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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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2000-11-08

4:05:18 PM
3:01:30 PM
  • updated If Bush wins, Nader will have cost Gore the election. This theory was first voiced online by Declan McCullagh, as far as I know now. I had not seen his writeup when I put together this item. McCullagh addressed only Florida; note that had Gore won in both New Hampshire and Oregon, he would have bagged the presidency regardless of which way Florida went.

    here Updated 2000-11-08, 4:41 pm: TBTF Irregular Marc Kupper noted that CNN has picked up the Nader-killed-Gore hypothesis in a story posted 80 minutes after this item went live. CNN doesn't look at vote totals in the swing states, but does quote Pat Buchanan offering Nader some friendly advice:

    I would currently advise Ralph, given the numbers that I've seen, that he may be interested in Secret Service protection when he comes in here this morning from some angry Democrats, who I'm sure are going to blame him for the defeat of Al Gore. And if he gets credit for that, more power to him.

    Using figures from the CBS News election summary page, I determined which states went to Bush but would have gone to Gore had the 3rd-party candidates not been on the ballot, assuming that Nader votes would have been cast for Gore and Buchanen votes for Bush. (Two TBTF Irregulars sharply questioned this assumption; one called the Nader-killed-Gore conclusion "pernicious nonsense" and the other opined, "Gore beat himself.")

    Under these assumptions, three states would have been solidly in Gore's column with no need for any recounts: Florida, New Hampshire, and Oregon. Buchanen's vote totals do not affect these outcomes, only Nader's.

    Here are the current vote totals in those three states (from CBS), with and without third parties participating.

    
                        as run w/3rd parties   w/o 3rd parties
      state         ev     gore       bush       gore       bush
      ------------- --  ---------  ---------  ---------  ---------
      Florida       25  2,907,361  2,909,154  3,004,062  2,926,480
      New Hampshire  4    265,853    273,135    288,009    275,738
      Oregon         7    559,840    585,975    614,542    591,681
    

    Gore would have won the White House with 296 electoral votes to Bush's 242.

    Together Oregon and New Hampshire command 11 electoral votes; this total would have put Gore over the top (with 271 votes) regardless of the eventual result of Florida's recount (thanks to TBTF Irregular Steve Rothman for this catch).


2000-11-06

11:14:55 AM
  • South Africa claims a trademark in its name. The country has filed an action to secure southafrica.com from its current owner, Gregory Paley and Virtual Countries.com Paley's enterprise -- an attempt to become the portal of choice for a few dozen countries -- hardly fits the profile of a cybersquatter. Virtual Countries is a bona-fide business based on domain names that Paley and a partner registered beginning in 1995. Still, South Africa has decided to test the theory that it possesses in inalienable right to its own name in the .COM top-level domain -- despite the fact that it owns and controls its very own TLD. .ZA. In this effort South Africa is likely to be aided by the arbitor it has chosen: the World Intellectual Property Organization.

    Thanks to TBTF Irregular Eric Scheid for this item.

10:56:15 AM
  • Gates disses digital philanthropy. As the concluding keynote speaker of the Creating Digital Dividends conference in Seattle, Bill Gates outraged his hosts and just about everybody else in attendance ( Observer, Guardian, Upside, NYTimes, NYTimes op-ed. ) by pointing out the obvious:

    The world's poorest two billion people desperately need health care, not laptops.

    At some point Gates must have noted that food and water are important, too, because Sun's chief research officer John Gage sniffed:

    After listening to three days of serious analysis and work, and then to have Gates rather flippantly say, "You've got to have clean water and food" -- that wasn't exactly furthering the point of the entire meeting.

    Gage heads Netday, a non-profit committed to wiring the world's classrooms to the Net.

    Over the last year the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has given $195 million towards children's vaccines, international family planning efforts, maternal and child mortality programs, and the International Aids Vaccine Initiative.

10:07:41 AM
  • updated Instant addiction. Turn on JavaScript and go here. Let me know how long you spent there and what your best time was. The proprietor of the site won't publish a hall of fame, so I guess I'll have to. Thanks to the ever-readable Need To Know for the pointer, and now it's crawling around your desk.

    Here are the contenders for the hall of fame so far. I accused "cloister bell" of being either a replicant or a cat, but he denied it and insisted that this result was obtained "without playing the 'guess how long it will wait and try to time your reaction' game." Turns out both he and joshua mcgee aren't using the mouse, finding (logically) that humans can press a key a lot faster than they can click a mouse.

    I have omitted a time of 0 sec. sent in by a TBTF Irregular who admitted to playing the guessing game. Kevin O'Malley badgered a friend (0.170.sec.) into confessing to another cheat: hit and hold the Stop button immediately after hitting Start; then release when the color changes. Doesn't work with my setup (IE 5.0, Mac).

    Updated 2000-11-10, 6:50 pm:

    keyboardists:
      cloister bell   0.080 sec.
      joshua mcgee    0.110
    mousers:
      pete m. wilson  0.130
    here  gautam nimkar   0.160
      mb              0.170
      joshua mcgee    0.170
      hugh d. hyatt   0.180
      marc mesmer     0.220
      andrew roberts  0.250
      david chess     0.270
      keith dawson    0.272 sec.
    

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