The Big Picture: One Day in November

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Dr Jones:

PsychedelicDiamond:
You know... i think people who would rather play a video game instead of voting in one of the worlds most important political elections have no business voting anyway. I mean, dude, the game can wait.

The game can wait.. THE GAME CAN WAIT? We know for SURE that there will be another election in 4 years, but Another Halo in 4 years? THAT MIGHT NOT HAPPEN, DUDEBRAH! *hurries over to his kitchen to get Doritos and Mountain Dew, then plays Gears of War with a bro*

... For the record, yeah we do XD

Halo 4 is part of a confirmed new trilogy. Chances are, we'll get the next in three years (and possibly a Halo 2 anniversary in the mean time).

Now, for the episode: Bob, you just had an entire episode about Halo without needlessly bashing it. That deserves a congratulations. I didn't think you had it in you!

whats scarier is how this doesn't effect me no matter how

Why the Hell would people think this release date would favour the republicans? Only based on two false assumptions:

-it is the "youth" who mainly play games (even though average age of gamer is mid-30s)
-The "youth" will so reliably vote Democrat above all other factors.

I think the people (old enough to vote) who will camp out all night for Halo 4 and play it all through election day are far morel likely to vote republican. I mean Halo is a simplistic idealistic war-shooter, idolising the military and an inhuman religious-fanatic enemy with a huge focus on a mindless repetitive war shooter.

Microsoft may be a "Big Corporation" but they are Silicon Valley idealists, they have a very strong DEMOCRAT leaning. If there is any conspiracy or group conceit, then it is towards the democrat party or another liberal policy.

"youth vote" is far too broad a demographic. Not EVERY 18-20 year old is going to vote Obama, and those who won't are more likely to vote Republican... I think.

Remember:
-Not EVERY 18-20 year old will be big enough halo-fans to buy and play all launch day
-Of those 18-20 year olds who are big Halo fans, I think a larger proportion vote republican if they vote at all. So it'll hurt republicans more... if anyone.

Mitt Romney's association with Microsoft shouldn't be surprising, he is RICH AS FUCK! And so is Microsoft. Rich knows Rich.

PS: I don't think this is a conspiracy, it is a coincidence. A conspiracy would be indicated if the date was MOVED to remove this obama-favouring move.

Solution to this: MAKE IT EASIER TO VOTE! THAT is how you increase voter turnout, there is not reason to keep voting in the same way as was done 200 years ago, make it electronic. If I can securely transfer thousands of pounds/dollars via internet banking then surely America can devise a way of securely voting online? OR how about this, a voting Weekend. WHY OH BLOODY WHY is voting held on a single Tuesday? Make Voting day a national holiday. That's how you increase turnout.

A game sale may get in the way, but ANYTHING could get in the way. What if there was bad weather, then the elderly may be less likely to leave the house so affect that demographic.

Adam Jensen:
The biggest lie in the world is the belief that presidential elections mean anything. People vote for their favorite candidate, sure. But then other, more powerful people get to control the president. This isn't a conspiracy theory, it's how politics works. Politicians are being run by lobbyists. It's the sad reality. People get the illusion of democracy, and it's good enough for most of them. The problem is, people are waking up. The more you fuck with them the faster they're gonna wake up. Internet is the biggest contributor to that. No wonder corporations want it censored. I can say with 90% certainty that by the end of this decade people will be fed up with all this bullshit.

Hmm, I'm not sure if you are distinguishing between "controlled by lobbyists" and "Limited by political realities".

What you see is Politicians saying they will do things and then they don't.

That isn't because lobbyists controlled them. That is because they made promises they couldn't keep. Wow, politicians do that!

They can't "wake up" from this, you are asking them to turn a blind eye. People aren't "waking up" they are buying into ignorance and denialism. Denying the legal precedents and commitments.

Obama wasn't "controlled by lobbyists" when he didn't shut down the P.O.W. camp in Guantanamo Bay, he was face with the political reality that it WAS a Prisoner Of War camp and not a civilian prison. So he couldn't just unload the prisoners onto civilian courts or to other countries. Realise that terrorists and guerilla fighters captured in this war when they were taken off the plane and realise they were in Guantanamo Bay they whooped and cheered with delight... they'd rather be in US custody that ANYWHERE ELSE! The most inhumane thing Obama could do would have been to give these prisoners to Egypt, Libya or Syria (this was before the Democratic uprisings) or Saudi Arabia or Oman.

Renowned sceptic James Randi said now is a time of great danger, the danger of a new dark age precisely because the internet allows the spread of information. Particularly the allure of false information, nonsense and flawed ideology. The Internet is the biggest contributor to that. It can spread nonsense like politicians need to "Wake up" (turn a blind eye) and do exactly what a misinformed masses want regardless of the actual reality of the situation. Just "give us what we we want even if you know it is wrong".

