Gone voting
Tuesday, Nov 02, 2004
I assume you're doing the same, right? Go! Go vote!
Feels like Christmas
Tuesday, Nov 02, 2004
Everything's coming together. I'll be the first to say it, and weather the pummeling of those who are still wringing hands. This election is sewn up. It's in the bag. It's in our bag.

Every way that polls can break are breaking to the Democratic side. From the traditional shift of the undecided voters to the incumbancy, to the larger turnouts favoring the party of the younger generation to the tracking polls and battlegrounds. Barring a morning surprise announcement, this time tomorrow even the lawyers will realize the jig is up and it's time to come home.

Okay, okay, in the morning I'll go outside, turn around three times and spit, but that's in the morning. Right after that I'll go vote, so I can claim a little bit of the victory for myself.

Bottlecap wisdom
Tuesday, Nov 02, 2004
On today's Honest Tea bottlecap: "If we don't change the direction we are headed, we will end up where we are going."

Truer and more timely words are seldom found on bottlecaps.

Under the knife
Monday, Nov 01, 2004
As if to prove the rule about the timely dissemination of information I'm talking about in the previous post, my mom called me about an hour ago from Thailand where she and my sister Susie have been travelling for the last two weeks. Though they were scheduled to come home tomorrow, Susie's been diagnosed with appendicitis and at this moment is in surgery in a Thailand hospital having her appendix removed. They don't have the facilities for a laproscopic procedure, so her recovery will be a few days in the hospital and a few more in a hotel before she's fit to fly home.

I'll tell you more when I know.

Susie's out of surgery and there don't appear to have been any complications. They're going to keep her under observation for a few days, then she'll go back to the hotel if all seems fine. Ack. Ack.

Spin Cycles and the End of the October Surprise
Monday, Nov 01, 2004
Here we are, 24 hours from the General Election, and despite an unexpected appearance from Osama, neither candidate has dropped a bomb in the last couple weeks. The weekly 'hot point' issues like the missing Al Qa Qaa explosives and Sinclair's airing of 'Stolen Honor' have been spun by the candidates and hung out to dry by the media. While presidential elections have often been plagued by the dreaded 'October Surprise,' times aren't what they were four years ago, and the campaigns may be adapting.

Four years ago, the average media cycle took around two days to take hold. The time from an incident or anouncement to media's pickup of the event, to transmission to the public through the nightly news or daily paper would usually take a full day, with second-order meta-commentary about what the event means and how we should feel about it not coming down for another two or three days. Actual public opinion change is strongest after a general concensus is made and it could take four days to a week for an incident's aftermath to fully manifest itself in polling numbers.

Over the past four years the way people get and disseminate new information has shifted dramatically. A reasonably large percentage of the public is online at work or at home during the day, and can find out new developments within hours of their occurance. When important news breaks, these wired readers are quick to spread word through IM, email, cellphones, or a shout over the cube wall. While media's incidence-to-opinion period has dropped from several days to several hours, the public's ability to propogate news quickly has grown at an even faster rate.

With the presidential race closer than any since 1916, it doesn't take a big surge to put either candidate over the top, and while the media opinion of any large announcement is hard to predict, the snap first-impression of the public is far more ascertainable, both due to focus testing and because it's more deterministic, where media opinion is more chaotic with a small number of influencers' opinions changing others until a concensus (or conventional wisdom) is discovered and reported.

Since the need is so small, and the safest way to influence the voters is by using the media as a reporting mechanism instead of a mechanism of commentary, it seems that the weapon of choice for this election is the November Surprise, most likely the 'Election Morning' surprise. A large and urgent announcement, not directly related to the presidential race, made immediately after the morning radio talkshows have gone off the air in the Central time zone (the vital races are in Central and Eastern and every hour is critical) between 11am and 12pm Eastern time, would likely be heard by 30% of voters before they have gone to the polls. Depending on the nature of the announcement, it could cause a significant sway in undecideds, possibly enough to turn a state or two.

The veracity of the claim wouldn't be known until after the election is completed. While claiming that Osama has been captured would be difficult to defend against when the truth came out a few days later, saying that several dozen people were killed in a stronghold where he was believed to be hiding out ("more information to come as we get it!") is more plausable, accomplishes much the same effect, and is easier for the administration to distance themselves from after the fact, when he turns out to still be alive.

To protect against a snap-backfire -- a media which includes along with their first report an opinion that this may be an election tactic -- the announcement's timing would have to seem plausably uncontrollable, so the above Osama scenario would be more difficult to pull off. In light of last week's Osama video it becomes more plausable, however, when the CIA claims that their intel on his location is related either to information contained with the video, or a retracing of the path by which the video came in to U.S. hands.

One thing is certain, however; such a 'November Surprise' scenario could not be taken by Kerry, since his duties don't have the scope that would allow for a 'breaking news' level announcement that is not directly related to the election.

