I frequently have a need to do fairly large computations™. In the past, this has relied on using single machines with many cores, for example when we needed simulations of 10 million elections, each with a million cast ballots over 500 different margins of victory. However, even on a beefy server, this took a long time (and resulted in me accidentally running up an AWS bill of $5,000). …

I’ve been wanting to try making bagels for a while. Most of the recipes I found required diastatic malt or barley syrup, which I don’t have. Instead, beer!

I cobbled this together from a variety of sources, including Basics with Babish’s bagel recipe, Binging with Babish’s bagel sandwich recipe, Joshua Weissmann, and a Bon Appetit video about Philly bagels. This recipe makes 12ish bagels.

Ingredients:

Dough:

  • 585g AP flour
  • 65g Wheat bread flour (you could just use 650g AP)
  • 350g water
  • 10g yeast
  • 10g salt
  • 25g sugar

Resting:

  • A few tbsp panko bread crumbs

Boil:

  • 1 bottle Amber Lager (12 oz)
  • ~1.5 gallons of…

Yesterday afternoon, Marilyn Marks sent an email thread to me and several other election security experts. The email was seeking to confirm two serious vulnerabilities in Georgia’s online voter registration system. It contained a technical description of the problems, apparently reported by a party volunteer. Without exploiting the vulnerabilities, I confirmed that the description appeared to be technically accurate, and that the problems were very serious. Around 7 PM yesterday, the information was reported to the Georgia Secretary of State by Bruce Brown, an attorney for the plaintiffs in Curling v. …

U.S elections generate a LOT of data, and often times well-meaning analysts attempt to try and glean something more from election data other than just who won and whose votes they got. Fraud, arguably the most important thing to detect in an election, is frequently something that people attempt to discern by analyzing election returns, especially as US election until recently have provided very little in the way of corroborating evidence. …

Disclaimer: vote tampering of any kind is a felony. Accessing computer systems without proper authorization is a felony. This post was not written with intent to enable election tampering, and I expressly condemn any activity to that end. Some technical details are omitted for both brevity and to prevent this from being a literal election-stealing guide. Rest assured, our adversaries already know it all.

Last week saw a federal court hearing in Curling v. Kemp, a lawsuit aimed to get paperless DRE voting machines out of use in the state of Georgia. The hearing had many surreal moments, which are…

p.c. NYMag

Disclaimer: I have, at best, passing knowledge of what is discussed in this post. If there are errors, please point them out and I will correct accordingly.

I’ve always loved listening to the radio. It’s a great way to discover new music, and it takes very little brain power: you don’t have to think about what plays next. But there’s also something special that the radio does once in a blue moon: it plays that song. You know, your favorite song. When that song comes on, you feel validated, as if someone else out there has good enough taste in…

About a year ago, I was catching a 10 o’clock flight from Houston to Detroit. I arrived at the airport at about 9 A.M. and went to the counter to check my bag. I scanned my boarding pass, and then the person working the Southwest desk look at me like I was crazy. She said, “I don’t think your bag is going to make this flight.” This was puzzling to me, as Southwest’s baggage policy requires you to check a bag no later than 40 minutes before your flight (which I had previously discovered the hard way). I had plenty…

Matt Bernhard and J. Alex Halderman

Election technology in the United States is less than perfect, and much has been said about the security risks. However, U.S. elections are not homogenous: the voting machines in use vary county-by-county, and the potential impact of any problems depends on whether a local issue could tip a state’s electoral votes. In this post, we take a detailed look some of the things that could go wrong and in which districts, and we map the impact they could have on the Presidential race.

The Bottom Line

Figure 1: Weighted electoral map showing at-risk states, shaded yellow. Red/blue indicate a Trump/Clinton lead in the state, respectively, and lighter colors indicate closer margins.

Unless the election is extraordinarily close, it is…

I have been struggling with anxiety and depression for a long time, and below lies many of the frustrations I have felt about the process of dealing with it. This is a reflection of my own experience with navigating mental health care, so your mileage may vary.

Admitting something is wrong

Amazingly, when your brain is sick it can be hard to think yourself into a place where you understand that something is wrong and that you need to do something about it. …

Using a computer is hard. Showing how people actually use computers seems to be even harder. Television and movies generally seem to want to cash in on all the sexiness of technology without putting in any effort into understanding how it all works, and that can lead to some pretty unfortunate, if hilarious results. You may recall movies like WarGames, or the infamous Unix scene in Jurassic Park.

Matt Bernhard

Not a professional driver on a closed course.

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