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Legal Troubles Continue To Mount For Diebold

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the voted-off-the-island-with-no-recount dept.

The Courts 115

dstates writes "The State of Maryland has filed a $8.5M claim against Premier Election Systems (previously known as Diebold), joining Ohio in seeking damages from the company. The claim alleges that election officials were forced to spend millions of dollars to address multiple security flaws in the machines. Previously, Diebold paid millions to settle a California lawsuit over security issues in their machines. The dispute comes as Maryland and Virginia prepare to scrap the touch screen electronic voting systems they bought after the 2000 presidential election. California, Florida, New Mexico, and Iowa have already switched to optical scanners, and voters in Pennsylvania are suing to prevent the use of paperless electronic voting systems in their state. Meanwhile, Artifex Software is suing Diebold for violations of the GPL covering the Ghostscript software technology used in the proprietary voting machines."

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Ho! Ho! Ho! (4, Funny)

rts008 (812749) | more than 5 years ago | (#26229827)

Man, it must really be xmas! LOL!

<insert "Insensitive clod!" comment> (1, Funny)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 5 years ago | (#26229861)

<insert comment about not celebrating Christmas>

Re: (4, Funny)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 5 years ago | (#26229867)

He didn't say Christmas. He said Xmas. Totally different holiday.

Re: (3, Funny)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 5 years ago | (#26229981)

You mean XF86-mas, or X.org-mas?

Re: (2, Funny)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#26230081)

I thought it was OS Xmas.

Re: (0, Redundant)

Golddess (1361003) | more than 5 years ago | (#26230415)

All wonderful jokes, but Xmas (in my mind at least) is the consumerism day, while Christmas represents the true, original spirit of the holiday, before corporations got their grubby little paws on everything.

Re: (4, Informative)

Ardeaem (625311) | more than 5 years ago | (#26230533)

All wonderful jokes, but Xmas (in my mind at least) is the consumerism day, while Christmas represents the true, original spirit of the holiday, before corporations got their grubby little paws on everything.

The X stands for chi, the Greek letter and first letter in the Greek word Christ. Xmas is simply an abbreviation for Christmas.

Re: (4, Insightful)

DinDaddy (1168147) | more than 5 years ago | (#26230609)

Grubby little paws? Corporations I know have huge powerful sucking tentacles, and they're in everything.

Re: corporations (1)

KingAlanI (1270538) | more than 5 years ago | (#26230821)

Funny or insightful?
too bad I don't have any mod points today.

Re: what's in a name? (4, Informative)

fugue (4373) | more than 5 years ago | (#26230633)

On the other hand, xmas might sound more consumerist precisely because the filthy corporations tried to distance themselves from Christ, both to persuade Christians to think more about shopping and to include, er, heathens in the consumerist orgy.

Of course, Christ never had anything to do with Christmas anyway. He was probably born in August-ish if he existed at all, and Christmas was just the Catholics' attempt to usurp yet another pagan holiday that had been around ever since people knew what a solstice was. So perhaps "Xmas" is a (slightly) better thing anyway.

Happy Newtonmas, everyone!

Re: what's in a name? (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 5 years ago | (#26233223)

Of course, Christ never had anything to do with Christmas anyway. He was probably born in August-ish if he existed at all

Of course Jesus existed! His existence is as much a matter of historical record as, say, Pontus Pilate's. It's whether he supernaturally rose from the dead (etc.) that's under dispute.

Re: (1)

shoemilk (1008173) | more than 5 years ago | (#26230785)

while Christmas represents the true, original spirit of the holiday

You mean this? [wikipedia.org]

Re: (2, Funny)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 5 years ago | (#26231843)

I dunno about all you barbarians, but I had a Saturnalia party, and trust me, wearing togas and drinking wine is way better than the boredom going on today..

Re: (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 5 years ago | (#26233235)

He could be talking about this [wikipedia.org] too.

Re: (2, Informative)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 5 years ago | (#26230811)

You mean the pagan holiday with the lights and the tree and the gift giving that the Christians stole? Because Easter(Ishtar) and Christmas(Winter Solstice) are both as pagan as you can get. The Christians in the Catholic church didn't even bother changing the traditions, they just stuck some made up Christian reasons for doing them. BTW, just FYI, Jesus was born in June [dailymail.co.uk] , during the Roman tax census IIRC.

