Microsoft said Friday it will offer free security updates through the 2020 election in the United States — and in other interested democratic countries with national elections next year — for federally certified voting systems running on soon-to-be-outdated Windows 7 software. https://www.apnews.com/0391d06ba1c74e64af0d42de9ca05e93
Ugh I am reminded of the sad state of affairs for voting booths as demonstrated every year at defcon
YES, and the problem isn't even there. There is more effective ways to "stuff the ballot box" than with votes. Just tell the voters lies on Facebook and other media, and scoop up all the absentee ballots before they get to be counted. The voting machines are a lot smarter than the voters. When the voters get educated, we can think about more secure machines.
Will the additional Windows 7 security updates be for everyone and offered through Windows Update?
As the OP posted, "for federally certified voting systems running on soon-to-be-outdated Windows 7 software."
But depending on your hardware, it is relatively simple to get a free and legal update to Windows 10. I recently did this on a 10 year old Lenovo desktop, opting to keep the original files, settings, etc. and the results were great. Immediately usable, even a 1990's printer for which there wasn't any Win 10 driver.
You can also do a "clean install" but keep in mind you need all your original disks, etc and absolutely must make a backup.
A clean install is preferred. I had planned to install Windows 10 before January for my two PCs but I don't have time.
Microsoft has announced months ago that updates would go until January 14th, 2020, so extending it through the elections is a HUGE extension, if they really take it all the way to November; for anyone not updated to Windows 10 or migrated to another platform or operating system.
Remembering back, I was on Windows 10 beta / Insider program since late 2014, and it was officially released (finally) in what, July of 2015? I have used it on many PCs/tablets since then.
Before they shut down the free upgrade to eligible devices, I upgraded on several PC's.
Fast forward, my three (now adult) kids have it on their laptops and my wife has it on the Mini PC used as her primary non-work computer.
I'm off of Windows on my devices for the most part, and I play with technology and gadgets.
(Windows 950 XL Phone that I still use for GPS, one laptop that still has Windows 7 Ultimate and used as a test device only and on my Surface Pro 2).
The rest of my devices are either Mac OS, or variations of Linux. At this point, I'm fine with leaving the Microsoft OS platform.
Still - Having the extension is HUGE will be welcome by a lot of people.
Electronic balloting and tabulation are too easy to hack. I really wish they'd go back to paper ballots counted by judges from both parties. I don't care whether we know the results of an election at 9 PM election night or 9 AM the day after. Just get it right.
My county uses scanned (fill in bubble) paper ballots, so the tallying is electronic and immediate, but the paper copy is still there for backup and recounts. Even the absentee ballots are on paper and scanned on election day. One of the things I like when you vote in person on election day is if you accidently spoil your ballot, the scanner will reject it so you know you need to correct the error in order for your ballot to be counted. When you vote absentee, spoiled ballots are not counted. I am fortunate in that I live only a block away from my voting place, an easy walk even in frigid weather. So I have no excuse to not vote.
Where does it say "regular people" are going to get updates?
I read it as "federaly certified voting systems".
This really means nothing to us. I don't intend to try and update my machines to W10. When they fail they will get replaced, or not.
Look at the stats online and you'll see how many W7 machines are still running out in the world.
Interesting. I guess no way to really find out if it will make any difference.
Having done about a dozen machines (just one yesterday afternoon) and I disagree on the clean install. It is much easier to spend 10 or 15 minutes on the current Win 7 installation making sure things are good (CHKDSK, SCANNOW, etc.) and then do the upgrade. I have yet to find anything that that did not work properly after an upgrade. I did have a machine where the icon sizes on the desktop screen changed size.
If you do the clean install, virtually all your apps have to be reinstalled.
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