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Old 02-04-2020, 06:23 AM
 
646 posts, read 214,510 times
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It’s interesting to wake up and see that one of your personal pet peeves is being covered as headline news. Pet peeve: Technology isn’t always better. Or, more anti-intellectually: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

Did the Iowa Democrats have problems reporting their results in the past? No, not really. They had other problems with the previous caucus. But they did not have problems reporting the results. So, there is no problem to fix. But still we need to introduce an app anyway. And now things are worse.

This reminds me of ridiculous situations I see my techie husband in sometimes. Sometimes, it is just faster and simpler to use paper and a pencil, but no .... we have to spend lots of time trying to get an app to work or the cell phone needs to be charged .... or something.
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Old 02-05-2020, 06:01 AM
Bo Bo won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Tenth Edition (Apr-May 2014). 

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Location: Ohio
16,953 posts, read 33,880,671 times
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Before we get too smug about apps being inferior, keep in mind that the fallback technology the party used before didn't work either. Lines to party headquarters were jammed for hours as precincts struggled to report their results by telephone.

Apps don't just stop working. It's not clear to me that there wasn't some external interference, like a DDoS attack, with the server those apps were reporting to.
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Old 02-05-2020, 06:53 AM
 
646 posts, read 214,510 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo View Post
Before we get too smug about apps being inferior, keep in mind that the fallback technology the party used before didn't work either. Lines to party headquarters were jammed for hours as precincts struggled to report their results by telephone.

Apps don't just stop working. It's not clear to me that there wasn't some external interference, like a DDoS attack, with the server those apps were reporting to.
I am really pretty sure the lines were jammed because they weren’t expecting so many people to call in because ... the app. They called in the results before with no problem, probably because they had more lines open, because they weren’t expecting people to use the app.


“Apps don’t just stop working.” Are you kidding me? There can be serious bugs in all kinds of software, apps included.
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Old 02-05-2020, 08:42 AM
Bo Bo won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Tenth Edition (Apr-May 2014). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Ohio
16,953 posts, read 33,880,671 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jill_Schramm View Post
“Apps don’t just stop working.” Are you kidding me? There can be serious bugs in all kinds of software, apps included.
I think that's an oversimplification.

The report I heard from the Iowa party chair was that the app was recording the data correctly within the app, but it was not transmitting it correctly to headquarters. In that case, the issue could very much be on the server side, which receives the data from the app. It might be a hack. It might also be inadequate resources on the server side. The bottom line is that there's a lot more involved that could be at fault than just an app on a device.

I heard in the news this morning that the Iowa party declined to let DHS review the security of their vote-counting process before the election. To me, that's another log on the fire for the possibility of hacking, which would have nothing to do with the app and everything to do with the backend it's reporting to.
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Old 02-06-2020, 04:19 PM
 
Location: Sun City West, Arizona
26,751 posts, read 11,734,561 times
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People are relying on software and hardware for things where it's simply not needed. I shouldn't have to use my smart phone to change the temperature in my living room by a degree, or get 50 cents off on a product in the drug store, or to open my garage door, etc.
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Old 02-06-2020, 04:35 PM
 
57 posts, read 3,735 times
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The backup lines were jammed because they weren't staffed to handle the call volume, which was never expected with the magic of a phone app to handle everything.


Phone apps are the McDonalds of coding, if that. They have the requirements of being tiny, fast and pretty... and everything else comes second. Oh, and two whole months is plenty to optimize the icon and run a few app-server tests with as many people as are in the office at the time.


I understand Iowa's new license plate motto will be "There's an App for That!"... in quill-pen handwriting.
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Old 02-06-2020, 06:34 PM
 
646 posts, read 214,510 times
Reputation: 1334
Quote:
Originally Posted by phetaroi View Post
People are relying on software and hardware for things where it's simply not needed. I shouldn't have to use my smart phone to change the temperature in my living room by a degree, or get 50 cents off on a product in the drug store, or to open my garage door, etc.
Agreed. I also shouldn’t have to turn on my car to roll up (or down) the window. Why? We don’t have enough muscle power to roll down a window on our own?
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Old Today, 07:31 AM
 
40,932 posts, read 42,499,149 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo View Post
Apps don't just stop working. It's not clear to me that there wasn't some external interference, like a DDoS attack, with the server those apps were reporting to.

For a successful DDOS attack you need to know the IP of the server(s) and with closed application it's pretty easy to mitigate by itself or utilize a service like Cloudflare to hide the origin IP.
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Old Today, 08:33 AM
Bo Bo won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Tenth Edition (Apr-May 2014). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Ohio
16,953 posts, read 33,880,671 times
Reputation: 13941
Quote:
Originally Posted by thecoalman View Post
For a successful DDOS attack you need to know the IP of the server(s) and with closed application it's pretty easy to mitigate by itself or utilize a service like Cloudflare to hide the origin IP.
I posted that nearly a week ago. I've read in the past week that the issue was determined not to be a DDoS attack, but strictly a capacity issue. The server taking in the data was never tested at load. That strikes me as a move made by people who know device apps better than server-based applications.

After this Iowa debacle, this company already lost the contract to provide the same service for the caucuses in Nevada. I'd say that was a good call.
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