Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Cyber Monday Sale Extended! Courses ranging from coding to project management - all eLearning deals 20% off with coupon code "CYBERMONDAY20". ×

Comment Re: Use a larger monitor. (Score 1) 197

It depends on the monitor. Some will let you run at a resolution of exactly half and scale crisply, so that each pixel from the computer becomes a neat square of four pixels on the monitor. Sadly there are too many monitors which generate a blurry mess even when doing an exact integer scaling like this. (From my limited experience older monitors are better than newer in this respect.) Scaling in the video hardware is the same. It's from a misapplied idea that fancy scaling like bicubic is superior to the naive nearest-neighbour. That is true for photographs, but not for input images which are intended to have exact pixel boundaries. My first resort would be to set a font scaling of 200% in the operating system. If running Windows it may help to turn off Aero, so that (as above) you get clean pixel scaling and not blurring.

Comment Re:Voting - how to ensure a secret ballot? (Score 1) 69

You logging into the voting machine is recorded when you vote. Information about who you voted for is not recorded.

And how can you be certain that when the votes are counted, your vote is being included? Having something recorded on the blockchain (or any other public record) doesn't help at all with that; you still have to trust the people counting the votes to count them fairly. Or if the votes are counted by machine, you have to trust those who built and operate the machine. If somebody queries the totals after the election, they can't use the blockchain records to check that the total is correct; conversely it's possible for a malicious actor to stuff ballots without ever recording it in the blockchain.

There are proposals for cryptographic voting systems that work properly. When you vote, your vote is recorded so that you can check that it was counted (and anyone can check that the count includes all votes cast); but you cannot find out or demonstrate what the vote was. This is an interesting area of research but it is a lot more complicated than just saying 'add something to the blockchain'. Doing that by itself adds nothing.

Comment Re:Voting - how to ensure a secret ballot? (Score 1) 69

Having an accurate count that *shows how everybody voted* is not how elections are done. You vote in secret, and nobody else can find out for sure how you voted, not even if you want to show it to them. If all votes are recorded publicly then there is no longer a secret ballot. That's unrelated to having an accurate count of votes, which is obviously important.

Comment Re:Voting - how to ensure a secret ballot? (Score 1) 69

If you had bothered, you'd know that you can sign a message using your private key that proves indeed, that you did something on the blockchain, whether its voting or whatever.

Right. But how do you do that while ensuring a secret ballot? In other words so you *cannot* prove, whether you want to or not, who you voted for?

There are suggested protocols for having a verifiable yet secret ballot, but they are not completely straightforward. Unless the secret ballot part is sorted out properly, recording all votes in a public ledger (be it the blockchain or anything else) doesn't give a free and fair election.

Comment Voting - how to ensure a secret ballot? (Score 2) 69

A lot of electronic voting proposals fail to ensure a secret ballot - which means you *cannot* prove how you voted, whether you want to or not. If votes are published in the blockchain it's hard to see how this would be achieved; although there are cryptographic proposals for voting systems that would let you make sure your vote (and every vote) has been counted without being able to prove which way any individual voted. So for elections I don't think blockchain voting is really going to fly. It would work for situations where the ballot is not secret, like votes in most countries' legislative assemblies, where you can see all the votes cast by each representative. But there, only the true tinfoil hat brigade would see the need for the tamper-proof Bitcoin log, given that the assembly's proceedings are surely part of the public record anyway.
United Kingdom

Huge Ritual Arena Discovered Near Stonehenge 126

New submitter pabloApicco writes: A row of 90 megalithic stones has been found buried beneath a grassy bank only two miles from the world-famous site of Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England. Believed to have been a huge ritual monument, the long line of megalithic stones lies 3 feet underground, and was found using sophisticated radar equipment. “What we are starting to see is the largest surviving stone monument, preserved underneath a bank, that has ever been discovered in Britain and possibly in Europe,” said Vince Gaffney, an archaeologist at Bradford University who leads the Stonehenge Hidden Landscape project. “This is archeology on steroids.” Here's a satellite map of the new site.

Comment Re:if you are that ignorant of his work... (Score 1) 842

Yes, but still significantly less evil than the crew that replaced him.

That seems to have been true in the long run, for the most part.

However, the important thing is that he was evil enough to set up the conditions for what followed. The brutal oppression under his regime primed the population for a radical shift, and that's what allowed the Islamists to build up support for their movement.

Of course, the Islamists pulled a huge bait-and-switch, and dealt with all parties in bad faith, but it's extremely unlikely they would ever have been anything but a political footnote if the US and UK hadn't engineered the ouster of the previous democratic government to make room for the Shah.

Comment Re:For starters... (Score 1) 842

Then don't let people know that you're rich. There are plenty of towns you could move to that probably wouldn't recognize Bill Gates and definitely not recognize the creator of Minecraft. I know I wouldn't recognize him.

If you are Bill Gates, or even Notch, the cat's going to get out of the bag sooner or later.

Now maybe if you managed to lay low long enough, people would be okay at pretending to ignore the "new" circumstances once your identity were eventually revealed, but it's never going to be the same.

The solution of this problem is trivial and is left as an exercise for the reader.