Now to TFA, I don't know who made the voting machines we used this year in AR(not Diebold because these actually work) but IMHO they really need to roll these out nationwide. It was truly a pleasure to vote this year. In fact the entire process was so friendly and orderly and voter efficient it is a shame they don't just copy it nationwide, as it makes it truly nice to vote. Who would have thought AR would be ahead of the curve in something?

Anyway I walk in and everything is nice and neat with 5 machines and an orderly line. Before I even get a chance to vote I'm already impressed by the way they handled voters who went to the wrong polling place. Instead of sending them all over town trying to find the right place an election official asked them to set aside for a moment and he would get on his cell after finding out which district they voted last in and have them transferred. Those that showed up in the wrong place only had an extra 5 minute wait before being allowed to vote with everyone else. Very nice. Then I get up to the machine and you could tell some serious thought went into this one. A large screen with a big round blue circle that you would touch to choose your candidate or position, and when you made your choice a large pop up would read "We believe you wish to vote for...Is this correct? If not please push the green cancel button to the left of this message" and when you confirmed a large, easy to read printout would scroll up under a glass plate to the left of the screen, so you could easily look down and make sure the machine was putting down your choice. Very nice. Then when you were finished the machine would blink and a volunteer would collect the electronic vote with this cartridge and the paper ballot. Then the ballot was placed into a box and the electronic vote was placed on the table with the election officials for use with the next voter.

The entire process took less than 10 minutes and made voting truly a pleasure. Volunteers were offering coffee and donuts to those waiting in line and were just as friendly and helpful as could be. I only wish all government dealings could be as friendly and efficient as voting was this year. And this year there weren't any "surprises" and the election results went pretty much exactly what the polls taken the week before had said they were going to be. So all in all I was quite happy with the machines this year and only wish that everyone could have as nice an experience voting as I did. On and Merry Xmas!

Re: (2, Interesting)

myspace-cn (1094627) | more than 5 years ago | (#26234251)

Oops. You truly are clueless.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3_xFb1sWKU [youtube.com]

Did I mention Mike Connell, Rove's computer guru, subpoenaed in election, is now dead?

No we do not need those dog crap machines by the crappy company Diebold (who changed their name in an effort to obfuscate) rolled out to the rest of the nation.

What we DO NEED is to OUTLAW all electronics in our elections. PERIOD!!!

Re: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26231107)

"...Christmas represents the true, original spirit of the holiday, before corporations got their grubby little paws on everything."

Yeah, and there once was an old Roman solar festival that use to enjoy this special day until the Christians got their grubby little hands on it. Jesus's birthday is unknown so why not pick, at the time, a popular day.

Re: i was thinking Ho Ho Ho (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 5 years ago | (#26230499)

Merry X-ed-Mas. Maybe, staring at the weight of Mounting OlympBUST, diebold might GET OUT OF THE VOTE and just DIE BOLD...

Re: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26234243)

Maybe it's XXXmas. Rowr, baby.

Re: (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 5 years ago | (#26230519)

Yeah, Xmas is the holiday with an evil robot Santa that rains destruction on everyone that's been naughty (and everyone has been naughty).

Re: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26229933)

Don't be so politically correct, it ruins everything for the rest of us.

Re: (2, Funny)

dhaines (323241) | more than 5 years ago | (#26230629)

Happy Festivus!

Re: (4, Funny)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 5 years ago | (#26229993)

Fine. It's "D-Day", aka Die! Bold, Die! day.

We could celebrate with a new newsgroup, alt.die.bold.die

Hopefully, when it comes time to nail them to the wall, they'll use Wilson's Nails [nobeliefs.com] .

Re: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26230055)

No one who speaks German could be an evil man.

Re: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26230341)

The Bold The?

Re: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26231029)

I speak german. What does "the bold, the" mean?

Re: (1)

thejynxed (831517) | more than 5 years ago | (#26231361)

Live Free and Die Bolder?

whats the point anymore? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26229873)

elections in the USA for what, to replace one corrupt politician with another?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efKguI0NFek [youtube.com]

Re:whats the point anymore? (4, Funny)

PsychoSlashDot (207849) | more than 5 years ago | (#26229881)

Yes, that's the point exactly. People expect the opportunity to select their corrupt politician of choice. Anything that interferes and might allow the wrong corrupt politician to get into power is unacceptable.

Re:whats the point anymore? (3, Funny)

Cylix (55374) | more than 5 years ago | (#26230247)

It's the illusion of democracy that keeps me going at night.

