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Comment Re:If WE did it, we could be jailed for "hacking". (Score 2) 124

If you're talking about the electoral college, that and the Senate representation (two per state regardless of the size of the state) was a compromise to keep the big states from completely dominating the small states. That's part of the rulebook and it's necessary.

If however you're talking about electronic ballot fraud, hey man, right there with ya! Google my name with "Diebold" or the like.

Jim March
Member of the Board of Directors,

Comment Re:i think it's a good idea (Score 1) 124

Right, the "lying for security needs" argument. And it's valid, in a lot of cases.

But then a lot of non-security-related stuff gets shoved under the same rug.

The Wikileaks cables dump is FULL of such stuff. For example, you have high-level diplomats and other US government actors saying "hey, the Saudis are massively overstating their oil reserves". And that's considered "secret". Seriously? Sure, it's been suspected by insiders in the oil biz for some time now but those "theories" just got a huge bump. Well guess what? The US government plays the stock and commodities markets just like everybody else. If any other player in the oil biz had that sort of inside track on oil futures and kept it secret while playing the oil markets, there's a term for that: "insider trading".


The rules need to be "use secrets for stuff that REALLY matters, like a downed pilot's fake ID behind enemy lines, and if the gov't screws up and uses secrecy laws either to prop up financial markets or cover their own fucktardedness, somebody like Manning steps up and releases it AND YOU DON'T JAIL THE WHISTLEBLOWER AS A RESULT".

Instead we see Manning basically in hell and weird-ass charges against Assange by the sockpuppets in Sweden...

Comment If WE did it, we could be jailed for "hacking"... (Score 5, Interesting) 124

There's a recent trend of prosecuting people for "unauthorized use of online systems" when all they did was violate the terms of agreement of Facebook or the like. It's a real stretch to call that "hacking" but they sure tried hard in the 2008 Lori Drew case:

They actually failed in that case: ...but it was *federal* prosecutors who argued that the same thing the Air Force wants to do is in fact illegal if private citizens do it. And that wasn't the only such case - two more are discussed on this 2010 page:

On top of all those issues, there might be something else illegal about this, something unique to government actors. Is it constitutional for the state to lie to influence public opinion? Seriously, are we a "democracy" (yeah, I know, technically a Constitutional Republic) anymore, if public opinion can be systematically shifted via...well, bullshit? We have "freedom of information" laws - doesn't that at least imply that information coming from government sources not be a total fraud from top to bottom?

If we let government actors spread BS at will...ummm...we have some really ghastly examples of where that leads. North Korea is probably the worst of the worst possible endgames there but there's a ton of others worldwide.

Comment I agree - this isn't bad at all! (Score 1) 334

Jeez, look at what's NOT there: nothing remotely kinky, nothing disrespectful of ladies, some humor, a HELL of a lot of truth...


The only "odd" bit is preference for gals from places that have seen a lot of "reality" and even there, yeah, I see where he's coming from. He's trying to avoid the "vapid" types that care more about the ads in the latest issue of Vanity Fair or whatever than they do about stuff that matters. Not at all odd, given who he is :).

Why would anybody call him a "douche" or whatever based on this?

Comment I have "free" speeds around this range now... (Score 1) 113

Basically I'm getting the 'net with speeds like these guys were talking about "free" with the cellphone I'd be paying for regardless.

I travel a lot and need "internet anywhere". I was using Verizon's cellmodem (EVDO) service with an Expresscard device (Kyocera KPC680) for $60 a month flat rate, plus $80 a month for unlimited talk on a regular cellphone. It was just too much. Speed at was generally about 1.2mb/s inbound, creepy-slow outbound (little better than dialup, no hope of uploading a video).

I did some research, scored a Tmobile-branded Sony-Ericsson TM506 phone at a pawn shop for $60. Doesn't look like much but it was their first 3G phone and mine happened to be completely tether-friendly in Linux. $80 a month at TMobile turns it on for voice AND data - and in any reasonably urban area I seem to find 3G coverage at which point the thing can do data and voice at the same time - data obviously slows down some but what the hell, at least I can take a call. Tether speeds are around .8mb/s inbound, about .3-.4 outbound, so uploading a video is actually practical. Tethering speeds between USB and Bluetooth seem more or less identical, at least in Ubuntu Lucid.

You have to do your research on which phone to get - the TM717 is a later variant of my phone that has to be hacked on a bit to tether but it's no big deal. Some of the late versions of my phone might need tweaking. For anything else the key feature you need is HSDPA data and do some googling for Tmobile compatibility. TMobile is the most tether-tolerant of the major cellcos.

Point is, speeds in this range are usable. Doesn't sound like much and is absolutely not going to be a good idea for major torrents and such, but for basic stuff including Youtube/Hulu/etc. it works.

Comment Re:WTF - yeah, it sucks, and it ALSO sucks... (Score 2, Insightful) 1238

...when the left does it.

