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Comment Stupid idea (Score 4, Insightful) 383

Sorry, it may sound a bit harsh, but this *is* a stupid idea. Different platforms have different abilities and are built and designed for different purposes.

To accomplish a "works everywhere" approach, every platform would have to have all abilities. To use the phone app on your desktop PC, it would need the proper hardware. How much sense would that make? Or a GPS in the same desktop system? Likewise, how do you put a quad-output video card into a mobile phone?

This is a pipe dream of people who only work with software, and totally forget that it needs hardware to run on.

Comment Moving window technique? (Score 2) 78

As part of a programming assignment I wrote two programs for finding primes.

The first one using a moving window technique. Lets say my window size is 100, so I fill in the numbers 1 to 100 into the window, do my sieve job on this, get the primes I got so far and put them in a list, and fill the window with the numbers 101 to 200, run them through the primes I got and then through whatever remains, extract the primes and add them to the list, etc...

The second was an instant filter system, i.e. I've got a list of tuples, each list element has a prime and a multiple of it, and my sieve table size is one, i.e. a counter. Lets say my list is A=(2,2) and B=(3,3), my counter is 4. While A2 is less than counter do A2 =A2+A1. A2 is now equal to A2, so counter is not prime. Next counter is 5, While A2 is smaller than counter do A2 = A2+A1, A2 is now bigger than counter, so it passes test A, while B2 is smaller than counter do B2=B2+B1, B2 is now bigger than counter, so it passes test B. End of prime list reached, so counter is prime. Create new tuple C(5,5) and add it to the list. Big advantage: No multiplications involved, the process of doing the while loop can be improved by using bit-shifted versions of the prime, so I only have additions, comparisons and bit shifts to deal with, which is easy and fast to implement with long integer implementations. And I need only to store the primes it found and their multiples, and the memory usage is very local and cache friendly.

Just out of curiosity I'd like to see their algorithm. Because some algorithms from math/CS look good on paper and are proven to run comparatively fast on a ideal Turing machine, but produce laughable results in real-life tests...

Comment Any system that allows this is not trustworthy (Score 1) 87

Thats it. If a system is build to permit abuse, it will be abused. If they want to make a "blockchain" that can be "edited", it is not a blockchain, but abuses the blockchain name for fraudulent uses.

If a record in a blockchain is wrong, just add a clearly marked correction record at the end, and that's it. No need to "edit" a blockchain, and the error and its corrections are visible and can be accounted for.

Comment I beg your pardon, but... (Score 1) 278

"The public narrative popularized by Snowden and his allies is rife with falsehoods, exaggerations, and crucial omissions," Sounds like a murderer who was found with bloody weapon and hands at the crime scene, who screams "every but me is a liar!" in court.

On the other hand, the narrative popularized by the U.S. House intelligence committee and the TLAs is not even worse, but its actions are also directed against the law and the rights of the citizens, and billions of innocent people worldwide.

Comment Simple Solution: Back to the Paper-Based Ballots (Score 2) 531

Everyone who has the slightest idea about how electronic voting works is against it. And for good reason, as electronic voting is against many basic principles of a democratic voting process.

It is completely pointless to cry "Russia wants to manipulate the vote!", because a lot of interested parties want to do this, and pointing at Russia (or China, or the aliens) is just about distracting attention from the problem that electronic ballots make an election easy to manipulate. And it is not that US politics would need an outside force to manipulate votes, after all, Gerrymandering is an American invention.

Basically, both sides are upping the ante in case they lose, so the loser can say "Everybody knows that Russia (or whoever) wanted to manipulate the ballots to make the other side win", and start a court battle of recounts and repeat elections which would make the "battle" between Bush and Al Gore look like a friendly exchange of pats on the back.

The only way out of this shit is basically to stop any electronic voting, and return to the good old ballot papers. They are damn hard to manipulate, and easy to control for anybody. The initial results might not be there in time for the evening news, and some recounts might draw the time frame to get final results even further, but at least there won't be court battles and forensic analysis of thousands of voting machines to prove in endless court battles that this or that party tried to manipulate the votes.

Comment A stupid idea made even worse (Score 5, Insightful) 219

Electronic voting is one of the most stupid ideas that politicians have croaked up so far. And that means a lot, even after gerrymandering, lobbyism, and two-party-systems.

Electronic voting is basically outright stupid. You cannot control if your vote was really counted, or if it was counted for the correct party or candidate. Votes can be manipulated by inside jobs or hacking, and with a political voting result being a very profitable target, and the voting machines safety and security record far from being unblemished, voting fraud is a very interesting goal for many, not only political, parties.

The problem is that electronic voting cannot fulfill the legal and philosophical demands for a democratic voting. This is not a failure of the planners, programmers, or hardware developers, this is system inherent, as many aspects cannot be implemented correctly without invalidating other important aspects of the same.

Now there is this totally broken idea and they want make it available online, opening the doors to fraud and abuse even wider.

Comment 100% normal and expected behavior (Score 1) 75

That's what the "Five Eyes" group is primarily for: Hacking citizens in other countries, for those countries.

So the US spy agencies can not "work" on American citizens without a lot of legal problems. They might suspect someone, but the evidence is weak, to weak to use the normal, legal ways to find out more. So they ask their friends, e.g. the Australians: Could you please hack this guy? For the Aussies, this guy is a foreigner and therefor a legal target. If they find something that would make the person report-worthy, they hand back their finds to the US as in "This guy has been reported to us by a foreign law enforcement agency as part of their investigations". And the US suddenly has the evidence it needs to proceed further.

And the next time that the Australian agencies have someone they need investigated, they turn to the US and ask for a similar favor. Avoiding the law and denying legal due process is just a phone call away today. And while catching a terrorist or child molester is a worthy cause, the laws protecting the citizens due rights are there for a reason.

Comment They don't ask - National Security Letter (Score 1) 136

They don't need a proper court order to force the cloud providers turning over the data. All they need is a "National Security Letter", then the cloud provider has to drop its pants and bend over. No nasty court order necessary. Forget "Due Cause" and "Fourth Amendment", that's a thing of a past long gone.

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