I believe it was said best here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NF5Kdm4Eu6w [youtube.com]

Re:whats the point anymore? (1)

slugtastic (1437569) | more than 5 years ago | (#26230321)

Maybe the new one will be less corrupt? It is worth a try. Dont judge me, Im very optimistic this time of year.

Re:whats the point anymore? (1)

lazy_playboy (236084) | more than 5 years ago | (#26230353)

Quite. That's the whole point of democracy - to replace one corrupt politician with another. Basically the system limits the amount of damage any one person can do, and the damage that is done heals itself when the next corrupt shithead is in power.

Re:whats the point anymore? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#26233077)

Yeah, but as long as people fight over whether the process of choosing the crook is done correctly, they don't fight over whether it might be a better idea to kick all the crooks in the nuts.

!Paperless (2, Insightful)

Xerolooper (1247258) | more than 5 years ago | (#26229885)

The truth is that while paperless may sound sexy it is not really practical. They are trying to apply technology to what is a social problem.

Re:!Paperless (4, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 5 years ago | (#26230141)

The truth is that while paperless may sound sexy it is not really practical.

The truth is that Diebold's problems have nothing to do with the paper or paperless issue, and everything to do with incompetent design and execution. Which is all the more galling considering the relative straight-forwardness of the programming task. A corrupt or inaccurate paper audit trail would be just as useful as no audit trail at all, and arguably more harmful.

Re:!Paperless (2, Insightful)

bokmann (323771) | more than 5 years ago | (#26230199)

I'm sorry, but if you think this is a straightforward task, you are making the same mistake Diebold did. Programming is just one minor part of the whole system they need to implement.

Re:!Paperless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26230337)

I'm sorry, but if you think this is a straightforward task, you are making the same mistake Diebold did.

I'm sorry, but if you think this is a complicated task, you are making the same mistake Diebold did.

Re:!Paperless (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 5 years ago | (#26230355)

I'm sorry, but if you think this is a straightforward task, you are making the same mistake Diebold did. Programming is just one minor part of the whole system they need to implement.

Yes, and it's this "one minor part" that Diebold fucked up. My original comment stands.

Re:!Paperless (3, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 5 years ago | (#26230535)

Yes, and it's this "one minor part" that Diebold fucked up. My original comment stands.

Well not exactly. Diebold managed to screw up several parts of the system.

The software
The lousy hardware locks
The poor update process

Just to name three off the top of my head before my second cup of coffee. Makes one wonder about Hanlon's razor. I guess you gotta be good at something.

Re:!Paperless (4, Informative)

sjames (1099) | more than 5 years ago | (#26231221)

The programming itself is quite straight-forward but the system design is subtle due to the need for verifiability at every step, not just for experts, but so that interested laymen can at least grasp the verifiability in overview.

The Diebold systems fail on all counts INCLUDING the straight-forward programming.

They also managed to fail at version control, source audit and binary certification by loading unapproved patches onto unknown binary versions the night before an election while refusing to reveal the source even to government auditors.

The fact that they have anti-virus software on them (which has caused at least one problem) shows that they REALLY didn't design it right. A device like a voting machine should only accept new executable code through a JTAG or similar port locked safely inside the case. That means that Windows was a poor choice for an underlying OS. Windows just does far too many things without explicit commands and apparently can't be configured not to. It's source is also a problem to audit by anyone.

More proper options would have been programming on the bare metal or a seriously stripped down Linux or *BSD. Not so much for size but to simplify auditing and testing.

Re:!Paperless (1)

MsGeek (162936) | more than 5 years ago | (#26231403)

Here in LA County, the reader/verifiers used in the InkaVote system run Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Unfortunately the Sequoia units used to do the count that matters are all closed-source pieces of shit. At least we have one thing to be happy about: according to LA County election law, the paper ballot is the vote of record. Any recounts are done by humans looking at a key, looking at a ballot, and then determining voter intent for each paper ballot.

Someone needs to build an OCR reader capable of reading InkaVote ballots that runs on F/OSS and is completely F/OSS. And then LA County should drop the Sequoia readers like a bad habit.

WRT the Diebold lawsuit...couldn't have happened to a more deserving fictive person. :P

Re:!Paperless (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 5 years ago | (#26231891)

That is good that the paper ballot is the vote of record. It's auditable and most people (especially anyone who has been in school in the last 30 or 40 years) understand the principle of optical scan.

