The Netherlands reverts to counting paper ballots by hand

A piece by Sewell Chan in the New York Times notes that Dutch authorities have pulled the plug on computerized ballots and ballot counting for their next national election.

The move was prompted by concerns over the integrity of the election in the face of hacking concerns. In particular, allegations of tampering in the recent US election have caused the Dutch government to re-examine their setup, which was found wanting:

Facebook, misinformation and censorship

Three recent New York Times articles illustrate some issues facing information providers like Facebook when it comes to dealing with potentially harmful content being shared through its service.

The alcohol patch

When you hear the term alcohol patch, what do you think of?  An imaginary place more adult than the Cabbage Patch?  Wrong!  A patch that slowly releases alcohol into your bloodstream?  Getting warmer!

As Mike Hanlon describes it in New Atlas, the ONUSblue alcohol patch is a sensor that rests on a person's skin and monitors their blood alcohol level:

Predictive policing and ghetto avoiding

Logan Koepke has written an interesting article at Slate about the nature of predictive policing.  Predictive policing involves the use of computer algorithms to assign police coverage to a given region on the basis of anticipated risk of crime. 

Cars, bikes, and safety technology

The Internet sometimes provides interesting pairs of news items.  Today's pair concerns an intersection between mobility, safety, and technology.

Machine readable bikes

I was interested to see in Ben Coxworth's brief piece in New Atlas an item about a gadget designed to make bicycles more visible to radar-equipped cars

The "Shield TL" is a kind of souped-up rear light that can be attached to a bicycle.  Besides the usual blinking red light, the Shield TL has a baffle shaped to create a large reflection when struck by radar of the type used by driving assist technology in high-end vehicles. 

Will Volvo's sensitive bus be safer?

A short item in New Atlas describes a new bus prototype from Swedish automotive giant Volvo.  The new bus is equipped with a system called the Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection System (PCDS). 

The PCDS combines cameras attached to the bus with a program that anticipates danger to cyclists, pedestrians, and other mobile "obstacles" to bus travel.  When a collision appears possible, the bus makes a noise to warn the pedestrian, etc.  The horn is used if the risk is deemed to be very high.

E-bike style and safety

An electronic bike (or "e-bike") is more-or-less what it sounds like: a bike with an electric motor integrated into it.  E-bikes have become quite popular in Europe and in China, especially as a substitute for cars for short distance commuting.

The machine readable roadway

The death of Johsua Brown in a collision between his Tesla and a big rig has led to some reflections on automation and trust.  However, it also raises issues about in what ways our world is, or should be, readable by machines.

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