Campaign result apps blooming.

As I watch the first of the results of the election come in, I’m struck by the wide variety of options of websites offering data. Until this election, we’ve been left obsessively reloading the SBE’s website, hopping around from precinct to precinct, district to district, trying to remember what the numbers were when last we […]

Virginia’s SSN protection doesn’t particularly protect them.

Last week a new law went into effect that exempts the first five digits of social security numbers from FOIA requests. Which strikes me as a good thing. It’s a result of Del. Joe May’s HB2427. But, unfortunately, it looks like that’s not actually helpful. Why? The structure of the SSN makes the first five […]

Chris Anderson’s Free contains what is apparently plagiarized text.

Over on VQR I wrote: In the course of reading Chris Anderson’s new book, Free: The Future of a Radical Price (Hyperion, $26.99), for a review in an upcoming issue of VQR, we have discovered almost a dozen passages that are reproduced nearly verbatim from uncredited sources. These instances were identified after a cursory investigation, […]

Guerilla SCOTUS website redesign.

Speaking of the Sunlight Foundation, they’ve done a guerilla redesign of the Supreme Court website. It looks really nice. That’s the sort of thing that I could definitely see putting some time into, but of course it would require a trend of government entities implementing those designs to make it worth the trouble.

VPAP now provides sliced-and-diced election history data.

Check out VPAP’s new election history data and maps. This is really, really valuable data. Getting data from the SBE’s website is pretty awkward, and not comparable across years. My next project was going to be a website providing this sort of data. Legislature : Richmond Sunlight :: SBE :: Hypothetical New Site. But it […]

A state medical site was vandalized, and the vandal claims he’s stolen 8M records.

Some jackass vandalized The Virginia Department of Health Professions’ website, claiming to have taken eight million patient records hostage, giving the state seven days to pay a $10M ransom to get them back. The ransom note has been removed from the VDHP website, but it’s mirrored here. If this is true then it is, of […]

VPAP is hiring.

The Virginia Public Access Project is hiring. They’re looking for a researcher/writer with some decent computer skills. The details follow. About the Job: The primary responsibility will be to implement VPAP’s initiative to track money raised by candidates for local office. This person will be VPAP’s resident expert in local elections, manage logistics for obtaining […]