Baldr:

Warped_Ghost:
ok but I have one question.
Why wouldn't you be more concerned about the %30-%40 of the population that isn't voting?

Try 60-80%. Plus it is a political freedom not to vote.

Just because people can legally light their crotch on fire with axe doesn't mean they should.

PsychedelicDiamond:
You know... i think people who would rather play a video game instead of voting in one of the worlds most important political elections have no business voting anyway. I mean, dude, the game can wait.

And that's where it begins. Obviously they can't vote for themselves, their life would be better if we decide laws for them. Suddenly they fall out the bottom of democracy. A democrocy of other people decided for them. The problem is where do you draw the line. I guarantee someone in the world feels like your choices are so dumb they want to draw that line above you head saying, "you choose so poorly things would be better if you didn't influence any vote." In a true democracy everyone gets to choose no matter how dumb or easily taken in by flashy campaign adds and loud noises. In truth we have the electoral college which was set up so the smart business men could vote and if they win they get all the votes from their state, even from the bumpkins who did not or could not vote, because they know best for everyone.

Treblaine:
Why the Hell would people think this release date would favour the republicans? Only based on two false assumptions:

-it is the "youth" who mainly play games (even though average age of gamer is mid-30s)
-The "youth" will so reliably vote Democrat above all other factors.

I think the people (old enough to vote) who will camp out all night for Halo 4 and play it all through election day are far morel likely to vote republican. I mean Halo is a simplistic idealistic war-shooter, idolising the military and an inhuman religious-fanatic enemy with a huge focus on a mindless repetitive war shooter.

Microsoft may be a "Big Corporation" but they are Silicon Valley idealists, they have a very strong DEMOCRAT leaning. If there is any conspiracy or group conceit, then it is towards the democrat party or another liberal policy.

"youth vote" is far too broad a demographic. Not EVERY 18-20 year old is going to vote Obama, and those who won't are more likely to vote Republican... I think.

Remember:
-Not EVERY 18-20 year old will be big enough halo-fans to buy and play all launch day
-Of those 18-20 year olds who are big Halo fans, I think a larger proportion vote republican if they vote at all. So it'll hurt republicans more... if anyone.

Mitt Romney's association with Microsoft shouldn't be surprising, he is RICH AS FUCK! And so is Microsoft. Rich knows Rich.

PS: I don't think this is a conspiracy, it is a coincidence. A conspiracy would be indicated if the date was MOVED to remove this obama-favouring move.

Solution to this: MAKE IT EASIER TO VOTE! THAT is how you increase voter turnout, there is not reason to keep voting in the same way as was done 200 years ago, make it electronic. If I can securely transfer thousands of pounds/dollars via internet banking then surely America can devise a way of securely voting online? OR how about this, a voting Weekend. WHY OH BLOODY WHY is voting held on a single Tuesday? Make Voting day a national holiday. That's how you increase turnout.

A game sale may get in the way, but ANYTHING could get in the way. What if there was bad weather, then the elderly may be less likely to leave the house so affect that demographic.

They tried that national voting day somewhere. I can't remember where. It just increases the amount of drunk voters. Drunk voters vote mostly conservative.... I don't know why that's just what I remember.

Halo 4 will not affect the election. Microsoft's a very smart company. They know the deal and that's why they're doing what they're doing.

mcnally86:

Solution to this: MAKE IT EASIER TO VOTE! THAT is how you increase voter turnout, there is not reason to keep voting in the same way as was done 200 years ago, make it electronic. If I can securely transfer thousands of pounds/dollars via internet banking then surely America can devise a way of securely voting online? OR how about this, a voting Weekend. WHY OH BLOODY WHY is voting held on a single Tuesday? Make Voting day a national holiday. That's how you increase turnout.

A game sale may get in the way, but ANYTHING could get in the way. What if there was bad weather, then the elderly may be less likely to leave the house so affect that demographic.

They tried that national voting day somewhere. I can't remember where. It just increases the amount of drunk voters. Drunk voters vote mostly conservative.... I don't know why that's just what I remember.

OK, I didn't account for that. Maybe a sobriety test before the voting booth?

Nah, I think the ideal situation is to embrace modern technology and make it easier to vote online or via the phone, or even jsut recorded delivery.

I'm 18-20, but I won't be buying Halo 4 since the Halo franchise is nothing reskins of a mediocre console FPS, and I won't be voting since I don't want either candidate to win. I'd vote for Ron Paul, but I'd be wasting my time.

zombflux:
I'm 18-20, but I won't be buying Halo 4 since the Halo franchise is nothing reskins of a mediocre console FPS, and I won't be voting since I don't want either candidate to win. I'd vote for Ron Paul, but I'd be wasting my time.

Just write him in like I'm doing.

That way, you can say that you actually supported fixing this damn country as opposed to picking between two pro-war power-hungry assholes.

