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Comment Re:It's weird... (Score 1) 258 258

How can you provide complete secrecy of the voter's choice? Let's say I want to buy a vote. In the current system, the person I am paying disappears into a booth, and I actually have no idea how they voted. Better yet, the ballot does not contain their name! Not a very useful thing to try to buy votes because there is total secrecy of the voters choice. The LACK of verification is a feature, not a bug. How can we provide this very important property (unverifiability of voter's actual choice even by an extremely powerful adversary) with internet voting?

Comment Pretty amazing, but not much cheaper than RPi (Score 4, Insightful) 180 180

This is pretty amazing if they can actually sell those for $9. Definitely one of the better kickstarters I've seen recently, so I am glad to see its successful.

However, once you add the HDMI, it's essentially the same price as a raspberry pi model A.

Comment Re:At this point? Really? (Score 4, Insightful) 76 76

Is it? I can't tell which bias he has. He's expressing a desire for more regulation, which is a left-leaning bias, but a disdain for Obama, even using his middle name, which a right-leaning bias. I think he's just showing that he's pissed at the corporate cock sucking, fascist pile of shit that is the US federal government.

Comment Re:It's good if they don't code like 90s C++ devs (Score 1) 298 298

I think a lot of people don't really understand how the compiler actually works. Not even at a basic level. If I make three different loop variables (int types) for three different loops which run at different times in a function (let's say this improves readability), any modern compiler worth its salt will only use the space of a single int for these three (because they are never used together). In my experience, many programmers, even mid-level, would not know that. And, this doesn't even require an understanding of how a compiler works. This is SUPER basic compiler understanding. This leads to poor attempts at "optimized" code which saves nothing (because they compiler will do the same thing to the machine code) and detracts from readability and maintainability.

Comment Re:Benefits are Overstated (Score 1) 172 172

I never said that the technology itself is evil. In a world with a trustworthy government and corporations which care about security, this could be an amazing technology. I am a security professional. It's not enough to merely evaluate what the product does. We have to evaluate what other things it COULD do once installed. Western governments are famous for scope creep with their technological endeavors. And, western corporations are famous for their sleaziness.

Comment Benefits are Overstated (Score 2, Insightful) 172 172

First of all, the government has acted irresponsibly with the powers it already has. Giving them the ability to remotely control our appliances is a terrible idea. We have to fix the problem with the unaccountable government and lack of societal trust before we start even thinking about these sorts of pie-in-the-sky, cooperative efforts which require a VERY high amount of accountability by those in control.

Second of all, even if the government can be trusted, the companies that will build these things will not take security seriously. I won't say maybe; I won't say possibly. Definitely. These things will definitely not be secure. Most companies still think they can just take a half-hearted crack at security, let marketing make it sound impermeable to the masses and act surprised when it comes out that the security was crap in the first place. It's pretty much the industry model at this point.

Finally, and most importantly, it's not even clear that smart meters will have the intended effect, that people adjust usage. As another commenter pointed out, when everyone is using electricity at the same time, there is usually a reason for that.

My fear is that these devices will be forced upon the public (they already are forcing the "smart" meters on us), and when the evidence is gathered that consumers don't adjust usage voluntarily, it will be done by force. And, the government does absolutely nothing to make me think this won't happen. Why should we, the public, accept this?

Comment Re:Thanks, assholes (Score 1) 573 573

Have you pondered that the purpose is to cut the "think of the children" argument off at the pass? It's up to the rest of us to defeat that logic now before it's too late. I, personally, support Defense Distributed pushing the envelope with both 3D printers and gun rights. What value does a free society have if we cannot tackle the difficult questions like adults?

Comment Is It Worth Getting a New Job Over? (Score 1) 420 420

At what point does a bad office layout drive you to seek new employment? It might seem ridiculous at first cut, but if you work in a terrible office, it really drags on you. And, better yet, how does one find out at a new job exactly what the work environment is like? Interviews are not usually done near the cube farm. Do you ask to see an example section of the building?

Comment Re:Already lost the "complete freedom" argument... (Score 1) 129 129

While your comment is completely reasonable out of context, in the context of this discussion it is completely anti-freedom. The problem here is that the DMCA makes rights opt-in by government, rather than out-out. That is to say that laws like the DMCA assume that you have no rights unless the government or a corporation allows you them explicitly. That is so anti-American it makes me want to vomit. The standard arrangement needs to be that you can do with your property whatever you please as long as you aren't violating other laws which are in place to secure others' safety, the environment, etc.

In summary, you are right that in a civilized society, we can't just do whatever we please, but you are wrong that a sensible solution is to make a law which carte blanche disallows consumers from free modification of their own property. That's like the worst solution to the problem. In a free society (assuming that's what we are), the solution is to create laws which narrowly limit freedoms to promote public good on an ad hoc basis for an explicit and narrow purpose and rely on tort law to fill the gap until such time that new laws with reasonable scope can be created as needed.

Comment Honey over Vinegar (Handsfree Features) (Score 1) 326 326

I've read about this guy's idea, and I can see why it won't catch on. It feels very nanny state. It seems like if we're going to mandate technology to stop people from using cell phones while driving it should be handsfree technology. If we give teens (for example) a good handsfree alternative to texting in the car, they'll use it. So, let's not spend the money trying to jam communications, something that feels very nannyish and is likely to be worked around by drivers. Let's spend the money and give people and incentive to put down the phone and drive. Handsfree texting and calling would do this. Ford Sync does this, but the system is quite inferior to Siri or Google's voice recognition.

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." -- Albert Einstein