gadzook33 (740455) writes "I had an interesting experience at work recently wherein a colleague suggested during a meeting that we were building something that would make it far too easy for the customer to perform a certain task; a task that my colleague felt was deleterious. Without going into specifics, I believe an apt analogy would be giving everyone in the country a flying car. While this would no doubt be enjoyable, without proper training and regulation it would also be tremendously dangerous (also assume training and regulating is not practical in this case). I retorted that ours is not to reason why and that we had the responsibility to develop the best possible solution, end of story. However, in the following days I have begun to doubt my position and wonder if we don't have some responsibility to artificially "cripple" the solution and in doing so protect the user from themselves (build a car that stays on the ground). I do not for a second imagine that I am playing the part of Oppenheimer; this is a much more practical issue and less of an ethical one. But is there something to this?" top
gadzook33 writes "There have been rumors floating around about DIY iris scanning using digital cameras for biometric security. Iris scanning presents a fantastic alternative to password-based authentication but hasn't really come to our desktops yet. I've looked around but can't find any concrete material on the subject. Is anyone doing this? Are there any efforts to develop open software for this sort of thing? Are patents holding things up? Given that passwords are an almost defunct technique for protecting data in certain situations, it would be nice to have an alternative." top
gadzook33 writes "With everything that's been in the news lately regarding problems in the Diebold voting machines, I am left wondering what the alternative is. Paper ballots seem to be frequently suggested but it is hard to imagine those would be without problems as well. Isn't any company going to suffer from the same problems Diebold has? Isn't any state or local government going to have problems watching that company? Is there an "open" alternative? Is there a system we can use that will be transparent enough to prevent problems like this in the future?"