The other possibility is a replay of Spain's pre-election bombings, though I doubt it, since it's unclear who such an attack would benefit. It's possible that Osama's timing of his video was to test the waters. If the video pushed Kerry up a point or two, then an attack would be likely to increase that margin. The scenario is reversed if the video helped Bush. Who Osama would prefer in the white house is an open question, though most people hold their own opinions, which coincidentally are almost always that he wants whoever they aren't planning on voting for.

I hope there isn't a November Surprise, though I'd bet that even in the absence of an administration announcement, other groups will try for one.

I am not Kevin Fox
Saturday, Oct 30, 2004
Well, I'm a Kevin Fox, but if you're from the Chicago area and this is the first time you've come to the site, I'm probably not the Kevin Fox you're looking for.

Seems another Kevin Fox has been arrested under suspicion of murdering his 3 year old daughter, in a story that's gotten quite a lot of media attention, at least according to Google News.

I have no feeling as to whether the guy did it or not. Being my namesake doesn't mean I'm prejudiced towards him, though I hope he didn't do it if for no other reason than it would lessen the chance of my being stopped at airport security because my name matches that of a suspected murderer.

CAPPS II, the airport security system that causes anyone whose name is similar to that of a 'person of interest'to be flagged for extra security measures or barring from flight, is one thing I would be really happy to see eased or eliminated under a Kerry victory. As it is, I'm selected for security screening when I purchase my ticket less than two weeks in advance, but not in other cases. I'll keep you posted on whether I get screened more frequently on my upcoming flights. It's an interesting test.

Three more days. God, just three more days...

Tuesday, Oct 26, 2004
Commentspam up the wazoo, a new home, still moving out of an old home, about 300 bites from biting midges (all on the same night on a lonely cove in Baja), a busy and exciting workplace and a blog left neglected.

I think I post so little nowadays because my vision for what Fury should be is becoming so much more concrete, and is so different than what's presently here, that it feels like a step backwards to post.

But then, a step backwards is still more a part of the dance than standing still, and so I'm posting now, and will try to keep it up as I reshape the site behind the curtain.

In other news, despite the upcoming presidential election taking up a huge portion of my personal mindshare for the last year, today was the first time the candidates actually pushed in to my living room, and within 20 minutes of each other. The first was a call from the KErry campaign, encouraging me to vote on Tuesday (like I'd miss it), and the second was the new 'wolves' ad from the Bush campaign. The scariest part of that commercial is that it's playing in California, telling me that they eitehr actually think they have a shot of taking the state, or that they have enough money in their final week that they can blow advertising dollars in decided markets. I don't particularly like either possibility...

Vacation, all I ever wanted
Sunday, Oct 17, 2004
Rachel and I got back from a week's vacation, kayaking and camping in the Sea of Cortez! We've got stories to tell in the next few days, as well as a house to move in to, a few hundred emails to sort through (both personal and work), and about 600 commentspam on my site and a bunch more on Rachel's. It's amazing how all the data grows when it's funnelled into a big bucket that's left unattended for a week.

By contrast, we received a total of 4 voicemails on the cellphones we wisely left behind.

Thursday, Oct 07, 2004
House house house house house house house!

Walkthrough and funding completed today. This time tomorrow I'll be a homeowner.

So much to be done. Can you help?
Tuesday, Oct 05, 2004
No, for once, I'm not asking my friends to help me move, much to their releif! The house closes THIS FRIDAY and then the fun begins, but before that fun starts, there's plenty of planning that needs to be done. Since outfitting a home for long-term residency and ownership is so very different than the transience of the rental lifestyle, Rachel and I have been very busy, refrigerator and washer/dryer shopping, planning for movers and carpet cleaners, speccing out a new water heater and other stuff.

On the telecommunications front, I'm considering going out on the bleeding edge of technology and I'd love to hear any relevant experiences you've had. Instead of DSL or cable, I'm investigating hooking up with a wireless provider, most likely Etheric Networks, for a connection less fettered and faster than either cable or DSL. On top of that, I'm considering using voice over IP (VoIP) instead of a regular landline for telephone service. For that I'm leaning toward Vonage, or possibly AT&T's offering.

This would mean I wouldn't have a telephone line coming into my house at all, which is taking a lot of faith on relatively new technology. I'm wondering if anyone has any experience, anecdotal or otherwise, about using either of these companies, or the technologies in general. One downside of this plan is that if the power or net goes out, so does our phone. This can be a significant issue if we decide to hook in with a security company that requires a landline to hook to the system.

Basically, I'm really tired of the telephone company, and excited to find the next big thing, especially if it means cheaper (or free) in-state calling, because calling down to Los Angeles is already far too expensive.

Got any advice? Thanks!


Hi, I'm Kevin Fox.
I've been blogging at since 1998.
I can be reached at .

I also have a resume.


I'm co-founder in
a fantastic startup fulfilling the promise of the Internet of Things.

The Imp is a computer and wi-fi connection smaller and cheaper than a memory card.

Find out more.

We're also hiring.


I post most frequently on Twitter as @kfury and on Google Plus.


I've led design at Mozilla Labs, designed Gmail 1.0, Google Reader 2.0, FriendFeed, and a few special projects at Facebook.

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