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Comment TYS (Score 1) 177

These systems have no other purpose but cheating.

The Canadians have a manual paper system with multi-party guarded counts. It scales, it works, it can be recounted.

E-voting was an idea slammed home in every case. It cannot be secured. No purpose but an invisible and unstoppable means to alter vote counts. The counts have been altered, the machines and systems compromised numerous times on investigation. And that's just outside cracking; anyone on the inside can change code, accumulated totals, and elections at will, if they aren't stupid enough to get greedy. Recounts recount altered votes, so they are useless. We can't analyze code; it can change on the fly. We can't look at the data, because all wee see is the altered datasets.

We need to shut these cheating boxes down and switch to paper before we can't actually cast a meaningful vote ever again.


When Vote Counting Goes Bad 128

ZipK writes "Television singing competition The Voice disclosed on Wednesday 'inconsistencies' with the tallying of on-line and SMS-based voting. Although host Carson Daly claimed the show wanted to be 'completely upfront,' the explanation from their third-party vote counter, Telescope, was anything but transparent. In particular, Telescope claims that disregarding all on-line and SMS-based voting for the two nights in question left no impact on the final results, but they haven't provided any detail of the 'inconsistency' or their ability to predict a complete lack of impact. Sure, it's only The Voice; but tomorrow it could be American Idol, and by next month, America's Got Talent."

Ask Slashdot: Becoming a Programmer At 40? 314

New submitter fjsalcedo writes "I've read many times, here at Slashdot and elsewhere, that programming, especially learning how to program professionally, is a matter for young people. That programmers after 35 or so begin to decline and even lose their jobs, or at least part of their wages. Well, my story is quite the contrary. I've never made it after undergraduate level in Computer Science because I had to begin working. I've always worked 24x4 in IT environments, but all that stopped abruptly one and a half years ago when I was diagnosed with a form of epilepsy and my neurologist forbade me from working shifts and, above all, nights. Fortunately enough, my company didn't fire me; instead they gave me the opportunity to learn and work as a web programmer. Since then, in less than a year, I've had to learn Java, JavaScript, JSTL, EL, JSP, regular expressions, Spring, Hibernate, SQL, etc. And, you know what? I did. I'm not an expert, of course, but I'm really interested in continuing to learn. Is my new-born career a dead end, or do I have a chance of becoming good at programming?"

Comment How do you confiscate all the guns? Seriously? (Score 1) 717

Prohibition 1: Liquor. Failed, created criminal sydicates.
Prohibition 2: "Drugs". Failed, etc.
Prohibition 3: "Piracy". Failed, made most people criminals.
Prohibition 4: Guns. But it can't happen, not even massive background checks can't work. There are far more guns than people in the country. How are we going to take them away from the people, now criminal, who own them? Background checks, house checks, trackers, whatever - a massive, guaranteed-to-fail undertaking which will manufacture a lot more criminals.

We can't keep trying to fix everything we don't like by making it illegal. It just won't work.

Guns are bad, yes, because they are designed to kill. Societies like ours like to use them to settle scores, here and abroad. But what possible scenario can one envision that makes them go away? Think! Cure worse than disease. And a lot of gun owners aren't going to cooperate.

Comment Here come the end of unmonitored 3D printing (Score 1) 717

Copyright and patent infringement, combined with people finally realizing that at-home manufacturing can build anything, eventually, will result in Kindle-like DRM - you can put your own e-books on a Kindle, but you have to upload those first to Amazon for conversion to their format, before Amazon lets it display on your Kindle. And then they know what illegal books you might have on your Kindle. No hassle now, but the option to hassle is indefinitely retained.

So it goes with 3D printing, although it will happen much faster than it did with e-books. 3D printer manufacturers will be given de facto ultimatums to install DRM backdoors on all printers, at least, to enable a looksee by whomever to monitor what is being printed. I imagine the next step will be IP examination and of course seeing if you are being naughty and printing something like a gun or a suspicious casing for a bomb or whatever else they would like to stop.

"I can't do that, Dave.", your printer will say. And you get a copyright warning in the mail, or sometimes a visit from men in a black official car who want to take you somewhere while others borrow your hard drives.

