridge the gap between new and traditional media
* Show and consider the impact of new media technologies on journalism and the "public sphere"
* Spotlight emerging business models
* Create new networks of media innovators which bridge traditional carriers among journalism, education, politics and technology
* Watch and share innovations in media-literacy education.
Constituencies from mainstream and alternative media rarely meet together. Yet new technologies are currently upending and interweaving the practice of journalism, politics and teaching.
Journalists see an erosion of traditional revenue sources which supported - and were supported by - their work. It´s not clear what will sustain traditional "watchdog" journalism, or how it will co-exist, or merge, with so-called "citizen journalism." There's an atmosphere of anticipation and intense experimentation.
"Democracy and Independence" - the first Media Giraffe Project summit and conference - is the crossover meeting place for leading thinkers on the impact of Internet technology on journalism, media, education and politics - and the place to celebrate "above-the-crowd" innovation. Major sponsors besides the University of Massachusetts
include Omidyar Network and The Boston Globe.
To accommodate attendees from citizen journalism, media, politics, education and technology, a five-track event is scheduled, starting with a limited-enrollment roundtable summit, followed by a four-track conference.
Individuals working in politics, at large media, cutting-edge information technology organizations, citizen-powered local-news web services, or in teaching and academia share a goal of fostering participatory democracy and community. "Democracy and Independence: Sharing of News in a Connected World" will bring them together to share what's working now and what's coming soon.
This first gathering of The Media Giraffe Project will observe changes in the structure of the U.S. media industry, the impact of the Internet on its financing, including copyright, the new relationships among creators and consumers of news, and how democracy is affected.
The event will be a chance to meet and learn from profiled Media Giraffe pioneers. "Media Giraffe Institute: Lessons from the Frontlines" will present case-studies of emerging local web-based news and community efforts in a "how-to" format designed to teach citizens and mainstream journalists field-tested approaches for two-way, participatory journalism.
There will be panels, discussions, demonstrations and workshops on specific projects underway nationwide which use media in innovative, sustainable ways to foster participatory democracy and community.
The conference is designed for:
* traditional media strategists, editors and practitioners
* elected officials, political and public-policy strategists info-tech pioneers and entrepreneurs
* operators of local-news websites and blogs podcasters and vloggers dealing with news, political and public-policy issues.
* academic researchers and students
* citizens who want "how-to" knowledge about participatory media anyone interested in new innovations in web, print, film and audio news creation, delivery and financing.
The event kicks off the Independence Day weekend, and we plan to package a variety of opportunities for post-conference touring of New England for attendees who wish to linger through July 4. The Five Colleges area of Massachusetts offers a remarkable combination of sophisticated, urban amenities amid rural beauty and is less than two
hours from Boston. Access is via the Bradley International Airport (BDL), Providence or Boston.
Media Giraffe Project, 108 Bartlett Hall, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst MA 01003, 413-577-4370, mediagiraffe -at- journ.umass.edu
Sunday, April 02, 2006
Exploring Online Research Methods | Key quotations: "Although online research holds promise, its potential should not be exaggerated: many of the issues and problems of conventional research still apply in the virtual venue.A number of other quotes are on the site as well.
(Madge and O'Connor, 2002)"
We must ensure that cheap entry costs and glowing attractiveness of internet fieldwork do not result in shoddy 'cowboy' research.
(Dodd, 1998: 60)
While online methodological frameworks are in constant flux, change is not necessarily always progressive: there is a need for online researchers to practice their 'craft' with reflexivity.
(Madge and O'Connor, 2005)
1998 may well be remembered as the year web surveying 'took off!'. The yet to be answered question is how effectively future web surveys will be conducted and whether they will gain scientific acceptance.
(Dillman, Tortora and Bowker, 1998: 15)
Privacy is a more sensitive issue for internet surveys than for conventional survey media. The intimate relationship between respondents and their personal computers and between respondents and the online communities in which they participate create new privacy boundaries that are easily transgressed by researchers.
(Cho and LaRose, 1999: 428)
Attempting to undertake online data collection is far easier than successfully accomplishing it. For those who chose to perform it, they must do so deliberately and cautiously.
(Best and Krueger, 2004: 85)
Our final advice to the researcher who wants to implement an internet-based study is to engage in thorough planning and piloting.
(Hewson et al, 2003: 144)
While we believe that internet-mediated primary research has great potential, it is still in its infancy. The technologies and procedures need researching further.
(Hewson et al, 2003: 144)
Balancing the possibilities and pitfalls of internet data collection is neither simple nor straightforward. Scholars cannot merely adopt the practices of traditional communication modes, but must approach the internet as a unique medium that necessitates its own conventions.
(Best and Krueger, 2004: 1)
New technologies not only offer fresh opportunities for research but also impose new limitations.
(Christians and Chen, 2004: 18)
New media seem to offer the hope of reaching different populations of research subjects in new ways, but their promise is tinged with anxiety.
(Hine, 2005: 1)
In the moments of innovation and anxiety which surround the research methods there are opportunities for reflexivity. Seizing these moments for reflexivity depends, however, on not taking the radical capacities of the new technologies for granted, nor treating them as poor substitutes for a face-to-face gold standard.
(Hine, 2005: 9)
...most research on the internet is centred in Anglo-American cultural contexts.
(Jankowski and van Selm, 2005: 203)
At present for most internet researchers it is likely that gaining access is the least difficult aspect of the research process... What has become more difficult is determining how to ensure ethical use is made of texts, sounds and pictures that are accessed for study.
(Jones, 2004: 179)
Researchers must take care to note that there is no such thing as ‘the internet’, no single common experience of its use. Indeed, there is little that is convergent about the internet as a medium.
(Jones, 2004: 183)
Sensitivity is required in internet research for legal, practical and ethical reasons.
(Barnes, 2004: 219)
Online research is marked as a special category in which the institutionalised understandings of the ethics of research must be re-examined.
(Hine 2005: 5)
The online environment has created a new space for discussion, with the potential of involving people who may not otherwise be able to participate in research.
(Kralik et al, 2006 : 220)