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Comment: Re:It compromises privacy (Score 4, Informative) 152

by Anubis IV (#49755093) Attached to: The Body Cam Hacker Who Schooled the Police

How on earth can opening the footage to the public NOT compromise privacy?

Check the article. They provide examples of over-redacted footage. Had you looked at them, you wouldn't be asking the questions you are.

I asked a cop on a streetcorner for directions the other day, he gave them, I thanked him and went on my way, no problem. I consider that to be a private conversation (it reveals my whereabouts that day and tells where I was trying to go). I don't want video of it to be a public record open to "fishing expeditions" by random jerks

All audio is removed from the over-redacted footage and techniques are used to ensure that people are not readily identifiable. Seriously, just go look at the examples.

And I hate to break it to you, but any video recorded of you by an officer already is a matter of public record. Those "random jerks" just need to file a FOIA request to get the video. And in some states, such as Washington, they can even file those requests anonymously. Any interaction you have with a police officer is a matter of public record, whether you like it or not. This doesn't change that.

Unless there's an actual dispute involving the person requesting the video, nobody (including the police department and the cop wearing the camera) should be allowed to see the video and it should be deleted after 1 year.

Oh, definitely. Great plan. Hey, I think the following people may want to review any available footage the police have regarding their "disputes", but for some reason none of them are speaking...oh, that's right, it's because they were all murdered at the hands of police officers. And what do you know? In the two cases below where footage was available, the police officer is facing murder charges, while in the third one, they aren't. How strange.

1) Walter Scott
2) David Kassick
3) Michael Brown

Those were just off the top of my head. But while simply trying to dig up links for those three, I found out that Olympia, Washington police shot two unarmed brothers at a grocery store yesterday, that a rookie cop in New York fatally shot an innocent, unarmed man who just happened to step out of an apartment at the wrong time, that a cop in South Carolina shot an unarmed man at a traffic stop when the man turned to grab his driver's license, that Anaheim, California cops fatally shot two unarmed men in back-to-back days...the list goes on.

Honestly, it's really depressing. I'm finding more articles about shootings I didn't know about than I am about the high-profile ones I was already aware of. And all of those but the last one are from just the last eight months.

Suffice to say, I vehemently disagree with you.

Comment: Funny but true (Score 4, Informative) 169

by Anubis IV (#49753513) Attached to: Video Games: Gateway To a Programming Career?

It's been a running gag for years that every single Computer Science major I knew going through college got into the field because they wanted to make games (though some deny it later on). Somewhere along the way, 98% of them realized that the games industry is a soul-sucking space with horrible deadlines, poor pay, and high rates of failure, so they decided to go for something else, but everyone I knew got into the field because they wanted to know how to make games.

And the reason they wanted to know how to make games? Because they played games and thought they had something to contribute, or else wanted to play the game they had in their head that no one else had made yet, or else they wanted to experience the joy of having someone else play their game. But all of that starts with having played games first.

Comment: Re:Love it (Score 5, Insightful) 152

by Anubis IV (#49753385) Attached to: The Body Cam Hacker Who Schooled the Police

You're missing the point. Manually redacted footage will still be available via FOIA request, and unredacted footage will still be available in court. These over-redacted clips are designed specifically so that they can be publicly posting to the 'net at the end of each day, without anyone ever having to make a FOIA request at all. And they're not blurred to the point of uselessness; they're blurred to the point where you can't see details, but you can see when something is happening that warrants further attention.

The idea is that by posting them immediately, it will increase transparency by giving the public a means to sift through recent footage and find incidents that may be of interest, without compromising the privacy of the individuals involved. By enabling the public to more or less go on fishing expeditions on their own time without costing the police any extra time or effort, it benefits the public since they are more capable of finding incidents, and it benefits the police since the FOIA requests they'll be dealing with (they claim that a minute of footage takes an hour to redact on average) will hopefully be more narrow in scope, since the requestors would have been able to sift out the majority of the irrelevant footage in advance. The end result is more capability to discover unreported incidents, more awareness of what's actually going on, less time spent manually redacting irrelevant footage, and a greater capacity for handling FOIA requests.

It's a win-win, and it's by no means useless. It actually strikes a great balance between protecting the privacy of those being filmed and making the body cam footage readily available so that the public can better oversee the police.

Comment: Re:Only in some situations ... (Score 1) 152

by Anubis IV (#49753151) Attached to: The Body Cam Hacker Who Schooled the Police

They're basically proposing a three-tier system for their videos:
1) Over-redacted videos that have been programmatically stripped of identifiable details are posted for public viewing at the end of each day.

2) Manually redacted videos with more details included are available via FOIA requests, just as they always have.

3) Unredacted videos are available via court order.