Given the high cost of the proprietary systems, I t might be cheaper for a few local governments to go in on a project together to produce a free implementation. Perhaps a hybrid approach where the software is openly developed and then a particular cut is audited fully.

Re:!Paperless (1)

ponzio (889432) | more than 5 years ago | (#26232565)

Maybe that's the point.

Re:!Paperless (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 5 years ago | (#26232637)

"The truth is that Diebold's problems have nothing to do with the paper or paperless issue...[snip]...considering the relative straight-forwardness of the programming task. A corrupt or inaccurate paper audit trail would be just as useful as no audit trail at all, and arguably more harmful."

Yet another "insightfull" slashdotter that doesn't get it. The issue is TRUST and you can not simply code your way around it.

Re:!Paperless (1)

Repossessed (1117929) | more than 5 years ago | (#26233279)

So a broken system thats trusted is useful?

Re:!Paperless (2, Insightful)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 5 years ago | (#26233925)

"So a broken system thats trusted is useful?"

Yes. You know it's broken, you know how it's broken, and you probably know who broke it. With an auditless election you cannot logically know any of these things beyond a reasonable doubt.

Do you understand the normal paper counting process and why it is logicaly possible to trust it? Do you understand why it is logicaly impossible to trust a computer that the opposition cannot audit? Paper is not perfect, neither is democracy come to think of it but both are indeed usefull.

Re:!Paperless (2, Interesting)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 5 years ago | (#26230557)

The truth is, you can't have secret ballots and still have an election that isn't subverted.

Here's my take on how to do a proper paperless democracy:

Everyone gets a personal digital recorder that acts as a "testament", and when they cast their votes, the device preserves a copy as evidence.

Votes are public information, not secret.

We establish two networks for the casting of votes. One secure wired network that carries votes to a centralized point for counting, and one citizens mesh network that logs votes to a multitude of geographically distributed sites.

We should design wireless devices that can capture voting data from the mesh network and store it on a write-once medium. They should meet the goal of providing forensic evidence that would make wide scale vote tampering impossible, and they should be placed far and wide by citizens acting entirely independently of any centralized plan.

You organize things this way, everyone can confirm that their votes are being tabulated correctly, and everyone can remain in control of their own political voice. Instead of distrusting the government, we could eradicate the line that separates the government from the people and govern ourselves.

I think it's practical enough to be possible.

Re:!Paperless (3, Insightful)

repvik (96666) | more than 5 years ago | (#26231159)

Won't work. Once the vote is public information, people can be bought/pressured to change their vote.

Re:!Paperless (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 5 years ago | (#26232065)

I was sort of thinking that a properly working democracy could REPLACE money. Which is likely to be rather important, considering the rate at which it's being devalued. As for being pressured, there's nothing wrong with that, that's how politics are supposed to work. Intimidation, that's a problem, but it's a problem that can be dealt with just like any other physical violence, it's not like the nature of physical crime changes when you bring politics into the equation.

The Roman empire was built on the foundations of a primitive implementation of a democratic system such as I've described. When that system was lost, the empire fell within a few generations. So, clearly it works. The only question is, how do you make it scale out. The answer is modern telecommunications technology.

Re:!Paperless (1)

Dare nMc (468959) | more than 5 years ago | (#26232685)

people can be bought/pressured to change their vote.

we currently allow absentee/mail in ballots which have the same feature. I think a few minor tweaks like having independently programed/run servers. And having just 1-2% of the total voters who are selected be trusted voters (randomly changed each election) some from each pole who get to know their voter ID (everyone else can't verify their vote)
Basically by having a general insignificant number able to be pressured, but still a significant enough amount to verify the system, We could have everyones votes published, without everyone being able to be pressured.

It's not about technology (2, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 5 years ago | (#26230651)

Paperless shouldn't even be attempted.

This is the system used to elect leaders. Trillions of dollars and millions lives are affected by election results.

Whatever system you choose must have full audit capabilities ... and that means paper.

The only reason for using electronics is to get faster results to those with short attention spans.

Doesn't matter. (3, Funny)

Pichu0102 (916292) | more than 5 years ago | (#26229899)

They'll probably get a bailout for their efforts too.

Re:Doesn't matter. (1)

banffbug (1323109) | more than 5 years ago | (#26231421)

and they're too late, the damage is done.

