Re: confused about COTS vs open hardware

From: Jim March <1_dot_jim_dot_march_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Wed Feb 07 2007 - 14:52:38 CST

On 2/7/07, Ben Adida <> wrote:
> Alan Dechert wrote:
> > Yes. I think that's a fair statement.
> Okay, so what I'm wondering then is: doesn't that significantly weaken
> the advantages of an open-source voting system? If part of the platform
> is not open, the openness of what's left becomes almost moot.
> -Ben

Welll...not entirely. It's still better to be able to see how the program
SAYS it's behaving, and then you can compare that to real-world behavior.

In other words, it doesn't give you perfect transparency right away, but it
does make it easier to dig through the parts that aren't transparent.

In the case of a typical Diebold/Windows system, the non-transparent parts
are so enormous, sorting through them all is borderline impossible. Every
once in a while we catch some sort of closed-box code doing something
bizarre and/or nefarious but it's usually because the code breaks in some
weird way.

A case of this cropped up just within the last few days regarding Skype:


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Received on Wed Feb 28 23:17:10 2007

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