Here are today's must-reads:
Has the sky fallen? Has the relentless basher of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, conservatives in general and undecided voters on HBO's "Real Time With Bill Maher" really been flipped? Is the veteran comedian who made headlines when he contributed $1 million to Obama's reelection campaign earlier this year having second thoughts? Is Maher joining forces with Clint Eastwood and "the chair" for a new stand-up tour? Was Obama's first debate performance that pathetic?
Judging from Maher's subdued demeanor the afternoon after that debate, the question was not too far-fetched. The 56-year-old comedian with his trademark "But I'm not wrong" line was far from the upbeat, self-assured host who had gleefully declared just a few weeks earlier that numerous stumbles had cost Romney the election. Dressed casually in a bright blue New York Mets baseball cap and jeans, Maher gathered his seven-member writing staff in a jumbled corner of Television City studios in Los Angeles. Almost all of them have been with him since "Politically Incorrect," the politics-celebrity series he created and hosted on Comedy Central and ABC from 1993 to 2002.
A decade ago, there was a great deal of momentum toward paperless electronic voting. Spooked by the chaos of the 2000 presidential election in Florida, Congress unleashed a torrent of money to buy new high-tech machines. Today, momentum is in the opposite direction. Computer security researchers have convinced most observers that machines like the ones in Fairfield Township degrade the security and reliability of elections rather than enhancing them. Several states passed laws mandating an end to paperless elections. But bureaucratic inertia and tight budgets have slowed the pace at which these flawed machines can be retired.
Luckily, no e-voting catastrophes seem to have occurred. The irregularities that have risen to public attention since 2006 have tended to be small-scale or low-stakes incidents like the one in Fairfield Township. But lack of high-profile failure is not an argument for complacency. If an electionwere stolen by hackers in a state that used paperless voting machines, we wouldn't necessarily be able to detect it. Just because a major disaster hasn't happened in recent elections doesn't mean itcan't happen in 2012.
Australian universities are "on borrowed time" and urgently need to rethink their business model, according to an independent review.
The Ernst & Young reports says over the next decade, most public universities in Australia will be unviable due to cuts in Government funding and the growth of online learning options.
Report author Justin Bokor says he interviewed 40 leaders from 20 universities as part of his research and found the dominant operating model was at best unsustainable.
These are some of the other things I've been tweeting about today:
- an amazing story: "Indian bureaucrat hounded out of office 43 times for fighting graft" http://pjblack.me/S3obLi
- "Lap Dances Are NOT Art, Says NY's Highest Court" reports @Gothamist http://pjblack.me/WHPYn4
- so @arrington returns to @techcrunch: "Paid Blogger" http://pjblack.me/RBoUk6
- "Chirpify Looks Beyond Twitter, Debuts In-Stream Payments on Instagram" http://pjblack.me/S1Eybb
- "Horses, Bayonets & Us: What Twitter Did to the Debates" http://pjblack.me/RAaqAP
- "Apple's Secret Garden: The Struggle Over Leaks And Security" http://pjblack.me/PObeFZ
- this is clever: "A startup’s plan to turn Evernote & Facebook into digital cookbooks" http://pjblack.me/S2mU72
- @tsrickards @tomjkenny @SponnyPete should we get some thai face slapping in thailand? http://pjblack.me/RA9vAs
- "ReadWriteWeb relaunches as ReadWrite, and nabs Fake Steve Jobs as Editor-in-Chief" http://pjblack.me/RA3JyT
- "Paper prophets: Why e-voting is on the decline in the United States" http://pjblack.me/RuojR0
- an important warning: "Intimate photos and videos being stolen for porn sites" http://pjblack.me/Ruo2Od
- "YouTube Networks: An Inside Look At Their Unsavory Business Practices" http://pjblack.me/RumUtW
- and to balance out the last link i tweeted: "15 Signs You’re In A Dead End Relationship" http://pjblack.me/S3bLD2
- "15 Heartbreaking Signs That You’re Single" http://pjblack.me/S3aBHF /via @nickjdalton (of course lol)
- "Microsoft Surface RT Review: This Is Technological Heartbreak" http://pjblack.me/S2mQ7r
- "Universities 'operating on borrowed time'" http://pjblack.me/RyXewa #highered
- twitter is testing alternatives to the "favourite" button: "What Twitter's 'Favorite' Button Could Have Been Called" http://pjblack.me/RZX6sn
- from @annabelcrabb: "Clueless or calculated? Abbott's foot-in-mouth problem" http://pjblack.me/RzvtU5 #auspol
- "Online tools to skirt Internet censorship overwhelmed by demand" http://pjblack.me/Rum548 #openinternet
- "Bill Maher, TV's pugnacious pundit in chief" http://pjblack.me/RZTuGQ
- "Can Twitter Get You Better Grades? This Professor Thinks So" http://pjblack.me/RukXgT #highered
- to discover interesting videos, check out "View Source" http://pjblack.me/RZDhkM
- another endorsement - this time from the los angeles times: "Obama for president" http://pjblack.me/RyvrvG
- "The New Yorker’s Endorsement of Barack Obama" http://pjblack.me/RtM1wP
- first obama and now romney: "Romney Facebook App Asks You to Message Friends for His Campaign" http://pjblack.me/RunCaB
- "Ten picks up Ed Kavalee’s debut feature Scumbus" http://pjblack.me/RZA0C7
- snapchat is doing well: "The Photo-Sharing Wars Aren’t Over Yet" http://pjblack.me/PObHHY /cc @devereuxxo
- is the cassette tape about to make a comeback?: "Cassette tapes are the future of big data storage" http://pjblack.me/RtB5zn
- from the @wsj: "Soldiers Lost and Found: Students Rediscover the Fallen" http://pjblack.me/RZuKyg
- "The puzzling case of boys who are hitting puberty earlier" http://pjblack.me/RtAbCO
- "My 6,128 Favorite Books: Joe Queenan on how a harmless juvenile pastime turned into a lifelong personality disorder" http://pjblack.me/Rtztpk
- "The New Face of Infidelity: Are Women Growing More Unfaithful in Marriage?" http://pjblack.me/RtyYeT
- "Amazon Web Services outage once again shows reality behind 'the cloud'" http://pjblack.me/RZUNFz
- it is a little annoying my new ipad is already old: "Apple Rewrites History With New iPads" http://pjblack.me/RxoT0n
- "Everything You Need to Know About Apple's New Products" http://pjblack.me/RxnBTh
Follow me on Twitter @peterjblack.
And you can get my latest links anytime on my Rebelmouse social media front page.