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Comment: Re:Please, no. (Score 5, Insightful) 148

by meta-monkey (#49753225) Attached to: The Body Cam Hacker Who Schooled the Police

Now it won't just be arrests, though, but any interaction with police.

We just see the way this goes. Some tiny little thing gets taken out of context and posted online and people go fucking rabid, for and against.

There was a story a few weeks ago from Australia (just as easily anywhere in the US, though) about a guy who was "creep shamed" as a pedo when he was really just taking a selfie with Darth Vader as a joke to send to his kids. tl;dr mom sees guy take pic near her kids, flips, takes pic of him, posts online, 20k + views, death threats, cops, psychological trauma, etc etc.

And then of course there was a backlash against her (I'm not sure if her identity was revealed) with all the anti-moral panickers having a moral panic about moral panics. As terrible a mistake as she made, she doesn't deserve death threats either. If you think she does, congratulations on being part of the problem.

I just wonder how good the redaction can be that you can't match somebody up. It's not to hard to imagine the same kind of scenario playing out. Guy's at the park with his kids, kids are out of sight, cop asks the guy what he's doing here "Oh I'm here for the kids." "Hmmm...all right then..." Internet Super Hero catches sight of this, snaps a pic, finds the footage on the police website later "EVERYBODY WATCH OUT FOR THIS PEDO HE 'GOES TO THE PARK FOR THE KIDS!!!!'" Face is blurred and speech is altered, but it's clearly the same guy. Time/place/clothing.

Then of course there's all the other interactions with police where they're not talking to a suspect. What about interviewing victims? If somebody calls the cops on an abusive spouse do they now have to worry that their dirty laundry is going to be on the internet for everybody to see? How hard will it be to match up victims based on...who knows...addresses, landscape features, google street view data.

Same with the mentally ill. Bipolar family member having a manic episode and slipping into psychosis and you need help to get them to the hospital? Gotta think twice about making that call now. And yes, yes, I know there have been a few instances of cops hurting or killing a mentally ill person when their family called for help, but it's very rare compared to the number of times they're the only way to get a suicidal or psychotic person to the hospital for treatment. But now you're adding definite privacy concerns to rare brutality concerns.

Even if they can't identify you, you know some asshole is going to turn this into a game. "Post the funniest/most fucked up police footage." When I was younger and stupider I played a game with people on a forum once where you went to the sexual predator watchdog website where you could put in an address and it would show you the registered sex offenders on a map and you'd find the creepiest looking mugshots/conviction list near you and try to outdo the other people playing the game. I feel pretty ashamed of that now. But, well, it's going to happen.

I'm all for body cams, but man, I just think there's got to be a better way to oversee the program to protect people who have interactions with police than publishing the videos for everybody to see. Some kind of civilian oversight board that approves requests. 99/100, a time you're interacting with police is not a good day in your life. You're either a victim or a suspect, and you don't deserve to have one of the worst days of you life broadcast, particularly in these hyper-sensitive days of internet mob moral justice.

Comment: Re:Unless it was part of a contract..... (Score 1) 371

The only issue is whether 1) the subjects of the photographs had a reasonable expectation of privacy and 2) whether their likeness were used for commercial purposes.

Clearly 1) does not apply. There is no reasonable expectation of privacy when playing a sporting event in front of hundreds or thousands of people.

The vagaries of 2) depend on the individual case and the state. From reading the article (I know, I know) I didn't see anything that indicated he was using their images for commercial purposes.

Next you have different definitions of "commercial purposes." For instance, if he were selling these players' images as stock photos (and the individual was identifiable), that would be right out. You can't take somebody's picture and slap it on a product as if they endorse it or something without their permission.

Taking the pictures to sell to the players and parents themselves (which again, I don't think he was doing) is a little murkier, but still usually fine.

