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Comment: Re:just prepay for food (Score 1) 230

by amxcoder (#47910103) Attached to: School Installs Biometric Fingerprint System For Cafeteria
I was trying to show the selfish attitute reflected by those people who think because they use "X" that everyone else should pay for "X". I have no desire to actually have other people pay for my car, etc. Notice I said donate to the needy, I wasn't implying anything about my tax money going to the school for education, I was implying that my tax money that is supposed to be going to education, is also being used to feed the kids for free. That is a charity, and I would like to be able to exercise free will of the money I have to donate to charities of my choice, not some school superintendent that chooses a friends company to provide those meals.

On the premise, having some government run programs, like cops, firemen, soldiers, and even school is not bad, and I never said that anywhere in my post. My last comment still stands though, school is for "Learning" not providing life sustaining necessities. The necessities in life should be provided for by PARENTS not schools. This is not selfish in the least, it is a basic requirement of actually being a parent, that you provide for your own kids. Those who want to posit that we should all be paying for the students meals (and more) probably have kids and want their kids meals paid for. We have numerous other programs, that if you are poor, you can enroll in that will provide food. We don't need to turn schools into soup kitchens, because as I stated before, "where will it stop?".

BTW, you attacked my comment, however nowhere did you actually try to give an honest answer to any of my questions about where is the cut-off for what schools should provide, and why that is the cut-off point, and not some other arbitrary item?

Comment: Re:just prepay for food (Score 0) 230

by amxcoder (#47906167) Attached to: School Installs Biometric Fingerprint System For Cafeteria
And not personally liking the subway/public transit, I would like to see MY CAR and gas paid for by tax payers as well, but that is considered greedy and mooching off other people, and obviously isn't fair is it? In my view, being FORCED to pay for other people's stuff isn't fair either. If I want to donate money to the needy/poor, I should be able to choose how much to donate, and to whom (or what organization) I want, and not have it taken from me by threat of physical force like it currently is.

If parents can't afford to give the very basics (food/shelter) to their kids, then they aren't fit parents or have their priorities all messed up. Turning the schools into a substitute parent is a bad idea once you get past the borderline idea of "free lunches". It has already been expanded in some places to more than just lunch, where schools are now offering free Breakfast, lunches and dinners. Should schools also provide free healthcare? How about free clothing? How about shelter? Are schools learning institutions, or are they soup kitchens/homeless shelters? I would say the former, but many seem to want them to become the latter.

Comment: Re:Easy up now (Score 1) 230

by amxcoder (#47906109) Attached to: School Installs Biometric Fingerprint System For Cafeteria
Umm, actually yes. When the FasTrak systems here in the Bay Area, CA, were initially rolled out, it was promised they would not be used for tracking and only used for toll collection. Now that many bridges only have FasTrak lanes (no more cash) and they are in large use, they are being used to collect information on travel times and current freeway speeds around the Bay Area. I have no doubts that the sensors that are scanning these for those other uses, are also keeping records of "whose" pass was scanned and the location. That is tracking isn't it?

prior to this, other than maybe toll bridges, the only method that could have been employed would have been basic CalTrans freeway cameras. These cameras are low quality, and wide FOV, meaning that software licence plate recognition would be difficult to impossible to use on these.

Comment: Re:California Logic (Score 1) 288

by amxcoder (#47906007) Attached to: California Declares Carpooling Via Ride-Share Services Illegal
Yes California has carpool lanes, especially in the Bay Area, most freeways here do. There are even stretches where there are "double car pool" lanes for a brief distance. They even have "Park & Ride" parking lots setup along freeways in some areas, where drivers park in and get picked up for a carpool.

On some of the busier freeways, the carpool minimum is 3 people rather than 2, to make it harder for people to carpool in these areas, because if they let 2 people/car in the lanes, they would be moving just as slow as the normal lanes.

I HATE the carpool lanes, they spend a years wreaking havoc on commute traffic with construction on freeways, and the end result is the same number of normal lanes, and added carpool lanes/off-ramps, which are useless to me personally. They really are a way to "nudge" the public to change their behavior to how our "masters" want us to behave. Not long ago, when hybrids (like the Prius) hit the market, these cars got special stickers that would allow them to use the carpools (with only a single person). This was an incentive by the government to nudge people into buying hybrids. Once critical mass of hybrids hit, then they cancelled the incentive, no longer giving out the stickers to newer hybrid owners. Now that electric vehicles are hitting the market, they are doing the same thing with those, but I'm sure that too, will only last so long.