Whoops. Sorry. But yeah, anyone saying that this election actually means something is just kidding themselves. Besides, a particular person's vote will never matter, so they should vote for who they want to win over who they think WILL win.

zombflux:
I'm 18-20, but I won't be buying Halo 4 since the Halo franchise is nothing reskins of a mediocre console FPS, and I won't be voting since I don't want either candidate to win. I'd vote for Ron Paul, but I'd be wasting my time.

You do know that not voting for either of them won't mean that neither of them get the job?

Surely there is one you would PREFER to have as president? You not voting is not going to be interpreted as protest, it's going to be interpreted as laziness. If you have to choose between a ham sandwich and a dirt sandwich, pick the ham sandwich even if you don't like ham. You do not have a choice on no sandwich, come 2013 America WILL get a new President.

You don't have to like either of the candidates, you just have to decide. It's like being on a jury deciding if a man is either "Guilty" or "not Guilty", you aren't voting for the winner of Big Brother. You just have to decide of the candidates which is best for the job.

The only reason I'd have for deliberately not voting (if I was capable of) is if I REALLY COULD NOT DECIDE which was better or worse or I thought it really wouldn't matter which got elected.

Treblaine:

Nah, I think the ideal situation is to embrace modern technology and make it easier to vote online or via the phone, or even jsut recorded delivery.

Technology would make things a lot easier for voters, but this would bring up far more problems then 'distracting voters on election day'

e-votes can be hacked remember: http://www.geekosystem.com/bender-school-board/

so until we can figure out a way to insure that these machines can't be hacked (how many systems have claimed to be un-hackable over the years?) we're stuck doing it the ancient way.

I don't vote unless I feel strongly one way or the other. The America voting system isn't the best anyway, how come there are only 2 viable candidates for presidency?

Actually, in local politics it does kind of matter. My home town with a population of 3000 had new Mayor based on a right in vote.

A handful of votes for County Commissioner could result in a varitey of ordinance changes that could have State Wide ramifications.

Of course that's a little off topic, back to the Halo 4 game being released the same day as the election. It probably won't matter.

The people who would rather get Halo 4 first over voting, probably were not going to vote anyway. Also I several people in the bigger cities will organize the an event to encourage both actions. Like a bus that stops at the nearest polling place first than goes to the nearest retail store, or the other way around.

I can see it now. Loud mouth liberals and conservatives standing in front of video game stores handing out political materials to the long line of gathering video game nerds.

That's it, we get all the Halo 4 fans to register to vote while waiting in line. Perfect.

I have to be 100% completely honest here. If you are so obsessed with getting and playing Halo 4 that you would skip voting to do it then you have no business voting in the first place. Doing something like that proves that you have no priories or even a clue what so ever.

Sure I like Halo and I'm going to get the game but I'll do it well after I have voted. I'll crack it open and play it after the election is called. Electing a new president is way more important than playing a video game... even if is going to be a kick ass game.

Limecake:

Treblaine:

Nah, I think the ideal situation is to embrace modern technology and make it easier to vote online or via the phone, or even jsut recorded delivery.

Technology would make things a lot easier for voters, but this would bring up far more problems then 'distracting voters on election day'

e-votes can be hacked remember: http://www.geekosystem.com/bender-school-board/

so until we can figure out a way to insure that these machines can't be hacked (how many systems have claimed to be un-hackable over the years?) we're stuck doing it the ancient way.

I don't vote unless I feel strongly one way or the other. The America voting system isn't the best anyway, how come there are only 2 viable candidates for presidency?

Yeah, e-votes can be hacked. And ballot boxes can be stuffed. What is the distinction? There is none.

I have no tolerance for such fatuous concerns, we accept the possibility of ballot-box stuffing because it is as old as democracy, but we won't accept the risk of "hacking" because it is new and we don't understand it. That is a ridiculous logic.

For example with internet banking ALL YOUR LIFE SAVINGS can be stolen, that's not a reason to never use internet banking. In fact the move to internet and digital serviced has been a nightmare for fraudsters as while a signature is literally child's play to forge obtaining a pin-code is next to impossible. Computer hacking/cracking is way way harder, less reliable and more risky.

The example you cite of election fraud had laughably poor security. It is the digital equivalent of leaving the main ballot box in the middle of the street with a sign on it said "Official votes, do not tamper with" and leaving it unguarded - but WOW, turns out someone tampered with it when they weren't looking! The Login was "admin" and the password was "admin". That's not a grand heist, that's stealing candy from a baby. There are not superlatives extreme enough for how careless this is.

