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Comment Re: Will Internet Voting Endanger The Secret Ballo (Score 2) 219

I think that countries need to switch to an open ballot because of the conflicts between the secret ballot and hybrid direct/representative democratic systems and electronic voting (which thanks to advances in cryptography becomes more viable every day). However the only reason the US didn't have huge trouble with an open ballot was the decreased motive for vote buying, since all voters in that time were white males - and usually from the upper classes at that (during much of that period, the white males also had to own land and/or pass an "intelligence test" and travel in ways that weren't practical for the working class in order to vote). In short, the country club crowd had no reason to pay or coerce each other to vote the way they all wanted. The fledgling democracy would've been clearly identified as an oligopoly by today's standards.

An open ballot being shoehorned into today's world would cause corruption and vote fraud to skyrocket. A switch to an open ballot system, which again I think is a worthwhile pursuit, will need to be accompanied with very strong technical and legal countermeasures to prevent this.

Submission + - The timing of error messages contributes to them being ignored (

sandbagger writes: A new study from BYU, in collaboration with Google Chrome engineers, finds the status quo of warning messages appearing haphazardly — while people are typing, watching a video, uploading files, etc. — results in up to 90 percent of users disregarding them.

Researchers found these times are less effective because of "dual task interference," a neural limitation where even simple tasks can't be simultaneously performed without significant performance loss. Or, in human terms, multitasking.

Submission + - Kim Dotcom's Mega 3, with Bitcoin: two bad ideas that go worse together (

David Gerard writes: "Colourful racing identity" Kim Dotcom has a scheme for his third Mega enterprise: combining MegaUpload with Bitcoin. It is entirely unclear how anything about this makes sense, but I'm sure that with a trustworthy soul with an impeccable track record like Dotcom at the helm, nothing can possibly go badly for anyone involved.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Handling Windows Updates after October 2016 (

An anonymous reader writes: We've read about the changes coming to Windows Update in October 2016. Average Joe and Grandma Flo will end up getting the cumulative update via WU each month which includes non-security updates. For more discerning users with existing Win 7 / 8.1 systems, one can disable WU and download the security-only update each month. But what happens when it's time to wipe and reload the OS? Or what about installing Windows on different hardware? Admittedly, there are useful non-security updates worth having, but plenty to avoid (e.g. telemetry).

How does one handle this challenge? Set up a personal WSUS box before October to sync all desired updates through October 2016? System images can work if you don't change primary hardware, but what if you do?

Or should one just bend the knee to Microsoft, go to the nearest drug store, and stock up on KY?

Submission + - SingularDTV: using Ethereum for DRM on a sci-fi TV show about the Singularity (

David Gerard writes: SingularDTV is an exciting new blockchain-based entertainment industry startup. Their plan is to adapt the DRM that made $121.54 for Imogen Heap, make their own completely premined altcoin and use that to somehow sell two million views of a sci-fi TV show about the Singularity. Using CODE, which is explicitly modeled on The DAO ... which spectacularly imploded days after its launch. There's a white paper, but here's an analysis of why these schemes are a terrible idea for musicians.

Submission + - Mobilize to attack climate change just like we did in WWII (

mspohr writes: Bill McKibbin has an article in the New Republic which lays out the case for a broad effort to mobilize our resources to fight climate change.
"For years, our leaders chose to ignore the warnings of our best scientists and top military strategists. Global warming, they told us, was beginning a stealth campaign that would lay waste to vast stretches of the planet, uprooting and killing millions of innocent civilians. But instead of paying heed and taking obvious precautions, we chose to strengthen the enemy with our endless combustion; a billion explosions of a billion pistons inside a billion cylinders have fueled a global threat as lethal as the mushroom-shaped nuclear explosions we long feared. Carbon and methane now represent the deadliest enemy of all time, the first force fully capable of harrying, scattering, and impoverishing our entire civilization."
"By most of the ways we measure wars, climate change is the real deal: Carbon and methane are seizing physical territory, sowing havoc and panic, racking up casualties, and even destabilizing governments. "
He includes analysis of just what it would take in terms of industrial mobilization to stop polluting with CO2. The answer is, a lot, but it is possible.

Submission + - Internet Voting Leaves Out a Cornerstone of Democracy: The Secret Ballot

Presto Vivace writes: Maintaining the secrecy of ballots returned via the Internet is “technologically impossible,” according to a new report.

That’s according to a new report from Verified Voting, a group that advocates for transparency and accuracy in elections. ... A cornerstone of democracy, the secret ballot guards against voter coercion. But “because of current technical challenges and the unique challenge of running public elections, it is impossible to maintain the separation of voters’ identities from their votes when Internet voting is used,” concludes the report, which was written in collaboration with the Electronic Privacy Information Center and the anticorruption advocacy group Common Cause.

Comment Re:Time to update firewalls. (Score 1) 87

How has the CA that sold the cert to the wifi company not been blacklisted? I assume they've legally cleared themselves by putting notification of this in the wifi portal EULA, but that is ethically wrong as hell. The CA sold a cert for use in what is effectively a blackhat SSL MITM appliance that is supposedly being used with the best of intentions.

Ethically the right thing to do would be to spell out how the airline wifi works on the portal page and include instructions on how to accept a self-signed MITM cert for those who wish to continue.

Comment Re:Time to update firewalls. (Score 1) 87

I think Firefox handles self-signed certs that same way as most other browsers, so you should be able to permanently trust the cert at the first use. It sounds like you might be using temporary profiles or private browsing sessions.

That said, the usual system of handling self-signed certs is a stupid one. Self-signed certs should be treated exactly the same as unencrypted traffic. There should be no "DANGER WILL ROBINSON!" warning when one is encountered. A self-signed cert is in no way less secure than a plaintext connection. The user should have the option to store and permanently trust a self-signed cert at any time.

Comment Re: Time to update firewalls. (Score 1) 87

That's not inspecting the traffic content, that's a NIDS that builds a profile of "normal operation" based on traffic patterns and checks against it. It would stop all your file shares from being uploaded at full speed over HTTPS to a novel server for example, but nothing much less blatant than that. It wouldn't do anything about a user passing malware back and forth all day long over their usual SSL'ed webmail or web chat service for example.

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