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Comment: Re:Wat? (Score 1) 21 21

Stores information and processes it in the same place? You mean like every other computer ever?

Well, no. I didn't RTFA because I'm not new here, but ordinary computers have to copy the data from memory into a register before they can process it. They don't process it in-place. And most data is not kept in memory all the time, either, but I figured they meant the first sense.

Comment: Re:PID FTW (Score 1) 71 71

I don't see how a PID controller will help much.

It helped him win.

You are cooking with very low temperature air (around 200 F).

Yes, temperature control is what PID is used for in this context.

You have this massive ceramic cooker with large heat capacity.

No, I'm not talking about TFA, I'm talking about every other BBQ. Anyway you can buy a PID fan controller as a complete unit and stick it up your Weber's arse.

The most important thing for good BBQ is picking a good cut of meat. Do that right and you can throw it in your oven and it will be delicious.

That's not even BBQ.

Comment: Re:The inherent problem with electronic voting (Score 1) 56 56

I didn't say that paper elections cannot be rigged. They can, and have been more often actually than there have been fair elections.

I did not even say that it's easier to rig electronic elections than paper elections. Personally, I'd expect it to be as long as you're the one calling the shots.

What is harder is simply to debunk cries of foul play. People can easily imagine what a paper election is like and how counting them (with representatives of all parties involved present) can be somewhat trusted. It is easy, on the other hand, to convince people that this is not the case with voting machines.

People don't trust what they don't understand. And trust is something a democracy needs urgently. People need to have faith in their system of government. Whether they like their current government or not, but they need to know that it was elected fairly and that it is what "the people" wanted. That's the whole problem here. Because without ... well, you see how Mexico is doing...

Comment: Re:The inherent problem with electronic voting (Score 1) 56 56

It is?

Explain this to Joe Random who just heard some populist cry foul play, claiming that they can't be audited and that the auditors are all in league with the party that won the election. Yes, it's bull. But the problem is that you CANNOT debunk it. Joe Random can't imagine how such an audit takes place. He can imagine counting paper slips, and he can see through the ruse when someone cries foul in such an environment. Any party crying foul in a paper election will be told that they should've put some monitors down if they didn't trust the ones running the show and counting the paper slips. That's (at least in my country) their right to do.

You can't do that with computer voting. Yes, someone can make an audit. But it isn't something you can easily explain to someone who has no idea of computers. He will readily believe someone who claims that it's bogus. Simply because he doesn't understand what "audit" means. He understands counting paper slips, though.

The danger is even less in the actual possibility of manipulation as it is in the possible loss of faith in the election. People are already weary of politicians and even politics to some degree (personally, I can only hope that the general apathy is more due to useless politicians rather than people genuinely not caring about democracy anymore). The very last thing we need now is that something gives them the impression that it doesn't matter jack anymore whether or not they vote because it's rigged anyway. Whether real or imagined, if someone starts beating that drum, people will follow easily.

Simply because you can't easily debunk it.

Comment: Re:The inherent problem with electronic voting (Score 1) 56 56

But any party involved can (at least in my country, and pretty much all civilized countries I know of) nominate election observers that can easily identify whether everything's running correctly without any kind of special knowledge. They can easily tell whether the ballot is properly sealed, they can easily tell whether people step into the voting booth alone. They can easily find out whether the choice is free of influence. They can be present when the ballot seal is broken (actually, over here people are essentially locked in 'til the paper slips are counted, collected and sealed again, nothing going in or out in between) and when the paper slips are counted.

It's pretty hard to manipulate anything in such an environment. It's easy to see whether someone tries to manipulate results since it takes little more than eyes to detect foul play.

Comment: Re:The inherent problem with electronic voting (Score 1) 56 56

You act as if that wasn't even easier with voting machines. "Whoopsie, computer crash!"

And unlike in this case, you can't even claim that they're criminally incompetent. Because, hey, computers crash, that's what they do, right? Happens to you at home, too, and you can't be blamed for that, can you?

