30 July 2004

Are you 10 years old?

The dvorak-bot™ sounds off on Ann Coulter and her recent implosion with a USA Today assignment to write a column on the 2004 Democratic convention. A USA Today editor chief, who must be totally unfamiliar with Ms. Coulter's scrawlings, somehow figured that Ms. Coulter would pen a piece worthy for publication. But as has been detailed, the column was spiked because of the infantile and flammatory rhetoric. Or at least that's what the press reports that I read said. I was unaware of the additional information that Ms. Coulter refused to allow her column to be edited, which was the real reason for rejection.
So Salon publishes a piece on this fiasco calling Coulter an “unhinged buffoon.” This got my attention. It was a funny phrase. But most interesting to me was the link to Coulters rant in Human Events Online (where she apparently is not edited) and feels comfortable enough to make a fool of herself. Here Coulter gives us the entire USA Today column along with the editors remarks. You immediately see that the column is crazy, daft. Maybe she thought it was cute, I don’t know. It appears to be pure Republikan hubris.

But what’s even weirder about the Human Events article, as pointed out in Salon, is that Coulter authored the piece and dissuses herself in the third person, She quotes herself and responds to her own quotes. It does not appear to be done as a gag either. Can you spell psycho? Here are a couple of paragraphs. Now remember that at the top this says ”by Ann Coulter.”

The dvorak-bot™ also details how the new Republikans have deterred it away from Republican politics.

20 July 2004

George W. Bush wasn’t bashful about how he was being pushed upward by Dad’s connections

According to one of his old professors at Harvard Business School who is speaking out against his ex pupil.
“I vividly remember that he made a comment saying that people are poor because they’re lazy,” Tsurumi said.

Tsurumi also said Bush displayed a sense of arrogance about his prominent family, including his father, former U.S. President George H.W. Bush.

“[George W. Bush] didn’t stand out as the most promising student, but...he made it sure we understood how well he was connected,” Tsurumi said. “He wasn’t bashful about how he was being pushed upward by Dad’s connections.”

Tsurumi said that the younger Bush boasted that his father’s political string-pulling had gotten him to the top of the waiting list for the Texas National Guard instead of serving in Vietnam. When other students were frantically scrambling for summer jobs, Tsurumi said, Bush explained that he was planning instead for a visit to his father in Beijing, where the senior Bush was serving at the time as the special U.S. envoy to China.

He referred to Bush as a "sarcastic, mediocre student". Hear Professor Tsurumi speak about his former student.

5 July 2004

Rate George Bush and John Kerry on the Homeland Security issue

Well, at least on the security of their official web site "homes".
  1. Both the Bush and the Kerry Web sites have cross-site scripting errors (XSS). These errors can allow a prankster to create fake Web pages which load from the Bush or Kerry Web sites but additional content can be supplied from a different Web server belonging to a prankster. A prankster could then say anything they want on a Bush or Kerry Web page using a XSS error. Examples include fake news stories, slogans telling visitors to vote for the other candidate, and doctored photos of a candidate.

  2. Error trapping at the Kerry Web site isn't very good. Typing unusual characters into Web forms at the Kerry Web site causes Web server applications to fail and a visitor is shown very cryptic error pages. These problems might be a sign of SQL injection errors which can be quite serious. An SQL injection error can sometimes be used by an outsider to break into a backend database at a Web site and then to make off with private information from the database.

  3. The Bush Web site has hired a company called Omniture to track users at the Bush Web site. Omniture uses hidden Web bugs to do this tracking. Perhaps this Web site feature was requested by John Ashcroft? ;-) This relationship with Omniture is not spelled out in the Bush Web site privacy policy. For more about information about Omniture, check out their Web site at

  4. Both the Bush and Kerry Web sites encourage visitors to add banner ads for the candidates to their own Web pages. The Bush banner ad uses JavaScript supplied from the Bush Web server (See The Kerry banner ads use an embedded IFRAME (See Both banner ad schemes allow the campaigns to track visitors to any Web pages where the banner ads appear. In addition, the Bush JavaScript scheme allows the Bush Web server to run any script code inside of other people's Web pages. This scheme doesn't strike me as a very good idea from a security standpoint.

  5. Both candidates have good Web site privacy policies. The Kerry Web site privacy policy is also certified by Truste and BBBOnline. I didn't realize that Truste is now offering a trustworthiness rating service for politicians. The Bush campaign probably should get their Truste logo ASAP. ;-)

  6. It appears that the open source vs. closed source debate has also entered the presidential campaign. The Kerry home page comes from an Apache Web server running on a Red Hat Linux box. The Bush Web site on the other hand is hosted on a more corporate Microsoft-powered IIS 5.0 server and uses ASP.NET. I did not check to see if this IIS server is up to date with Microsoft security patches.

I'd have to say the UNIX based server environment is probably much more secure than the Microsoft powered solution, but that depends a great deal on the server administration folks.