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Comment: FUD (Score 2) 116

by linnumees (#47000175) Attached to: Estonia Urged To Drop Internet Voting Over Security Fears

Firstly, people here should understand that e-voting as in voting machines and internet voting are completely different and not really comparable.

One of the opposition parties of Estonia is strongly against internet voting, mainly because their voters are not using it a lot and they are able to mobilize their voters well to go voting on paper as opposed to most other parties. For various reasons they are in power at the capital city and the trip of the researchers to go and observe the current voting process was paid by the city, so already for that they can't claim that they are totally independent. And, of course, the fact that the whole thing came to light a few days before the elections of the European Parliament was just a coincidence. This far they have yet to actually publish the report, which, from what we know this far, doesn't have any new attack vectors, only the ones that were already considered more-or-less from the very beginning.

Estonia has a smardcard-based ID card that can be used for authentication and digital signatures (two different keys). The latter is legally as good as your handwritten one which means you can build all sorts of services on top of that, elections are just one of them. The vote is encrypted with the public key of the current election, signed with the ID card and sent to a central server. Later, the double votes are removed according to the list of people who voted on the election day (so if you were forced to vote for someone and your ID card taken away, you can just grab your passport and go vote again using the paper-based method), votes are separated from the signed container, moved to a physically different machine, decrypted and counted. Anyone can go and see how all the process is done, it is fully auditable and all the video recordings of the whole process are later uploaded to Youtube. By no means it is so that only some certain people are chosen to make the audit to get favourable results.

Additionally, you can also check that the vote made it into the system and was for the correct candidate with your smartphone without compromising secrecy, so even if your computer was infected with malware, you can still make sure everything goes correctly.

See the website of the elections committee for more.

+ - Ask Slashdot: Can some of us get together and rebuild this community? 21

Submitted by wbr1
wbr1 (2538558) writes "It seems abundantly clear now that Dice and the SlashBeta designers do not care one whit about the community here. They do not care about rolling in crapware into sourceforge installers. In short, the only thing that talks to them is money and stupid ideas.

Granted, it takes cash to run sites like these, but they were fine before. The question is, do some of you here want to band together, get whatever is available of slashcode and rebuild this community somewhere else? We can try to make it as it once was, a haven of geeky knowledge and frosty piss, delivered free of charge in a clean community moderated format."

+ - Alternatives to Slashdot post beta? 8

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Like many Slashdotters, I intend to stop visiting Slashdot after the beta changeover. After years of steady decline in the quality of discussions here, the beta will be the last straw. What sites alternative to Slashdot have others found? The best I have found has been arstechnica.com, but it has been a while since I've looked for tech discussion sites."

Comment: Re:how does this work on (Score 1) 83

by linnumees (#45672179) Attached to: Estonia Sharing Its Finnish-Made E-Government Solution With Finland

The biggest issue I had was java/driver/OS incompatibilities which mean that I can only use the card and card-reader on my g/f's x86_64 machine, not my POWER machine, nor my x86 laptop (all running linux). Anyone with delusions that java actually actually runs everywhere at this juncture should be taken outside and put out of my misery.

That was because the Java applet contained platform-specific code for some bits that couldn't be (or just weren't) done in Java. But we've overcome that for now, more or less.

Comment: Re:Finland: be careful! (Score 1) 83

by linnumees (#45671915) Attached to: Estonia Sharing Its Finnish-Made E-Government Solution With Finland

That is just bad management, nothing else.

The main benefit of all the IT stack is that it saves a lot of time: you don't have to run around with a bunch of papers between various government agencies who manage everything digitally anyway. The X-Road is a data exchange layer: it is a common service-oriented stack to connect various databases and IT systems together, it just provides a secure way of doing it, nothing else. Secure as in with strong cryptography, auditable, etc. Starting a company, doing taxes and other services are just some things that use it somehow (to query some databases, etc), those weren't part of the deal.

There is one thing that just about any Estonian abroad is really going to miss: getting things done quickly when it comes to government agencies and various paperwork. A common data exchange layer and a digital ID that you can use for signing documents are the basis of that.

Comment: Re:e-stonian speaking here (Score 1) 88

by linnumees (#44264417) Attached to: E-Voting Source Code Made Public In Estonia

The only ones with the "rampant suspicions of corruption" are the opposition parties spreading FUD, especially by comparing that to electronic voting elsewhere: voting machines - which is a totally different thing.

