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Comment: well, it's like this... (Score 2, Insightful) 238

by Mille Mots (#24672571) Attached to: States Throw Out Electronic Voting Machines

So seriously, can anyone tell me what is so hard about automating a paper process that has ticks in boxes?

The problem is not that making an automatic voting machine is difficult. It is not. Making one that is accurate, reliable, and secure is a problem. Even that, however, is not the biggest problem. Getting the voting public to accept the machines as accurate, reliable and secure is the real issue. Take the /. crowd as an example (please). How many posters here think that the existing Diebold machines are secure? Virtually none, because they have been shown to be wildly insecure and cracking them is trivial for anyone with a modicum of technical ability.

One solution to the perception problem would be for Diebold (or others) to open their engine to public scrutiny. Any weaknesses, short cuts or plain old fsck ups would be revealed and the systems could be modified and demonstrated to be secure. This would lead to warm, fuzzy feelings amongst the cognoscenti and they, in turn, would help spread the "these are trustworthy" word of faith among the great unwashed. Problem solved.

However, if you are Diebold and you open your engine for everyone to see, you have essentially given your competition an engraved invitation to eat your lunch. They point out all your flaws, provide an alternative that doesn't have them, everyone flocks to WeMakeVotingMachinesRight and now you, Mr. President and CEO of Diebold, are out of work because EBIT went down the tubes due to lack of confidence in your product. The BoD might say, "Yeah, that public comment about delivering the vote in Ohio for Bush? We can let that slide as long as you are delivering dividends and an ever increasing share price for us." Do something that causes earnings to slide, though, and you are toast.

So, in short, there is no technical reason the problem cannot be solved. There are, however, serious commercial interests preventing such a solution. By "serious commercial interests," of course, I really mean, "people interested primarily in protecting their positions and salaries." NTTAWWT.

Handhelds

+ - Motorola mobile with PicoP laser projection

Submitted by alobar72
alobar72 (974422) writes "Motorola and Microvision are planing to bring out a mobile phone with a laser projector included http://www.engadget.com/2007/07/25/motorola-signs- on-with-microvisions-picop-laser-projection/ ( german article here: http://www.golem.de/showhigh2.php?file=/0707/53722 .html&wort%5B%5D=motorola ) I only hope this new mobile phones with projectors, GPS, large displays and so on all build in will not need a battery the size and weight simmilar to a common projector."
Education

+ - Most common non-CS/IT degree in best co-workers.

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "Most common non-CS/IT degree in best co-workers.

Math
Physical Science
Life Science
Engineering
Business
Liberal Arts
CowboyNeal's "Computer Learnin' Certificate""
Microsoft

+ - Running Vista in Parallels will Cost You More

Submitted by
Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward writes "This press release details about the way MS will limit your ability to run Vista in a virtual machine. One cannot run run Vista virtually unless you pay for the more expensive versions of their new operating system (starting at $299.) On top of the loss of extra funds from your checking account, you will also lose your XP license with the upgrade. There are some definite DRM questions that come into play here. http://www.macobserver.com/article/2007/01/31.7.sh tml"
Microsoft

+ - Legitimate question: Is anyone upgrading to Vista?

Submitted by
boxlight
boxlight writes "I don't want this to turn into an anti-Microsoft flame-fest; I'm seriously asking ... is anyone actually upgrading to Vista?

I ask because I'm a Mac user, but if I was still using XP I would have been at the store yesterday and upgrading last night. But at work today — a high tech office of Windows users — I'm very surprised that no one cares about Vista. Literally *no one* in my office is upgrading, some people laughed at the mere suggestion, and many didn't even seem to know Vista came out yesterday. One fellow said he may consider it after a service pack or two gets released.

So again: Have you upgraded to Vista? Are you planning to? Are you recommending yours friends & moms to do so? Do you know anyone who actually went out and bought it?"
The Courts

+ - Record Companies accused of Collusion

Submitted by JoeSchmoe999
JoeSchmoe999 (782579) writes "Robert Santangelo who is the 16 yr old son of Michelle Santangelo (who succesfully fought off a RIAA lawsuit) has filed counter charges against the MPAA and all of the associated recording companies claiming that they are in colusion to violate anti-trust laws.

Click here for more information."
Democrats

+ - House Introduces National Service Bill

Submitted by Slithe
Slithe (894946) writes "On January 10, House Representative Charles Rangel introduced a bill, H.R. 393, that would require all persons in the U.S., between the ages of 18 & 42, to perform 'National Service' for a period of two years. The bill defines 'National Service' as military service or service in a civilian capacity that, as determined by the President, promotes the national defense, including national or community service and service related to homeland security. The bill would also make women eligible for Selective Service."
Microsoft

+ - Dvorak compares Vista to a "Park Avenue hooker

Submitted by guaigean
guaigean (867316) writes "John C. Dvorak has recently written a piece regarding the failures of Vista, and the problems existing today regarding OS development and practices. Included in the article is the evolution of the OS from a "file loader" to a series of icons and animations, which Dvorak says have nothing to do with an Operating Systems purpose, eventually causing the whole system to become a constant problem, barely holding together. The article is available here

From the article: 'It became a clunker, in fact, with a pretty face and a high price tag like a Park Avenue hooker using too much makeup to hide the fact that she's old.'"
User Journal

Journal: Nobody dared answer the question 12

Journal by Marxist Hacker 42
And so I'm reposting here, on the topic of supporting the troops but not the mission:

Ok. Now put on some camo, go to Iraq, and try to get to century old enemies to quit blowing the hell out of each other. Now have dozens of "important" senators and reps deride what you do while supposedly paying lip service to you. You cannot separate the person from the job when the job is soo closely linked to the very survival of the person. The job becomes the person, for better or worse.
Democrats

Journal: House Introduces Conscription Bill 1

Journal by Slithe
On January 10, House Representative Charles Rangel introduced a bill, H.R. 393, that would require all persons in the U.S., between the ages of 18 & 42, to perform 'National Service' for a period of two years. The bill defines 'National Service' as military service or service in a civilian capacity that, as determined by the President, promotes the national defense, including national or community service and service related

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