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Comment: White House (Score 2) 136

by John Jorsett (#47954323) Attached to: Star Wars Producers Want a 'DroneShield' To Prevent Leaks On Set
This makes me wonder how the White House and other high-profile government locations' security staffs deal with this issue. It's got to be a problem there as well, probably moreso as a drone could be armed, not just doing movie set recon. I have to think that there must have been recent incidents, but I've not seen any news accounts.

Comment: Re:Uber Fresh? (Score 0) 139

by John Jorsett (#47919539) Attached to: Uber CEO: We'll Run Your Errands

I'm Finnish. Both us and Swedes have alcohol monopoly, and had it for a very long time. It works wonders and is a part of preventive measures against alcohol abuse in countries where winter darkness is massive.

It's always discouraging to me when it's foreigners who use the correct word, 'preventive' rather than 'preventative' as many Americans do. Sigh.

Comment: Re:I like... (Score 1) 643

by John Jorsett (#47769297) Attached to: U.S. Senator: All Cops Should Wear Cameras

Everyone likes accountability when they have control over it. The cops would have control over the tapes, right? So they get to choose which parts to show and which parts to "inconveniently lose."

One small problem with that theory... if they "inconveniently lose" a critical bit of video evidence at trial, the defense would savage them for it, and the jury is likely to let that fact color their decision in a way that is not advantageous to the prosecution.

The Rialto experiment has shown that in all instances where force was used, the cameras were turned on, so the "conveniently lose" scenario isn't borne out by at least one real-world study. I went looking, and couldn't find any mention of whether or not a cop could "lose" a video even if s/he wanted to. The only control mentioned was the ability to turn it on or off, they're mandated to turn it on before encounters with the public, and apparently always do.

Comment: Re:I like... (Score 2) 643

by John Jorsett (#47769157) Attached to: U.S. Senator: All Cops Should Wear Cameras

The camera itself might be a tiny, tiny fraction of the salary of a cop, but it would still require a massive database and supporting infrastructure to run/maintain the entire implementation. Nor would it change the fact that people would still bring (founded and unfounded) lawsuits against the police.

What if the police got to the scene of a crime after the victim (a black man) managed to turn the tables on the attacker (a white woman) and the only thing the camera saw was the victim (a black man) attacking the attacker (a white woman) in a panicked frenzy? Camera and the police says the victim (a black man) is the attacker, therefore the victim (a black man) gets arrested. Investigation? Why conduct one when the police (partly) caught a black man beating a white woman on camera?

Are you arguing that no data is better than some data? We have that today and look what it's getting us. Even if use of cameras doesn'r solve all problems, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks, IMO. Even in your scenario what would happen without a camera is the cops would testify that they saw it happening and the Black victim would be in the same situation. At least with cameras you remove any subjectivity or outright bias on the cops' part.

Comment: And prison guards (Score 1) 643

by John Jorsett (#47769057) Attached to: U.S. Senator: All Cops Should Wear Cameras
Prison guards are just as, if not more so, in need of body cameras. It would head off a lot of abuse that takes place out of sight today. As a general rule I'm not thrilled with the feds big-footing states, but in cases like these, where unions have politicians in absolute thrall, I think it's not only desirable, but necessary.

Comment: It would have been nice if ... (Score 1) 231

by John Jorsett (#47708435) Attached to: $125,000 Settlement Given To Man Arrested for Photographing NYPD
1) the story had named the officers. As it is, one has to go to the PDF of the complaint to find the names of the cops. 2) the story said whether any of them were disciplined in any way over this incident, 3) they were prosecuted for it, but at a minimum their pay should be docked for the cost of the settlement.

Comment: Re:NOT CONFIDENTIAL!! YAY!! (Score 1) 231

by John Jorsett (#47708391) Attached to: $125,000 Settlement Given To Man Arrested for Photographing NYPD

You do realize that settlements are basically private contracts right? Are you really saying that I must publicly disclose the terms of any private contract I am a party to, just because the "Public has a right to know"?