I'll spell this out for you:
For the same amount of money invested and expertise employed, you can make electronic internet-based voting a whole order of magnitude more secure than paper voting

Is that clear enough? Is it unhackable? HELL NO! But it IS more secure. Stop using "hack" in some colloqual TV-trash way for "magic with computers". Some things ARE impossible to seize illicit control. Like the United States's nuclear missiles silos. The point is even if you can hack into it YOU WILL KNOW IT WAS HACKED! But if someone starts stuffing ballot boxes... you have [no way of knowing. The security you need for ballots is extraordinary and there is a while encyclopaedia of techniques to defraud an election submitted in paper and unlike on a computer they are untracable and undetectable.

You false assumption is because paper-based in-the-booth voting has been around for so long it is somehow immune. am fed up with this double standard against new technology that can make people's lives so much better. This is like refusing to have new surgical procedure to remove a tumour by citing an example of a charlatan doctor who performed a botched surgery while drunk.

I don't think you realise quite how much the democratic process is severely undermined by low voting turnout, as people can be elected into power with as tiny a proportion of 20% of the population actually voting for them. How can a president have the authority to exercise his power as the people's choice with such a situation? Something must be done to alleviate this and neo-luddite logic "ooooooh the dangers of new technology aren't worth it" won't get us anywhere. Legally mandating votes is a recipe for disaster and goes against the free choice of elections.

I remind you, the hack at UoM would work just as well whether the votes were entered on paper or via the internet, as it attacked the central counting system which MUST be a digital computer to count them reliably and quickly. Would you rather wait weeks for votes to be counted with a 5-10% margin of error?

PS: There are two main candidates for the same reason there are two main parties in America, as the political establishment doesn't want to end up like the Weimar Republic where you have dozens of different parties and impossible to gain a majority. With two presidential candidates, the winner will most likely also have the majority of he vote, it's important for legitimacy so you don't have a case where only 30% of those who actually voted chose them. Anyway, the voting doesn't even begin there, it begins at the caucuses. Did you vote in the caucuses? If not, why not? Don't complain you don't have democratic choice if you discard your opportunity to choose.

Orks da best:
I'am just glad this didn't out to be a halo is teh evil from bob. Also people who place video games> real life, likely shouldn't vote anyways....

Yeah, his total lack of Halo bombing was quite refreshing.

Also, it was good to see he dug on both sides of the issue.

vxicepickxv:

Vault Citizen:
Can't people both vote and buy Halo 4?

Yes. I know that my brother is taking that option himself, voting at about 9 AM, then going down 150 feet and buying Halo 4.

There's a game store that's literally underground? And it happens to be directly beneath a voting booth? That's pretty awesome.

Surprised Bob didn't mention one of the big, frightening truths of the issue- regardless of whether the release is a deliberate conspiracy by Microsoft to influence the vote or simply a big coincidence as they state, it WILL probably cause a fair number of young people to skip voting to pick up and play the game instead. Whether or not it's relevant, it will still be significant. If Microsoft genuinely don't want to influence the presidential election then they really should release the game the next day- what could it really cost them?

I wish Bob would not use some clip of filler footage multiple times in an episode. For instance, all the Halo 3 clips in this episode came from one trailer.

I find it kind of distracting. I know for movies you're usually stuck with just the one trailer, but there are tons of Halo trailers. Even if you only wanted Master Chief related clips you have nearly 5 games worth of trailers at this point. Let's see some variety!

Fine episode otherwise.

Treblaine:

Yeah, e-votes can be hacked. And ballot boxes can be stuffed. What is the distinction? There is none.

I have no tolerance for such fatuous concerns, we accept the possibility of ballot-box stuffing because it is as old as democracy, but we won't accept the risk of "hacking" because it is new and we don't understand it. That is a ridiculous logic.

I'd like you to show me a ballet stuffer who is not only able to stuff thousands of extra votes into the box while at the same time removing opposing votes. That would be quite impressive.

I don't think you understand me, I'm not scared of e-votes because they are a new way of doing things. I'm scared of them because of the incredible importance of their job coupled with the fact that they can be altered to completely skew the results.

The example you cite of election fraud had laughably poor security. It is the digital equivalent of leaving the main ballot box in the middle of the street with a sign on it said "Official votes, do not tamper with" and leaving it unguarded - but WOW, turns out someone tampered with it when they weren't looking! The Login was "admin" and the password was "admin". That's not a grand heist, that's stealing candy from a baby. There are not superlatives extreme enough for how careless this is.

Yes the security was laughably terrible, the thing is that the people who created the system challenged people to try to hack it in an attempt to prove how 'secure' the e voting system is. This is equivalent to placing a ballot box in the middle of the street with a sign that says "We created the most secure ballot box ever, you can't tamper with it even if you tried"

The fact that the login/password was admin just furthers the point, this was a human error. It's actually a lot easier to take advantage of a human error than a computer one since people are idiots: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-06-27/human-errors-fuel-hacking-as-test-shows-nothing-prevents-idiocy.html

I'll spell this out for you:
For the same amount of money invested and expertise employed, you can make electronic internet-based voting a whole order of magnitude more secure than paper voting

alright thanks for spelling it out, but please explain it. Just because you claim that e-voting can be made secure doesn't make it so. How would you prevent human errors? how would you make sure that these systems can't be hacked? It's hard to fix a problem in the software if you don't even know it's there and by the time you figured it out the damage would have already been done.

