463: Voting Machines

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(Explanation: YDIW)
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It is not uncommon to see computer software contract stipulating that the vendor will warrant that software and systems delivered will not contain any virus or malicious code — a knee-jerk reaction to this on novice management is to include virus-scanning software for systems which otherwise are closed. From a computer programming standpoint, having anti-virus software on an electronic voting machine doesn't make sense because the machine shouldn't be accessing the Internet in a way that would leave it open to virus attacks. While there are a lot of ways that viruses can propagate, ultimately the computer still has to download an executable file and run it, which is something that ''no election machine should do'' in normal operation. Rather than use anti-virus software, it makes more sense to simply disable the downloading of files, which is very doable. (Or, if the machine might need to receive hotfixes during operation, require that all executable files be signed by the manufacturer with something like {{w|ECDSA}}.)
 
It is not uncommon to see computer software contract stipulating that the vendor will warrant that software and systems delivered will not contain any virus or malicious code — a knee-jerk reaction to this on novice management is to include virus-scanning software for systems which otherwise are closed. From a computer programming standpoint, having anti-virus software on an electronic voting machine doesn't make sense because the machine shouldn't be accessing the Internet in a way that would leave it open to virus attacks. While there are a lot of ways that viruses can propagate, ultimately the computer still has to download an executable file and run it, which is something that ''no election machine should do'' in normal operation. Rather than use anti-virus software, it makes more sense to simply disable the downloading of files, which is very doable. (Or, if the machine might need to receive hotfixes during operation, require that all executable files be signed by the manufacturer with something like {{w|ECDSA}}.)
  
Hence the question is whether the voting machine manufacture have taken the proper precaution preventing any external access. The comic makes an analogy to a teacher who reassures you that he always wears a condom when teaching. Common sense should dictate that teachers should not end up in a situation where wearing a condom would be useful. Rather, the school-board and hiring authority should make sure that teachers are screen prior to being employed, and not allowed to continue to teach if any impropriety is even suggested.
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Hence the question is whether the voting machine manufacture have taken the proper precaution preventing any external access. The comic makes an analogy to a teacher who reassures you that he always wears a condom when teaching. Common sense dictates that teachers should never end up in a situation where wearing a condom in school would be useful.
  
 
Theoretically it's always good to have protection, but a situation where a condom would be useful should hopefully not arise during class. The comment is more likely to make people worried about why the condom is there and what purpose it's serving.
 
Theoretically it's always good to have protection, but a situation where a condom would be useful should hopefully not arise during class. The comment is more likely to make people worried about why the condom is there and what purpose it's serving.
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[http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/youre-doing-it-wrong "You're doing it wrong"] is an {{w|Internet meme}}, used to indicate that someone is making a foolish mistake. It often connotes humor or schadenfreude.
  
 
The title text refers to [[153: Cryptography]].
 
The title text refers to [[153: Cryptography]].

Revision as of 15:53, 7 March 2014

Voting Machines
And that's *another* crypto conference I've been kicked out of. C'mon, it's a great analogy!
Title text: And that's *another* crypto conference I've been kicked out of. C'mon, it's a great analogy!

Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Reword and reformat
If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.

In the 2008 Ohio primary elections, there were numerous problems with electronic voting machines, which eventually required many districts to revert to pen and paper. Premier Election Solutions, the company that handled the machines, blamed these problems on McAfee anti-virus software.

It is not uncommon to see computer software contract stipulating that the vendor will warrant that software and systems delivered will not contain any virus or malicious code — a knee-jerk reaction to this on novice management is to include virus-scanning software for systems which otherwise are closed. From a computer programming standpoint, having anti-virus software on an electronic voting machine doesn't make sense because the machine shouldn't be accessing the Internet in a way that would leave it open to virus attacks. While there are a lot of ways that viruses can propagate, ultimately the computer still has to download an executable file and run it, which is something that no election machine should do in normal operation. Rather than use anti-virus software, it makes more sense to simply disable the downloading of files, which is very doable. (Or, if the machine might need to receive hotfixes during operation, require that all executable files be signed by the manufacturer with something like ECDSA.)

Hence the question is whether the voting machine manufacture have taken the proper precaution preventing any external access. The comic makes an analogy to a teacher who reassures you that he always wears a condom when teaching. Common sense dictates that teachers should never end up in a situation where wearing a condom in school would be useful.

Theoretically it's always good to have protection, but a situation where a condom would be useful should hopefully not arise during class. The comment is more likely to make people worried about why the condom is there and what purpose it's serving.

"You're doing it wrong" is an Internet meme, used to indicate that someone is making a foolish mistake. It often connotes humor or schadenfreude.

The title text refers to 153: Cryptography.

Transcript

Premier Election Solutions (formerly Diebold) has blamed Ohio voting machine errors on problems with the machines' McAfee antivirus software.
[Cueball is sitting at a computer, facepalming.]
Cueball: Wait. "Antivirus software"? On voting machines? You're doing it wrong.
[Cueball's friend enters the frame and speaks to Cueball.]
Friend: Why? Security is good, right?
Cueball: Of course. But, well—
Cueball: Imagine you're at a parent-teacher conference, and the teacher reassures you that he always wears a condom while teaching.
Friend: Ah. Strictly speaking, it's better than the alternative—
Cueball: —Yet someone is clearly doing their job horribly wrong.
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Discussion

What's incomplete? 199.27.130.180 04:13, 8 March 2014 (UTC)

It seems fine to me. Removing the incomplete tag. LogicalOxymoron (talk) 23:19, 12 March 2014 (UTC)

What's "the alternative"? 108.162.208.98 20:55, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

I believe when the alternate Cueball references "the alternative" he has already realized what the first Cueball meant. Cueball 2 I'll call him, is thus referencing the alternative is no protection or security. I don't believe Cueball 2 is directly referencing the 'teacher wearing a condom analogy'. Official.xian (talk) 19:59, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
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