Some states have privacy laws that require a written model release between the photographer and the subject. Others are fine with verbal consent or "implied consent." For instance, a wedding photographer contracted by a bride and groom takes pictures of the people dancing and then hosts them on his website for friends and family of the bride and groom to purchase prints of. There's implied consent there. You're at the wedding, in public, there's a person there with a giant camera, pointing it at you, snapping the picture, you know this is what they do. You will have a hard time arguing this was done invasively or without your knowledge and consent. And if you do see something on the photographer's website you don't like or find unflattering, no problem, contact them and ask them to remove it and you've got about a 100% chance they'll apologize profusely and take it down. A random picture of a guest is not going to make or break their after sales and a refusal will bring down the wrath of the bride and groom (as you have wronged their friend/family member) and severely hurt your chances of getting future jobs from their circle.

Basically, there's 0.00001% chance the kid would have any real legal problems. The pictures are DEFINITELY his. He pressed the button, he owns the copyright (without a work-for-hire agreement handing them over to somebody else, natch). That's how the law works.

The school has ZERO claim.

The players could complain, but 1) they probably want pictures of themselves looking awesome, 2) could simply ask him to remove pictures of them from the gallery, 3) for further action they would have to argue he was using the pictures commercially and then 4) show some kind of damages, otherwise a legal remedy would just be an order to remove the pictures.

Kid's fine, and we need to stop scaring people that they need to be ON GUARD 24/7 because every innocuous thing they do might set themselves up for DIRE LEGAL CONSEQUENCES.

Comment: Re:Lots of filtering I suspect (Score 1) 178

by meta-monkey (#49752527) Attached to: DNA On Pizza Crust Leads To Quadruple Murder Suspect

I always wonder when I get a bucket of wings, how many different chickens am I eating. If I've got 10 drums and 10 wings, maybe I'm only eating 5 chickens. But maybe I'm eating 20. It's like chicken genocide. I'm like Hitler to their people. I don't feel bad, though. I know, I know, it's victim blaming, but I blame the chickens for being so damn delicious.

(Oh and good work to the DC police department. Catch the son of a bitch.)

Comment: Re:Rich Family Dies, World At Peril!!! (Score 1) 178

by meta-monkey (#49752471) Attached to: DNA On Pizza Crust Leads To Quadruple Murder Suspect

I blame the problem of black poverty and the destruction of the black family on the war on drugs.

18 year old black kid gets mixed up with drugs because 18 year olds are stupid -> busted -> jail -> no college -> crappy job (record) -> loses faith in the system -> resorts to harder crime -> felon -> not there to raise his kids -> 18 year old black kid gets mixed up with drugs... and repeat.

And yes, of course, that same cycle can apply to white people, but, come on. Initial conditions in the 1970s. A far greater percentage of blacks are poor than whites. The poor person's neighborhood will be patrolled with suspicion more often than the middle and upper class neighborhoods, meaning the poor person is more likely to be caught. Undoubtedly a poor person will come out of the justice system with harsher punishments for the same crime. Combine this with the institutional racism of harsher punishments for "black" crimes than "white" crimes (like 5 years for selling crack vs 2 years for selling cocaine) and the actual racism of some police/prosecutors/judges/jurors, and apply that system over 40 years, and there you have it.

I think it will get better, as prohibition is on its way out. States are falling like dominoes to legalize or decriminalize marijuana and probably eventually other drugs. Still an uphill battle, though. I explained this reasoning to my Republican Boomer parents and they agreed with my logic, but still wanted drugs illegal because, and I shit you not, "if the black people can't sell drugs to make money, what else will they do? Rob people, that's what!" I was at a loss for words to argue with that kind of logic.

Comment: Re:Classic "do nothing" claim (Score 1) 90

by meta-monkey (#49752079) Attached to: NSA Planned To Hijack Google App Store To Hack Smartphones

As a programmer, I understand the difference between a technical problem and a political one.

