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Comment Re:Online voting cannot be secured (Score 2) 405

... And I'm not even talking about the guy with the gun pointing at his head telling him how to vote.

Just this point should be enough to stop people speculating about on-line voting. The rest of your post is absolutely right, but it takes some technical understanding to see the problem and how difficult it is to solve. The guy with a gun ... everyone can understand that. What I don't understand is why this is even being discussed in the first place!

Comment Re:Ack! (Score 1, Redundant) 405

Absolutely right! (Mod parent up)

I've said this before in this thread, but I'll say it again ('cause I think it's important)

Voting at home is inherently insecure and not secret. The risk of simple shoulder-surfing or bribes/extortions as the parent suggests should be enough to dismiss such ideas out of hand.

Comment On-line voting is not secret (Score 4, Insightful) 405

I cannot see how on-line voting can possibly stand up against the demand for a secret ballot.

If everyone is allowed to vote in their own home then there is no way to guaranty that the ballot is secret. How can you make sure that no one is shoulder-surfing? Or worse, shoulder-surfing with a big stick? With home (on-line) voting bribing and/or threatening voters becomes trivial and we don't want that!

On-line voting sounds like fun, but it doesn't work.

Comment Mod parent up (Score 1) 304

But even a 100% perfect, secure, open source, pure gold, RMS-approved online voting system will have a fundamental flaw: people will be able to vote from a location (e.g. home) where others can see how they vote. This will enable criminal organizations to buy votes with money or threats and check that people actually vote the way they want.

The only way to prevent this is to force people to vote in only one location, the fucking voting booth, where they can and must cast their vote in secret. So even if criminals pay someone to vote for a certain candidate, they will never be certain that he/she actually voted for that candidate.

Any type of remote voting is fundamentally flawed. It's not about the implementation details, it's the basic concept that cannot work.

Modders: This quote is all that's needed in this thread. It gets to the crux of the matter and it amazes me that anyone would over look it. Any discussion of remote voting should end here.

Comment Conspiracy theories (Score 2) 274

The police have apparently given up so it's up to us conspiracy theorists to solve the problem (yet again)!

First of all this is clearly a cover-up involving both the parliament security forces and the police. The computer was discovered over a year ago, but nobody was the wiser until now when the story was leaked. Nobody was questioned and the investigation seems to have dead-ended immediately. Also, the security cameras near the room in question were "unfortunately out of order" at the time.

Keep in mind also that the office where the computer was found was being shared by the Movement and the Independence Party. The former are known around here as the friends of Wikileaks while the latter are known in Iceland as simply "The Party". They are the single most powerful entity in Iceland and have in the last 50 years or so controlled both parliament and government as well as having strong influences over the police and judiciary (and the parliament security forces). During the cold war party membership could guaranty work while not being a member could loose you your job. It's also a documented fact that the Independence Party had a very effective local espionage network during the cold war and I doubt they just stopped such a successful operation when the Berlin wall fell.

Finally the daily Morgunbladid is run by one David Oddsson who is the godfather of the Independence Party; what he says goes. Wrongfully accusing someone to divert the attention away from the Party is just his MO, but because Morgunbladid is widely read it will probably work.

Put the pieces together and we see that this was a botched Party spying operation covered up by the police and parliament security. ... as conspiracy theorys go this one's actually not that unlikely!

Comment Re:Run by wikileaks ? (Score 1) 274

Maybe I'm naive and Iceland is really a hotbed of corruption and intrigue ...

The Icelandic government is truly a hotbet of corruption and intrigue - only nobody outside Iceland needs to care! If this is espionage (and I doubt it) then it's purely an inside-(Iceland)-job. Amateurish as well, just leaving the computer there. I'm surprised this got to /. - it's hardly making waves in Iceland.

Comment Re:Gulf Stream (Score 3, Interesting) 582

Climate change isn't predicted to destroy the gulf stream, at least not to remotely degree of confidence we associate with other climate-related predictions.

(disclaimer: oceanographer with only fleeting interest in global warming)

True, but I would like to elaborate. Some of the early climate models predicted the Gulf Stream to shut down* and naturally one of the objectives for building better models was to confirm or disprove these predictions. I don't think any of the newest IPCC models show the Gulf Stream shutting down but there are indications that it may slow down in the future. Not enough to off set the underlying warming though.

So it seems we don't have to fear rapid changes because of a sudden shut down. Last thing I heard about this predicted shut down was that it was being classified as "low probability, high impact event". The impact would indeed be high, but it seems the probability becomes less and less the better the models become.

*) I'm being very imprecise. What I mean is that the North Atlantic Current (an extension of the Gulf Stream) was predicted to slow down or that the northern branch would become weaker (from Ireland towards Norway) and the southern branch stronger (from Ireland towards Spain). Worst case scenario the northern branch would turn off.

Comment Mod parent up! (Score 1) 644

Nice little detective work. And I must say that there is no indication on that this is sponsored by ASUS. So give me proof instead of inflammatory headlines! (but of course this is slashdot, blah, blah, blah)

Comment CyBook (Score 1) 409

I have a CyBook from Bookeen and as a simple e-book reader it is excellent. It has an e-ink display, supports mobi-pocket files and has rudimentary pdf and html support. I've even managed to convert scientific articles from html to mobi and to read on there - figures, equations and all.

It runs on Linux, but the mobi-pocket reader is proprietary.

Some programming languages manage to absorb change, but withstand progress. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982