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Comment Re:Oxymoron? (Score 1) 177

I didn't say it'd scramble the fighter jets, but if someone enters a "I"M BEING COERCED INTO VOTING FOR SOMEONE" signal, that's pretty serious. If I entered it, I'd expect someone to follow up on it (not send around a S.W.A.T team, but have someone follow up over the next week).

This is a side issue though, as there's already the problem of how someone actually enters this duress signal. How is this done without anyone but the person entering it knowing it's the duress signal?

but otherwise sounds to me you're trying to come up with some absurd argument against online voting because you've run out of proper arguments.

I'm describing just one problem in a theoretically perfectly secure online voting system. In fact, the problem with the duress signal is the delivery of it to a person without anyone else knowing. I was describing a problem even if *that* system was also perfect. Overall, I don't see the point in online voting. Going to a nearby school/church/town hall and ticking a box on a bit of paper behind a curtain is simple, cheap and pretty hard to fuck up. It solves many of the problems with coercion (the wonderful technology of an opaque curtain), fraud is harder because there are physical items to fake/destroy with people around.

Comment Re:Oxymoron? (Score 2) 177

Frankly, I see no difference between Internet voting and voting by mail when it comes to security.

Scale. Voting by mail is done in fairly small numbers and importantly is not the standard. You have to go through extra hoops to do it. As it's implemented, it certainly has the problems of coercion, but is probably better than stopping those people voting at all.

Internet voting, however, would be something I'd see as standard. Not a special case for those who can't make it to the polls, but for everyone. And that's where it starts to worry me.

Comment Re:Oxymoron? (Score 1) 177

Sounds quite complicated.
It'd need to be unique to each person, and have been delivered to them without anyone else seeing (you don't want the person you're afraid of knowing you're signalling duress). Then, given that someone is likely to turn up at the house (voter fraud is very serious, I'd expect the police to be involved) you could be found out.
If it's a workplace thing, do you want to risk getting fired?
The problem is you need to this to be indistinguishable from a normal vote to any observer, and however you do this cannot be intercepted or detected.

Comment Re:Consumer? Pah. (Score 1) 177

Yes, if only the BBC were more like ITV or Channel 5. Why, then we'd be able to watch reality TV without being interrupted by nature documentaries with Attenborough, quality news or original comedies. What a blissful world that would be!

Comment Re:power saving tip: disable the optical drive (Score 1) 907

This might be solving the user's immediate issue (if he has time/inclination to rip the disk ahead of time, and assuming that the battery isn't dying even when the DVD is not in use), but it also neatly avoids the need to address the actual problem (crap battery life).

Well, unless the replier is going to quickly solve the underlying problem, the only useful response is the one given. The replier didn't give what was asked, but gave what was needed.

Comment Re:How Exactly Does This Fight Spam? (Score 1) 287

But who learned from that? Only that individual advertiser. Even if each advertiser never makes money, as long as there is another sucker in line, there will be no end to spam.

You're assuming here that if *some* people will still send spam that the problem will be the same. Sure, some people will advertise through email. However, you're now limited to people willing to pay quite large sums for modest exposure.

I'm most concerned about people who have a legitimate reason to send out lots of emails. Anyone running a newsletter for example. You'd need a way of allowing people to send emails without it costing them.

Comment Re:God Bless Him (Score 1) 600

Ultimately it boils down to the fact that Wikipedia is not a primary source

How about Scholarpedia?

What of the thousands of online copies of peer-reviewed papers?

So let's try a different exercise: look up a bunch of Wikipedia articles on various subjects and follow the references. How many of those references are available online? How many of those references would require a visit to the library (or, for those who can afford it, a book purchase)?

Why only wikipedia?

A second challenge, try to find academic papers in a library. How many could you not find there?

Comment Re:God Bless Him (Score 1) 600

I have a better test: try to make it through college without attending classes and without consulting a single offline reference. Unless you already know the material, chances are you'll not progress anywhere near as quickly as those students who rely on non-internet resources.

If you are doing the test properly and mean "*only* non-internet resources" at the end, then I'm certain I'd win. My course was AI, most lecture notes were available online and failing that I could very quickly have the most important papers on the topic on my screen. I haven't taken a single (on topic) book out of the library during my course, have never felt the need to as I could get up-to-date information almost instantly. Those not using the internet would have had an extremely difficult time.

Your test is also somewhat biased, since the idea is to compare the internet an libraries. You've compared the internet to libraries and lectures.

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