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In Theory And Practice, Why Internet-Based Voting Is a Bad Idea

0xABADC0DA Re:Vote by Mail works very well in Oregon (218 comments)

Vote-by-mail is a secure, effective, and practical voting method, and is virtually immune to the sorts of systemic fraud that plague electronic voting.

Wrong. It's vulnerable to systemic fraud in the counting. If you infiltrate the post office or the election office you can easily alter the results in volume.

When you have a polling location you can verify the box is empty, observe people placing votes into it, and observe the counting. You observe every step in the process to get your poll's final tally, and when the results are posted with a breakdown by polling location you can verify that it was added correctly to the total. All you need is a few trusted people per polling location and you can trust the results.

But in vote-by-mail the only part you observe is casting your own vote. You can't say that a 'household tyrant' didn't vote for others -or- that systemic fraud didn't occur in the post or in the tally. It's better than internet voting could ever be since the unobservable parts (post office, elections office) are harder to corrupt and get away with it, but it's still unacceptable for running fair elections.

more than 2 years ago

Apple Launches New Legal Attack On Samsung

0xABADC0DA Re:More to follow? (490 comments)

"Historically, a device required moving parts to classify as a machine; however, the advent of electronics technology has led to the development of devices without moving parts that many refer to as machines, such as a computer, radio, and television." --The American Heritage Dictionary, 1985

You are living 30 years in the past if you think "machine" has to be some physical device with gears and cogs. You would rather go from straw men to arguing semantics than actually come up with an argument against software patents. Why do you think that is?

more than 2 years ago

Apple Launches New Legal Attack On Samsung

0xABADC0DA Re:More to follow? (490 comments)

Software is a creative work and it is also a machine -- it does something. It transforms scene data into a Pixar movie, or translates a book into another language, or controls other machines to assemble cars, shape metal, or do anything else.

A book or movie is a creative work, but that's all. It doesn't do anything. It isn't a machine.

Being something and doing something are not the same thing. Being something is protected by copyright, doing something is protected by patents. Software does something and should be protected by patents.

Lets just say the concept of wars in space was patented so no one could write a book about wars in space ... Do you write software? would you like your code to become subject to trivial patents that claim wholesale ownership of your code?

Did you ever wonder why you can't come up with a real argument against software patents that doesn't rely on straw men?

more than 2 years ago

Moglen: Facebook Is a Man-In-The-Middle Attack

0xABADC0DA Re:A bit too dramatic (376 comments)

I believe what they are talking about is "The Man" in the middle attack not a man-in-the-middle attack.

more than 2 years ago

Firefox Javascript Engine Becomes Single Threaded

0xABADC0DA Re:But... (346 comments)

Basically in a dynamically typed language like JavaScript every property access, function call, or any other thing that can be changed dynamically could be changed at runtime by another thread. So you need locking for every method call, property access, etc to make sure it isn't changed by another thread while it's accessed in another.

There are some generally fast locking algorithms for when locks are used mostly by the same thread... for instance in Java locks can be owned by a thread and that thread never has to lock or unlock at all, but instead it periodically checks if another thread has written a flag saying it wants to become the owner, then there is synchronization to pass off ownership. This works ok for Java, where there are fewer things that can change at runtime and they are explicitly listed out (using 'synchronized'), but in a dynamic language it's usually just too much overhead.

Just for comparison V8 is even more extremely single-threaded, with execution that can only be interrupted at some certain points in the JS code.

more than 2 years ago

Google Punishing Chrome Results For 60 Days

0xABADC0DA Re:Google still is different from other companies. (173 comments)

You would have a point if Google gave something up, but they still display a massive ad for Chrome on their start page (roughly the same size as the Google logo) and other properties, and a sponsored ad for 'browser', and top results for 'chrome' and 'browser' still have Chrome listed through wikipedia and other second hand sources.

How many people do you think manage to get past the huge logo-sized ad, the banner ads, and the 2nd hand sites without reading about Chrome or being able to download it? If you give up something worthless to you, it shows nothing about your integrity.

more than 2 years ago

Samsung Lawyer Fails To Differentiate iPad and Galaxy Tab In Court

0xABADC0DA Think different (495 comments)

It's amazing to me to what extremes people can go to justify their tribes. Here we have college educated people who's job it is to show the differences in the products not being able to recognize their own product. If these people can't tell the difference from a reasonable distance then the general public 10' away in Starbucks sure the hell isn't going to.

It's patently obvious (har har) that Samsung set out to clone iPad, the packaging, the icons, the charger, the IO port, etc. They're going to lose these cloning suits and for good reason.

It's sad that Microsoft is now one of the more morally upstanding corporations (by comparison only) in the industry. At least they create things and with Zune, WP7, etc they do it their own unique way instead of just blindly copying like Google (copying the OS) and Samsung (copying the product).

more than 2 years ago

Chrome Set To Take No. 2 Spot From Firefox

0xABADC0DA Re:Just goes to show... (585 comments)

Some measurements of PC emulator on FF, Chrome on i7.

Though even the Javascript PC emulator loads the Linux kernel pretty much equally fast on both.