I am a contractor/freelancer, and I don't work at the same place everyday, I go to job-sites all over the Bay Area, and my home base is just that, my home. Because of this, I have no "coworkers" to ride-share with, and since I go all over, I can't just carpool with a neighbor or friend going the same direction. I'm screwed. My road tax money gets dumped into more HOV lanes that I never can use, and traffic in the normal lanes stays the same or just gets worse over the years. While I've never tried Uber/Lyft, at least these would be viable alternatives for me to find carpooling people going to the area I happen to be traveling that day. However, now California says that you can't use the HOV lanes for this? WTF?

Comment: Re:Wrong Title (Score 0) 499

Some would claim that we ARE being invaded right now, along our southern border. While it may not be by an "official army", it is by a large group of people, some of them armed, and some not armed, but they are coming in fairly large numbers, are in more and more instances, are using force to get through. Numerous shootouts and confrontations have been had on the border, and some border patrol agents have died as a result of these "invaders".

Yet the government does practically nothing to stop it, and when militia's organized and deployed to the border, they are being treated worse than the "invaders" and they are now getting shot at by BP agents as well. There are over half a million of these "invaders" making their way here every year, year after year, to the tune of millions and millions over the last decade alone.

Latest reports, is that there have been several occurrences of actual Mexican Military encounters at the border, both on ground and with their helicopters in our air space, shooting as our agents. This is by their official army. Then there are the cartels, and their own army's that are shooting as us with .50cals and other heavy weapons. Not to mention that there are areas of Arizona where it is practically unsafe to travel through, as it's occupied by mexico's drug cartels. The Federal BLM put signs up and made a statement that parts of Arizona are actually controlled and occupied by the cartels. The signs warn people passing through that it is dangerous. This is 100mi. inland from the boarder. If that is not an invasion, I don't know what is.

But, if you think Obama (or most of our government members for that matter) cares if citizens have the ability defend off foreign invaders, your delusional. He is practically inviting them to come, and putting as many restraints on the BP agents to not be able to do anything to stop it. The latest move, was to give them shelter, and buss them and distribute them among several states so that the states can share the burden and costs.
In fact, if memory serves correctly, when BP agent Brian Terry was killed by "invaders" from another country, Obama and others were quick to try to use that incident as a means to pass legislation to restrict guns here in our own country. Which is totally counter intuitive to citizen militias being able to help defend against foreign invaders, and not constitutional.

Comment: Re:Wow! (Score 1) 463

What training class do they take to officially be trained in "multi-tasking". I'd pay to take one of those classes, if it means I can then use my cellphone/laptop in my car and it won't be my fault if I crash while doing so, because... hey, I was officially trained to do it correctly. See, I have a certification in "cellphone typing and driving"!!! This is BS, they don't actually have any classes that specifically TEACH that, they are lying. If not, show me the name of the course, who teaches it, and where others can sign up and take it. Most police academy's are given at local community colleges, so it would have to be a class that a regular person could take if it existed.

Comment: Re:From the linked article... (Score 1) 463

If I were a criminal who had been arrested by this cop anytime since he was hired, I would be calling up my lawyer to talk about an appeal of my case, based on the fact that there is proof that this particular cop has a history of lying on official police reports. I'm sure the Officer, Chief, and DA wouldn't be too happy if everyone that this cop has arrested prior got their cases re-opened and brought back into the court based on evidence of falsifying records and lying on official reports, especially where the proven example is one where he defers all fault of his own and places blame/burden on an innocent party.

Comment: Re:yet if we did it (Score 1) 463

But by all the statistics put out by politicians, and police officer's groups, and the like, "texting while driving kills!!!". That's all we hear about, so why are cops allowed to do something that they themselves claim is the number one cause of accidents on the road way, especially if it wasn't related to a pursuit or other duty that they were actively involved in that was urgent AT THAT MOMENT. Clearly, him filing his daily paperwork via email while cruising down the road was not something that the 'electronic device exclusion' was written for. Nor was this urgent enough to justify doing it while operating a motor vehicle. He could/should have been off of the road parked while engaged in this activity. Us mere citizens are not allowed to even HOLD a phone or computer while driving, let alone actually type on it, without facing a ticketed offense. This is now even a standard entry on a crash investigation report, whether a cell phone or electronic device was in use at the time of the accident (so they can place fault of accident).

