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Comment Re:More nation-wrecking idiocy (Score 1) 548

That's a huge stretch to claim adding safety markings reduces crashes.

I'd expect drivers are speeding up because the road looks more safe with the lines, and are adjusting their speed to take advantage of the extra safety factor. So they are making a somewhat arbitrary adjustment to increase road safety, expecting people not to respond by making an equally arbitrary counter-adjustment. How they figure +x-y ends up being a lower value when x and y are completely unknown, is astonishing.

At the very least, they are creating a more hazardous condition in the hopes that random drivers react by not over-compensating to create a net improvement in safety. I sure don't want to be on that road when someone in oncoming traffic says "screw it I'm speeding up" and significantly increases the odds of me colliding with them. Given that people have a reason to go faster or at least maintain their speed (to stay on time) and have essentially no reason to slow down unless you give them one, this is a setup for failure.

I feel bad about not being able to say much more than "this is fundamentally flawed". I want to say more, but it's just too simple to expand on. How they don't understand this is beyond me.

Fixed that for you.

Comment Re:The technical problems with this are immense. (Score 1) 344

In even better conditions, an electric plane can "recharge" batteries on descent.

Unfortunately on commercial flights the planes pretty much only go down when they are about to land. At that point recharging the battery really does not help the autonomy. Plus once the plane is on the ground recharging the battery is a non-issue so landing with a somewhat charged battery isn't worth much.

Comment Re:Before a human walks on Mars... (Score 1) 285

If you take all the "nope"s and do them where they work best, you could supply the entire world without issue.

Nope. The two sources in the 'nope' category only amount for less than 20% of our power consumption and that's without taking into account inefficiencies (like drilling or leaving enough free space for boats to access the coasts).

The idea of homogeneous single-solution generation is silly

Yet this is really what your post sounded like. But I agree, we will need a diverse energy mix.

Comment Re:Before a human walks on Mars... (Score 5, Interesting) 285

Even if we only harvest 1/10,000 of available solar energy, it will be enough for human energy needs.

Or if we increase wind power to closer to its potential,

Agreed. However there is the energy trap to overcome. An attitude of "finding solutions is no problem let's have fun and not worry about it" is not conducing to avoiding it.

Or if we dig down a couple of miles and harness the geothermal energy, Bob's your uncle.

Nope.

Or if we deploy significant ocean wave power generation,

Nope.

or if we develop practical fusion reactors,

Maybe but but there's two pretty big ifs: that it's actually possible to attain a usable energy return on energy invested; and that we find a way to do it before our current ressources run out.

or if we develop thorium or other advanced efficient nuclear fission reactors that can re-use nuclear waste

Maybe, assuming these pan out.

or if as is likely we do all of the above to near their feasible potential,

Yep. That would work on account of solar photoelectric being sufficient on its own. See the summary matrix for reference.

then we'll only need fossil oil for petrochemicals (e.g. plastic).

We could also reserve biofuels for that purpose (or equivalent renewable agricultural resources). I did not check to see if we'd have sufficient resources though.

We don't even really lack the technological know-how to do these things at this point.

We have no proven technology for ocean wave power generation, breeder reactors, fusion. Fortunately there are other solutions that are deployable now.

We just lack political and economic will to make the transition.

And unless economics is on our side, getting all the nations of earth to leave fossil fuels into the ground will be very hard, probably barely easier than achieving "peace on earth". Then by the time we are forced to find other solutions because fossil fuels run out we're likely to not have sufficient resources to make the transition.

Comment Re:revolutionary technology (Score 1) 172

The people who do the actual counting are supervised by representatives from the major parties. This should suffice for the precinct counts.

There is still no valid reason to prevent regular voters from watching the recount. So why prevent it?

As far as the overall total goes, it's the sum of the precinct votes, and that's transparent.

As for the overall total it is indeed public which makes it trivially easy to handle, which is why one never talks about it. Not having to deal with the secrecy and anonymity issues enables use of all sorts of computers or schemes without drawbacks.

Comment Re:revolutionary technology (Score 1) 172

The box is sealed and stored, except that spot audits are conducted in random precincts.

If Joe random voter cannot overview the selection of the precincts to audit, you have no guarantee do you have that they are really random.

It fundamentally depends on enough people being willing to work towards a fair election, but that's true of all voting systems. If the system is sufficiently corrupt, the elections will be rigged, no matter what the mechanics.