It depends... comparing nightly to dev channel:

# x=1; while [[ $x -lt 1000]; do x=$((x+1)); done

Chrome: 2 seconds
Firefox: 20 seconds

# time gzip < /bin/zcat > /dev/null

Chrome: 206 seconds
Firefox: 102 seconds

# find /

Chrome: 11 seconds
Firefox: 6.5 seconds

# for x in /bin/*; do $x --help; done 2>/dev/null >&2

Chrome: 12 seconds
Firefox: 5.5 seconds

Looks like whatever busybox is doing for the shell is fantastically slow in Firefox, but pretty much everything else I tried was about twice as fast. No wonder Google wants everybody to move to Dart, huh?

more than 2 years ago

Chrome Set To Take No. 2 Spot From Firefox

0xABADC0DA "A faster way to browser the web" (585 comments)

Chrome is advertised extensively on all Google properties, but you don't see the ads as a Firefox user because they don't want to tarnish their image with happy Firefox users. Chrome is advertised on TV and the web. Advertising works, that's how Google rakes in the profit.

Can anybody help me out? I'm not trolling here, I seriously want to know what Chrome has over FF.

There's not really any reason to use Chrome over Firefox any more, but many reasons to use Firefox over Chrome (customization, open previous session as it was, better extensions, better rendering, etc).

more than 2 years ago

Mozilla Contemplating Five Week Release Cycle

0xABADC0DA Re:Sigh... (495 comments)

Interesting. I've been using Firefox nightly for a while now and it seems better than or equal to Chrome in most ways. Plus it's fully open source.

As far as performance goes Javascript in Nightly is on par (+/- a few % on Kracken) with dev channel Chrome, compositing is faster, the garbage collector is better (fewer pauses, less overhead). I don't notice the UI lagging like in older versions. You can have as many tabs open as you want.

As far as features, Nightly has an option to force add-on compatibility and I've yet to have any add-ons fail to work or cause problems. Then you have a noscript that always works, esc to stop animated gifs, view -> style -> no style, customized UI (for minimal UI on netbook), and all those other nice things about Firefox that you can live without but shouldn't have to.

There's no doubt Chrome is winning the popularity contest and at one time it was much faster, but as far as merit goes it just doesn't seem to offer that much anymore.

about 3 years ago

"Wi-Fi Refugees" Shelter in West Virginia Mountains

0xABADC0DA Re:Logical treatment. (627 comments)

They only complain about man-made electromagnetic fields. The Earth has this HUGE magnetic field, maybe you've heard of it.

There is a HUGE amount of noise in the world, yet with an annoy-o-tron in your office it's just a tiny man-made noise that drives you batty.

In addition, every single study done so far has shown that when you tell these people that you turned off the source of EM they think is the cause of their problem, they get better.

When I tell you I removed the annoy-o-tron(s) from your office you feel better right away, if you believe me. You also can't tell me reliably if I actually removed them or not (at least not unless they go off again), or how many are hidden in your office and around your home. Maybe they are just in your imagination, unlike that spider in your hair.

I just shot down your argument. Whether these people are actually affected by radio waves or not is a different matter, but you reasoning is not valid.

about 3 years ago

Apple Patents Cutting 3.5mm Jack in Half

0xABADC0DA Re:Obvious? (369 comments)

I would like to phrase it "and nobody in 96 years had this problem."

Since there is a 2.5mm plug clearly people did have this problem before, so you would rephrase it as something simply wrong. Why would one ever use a 2.5mm plug if there was space for a 3.5mm one? It doesn't even need rebutting with counter-examples it's so patently absurd of an idea.

The fact is that this is one of those inventions that takes creativity to come up with, but seems pretty obvious after the fact. A headphone jack that's half the size and is both forward and backward compatible with the existing headphones is freaking awesome. Props to Apple engineers.

[some random straw men]

more than 3 years ago

Apple Patents Cutting 3.5mm Jack in Half

0xABADC0DA Re:Obvious? (369 comments)

And there's your incentive for inventing. Either invent new awesome things (Apple) or get blocked from the market for using other people's inventions (Samsung) or buy other people's work and use that as leverage so you can license the inventions you need (Google).

Invent, pay up, or get out. Patents are a proven solution to furthering progress in the useful arts.

more than 3 years ago

Apple Patents Cutting 3.5mm Jack in Half

0xABADC0DA Re:Obvious? (369 comments)

This invention halves the size of the jack, is compatible with all existing devices, and is less likely to break the device (pull on the headphone just pulls it away from the magnet instead of yanking the whole device). And nobody in 96 years thought of this solution.

This is exactly what patents are for. Rewarding the people that spend their dollars on research to improve things. It's a small but innovative idea, and gives Apple a small advantage over competitors. Stop eating the sour grapes and start inventing.

more than 3 years ago

Google To Acquire Motorola Mobility For $12.5 Bill

0xABADC0DA Re:If Google were a poker player... (578 comments)

You're celebrating a company that profits from other people's creative works (original content), time and attention (advertising), and inventions. You cheered when google, a company without actual inventions themselves to speak of, complained about the patent system protecting inventors. And you cheered when they essentially bribed the system by buying other people's works; they payed ill-gotten money to make their patent abuse problem go away.

