back to article Movie oldsters FAIL at internet: Online Oscar voting 'too complex'

Attempts to introduce electronic voting for the Oscars are going awry. Both the Hollywood Reporter and Deadline report that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' new online voting system is too complex to use for an increasingly ageing electorate. The Academy reportedly worked with Everyone Counts, an electronic …

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Devil

Looks like it's time to get all the old geezers on a bus to the voting booths

Honestly, must be a great life to be an actor. I understand that some don't know how to use the internet, easy fix, get their grandkids to stop with the crack long enough to help them vote.

I'm 56 and I began using a private "internet" (dedicated phone line & terminal emulation) for a company I worked with way back in 1984. It aint that difficult.

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Meh

What was wrong with a piece of A4 and a pencil?

Why on earth did they need to computerise it?

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Re: Looks like it's time to get all the old geezers on a bus to the voting booths

yeah but You were 27 then so your argument is , er , not holding water

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Devil

Re: Looks like it's time to get all the old geezers on a bus to the voting booths

Sure I was 27 then, but looking at the current age of these "voters", many would have been somewhat close to my age back in 1984 and now we're all "Old Geezers" in our late 50's to 60's.

You can't tell me they never used the "internet" in all that time. Granted the ones that are in their 70's and 80's now get a little more sympathy from me.

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Movie oldsters FAIL at internet

As the voting constituency is known in advance to be older this is a case of the user design failing, not the users failing.

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Unhappy

enough of the over 60 thing already

I'm looking down the barrel of a bus pass

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If it's really important ....

.... why not send taxis out to bring them to a hotel conference room and have them vote by show of hands or secret written ballot, or whatever? Or ... send awards committee members out to their homes with the ballot papers and show them how to mark a cross against their choices. How feeble are these people?

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Anonymous Coward

The Oscars lost all credibility 10 years ago.Only those who can't get there heads out of the gutter watch or care.

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TEN years ago?

Hell, try twenty, twenty-five years.

Now that I think of it, given the quality of some of the crap they're handing out Oscars to these days, perhaps they should dispense with voting altogether and throw titles of all the films made during the year into a hat and just pull one out at random for Best Picture. Repeat process for Best Actor, Best Actress, etc. etc.

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Unhappy

Re: TEN years ago?

Rain Man won Best Picture in 1988, Dances with Wolves in 1990, Braveheart a few years later. So yeah, twenty to twenty-five years is about right.

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Happy

Online voting has been a fixture over in UK for BAFTA awards for a while

We've used online voting for the UK BAFTA awards for a few years without any issues :) We have over 6500 members with probably an even higher average age :)

So as Mike said its more a case of the design failed more then the users failed :)

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Maybe this explains why the MPAA are so hostile to the Internet.

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I resemble that remark

Being an "old geezer" and helping with elders and computers, I can understand the problem. But here in sunny (It did rain last week) California they already use these nice paper ballots for the confused who don't trust the silly voting machines (since discarded it seems). On these, you connect the lines (to make a nice arrow) and you are done. It can't get less complicated than that. All you need to do is send out a serialized ballot (the accounting firm might have the correspondence to real people) and await the return mail. Very secure for the most part (providing you don't let some secretary fill out the ballot as some do).

Then you tabulate the results in a nice closed room (no peeking!) and release the results on the specified day. You could even print out the results ready for stuffing in the "envelope please" as required. Seems a pretty simple task to me. There exist nice sheet scanners that work quite well in a "batch" mode, and considering that the academy doesn't have THAT many members (I think it is less than 1000, but I could be wrong), it can easily be done.

Note to academy: How about two new categories: "Honorable mention, nominated, but not winning", and "Honorable mention, not nominated". Both would be welcome surprises to the 3-4 hour awards show. The first would be the non winner of a group of categories with the most votes that didn't win, the second would be a pure write-in. Often times there is a clear "second place" that deserves an award! But alas I dream...

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Trollface

"it's easier to break into the CIA"

Or NASA...

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Stop

over-engineered

That sure sounds over-engineered to me. Especially involving cell phones in what's supposed to be a web transaction. If they really feel they need for a second form of ID they should give everybody one of those dumb little token things.

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Pirate

Locked down tablet?

If they really must go digital, and since there's a small but known number of voters, and they seem to be intent and throwing lots of money at this new system, would it not be simpler to just send each voter a locked down tablet with 3G which only connects to the Oscars own VPN? The voters can then watch the videos and vote.

Tablets are cheap enough these days it can be locked out from accessing any external storage. On first login, the user gets a video call automatically to the Oscars "authentication" team who then "enable" that tablet to that person, sort out a password and Bobs your aunties brother.

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Old ≠ Stupid

Today I found a very old newsgroup post, and discovered that I was messing with Linux as an adult way back in 1999. * Which is a roundabout way of saying that it's idiotic to equate 60+ with any inability to use technology.

Let's just leave age out of it - you would never accuse someone of being too old to understand how to use a blender, or an elevator, you would just assume they were pretty pathetic.

* Caldera, if you care, and never did get the X-server working right

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Re: Old ≠ Stupid

"way back in 1999"

you make it sound like a long time ago!

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Paris Hilton

Just turned 55 last year...

...so I'm now officially an "old guy", and I've been involved with the Internet as a user and Web designer for nearly twenty years, and while this method doesn't sound especially difficult, the requirement of a mobile phone number would definitely put me off. Do the voters get any information on who's going to get their mobile numbers, and how long they'll be kept, and whether or not it'll eventually be sold to some marketing outfit so the Oscar voters can be pestered to death with sales calls and SMS spam?

You can't totally blame the voters for being "too old". I'm sure a bunch of them took a look and decided "what? They want my mobile phone number? Fuck this!" The two-password verification would've been no big deal, but on arriving at the request for my mobile phone number, I would've definitely decided that it's not worth it just to vote on which wretched-assed movie will get a goddamn' little statue.

Speaking of which... I'm just a bit curious as to how many voters finally got into the system, decided "d'ahh, hell, all these goddamn' movies suck", and just bailed.

(Paris, because, let's face it... she probably can't figure out how to logon to vote for the Oscars either.)

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Re: Just turned 55 last year...

I kinda doubt Paris is a member of the academy ;)

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whose Oscar?

Who are these mysterious oscar voters?

I get the impression its some kind of secret society that meets in hoods and cloaks in a darkend room round a large round table.

In which case why dont they do the voteing then :)

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Childcatcher

It's not their age...

it's their lack of technical ability. How many times have you watched a movie or TV show and had to turn away from the screen because of the horrible depiction of modern technology? Once or twice? A few times? Often? The people who write that stuff are the group we are discussing here. It should come as no surprise, then, when confronted with a real world technology, they are baffled. The same can probably be said about the people who asked for it to be set up the way it is: they probably don't know better, either.

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