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Comment: Re:Asinine (Score 1) 322

by LocalH (#46708289) Attached to: LA Police Officers Suspected of Tampering With Their Monitoring Systems

When you gain the power that comes with being a police officer, then everything you do when on duty and filling that official capacity should be open to public scrutiny. Since abuses of that power have very direct and damaging effects on the victims of said abuses, I feel that all officers must sacrifice some of their freedom, while on the job, in order to help protect civilian rights. Those who are good officers that go by the book in every situation (outside of emergency situations that can and do occur, that require nearly instantaneous reaction time) and don't abuse their power have nothing to worry about - if something bad happens that is questionable, having a record of it would also protect the officer.

Yes, I realize that's dangerously close to "if you're not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to hide". However, there is a difference between applying that to civilian individuals (including off-duty police officers) who have a very real right to privacy, and applying it to people who we have allowed to have legal power above and beyond what we allow civilians to do (for example, while civilians in many areas have the right to make a "citizen's arrest", they most likely do not have the right to use physical force to detain that individual, whereas the police do have that right). With power comes the responsibility to ensure that those powers are used properly, and having such interactions recorded as a matter of law protects the civilian and the officer.

I personally think this would be a good idea with civilians too, but the difference is, with officers (and other public officials with power above an ordinary civilian), those recording devices should be mandated by law and such footage available for review by any member of the public, but with civilians, the control over such devices (and indeed, the entire decision to wear them at all) should rest with the individual device owner. I really wish people would get over their Google Glass hangups and realize that, while in public, there is no right not to be recorded. Having a record of the day's interactions (that would automatically fade into the ether after, say, 24 hours, unless a segment is explicitly reviewed by the user and saved) would help prevent or at least reduce the "he said, she said" arguments that sometimes occur when a claim is made, because there is an impartial record of what happened (and in fact, in a society that doesn't have such a hangup about "public privacy", all parties would be recording, making for a way to corroborate what happened and have a fighting chance at detecting editing or other tampering).


Australia Declares Homeopathy Nonsense, Urges Doctors to Inform Patients 408

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the healing-crystals-considered-harmful dept.
jones_supa (887896) writes "Homeopathy is a 200-year-old form of alternative medicine based on the principle that substances that produce symptoms in a healthy person can be used to treat similar symptoms in a sick person. The National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia has officially declared that homeopathic remedies are useless for human health. The body today released a guide for doctors (PDF) on how to talk to their patients about the lack of evidence for many such therapies. Doctors will also be told to warn patients of possible interactions between alternative and conventional medicines. On top of that, the council has produced a 300-page draft report that reviews the evidence for homoeopathy in treating 68 clinical conditions. It concludes 'there is no reliable evidence that homoeopathy is effective for treating health conditions'.

Representing the opposite viewpoint, Australian Homeopathic Association spokesman Greg Cope said he was disappointed at the narrow evidence relied on by the NHMRC in its report. 'What they have looked at is systematic trials for named conditions when that is not how homeopathy works,' he said. Homeopathy worked on the principle of improving a person's overall health and wellness, and research such as a seven-year study conducted in Switzerland was a better measure of its usefulness, he added. There are about 10,000 complementary medicine products sold in Australia but most consumers are unaware they are not evaluated by the domestic medicines safety watchdog before they are allowed on the market."

Comment: Re:Don't raise wages. Demand lower prices. (Score 2) 870

by LocalH (#46579941) Attached to: Job Automation and the Minimum Wage Debate

This would effectively outlaw automation, given that the costs are not zero to operate such machinery. I can understand the argument that prices should be lower, but to say that they should be near zero is to argue that those who use automation heavily shouldn't be allowed to make a profit at all. I can't get behind that philosophically.

Comment: Re:Not even close to the worst. (Score 0) 290

Pragmatically speaking:

Nuclear and wind power will likely never reach the public support necessary to eclipse the use of fossil fuels. Nuclear power because of the perceived harm, and wind power because "ohh those windmills are ugly and I don't want to see them".

That leaves solar+hydro. Since pure hydrogen does not occur naturally, that means it must be manufactured somehow, so you're basically reduced to solar power (unless you use fossil fuels to generate the hydrogen, which sort of defeats the purpose here). I don't think our solar extraction technology is quite efficient enough to cover all of our fuel needs, or we'd already be doing it.

The Military

Russian State TV Anchor: Russia Could Turn US To "Radioactive Ash" 878

Posted by samzenpus
from the lighten-up-francis dept.
An anonymous reader writes with a Ukraine news roundup. "'Russia is the only country in the world realistically capable of turning the United States into radioactive ash,' anchor Dmitry Kiselyov said on his weekly news show on state-controlled Rossiya 1 television. ... His programme was broadcast as the first exit polls were being published showing an overwhelming majority of Crimeans voting to leave Ukraine and join Russia. He stood in his studio in front of a gigantic image of a mushroom cloud produced after a nuclear attack, with the words 'into radioactive ash.' ... Kiselyov has earned a reputation as one of Russia's most provocative television news hosts, in particularly with his often blatantly homophobic remarks. But he is also hugely influential with his weekly news show broadcast at Sunday evening prime time. Putin last year appointed Kiselyov head of the new Russia Today news agency that is to replace the soon to be liquidated RIA Novosti news agency with the aim of better promoting Russia's official position. — Russia has threatened to stop nuclear disarmament treaty inspections and cooperation. Russian troops are reported to have seized a natural gas terminal in Ukraine outside of Crimea. There are reported to be 60,000 Russian troops massing on Russia's border with Ukraine."

Court Denies NSA Request To Hold Phone Records Beyond 5 Years 46

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the destroy-evidence-protect-privacy dept.
itwbennett writes "As Slashdot readers will remember, last month the U.S. government 'petitioned the court system' to let the NSA retain phone call metadata for more than 5 years, ironically 'because it needs to preserve it as evidence for the various privacy lawsuits filed against the government.' Well, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has ruled against that request. The FISC's Presiding Judge Reggie B. Walton ruled Friday (PDF) that the proposed amended procedures would further infringe on the privacy interests of U.S. persons whose 'telephone records were acquired in vast numbers and retained by the government for five years to aid in national security investigation.'"

Comment: Re:You keep using that word (Score 1) 479

by LocalH (#46449277) Attached to: Author Says It's Time To Stop Glorifying Hackers

Welcome to the real world, where old systems operate together in a mish-mash of different protocols and standards. Why do you think companies even exist solely to provide the service of screen-scraping old terminal-based servers in order to provide a "modern" GUI (that is often times just as archaic and messy, if not more so, than the old text-based setup).


Sony & Panasonic Next-Gen Optical Discs Moving Forward 250

Posted by samzenpus
from the slowly-but-surely dept.
jones_supa writes "From last summer you might remember the Sony & Panasonic plans to bring next generation optical discs with recording capacity of at least 300GB. Various next-gen optical discs from different companies have been proposed, but this joint effort seems to be still moving forward. The disc is called simply Archival Disc and, roadmap and key specifications are out. First-wave ADs are slated to launch in summer of 2015 and will be able to hold up to 300GB of data. Archival Discs will be double-sided, so this works out to 150GB of data per side. Future versions of the technology will improve storage density, increasing to 500GB (or 250GB per side) and 1TB (500GB per side) as the standard matures."

"Look! There! Evil!.. pure and simple, total evil from the Eighth Dimension!" -- Buckaroo Banzai