Google is a parasite. Objectively looking at Google's behavior it's one of the more evil, corrosive companies in the tech sector, so why do you celebrate them?

more than 3 years ago

Sale of Samsung Galaxy Tab Blocked in the EU

0xABADC0DA Re:Cant compete, but sue. (412 comments)

The entire purpose of patents is to block out competitors by securing to inventors exclusive rights over their inventions. Who would invest the money to invent if somebody else can just copy it and not have years of debt to pay off?

And for that matter software patents are good and they encourage innovation. Software is not math, it's a machine. Inventing a new sorting algorithm is no different from inventing a new physical sorting process except it's simulated by a computer. What's really the matter is just obvious patents, absurd patents like 'one click', and all the ones with clear prior art that are granted anyway.

Apple has done a huge amount of research and inventing in many areas and deserves to get advantage from it. The position of the defenders of Android is that blatant copying is okay, making them part of the anti-intellectual crowd that doesn't value ideas and creativity.

more than 3 years ago

Google: Sun Offered To License Java For $100M

0xABADC0DA Re:When Hubris takes precedence over Brains... (173 comments)

Only technically could one argue that Dalvik is "not Java". It isn't exactly the same and doesn't run Java code, not exactly.

But there's nobody technical that can say with good conscience that Dalvik is not simply a blatant copy of the JVM, changed just enough to maybe get around some patents. The byte code is exactly what you would expect from a straight converting of Java bytecode to a register format and the application format is just a bunch of Java class files merged together so there's less redundant strings and such. The basic semantics are entirely the same as Java.

Ultimately what it comes down to is that Google purposely and blatantly worked to get around some patents they considered bogus, creating an incompatible version of Java -- objectively there's simply no denying this. The question is then over whether you feel they were justified to do this or not. The people insisting so loudly that 'Dalvik is not Java' are those that feel that creating an incompatible Java is 'wrong'... but they still want it in their phone.

more than 3 years ago

Biggest Changes In C++11 (and Why You Should Care)

0xABADC0DA Re:Biggest Change? (385 comments)

I still think ++C++ would be better... the problem with C++ was always that they put the C stuff off to one side.

more than 3 years ago

Google Cuts Chrome Page Load Times In Half w/ SPDY

0xABADC0DA Re:Detailed info on SPDY (310 comments)

Let's say it take 200 ms to generate the dynamic data. In the mean time, the browser can check if it has the newest JS version from my CDN, since it already know it will need it.

If there was an HTTP "RESOURCES" request to go along with GET and HEAD that did the same thing then the browser could send that along with a GET on opening the connection and you would have the same benefit, with the extra benefit of being able to query this information independently from requesting the content.

In any case, if the browser already has it cached then you gain nothing in terms of page loading speed (the browser could speculatively load it anyway) and you can tell the browser to cache these kinds of things for a long time by versioning the URL when they have to change.

So occasionally the browser can start loading a resource sooner than the main page is ready and unless all resources fit into this category (page load being held up by those that aren't known on initial GET) then it on average only reduces the page load time by some factor of the bandwidth for that resource. Not worth it.

Ah, but as you yourself point out, HTTP pipelining can not. People have tried for a long time to get HTTP pipelining to work properly, but so far it's not the solution people are looking for.

I think HTTP pipelining is actually the solution people are looking for. The problem is just that it isn't supported well.

If you take a close look at the SPDY performance numbers on their whitepaper, you'll see that they don't compare it to HTTP pipelining even though the test is conducted with a server and client they control that both support pipelining. The reason? They don't want to say "use SPDY it's 3% faster at loading pages than HTTP pipelining" (made up number).

Further you'll see that they don't compare SPDY over SSL with HTTP over SSL. The reason? They don't want to say that "SPDY w/GZIP compression over SSL sends 2% less data than HTTP over SSL w/DEFLATE compression".

The whole thing is obviously such a sham. They have some other reason for pushing SPDY, maybe just to do it, but whatever it is it's certainly not evidence-based.

more than 3 years ago

Google Cuts Chrome Page Load Times In Half w/ SPDY

0xABADC0DA Re:SPDY clarifications (310 comments)

Once again thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. I wish the answers, in general, were something more substantial than just 'we're Google trust us we're smart durr', since that's essentially what you've written here, for instance:

There is external research on this topic. Feel free to look it up as we did.

I expect somebody who is pushing a new protocol based on published research to be able to at least cite their sources. Even on the web the only research identified are two powerpoint presentations by the same guy, with no review. Frankly, even just based off the fact that you stand behind performance numbers that come from a non- state of the art (even at the time) HTTP stack makes me seriously doubt the quality of research that went into this new protocol.

I don't see any serious response to why the problems in HTTP couldn't just be fixed in the standard instead of being papered-over. I suppose this means unstated is that w3 is too slow or too busy wasting time with RDF and 'semantic web' to improve the spec, so you have no choice but to bypass standards. In any case I would encourage you to collect actual evidence for the need for SPDY and also to at least try alternatives that modify HTTP itself.

more than 3 years ago


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