Is that clear enough? Is it unhackable? HELL NO! But it IS more secure. Stop using "hack" in some colloqual TV-trash way for "magic with computers". Some things ARE impossible to seize illicit control. Like the United States's nuclear missiles silos.

I don't appreciate being patronized. just because I don't go into grand detail about certain hacking techniques doesn't mean I assume people can type for 10 minutes and steal all the money from a bank account. I'd also like to point out that just because the nuclear missle silo's haven't been hacked doesn't make them impossible to hack. Have you ever heard of Stuxnet?

Before it people assumed nuclear power plants couldn't be hacked either. How did the virus get into the power plants? through PC's used by maintenance staff, human error.

The point is even if you can hack into it YOU WILL KNOW IT WAS HACKED! But if someone starts stuffing ballot boxes... you have [no way of knowing. The security you need for ballots is extraordinary and there is a while encyclopaedia of techniques to defraud an election submitted in paper and unlike on a computer they are untracable and undetectable.

you might want to read that article again, specifically this paragraph:

By exploiting a number of equally egregious security flaws, the team was able to get inside the system, block it off from other attackers, control the ballots, modify them to include SkyNet and Bender, and accomplish this all while remaining completely covert. As a victory dance of sorts, the team programmed the machines to play the University of Michigan fight song. Authorities remained unaware of the successful hack until a tester - who had just ruled the system "secure," I might add - suggested they lose the music because it was annoying.

they got away with it, so much so that a tester wasn't able to notice it after it had already happened. It's actually fairly easy to stay hidden when using a computer.

You false assumption is because paper-based in-the-booth voting has been around for so long it is somehow immune. am fed up with this double standard against new technology that can make people's lives so much better. This is like refusing to have new surgical procedure to remove a tumour by citing an example of a charlatan doctor who performed a botched surgery while drunk.

I have nothing against new technology but just because it's new doesn't make it safe. It has already been shown that these things are hackable on more than one occasion: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44706301/ns/technology_and_science-security/t/it-only-takes-hack-voting-machine/#.T6HBlsV20kY

what's more you don't even need to be smart to do it, a lot of these hacks are done by 'injecting' the machine with software which means that anyone with a basic understanding of computers can pull it off.

I remind you, the hack at UoM would work just as well whether the votes were entered on paper or via the internet, as it attacked the central counting system which MUST be a digital computer to count them reliably and quickly. Would you rather wait weeks for votes to be counted with a 5-10% margin of error?

how would these vote counters be hacked? the general public would not be allowed anywhere near them, they wouldn't need to be connected to the internet (which means they can't be remotely hacked) and the only way a human error could occur is if someone were to connect/install something onto the machine allowing the hack to happen.

Did you vote in the caucuses? If not, why not? Don't complain you don't have democratic choice if you discard your opportunity to choose.

No I didn't, because I'm Canadian.

Hrm...I keep hoping that Bob will have something worthwhile to say again (other than just flamebaiting) This may be it.

Curious idea...Though I wonder whether people who play videogames that hardcore really vote.

Of course it's a ridiculous stunt. It's Halo. It's not like we're talking an Elder Scrolls or new Half Life, here. And it's not like those who want to vote one way or the other are going to be swayed by the release of a game.

People aren't actually stupid enough to forget that they can do both on the same day.... right?

Ps. I think the release date was intentional, but not to "influence voters", but more so that people would talk about the release date, similar to how Skyrim was released on 11/11/11. Of course, it's working because.... we're talking about something so benign as what date it comes out on in more than just spreading information.

If you'd rather stand in line to get and play Halo than vote you probably shouldn't be voting to begin with. Leave politics to those who care.

Nevermind the fact that the majority of young voters with any shred of intelligence hate both Romney AND Obama... They're practically the exact same anyway.

And way to go Bob. You've proven yourself to be just as pitiful as much of the mainstream media. You forget a certain other competitor who is a thousand times more popular with the younger voters than either of those other two? Who actually IS winning a lot of states, contrary to what the media is reporting?

Really Bob, I'd expect someone like you to at least mention Ron Paul in that. Unless you really are so dense as to still think Obama is a good president.

I feel like it could just as easily swing the other way. Inertia can be a pretty powerful force, but when you're heading out to pick up the game already, why not swing by the voting booths?

