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Comment Warrant not required to seize phone. (Score 4, Informative) 509

The summary isn't quite right. A warrant would not be required to seize your phone or other recording device if the officer has probable cause to believe it contains evidence of a crime (and exigent circumstances exist, which they probably do). Then he can try to get a warrant to get that evidence off your device. An example would be they roll up on a crime scene and you were recording before they got there, or, maybe you got video of the suspect assaulting the police. They wouldn't need a warrant to seize it at that point, because exigent circumstances (you could leave, the evidence could easily be destroyed if they don't secure the phone) would justify seizure without a warrant. However they could not legally search it without a warrant. (Typically in a case where a bystander has video of the crime they'll be cooperative and send the video to the police if possible, or give consent to them to get it off their device).

The smarter police aren't going to go around taking phones. If they believe you have evidence on your phone they'd probably like to talk to you about what you saw anyway and ripping your phone out of your hands isn't going to help that. But just be aware that they can most likely legally seize your phone without a warrant, if they have probable cause it has evidence of a crime, and if seizing your phone is the only way to preserve that evidence from being destroyed or lost (you could delete the video or walk away before a warrant could be obtained).

Comment Re: America! Fuck yeah! (Score 2) 271

In most jurisdictions felony murder is actually a lesser form of murder.

Generally a felony is a series crime, a misdemeanor is a petty crime. Misdemeanors usually carry a maximum punishment of less than one year, felonies have much higher punishment.

As far as what crimes are classified as what is up to the legislature, obviously, but the legal distinction is more significant than just a label. One of the biggest distinctions being that felonies require a grand jury indictment (in states that have grand juries), or a probable cause hearing in non grand jury states.

Also it's not like the U.S. invented the distinction, we inherited it from England.

Comment Infrastructure in the open (Score 1) 117

Sure, securing the technology side of things is essential but delivering power to people requires most of your infrastructure to be left out in the open... much of it in remote areas and unattended. Quadruple factor authentication, 200 character passwords, and air gaps don't really matter when some guy with a .22 can bring your system down.

Comment Re:Protecting the Weak from the Strong (Score 1) 224

Where do people get the idea that the 2nd Amendment has anything to do with protecting us from a tyrannical government?

The Constitution give us the means of changing government peacefully. If you don't like the government we've elected, you don't get the right to start a shooting war. That's called treason.

If government breaks down to the point where the Constitution becomes invalid, why do we care what the 2nd Amendment of it is?

Also, "the State" is us. We are the government. I know we lose sight of that from time to time but we still elect people to govern on our behalf.

I tend to view the 2nd Amendment as the choice between a standing army or an armed populace. Now we have both. Joy.

Comment Re:Professors poor in geography (Score 1) 688

I once watched a show on the National Geographic channel where they asked a question before a commercial break and would then answer it when they came back. A little cliff hanger, I guess.

This one was "Scientists believe the meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs landed on which continent?"

They came back with the answer "Central America, right next to the Yucatan Pensinsula". Which is a pretty epic failure for the National GEOGRAPHIC channel to find something that's not really a continent, and even if it was, it still wouldn't have been right since Mexico is pretty firmly in North America anyway.

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