Re: Stepping Stones -- Markamatic proposal. Second round.

From: Edmund R. Kennedy <ekennedyx_at_yahoo_dot_com>
Date: Mon Dec 13 2004 - 10:26:47 CST

"Douglas W. Jones" <> wrote:

On Dec 12, 2004, at 9:57 PM, Ed Kennedy wrote:

> Hello Doug:
> OK, that's a model worth examining furthur. So, what weak links in
> the various product lines have you observed?

There are huge legacy problems with the election management systems of
some of the big 3, where they use Microsoft Access database formats,
for example, to do jobs that Access was never intended to solve.

VVPT add-ons for DREs are another possibility. What we need, more than
anything, to support these, are standard protocols for the data flow
DRE to VVPT-add-on.

I'm not quite sure what you mean. This doesn't sound like you're talking about a hardware or driver problem.

Standard solutions to security problems are another item. I don't care
what kind of DRE or VVPT or mark-sense system you have, you need to
load it with election programming in a secure way. You need to get data
from it to the election management system in a secure way. Modules
that do these things could be very valuable to vendors who are at a
complete loss when it comes to how to solve security problems.

Developing the software for the Markamatic using Linux and running from a CD or memory stick seems useful for these issues. Some sort of souped up hash checking routine along the gambling machine pyramid of trust seems indicated. Do you have any pointers to a good source for that?

> Also, by industrial partners, are you referring to the 'Big 3'
> voting equipment makers?

I mean them.

You mean the people we've been beating up on? It sounds like we need to establish a little better relationship with them. Do you think any of them seem interested in consortium membership and/or open software? I'm reasonably sure that they have a bit of discomfort with the issue. Any suggestions?

> I can see that adopting the model you have suggested (if I understand
> what you're saying) would be quite a change for the OVC. I understand
> OVC to want to have its own line of equipment.

Some within the OVC have long advocated building "the" OVC system,
a system that would compete with established vendors.

Others have always seen the OVC as a framework for developing
components that would be used by established vendors in much the
same way that Linux is used by HP, IBM, SGI and many others. In
this model, OVC would never be a vendor, just like OSF is not a
vendor. Instead, HP, IBM, etc end up "selling" OSF software.
Actually, the software is free, what they sell is support, and
customers pay well for that. In addition, they contribute quite
a bit to the development of these products.

The truth is, incorporation as an industrial consortium, as we
did from the start, was always designed to encourage something
like the latter.

I have never been a partisan of the OVC's EVM2003 project, and
I've had essentially nothing to do with it.

Doug Jones

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Received on Fri Dec 31 23:17:11 2004

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