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User Journal

Journal Journal: Foes, Romans, Countrymen

Someone once asked me why I foe'd them. That was strangely cute/charming.
Unfortunately, I had no idea. Stupidly /. doesn't let you rank your foes, and what's more, doesn't let you keep notes about why you foe'd that person in the first place ("This one's a raging racist/sexist/what-have-you, this one's OK but keeps posting 'jokes' that bore me to tears, this one means well but tends to get his facts wrong, ..."). So, it might be all or any of the above.


Doom-Like Video Surveillance For Ports In Development 56

oranghutan writes "A research and development group down under is working to develop an advanced video surveillance system for ports around the world that uses video superimposed onto a 3D map. With 16-megapixel high-definition cameras on a distributed (cabled) network and a proprietary system written in a variety of languages (C++, Python, SQL, etc.), the group from NICTA is aiming to allow security teams at the Port of Brisbane — which is 110km long — to monitor shipping movements, cargo and people. By scrolling along a 3D map, the security teams can click on a location and then get a real-time video feed superimposed onto the map. Authorities from around the world with the right permissions can then access the same system. The main difference from regular surveillance systems is the ability to switch views without having to know camera numbers/locations and the one screen view."

Aion Open Beta Starts September 6th 147

NCSoft announced today that the open beta for upcoming fantasy MMO Aion will begin on September 6th, extending through to the 13th. The client is available now. The game launches on September 22nd in the US, with a two-day head-start given to players who pre-order. NCSoft has also said they'll be showing off Aion in more detail at the Penny Arcade Expo, expanding on the information they provided at Gamescom (video).

Comment Re:Oh my! Cameron is going to change the world aga (Score 1) 278

Sure, Kate's not perfect by common beauty standards. And yes, I appreciated that in a weird way, for variety alone. But let's be fair here, Leo's not all that either. So it was a movie with two (visually) non-perfect people. (Which was kinda nice.) Speaking for myself, it wasn't "Even you can get Leo." If there was an "even you" in there at all, it was, "Even girls like you could get that deep, amazing love."

Comment Re:Couldn't care less... (Score 1) 620

Well, I don't really see why it shouldn't be legal to snap a picture of something you're already able to see. There might be reasonable limitations on what you can do with the picture (and who you can show it to), but taking it shouldn't be a privacy issue.

I see how that point can be argued. Furthermore, I do not pretend to be privy to the exact reasoning that led to these laws being enacted. That said, I find it hard to come up with a legitimate case here. First of all, I'd think the general assumption is that in the vast majority of cases, the point of pictures is to show them to somebody else. In cases like, "I'm going to Iceland for two years, I'd like to take a picture of my family", it seems unlikely that said family would not give consent (and if they don't, why would your need outweigh theirs?). Likewise, if there's a random person in the street and you feel you absolutely want to take their picture, how hard is it to walk up to them and ask them for permission? That's the courteous thing anyway, so I presume you're already doing that, so you wouldn't actually be losing anything through such a law? The only reasonable exception I could see here is the Rodney King Defense, that is, I can see how an exception for documenting a crime might be sensible.

That said, with pretty much everybody having a camera (in the form of a cell phone) on them all the time these days, it will be interesting to see how these laws hold up. But then, that also applies to the locker room, I guess.

Comment Re:Couldn't care less... (Score 1) 620

That is pretty silly, because invariably the "dignity of others" is used to suppress speech.

Sure, but you know? Nevermind speech.

If someone doesn't have enough of a point for them to make it without name-calling, then I have no problem at all with that speech being suppressed. Why would I? "ZOMG but it's speech!!" isn't an argument in itself, even if it seems to be treated like an axiom in the US?

No, seriously. The only difference between your speech and ours seems to be a perceived "right to be rude" - and it's not like your speech weren't limited by libel, slander, community standards, "fire in the theatre" etc. already anyway, so it's hardly absolute even in the US. So, we do political discourse here, minus a few of the insults. The US? 8 years of Dubya. News that aren't. One and a half parties, conservative and very conservative. Not offense intended, but from abroad it's hard not to think, "Yeah, fat lot of good all that "speech" did you.

Comment Re:Couldn't care less... (Score 1) 620

It's very simple. If I'm in public and you take a picture of me in some embarrassing pose, that's your right

Sure, but my point is that that is an arbitrary convention -- in some countries it's legal, in others it's not. In other words, you are referring to what is a legal right in some countries, not a moral right in any or all countries. In fact, the suggestion that I should have to "take steps to protect my privacy" rather than that privacy being (legally and morally) protected by default puzzles me. But hey, I'm from one of those silly European countries where "dignity" is ranked higher than "speech."

I guess that makes my point a) that you can be within your legal rights, and still be acting like an ass and b) that the law isn't always consistent (referring to my OP here, "consistent across like circumstances"; of course it doesn't necessarily have to be consistent across countries), and I find it entirely fair game to criticize that.

Thanks for the mostly civil answer though!

Comment Re:Reminds me of something Herman Goering said onc (Score 1) 580

All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.

That's just the thing, though. Nowadays if German A accuses German B of a lack of patriotism, B will most likely consider A a nazi or a nitwit. It's become pretty much a dirty word.

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