Also, Obama supporter here. He might not have gotten All that much done (aside from, you know, getting some semblance of actual health care put into law, repealing DADT, killing Bin Laden, getting out of Iraq, handling the overthrow of the Libyan regime while minimizing American and civilian casualties, and slowly getting us into economic recovery), but most of the gridlock in Washington can be laid at the feet of the Repulicans intentionally keeping anything acceptable from getting through Congress.

Definitely something to wrap your head around.

However, tbh, Bob, I'm not going to vote, and I'm probably going to be one of those people trying to get Halo 4. However, it isn't because I value Halo 4 over politics (OK, I do, but hear me out.), but rather, it's because the presidents and the government in general has become so stagnant and deadlocked that we're not likely to have any truly significant changes or events anytime soon. The only really big turnout of the Obama election was the Obamacare, and that's been shoved on the backburner due to Republicans deadlocking everything that it would do in the first place, so Obama's... essentially done nothing.

I know the whole point of a democracy is to vote for a president that will bring change, but between the stagnant Obama administration and the rollbacking Republicans that advocate ideas from an age I'd like to burn to the ground rather than hear ranted at me one more time, I think I'll just stay home and play out Master Chief's new chapter. It'll be more productive, well-spent time than voting to see who we blame for the new four years of nothing.

Limecake:

Treblaine:

Yeah, e-votes can be hacked. And ballot boxes can be stuffed. What is the distinction? There is none.

I have no tolerance for such fatuous concerns, we accept the possibility of ballot-box stuffing because it is as old as democracy, but we won't accept the risk of "hacking" because it is new and we don't understand it. That is a ridiculous logic.

I'd like you to show me a ballet stuffer who is not only able to stuff thousands of extra votes into the box while at the same time removing opposing votes. That would be quite impressive.

I don't think you understand me, I'm not scared of e-votes because they are a new way of doing things. I'm scared of them because of the incredible importance of their job coupled with the fact that they can be altered to completely skew the results.

The example you cite of election fraud had laughably poor security. It is the digital equivalent of leaving the main ballot box in the middle of the street with a sign on it said "Official votes, do not tamper with" and leaving it unguarded - but WOW, turns out someone tampered with it when they weren't looking! The Login was "admin" and the password was "admin". That's not a grand heist, that's stealing candy from a baby. There are not superlatives extreme enough for how careless this is.

Yes the security was laughably terrible, the thing is that the people who created the system challenged people to try to hack it in an attempt to prove how 'secure' the e voting system is. This is equivalent to placing a ballot box in the middle of the street with a sign that says "We created the most secure ballot box ever, you can't tamper with it even if you tried"

The fact that the login/password was admin just furthers the point, this was a human error. It's actually a lot easier to take advantage of a human error than a computer one since people are idiots: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-06-27/human-errors-fuel-hacking-as-test-shows-nothing-prevents-idiocy.html

I'll spell this out for you:
For the same amount of money invested and expertise employed, you can make electronic internet-based voting a whole order of magnitude more secure than paper voting

alright thanks for spelling it out, but please explain it. Just because you claim that e-voting can be made secure doesn't make it so. How would you prevent human errors? how would you make sure that these systems can't be hacked? It's hard to fix a problem in the software if you don't even know it's there and by the time you figured it out the damage would have already been done.

Is that clear enough? Is it unhackable? HELL NO! But it IS more secure. Stop using "hack" in some colloqual TV-trash way for "magic with computers". Some things ARE impossible to seize illicit control. Like the United States's nuclear missiles silos.

I don't appreciate being patronized. just because I don't go into grand detail about certain hacking techniques doesn't mean I assume people can type for 10 minutes and steal all the money from a bank account. I'd also like to point out that just because the nuclear missle silo's haven't been hacked doesn't make them impossible to hack. Have you ever heard of Stuxnet?

Before it people assumed nuclear power plants couldn't be hacked either. How did the virus get into the power plants? through PC's used by maintenance staff, human error.

The point is even if you can hack into it YOU WILL KNOW IT WAS HACKED! But if someone starts stuffing ballot boxes... you have [no way of knowing. The security you need for ballots is extraordinary and there is a while encyclopaedia of techniques to defraud an election submitted in paper and unlike on a computer they are untracable and undetectable.

you might want to read that article again, specifically this paragraph:

By exploiting a number of equally egregious security flaws, the team was able to get inside the system, block it off from other attackers, control the ballots, modify them to include SkyNet and Bender, and accomplish this all while remaining completely covert. As a victory dance of sorts, the team programmed the machines to play the University of Michigan fight song. Authorities remained unaware of the successful hack until a tester - who had just ruled the system "secure," I might add - suggested they lose the music because it was annoying.

they got away with it, so much so that a tester wasn't able to notice it after it had already happened. It's actually fairly easy to stay hidden when using a computer.

You false assumption is because paper-based in-the-booth voting has been around for so long it is somehow immune. am fed up with this double standard against new technology that can make people's lives so much better. This is like refusing to have new surgical procedure to remove a tumour by citing an example of a charlatan doctor who performed a botched surgery while drunk.

