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Submission You can't audit voting machines in Kansas

Geoffrey.landis writes: A statistician discovered evidence of suspicious counting on voting machines in Kansas. The voting machines keep a paper trail for verification... but her request to examine the record of votes is being blocked with the explanation that no one, not even the election officials, is allowed to see it.

According to the Washington Post "The voting machines that Sedgwick County uses have a paper record of the votes, known as Real Time Voting Machine Paper Tapes... . Since the software is proprietary, even elections officials can’t examine it and postelection audits can’t be done, according to Pamela Smith, president of Verified Voting Foundation".

Even the Kansas papers editorialize that this is going too far. More evidence that the software used in voting machines should never be proprietary.

Comment Re:Somehow I'm reminded of Kirk (Score 1) 114

True, but good decisions in what "appears" to be a no-win scenario can be the cause of getting out of a 1 in a million chance of survival scenario. It also gives insight into the captain's world view. Is the captain a "take 'em all down with me" kind of person or a "Run away!" kind of captain, or some other kind? It allows those higher in the chain of command to have at least an idea of what kind of assignments to give in the future. I think it also allows the test taker to look more deeply into themselves to see what kind of person they really are when the chips are down. Assuming, of course, the student takes the test seriously enough.

Comment Re:Email lets you organize your thoughts (Score 1) 115

Absolutely this. At the end of a meeting I will summarize verbally what I believe the other person wants from me and then ask them to put it in an e-mail with the understanding I don't move forward until I have the e-mail. If I don't get one right away I will be pro-active and send them one with what we agreed on and ask them to confirm the points, again mentioning no work starts until I get an acknowledgement e-mail. I have found this not only keeps the other party accountable for what they ask for but it also keeps me on top of what I need to be doing (the e-mail usually becomes a task list item in Outlook).

Comment Re:Their buying clout alone should end this deal. (Score 1) 105

Again, that's where competition comes in. I'll plug my agency's online store Prices equal to or better than Office Depot and Staples with no shipping charges, packages typically arrive within 2-3 business days of the order (admittedly not same day convenience), and returns are very easy (and during business hours you can call to talk to a person about your order). Now, I'm not saying I'm in favor or against the merger. I don't really care either way. But there really is more competition out there than folks think. It's just hard to stand out in the mass of online retailers.

Comment Re:Lawful Content (Score 1) 379

Valid point. The line between freedom of expression and hate/porn/libel/threat/terrorism does tend to keep getting shifted around in the courts. So I guess that does put the final decision more in SCOTUS than congress at the end of the day (unless congress decides to make a law declaring everything legal).

FORTUNE'S FUN FACTS TO KNOW AND TELL: A firefly is not a fly, but a beetle.