In other words, them running out of ballots and being unable/unwilling to allow voters to vote is something people can easily identify as something not being as it should be. Manipulation gets heaps easier with voting machines.

Comment: The inherent problem with electronic voting (Score 4, Insightful) 56 56

There is one single very dangerous problem with electronic voting: Trust. People have to trust it, because they are unable to test it.

With paper and pen, it's easy. You can nominate anyone to work as an election monitor. The necessary qualification is "being able to find out where the X marks the spot" and "count". That's a skill set available to nearly everyone.

Working as an election monitor to rule out foul play with election machines requires someone to know quite a bit about computers. It's anything BUT simple to rule out foul play.

The danger here isn't even so much that manipulation can take place. And I don't even want to engage in the discussion whether or not these machines can easily be manipulated. The danger is that some populist aiming for the uneducated masses goes and cries foul play when he loses the election. And that's a danger not to some party but to the faith of the population in the whole democratic process. And that inherently is dangerous to democracy altogether.

It's not easy to debunk such claims. With paper, it's easy to go "oh please, count them yourself if you don't believe us. Here's the paper slips, and you can count, can't you?". Now try the same with election machines. Saying "you can do an audit yourself" isn't going to cut it. Why should we trust the computer experts? It's not something just anyone can do.

These machines are a danger to democracy. Nothing less.

Comment: Re:The reason is more simple (Score 1) 435 435

How about we also remove all those oil subsidies, and see how cheap that car really is? Oh, and also the cost to the environment from burning fossil fuels - let's see, how much will it cost to move everyone out of Florida? Anf how about all the carcinogenic bullshit that comes along with it - all those health costs need to be wrapped into it as well. Oh gee - look! It's actually more expensive to run fossil fuel vehicles than some flimsy govt subsidy for an electric car.

I'd call you a troll, but that would overstating the case, and it's possible you're something stupider, like a republican.

Comment: Re:Future prediction... (Score 1) 115 115

(And during the few moments that we have left
We want to talk right down to earth in a language
That everybody here can easily understand)

Look in my eyes, what do you see?
The Cult of Personality
I know your anger
I know your dreams
I've been everything you want to be
I'm the Cult of Personality
Like Mussolini and Kennedy
I'm the Cult of Personality
The Cult of Personality
The Cult of Personality

Neon lights, a Nobel Prize
When a mirror speaks, the reflection lies
You won't have to follow me
Only you can set me free

I sell the things you need to be
I'm the smiling face on your TV
I'm the Cult of Personality
I exploit you
Still you love me
I tell you one and one makes three
I'm the Cult of Personality

Like Joseph Stalin and Gandhi
I'm the Cult of Personality
The Cult of Personality
The Cult of Personality

Neon lights, a Nobel Prize
When a leader speaks, that leader dies
You won't have to follow me
Only you can set you free

You gave me fortune
You gave me fame
You gave me power in your God's name
I'm every person you need to be
I'm the cult of personality!

I'm the Cult of
I'm the Cult of
I'm the Cult of
I'm the Cult of
I'm the Cult of
I'm the Cult of
I'm the Cult of
I'm the Cult of
Personality!

Comment: Re:That's still exactly what it was (Score 1) 115 115

Water falls out of the sky in most of the world.

Sadly, in more and more parts of it, it's becoming illegal to collect it. And mind you, I'm not talking about diverting seasonal drainage, I'm talking about collecting rainfall from your roof, let alone from a structure purpose-built for collecting water like you commonly see in areas with high rainfall and low government interference.

Comment: Re:Well... (Score 1) 263 263

Is that a quote from somewhere? Who said that?

I'm pretty sure the last part is something I read someplace, if not verbatim then next door, and attached to a similar sentiment. There Will Be Idiots is my motto these days, so it crept in there. I can't find anything, either. Whatever it originally was, I probably read it here.

The UNIX philosophy basically involves giving you enough rope to hang yourself. And then a couple of feet more, just to be sure.

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