I have nothing against new technology but just because it's new doesn't make it safe. It has already been shown that these things are hackable on more than one occasion: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44706301/ns/technology_and_science-security/t/it-only-takes-hack-voting-machine/#.T6HBlsV20kY

what's more you don't even need to be smart to do it, a lot of these hacks are done by 'injecting' the machine with software which means that anyone with a basic understanding of computers can pull it off.

I remind you, the hack at UoM would work just as well whether the votes were entered on paper or via the internet, as it attacked the central counting system which MUST be a digital computer to count them reliably and quickly. Would you rather wait weeks for votes to be counted with a 5-10% margin of error?

how would these vote counters be hacked? the general public would not be allowed anywhere near them, they wouldn't need to be connected to the internet (which means they can't be remotely hacked) and the only way a human error could occur is if someone were to connect/install something onto the machine allowing the hack to happen.

Did you vote in the caucuses? If not, why not? Don't complain you don't have democratic choice if you discard your opportunity to choose.

No I didn't, because I'm Canadian.

I can give you examples of ridiculous election fraud as in Zimbabwe and Iran, but the problem with paper elections is PRECISELY that ballot box stuffing (that includes discarding votes of votes you don't want) is untraceable. You literally have to have cameras everywhere and make sure their recordings are never tampered with. Electronic voting it is possible - as with secure bank transactions - to make tampering with even a single solitary vote a mountainous task with multiple avenues to get caught.

The explanation is in how internet protocols work and how such an electronic voting system should work, it's exchange of codes and algorithms, constantly in confirming communication with multiple police servers and monitoring where the packets go and come from.

Um, how do you propose we can remove human error from the equation OTHER than via more electronic internet/computer based voting? Human errors are inherent EVEN WITHOUT ANY COMPUTERS INVOLVED! There are human errors in counting the votes by hand. Fail to carry the one and suddenly thousands of voters have been disenfranchised.

I have more than hear about stuxnet, my dad works in a gas refinery that has been hit by stuxnet and he has overseen efforts to contain it. It's no big issue. It's a simple troll virus and obvious in its effect, in no way is it relevant to the possibility of SECRETLY tipping election results in an internet based national election.

Their "without being noticed" is not because they were invisible, but because NO ONE WAS LOOKING FOR THEM! It really is like an unwatched ballot box in the middle of the street at night, no one saw them not because they were invisible... but because NO ONE WAS LOOKING! Their network was not policed, there were no significant firewalls, it's nothing but a basic Windows network security AND THEY HAD AN EASY TO GUESS KEY CODE! Am I mad? Kind of, yeah. That this university could be so dense and on the other hand people like you concluding new technology is ALL untrustworthy. They didn't even USE even a fraction of the network security they could have used.

Please STOP using this ridiculous straw-man argument of UoM's LAZY attempt at voting. They had less than poor security, they had NO SECURITY! You cannot keep using this example of its unacceptably unreliable security when it's clear they didn't even try. I mean the login password they used, no admins paroling ready to pull the plug, nothing. Where were the firewalls?

They central counting computers would be hacked exactly the same as in this UoM example. Via the internet. They need to be connected to the internet to receive the results from each count in a timely manner. In principal and and in practice it is exactly the same the difference being UoM DIDN'T EVEN TRY to make their system secure and in actual national elections in the USA they DO MAKE IT SECURE! Even nuclear missiles silos are connected to the internet, that is why the internet was created to coordinate a nuclear war, but they don't get hacked BECAUSE THEY ACTUALLY BOTHER TO TRY TO MAKE THEM SECURE!

Let me make this clear, University of Michigan did not even TRY to make their system secure. This is no Fort-Knox heist, this is inviting someone to steal candy from a baby and then declaring them master thieves. Now if someone hacks a Nuclear Missile silo and launches a random nuclear weapon... THEN you can go around claiming that no system is secure and we need to perform every election in a boot with paper, but till then, nope.avi

PS: why are you complaining about US elections then? Canada doesn't have a President but a Prime Minister? What is your problem? Anyway, Ive explained the voting in the caucuses, so there, you do have more than "just a choice between two candidates"

I hate the prospect of ignorant youngsters voting, so when I first heard that this may deter young voters, I smiled on the inside... Darwinism, however, obligates me to say that I was NOT referring to any of the well-informed, political savvy individuals on this website. You are all shining paragons of culture and knowledge, rivaling the abilities of greek philosophers. Nor was I referring to myself, an individual among the very demograhic I expressed skepticism towards... PLEASE DON'T KILL ME!

ThunderCavalier:
Definitely something to wrap your head around.

