[gs-devel] Urgent Ghostscript query involving election software!

Ken Sharp ken.sharp at artifex.com
Thu Nov 8 09:18:06 PST 2007


At 16:27 08/11/2007 +0000, Ken Sharp wrote:


>>16th.  Prior to 5/10/06 a "logic and accuracy" test was run to ensure
>>(at least theoretically) that the election system was basically
>>running right.  From that point forward, data could be entered into
>>the system but the code base was supposed to be frozen.
>>
>>Yet here we have changes to GS on 5/11/07.  Worse, the official day's
>>proceedings didn't get started until 9:56am according to the audit
>>logs.  So we end up with questions:
>>
>>* What was somebody doing in there at 7:23am, before the party
>>observers showed up?
>
>Have you quoted these dates correctly, and are you sure there is a problem 
>? The dates you quote in your mail are from *2006*, not 2007. Its entirely 
>possible that someone in the development team modified those files a year ago.
>
>Is there any other reason for treating these files as suspicious ?

Doh! I think I just answered my own question. These files *are* a year old, 
and so is the case in question. Sorry for the confusion, blame it on jet 
lag....

If I read this correctly the files were apparently modified on the 11th of 
November 2006, whereas the counting process started on the 10th October 
2006, and the QA process was completed before that date. Therefore it 
should not theoretically be possible for files to have been tested and have 
a modification date on or after the 10th October 2006.

One possible technical point which I'm sure your technical people will 
raise: it is possible to have modification dates 'in the future' on some 
operating systems.

That is, when copying files from one machine to another, it is possible for 
the 'last modified' date to lie in the future with respect to the clock on the
destination machine.

A whole month is a big difference in clocks though.

Failing this the files were presumably modified some time after the 11th 
November.


>I can't say this would be the case here, since I have no idea what 
>operating system is being used.



Regards,

             Ken Sharp

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