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Comment: Re:I always maintained blue ray was moot (Score 1) 685

by TurboNed (#28422709) Attached to: Blu-ray Adoption Soft, More Still Own HD DVD
They're different. Labeling one better than the other is like labeling Star Wars as better than Star Trek. Each excels at a different part of the image. One has more resolution, the other provides a smoother, progressive picture. And Star Wars (only considering the three films that actually *EXIST*) is better.

Comment: Re:Why no space planes? (Score 1, Informative) 95

by TurboNed (#28395583) Attached to: Spaceport America Begins Construction
Mach is a measurement of speed relative to the speed of sound - thus Mach 1 is different (in terms of miles per hour) at sea level than it is at 50,000 feet. Escape velocity isn't a relative speed though. So - what are you referring to? Mach 34 at sea level? Then it's meaningless because nobody accelerates to that velocity in atmosphere that dense. Mach 34 at 50 miles up? Well now the atmosphere is so thin that Mach 34 is pretty darn slow (in terms of miles per hour thanks to slow speed of sound) and achievable (thanks to less drag because of less atmosphere).

Comment: Re:How hard is it for a computer to do addition? (Score 1) 239

by TurboNed (#28254441) Attached to: Software Bug Adds 5K Votes To Election
The generally accepted stance on voter security (as I understand it from reading Bruce Schneier's blog and Ed Felten's blog is that what is important is that a vote get recorded accurately, that a user can verify (at the time of casting but not after) that the vote they're casting is the vote they intended to cast, and that we be able to ensure a one-to-one correspondence between votes and voters. That doesn't mean that we can map votes to voters later. Such a capability may be useful, but the security concerns (voter coercion, mostly) would outweigh the auditing benefits.

Think of the paper ballot example. Assuming users actually use the ballots correctly (obviously a huge assumption and one that doesn't play out in practice, but work with me here), you have an accurate, auditable record (a recount is meaningful because it has the potential to discover mistakes of the original count) of the voter's decision. At the time of casting the ballot, the voter can verify (if they so choose) that the ballot accurately reflects their choices. We have one-to-one correspondence because other measures were taken to ensure that each voter received one ballot. When the voter casts their ballot, their vote is recorded, but there will never be any way to trace back the choices that the voter made back to the voter. The voter isn't subject to coercion from, say, a shady employer who threatens to fire any employee who doesn't vote for Candidate A. Employees can lie to their employer about who they voted for and (this is important) nobody has the ability to retrieve the voter's vote to prove/disprove the voter's claim.

As I see it (though IANAExpert), the proper way to do an electronic vote is to tally votes electronically in a moderately secure environment ("absolute" security would be counter productive, IMO), but to print out a physical record of votes recorded by a machine which is verified by the user and dropped in a ballot box. If there's dispute with the machine tally, you have an auditable record to check the dispute against. If you ask a machine to do a recount of the 4,328,512 votes that it took (which seems like a strange number of votes to record in a precinct with 715,386 eligible voters), it's going to give you the same numbers. Sure, you may know fraud happened - but there's nothing you can do about it.

Comment: Re:How hard is it for a computer to do addition? (Score 1) 239

by TurboNed (#28252865) Attached to: Software Bug Adds 5K Votes To Election
That is insufficiently secure because someone could be forced to give up their paper with their unique identifier in order to prove that he voted in accordance with the wishes of someone criminally coercing him. To be properly secure and anonymous, there needs to be absolutely no way to associate me with my vote - whether the desire for the association is legitimate or not.

Comment: Re:So the WaPo reports a story a month obsolete? (Score 2, Insightful) 266

by TurboNed (#28224961) Attached to: MS Issued a Fix For Its Unwanted FireFox Extension
<sarcasm>Obviously the maliciousness must exist somewhere. Let's blame Mozilla for having an idiotic feature that Microsoft could take advantage of in this way.</sarcasm>

Seriously, I don't ascribe this to maliciousness on anyone's part. Microsoft failed to test this in all circumstances in a way that's not uncommon for them (limited user account usability fail), but if that's "malicious" then so was the entire release and lifetime of their exceedingly popular OS. You know, Windows XP. The one that everybody loves so much because it doesn't suck?

Yeah, it's a huge pile of limited user account usability testing fail. *shrug* If somebody's going to claim the Firefox extension thing is malicious, they'd better not be claiming that Microsoft is being malicious/anti-competitive/monopolistic/whatever by giving XP the End of Life notice. Both products suffer from the same problem, and MS is trying to move past them both.

Comment: Re:passes an even tougher test than acid3 (Score 1) 278

by TurboNed (#28197513) Attached to: First Beta of Opera 10 Released
Running Firefox 3.0.10 on XP SP3 and following your instructions (opened a new tab, navigated to then clicked "Read more..." on the Google's Android to Challenge Windows? article), everything appeared fine. I assume that when you said "titles of stories" you meant "headers of comments"? When I'm reading a story, I don't see titles to other stories. Perhaps I'm misunderstanding the error that I'm supposed to be looking for?

Each honest calling, each walk of life, has its own elite, its own aristocracy based on excellence of performance. -- James Bryant Conant