However, tbh, Bob, I'm not going to vote, and I'm probably going to be one of those people trying to get Halo 4. However, it isn't because I value Halo 4 over politics (OK, I do, but hear me out.), but rather, it's because the presidents and the government in general has become so stagnant and deadlocked that we're not likely to have any truly significant changes or events anytime soon. The only really big turnout of the Obama election was the Obamacare, and that's been shoved on the backburner due to Republicans deadlocking everything that it would do in the first place, so Obama's... essentially done nothing.

I know the whole point of a democracy is to vote for a president that will bring change, but between the stagnant Obama administration and the rollbacking Republicans that advocate ideas from an age I'd like to burn to the ground rather than hear ranted at me one more time, I think I'll just stay home and play out Master Chief's new chapter. It'll be more productive, well-spent time than voting to see who we blame for the new four years of nothing.

But isn't the gridlock the beauty of the system? Isn't the point of the system to make radical change dificult and slow? You probably stopped reading this as soon as you saw the Calvin Coolidge profile pic, but not liking either candidate is a bad reason to avoid voting. If you do that you're essentially giving each of them half a vote. Just choose the one you agree with more, otherwise the gridlock would disappear... Man, I sound like some whimsical pamphlet they'd hand out at a high school assembly.

His " big picture " is going on the assumption that politicians hold any real power and or that the public has a real influence over politics and or politicians. I call that assumption laughable at best dangerous at worst.

That's an over generalization, their both r's and d's that push for and against different regulations.

ThunderCavalier:
Definitely something to wrap your head around.

However, tbh, Bob, I'm not going to vote, and I'm probably going to be one of those people trying to get Halo 4. However, it isn't because I value Halo 4 over politics (OK, I do, but hear me out.), but rather, it's because the presidents and the government in general has become so stagnant and deadlocked that we're not likely to have any truly significant changes or events anytime soon. The only really big turnout of the Obama election was the Obamacare, and that's been shoved on the backburner due to Republicans deadlocking everything that it would do in the first place, so Obama's... essentially done nothing.

I know the whole point of a democracy is to vote for a president that will bring change, but between the stagnant Obama administration and the rollbacking Republicans that advocate ideas from an age I'd like to burn to the ground rather than hear ranted at me one more time, I think I'll just stay home and play out Master Chief's new chapter. It'll be more productive, well-spent time than voting to see who we blame for the new four years of nothing.

Uuuuh, you know you are voting the President as the EXECUTIVE not chief legislator!

Government =/= passing laws

Government = governing = how you sort shit out

Obama gets too much credit for "Obamacare", his influence over legislature is very small and the most he can do is NOT veto the act. The President's main job is RUNNING the government.

Key Executive decision Obama has made:
-Expand special forces operation over the Afghan border into Pakistan, culminating in the death of Usama Bin Laden
-Stimulating the economy so that USA has seen growth (even if a lag in jobs) while Europe and other parts of the world stagnate.
-Ordered a standdown in Federal investigations and prosecutions over violation of federal Marijuana laws if state drug laws are not broken, so California's medical marijuana clinics can still help their patients

Why don't you vote more in the legislature elections?

Distinction between Executive and Legislature is practically taught at grade school level, why do so many not make this distinction?

Treblaine:
Uuuuh, you know you are voting the President as the EXECUTIVE not chief legislator!

Government =/= passing laws

Government = governing = how you sort shit out

Obama gets too much credit for "Obamacare", his influence over legislature is very small and the most he can do is NOT veto the act. The President's main job is RUNNING the government.

Key Executive decision Obama has made:
-Expand special forces operation over the Afghan border into Pakistan, culminating in the death of Usama Bin Laden
-Stimulating the economy so that USA has seen growth (even if a lag in jobs) while Europe and other parts of the world stagnate.
-Ordered a standdown in Federal investigations and prosecutions over violation of federal Marijuana laws if state drug laws are not broken, so California's medical marijuana clinics can still help their patients

Why don't you vote more in the legislature elections?

Distinction between Executive and Legislature is practically taught at grade school level, why do so many not make this distinction?

lol, I guess I screwed up that distinction, didn't I?

Even then, though, the divisive split between Americans for Republicans and Democrats means that, more than likely, we'll see a Congress and a House that's still pretty much split evenly between the two parties, meaning that we're still going to have a deadlock. Neither Romney nor Obama, imo, look like they'll be able to persuade or compromise any bill to adequately please both parties, so any action they pass in THAT regard is going to stagnate in the Congress for months at end.

I'm not disillusioned with the presidency; I'm disillusioned with our government in general. I know that, throughout history, both Republicans and Democrats have been trying to tear each other's throats out, but I haven't exactly seen a president in recent years or a united Congress/House in recent years that might be able to get SOME progress in. It still seems like the same old crap we saw back in the last election, and the last election before that, so I'm predicting we'll still have the same old four years.

Thus why I'm not going to vote; I don't see any significant change that anyone's going to bring in the next few years.

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