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Comment: Re:Does it also apply to homes? (Score 1) 461

by hoeferbe (#46825291) Attached to: Supreme Court OKs Stop and Search Based On Anonymous 911 Tips
Ol Olsoc wrote:

Then I demand you produce the evidence that she wasn't. This is silly to demand that I produce evidence,

There use to be this ideal of "innocent until proven guilty". What makes you trust this woman so much? The NPR article didn't state why she was anonymous. (I assume she said she didn't want to give her name, as I believe 911 operators normally ask.) You don't find it odd that this woman -- who has supposedly been wronged by the truck driver -- wanted to remain anonymous? Why remain anonymous when she could be helping to put a drunk or dangerous driver behind bars?

Perhaps he didn't run her off, but now you have to produce some sort of sane argumemnt that a stoned guy was randomly selected by a lying woman just to screw with him.

The article didn't state the truck driver was stoned. How do you know that?

Why do you assume this was random? It could have been an ex-girlfriend wanting to screw over the guy. It could have been a woman from another drug gang wanting to mess with this guy's business. It could have been a female Federal agent wanting to create a parallel construction of evidence.

You do know that making a false report on 911 is a crime, don't you?

Why does that matter to crazy ex-girlfriends, female drug gang members and corrupt female Federal agents (or the other examples one could come up with)?

The story isn't about where they went, and isn't even relevant to the thrust of the story, which is if people are allowed to call 911 to report crime. The perp's layer is arguing that since the tip came from an anonymous source, it was invalid.

Of course people are allowed to call 911 to report a crime, but one needs to make sure that reporting is not abused by either the callers or law enforcement. (I.e. the "parallel construction of evidence" mentioned above.) And one needs to make sure constitutional rights (the right to face one's accuser, for one) are protected.

An anonymous call, by itself, warrants just the smallest of investigations -- in this case, the law enforcement official followed the vehicle and did not see any evidence of wrong doing. That should have been the end of it. The woman apparently did not want to press charges or even testify since it is assumed she refused to give her name.

The original poster was pointing out the very relevant fact that there was no other evidence to support the allegation that this man ran this woman off the road: no erratic driving, no witness that can be cross-examined, no highway reports of damage where the car was forced off the road, etc. the police would have been totally justified in stopping this man if they did witness erratic driving, or the woman did give her name to be a witness or if there was some other evidence to support the allegation.

911 calls are recorded and used as evidence all the time. When reporting a crime, the 911 center does not make the person swear on a bible that they are telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. But they are still used as evidence.

I've only heard of them being used as evidence when the caller is identified, but I could be wrong on that. I suspect in this case, however, you'd need to have the caller identified since if the run-off-the-road case was taken to trial, the defendant has a right to cross-examine witnesses.

As for her continued anonymity, they could certainly retrieve that information, and use voiceprints to confirm that it was indeed her making the phone call. Did they? I dunno, you'd need the transcripts of the trial.

This may be the poor reporting by the news media, but the run-off-the-road case was not reported to have been taken to trial -- only the drug bust was. Due to the numerous violations of constitutional rights in order to support drug prohibition, I do not think it is wise giving even more nearly-unaccountable authority to those in power.

Real reasons to think there was some hanky panky going on would be if the defense had knowledge of the caller, (which would be unforgivably incompetent if they didn't attempt to access that) and she knew the perp, and had some reason why she would make a fraudulent and illegal call to 911.

It would be interesting to hear `how` anonymous the 911 caller is and whether she could have been found. It still bewilders me why she wanted to remain anonymous. Afraid of retribution? Didn't want to be hassled with appearing in court as a witness? I don't know. But with nothing but an anonymous complaint, I think the police initially took the appropriate action (finding the alleged truck and observing it). However, lacking a witness and upon not finding any other evidence, I do think they overstepped what was appropriate for the situation. This precedent gives yet another tool with such a great potential for abuse.

