Re: I need some help

From: Ron Crane <voting_at_lastland_dot_net>
Date: Wed Apr 27 2005 - 09:21:23 CDT

My apologies. I shouldn't have assumed that you already were familiar
with his work, or with the rough-draft rebuttal I've previously posted.
Shamos downplays and/or mocks many concerns about electronically-based
voting systems, especially DREs, though I know nothing about what
motivates him to do so. In any case, I am writing a more formal
rebuttal, and needed (still need) the requested citation for one of my


> My point is that this Dr. Shamos looks to be either ignorant tool of
> the DRE Cartel or trying to pull something (the tek info only serves to
> underline and support that so it looks like you might not have caught
> my point).
> JamBoi
> --- Ron Crane <> wrote:
>> I am very familiar with realtime systems, having designed and
>> implemented them for some years. My request does not go to the nature
>> of such systems, nor to any questions about their language of
>> implementation, nor to the silliness of the comparison between voting
>> systems and flight control systems. My request is merely for a
>> citation
>> for the given proposition.
>> By the way, nothing about Java prevents a vendor from writing a cheat
>> ("Trojan Horse" or "trapdoor") into a system implemented using it.
>> Java's security model is concerned with protecting items in the
>> environment in which the Java VM runs (e.g. your files) from
>> malicious
>> Java apps downloaded from untrusted sources (e.g. the web). It is not
>> concerned with protecting users of a Java program from code that
>> computes its result (e.g. a tabulation of votes) differently from the
>> manner in which it is advertised. The latter is much more important
>> to
>> voting system security than the former.
>> -Ron
>> On Apr 26, 2005, at 5:33 PM, JamBoi wrote:
>>> One vital difference with flight control and elections is the
>> nature of
>>> flight control systems. Flight control system are what are called
>> Real
>>> Time (RT) systems with Real Time Operating Systems (RTOS). They
>> must
>>> be absolutely precise re: their timing. They are highly
>> sophisticated
>>> programs done frequently on a very low level of programming. Their
>>> reliability is a matter of life and death. There are a few other
>>> applications like medical, military and manufacturing that
>> typically
>>> There is absolutely no need for nanosecond precision on a voting or
>>> tabulating machine. The software could theoretically be written in
>>> extremely high level languages with little problem unless the
>>> performance becomes so slow that the user interface is compromised.
>>> That is really the only contraint as far as timing goes, so there
>> is
>>> absolutley no need for an RT election system. As a matter of fact,
>>> because of the difficulty of maintaining such software there are
>> many
>>> reasons you would NOT want to design an RT election system!
>>> This looks like an extremely ignorant argument to me. The only
>> good
>>> reason I can think of that someone who was knowledgable might make
>> it
>>> would be if they wanted to try to premptively disqualify Java or a
>>> Java-like system from the running (since regular run of the mill
>> Java
>>> is not certifiable for RT systems although there are RT Java
>> variants
>>> out there). This might be done because Java is designed from the
>>> ground up to not allow cracking the system. So if someone were
>> wanting
>>> to crack an election system they might not want a Java platform to
>> be
>>> used. Other than that it makes the person making the argument seem
>>> quite out of touch IMO.
>>> JamBoi
>>> JamBoi
>>> "Live humbly, laugh often and love unconditionally" (anon)
> --- Ron Crane <> wrote:
>> At Alan's request, I am writing a paper rebutting Prof. Shamos's
>> recent
>> paper that promotes DREs. I've got most of it in hand, but I need
>> some
>> help on three issues. Two of them should be easy for someone who
>> knows,
>> and one will require some work. I need all these by Thursday if
>> possible. Here they are:
>> 1. A few reliable cites for the proposition that flight-control
>> software is subject to rigorous specification, implementation,
>> review,
>> and testing procedures.
>> 2. A few reliable cites for the proposition that software used for
>> major financial transactions (e.g. a bank's check-clearing system) is
>> subject to tight standards (though probably not as tight as (1)).
>> 3. I need someone who is well versed in OVC's system to read section
>> 2.4 of Shamos's paper
>> ( )
>> and
>> to write a technically solid rebuttal. Reward: naming as a co-author.
>> Thanks!
>> -Ron
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> JamBoi
> "Live humbly, laugh often and love unconditionally" (anon)
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Received on Sat Apr 30 23:17:17 2005

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