It also depends on transparency. Without it there is nothing to keep the few people involved with the actual counting in line.

Comment Re:revolutionary technology (Score 1) 172

Voting around here is generally 6 AM to 8 PM to give as many people as possible the opportunity. (I normally vote on the way to work.) This is November,

Eh eh. True, you always hold your elections in November (and on a Tuesday even!), here they can happen at any time of the year, but always on a Sunday so people are available.

Comment Re:Bitcoin (Score 1) 172

The fact that you voted would not be secret, nor is it secret now (at least in the USA). Only how you voted is secret. You could use a private key to verify that the vote recorded was how you actually voted.

Please explain how you would use a private key to hide your vote from everyone except the people who need to actually count your vote. Also explain what would then prevent them from publicly disclosing how you voted.

Comment Re:revolutionary technology (Score 1) 172

Dunno how things are done in the US, but ballot boxes are sealed here (with actual lead / hard to change seals). The boxes are then couriered (with several different people accompanying the box) to a central location. There are various different registers that show who has attended the vote, what papers have been used. ie. Double Entry. with different people responsible for each register. Usually with a completely separate observer overseeing the ballot box.

Lead is not hard to find and if security keys can be replicated from a photograph then a standard seal should not be much of a challenge. Who picks the people accompanying the box to the central location? Can the person picking them be trusted? Is a single team carrying a significant fraction of the ballot boxes? And if they constantly have people supervising the ballot boxes, how can they forget them at the polling station? And recounts don't always happen immediately (at least in the US) so the issue is not just transport, it's also storage. Who picked the storage area? Who has access to it? Is a team posted 24/24 to verify nobody enters that room? Who picked that team?

The room is sealed / guarded.

The room is sealed? Why? Do they want to prevent the general population from overseeing the counting?

It would take an amazing level of conspiracy and corruption to rig a count in the UK.

From what you've said I'd say on the contrary that all the conditions are met for tampering.

There are no volunteers, these people are usually paid (and paid well enough) for their role in the ballot and count.

Who picks these people?

Consequences for interfering with the vote in any way are harsh and will include criminal charges as well as most likely loss of employment (staff typically are Local Government staff).

The consequences for murder are even harsher. And yet that has never prevented them.

If you've ever been at a count or worked with the people at the polling stations you would understand.

I've been at a count many times but here it happens right at the polling station, as soon as voting is closed so that the ballot box never goes out of the voters control. The counting is done by teams of four voters who volunteered at the polling station during the election, in the open. The count also happens in the presence of party representatives of course and any one who wants to oversee it (which I've done many times too). If you wanted you could arrive in the morning (done that too, was first to vote), see the ballot box being prepared, see that the box is empty (it's transparent), gets locked with two padlocks using different keys, handed out to separate persons, and stay all day until the results are announced after the count. In other words anyone can control everything from the start to the end.

I totally agree that paper voting can be much more secure and reliable than electronic voting. And even with the flaws of the process you described it probably is (mass tampering would be harder for one). But 'paper' is not a magic bullet. It still has to be done right.

Comment Re:revolutionary technology (Score 1) 172

Any system that leaves a physical trail, paper or otherwise, allows for the luxury of a physical recount if voting tabulations are in question.

Recounts are useless: by the time they are performed the ballots have been taken out of view of the voters for so long that there's no way to tell if they are still the same as those that once were in the ballot box. Counting must happen in the polling station, by voter volunteers, as soon as the election is closed.

This is also why any electronic voting system is bad: it purports to make manually counting the votes something that's optional so that when you do want to do it there is no one to do so when the polling station closes.

Comment Re:revolutionary technology (Score 1) 172

Apparently you've never seen how computers in the field are treated, or had to account for the volume use of computers.

More importantly regular computers are way too complex for the task at hand, making it even more impossible to verify they are not hacked (either at the hardware or software level).

Besides, if you use a paper ballot you can still have an election even if the power is out, even if people are filling in ballots in the dark by flashlight or candle.

Or you could hold your elections during the day instead of in the dead of the night ;-)

Voting is too important to hand-over to machines entirely.

Absolutely.

Comment Re:Logic (Score 1) 279

You're a bit inconsistent with your accounting. Not that it really matters but for accuracy's sake it should either be

When a woman has a baby, she continues to live. So 2 doesn't become 2. 2 becomes 3.

or

When a woman has a baby, she continues to live. So 1 doesn't become 1. 1 becomes 2.

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