Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:*sips pabst* (Score 1) 318

by Catbeller (#48668733) Attached to: Ars: Final Hobbit Movie Is 'Soulless End' To 'Flawed' Trilogy

Tom Bombadil served as a projection of absolute mystery in a fantasy world where much wonder was already well documented. Even the Valar didn't know who he was. Probably. Tolkien believed you should never tell all the secrets, and frankly HE didn't know what Tom was, and was happy that way. Even mysteries should have mysteries.

And TB was his young son Christopher's favorite doll, in the real world. He put it in to make his son happy, I think.

Comment: Re:print fans (Score 1) 318

by Catbeller (#48668655) Attached to: Ars: Final Hobbit Movie Is 'Soulless End' To 'Flawed' Trilogy

As a cloaked and rather spiritually amnesiac Maia, Gandalf has, along with all the other Ainur now locked into Arda who listened to the Eru Illuvatar Lecture about how the new worlds would work, has sort of a feeling, based on impressive but never quite remembered foreknowledge, of how the rabbit is gonna jump. He's got prophetic mojo, in small amounts, and he's on a Really Real Mission from God, or at least God's lieutenant, Manwe.

(Ever wonder who foretold all those prophecies everyone keeps talking about? Foreknowledge is part of ME. Some have it).

Comment: Re:miscreation (Score 1) 318

by Catbeller (#48668597) Attached to: Ars: Final Hobbit Movie Is 'Soulless End' To 'Flawed' Trilogy

The crap was in the LOTR appendices. Tolkien just never had time enough to fill in the blanks. Christopher won't let Jackson have the other books, but the story Jackson told IS what happened off-screen, as it were, in the Hobbit book. Galdalf went off mysteriously, met with the White Council, got imprisoned, went after Sauron with the others and drove him out of his body (again). He interacted with a lot of people off-book, and Tolkien wrote a history documenting it. There are other creatures under the ground than Tolkien listed - practically an infinite number left over from when Ea was a void- inumerable other sentient species and far-off lands and continents. I was happy to see a little fill - there's so much room to grow the world. Doesn't make the movie bad, unless you think the Hobbit was bad, which it kinda was, as a novel, being a child's story. The Battle of Five Armies *was* that vicious - Tolkien simply Knocked Out the Protaganist and moved the story past the hero, keeping the violence down. ME wasn't a bonnie bucholic place, not at all.

Comment: Tolkien would have changed the story if he could (Score 1) 318

by Catbeller (#48668521) Attached to: Ars: Final Hobbit Movie Is 'Soulless End' To 'Flawed' Trilogy

Tolkien wrote the Hobbit for small children. Twee in tone - the dwarves had green, and yellow, and blue beards, for instance. In his short piece, A Meeting in Erebor (adapted into the movie!), he had Gandalf and Aragorn meet at the Pony, I think, and they discussed dark and grave matters in an adult tone, setting the Hobbit events up for the LOTR. Had Tolkien not had a day job, he'd probably had rewritten the Hobbit to bring in in line with the LOTR and the older stories.

Jackson had the appendices of the LOTR to work with, but nothing else from the Simarillion or Untold Tales, because the Tolkien estate doesn't like what he did. Perhaps that was shooting themselves in their own feet, as he had little story material and so had to make up filler.

Do recall that the Hobbit, as a story, is rather thin.

Comment: Re:Won't work the way you think (Score 1) 326

by Catbeller (#48668179) Attached to: Study: Police Body-Cams Reduce Unacceptable Use of Force

Hm. what I am trying to say, I think, is never to accept tech as a panacea, or even a amelliorative to a problem that is human and structural. The buggers will squirm and put a new hold on the suspect, as it were. The beatings may go down - that would be good. The cameras will help, undoubtably, and already have. We techites tend to believe in our equipment and ingenuity. But, recall that Apple has a patent on a geofenced override command for multimedia recording (on a phone at least). At some point, police and the like may, probably will, get the capability to shut off our recorders at will. Then they could shut off theirs, and then the DA and a jury has to decide who's lying. Usually cops and the DA win that battle.

Problem is, as I noodle it, is that the cops have become non-civilians, in their minds. If the people are civilians, then they must be soldiers, and they are no longer employees but an occupying army beset by the enemy. They'd never even say that in their minds, but it is, you must admit at this point, obvious that they have dettached themselves from the civilians. Turning your back on your boss, for instance, smacks of the ol' Army has Turned Against El Presidente. I dunno. Time to tear it down and start over? Reduce the number of stupid crimes so that the police don't have to view EVERYone as the possible enemy (trim it down to assault, murder, theft, and dump the moral and chemical crimes).

Comment: Re:Won't work the way you think (Score 1) 326

by Catbeller (#48668123) Attached to: Study: Police Body-Cams Reduce Unacceptable Use of Force

Relative impunity. Those were the cases where they were detected and punished. There will be thousands, tens of thousands of cases when they will not be caught, or if nailed, not punished much. Or simply plead technical issues - they have done so. You will of course hear about those fired; there certainly will be a small enough number so that they will be covered. The cops will adapt and adjust, and turn off the cams for the very nastiest acts. I've posted a number of links downthread where cops shut off their cams and killed someone, claiming tech issues.