This goes along with Speeding, where you see police all the time speeding down the freeway doing 90+ without any lights or sirens on, because they aren't actually responding to a call at that time. The only time they should be allowed to break that law, is when an imminent call is being responding too, and only if they are following the protocols of code1/2/3... ie: lights or lights and sirens. Otherwise, it gets obviously abused by cops not wanting to sit in traffic and use the carpool lane without cause, speeding to get back to the station so they can get off work, or speeding to get to their lunch/coffee breaks so they can meet the other guys that are already there. Parking in Red Zones while they go in for a coffee break is something I see all the time as well. Why? Can a police cruizer not get parked in a regular parking spot due to it's size or ability of the driver, as it seems that RedZones are just another term for "Police Handicap Parking".

This issue of double standard is being addressed in CA recently from another angle. This being handguns allowed to be used by cops. You see, CA has a "Safe Handgun Roster" that is a list of handguns "that meet minimum level of safety requirements" which are allowed for purchase. Much has come of this "Roster", as many guns are falling off the roster lately, and are no longer able to be purchased by CA residents. Because of the stated intent of this Roster, the guns falling off (or never being approved) are considered by the State to be "unsafe" for use, failing to meet some politicians definition of a safe gun. However, since the beginning of the implementation of this Roster, cops have always been excluded. Meaning, LEO's can buy and carry any handgun they want (even for personal, off-duty use) and the gun does not have to be on the Roster, while everyone else can only buy the limited guns listed on the Roster. Now that the List of On-Roster guns is dwindling, many people are finally coming to the realization that the Roster isn't about safety at all, but about restriction and slowly banning hand-guns. If it were about safety, then why would LEO's be allowed to purchase and carry guns that are considered "UNSAFE" by the state of California? As it stands, according to the States own logic, cops are allowed to buy and carry unsafe guns. Many gun shops are now starting to silently protest this, by not selling "Off-Roster" guns to LEO's, since normal public can't get them either.

In the end, these are all examples of just another BS double standard, that helps to elevate police officers to a "higher class" of people above the public, and perpetuate the "Us vs. Them" mentality on both sides of the equation.

Comment: Re:The real crime here (Score 1) 465

by amxcoder (#47731379) Attached to: 33 Months In Prison For Recording a Movie In a Theater

What if your like me, and am a freelancer (sole proprietorship), that doesn't have a regular employer. I work with many companies, who cut me a check, and don't take out taxes or anything else. If I were to pull all my money out of my bank, how would the government get access to my money or revenue stream coming short of physically coming to my house, raiding the place, taking me to jail while they confiscate everything I own. Even then, I could keep my "cash stash" somewhere else they cannot find, so they'd only end up with my immediate possessions.

If they tried to track down my bank, I could withdraw and close the account. If they tried to go to my employer, they'd find I don't have one. If they tried to track down the dozen or so "regular" client companies I have, ok, but as a freelance/contractor, I can just stop working for them, and look for new clients who didn't get the government memo, bypassing the levy.

Government: "Pay me a $1000 fine."

Offender: "No."

Government: "Offender's Bank- Give us $1000 from Offender's account..."

Offender's Bank: "Uhh, sorry he withdrew all his money and closed the account yesterday."

Government: "Offender's employer: wait what, he doesn't have an employer! damn! Find out who pays him all year long, he has to make money somehow. Ahh, here he works with a dozen or so businesses that pay him somewhat regularly"

Governemnt: "Offender's clients -- pay us instead of him when you pay."

Offender's Clients: "Uhh, ok, but he mentioned he wouldn't be able to work with us anymore due this, so we don't expect to be paying him for anything since he's not rendering services to us anymore."

Goverment: "Nooooo! Who does this guy think he is. We'll just have to go in full swat style and raid his home and arrest him then."

Comment: Re:Oh man (Score 2) 126

by amxcoder (#47663899) Attached to: Android Motorcycle Helmet/HUD Gains Funding

Agreed, projecting on the visor like a fighter pilot helmet would be the best IMO. That way you can flip it up and it's not in your face if you want. Plus the visor is bigger and a better distance from your eyes than a google-glass-like window. You also would have more real estate for projecting information and telemetry data. And both eyes could then see it instead of just one.

I'm still waiting for this feature in cars for the windshield. Heck, my 1997 Pontiac had a cheap HUD that displays the speed and radio stations on the front window, why aren't we putting GPS nav and other information projected onto the front window by now. It's freaking 17 years later (from when my car was built) and there are STILL only a handful of cars doing this today, most common being the Corvette. Even the ones doing it today are still only putting a couple pieces of info on the window, same as my car did 17 years ago (speed, radio, and maybe what gear your in?). With tech being cheap today, I want this as an option on normal everyday cars as well (obviously as an option, so your not forced to buying it).