Referendum (2, Funny)

InsertWittyNameHere (1438813) | more than 5 years ago | (#26229951)

They should hold a referendum so people can vote for getting rid of these flawed electronic voting machi.. oh wait!

Re:Referendum (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26229975)

They should hold a referendum so people can vote for getting rid of these flawed electronic voting machi.. oh wait!

They should go for the low-hanging fruit of a +1 Funny mod.. oh wait!

Weird... (4, Interesting)

magamiako1 (1026318) | more than 5 years ago | (#26229961)

Anyone else find it kind of weird that this is happening right around the time that Bush and Cheney and Co. are heading out of office?

There's a name for this (1)

MarkusQ (450076) | more than 5 years ago | (#26230273)

Anyone else find it kind of weird that this is happening right around the time that Bush and Cheney and Co. are heading out of office?

It's called tying up loose ends [slashdot.org] .

--MarkusQ

I told them so... (5, Interesting)

Cornwallis (1188489) | more than 5 years ago | (#26229967)

And this is what pisses me off so much! People like Avi Rubin WARNED of the pitfalls in Dielbold (and other) systems years ago and the pols didn't listen. I remember writing to my Maryland State Rep YEARS ago about inherent problems in Diebold systems and referred him to Professor Rubin's work and got the pat-on-the-head response telling me not to worry. Screw all of them. I can't believe how angry this makes me.

Re:I told them so... (3, Interesting)

eddy (18759) | more than 5 years ago | (#26230077)

Write "Told you so." on a letter. Include a copy of your previous correspondence. Send it in. Might make you feel good for a minute or two.

Re:I told them so... (1)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | more than 5 years ago | (#26232517)

Then take a picture of it, put it on a blog, post it to a high traffic site like slashdot, include digg and fark, and wait for a reply and post that too.

Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Clause......... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26229973)

Its a Christmas present!!
or is it a Christmas past??
My wish comes true... Hope these bass-turds get the pants sued off them so we don't have to put up with this corruption the next election. Good thing that our next president was elected by such a landslide, that the Republican/GOP Cheat Machine wasn't able to steal this election....This time...

Yes Virginia , there is a Santa Clause..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26230007)

Is it a Christmas Present??
Or a Christmas past??
I hope these bass-turds get the pants sued out of of them. Good thing our future president won by such a landslide, the Republican/GOP cheat machine did not have an effect on the last election.........
This time.......

Remind me... (1)

bikehorn (1371391) | more than 5 years ago | (#26230025)

Exactly how was electronic voting EVER considered a good idea?

Re:Remind me... (2, Informative)

phantomlord (38815) | more than 5 years ago | (#26230049)

Congresscritters when they kneejerked after the 2000 elections and gave us HAVA [wikipedia.org] in an effort to look like they were doing something. 357 Representatives and 92 Senators seemed to think it was a great idea, not to mention all the states that signed up going "ooh, free money!"

Re:Remind me... (1)

symbolic (11752) | more than 5 years ago | (#26230853)

Much like most government programs...it's a place to throw other peoples' money so that certain interests can keep some of it for themselves. All the while, the elected "representative" that was responsible scores points with said interest so that they'll have a fallback when they're finally voted out of office.

only 8.5 mil (1)

einer (459199) | more than 5 years ago | (#26230029)

8.5 million is a small price to pay for that level of control.

The rich got what they want! (5, Interesting)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 5 years ago | (#26230107)

Seriously, the crap that kept the Bush administration in office has paid off.

Does anyone believe that the 2000 election was a legitimate Bush win? Does anyone believe that Diebold DIDN'T tamper with the machines? Now that bush is leaving office, we find that the machines are insecure and aren't going to be used?

Now, *all* of the wealthy Bush supporters made HUGE amounts of money under Bush. The bailout was basically a theft of $700B (and more to come) from the U.S. treasury for the very people that have been getting rich 8 years. Never in the history of man-kind has so much relative wealth been given to so few. How did this happen?

I can't think of a single policy of this administration that was designed NOT to remove money from the middle class and transfer it into the hands of the more wealthy. Immigration, trade, health care, intellectual property, and even the department of the interior and the CPB have all been centered around either allowing corporations to make money at the expense of the people, or out-right giving money to large corporations directly.

Now, we, the regular people, call us middle class, working poor, unemployed engineers, have to somehow rebuild the economy after its departure.