Manually redacting videos is an extraordinarily expensive process (1 hour per minute of footage, according to the article), so their hope is that by preemptively posting the over-redacted videos publicly, it will allow individuals making FOIA requests to narrow their request. After all, they will have been able to sift through all of the footage in advance, so they'll have a sense for which parts are irrelevant and which parts are of interest. And the police are hoping that by making it part of their routine to post the videos publicly each day, it will increase transparency and make it more apparent when something is going amiss.

As you said, the unredacted footage needs to be available when necessary, but it doesn't sound like anyone is suggesting something to the contrary. Rather, they're proposing something at the other end of the spectrum that is designed to provide immediate transparency without sacrificing the privacy of people encountering police on what may very well be the worst days of their lives.

Comment: Re:Please, no. (Score 1) 152

by Anubis IV (#49752981) Attached to: The Body Cam Hacker Who Schooled the Police

They address your concern in the article (and even in the summary) by using over-redaction as standard practice. What that means is that when the video first comes in, they pass it through a set of filters that intentionally redacts far more than is necessary, that way they can provide as much assurance as possible that the identifying information is gone. At the same time though, it hopefully leaves enough to let someone recognize situations that may call for more attention.

An early version of their system relied on blurring out recognizable features, such as faces, while leaving enough visible to hopefully be able to tell if something worthy of additional attention was happening. Their more recent system relies on edge detection to create what looks like a line drawing view of the world that has had almost all of the details stripped out, while leaving enough to see when things are happening (e.g. that video involves them pulling their guns on a suspect in a car).

I gotta say, while it's not perfect as it is, if they can implement it well, something like this may hit the sweet spot between transparency and protecting privacy. It gives us enough information to know when something shady is happening so that we can tell when we need to request the actual video itself, but not so much that we're posting the worst days of everyone's lives on YouTube.

Comment: Re:It's the same in professional sports. (Score 1) 375

by Anubis IV (#49748427) Attached to: Student Photographer Threatened With Suspension For Sports Photos

Having attended Texas high school back in the late '90s and early '00s, it's my recollection that there are privacy laws on the books protecting students on school grounds or engaged in school activities from having their likeness used without parental permission (I think there were a handful of exceptions, such as yearbook photos, however). The school passed out waivers at the start of the school year in an attempt to get that permission from parents, and most parents signed them since otherwise their student wouldn't appear in the yearbook aside from for their standard photo, as I recall.

Again, this was all around 15 years ago at this point, so my recollection is fuzzy, but it's entirely possible that even though this kid may own the rights to those pictures, he may be barred from using them on account of privacy laws regarding Texas students. If so, that wouldn't be a copyright issue, but it would be a situation where the principal may need to get involved.

Comment: Re:Streisand Effect (Score 1) 375

by Anubis IV (#49748387) Attached to: Student Photographer Threatened With Suspension For Sports Photos

The line would be at posting their private contact details, home address, or other personal information. But their professional e-mail address that's posted on a public-facing site for the sole purpose of providing the public-at-large with a way to contact them? Absolutely fair game.

Comment: Re:Force his hand..."Sue me! Sooner than later..." (Score 1) 375

by Anubis IV (#49748369) Attached to: Student Photographer Threatened With Suspension For Sports Photos

My parents tried grounding me once. After I thoroughly enjoyed having so much free time to make progress through my stack of novels, they started adding the stipulation, "...and no reading!" whenever they'd send me off to my room. Getting grounded stopped being so much fun after that.

Comment: Re:Fox News (Score 1) 607

by Anubis IV (#49746527) Attached to: The Demographic Future of America's Political Parties

that's reminiscent of the argument, though, that the right hating Obama and hating his policies is just like the left hating Bush and his policies.

I must not have communicated very clearly then, since what I actually believe and was trying to communicate was something more like this...

that's reminiscent of the argument, though, that the right hating Obama and hating his policies is nothing like the left hating Bush and his policies.

Comment: Re:Fox News (Score 1) 607

by Anubis IV (#49738353) Attached to: The Demographic Future of America's Political Parties

You've grossly mischaracterized me and my stances.

I said I feel an obligation to align my vote with my moral stances on issues, which I was pointing out comes at the cost of being able to align my vote with any of the other stances I may have. I never said that I find my own beliefs to be unfair or wrong. As you implied, it'd be ridiculous to knowingly hold onto ideas you're aware are wrong.

And sorry if this is a bit of a soapbox issue for me, but who said anything about hating gays? At least for me, when it comes to the hot-button topic of marriage, my firm stance is that the government should stay out of it, regardless of which way someone swings. Legal unions should be available to anyone that want them, and should come with all of the expected tax breaks and other legal benefits, plus all of the expected legal obligations and financial responsibilities. In contrast, marriage is an entirely separate concept that means different things to different people, so it's best left to individuals, organizations, or religions to decide whether they want to ignore it, treat it as a pleasant tradition, or incorporate it into their religious practices.