Comment: Re:This makes perfect sense (Score 1) 273

by hoeferbe (#46577371) Attached to: IRS: Bitcoin Is Property, Not Currency
ClickOnThis wrote:

In effect, the IRS is treating Bitcoin like any other "foreign" currency, which amounts to the same thing as treating it as property.

I don't believe that is right. From my understanding of the 2 possible ways of treating Bitcoin, it can either be treated like a commodity (property) and taxed at capital gain rates or it could be treated like a currency with gains taxed at the normal rates -- but with a $200 gain per incident exemption. Please see the "Characterization of Income from Bitcoin Sales" section of Tyler S. Robbins' primer on Bitcoin taxation in the U.S.

Today, the IRS has said they are treating it like the former and not the latter. Either way would make it inconvenient for those wanting to follow the rules, but if they had treated it like a foreign currency at least the $200 gain exemption would have taken the burden of keeping records off of many purchases.

+ - Ask Slashdot: Can some of us get together and rebuild this community? 21

Submitted by wbr1
wbr1 (2538558) writes "It seems abundantly clear now that Dice and the SlashBeta designers do not care one whit about the community here. They do not care about rolling in crapware into sourceforge installers. In short, the only thing that talks to them is money and stupid ideas.

Granted, it takes cash to run sites like these, but they were fine before. The question is, do some of you here want to band together, get whatever is available of slashcode and rebuild this community somewhere else? We can try to make it as it once was, a haven of geeky knowledge and frosty piss, delivered free of charge in a clean community moderated format."

Comment: Re:CREDO is a left-leaning carrier (Score 1) 48

by hoeferbe (#45933743) Attached to: Credo Mobile Releases Industry's First Transparency Report
damn_registrars wrote:

Which is exactly why many slashdot conservatives - many of whom are fascists under the guise of "ron paul libertarians" - would be against this company releasing this information.

I'm sorry, but what?! I have never met someone claiming to be a Ron Paul Libertarian (of whom I've seen many comments here on Slashdot from) express opinions that promote the military-industrial complex, the keeping of secrets of government action by force or the trampling of individual rights. Conservative fascists hiding themselves as Ron Paul Libertarians would be like Neo-Nazi skinheads hiding amongst members of the Jewish Anti-Defamation League.

With that said, I have seen people who blindly oppose whatever the `other team` is doing or blindly supporting what `their team` is doing without respect to principles -- but I've mostly seen that in the real world in partisan venues. (Fox, MSNBC, etc.) I don't see it here on Slashdot, as much.

Comment: Re:All your tax avoidance schemes are done (Score 1) 293

mybecq wrote:

And by using affiliates as a sales force, a "significant business nexus" is established in the purchaser's State. Hence, they have to collect sales tax for the purchaser's State, because they pay a sales force there.

I admit I do not authoritatively know how Amazon's affiliate program works. I read TFA and have listened to some pod casts that want listeners to make Amazon purchases through their link. I'm not sure how accurate it is to describe or catagorize Amazon affiliates as a sales force.

I have trouble seeing how the commission an affiliate receives is that significantly different than paying for an outright ad. For example, if a mail-order company took out an ad in The New York Times but listed an order-taking phone number that was specific & unique to that TNYT ad, and the mail-order company made a deal with TNYT to pay them a little extra every time an order is placed using that phone number... I am now to believe that creates a "substantial nexus" of the mail-order company in New York state?

What it would come down to, for me, is how Amazon pays their affiliates. If Amazon was paying them as employees, then that would justify claiming they are Amazon's sales force. (I think it is a fair assumption that Amazon is not doing that.) If Amazon is paying them proportionately on the click-through purchases, then I don't see how it can be treated anything other than an ad contract.

If that is the case, then there is nothing to stop New York state from expanding their law to demand any out-of-state advertiser in a New York publication, TV, radio station or website start collecting sales tax for anything sold to a New York resident.

