Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Voting machines and pay with the palm of your hand

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For the past 19 years, computer science professor Juan Gilbert has immersed himself in perhaps the most controversial election administration debate in the United States — what role, if any, touch-screen vote-marking devices should play in the voting process.

While proponents argue that electronic voting systems can be relatively secure, improve accessibility and simplify voting and vote counting, critics have argued that they are insecure and should be used as little as possible.

As for Gilbert? He claims he has finally “invented the safest voting technology ever”. And he’s invited some of the most respected and outspoken critics of voice technology to prove his point. Read the full story.

—Spencer Mestel

Would you pay with your palm?

On October 14, a Chinese tech publication reported that Tencent had quietly launched a feature in WeChat that allows users to pay by verifying their palm prints. But while it quickly made headlines in China, there are only a handful of registered trademarks that show that Tencent has developed such a technology.

Enter Chinese social media. On popular video apps, there are a handful of videos proving that Tencent has been testing palmprint payment devices in cafes, bakeries and supermarkets since at least July.

Their existence reaffirms how difficult it is to know from the outside what is happening in China, but also how video platforms are replacing traditional sites to become the place where people express themselves and document their lives. Read the full story.

—Zeyi Yang

This story is from China Report, Zeyi’s new weekly newsletter about the latest comings and goings in China. Sign Up to get it in your inbox every Tuesday.

Zeyi is one of the reporters and editors of MIT Technology Review taking the stage today EmTechour annual conference on emerging technology and global trends.

Follow our live blog, which will cover all the latest announcements and news from the MIT Media Lab in Boston at EmTech. It’s not too late to sign up for a online ticket to see for yourself.

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