Mon, 15 Nov 2004
Electronic voting machines: action can be taken
Here are some comments by
Cem Kaner, professor of computer
science and attorney, on the move toward IEEE approval of voting
machine standards that do not include a paper trail. He is a member
of the standards committee and is not happy.
Comments are excerpted from a
semi-public mailing list, with permission. To set the stage, here's
an excerpt from a note of Cem's:
... What puzzles me is why the IEEE is willing to associate itself with the
development of a standard that pretends that non-recountable voting
equipment is a reasonable, acceptable product.
Which led to this response:
Maybe the standard is being driven by the parties with a vested
interest. My experience with IEEE standards is that most are driven
by a small handful of people and are therefore easy to "drive" in
certain directions. Something for those of us that vote on such
standards to keep in mind when voting on this.
... and to Cem's longer reply, which includes some activities that
we who care can take:
Most of the executives of the drafting committee work for the vendors
or a contractor to the vendors. My opinion as a committee member is
that the process has been driven by the vendors' employees.
What has puzzled me has been the extent to which IEEE management has
taken the side of drafting committee leadership during disputes over
process. Some of the process fights that I've seen:
membership-in-committee rules have been used to exclude critics but not
to exclude supporters. Proxy rules have been reinterpreted several
times. Agreements are reached during the meetings, but the minutes
typically list no agreements--we vote on meeting minutes that list only
the only decision as approval of the previous meeting's minutes.
Agendas for meetings have been distributed only a few days (rather than
the "standard" 30) before meetings, drafts of the (quite long) standard
have been circulated only days before the meetings, "agreed" changes
seem to get lost, and it is almost impossible to trace comments to
changes in the draft or changes back to comments.
A different issue is that standard drafts are considered confidential
and may not be circulated -- I can't send you one for review. You can
buy one for $100, though. With the public policy implications inherent
in this standard, I think this is outrageous.
Some of my friends have commented that I have taken a sharper tone
toward IEEE and its standards over the past year. The voting standard
process has played a substantial role in that. I have seen
disappointing work from (and in) other IEEE standards committees but
this one leaves me questioning the integrity of the IEEE process.
The IEEE standard P1583 will come up for balloting soon. Please, join
the IEEE Standards Association ($39), sign up for balloting on this
standard, and vote against it.
For those of you even more actively interested, the next meeting of the
committee is this Thursday/Friday in New Jersey. You are not required
to be an IEEE member to attend (my understanding is that this is
because ANSI rules bar that requirement, in the drafting of standards
that will be submitted to ANSI for approval as national standards.) You
have to attend the first meeting in person, but can go to subsequent
meetings (as I do) by conference call. You become an official member of
the committee if you apply to join during the first meeting and ask for
membership again during the second. (Depending on the politics du jour
and what votes are expected that meeting, new people gain their voting
membership either at the start of the meeting or at the end of it. Like
I said, it has been a most interesting process.)
## Posted at 17:58 in category /misc
Who came up with the hurricane metaphor?
Someone came up with the idea of using
prediction tracks as metaphors for Agile project planning. Who
was it? I want to give credit where due.
UPDATE: It seems likely I heard it from Tim Lister at ADC 2004.
Ching knows more.
He first saw it in Frank
Patrick's blog in September 2003.
Frank got it from James
Vornov, who got the picture from Dave
Rogers. Thanks, Clarke.
## Posted at 09:59 in category /agile