Re: Certifiable code

From: Douglas W. Jones <jones_at_cs_dot_uiowa_dot_edu>
Date: Wed Sep 01 2004 - 09:11:20 CDT

On Aug 31, 2004, at 9:41 PM, David Weintraub wrote:

> I'm not trying to be funny here, but I think we should use the video
> gaming industry as an example how electronic devices can be produced,
> yet be considered to be ...er... "fair". By fair, I mean that there
> doesn't exist some secret code to make a particular player a winner
> because they know the special order to press the buttons. The machines
> are considered "fair" because the odds stated on the machines are the
> true odds. The machines have also been produced to prevent someone
> from accidently throwing away a jackpot by accidently playing another
> round.

Before you leap to a conclusion, look at this news story:

    
http://www.reviewjournal.com/lvrj_home/1998/Jan-10-Sat-1998/news/
6745681.html
   http://www.americancasinoguide.com/Tips/slot-cheat.shtml
   http://www.ag.state.nv.us/agpress/1998/98-19.htm

This is a story of a failure in software certification, where an
employee
of the certifying agency that oversees Nevada's gaming machines, and
those
of much of the rest of the country, set out to do exactly what you said
isn't done. For much of a decade, he rigged every one of a particular
video game that went through the Nevada lab so that it did have a
"special
order of the buttons" you could play in order to guarantee a jackpot.

The odds stated on the machine were not the true odds, not because the
vendor
had cheated, but because the man charged with certifying the machines
to be
honest was himself dishonest and in a position to reprogram the machines
as he was checking them out.

                Doug Jones
                jones@cs.uiowa.edu
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Received on Thu Sep 30 23:17:00 2004

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