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FBI Director Continues His Campaign Against Encryption

perry64 Re:What's the difference... (284 comments)

I think that drapes are a better analogy. Banks, safes and safety deposit boxes protect things that might be stolen, while drapes prevents people from seeing what you are doing in a place where you have an expectation of privacy.

Being on the internet without encryption is like being in your house without drapes.

about 2 months ago
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FBI Chief: Apple, Google Phone Encryption Perilous

perry64 Drapes (354 comments)

Similarly, the FBI has indicated its displeasure with the manufacturers of another new product intended to thwart law enforcement officials from keeping all Americans, but especially the children, safe.

"This new product will make our job much more difficult. Honest people, true Americans, with nothing to hide, should have no need for such a product."

Despite such warnings, the sales of drapes and Venetian blinds have been brisk.

about 3 months ago
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Ancient Campfires Led To the Rise of Storytelling

perry64 News??? (89 comments)

I read the same thing on a Bill Cosby album liner forty-five years ago.

about 3 months ago
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Really, Why Are Smartphones Still Tied To Contracts?

perry64 Re:Lease? (482 comments)

When I've been considering it, the option of leasing and then buying the car was much more expensive than buying outright. It might not be that way all the time, but it was in mine.

about 8 months ago
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Really, Why Are Smartphones Still Tied To Contracts?

perry64 Re:Lease? (482 comments)

I think that this is the perfect analogy to this. I don't do car leases because at the end of the lease, I don't get to keep the car. I don't care about having a new car, and I would rather drive an older car and not have a car payment. The older car essentially works just as well in its task of getting me from point A to point B.

With smart phones, it's different. The new smart phone may or may not be significantly better and provide significantly more functionality than the two year old one.

I no longer needed a cell phone for work, so I turned mine in. When I looked at buying one and going month to month compared to getting a contract with a cell provider and a discounted phone, I did the math, and the difference was under $20 over the course of the 2 years. I decided to go with the contract, since I wouldn't have to put out a high up front cost. Now when this contract is up, I will look at what the latest cell phones can provide that my current one can't, and decide whether that is worth the price of a new one. If yes, i will probably sign up for a contract and get a new phone. If not, I will just switch to a cheap month-to-month program.

about 8 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Professional Journaling/Notes Software?

perry64 You Want to Keep A Log??? (170 comments)

Yes, if only someone had invented a way to log things on the web. I bet that they could call it a web log, but knowing how everyone shortens things, they would probably call it a wog, or something like that.

If there was something like that, there probably would be lots of software available to do that, which would have lots of ways to index the contents with a series of tags.

If only that existed.

about 8 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Essays and Short Stories Should Be In a Course On Futurism?

perry64 Heinlein's "Where to?" (293 comments)

Or any of his "Future History."

I recommend this one in particular because this short essay discusses how to write futuristic stories or make futuristic predictions. One of his basic premises is that any predictions that view technology at advancing at a slowing rate, or even maintaining the "current" rate, will be bound to be too timid. Only predictions that are based upon an exponential rate will have a chance of coming true.

about 10 months ago
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Wanted: Special-Ops Battle Suit With Cooling, Computers, Radios, and Sensors

perry64 Re:An Odd Question (More of an Aside, Really) (176 comments)

Soldiers are only in the Army. As this will likely be used by members of all services, warfighter is more correct.

Never refer to a Marine as a "soldier" - it doesn't go over well.

about a year ago
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The Golden Gate Barrage: New Ideas To Counter Sea Level Rise

perry64 Re:So... (341 comments)

Forget the Monty Python, let's have some good old AMERICAN movie humor:

Four, five, whatever it takes.

about a year ago
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NSA Officers Sometimes Spy On Love Interests

perry64 Jaime Lee Curftis (384 comments)

Can we just get to the part of the movie where Jamie Lee Curtis dances? I wonder if any of the NSA geeks knows how to fly a Harrier?

about a year ago
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Japan Unveils Largest Warship Since WW2

perry64 On August 6? Really?? (282 comments)

Not an auspicious date in Japanese military history.

about a year ago
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How Ubiquitous Autonomous Cars Could Affect Society (Video)

perry64 Time to Invest in a Bar (369 comments)

If patrons don't have to be sober to have their car drive them home, bar tabs will rise significantly. At least mine will.

about a year and a half ago
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Why Your Users Hate Agile

perry64 Re:Agile summed up (597 comments)

Academics with degrees in software engineering describing how to write code is like a horny virgin describing how to have sex:

They've thought about it an awful lot, have lots of "great" ideas on how to make it better, and maybe have even been nearby a few times when someone else was doing it .

