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Tag Archives: polls

The ugly truth about voting security: States won’t fix it

Enlarge / ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 06: Sloane (no last name given), 2, waits between her father's legs as he and other voters cast their ballots at a polling station set up at Grady High School for the mid-term elections on November 6, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. Georgia has a tight race to elect the state's next governor and a lot of worries over voting security. (Photo by Jessica McGowan/Getty Images) (credit: Jessica McGowan/Getty Images) As those of you reading this from the US (hopefully) vote today, in all likelihood your vote will be counted correctly and you won't be turned away from the polls because someone hacked the voter registration data. Yet for a small but non-zero minority, something will go wrong that will stand in the way of their ability to cast a vote for the candidate of their choice. It could be a glitch in a voting machine interface that wasn't caught before they commit their ballot, voter registration data that has been flagged as incorrect or has been purged, or maybe a targeted robo-call that gives them bad information about the election. There are lots of ways to manipulate the vote tally that go beyond exploiting a hiccup in an electronic voting machine. Denial of service attacks—on state or county servers, on the networks that connect precincts to election commissions, and on other vulnerable points in the network architecture—could disrupt voting itself or prevent votes from being properly counted. Tampering with voter registration data in advance of the election could cause voters to be forced to cast provisional ballots or exclude them from voting entirely. And then there's simply shoddy software implementation and aging hardware, which can cause an unintended denial of service. In six Texas counties during early voting , it was reported that voters casting a straight party ticket had their vote for US senator checked for the wrong candidate: Democrats found that their vote was being cast for Sen. Ted Cruz, while some Republicans found their vote was being cast for Beto O'Rourke. The problem, according to state election officials, was caused by an interface issue on the Hart eSlate voting system—specifically, voters were turning a selection dial and pressing an “enter” button at the same time, according to a spokesperson for the secretary of state's office in Texas. State election officials sent out an advisory to county election workers about the problem, which first surfaced during the 2016 presidential election. But it was described as "user error" and not a technical issue

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Pixel 3 review: fastest Android device with impressive computational photography features, but the phone’s build quality and gaming performance lag…

Andrei Frumusanu / AnandTech : Pixel 3 review: fastest Android device with impressive computational photography features, but the phone's build quality and gaming performance lag competition   —  The Pixel 3 is Google's third generation in-house design, meant to showcase the company's own view of what an Android device should be …

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Interview with three renowned women in infosec on how they got started, some of their most memorable finds, and how to encourage more women to join…

Jack Morse / Mashable : Interview with three renowned women in infosec on how they got started, some of their most memorable finds, and how to encourage more women to join their field   —  This post is part of Mashable's ongoing series The Women Fixing STEM, which highlights trailblazing women in science, tech …

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Lyft is offering reduced and free rides on election day

Lyft is going to offer half-priced and free rides to polling places around the country on Election Day (November 6). The ride-hailing giant said that it’s going to give out 50 percent off promotional codes to partners that encourage voter turnout. The company has linked up with Vote.org , Nonprofit VOTE , TurboVote and others to help distribute the codes to anyone who needs them. On the day of the election the company said it will also provide a product integration that will help voters find their polling places to make it even easier to cast their ballot. This non-partisan effort to get people to the polls is only becoming more critical. Election officials in one county in Georgia have proposed closing 7 of 9 polling places because they’re not sufficiently accessible for handicapped voters. Having Lyft available to help those voters who would be impacted by the closures (some of whom would have to walk three hours to get to the nearest open polls) could certainly be a boon. As the company noted in its announcement, there’s a participation problem impacting elections in the U.S. Estimates from the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement indicate that roughly 15 million people didn’t vote in the 2016 election because they didn’t have transportation to get to the polls. The last presidential election was decided by 80,000 votes in three states , so getting out the vote and getting people to the polls clearly matters. For those underserved communities where the 50 percent discount on rides isn’t enough, the company will provide transportation free of cost through non-partisan, nonprofit organizations like Voto Latino, local affiliates of the Urban League and the National Federation of the Blind. Beyond just getting people to the polls, Lyft is providing ways for people to register to vote and learn about voting initiatives that are up for approval on election day. Through a partnerships with  When We All Vote  and  National Voter Registration Day  the company intends to remind passengers about voter registration deadlines; give drivers voter registration handouts and voter information at  Hub locations ; offer in-office voter registration for employees; and offer online voter information through the company’s partner organizations. Voting access is a critical issue in making sure that every American’s voice is heard through the election process.

