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This is the TBTF Log, the place where I report important breaking news in the most timely way possible.

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2000-09-09

10:52:57 PM
  • ICANN-didates are in place. The member-nomination phase of the ICANN board elections has concluded and the final slate of candidates is posted. Voting begins October 1.

    Here are the candidates by region. Those shown in green are self-nominated and endorsed by a number of members exceeding the 2% cutoff for each region. It's not easy from the ICANN site to figure out which candidates were placed on the ballot by ICANN's nominating committee (they are 18) and which by member endorsements (9).

      (North America)             (Europe)
         Karl Auerbach               Maria Livanos Cattaui
         Lyman Chapin                Alf Hansen
         Donald N. Langenberg        Jeanette Hofmann
         Lawrence Lessig             Andy Mueller-Maguhn
         Harris Miller               Olivier Muron
         Barbara Simons              Oliver Popov
         Emerson Tiller              Winfred Schueller
      
      (Asia / Pacific)            (Latin America & Carribean)
         Johannes Chiang             Raul Echeberria
         Lulin Gao                   Ivan Moura Campos
         Masanobu Katoh              Aluisio S. Nunes
         Hong Jie Li                 Patricio Poblete
         Sureswaran Ramadass         Claudio Silva Menezes
      
      (Africa)
         Calvin Browne
         Alan Levin
         Nii Quaynor
    

    One rather controversial wrinkle excluded two candidates in the European region who had nonetheless gotten more than the required number of member endorsements. ICANN decided that no more than seven candidates would be fielded in any one region. According to Ted Byfield, there was at the time "a medium-size to-do" over this decision. (I was unable to find any mention of the seven-candidate cutoff on the ICANN site now.) Because ICANN's Nominating Committee named five candidates for Europe, only two slots were available for member-endorsed candidates. The two excluded candidates are Lutz Donnerhacke, with 912 endorsements, and Dmitri Bourkov with 570. (The 2% cutoff for EU was 471.) In all other regions, all candidates who exceeded the cutoff for endorsements made it onto the ballot.

    The standout candidate for member endorsements was Andy Mueller-Maguhn with 2886. Mueller-Maguhn is a prominent member of Germany's Chaos Computer Club.


2000-09-06

1:08:44 PM
  • updated ICANN elections and endorsements. Voting for five ICANN directors selected by the at-large membership begins on 2000-10-01. This coming Friday, 2000-09-08, is the deadline for members to endorse one of the "self-nominated" candidates. The endorsement process has been as controversial as everything else ICANN has ever done.

    Background: ICANN estalished a nominating committee, which put forward 18 candidates for the at-large board seats. They also established a process whereby other candidates could get on the ballot. The self-nominating candidates need to collect the endorsements of 2% of the registered members in their geographical region, with at least one from each country in the region.

    This 2% requirement clearly makes it more difficult for a candidate not likely to see eye-to-eye with ICANN's current board members to get on the ballot. In fact it looks as if three such candidates will go up against the ICANN-nominated 18.

    While registration was open, 158,593 users managed to get through to ICANN's overloaded and deliberately throttled servers to initiate the process of registering. Since this process includes a manual step by snail-mail and then action by the user, its completion takes some little time. To date 73,023 members have been certified in good standing.

    This ongoing certification introduced a wildcard in the process of endorsing at-large candidates, to wit: 2% of what number? On August 25 the number of registered users in the North America region stood at 9,827. Sept. 1: 10,009. Today, Sept. 6: 10,346. So the required number of valid endorsements each candidate must garner has gone from 196 to 200 to 206 in that time. The final number won't be known until the endorsement period ends on Friday.

    As it turns out, this membership creep is likely to be moot for the actual endorsement process. Three candidates have garnered 250 or more endorsements and the next-place finisher has but 71. Here are the self-nominated candidates likely to make the cut, along with their endorsement totals:

    Even these totals are somewhat suspect. I finally endorsed a candidate two hours ago and the total shown for that candidate has not changed. How long does it take to update a database?

12:17:44 PM
10:20:25 AM
  • Carnivore review is DOA. Five major universities have turned down the FBI's offer to review the Carnivore system, claims Will Rodger in this USA Today story. The FBI's deadline for bidding on the review is today at 5:00 PM Eastern time. MIT, Purdue, Dartmouth, the University of Michigan, and the UCSD Supercomputing Center have all signaled their unwillingness to participate. The issue is the FBI's conditions and restrictions on the review. MIT security expert Jeffrey Schiller said:

    This is not a request for an independent report. They want a rubber stamp.

2000-08-24

3:03:49 PM
  • updated Some people listen to music while coding. Download descramble.mp3 (6 MB) (mirror). You'll be so glad you did. It's a rendition of one function from the module DVDdescramble.c, sung in a mock-70s folksy style in a rather cracked voice. The author and artist, Joe Wecker, comments: "Anyone who knows C should be able to figure it out." The chorus consists of riffs on:

    I hate the DMCA
    It makes this song illegal

    Thanks to TBTF Irregular Strata Rose Chalup for the best laugh of the day.


    Note added 2000-08-25; updated 2000-09-06: Wecker's guide for rendering the C code into plain English was this version by CMU professor Dave Touretzky, who testified as a witness in the recently concluded first phase of the DeCSS trial. The source code for the css_descramble function in this song is 26 lines, 532 characters. My transcription of the 6-1/2-minute song runs to 164 lines and nearly 3600 characters. The sung function represents about 2% of the source code of DeCSS as distributed. At this rate, singing the whole package would occupy nearly half a CD-ROM and take 5 hours to perform. (Maybe less because you wouldn't need to sing all the code comments.)

    Initially five weblogs picked up the story [ kelpie, rc3, metajohn, random walks, scripting.com ] -- I don't know who was first -- and it was mentioned on Slashdot, though not on the top page. As of Monday 2000-08-28 the weblogging has ballooned to include: [ stuffed dog, pah, flutterby, backup brain, fozbaca, virulent memes, techdirt, captain cursor fark. ]

    This story finally got some liquid ink, even if I did have to write it myself..

    Note added 2000-09-14: Yesterday MP3.com removed Joe Wecker's song from its servers. See the story at CNET.


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