Speaking more broadly, sure, I consider homosexuality to be a sinful practice based on what the Bible says, but I could say the same about eating too much, lying, getting drunk, stealing, or even just engaging in lustful thoughts, so it's always struck me as incongruous that homesexuals get singled out as being a group that I allegedly hate. What about the others? Why don't I get accused of hating them too? After all, from what I can tell, I have just as much cause to hate drunks, gluttons, and people with filthy minds...

...which is to say, I have no cause to hate them at all. Everyone sins on a regular basis, myself included (including some of the sins I've already listed!). Being a sinner is not a valid reason to hate someone, and thank God for that, since if it was we'd all be miserable, self-loathing people. The Bible isn't filled with kumbaya love, but it does say that God loves us all, so who am I to hate those He chooses to love? The Bible also says that God hates sin wherever it is and that even one sin is enough to face judgment, so who am I to act as if I'm in any way superior when I'm subject to the same judgment? And the Bible says that it's God's job to judge others, not mine, so I have no business being judgmental, let alone hateful towards anyone else, regardless of their sexual orientation.

I get that there are religious types who can and do engage in hateful attitudes towards homosexuals, and it's hopefully obvious by now what my stance is towards the validity of those attitudes. But what about our shared responsibility to assess people on their own merits, rather than on the basis of a convenient stereotype that lets us marginalize them? As a site, we're too quick to apply the "hateful and intolerant" religious stereotype label to folks around here as soon as they profess a religious belief, without ever finding out what they actually believe.

Yes, stereotypes oftentimes have a basis in reality, and you'll run into people for whom the stereotype is a good fit, but that doesn't excuse us to dismiss people according to racial, religious, gender, national, or sexual orientation stereotypes that don't fit, just because they fall into one of those categories. We all should be making a concerted effort to stamp out bigotry, whether it's aimed at someone on the basis of their religion, their sexual orientation, or some other irrelevant piece of data.

Comment: Re:Compelling? (Score 1) 243

by Anubis IV (#49728557) Attached to: Why Apple Ditched Its Plan To Build a Television

Yea, personally I think a TV is a lot more compelling than a half-assed watch.

Yeah, and I prefer computers to cars. So what? The question wasn't which category is more compelling to you or to me. The question was whether or not they had a compelling feature for that market that would differentiate them from the others they'd be competing against.

When it comes to the Apple Watch, they didn't half-ass it, though it may not be something that interests you (or me, for that matter). But despite our lack of interest, it is a compelling product that offers a number of nice refinements on what we've already seen in that nascent market, a number of nice use cases that actually work as advertised, and an attention to detail that's nearly at the level we'd typically expect from high-end, luxury watchmakers (which I'd certainly hope would be the case, given the price premium on the thing).

As for TVs, honestly, what can you do in that space? There are already TVs that Skype. There are already TVs with voice controls. There are already TVs with built-in marketplaces for apps and content. There are already TVs with 3D, 4K, high contrast, curvature, accurate color reproduction, and any other technical spec you can think of. What would they add to the space? As a current owner of a smart TV, all I want from my next TV is for it to be a dumb screen. The more interesting stuff is not in the TV, but is next to it, and it sounds like they want to stay in that space, which makes a lot of sense, since they have more to offer there.

Comment: Re:Fox News (Score 3, Insightful) 607

by Anubis IV (#49727063) Attached to: The Demographic Future of America's Political Parties

Even as a Bible-believing conservative (and a registered Republican voter...*sigh*), I find myself aligning with the Republicans vanishingly often these days. I may be morally conservative, but that doesn't mean that I pine for the way things were hundreds of years ago, which is how I feel the party wants it when I see their stances on the economy, education, healthcare, military spending, and a number of other areas I see being reported in the news. The Republicans leave me with very little to agree with, other than the moral issues with which I feel obligated to align myself. I wish it wasn't this way.

The same is true for the Democrats, incidentally, just on different sets of issues. The real problem is that as a nation we have become so partisan and so polarized that non-issues become issues simply because "the other side" took a stance and we feel a sense of duty to disagree lest we let them claim credit. Honestly, with the way the Republicans have been marginalizing themselves recently, I'm hopeful that it'll either lead to a complete redefining of the party to incorporate the best aspects from the more successful smaller parties, or else will lead to the collapse of the party and its eventual replacement with something new. Naturally, the Democrats would position themselves to capture displaced Republicans, which would almost inevitably result in either the Dems or the new/redefined party being more appealing than what we have now.

"You're a creature of the night, Michael. Wait'll Mom hears about this." -- from the movie "The Lost Boys"