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Outvote hopes to flip elections by getting Democrats to text their friends

Outvote , a new Y Combinator-backed startup, wants to make grassroots-style campaigning easier and more personal, with the launch of an app that allows people to text their friends with reminders to vote. The idea is to take advantage of people’s willingness to use social sharing to communicate about political issues, while also leveraging the simplicity that comes with tweeting or posting to Facebook and turning that into an actionable reminder that can actually drive people to the polls during critical times. The startup was founded by  Naseem Makiya , a Harvard-educated software engineer with a background in startups, including San Francisco-based Moovweb and Cambridge area’s DataCamp; along with Nadeem Mazen , an MIT grad and interactive designer who once  worked with OK GO on one of its viral music videos, and who now owns the Cambridge-based creative agency Nimblebot. Mazen, who has since moved into an advisory role with Outvote, also has more direct political experience, having run for public office himself. In fact, he learned first-hand how every vote counts, having won his Cambridge City Council position in 2013 by just six votes. He also attributed his second election win to organizing low propensity, minority and younger voters — plus “really doing a lot of texting and a lot of outreach through my friend networks,” says Mazen. When Mazen’s time in politics ended, he then helped others get elected using similar means. Later, he and Makiya brought together a group of Harvard and MIT folks to formalize a company around the technology they were using. This became Outvote. While today there are a lot of tools for voter outreach, many of those operated by well-known organizations, like MoveOn, for example, involve people opting in to receive texts from the group in question. Outvote is different because it’s a tool that helps individual voters reach out to their own personal acquaintances, family and friends. “The way campaigns are run right now is most of the budget is spent on ads that are really low ROI — they have some effect on persuasion, but less effect on actual voter turnout,” explains Makiya. “With this effort, we’re trying to bring politics back to more of word-of-mouth and conversations between friends,” he says. The team began working on the technology for Outvote last summer, and officially founded the company early this year. While individuals are the app’s end users, they’re brought into the app by a campaign

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Facebook Wants To Sync Instagram Contacts With Messenger – Ubergizmo

Ubergizmo Facebook Wants To Sync Instagram Contacts With Messenger Ubergizmo Considering that Facebook owns a bunch of social media-related products and services, it's not surprising that the company would want them to synchronize with each other on some level. In fact at some point there was a bit of controversy as Facebook ... and more »

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Blockchain technology could be the great equalizer for American cities

Brooks Rainwater Contributor Brooks Rainwater is the director of the Center for City Solutions and Applied Research at the National League of Cities . More posts by this contributor Do cities still want a sharing economy? As tech startups surge in cities, inclusive economic growth must be a priority The city of  Austin  is currently piloting a program in which its 2,000 homeless residents will be given a unique identifier that’s safely and securely recorded on the blockchain. This identifier will help individuals consolidate their records and seek out crucial services. Service providers will also be able to access the information. If successful, we’ll have a new, more efficient way to communicate and ensure that the right people are at the table to help the homeless. in Austin and around the country, it seems that blockchain technology is opening a range of opportunities for city service delivery and operations. At its core, blockchain is a secure, inalterable electronic register. Serving as a shared  database  or distributed ledger, it is located permanently online for anything represented digitally, such as rights, goods and property. Through enhanced trust, consensus and autonomy, blockchain brings widespread decentralization to transactions. At the municipal level, blockchain has the potential to create countless smart networks and grids, altering how we do everything from vote and build credit to receive energy. In many ways, it could be a crucial component of what is needed to circumvent outdated systems and build long-lasting solutions for cities. AUSTIN, TX – APRIL 14: A homeless man stands outside in front of a colorful wall mural at the Flat Track Coffee Shop on Cesar Chavez Blvd on April 14, 2017, in Austin, Texas

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Twitch’s extensions come to mobile

Twitch’s extensions – the tools that allows streamers to customize their channel pages with interactive experiences, including leaderboards, polls, schedules, and more – are now available on mobile. The game streaming company announced this highly requested feature at the Game Developers Conference this week, along with the launch of a web app for developers that will allow them to test extensions against production APIs across a variety of views – like the broadcaster’s live view, for example. Extensions were first introduced to Twitch in August 2017 as a means of adding more excitement and interest to channel pages to keep fans engaged and, in some cases, to help streamers make more money. For instance, there’s an extension call “Gear on Amazon” that allow creators to point fans to their favorite products on the retailer’s website. When the viewer clicks through and purchases, the creator earns a commission. That extension, not surprisingly, is today in the top five. The other top extensions include leaderboards from Streamlabs and Muxy, Streamlabs’ Stream Schedule and Countdown, and Twitch’s own Prime Subscription and Loot Reminder, which reminds viewers to use their free Channel Subscriptions on their pages to claim their loot. However, not all extensions are immediately mobile -friendly, notes Twitch. Instead, only a small handful have made the jump to mobile at this time. This includes the all-in-one extension  Streamlabs Loyalty, Music, Polls, and Games ;  Schedule (by LayerOne)  which tells viewers when a channel is live; and  World of Warcraft Armory (by Altoar) , which shares World of Warcraft game and character progression with viewers. In total, around a dozen-plus are available on mobile at this time, Twitch says. Viewers can visit the Twitch feedback forums to request extensions’ mobile compatibility – something that’s up to the developer, not Twitch, as extensions are generally a third-party effort. Since the launch last summer, the number of available extensions has grown to over 150, with over 2,000 developers signed up – but Twitch thinks more developers would build if the process wasn’t so difficult. On that front, Twitch also announced a new tool for developers building extensions with the launch of its developer rig .

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These are the best Black Friday smartphone deals – Fox News

Fox News These are the best Black Friday smartphone deals Fox News Lance Ulanoff, chief correspondent for mashable .com, demonstrates features on Apple's new smartphone which went on sale on Friday. Black Friday smartphone deals are only a click away but usually come with conditions. Fox News scoured the web to ... and more »

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