But they have never done it themselves and the thought of actually DOING it scares the crap out of them.

about a year and a half ago
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GMO Wheat Found Growing Wild In Oregon, Japan Suspends Import From U.S.

perry64 Re:It's still under investigation (679 comments)

You really shouldn't say that without removing your sunglasses as you do.

about a year and a half ago
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Brain Zapping Improves Math Ability

perry64 Milgram was Right!!! (202 comments)

And he blew it by focusing on the stupid moral implications in his publications!!!

about a year and a half ago
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Apple Hires Former Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch, Destroyer of iPhones

perry64 If this wasn't /. (209 comments)

Someone would have made a analogy of sports stars moving from one team to its hated rival for a pot of $$$.

However, being /., no one thought about sports.

about a year and a half ago
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As Music Streaming Grows, Royalties Slow To a Trickle

perry64 Re:Wow (665 comments)

Her complaint is only relevant if avant cellists were making considerably more money under the previous system.

I'm old enough to remember record stores, even independent ones, and I don't remember an "Avant Cello" section.

about 2 years ago
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Ada 2012 Language Approved As Standard By ISO

perry64 Re:Anybody using Ada? (165 comments)

I got an MSCS from the Naval Postgraduate School when Ada was "required" for all DoD projects, so it was the intro programming language then. I haven't touched it since 1993, so I can't comment on current version of it, but there are still several people at NPS who swear by it, and, as another commenter said, it is an Apple level of fanboy-ism. Anyone who doesn't like Ada just doesn't get it and needs to be preached to. The main argument for Ada is that it contains many mechanism to prevent errors, so that the code produced will be much safer and reliable, and thus should be used in any system where failure causes significant problems, i.e., aircraft, weapons, etc. There was one faculty member at NPS who would send an e-mail any time a military project was held up by software delays and basically say, "Had they used Ada, this wouldn't have happened." No acceptance of the fact that Ada doesn't protect against logical errors, or that since the libraries are much scarcer than other languages, they probably wouldn't have gotten anywhere near completion had they used Ada. Not to mention needing pretty much EVERY Ada programmer on the planet for any project bigger than "Hello World."

about 2 years ago
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Einstein Letter Critical of Religion To Be Auctioned On EBay

perry64 Re:3 million (414 comments)

Actually, he'd probably be writing more letters to sell.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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Problems w/ Electronic Voting?

perry64 perry64 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

perry64 writes "I've seen many discussions on /. and elsewhere regarding electronic voting and its many problems. I am as scared as anyone about evil/incompetent source code affecting an election's outcome without us knowing it, but the problem doesn't seem that hard to me. Therefore, either I am significantly smarter than everyone else, or there are aspects of the problems I am missing. As much as I would like to believe the former, life's experiences make me believe it is the latter and my simple plan (described below) won't work. I'm hoping /. readers can do what they love to do, show where someone is wrong and enlighten me on the issue.

My plan:

1. The voter goes to the electronic voting machine and votes.

2. After the voter verifies the screen correctly reflects the voter's intention and presses a button, the voter's selection is printed out on a small printer (think the same size as rental car employees wear around their neck) in characters designed for easy OCR.

3. The machine asks the voter if the printed slate matches the slate on the screen, and the voter selects "yes" or "no."

4) If no, the voter's votes are not counted, he/she is instructed to return the printed card to the poll workers, who destroy it and allow the voter to go to another machine and vote again.

5) If yes, the voter puts the card into a ballot box.

6) At the end of election day, a certain number of the ballots are scanned and compared to the electronic totals reported from that precinct. If the results are within acceptable tolerances (which statisticians provide, as well as the number of ballots required to be scanned), the electronic results are used. If not, there is a complete optical recount. The results from the optical recount are used, and if the optical recount does not agree within the voting machines margin of error, an investigation is launched to determine why this is.

7) The errors are reported from each precinct, and if the average error from all precincts is greater than the margin of victory, a complete optical recount is ordered. (This would prevent someone from coding the machines to each give an acceptable error, but always for the same candidate, thus affecting very close elections.)

This seems to have most of the benefits of electronic voting (cost, speed, ability to correct a misstated vote, ease of use) without the problems that opponents of electronic voting list: no paper trail, the ability of bad software to change an election (either intentional or not), etc.

Why am I missing?"
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FLOSS License Proliferation: Still a problem

perry64 perry64 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

perry64 writes "David A. Wheeler has a long discussion about the problems with free-libre/open source software (FLOSS) license proliferation. It was brought on by a supposedly open source license "that could be interpreted as, 'If we developers did lots of illegal activities in creating the software, you're required to pay for our legal expenses to defend our illegal activities, even if the only thing that you did is provide copies of this software to other people, or used it incidentally.'""
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