I can show you a bunch of cases of textbooks saying outright that the 2nd Amendment is purely about the states rights to form state militias and that there's no personal civil right to arms - and some still say it even when published after the 2008 Heller decision where the US Supreme Court said otherwise in no uncertain terms.

The left has been doing a LOT more social indoctrination crap in the schools over the years than the right, largely because the teacher's unions are fairly hardcore lefties. The ONLY surprise now is that the right has been caught doing it.

Schools are not supposed to be indoctrination camps for either side. It's just as evil either way.

Comment There's another implication: public records COSTS (Score 1) 103

Which do you think is cheaper, asking for a bunch of .DOC files as data put on a 25 cent CD, or an 8" stack of paper printouts?

And then once you get 'em, you have the ability to run searches.

Running up the costs by printing dead trees out is an old trick that can now be beat by asking for metadata.

Comment Re:Hyperbole much (Score 5, Informative) 406

First, I'm the guy that built that wiki page.

Second, "code that defines races" can be used to alter results. I have a lot of experience playing with Diebold databases because we've had access to those since 2003 when Diebold left an FTP site open. If you swap the candidate ID numbers between two candidates in the Diebold database (run in MS-Access), you'll flip the election. In a heartbeat.

It *appears* there's code present in this Sequoia database to do the same thing. Note the word "appears". The best way to find out, and the most MORAL way, was to put it up for public review.

Risking exposure of our technical warts, sure. Still worth it. Check the discussion areas at the wiki - we're learning a hell of a lot, very quickly.

But yes, it's true: I don't know MS-SQL, and nobody else at EDA does either. So we were faced with a choice: find a few people who did know it, pay 'em a bunch of donated money to write a formal report behind closed doors, or do a public review and exam even if that means exposing any mistakes we make, knowing they'll be caught pretty damn quick.

Which was better?

Comment Re:This is cool and all, but... (Score 1) 406

Hey, a couple of people tried to load it, it failed big. Apparently we screwed up.

That's so far by far the ugliest wart that's popped up, and we did say the vandalism thing was "preliminary".

Sigh. That's the kind of risk we took with a totally public reveal. We didn't have anybody on our own team who knows SQL.

But, would you rather have us mess around on our own for God knows how long, or do a public reveal?

All of these voting system reviews so far have happened behind closed doors. That's morally wrong. We took a different route, the first public exam ever, despite the risks.

Beat us up all you want, but do we really deserve it?

Jim March

Comment Re:This is cool and all, but... (Score 1) 406

Yes, this was damned risky on our part from a PR point of view.

WITHOUT QUESTION we will make mistakes, we'll screw up, and the whole world will see it and people will gripe on /.

But a fully public exam and disclosure was also the right thing to do.

We're learning things it would have taken months to sort out in private, in a matter of hours, and this is all our votes at stake.

Part of what we're doing here is answering a key question: is a public exam of voting systems even possible?

Because remember, as partially retarded as this one is, it's the first one ever.

Jim March

Comment Re:Hyperbole much (Score 1) 406

The more you read at the ultimate site more you realize the people digging thru this garbage know nothing about what they are reading, and not much about programming either.

Just because you know how to run grep or strings does not mean you can use the data it reveals.

And you're right. Except first, this appears to be an open and shut violation of FEC rules - I'm not an SQL programmer BUT I know that rulebook. And based on the *volume* of code present, there's a lot of calculation going on.

Yes, it's an open question as to what the security implications are. But at least we have a chance at evaluating those implications publicly.

And public study of this stuff is the only sane and responsible thing to do - EVEN if it reveals our own warts.

Hell, ESPECIALLY if it reveals our own warts.

Jim March


Submission + - Sequoia Voting Systems Source Code Release - wiki (

JimMarch(equalccw) writes: In response to a public records request for election data files, Sequoia insisted on doing "redaction of trade secret materials". They seem to have done a poor job — the resulting "redacted" files contained thousands of lines of MS-SQL source code that appears to control the logical flow of the election. Since this was approved by Sequoia, for the first time the innards of a US voting system can be downloaded and discussed publicly with no NDAs or court-ordered secrecy.

Comment Re:RTFA, idiot (Score 1) 324

What it looks like so far is that Flicker claimed they'd gotten a DMCA when in fact they hadn't and wanted to censor the image themselves.

That's why whoever put the pic up never got the notice.

I once recieved a take-down notice as the guy who put up content, from the claimed copyright holder (in that case Diebold again) *through* my ISP. That's how it works. I wrote a response back to my ISP, taking the responsibility for my site's contents off my ISP and firmly onto ME.

Here's Diebold's letter to my ISP:

And here's my response back to my ISP, who then forwards it to Diebold:

In the Flicker case, no such letter by any "claimed content holder" appears to exist. That means it's Flicker that created the DMCA fraud.

Comment Flicker could be on the hook for BIG bucks... (Score 5, Interesting) 324

...if they fraudulently claimed a DMCA takedown notice when there wasn't one.

Committing fraud via the DMCA, if that's what Flicker has done, is major bad mojo. Diebold Election Systems paid over $125,000 for a wrongful DMCA takedown notice:

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