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Microsoft is taking a stand to support election security.


The software company announced it would release an open-source software development kit called ElectionGuard.

ElectionGuard uses encryption techniques to let voters know once their ballots are counted.

More importantly: The software will, according to NPR, "allow election officials and third parties to verify election results to make sure there was no interference with the results.

Microsoft developed ElectionGuard with computer science company Galois. The software will be available free of charge for election technology vendors.

ElectionGuard would provide voters with a unique code that would not reveal who or what they did or didn't vote for. Voters could then use the code to "follow" their vote from the moment they cast it.

Speaking to NPR, Tom Burt, Microsoft's vice president of customer security and trust, said:

"It's very much like the cybersecurity version of a tamper-proof bottle. Tamper-proof bottles don't prevent any hack of the contents of the bottle, but it makes it makes it harder, and it definitely reveals when the tampering has occurred."

According to Joe Kiniry, a principal scientist at Galois says his company will use this software as part of an open-source voting system that is being designed thanks to a grant from the Department of Defense.

It's not a perfect system, he says, but it should serve as a model for private companies "to build off of":

"It gives the ability to double-check, even if a system is terribly written, even if it's hackable, it gets detected. It's not magic pixie dust. We need this plus unhackable systems."

The team at Galois is certainly thrilled.


And here are some words from some partners:




Joe Hall, the chief technologist at the Center for Democracy and Technology, says the technology would grant voters "the ability to track the ballot as it goes through the entire process":

"Similar to what voters have with packages, or pizza, it will say this is at this facility, it has been counted... This will help voters track their votes; it's going to build in this audibility that's sort of the holy grail. But it's not going to reach the smaller jurisdictions that don't have the money to upgrade or have older equipment."

The news comes just days after President Donald Trump said he discussed the "Russia hoax" in a phone call with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

Asked whether he told Putin not to meddle in the next U.S. election after Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report found that "the Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion," he only said:

""We didn't discuss that. We discussed five or six things. We went into great detail on various especially the nuclear––especially, maybe, Venezuela. We talked about North Korea at great length… we also discussed trade. We intend to do a lot of trade with Russia."

According to the Mueller report, the investigation "identified numerous links between the Russian government and the Trump campaign" and the Trump campaign "expected it would benefit" from Russian interference.

Microsoft's initiative is a welcome one considering the failure to address election interference in Washington.

Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

Have you ever been reading a book, watching a movie, or even sitting down for a fantastical cartoon and began to salivate when the characters dig into some doozy of a made up food?

You're not alone.

Food is apparently fertile ground for creativity. Authors, movie directors, and animators all can't help but put a little extra time and effort into the process of making characters' tasty delights mouthwatering even for audiences on the other side of the screen.

Read on for a perfect mixture of nostalgia and hunger.

AllWhammyNoMorals asked, "What's a fictional food you've always wanted to try?"

Some people were all about the magical foods eaten in the magical places. They couldn't help but wish they could bite into something with fantastical properties and unearthly deliciousness.

Nutritious

"Enchanted golden apple" -- DabbingIsSo2015

"The Minecraft eating sounds make me hungry" -- FishingHobo

"Gotta love that health regeneration" -- r2celjazz

"Pretty sure those are based off the golden apples that grant immortality. Norse mythology I think?" -- Raven_of_Blades

Take Your Pick

"Nearly any food from Charlie and the Chocolate factory" -- CrimsonFox100

"Came here to say snozzberries!" -- Utah_Writer

"Everlasting Gobstoppers #1, but also when they're free to roam near the chocolate river and the entire environment is edible." -- devo9er

Peak Efficiency

"Lembas" -- Roxwords

"The one that fills you with just a bite? My fat a** would be making sandwiches with two lembas breads and putting bacon, avocado and cheese inside. Then probably go for some dessert afterwards. No wonder why those elves are all skinny, eating just one measly bite of this stuff." -- sushister

Some people got stuck on the foods they saw in the cartoons they watched growing up. The vibrant colors, the artistic sounds, and the exaggerated movements all come together to form some good-looking fake grub.

The One and Only

"Krabby patty 🍔" -- Cat_xox

"And a kelp shake" -- titsclitsntennerbits

"As a kid I always pretended burgers from McDonalds were Krabby Patties, heck from time to time I still do for the nostalgia of it all. Many of my friends did the same thing." -- Thisissuchadragtodo

Cheeeeeeeeese

"The pizza from an extremely goofy movie. The stringy cheese just looked magical lol" -- ES_Verified

"The pizza in the old TMNT cartoon as well." -- gate_of_steiner85

"Only bested by the pizza from All Dogs Go to Heaven." -- Purdaddy

Get a Big Old Chunk

"Those giant turkey drumsticks in old cartoons that characters would tear huge chunks out of. Those things looked amazing, turkey drumsticks in real life suck and are annoying to eat."

-- Ozwaldo

Slurp, Slurp, Slurp

"Every bowl of ramen on any anime, ever." -- Cat_xox

"Studio Ghibli eggs and bacon" -- DrManhattan_DDM

"Honestly, any food in anime. I swear to god half the budget no matter what the studio goes into making the food look absolutely delicious." -- Viridun

Finally, some highlighted the things that aren't quite so far-fetched, but still far enough away that it's nothing we'll be eating anytime soon.

That tease can be enough to make your mouth water.

What's In It??

"Butter beer" -- Damn_Dog_Inappropes

"came here to say this. i was pretty disappointed with the universal studio version which was over the top sweet. it was more of a butterscotch root beer. i imagine butter beer to be something more like butter and beer, which wouldn't be crazy sweet, but would have a very deep rich flavor" -- crazyskiingsloth

Slice of the Future

"The microwave pizzas in back to the future two" -- biggiemick91

"I've been fascinated with those for years! They just look so good!" -- skoros

As Sweet As They Had

"The Turkish Delight from Lion Witch & Wardrobe. The real ones I had weren't bad but nothing special." -- spoon_shaped_spoon

"Came here to say this. I know it's a real thing, but I always imagined that it must have been amazing to betray your siblings over." -- la_yes

"You're used to freely available too sweet sweets. For a WW2 era schoolkid, it would have represented all the sweets for an entire year." -- ResponsibleLimeade



Here's hoping you made it through the list without going into kitchen for some snack you didn't actually need.

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