I'm 45 years old. I am ill at what I've seen happen to my country. It is a rush to the bottom. If we are not a third world nation already, we will be. Its disgusting.

Re:The rich got what they want! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26230227)

Ya lets make everything communist and let the crack heads that live near me live in huge houses and drive BMWs.

Free health care for everyone, so all the doctors get their degrees from correspondence courses sold by Sally Struthers!

Lets get rid of all oil so that everyone involved in the industry is out of work!

Lets make tobacco illegal so that all people involved in that industry are out of work!

Lets make PETA and the RIAA government agencies too!!

Fuck yea! I see so many great ideas from Democrats too!

Re:The rich got what they want! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26230751)

Re:The rich got what they want! (1, Insightful)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 5 years ago | (#26231133)

It's funny, but you know, its people like you that have let the people like Bush get away with what they have.

Enjoy what you've been arguing for, because we'll be a long time digging out.

Re:The rich got what they want! (1)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 5 years ago | (#26230265)

Actually I saw a report on Florida's ballot irregularities. There is a case to be made that the paper ballots were manipulated - different grade paper was used which was not approved for use in the machines. There was more, but given the whole hanging chad debacle, it seems that people intentionally wanted to have problems in FL. Then all you have to do is make sure that counties with a small democratic bias get the bad ballots.

If you want to commit fraud, you don't need a computer. Given that FL is a huge electoral state, it would be smart to tamper with that state too.

Re:The rich got what they want! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26230593)

I find it odd that the worst voting irregularities in FL were in the most liberal counties.

Is there any way we can sue the activist pin-heads who blindly pushed for electronic voting in the first place?

Anyone who claims voter fraud on behalf of the Republicans obviously slept through November.

Can we recycle the boat-anchors into OLPCs?

then don't rant - act (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26230315)

As a lone rant it won't make a difference, but as a group you can change what's happening in Washington. Get rid of the aspects of the US that clearly go against your espoused morals, including but not limited to Guantanamo Bay (the weakest excuse ever to perpetrate atrocities), move towards the principles of the Constitution once more and go after ANYONE who tries to get away with anything dodgy. INSIST on transparency, also from all the agencies. You may have to bury a bad past, but that's no excuse for an equally bad future.

The latter includes the judges who were supposed to guard your legal system but has sat back and let it become the playground of the rich and unprincipled, the security "services" that willingly break the law with the excuses of "terror" and "for America". Even now, the US has heaps of potential but the Bush administration has willingly ruined the standing the US had in the world.

Last but not least, think again about impeaching people. If you impeach one president because he's human you should CERTAINLY impeach those who trampled the very founding principles and imperilled the entire world with their grab for money. I'm not against making money, but I am against slaughtering the goose with the golden eggs to benefit just a few.

The US standing has never been so low, the currency never so weak, the national debt never so high. Yet, you can still overcome this - if you back to core principles.

I refuse to believe that a nation that can produce people like the late Randy Pausch can be all bad, but you sure worked hard making it appear that way. There are very few nations left who would trust the US as the basic assumption is that you won't hold yourself to any laws, even your own, and you will cheap, bully and blackmail to get your way. Quite a nice image to have as the formerly leading "democracy".

On the bright side, it can't possibly get any worse. Unless you start another war..

Re:then don't rant - act (4, Insightful)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 5 years ago | (#26231177)

then don't rant - act

Think I haven't? Short of taking up arms against my country, I've done all the legal things I can. The tide is turning, I think, but it takes a long time to wake up the U.S.A.

I honestly believe that the vast majority of Americans are motivated less by money and more by "doing the right thing." The problems is that "the right thing to do" has been purposefully obfuscated by the bastards in power. By using christiantity and the talking heads of talk radio, propaganda minister of the Bush administration, Karl Rove, has successfully turned America in against itself. Dividing families and groups against each other over simplistic moral debates, while completely drowning the substantive discussions about what is truly best for the country.

All this so that they can rob the country of its wealth and make themselves rich at the same time.

I'll say here and now, Bush and Cheney and everyone in their administration have been traitors to the U.S.A.

Signed, patriotic American!!

Re:then don't rant - act (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26233463)

I just got a very depressing dvd in the mail regarding karl rove, but i wouldn't watch it if you're trying to improve your mood.

it's basically some interviews with democratic politicians who had their careers/lives ruined by a politically motivated justice department. and we'll probably never get the truth out of them.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RL8IBcNU34Q

Re:The rich got what they want! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26230371)

Never in the history of man-kind has so much relative wealth been given to so few. How did this happen?