No, No, they don't have a right to know. I may allow you to use my intellectual property and by contract disclose it to you for your use, but that doesn't mean everybody in the world is now entitled to see everything.

If one of the entities is a government, the public DOES have the right to know, since it's public funds that are being used to settle.

Comment: Scooter Libby (Score 2) 266

Scooter Libby, adviser to VP Dick Cheney, was indicted, prosecuted, convicted for perjury and making false claims to federal agents, and subsequently sentenced to 30 months in federal prison (which President Bush commuted). Until people are prosecuted and imprisoned in these cases of lying to Congress, I'll know our government isn't serious about preventing perjury.

Comment: This is brilliant (Score 1) 55

by John Jorsett (#47568971) Attached to: Airbnb Partners With Cities For Disaster Preparedness
I have to admire this strategy to wrap AirBnB in the banner of helping disaster victims. Besides being a valuable service for those victims and great PR for the company, it gives them a very effective argument to counter the rent-seeking behavior of the industry they're displacing and to attack enabling bureaucrats and politicians with ("Joe Smith wants to deny aid to disaster victims. Vote Mary Doaks for City Council.") I hope Uber is watching and learning from this.

Comment: Re:Mod parent DOWN (Score 5, Informative) 514

by John Jorsett (#47568703) Attached to: Jesse Jackson: Tech Diversity Is Next Civil Rights Step

If Jesse wants to wage the next race war, he should start by getting more black kids interested in STEM and education in general.

Jackson isn't interested in waging race war, he wants to shakedown businesses for money for his organization and those of his cronies. Making it about race is just his form of extortion. Notice that whenever he goes after some company, it's suddenly made all better when it makes a donation to his cause and/or hires one or more people of Jackson's designation. I really admire the way the CEO of Cypress Semiconductor refused to knuckle under to Jackson back in 2001 after Jackson labeled Cypress a "white supremacist hate group.’” I hope every Silicon Valley target of his does the same.

Comment: Carrasco is doubly stupid and possibly criminal (Score 1) 110

What I found more interesting was the story mentioned in the SEO story that Carrasco got scammed by a couple of faux "Native Americans," who made off with 41 thousand pounds of the utility's scrap copper after conning Carrasco into donating it to their non-existent children's crafts program. Even though originally it was supposed to be a "small amount", since Seattle City Lights is publicly owned, I would think donations, unless authorized by the city government, would be considered gifts of public funds. I can see why this guy wants to scrub his record, cuz it ain't good. And amazingly, City Lights keeps paying him a quarter of a mil a year.

Comment: The problem doesn't come from identity (Score 1) 725

by John Jorsett (#47399167) Attached to: When Beliefs and Facts Collide
The problem does't come from, "If I'm in group A, then I must have beliefs X," it comes from the recognition that an issue will be seized upon by a faction and used to pump their wider agenda. Use climate change, since the OP brought it up: Rather than a rational discussion of whether it's really happening, whether it's human-caused if so, and what to do about it if anything, we've got one side using it to justify all manner of intrusive measures, while the other wants to ignore the issue entirely. The same thing happens with any talk about WMD, terrorism, abortion, etc. The issue itself is the carrier wave for a lot of additional modulation that's usually far off the topic but important to one side or the other. It's the, "Never let a crisis go to waste" mentality. I don't know how you fix that.

Comment: Re:Law (Score 1) 404

by John Jorsett (#47311277) Attached to: San Francisco Bans Parking Spot Auctioning App

And what exact public law is being broken now?

I'll take a wild guess and say it's illegal to sublet public property without some kind of special permit. I wager that if there is a free open-air concert in the park you can't set out a dozen blankets in a good spot and charge people for the reserved seating. This seems very similar to that.

On the sublet issue: you're not charging them to park there, you're accepting a bribe to incentivize you to leave. I see this as the same as some guy cruising around and offering you a sawbuck to pull out and let him take your spot.

I am a computer. I am dumber than any human and smarter than any administrator.