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Comment: Re:San Diego (Score 1) 281

by John.Banister (#48646377) Attached to: Study: Red Light Cameras Don't Improve Safety
I was thinking about a product for that. With front and rear facing cameras accompanied by IR laser rangefinders, GPS and a data connection, one could have a button that causes this system to automatically send evidence of annoying violations from fellow motorists to the relevant police department. When I'm driving on the freeway, following at a safe distance and some (the stereotype that has developed in my mind is an SUV driving parent) other motorist decides to shoehorn their vehicle into that gap, I sometimes feel motivated to drive aggressively in response. I think a "don't get mad, get even" device that sends video of the preceding 40 seconds accompanied by location, speed, and rangefinder information to the appropriate police department might be a much better response. A similar setup in the rear could handle tailgaters. Additionally, the equipment could show me my own following distance in terms of both distance and time at my current speed, which information would be a useful reminder for me to keep my own driving correct.

Comment: Trains (Score 2) 257

by John.Banister (#48491227) Attached to: The Driverless Future: Buses, Not Taxis
Driverless electric cars that don't go faster than 20 mph don't need to be very aerodynamic. Parts of people's routes are often shared, or park-n-rides wouldn't work. Driverless cars could slowly go to assembly spots where they link up into trains, and then the trains go fast on predetermined routes to other spots where they disassemble back into cars that slowly travel the last 1/8 mile to individual destinations. It'll enact the functionality of public transport for people wealthy enough to own personal pods. The big problem is the space consumed protecting against impact from human driven vehicles.

Comment: Re:"Should we go back to paper ballots?" (Score 1) 127

by John.Banister (#48483575) Attached to: Voting Machines Malfunction: 5,000 Votes Not Counted In Kansas County
The notion I had with the ballot reader was to make it with no moving parts. Even the button could be a spot with a capacitive sensor.

The thing I like about live-print, is that the person can verify with confidence their choice, as the names of persons for whom no vote was cast need not be printed. Also, with live print there's no question about how close a person's mark is to a check box. The reading machine always gets to read the predictably formatted print of the other machine. Any person at any polling place ought to work fine, and so could voting and printing at home and bringing in the printed ballot to be scanned and dropped off, almost as if vote-by-mail was used.

However, I don't expect this to be used. As you said, getting things right and extending the franchise isn't of interest. The voting fraud laws in WV are especially delightful, as they provide a penalty to the person who commits voting fraud, but require the fraudulent votes be kept and counted, so long as they are accompanied by even one properly recorded vote. This way, the "suicide bomber" approach to voting fraud is almost guaranteed to be successful.

Comment: Re:RFID/card scanner (Score 1) 127

by John.Banister (#48475633) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Biometric Authentication System?
If there was concern about people using someone else's card, a hybrid system could be used. On coming in to work, a person could pick up a random RFID bracelet, put it on, and "clock in" at a station that does a biometric check and assigns that bracelet to that identity for the day. Design the bracelets so that removing one causes it to signify that it has "clocked out," and needs a visit to a clock-in station to become valid again.

Comment: Re:"Should we go back to paper ballots?" (Score 1) 127

by John.Banister (#48475567) Attached to: Voting Machines Malfunction: 5,000 Votes Not Counted In Kansas County
Hoppers shouldn't be necessary for optically acquired data these days. There's plenty of digital camera sensors that can image a ballot at good resolution. Just place the camera above a platform and have the voter put the ballot on the platform, hit a button and watch for the green light. Then, the voter can personally put the paper ballot in the ballot box.

Another thing I think would be a good idea is to use two machines, one for printing the piece of paper and another for scanning. It should be easy for the first machine to print a piece of paper that is readable both by the person and the second machine.

Vital papers will demonstrate their vitality by spontaneously moving from where you left them to where you can't find them.