Yes, we should use encryption to make it more difficult (less easy?) to spy on us, and quality software design practices, testing, code audits, etc, to make it less likely we will be the victims of data theft due to exploits. But to rely on technical solutions to protect us from government surveillance is to succumb to the same fallacy as the copyright lobby, relying on inherently flawed DRM principles and playing whack-a-mole with file sharing methods. You can never plug every leak.

I know I am not smart enough to outsmart the NSA. They have slightly more resources than I do. Slightly. They're on this 24/7. They have "legal" authority to do all sorts of things I would be thrown in a cell to rot for if I did them.

The only viable solution is a political one: change the laws to disallow the unacceptable activities of the surveillance state, with punishments for violating these rules. Until then, it's just an unwinnable arms race.

Comment: Re:North Pole (Score 1) 485

by meta-monkey (#49744173) Attached to: The Brainteaser Elon Musk Asks New SpaceX Engineers

Of course then some smart ass will point out that the North Pole is covered in ice, and so is not technically by all possible definitions the surface of the earth. Somebody else in the comments made up a solution wherein it's anywhere you have a treadmill that can rotate.

Brain teasers as interview questions annoy me. Frequently because I think the interviewer (probably not Musk) is some jackass who heard Google or Microsoft gives people brain teasers, so they got a list off the internet and think they're doing their job by seeing if the applicant can get the "right" answer, which is probably the same one the applicant himself memorized before because he read the same list off the internet because they know people do this crap now, so it's all fucking pointless. If you approach it from the "let's see how this person works out a problem" thing, maybe it's valuable, but still, fuck you.

I think the best option is to make up a technically correct solution on the spot, and hope it's something original. I was once asked something like "how many quarters does it take to reach the top of the Empire State Building?" I'm guessing the clever answer is "four" as in, "four sections each 25% of the building by some measure probably height but an asshole could also say volume or mass or some dumb shit but it would still be four so who cares." Or you could try to do a Fermi estimation with the approximate height (deciding whether to call the "top" the observation deck or the highest spire) divided by the width or diameter of a US quarter dollar.

I googled ticket prices for the cheapest elevator ride to the top deck ($52) and said 214 quarters. 208 for the ticket, and then another $1.50 for a Coke when I reached the top.

(now queue some asshole telling me a Coke at the top of the Empire State Building will cost at least $3.25...)

I fucking hate brain teasers.

Comment: Re:Republicans could... (Score 1) 607

by meta-monkey (#49743909) Attached to: The Demographic Future of America's Political Parties

Counterpoint: I tried this with my Republican parents yesterday, and they were wary of ending marijuana prohibition because, well, if you make drugs legal, black people will no longer be able to sell drugs to make money, and will therefore break into their homes and rob them.

Tough to argue with that kind of logic.

Comment: Re:In other news... (Score 4, Interesting) 219

But it's pretty trivial to follow instructions to set up a VPN. So I'm willing to bet a post made the rounds in Canadian "music sharing enthusiast" forums (also high schools, colleges) that read something like:

1) Download a bittorrent client that uses SOCKS v5 (I like Deluge).

2) Go to and pay them $6.95/month.

3) Go to Preferences in your bittorrent client and fill in the connection information from your VPN account into the SOCKS authentication fields in the "Proxy" tab.

4) Trade, uh, Linux ISO files and COMPLETELY LEGAL THINGS.

Just saying, if somebody gets a notice, they're going to go searching for a way to not get notices, and while "duh VPN" is something techy, it's not a hard script to follow.

Comment: Re:Government Intrusion (Score 1) 825

by meta-monkey (#49736985) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax

Besides, I'm sure it's just the metadata of your trips, not the actual details of the trip.

Naturally. It would be ridiculous for the government to hold on to the GPS coordinates of the device, tracking your car's location at all times.

Now, the record of keep-alive packets between the device and the cell tower it's reporting the data to, well...that's just metadata.

Never appeal to a man's "better nature." He may not have one. Invoking his self-interest gives you more leverage. -- Lazarus Long