- Richmond Times-Dispatch: 1,100 felons regain rights in McDonnell’s first year
Color me surprised. I would happily have put down $50 saying that McDonnell wouldn't restore the civil rights to but maybe 10% as many felons as Gov. Tim Kaine Kaine did. He's on pace to match Kaine. This is still a terrible system—we're one of just two states in the nation that still give only the governor the power to restore rights.
- PolitiFact Virginia: Virginia lottery claims all profits since 1999 have gone to education
Turns out that this is basically true. I'd wondered.
- Washington Post: In Utah, Sen. Hatch courts tea partyers one by one in quest for survival
I'm not what you'd call a fan of Sen. Orrin Hatch, but it's depressing to see how low he's stopping to kowtow to the most extreme elements of his party. He's taking to swearing in his speeches because it makes the tea partiers happy. He's been consulting a muscle car builder on his votes several times each day, apparently because he wants to make the guy feel special. He's having to apologize for his decades-long friendship with Sen. Ted Kennedy, because this bunch sees cooperation or even friendship with Democrats as failure. This article neatly summarizes everything that's wrong with politics. While claiming—weakly—to have (silently) opposed President Bush's policies, they're reproducing President Bush's scorched-earth politics.
- Pinboard: Anatomy of a Crushing
I have come to the conclusion that my future projects must include a revenue stream. It's swell to create a service for a community good, but without a revenue stream, that's committing to doing something forever because it once seemed like a good idea. That'd just dumb. The low-priced social bookmark service Pinboard (which I'm using to post this right now) has a great model that illustrates how a revenue stream can make a service significantly better without significantly reducing the accessibility of it. Also, I just love every detail here about how Pinboard is designed and how it was created, because it's precisely how I develop, for better or for worse. I thought I was the only one!
- Science Daily: Eastern cougar is extinct, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service concludes
Well, that sucks. They figure it's been extinct since the 1930s. This isn't to say that cougars don't still exist in the eastern U.S., just that the rare specimens are not, in fact, of the eastern cougar species.
- Data Center Knowledge: Congressman Defeats IBM’s Watson in Jeopardy
If a congressman is going to defeat Watson, it's Rep. Rush Holt. He's an honest-to-God rocket scientist and, in fact, one-time Jeopardy champ.
- UX Movement: Why Hover Menus Do Users More Harm Than Good
This is a compelling argument for eschewing hover-based multi-level website menus with click-based menus. I use a hover-based menu on Richmond Sunlight, and I now suspect that's a mistake.
The Virginia Public Access Project has a totally new website, rebuilt from the ground up. The best open government resource in Virginia just got a lot better. Their totally new data structure is going to let them do all sorts of new things, while this new design makes the site way friendlier to Joe Citizen.