Last week, the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics opened a new Internet-based voting system for a weeklong test period, inviting computer experts from all corners to prod its vulnerabilities in the spirit of "give it your best shot." Well, the hackers gave it their best shot -- and midday Friday, the trial period was suspended, with the board citing "usability issues brought to our attention."
Here's one of those issues: After casting a vote, according to test observers, the Web site played "Hail to the Victors" -- the University of Michigan fight song.
"The integrity of the system had been violated," said Paul Stenbjorn, the board's chief technology officer.
The problem, which geeks classify as a “shell-injection vulnerability,” has to do with the ballot upload procedure. When a voter follows the instructions and uploads a completed ballot as a PDF file, the server saves it as a temporary file and encrypts it using a command-line tool called GnuPG.
For a UFR-level breakdown follow the link. Also that guy runs Drupal.
Onside kicking: no more defense ever. It says something about the state of the defense that there's a serious board thread, an extensive post at Denard for Heisman, and two emails in the inbox all wondering about whether Michigan should go nuts with the onside kicks. The blog post covers the math:
In the NFL, onside kicks are successful about 26% of the time. When the onside kick is expected, the kicking team recovers the football only 20% of the time. When the onside kick is considered a “surprise,” the kicking team historically has recovered the football 60% of the time.
The average NFL team needs to be successful at onside kicks 42% of the time for the strategy to work in a team’s favor.
Michigan wouldn't have to reach that level of success for it to be a break even strategy for the same reason that going for it on fourth down becomes a better and better idea the better your offense is. So… yes, I think Michigan should go for the surprise onside kick on a regular basis, around once every ten possessions. I also think zero coaches would actually do this in real life.
Michigan's kickers have enough to work on without onside stuff, anyway.
Based on the sets of numbers, Michigan initially has been 7 to 11 points per game better than year’s offensive unit. This represents a very high level of play.
The defense? Ask again later once we figure out whether or not Indiana's offense is actually good or not. Hey, you know what would be awesome? Winning this Saturday and killing this conversation forevermore.
The university accuses Maple Street Press Buckeye Battle Cry of a series of copyright infringements. It has sent the company a letter demanding that print and online copies of the publication be pulled by Wednesday.
"This product was not properly licensed by the university, and they are competing with our game-day program," said OSU spokesman Jim Lynch. … The lawsuit alleges trademark infringement, unfair competition and "passing off," or an attempt to mislead consumers that the magazine is being published by the university.
A preseason magazine that has no information about the current season is competing with a game-day program and OSU is suing because… they use the word "Buckeye" in the title? Copyright law as currently wielded by large organizations is pure evil.
If RR wanted to start doing surprise onside kicks, I can't think of a better team to do it against than MSU. Unless, of course, Michigan jumps on MSU early and often, rendering it unneccessary. Then, I think it would be better to wait until OSU.
I'm listening to the TOC podcast (because I'm actually genuinely interested in an intelligent Sparty POV), but the audio... needs a lot of cleanup. Wildly varying levels, people bumping the mic, etc. The content's reasonably interesting, though, so I'll give 'em credit for that.
It sounds like a first podcast. Which is obviously completely understandable. Hopefully by the next time I listen to them -- when Brian guest-stars again next year -- they'll have a few more under their belt and figure out how to apply compression and noise reduction.
..I am volunteering tomorrow (with a buncha other folks) selling Cancerkicker bracelets and "The Kick" t-shirts as a fundraiser for Phil Brabbs' Cancerkicker foundation. We will be wandering around the golfcourse late morning and early afternoon, and ....here's the thing
... we have a friendly rivalry, it seems, with people raising money for the same cause (research on multiple myeloma) on behalf of former MSU player Shaun Mason (MSU, 97-01)
SO if you see me....us....PLEASE BUY A BRACELET OR A SHIRT, or Sparty will beat us, and we can't have that of course.
(PS Forgive me for asking but would this have been an ok thing to start a board thread about?? What say you, keepers of the local social norms?)
"Copyright law as currently wielded by large organizations is pure evil"
The real problem is not typically the large organizations. They are forced to pursue small and not-meaningful violations because they will lose copyright if they don't. Universities probably do not care about these magazines or your swank tee's, they care about losing copyrights because they did not enforce them. This doesn't mean large organizations can't be evil, just that there is significant incentive to do so under current laws.
Copyright law protects artistic expression. This dispute seems to be over trademark to the extent that said dispute centers around use of the word "buckeye."
Every man at some point is gonna lose a battle. He's gonna fight and he's gonna lose. But what makes him a man, is that in the midst of that battle he does not lose himself. This game is not over, this battle is not over. So let's hear it .
Could that kid be any more perfect? What an incredible representative for M.
I've been lamenting over the last couple years that my boys are growing up not having the same M domination of the universe that I had as a kid, and that's been bumn'n me out. But now they've got Denard, and I like it.
Michigan fans who serve the same God Dilithium honors in the end zone may want to say a quick prayer that He will protect him Saturday from the angry Michigan QB hating god and his servants, those MSU defenders that would deliberately try to injure Dilithium.
It truly is a struggle between good and evil.
"What a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive!" - Sir Jim Harbaugh
"So… yes, I think Michigan should go for the surprise onside kick on a regular basis, around once every ten possessions. I also think zero coaches would actually do this in real life."
Actually, Chip Kelly and Oregon did it against Stanford when they were down 21-10 last week and it worked to perfection. It caught them totally off guard, Oregon recovered and drove down for a TD. That was a big turning point in the game. Michigan should definitely think about it. But either way, at least one coach would do it.
...a perfect surprise onside against ND last year. They did it after taking a small lead, which seems best as far as surprise goes. Brett Swenson got the ball to do a nice, slow roll and the recoverer played it perfectly, getting ahead of it and waiting for it to cross the 40, while shielding the slow-reacting ND guys away with his body. I wish I could remember who did the recovering.
I just listened to Brian's section of the podcast, and he makes an excellent point about the "Greg Jones as a spy" defense. On a running play, the MLB is always going to have a blocker assigned to him, and is unlikely to be the read key on an option - so it's not clear that having Jones "spy" will do much of anything. As Brian said "he'll just be playing run defense". I think spying the QB would matter more if Denard was scrambling out of the pocket on passing plays, or if we were running lots of true QB draws where we pass block for a few seconds at the start of the play. It also seems like Jones spying should open up the underneath coverage on play-action passes.
Question not really relating to anything but trash talk with my buddies: In the past few days, on a Michigan blog somewhere or another, there was a post that included alternate lyrics to the MSU fight song. The alternate lyrics were obviously written by a Michigan fan, but I've been looking for the past hour or so with no luck. Any help, people?
My memory has failed me. Google has failed me. I need your help my friends!
I've seen this exact post elsewhere already today - most recently on the OTE blog linked in Brian's front pager. Do you bother to go back and check for replies when you ask this question, because I think someone had something for you over there...