And NO cop is ever presumed guilty. Infraction at most, fired at rare intervals. We won't count the number of times they get away with it, as apparently even Slashdotters aren't aware they are already disabling surveillance - what people don't know about, they don't notice. What will almost never happen, at the end of the diminishing curve of punishment, is a charge of murder.

Tens of thousands of men and women who have all the power and relative immunity and tight solidarity will wiggle this about until they have a new advantage.

Comment: Re:Won't work the way you think (Score 1) 326

by Catbeller (#48668039) Attached to: Study: Police Body-Cams Reduce Unacceptable Use of Force

Apple got the patent. So, if implemented, a command could shut off all phone cams (airplane mode, at least, refuse to record at most) in response to legal authority in a geofenced area - movie theaters, areas around celebrities, or non-"1st Amendment" zones established by cops.

Comment: Re:but what if they're turned off (Score 1) 326

by Catbeller (#48667947) Attached to: Study: Police Body-Cams Reduce Unacceptable Use of Force

Comment: Re:Won't work the way you think (Score 1) 326

by Catbeller (#48667023) Attached to: Study: Police Body-Cams Reduce Unacceptable Use of Force

Better to have cameras than not; maybee...... juries can be played by selective use of cams, excluding other cam footage, and plain old laying a trap for the unwary citizen.

You asked: I read the news. Google for you:
"But it goes both ways; video – or the lack of it – can also damn officers. Two on the Daytona Beach force lost their jobs after a video mysteriously blanked out in the middle of an encounter with a woman who allegedly hid a bag of cocaine in her mouth; she said the officers knocked her down, shoved a flashlight between her lips and kicked her in the head, but that part of the encounter wasn’t caught on film thanks to one officer failing to turn his camera on and a “malfunction” with the other officer’s camera midway through the arrest. A forensic analysis of the cam showed that the “malfunction” was caused by the officer shutting it down. Chief Chitwood has said the policy there is, “If you turn it off, you’re done.”"

That's Daytona. In Oakland. Mysteriously Shut Off Camera Syndrome doesn't hurt and officer much:
"OAKLAND, Calif.—Over the last two years, the Oakland Police Department (OPD) has disciplined police officers on 24 occasions for disabling or failing to activate body-worn cameras, newly released public records show. The City of Oakland did not provide any records prior to 2013, and the OPD did not immediately respond to Ars’ request for comment.
"Hargraves was found to have violated policy by taping over his nametag, and Wong was found to have acted improperly by failing to report the incident to internal affairs and also turning off Hargraves' lapel camera"
"However, the above video, which shows several officers with their body-mounted cameras turned off – a departmental violation - is just the latest example of Oakland police officers not wanting any accountability.The video is also a clear demonstration of just how high tensions are between Oakland police and citizens."
"In other cases it was the absence of video that got the officer in trouble. An officer in Daytona Beach, Fla., was forced to resign after he was caught turning off his camera at critical moments. An Albuquerque officer who shot and killed a woman in April — and whose camera was off at the time — was fired on Monday after being investigated for not complying with department orders that required officers to record all interactions with civilians.

But even when video does exist, it is often not decisive. In the case of Mr. Garner, the Staten Island man who died in July after a police officer put him in a chokehold, a video of the encounter taken with a bystander’s cellphone and viewed millions of times was enough to stir visceral outrage — but not to secure an indictment."

The records show that on November 8, 2013 one officer was terminated after failing to activate his camera. Less than two weeks later, another resigned for improperly removing the camera from his or her uniform. However, most officers received minor discipline in comparison."

Antenna removal:
"os Angeles police officers tampered with voice recording equipment in dozens of patrol cars in an effort to avoid being monitored while on duty, according to records and interviews..

An inspection by Los Angeles Police Department investigators found about half of the estimated 80 cars in one South L.A. patrol division were missing antennas, which help capture what officers say in the field. The antennas in at least 10 more cars in nearby divisions had also been removed."

Comment: Re:Won't work the way you think (Score 1) 326

by Catbeller (#48666885) Attached to: Study: Police Body-Cams Reduce Unacceptable Use of Force

And phones have a back door command, not yet activated, that will be provided to authorities: Camera Use Forbidden. Apple tried to patent the idea of crowd camera control (maybe succeeded); I'd assume it would be easy to implement. And since so many standalone cameras are radio-enabled now, part of the Internet of Things, those could be remotely shut off as well.

Or, they, being police, could have the authority to jam frequencies used by wifi/Bluetooth/cellular devices. Touch a button on their camera, and every broadcasting device but theirs is jammed.

Once more, I am not randomly positing things that don't exist; the tech is there. I'm predicting the present. The frog has to boil but a bit more, and authority camera control will be here. The past thirteen years have shown me that I'm far too optimistic.

MS-DOS must die!