Re: Certifiable code

From: Edward Cherlin <cherlin_at_pacbell_dot_net>
Date: Wed Sep 01 2004 - 13:34:50 CDT

On Wednesday 01 September 2004 07:11 am, Douglas W. Jones wrote:
> 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.

Gambling addicts play games known to be unfair all the time, and
of course, people play three-card Monte even though it is widely
known to be a complete cheat. The only way to win is to point to
one card and then turn over the other two, in the certainty that
the winning card is no longer on the table. However, this
procedure can get you mugged by the "dealer"'s accomplices as
you go around the next corner.

> > 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:

This should be on our Web site, along with some of the other
horror stories. Verified Voting is systematically collecting
such stories about voting machines, but not, as far as I can
see, about gaming machines.

> http://www.reviewjournal.com/lvrj_home/1998/Jan-10-Sat-1998/ne
>ws/ 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

-- 
Edward Cherlin
Generalist & activist--Linux, languages, literacy and more
"A knot! Oh, do let me help to undo it!"
--Alice in Wonderland
http://cherlin.blogspot.com
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Received on Thu Sep 30 23:17:01 2004

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