That should be obvious: because the US government has reached the size, measured both in revenue and power over the people, where corruption on that scale is possible.

In relative terms, a government worth half the size, measured both in revenue and power over the people, can only manage a theft of half the size.

Logically, the upper end of the scale of corruption is proportional to the size of government. If history is any indication, the probability of corruption is also proportional to the size of government.

Bottom line: the taller and wider the power pyramid, the more lucrative the business of government, and the more likely the power pyramid will attract those who wish to exploit the business of government for personal gain.

Re:The rich got what they want! (1)

magamiako1 (1026318) | more than 5 years ago | (#26230419)

But relatively speaking, the "size" of our government is small. That is, in raw man power and departments most of what they do is outsourced to contractors.

Re:The rich got what they want! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26230509)

Small? We are talking about the richest and most powerful government (and world empire, with military bases in some 150 countries around the world) that has ever existed. Come on now.

Government contractors are part of the business of government, not part of the free market. They are paid by taking money from others by force, not through voluntary choice. Some even have significant influence over how to direct the business of government.

In other words, taking 700 billion dollars from the people and handing it out to a "private" industry does not represent a loss for government. Think about it: that's 700 more billion dollars passing through the hands of government. Logically, that can only add to the size of government, not subtract from it!

Re:The rich got what they want! (1)

He who knows (1376995) | more than 5 years ago | (#26231153)

Same as the new labour goverment in the uk.

Re:The rich got what they want! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26231473)

Does anyone believe that the 2000 election was a legitimate Bush win? Well, if Richard Daley Jr. couldn't pull off in Palm Beach for 2000 what his father did in Chicago for 1960, I'd say that was a pretty convincing victory for Bush. Any doubts were dispelled when the Democrats brought in the most notorious election-fixing family in the country in their attempt to steal the election. Of course, Daley Sr. had LBJ to help him out. Liars, cheaters and crooks: OH MY!

Christmas (1)

Afforess (1310263) | more than 5 years ago | (#26230211)

Santa knows who's been naughty....

interpretation of the GPL? (1)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 5 years ago | (#26230323)

Re the supposed GPL violation, the mailing list [ghostscript.com] post linked to from the article doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

We do not consider bundling as an integrated component intended to work with other software as "mere aggregation" under the GPL.

This seems nutty to me. As far as I understand, there's never been any prohibition on simply loading GPL software onto a machine that has a proprietary OS and other proprietary apps.

The GNU GPL and our own "AFPL" license which explictly disallows commercial distribution.

Huh? This is just plain wrong.

Re:interpretation of the GPL? (1)

TimSSG (1068536) | more than 5 years ago | (#26232073)

IIRC, they said their Ghostscript software was used as an "integrated component". This means under the GPL license, that the software it was interrogated with should be available to the users/owners/renters of the machines. Note, the Ghostscript software does have an commercial license that Diebold Election Systems did NOT buy. The Ghostscript people maintain that the Ghostscript software was distributed on/via the rented/leased voting machine in other words. Tim S

Re:interpretation of the GPL? (1)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 5 years ago | (#26232299)

IIRC, they said their Ghostscript software was used as an "integrated component".

What I'm saying is that their "integrated component" idea doesn't make any sense. The GPL doesn't anything about "integrated components." This [gnu.org] FAQ entry may be relevant. What's clearly not allowed is linking non-GPL code to GPL'd code. All Diebold did was to put both GPL'd and non-GPL'd software on a special-purpose Windows machine, and sell the Windows machine.

Re:interpretation of the GPL? (1)

TimSSG (1068536) | more than 5 years ago | (#26232545)

That is what is meant by some people when they say "integrated component" that it was linked in a way that they say violates GPL/NON-GPL code linking terms. It used to be that Dynamic linking of GPL and NON-GPL code was allowed as long as the GPL was not an required component of the software; I have no idea how the new GPL states it. Tim S

one post? (1)

reiisi (1211052) | more than 5 years ago | (#26233761)

You expect to make sense out of this from just one post in the middle of the conversation?

I can make sense of that post, I suppose, because I've gone through the GPL and related stuff for myself, to determine whether I wanted to use a free software or open software license, whether I wanted to use an existing one or roll my own, etc. (I end up using different licenses for different projects.)