How cool would it be to have a HUD version of GPS of where you need to go overlaid on top of what you are seeing, or have some augmented reality street signs projected as you drive around an unfamiliar city. Add in your speed and a couple other car operating status displays, maybe a rear or side camera views to help with lane changes, and you got some useful information that you don't have to take your eyes off the road for. You could even do a night vision/FLIR front cam projection, so at night, you can see better (like Cadillac did years ago), except projected in front of you.

This would have to be way more safe to have this information transparently floating in front of you that needing to look down at a dash mounted GPS, or at your cluster, or at your radio when changing channels etc.

Something like this:

Comment: Industry Standard Codecs... (Score 1) 194

by amxcoder (#47596521) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Bulletproof Video Conferencing For Alzheimers Home?

I work in the AV industry and see a good share of VTC technology that is the de-facto current industry standard, and the main turnkey systems are Cisco/Tandberg (C40/C60/C90 series) -or- Polycom (either the HDX series or RealPresence Group Series), -or- LifeSize.

Cisco (who bought Tandberg) and Polycom have been VTC leaders in the industry for over a decade, and make some of the best VTC hardware around. They can also be expensive, but both companies have more economic lines in the VTC codec line-up as well, that offer less features at reduced pricing. The Group300/500 from Polycom works fairly well, and is geared down from the HDX line (which is their flagship line).

There is also the LifeSize hardware that is reasonable cost compared to the Polycom and Cisco solutions, and gets the job done well enough. They are dedicated hardware boxes still, but aimed at lower cost than the previous mentioned solutions.

If you need to interface with other VTC systems that aren't H.323 compatible, you can use on of several bridging services available. They cost money to subscribe to a bridging service, but they basically act as a man-in-the-middle for disparate systems to communicate together, and aid in larger multi-point calls beyond what the hardware can support natively.

For a turn-key system, I believe any of the 3 mentioned solutions can be had in a stand-alone cart-based system, where the cart houses 1 or 2 LCD monitors, a single camera, the codec, and any other necessary hardware, and can be rolled around to different locations as needed. All the solutions mentioned are HD quality, support SIP/h.323 and some of the higher end ones can also use T1 and ISDN if needed (optional card required).

These dedicated codecs can also be controlled with either the provided IR remote control for establishing calls and such, or through a web interface. The Cisco C-series can also be had with a Cisco touch panel for user interfacing with all the UI controls located on a easy to use touch panel interface. Most of these systems can also interface with Exchange or other contact management solutions if needed.

Comment: Re:I must be the outlier (Score 2) 234

by amxcoder (#47568159) Attached to: Comcast Confessions

Who the heck takes the equipment back to them when cancelling?!! I'm not wasting my time with that. Did I have to go pick it up at the office when I signed up for the service? If the answer is no, then you can bet I'm not driving it back and standing in line either.

If they want their equipment back, they can either send me a pre-paid box to load it into and ship back them, or send a technician out to pick it up off my porch.

When I cancelled DirecTV, this is how they got their receiver back, they shipped a prepaid box for the receiver to me when I cancelled over the phone. I got the box from them, and put my receiver in it, and dropped it off (without waiting in line) at the nearest UPS store. If I didn't want to drop it off at the UPS store, I could have called UPS for a pickup at my house.

that's how it should work.

Comment: Re:Terrorist is an impossible label (Score 4, Interesting) 242

by amxcoder (#47519951) Attached to: The Secret Government Rulebook For Labeling You a Terrorist

I've read many articles already that suggests that there is a purge that is happening within the ranks of the military already. Over 200 top brass have been forced out over the past 5 years for various reasons.

Combine that with the rumored questionnaire that surfaced at "29 Palms" training facility around 1995, and has made a comback in headlines, of the military personnel being asking questions like "would you fire on American citizens", and posing circumstances like "if guns were outlawed, and civilians were ordered to turn them in, would you aid in forceful confiscation of [aka shooting at] those who refused to voluntarily turn them in?"

I know many people pass this stuff off as 'tin foil hat' territory, but in today's political climate, with mass surveillance, government lying to us on a daily basis, half of the bill of rights being eroded down to mean nothing... I don't think it's out of the realm of plausible. I might have a 'tin foil' hat on, but if you think this is even remotely possible, then you would have to have your head in the sand.

Money can't buy happiness, but it can make you awfully comfortable while you're being miserable. -- C.B. Luce