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Comment Some people pray for the favor. Some don't. (Score 1) 68

For many people, the prayer for help is less for intervention than for teaching.

Part of the purpose is for the person praying to at least think far enough to figure out what kind of help is really necessary, and the usual result is help figuring out what to do.

Atheists can argue that meditation should be sufficient without having to brown-nose some non-existent supreme being, but that kind of misses the point.

Sometimes there are other things that happen, too, usually people (friends, strangers, even enemies) who provide just enough help, once the person praying has started solving the problem on his or her own. Atheists can argue that such people would likely help anyway, but that's also kind of missing the point.

Comment x86 is everywhere? (Score 1) 167

No, not really everywhere. Not nearly as everywhere as 68K (still). No where nearly as everywhere as ARM.

x86 is not really appropriate to embedded and real time. If the other processors which are tend to get tuned, well, x86 in embedded is going to tend to get even more special hardware.

Not the same x86, however, and that's really the problem we're trying to talk about here. (And failing.)

Comment No, those are not challenges. (Score 1) 405

Those are blocks.

When you need a secret but verifiable ballot, on-line voting cannot provide either in a way that most voters can understand.

Not just hard problems. Not just NP Complete. We're trying to build systems based on internal contradictions here. You're trying to say that, with a little work, we can make a system where true equals false.

(It hardly takes any work at all to make a system that says true equals false. Different problem, however.)

Comment non-vote can be protest, but, ... (Score 1) 405

A non-vote can be a protest, but changing to a digital system does nothing to help the protest be registered.

And it opens up a huge bunch of holes to cheating.

Use machines in the counting process, after the voting is done. Keep them away from the actual place where people vote.

Comment butterfly ballots are not the only physical ballot (Score 1) 405

Butterfly ballots are not the only kind of physical ballot.

The hanging chad is only one of the problems.

They were developed when we didn't yet have optical scanning techniques and machines cheap enough to use for elections, and when paper was (comparatively speaking) expensive enough to motivate separating the candidate list from the ballot. (It was still a bad idea, but the motivation can be understood.)

Bubble sheets incorporating the candidate's names, putting the ballot in a sleeve before leaving the voting booth, is about as good as it gets. (And then someone forgets the blanks for write-in.) And those are better than any computer voting system.

Most public domain software is free, at least at first glance.

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