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Comment Re:How women are portrayed in movies (Score 2) 257

"Jane Got A Gun", a western starring Natalie Portman, is finally streaming on Netflix. Now, there's a move where the woman is not only more beautiful than average, but more extreme in every trait!

Where [bang]! Is [bang]! My [bang]! CHILD [bang]!

Yikes! She sure made me a believer in that character. Actually because Portman is really much more beautiful than average, they wrote that into the script and made it a plot element. Pretty smart.

A very enjoyable movie. I don't care a whistle about gender equality in movies. I only care whether the movie is a good one.

Comment Re:I am a poll worker volunteer, this is bunk (Score 1) 217

Thanks for the link to Appel's blog, that is pretty interesting. The seals we use in Virginia are not adhesive, they are pull-tight plastic that go through two physical loops. We seal the compartment to the flash drive on the scanner, the case on the scanner, and the locking rails that connect the scanner to the top of the ballot box. But, as Appel points out, any time you are leaving equipment unattended, you run the risk of someone gaining access to the machine, defeating the seal, and making mischief. It's an interesting problem, because it is definitely easier to distribute the scanning equipment to the precincts ahead of time. But maybe that is too much of a risk. Hmm.

Comment Re:Do you know what works? (Score 1) 217

Millions of people vote at once, and the results have to be counted, certified, and then shared with the national media within hours. Machine-counting is the only way to do that. Would you trust human counters to count millions of pieces of paper reliably? I wouldn't. People are terrible at repetitive tasks. But ANY machine can be hacked. The scanners of course have source code, and operating systems with drivers and all the rest of the threat surfaces of any general-use computer. In Virginia, the scanners don't have hardware network interfaces at all, so that removes one category of threat (but only one.)

Truly securing vote counting is a non-trivial task, and takes a pretty deep defense-in-depth approach to do well.

Comment I am a poll worker volunteer, this is bunk (Score 5, Informative) 217

I am a poll worker in Virginia. From the very scant details on this particular hack, the apparent claim is that you can vote more than once by "resetting" the machine while in the booth and not touching any equipment. Well, if it is even technically possible to pull this off, within an hour we'd know that the votes in that precinct were off, because we do an hourly audit of the of the number of people who check in to vote vs. the number of votes that are cast. When we are off by even a count of 1 it is a major event, and triggers an immediate investigation. Any kind of mass attempt to defraud the count would be caught immediately. And, nearly 2 million people are eligible to vote in Virginia, so you'd have to pull off an enormous hack across multiple precincts. You'd most certainly wind up canceling the election, not swaying it.

Virginia does not use direct-recording voting machines any more, we use machine-counted paper ballots. We decertified all our direct-recording machines two elections ago when it was discovered that in a couple of precincts the wireless local area network between machines were running with default administrative passwords. The scanning equipment we use is not networkable, and it is sealed with numbered seals. I do not believe it is possible to even do the hack suggested by the article any more.

Comment I WOULD like to see those emails ... you, too? (Score 3, Insightful) 159

As soon as I saw that real consequences started happening because of the DNC hack, my first thought was, "Hmm, well, some consumer-grade Exchange box sitting on the end of a Comcast connection running without an SSL certificate for two months would be a piece of cake compared to the DNC's infrastructure. Somebody's for sure got those deleted emails." Heck, even Comey himself testified that the FBI was able to reconstitute thousands of work-related emails. Maybe we don't need the Russkies or the script kiddies to give us the emails, our own FBI could fork them over.

Regardless, yeah, I'd like to see those emails. I think 30,000 emails about yoga would be interesting.

Comment Re:How does he say this with a straight face? (Score 1) 384

I had exactly the same reaction. Character? None. Background? She married Bill, carpetbagged her way into a New York senate seat, and got paid a bazillion dollars for "making speeches" to one percenters. Results? A middle east in flames.

What? Boy, I sure wouldn't go with that list!

Comment Re:The questions that must be asked ... (Score 1) 180

You're asking the wrong question. The question that must be asked is how do you expect the federal government to independently audit an election for federal office? That's not independent. Do you ever wonder why the federal government doesn't just run elections? What would the federal government gain by being able to control who gets elected? Everything. Which is why we don't let them do that. Not even the states run the elections. Elections are run by volunteers.

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