So I suggest you do more research of the licenses themselves, and read more of the threads there, for starters.

In the post you link, they were discussing things they thought they should check on, and even whether they they thought it was worth checking. The current situation is that they found stuff, and you'll have to look for other (later) posts to find out what they found.

Oh, and, as I read it, they were talking about the bundling as being an issue if Diebold were to claim to be using the other license, not the GPL.

Re:one post? (0, Offtopic)

Lennie (16154) | more than 5 years ago | (#26234689)

While we are on the subject of licences, do you have any idea why so many programming library writers choose GPL instead of LGPL for there library ?

Playing Politics (1)

randall_burns (108052) | more than 5 years ago | (#26230465)

Diebold was doomed as soon as their management started openly playing politics. That is just bad policy for a company that is supposed to deliver the pretense of accurate electoral results.
(the president of Diebold publicly said he'd do everything in his power to get George Bush elected president)

I suspect the world will move towards open source voting systems as the only way to use modern technologies in the voting process and still have a shot at accurate results.

Re:Playing Politics (1)

nog_lorp (896553) | more than 5 years ago | (#26231385)

Well, he said that at a private fund-raiser for George W. Bush. Just as bad though.

Re:Playing Politics (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#26233099)

Duh, not really. I thoguht he said that at the hearing in front of the bipartisan committee that decided whether or not to accept the machines...

If you're in the business of selling ANYTHING to the government that MIGHT possibly affect the outcome of elections, even if you're just selling the damn pencils, you have no official political view. Period. At least if you're smart. The moment you even so much as mention that you might have a political view, you offer the other side ammo against your machines.

(not that it was at all necessary)

You could tell by the name... (3, Funny)

shish (588640) | more than 5 years ago | (#26230503)

"Diebold" always struck me as such a typical bond-villain type of name; "Premier Election Systems" sounds like it's trying to cover up that the company is run by the mafia... maybe they should buy voting machines from ACME? Sure they'd blow up every now and then, and the roadrunner would get away, but in many ways such obvious failure would be better than subtle and undetected vote-rigging :-)

Re:You could tell by the name... (3, Funny)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 5 years ago | (#26231983)

"Diebold" always struck me as such a typical bond-villain type of name

You mean like in Live Free or Diebold? I see what you mean.

kinda like rts008 said... (1)

haaz (3346) | more than 5 years ago | (#26230695)

as (s)he said over here [slashdot.org] , this made my holiday a very happy one indeed.

Merry War on Christmas, everybody!

OT: mod's, please ignore! (1)

rts008 (812749) | more than 5 years ago | (#26231089)

Just for the record, I'm a he. (despite the /. basement dweller's manboobs)

Re:OT: mod's, please ignore! (1)

nog_lorp (896553) | more than 5 years ago | (#26231405)

no men on internet.

Stephen Heller (4, Interesting)

troll8901 (1397145) | more than 5 years ago | (#26230747)

I feel sorry for Stephen Heller, the whistleblower who was charged with three felonies for revealing Diebold's legal problems, in Feb 2004.

Re:Stephen Heller (4, Interesting)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 5 years ago | (#26231293)

Mr. Heller pled guilty to a felony, per his legal fund website. If ever a case SCREAMED OUT for a pardon. This is it!! Mr. Heller committed a crime and was properly convicted for it, but the mitigating circumstance are outstanding. Cases like this are why State and Federal Constitutions provide the pardoning power. I sure hope for the best for this guy.

trolcltkore (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26230977)

You don't nee3 to

Bleed 'em dry! (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#26233111)

I'm usually not someone who sides with people trying to drain a company through legal means, but in this case I'm willing to make an exception. Bleed them. Make them go bankrupt. If they go under, that's the last we'll see of EVoting, because nobody would willingly touch it again with a ten foot pole.

Make them die.

Re:Bleed 'em dry! (2, Insightful)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 5 years ago | (#26234265)

I'm usually not someone who sides with people trying to drain a company through legal means, but in this case I'm willing to make an exception. Bleed them. Make them go bankrupt. If they go under, that's the last we'll see of EVoting, because nobody would willingly touch it again with a ten foot pole.

Bah, if there's any proof that they tampered with election results, surely that should be grounds for a criminal case, not a civil one?

Heck, as far as I'm concerned screwing with the democratic process amounts to high treason.

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