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Comment: Re:Government Dictionary (Score 2) 227

by jratcliffe (#48195381) Attached to: Facebook To DEA: Stop Using Phony Profiles To Nab Criminals

In order for entrapment by estoppel to take place, then the entrapee needs to know that the person is a government agent, and be told that the conduct won't be prosecuted. As an example, if you're at a red light, and a traffic cop waves you forward through the intersection, and you proceed, only to be ticketed for running a red light, that's entrapment by estoppel (i.e. you were instructed by a law enforcement officer, who you knew to be one, to break the law, and then prosecuted anyway). That's a subset of entrapment, however.

Entrapment can still occur even if the "entrapee" doesn't know/believe that the person doing the entrapping is a government agent. Look at Jacobson v. US. The Supreme Court overturned a man's conviction for receiving child porn, as the evidence indicated that he wouldn't have ordered the material, had it not been for repeated efforts by undercover agents to get him to do so. The key element here is predisposition to commit the crime - if a person wouldn't have been inclined to do something, absent the agents' efforts, it constitutes entrapment. There's no requirement for an entrapment defense that the person know that the persons pressuring him are gov't agents. Quite the contrary.

Comment: Re:Goal Should Be Zero Revenue (Score 1) 387

by jratcliffe (#48195207) Attached to: Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected

I do think the goal should be zero revenue, since if everybody's following the speed limit and not running red lights, then there's no revenue (i.e. the deterrence has been successful).

I agree on the "different pot." At the very least, the companies that provide the cameras shouldn't be compensated on a revenue share arrangement - it creates all the wrong incentives. I can see why cities go for it ("We get the cameras, but don't have to pay for them out of pocket? Great!"), but that's no excuse.

Comment: Goal Should Be Zero Revenue (Score 4, Insightful) 387

by jratcliffe (#48195071) Attached to: Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected

I'm a big fan of both red light and speed cameras, so long as it's clear that the goal, and the only goal, is to improve traffic safety by getting people to abide by speed limits* and obey traffic lights. The ideal scenario would be one in which the cameras generated zero revenue at all, because everybody was following the law.

*I'll be the first to say that speed limits on highways are too low, I'm talking about areas where cars have to share the road with pedestrians and bicyclists.

Comment: Largest in service, not largest ever built (Score 3, Informative) 272

by jratcliffe (#48185461) Attached to: The Largest Ship In the World Is Being Built In Korea

The Maersk E class is the largest currently in service, and the largest container ships ever built, but they're definitely not the largest ships ever built. On either length, or gross tonnage, there have been a number of tankers which are quite a bit bigger, although none are still in service.

Comment: Re:(some) cars are gadgets now (Score 1) 157

1. Their autopilot does look great, but it's quite a way from actually self-driving. Personally, I'd be worried about getting one of those systems - get used to it, and the next time I travel and rent a car, I'd then proceed to rear-end somebody on the highway! Certainly not Telsa's fault, not sure if I trust myself enough. :)

2. Got it, reread your post, and realize what you meant. At least as much my misreading as your misphrasing.

Comment: Re:(some) cars are gadgets now (Score 2, Informative) 157

1. Any car can be self-driving. SUCCESSFULLY self-driving is something entirely different. Does the Telsa have the full suite of sensors (including LIDAR) that the Google self-driving vehicles have?

2. The new "autopilot" feature will NOT be available on the existing base - it's just for cars being built now and in the future:

"Every single Model S now rolling out of the factory includes a forward radar, 12 long range ultrasonic sensors positioned to sense 16 feet around the car in every direction at all speeds, a forward looking camera, and a high precision, digitally controlled electric assist braking system."

We want to create puppets that pull their own strings. - Ann Marion