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Comment My judge throws these out automatically (Score 4, Informative) 254

If an officer testifying in my jurisdiction's traffic court can't say when they were trained in radar, when their radar was calibrated, and what model of radar they use, the citation is automatically dismissed. I have certifications for all three of those that I present in evidence immediately after giving general testimony. The smart phone is completely irrelevant to this case.

Essentially, lacking the predicate to introduce the radar into evidence, the officer was saying "he was speeding because I said so, and therefore I wrote him a ticket." Of course the judge threw it out.

Comment The actual letter is fairly reasonable (Score 2) 203

While it sounds funny, when I actually read it my thought was "he seems like a reasonable man."

He saw something happening, used his past observations to predict a likely outcome if no action was taken, realized this outcome would be dangerous to the people he was sworn to protect, and then asked people who are smarter than he is what he should do to prevent or reduce the bad outcome.

He gave them some ideas that he had come up with and asked if they were worth investigating. While they may have been silly ideas, at least he had the common sense to ask smarter people for help figuring out what to do instead of just pursuing whatever boneheaded idea he came up with. Does anyone remember the recent "possums released into NYC to deal with rats" story?

I think we could use more public officials like this guy.

Comment Excellent idea (Score 2, Interesting) 70

Observation is a learned skill, and anything that makes police better observers is great in my book.
I train my fellow officers in some simple observation exercises. My favorite takes place during meal breaks.

When sitting down at a restaurant, I instruct them to maintain eye contact with me, but describe every article of clothing the person at the table next to us is wearing. By forcing them to use their peripheral vision to gather details, they slowly learn to better use their unfocused vision and not get easily distracted. It's also a lot of fun.

For the less-than-willing male officers, I tell them it means they can check out women without actually looking at them...

Comment If it's actually tasteful, I wouldn't mind so much (Score 4, Interesting) 219

I wouldn't mind a tasteful, text-only add in its own table that doesn't interrupt the flow of the text I'm reading. I would mind full-image or full-page ads.

I suggest doing it the way authors like Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams used footnotes. Put an asterisk, add a footnote advertisement, and make it funny and in context with the text. Then I might actually buy whatever crap they're hawking.

Comment Re:Gamestop -- pushing used games over new (Score 1) 664

Gamestop's prices when buying used games aren't that great. Personally, I go to Gamestop because my local Gamestop gave me some of the best customer service ever a few years back. I know the staff personally and am glad to give them my business.

I don't care much for the corporation, but the local guys are A-OK in my book.

Comment What I want to know (Score 1) 520

What I want to know is why CMI has been allowed to be in contempt of court for so long. There have been past court orders demanding the source code, which they have ignored without consequences. They should have been raided by Federal agents with search warrants empowering them to execute the earlier court orders.

Comment Overdue ruling of common sense (Score 4, Interesting) 270

I work in the State of Florida as a police officer, and I arrest and charge people with DUI on a regular basis.

In my opinion, this ruling was exactly on the money, and far too long in coming. If a company refuses to disclose evidence, the State should immediately stop using their product to obtain evidence.

As a certified expert witness, I am able to testify to the impairment of a subject without the need of a breath analysis to verify. About 20-30% of the cases I testify in have no breath results because the defendant refuses to provide a breath sample. We only forcefully obtain samples (of blood, not breath) when a traffic homicide is involved.

If the evidence is faulty, I *need* to know. I can only uphold my oath of office if I can testify in good faith that I am using proper methods of obtaining evidence. If this company is witholding vital information, they should not be allowed to sell their product to law enforcement.

Comment Pre-emptive Godwin (Score 5, Interesting) 250

So I was browsing Wikipedia and came across the following definition for "fascism":

Fascism may be defined as a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, or victim-hood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy, and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion.

Hm. Committed nationalist militants working in collaboration with "traditional elites", such as large telcos.


Submission + - Is Microsoft getting paid for patents in Linux?

kripkenstein writes: "In an interview, Jeremy Allison (of the Samba project) implies that Microsoft is secretly getting paid for patent licenses on Linux-related products:

[Interviewer:] One of the persistent rumors that's going around is that certain large IT customers have already been paying Microsoft for patent licensing to cover their use of Linux, Samba and other free software projects.[...]

Allison: Yes, that's true, actually. I mean I have had people come up to me and essentially off the record admit that they had been threatened by Microsoft and had got patent cross license and had essentially taken out a license for Microsoft patents on the free software that they were using [...] But they're not telling anyone about it. They're completely doing it off the record.
If true, is this slowing down Linux adoption? Or are these just rumors — which may accomplish much the same effect?"

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