The scandal with some party's internal voting didn't even use the same infrastructure. FUD much?

Comment: Re:Designed Poorly (Score 4, Informative) 177

by linnumees (#43892173) Attached to: In France, a Showcase of What Can Go Wrong With Online Voting

Yes it can.

Estonia has a smardcard-based ID card that can be used for authentication and digital signatures (two different keys). The latter is legally as good as your handwritten one which means you can build all sorts of services on top of that, elections are just one of them. The vote is encrypted with the public key of the current election, signed with the ID card and sent to a central server. Later, the double votes are removed according to the list of people who voted on the election day (so if you were forced to vote for someone and your ID card taken away, you can just grab your passport and go vote again using the "old" method), votes are separated from the signed container, moved to a physically different machine, decrypted and counted. Anyone can go and see how all the process is done.

See http://www.vvk.ee/voting-methods-in-estonia/engindex/reports-about-internet-voting-in-estonia/ for details.

Displays

USC Launches 3-D Printed VR Headset Library 25

Posted by Soulskill
from the 3d-print-all-the-things dept.
Hesh writes "The University of Southern California has launched a website that contains the blueprints for many of their custom VR headsets as well as new mods to the much anticipated yet unreleased Oculus Rift. Some are helping push DIY VR forward through custom sensor mounts to support, for example, stereo cameras and others add more functionality like new eye cups to help increase the already large FOV of the headset. This is truly an exciting time for VR; by GDC, developers will already have Rifts in hand and tinkerers can 3D-print their own designs now as well!"
Intel

Why Can't Intel Kill x86? 605

Posted by Soulskill
from the keeps-getting-luck-on-the-saving-throws dept.
jfruh writes "As tablets and cell phones become more and more important to the computing landscape, Intel is increasingly having a hard time keeping its chips on the forefront of the industry, with x86 architecture failing to find much success in mobile. The question that arises: Why is Intel so wedded to x86 chips? Well, over the past thirty years, Intel has tried and failed to move away from the x86 architecture on multiple occasions, with each attempt undone by technical, organizational, and short-term market factors."
Education

'Bandwidth Divide' Could Bar Some From Free Online Courses 222

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the no-learning-for-you dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Bandwidth Divide is a form of what economists call the Red Queen effect referring to a scene in Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass when Alice races the Red Queen. As the Red Queen tells Alice: 'It takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!' Keeping up with digital technology is like that race — it takes a continual investment of money and time just to keep up with the latest, and an exceptional amount of work to get ahead of the pack. 'The question is, What is the new basic?' said one researcher. 'There will always be inequality. But 100 years after the introduction of the car, not everybody has a Ferrari, but everyone has access to some form of motorized transportation through buses.' Well, not everyone, but even fewer people have the online equivalent. Colleges considering MOOCs should remember that."
Space

SpaceX Cargo Capsule Reaches International Space Station 89

Posted by samzenpus
from the home-sweet-home dept.
Despite having some trouble with maneuvering thrusters a few days ago, SpaceX's Dragon cargo capsule has successfully reached the International Space Station. from the article: "Astronauts aboard the outpost used the station's robotic arm to pluck the capsule from orbit at 5:31 a.m. EST as the ships sailed 250 miles over northern Ukraine. Flight controllers at NASA's Mission Control in Houston then stepped in to drive the capsule to its berthing port on the station's Harmony connecting node."

Comment: Re:Estonia (Score 1) 189

by linnumees (#41873837) Attached to: New Jersey Residents Displaced By Storm Can Vote By Email

You can always vote again. If your employer forces you to vote for him, you can go home and change your vote. If your employer takes away your ID card, you can take your passport and go vote on the election day.

Estonia has a smardcard-based ID card that can be used for authentication and digital signatures (two different keys). Technically the vote is encrypted with the public key of the current election, signed with the ID card and sent to a central server. Later, the double votes are removed according to the list of people who voted on the election day, votes are separated from the signed container, moved to a physically different machine, decrypted and counted.

See http://www.vvk.ee/voting-methods-in-estonia/engindex/reports-about-internet-voting-in-estonia/ for details.

Air is water with holes in it.

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