Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

This MIT PhD Wants to Replace America's Broken Voting Machines with Open Source Software, Chromebooks, and iPads

Filed under
OSS
Security

Tuesday morning, as millions of Americans lined up at their polling places to participate in the often quite literally broken democratic process, a new Twitter account tweeted a link to a short manifesto: “today’s voting machines are often insecure, not particularly easy-to-use, and so expensive that they’re often used much longer than they were designed for and election officials are forced to hunt for replacement parts on eBay. The market has failed us.”

The announcement, from a new nonprofit called VotingWorks, ended with a promise to build a “secure, affordable, open-source voting machine” from the ground up. The letter wasn’t signed, but it’s the work of Ben Adida, a software developer who has studied voting machines for more than 20 years and had a PhD from MIT in secure voting.

“I thought this launch would be pretty quiet, I thought it would be buried in the news of the actual election, but already a lot of people have reached out to volunteer to make it happen,” Adida told me on the phone. “It’s super early days, but the response to the announcement shows that people are hungry for this.”

Adida says that VotingWorks plans to use already existing, commodity hardware and open-source software to compete with the proprietary, expensive, and often insecure voting machines that currently dominate the market. He pitches it as an attempt to rethink voting machine from “first principles,” to reconsider what a voting machine is.

Read more

More in Tux Machines

today's howtos

The Linux kernel: Top 5 innovations

The word innovation gets bandied about in the tech industry almost as much as revolution, so it can be difficult to differentiate hyperbole from something that’s actually exciting. The Linux kernel has been called innovative, but then again it’s also been called the biggest hack in modern computing, a monolith in a micro world. Setting aside marketing and modeling, Linux is arguably the most popular kernel of the open source world, and it’s introduced some real game-changers over its nearly 30-year life span. Read more

Android Leftovers

Removing Qt 4 from Ubuntu before the 20.04 release

I would like to completely remove Qt 4 from the Ubuntu archive before the 20.04 release. This includes all of KDE 4 and dependencies. The Debian Qt/KDE Team (which I am a part of) is raising the status of the Qt 4 removal bugs to RC[1], and since the Qt 6 work is starting upstream in the dev branch in the coming months, now is the time for Qt 4 to go. My timeline for this is to change all of the bugs filed to ask people to port[2] to removal bugs, and go over the list of Qt 4 reverse dependencies one last time, so the removal can be done at the beginning of the 20.04 cycle before the archive opens. This would make 19.10 the last release with Qt 4. Read more Also: Ubuntu Planning To Drop Qt4 & Its Dependencies Ahead Of 20.04 LTS