The pied piper syndrome

Tuesday, 20 July 2004, 3:20 PM EST

There is a children's day care facility in my area called "The Pied Piper." Apparently, many people around here don't have a problem with that. Presumably they consider the fairy tale of a stranger saving a town by leading away rats via dance and melody, and think it worthy criterion by which to base the name of such an operation.

Of course, anyone who knows the whole story will immediately realize that in the end, the Piper actually steals away all the children (save one) after the local town-folk cheated him out of his thousand guilders fee. Had the owners of the business considered all the available information, I doubt seriously that they would have decided upon that particular moniker.

In the continuing debate over the use of e-voting machines to replace paper-ballots, I fear that both sides -- those designing controls around these systems, and those critical of said security measures -- are falling prey to the same kind of short-sightedness.

By Tim Mullen at SecurityFocus.

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