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Comment Re:He can buy it back ... (Score 1) 111

Hear, hear.

This is exactly wanting to have the cake and eat it. Or even more appropriately, the French version: he wants the butter and keep the butter money.

As a side note, since trademarks are associated with a particular kind of products, he could sell McAfee sandwiches or open the MacAfee massage salon and be ok.

Comment Re:You are missing the point (Score 2) 219

Indeed. I should have been more explicit in my message: the wad of cash and the brass knuckles were colorful examples, but the real threat comes from peer pressure within the family, even more so because it is most often implicit.

(There is a scene in an Astérix comic book: the village must vote between its current (male) chief and a woman; the Druid explains the secret ballot procedure, the woman candidate proposes a show of hand, and then a show of hand to decide if the actual vote will be by a show of hand; all the women raise their hand for the show of hand, and when the men want to raise theirs for the secret ballot, a dark look from their wives stops them. It loses a lot of its funny if you think about the actual reality of domestic abuse that is being parodied and that usually goes the other way around, but I think it illustrate how important and tricky the secret ballot is.)

Comment You are missing the point (Score 5, Insightful) 219

You are completely missing the point. All the cryptography and the blockchains and the secure protocols in the world can not detect if someone is standing behind the computer with a wad of cash (vote buying) or brass knuckles (coercion) and checking that you are voting right.

One of the core features of the secret ballot is the voting booth, where the voter is alone to do the final choice, with official oversight.

Of course, the privacy of the voting booth is not perfect, it is weakened by all sorts of features, from absentee voting to tolerating children in the booth with their parent. But it is still the norm for most voters and is way more solid than a situation where the norm would be to vote from home.

Comment Lack of anonymity (Score 5, Interesting) 204

Vote-by-mail, or any system where there is no voting booth with official overseer, lacks anonymity.

Voters need the right of keeping their vote secret, but that is not enough. If voters can show who they voted for, they can be intimidated or otherwise induced into voting for someone in particular. They can of course say who they voted for, but they cannot be allowed to prove it to someone else.

That is what the voting booth is for. With generalized vote-by-mail, we would see much more vote buying and small-scale intimidation such as “vote for my stepbrother if you want to keep your job”.

I am surprised that so few people make that connection when the issue arises.

Comment Re:Load malware? (Score 1) 112

Yes, just typing, and in a matter of seconds. Just typing: no seeing what you type, no knowing the keyboard layout, no knowing the user interface running, nothing except keys blindly. As was already pointed out by numerous persons before you posted your duplicated comment, this would work on lusers computers left to the default values. A rather costly attack (requires hardware and physical presence) that can only work generically on the most worthless of targets. Not really worrying. (Of course, for targeted attack, that is another story entirely.)

Well, I suppose I shall expect still half a dozen of similar comments from self-styled geeks that are so proud to know the default keyboard shortcut for running a command on the only OS and desktop environment they know.

Comment Load malware? (Score 1, Insightful) 112

“It would take a matter of seconds for the attacker's code to load a rootkit, malware or additional network access.”

Really? With just keystrokes and mouse moves? With no feedback about where the keystrokes and clicks end up?

For a particular target, a way can probably be devised, but it will most likely be slow and visible. And not work with the next target.

Injecting keys is clearly a security flaw with severe consequences, but over-hyping it is unproductive.

Comment The IRS sucks at maths (Score 2) 42

Someone should teach the IRS never to use variation percentages outside the -50% – +100% range.

And unsurprisingly, they got it wrong: “1,026 up from 254 from a year earlier”, that makes roughly ×4, i.e. +300%; +400% is ×5.

Well, it could just be just the journalist that sucks at maths. At the very least, he did not check the figures.

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