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30 July 2003—Could a voter using an electronic voting machine prematurely shut down the machine before the scheduled end of an election? Could he or she vote an unlimited number of times? Could a poll worker cause votes to be miscounted, or modify the ballot itself? Could all this happen with an e-voting machine that’s being widely deployed throughout the United States?

The manufacturer, Diebold Inc. (North Canton, Ohio) says no, but a team of four respected computer security researchers, headed by Aviel Rubin of Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, Md.), says these and a variety of other attack scenarios are all too possible. On 23 July, Rubin and two colleagues, Tadayoshi Kohno and Adam Stubblefield, and a fourth professor, Dan Wallach of Rice University (Houston, Tex.), issued a 24-page report, "Analysis of an Electronic Voting System," []

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Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

11 min read
A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar

You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

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