Yup, you easily can build your own printer. Which, eventually, will be a crime. How fast did Bittorrent become criminal? And yes, it is considered criminal in most minds now. Ten years. Less. How fast you think they will make printing your own Glock illegal? Or the machine that can.

Comment Re: Good (Score 4, Insightful) 107

Slavery was legal because some states said so; we had to fight a bloody war to make the point that it was not. States are not independent. Get over it. The state's rights thing has been invoked in slavery/gay-sex-crime/keep-the-former-slaves-out-of-our-schools/miscegenation/jesus-is-king/we-can-marry-kids case for over a hundred fifty years. No matter how many times the Confederacy trots this out, we will slap it down.

Marriage was, is, and will be a government-controlled institution. You aren't married by the power of Jesus, but by the power vested by the State in the justice of the peace, or minister, or druid. And there was marriage long before we invented gods.

Comment Re:Playing the race card again (Score 1) 1078

Read it all; well and good. But it strikes me that all who argue the two stories shouldn't be connected are probably 1) white and 2) male. I'd throw in libertarian for fun as number 3.

It is fact, cold, numeric fact, that black teenagers are far more likely to be charged and convicted for crimes that white teenagers skate past.

Comment Computers lie if they are told to lie (Score 1, Offtopic) 156

Point I've made in the computerized voting systems ongoing fiasco: if you are "in" the system, you control the output. This is counter intuitive for geeks and ATM users everywhere. Automated systems aren't automated if the owners of the system output have control at any point. You, as the accused or someone looking at a computerized vote counting system, cannot tell if some man in the middle changed the output.

Sometimes, tho, that isn't true, as in this case. Altering text logs. But after this, be assured that in the future the owners of systems will make sure the carpet matches the drapes.

How many times has this happened? That's the point: if the logs lie, *you can't ever know*. The truth is whatever the system owner, of a logfile or the source code itself, tells you is true.

Altering logs and calculations used to be part of my job. I was that man in the middle.

Comment Not afraid; I *know* what will happen (Score 1) 331

I'm not afraid of what will happen; I know what will happen when surveillance is universal. A quiet settling, as we modify our behavior to be "normal" and inoffensive to whomever and whatever may take an interest in us. And that's just the current generation. The next generation that is born into our worldwide prison will tend to never even think of doing anything remotely offensive to powers seen and unseen. The human race will change into an obedient horde, for good and ill (normal behavior doesn't have to be *moral* behavior). A irrevocable experiment.

And of course the people on the other end of the surveillance will not be under quite the same restrictions. Anyone trying to find out what they are up to with all this knowledge will be Manninged. The Kochs and Cheneys of the world will not allow their activities to be known to us proles. Two worlds; the powerless, under glass, and those on the other end, who only answer to each other, fighting little secret wars unknown to us.

Comment Hippies: join up (Score 1) 312

I see the little slams against RMS "cultists", silly programmer hippies and similar software flower children that the right-wing millennials and Gen-Xers love to dismiss as fools. Because Hippies.

But the reason Stallman and the open software movement despises DRM was shown to you, precisely, when your "rights" disappeared.

So, who's the fool? As usual, as in the support for civil rights, the fight against wars started for lies, the rejection of Victorian sexual repression, the rejection of environmental destruction, and all the other things that Hippies were despised for, the Hippies were god damned right and everyone else was wrong, wrong, wrong. So that's why the hate, really.

If you'd have listened to the hippies, there'd been no Vietnam, no Iraq, no Afghanistan, and computers that would actually do what they are told to do by their, you know, actual owners. Instead of a PC, you now have a set-top DRM box, pretending to be a PC, managed by the powers-that-be, among whose number you will never be counted.

Comment Sigh, my people (Score 1) 96

Americans - their idea of the future is the 1950's, only with smartphones. Like grandpas wearing their fedoras and suit-n-tie, they want to keep on looking like they did when they were young and on top of the world. Cars and freeways, only with faster cars that don't look too silly, that is, that look like something that they grew up with.

A multi-rotor platform, with a little work, *is* a flying car. A flying car will not look like a flying Delorean. It will look like what a flying car will look like. And they'll probably pop up in African countries and Japan first. Cultures that aren't wedded to their own past glories.

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