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Comment Re:Everywhere (Score 5, Interesting) 210

No, there's a simpler solution than that: don't let municipalities keep the money from traffic tickets (or any kind of fine). The payments should be made directly to the state's general fund. Take away the profit motive, no more profit based policing.

North Carolina does this. The state constitution actually requires that all fines collected "shall be faithfully appropriated and used exclusively for maintaining free public schools."

I've seen this work to have the desired effect.

The campus police at some of the state universities used to issue all sorts of nuisance parking tickets for things like "parked too close to line". At the time, the universities were keeping the money from the fines. Quite a few years ago, there was a legal case that went to the state supreme court where they ruled that the universities couldn't keep the money. After that, the number of nuisance fines dramatically decreased, even though officials claimed that there was no correlation between these events.

Comment Re:Do they have spare batteries? (Score 2) 184

You have no need to travel with HIPAA PHI on your laptop..

The policy of the medical school where I used to work is to consider any device that even accesses PHI as "contaminated with PHI", even if such access should never have resulted in any PHI being stored on the local hard drive of the machine accessing that data. It's possible that OP may have worked at a place with a similar policy.

Our internal forensics group was able to demonstrate too many cases where it wasn't necessary for a laptop user to even do something as dangerous as download a file containing PHI for the local hard drive to still end up with PHI on it. One such case was OS swap/page files. There were others.

While we took steps to minimize the likelihood of these events happening and PHI ending up on portable/mobile devices, we still treated devices that merely accessed remote PHI as if they contained PHI in local storage and required required them to have appropriate controls in place, such as whole disk encryption, local firewalls, mandatory reporting of lost/stolen devices, etc.

Comment Re:Nothing new (Score 2) 102

Signs indicating which road has right-of-way are common in Finland and some of the nearby countries. While it's been a few years since I've driven there, the last time I was in Helsinki, many traffic signals were turned off (as in dark) late at night or on weekends. They also had a number of intersections where there was no Stop or Yield/Give Way signs in any direction. Drivers were expected to know the rules of the road and who had right-of-way.

Comment Re:Ask a stupid question... (Score 2) 362

When I was in Australia in the '90s, they had already eliminated their coins smaller than 5 cents, and the common practice was to always round down cash transactions. So, if your total was $1.99 and you paid with cash, you'd only get charged $1.95. If you paid with EFTPOS (debit card) or a credit card, you'd be charged the full $1.99.

Comment Re:how does redundancy help you when the main powe (Score 1) 123

how does redundancy help you when the main power switch goes down / on fire and there is no one there

If you are a big enough operation, you have redundancy at the data center level. i.e. you can lose an entire data center and have no loss of service on your production applications. Other than a possible speed/performance degradation, your average customer has no knowledge that anything bad has happened.

Comment Re:Safari has that level of support already (Score 1) 181

Requiring users to download and install some codec is probably a non-starter in both cases, though.

While it would be better if free codecs were included "out of the box", I wouldn't say it's a non-starter. There are an awful lot of systems out there where the user has chosen to install Flash. If major "trusted" web sites required WebM, Theora, etc., I would expect that most users would install the appropriate software to view that content, just as many users install Flash today.

Security

Submission + - The IRS Will Fax Your Life to Anyone Who Asks

An anonymous reader writes: Apparently, the IRS is more than happy to fax all your private tax information to anyone who calls up and knows a little bit about you. Identification not required. Really scary with all the identity theft going on. You should have to at least fax in an ID.

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