Comment: Re:Treason.. or... (Score 1) 524

by hoeferbe (#44836733) Attached to: Yahoo CEO Says It Would Be Treason To Decline To Cooperate With the NSA

Since these warrants tend to be used for national security investigations, such as into spying and terrorism, how to you think that telling people they are being investigated isn't a bad thing?

I think the story mixes FISA warrants and Patriot Act National Security Letters (NSLs). I don't know about FISA warrants, but I've read that recipients of NSLs are forbidden from saying anything to anyone about having received them. I would not be surprised to learn the Federal government claims the same authority for FISA warrants.

Recipients of these NSLs and FISA warrants are not complaining because they cannot tell the subject of the investigation. They are complaining about the gag order -- even to the extent that they cannot publish statistics on how many government requests they've received.

Comment: Re:Finally, a solution to abortion politics (Score 1) 367

by hoeferbe (#41985447) Attached to: Artificial Wombs In the Near Future?
Anonymous Coward wrote:

The Catholic Church forbids all messing with creation of life. IVF is forbidden. Certainly artificial wombs would be considered an abomination.

I completely agree with your belief that the Catholic Church would find it morally unacceptable to artificially conceive a child and place it in an artificial womb. However, I think they would find it morally acceptable to transplant a child from the womb to an artificial one if the mother could not, for medical reasons, carry the child to term or if there was a problem with the child that made it easier to treat the child if he/she was in an artificial womb.

But, like you wrote, transplanting an already-implanted embryo is beyond our current capabilities. Who knows what we will be capable of in the future.

Comment: Re:Don't question authority. (Score 1) 652

by hoeferbe (#41779129) Attached to: Mother Found Guilty After Protesting TSA Pat-down of Daughter
Nyder wrote:

it seems to me there was a point, when she could of just walked away, and instead she came back to argue, bitch, or whatever.

But there was a point there when she could of just left, like they were letting her do, and she didn't.

It is my understanding (sorry, I don't have the time to find a reference right now) that once a person enters the security-checking area one cannot leave without being checked. This is supposedly to stop terrorist test runs. "Oh, they're using that scanning machine today; that will catch me. I better come back and try again tomorrow."

Comment: Re:The Light of Other Days (Score 1) 320

by hoeferbe (#39439349) Attached to: New Samsung TV Watches You Watching It
Paul Fernhout (109597) wrote:

And one about a similar time viewer (I forget the name).

Perhaps you are thinking of The Dead Past by Isaac Asimov. That story features a researcher-for-hire's attempt to build a chronoscope in a society where all academic research is highly regulated and research into time-viewing is very restricted. It has a thought-provoking ending.

Comment: Re:Immoral Dilemma (Score 1) 348

by hoeferbe (#37449462) Attached to: PETA To Launch Pornography Website
Killjoy_NL wrote:

I don't think that there is anything wrong with playing in a porno or even in a theatre production.
I would not watch the porn with them in it though.

I truly find your comment interesting. Please do not think my comment is some moral critique; I really am just curious about why you feel that way and how it lines up (or doesn't) with my thoughts on the topic.

Why wouldn't you watch the porn film with your mother, wife or daughter acting in it? Is it just because you wouldn't be as stimulated by seeing (for example) your mother as you would a stranger? (I.e. the `ick` factor?) This is a serious question: what if your mother was a really good actress? I.e. if she wore a wig and make-up that didn't make it obvious she was your mother -- or maybe the pornography just didn't show her face that much -- would you feel more comfortable watching her perform?

Although I do not support legislation to outlaw pornography, the knowledge that the women in it are somebody's mother, daughter, sister or, sometimes even, wife causes me to pause and think: "is it moral for me to treat this woman differently than I'd want my mother, daughter, sister or wife treated? If so, why?" Why would I be willing to patronize those women I know & love in any other line of work but not this one?

I've come to realize it isn't just the `ick` factor; I believe there is something de-humanizing about acting in pornography. I think the viewer does not appreciate the actress for the whole human she is, but instead reduces her to a status or respect level something below what one would want for the other women in his life.

Just curious what your thoughts are.

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