Most people would probably not consider the average high school chess club to be a hotbed of disorder or immorality. But a club is a club, and Utah has decided that student groups need some stern policing and regulation.
Next month, a 17-page law will take effect governing just about every nuance of public school extracurricular clubs, from kindergarten jump rope to high school drama. How groups can form, what they can discuss in their meetings, who can join, and what a principal must do if rules are violated are addressed.
But the school clubs law, signed last week by Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., was not really intended to rein in the rowdies down at the audio-visual club, some lawmakers said. The real target was homosexuality.
“This is all about gay-straight alliance clubs, and anybody who tells you different is lying,” said State Senator Scott D. McCoy, Democrat from Salt Lake City, who voted against the law.
Under the new Utah law, every club will have to complete an activity disclosure statement that itemizes what it will do, and discusses how many members it will have, and whether tryouts are required. It mandates that any student joining any club needs a parents signature though most public schools in Utah require that already and specifically bans any discussion by any club of human sexuality.
The law defines that term to mean advocating or engaging in sexual activity outside of legal recognized marriage or forbidden by state law, and presenting or discussing information relating to the use of contraceptive devices.
Freedom of information disclosures in the Netherlands have revealed details of a bizarre dispute between Dutch electoral authorities and the supplier of the software used to administrate the elections.
Letters obtained by the “We don’t trust voting computers foundation”, reveal some startling comments by Jan Groenendaal, the man whose company provides the software the Dutch officials use to organise elections – which polling stations will be staffed by which people, which facilities will be used and so on.
His software is used with the Nedap voting machines currently used in 90 per cent of the electoral districts, and although it is not used in the actual vote count, it does tabulate the results on both a regional and national level.
According to the freedom of information disclosures, Groenendaal wrote to election officials in the lead up to the national elections in November 2006, threatening to cease “cooperating” if the government did not accede to his requests.
To understand these requests, some background is important.
On October 4 last year, the Dutch TV program Een Vandaag aired a story about a group called the “We don’t trust voting computers foundation”. They had obtained two of the voting machines used in Dutch elections for testing, and demonstrated on air how the machines might be compromised.
One of the “hackers” was a man called Rop Gonggrijp.
Following the airing of the programme, the Dutch authorities ordered an investigation into the allegations. They also set up an independent commission, designed to scrutinise the electoral process in the Netherlands.
Groenendaal responded by threatening to sue Een Vandaag, and demanded that the two machines acquired by the foundation be confiscated. He also wrote to Dutch election officials suggesting the Gonggrijp be arrested and detained. He wrote: “After all, his activities are destabilising society and are as such comparable to terrorism. Preventive custody and a judicial investigation would have been very appropriate.”
Microsoft has said that its OneCare security suite has “a problem” with the underlying antivirus code, and admitted that security is just “a little part of Microsoft”.
Asked about these problems, Arno Edelmann, Microsoft’s European business security product manager, told ZDNet UK on Thursday that the code itself has pieces missing.
“Usually Microsoft doesn’t develop products, we buy products. It’s not a bad product, but bits and pieces are missing,” said Edelmann.
According to the security manager, security is only a small part of what Microsoft does, suggesting it does not have as much security expertise as established security vendors.
“Microsoft is not a security company. Security is important, but it’s just a little part of Microsoft,” said Edelmann.
I wonder where they bought Vista…
DMCA takedown notices: sure, they provide an easy way for companies or individuals to get copyrighted information pulled from sites like YouTube, but what happens when the process is abused? The DMCA does require takedown notices to be made under threat of perjury, and damages are possible against those that abuse the takedown process by using it for frivolous or fraudulent purposes. The EFF has recently filed two cases against alleged DMCA abusers, and may be prepping a third against Viacom.
A Viacom executive admitted last month that less than 60 of his company’s 100,000 takedown requests to YouTube were invalid. John Palfrey of Harvard’s Berkman Center wonders what rights those 60 people have?
They’ve already admitted to 60, there’s probably much more. Since the following line is part of a DMCA takedown notice:
“I swear, under penalty of perjury, that the information in the notification is accurate and that I am the copyright owner of an exclusive right that is infringed.”
I guess it is time to either throw some executives in jail, or revoke the corporate charter of Viacom.
At the only hospital in the capital of this tiny West African nation, a 3-year-old AIDS patient named Suleiman receives his daily dose of medication — a murky brown concoction of seven herbs and spices served out of a bottle that once contained pancake syrup.
The boy is told a spoonful a day will make him better. His mother, Fatuma, takes the same concoction, as do several dozen other AIDS and HIV patients here. Adults take two spoonfuls.
“It’s amazing,” Fatuma says. “Two weeks ago, I was very ill, weak and couldn’t eat without vomiting.”
This has become the treatment for HIV/AIDS patients here since early January, when Gambian President Yahya Jammeh announced he had discovered a cure for the disease that has wreaked havoc across Africa. He made that announcement in front of a group of foreign diplomats, telling them the treatment was revealed to him by his ancestors in a dream.
It just makes me glad the US isn’t presided over by some religious whackjob with no understanding of basic science.
Ted Bundy was accused of torturing, raping, and assassinating at least 100 women, including a girl. He went through 3 trials and countless appeals before his case was resolved.
He had due process of law. Why does a Guantánamo prisoner not?