The Economist: Paramilitary police - Cops or soldiers?
“Peter Kraska, a professor at Eastern Kentucky University’s School of Justice Studies, estimates that SWAT teams were deployed about 3,000 times in 1980 but are now used around 50,000 times a year. Some cities use them for routine patrols in high-crime areas. Baltimore and Dallas have used them to break up poker games. In 2010 New Haven, Connecticut sent a SWAT team to a bar suspected of serving under-age drinkers.” I think we’d all prefer the neighborhood ‘flatfoot’.
Mashable: A Yellowstone Tourist Crashed a Drone Into One of the World’s Largest Springs.
#^@#%$@$$ The hot springs in Yellowstone rely on very fragile geologic phenomena. It could just calcify over and become part of the spring, or, if heavy enough, could sink and destroy or plug ‘plumbing.’ Trying to fish it out of superheated water, surrounded by fragile calcification, is a major operation. The Yellowstone park service should put up signs with an IM/phone number to report drone sightings immediately.
Photoshelter Blog: Macaque Selfies and Your Copyright.
“An artist who steals paints and a canvas is still the copyright owner of the landscape she paints.* Banksy has a copyright in his graffiti.” [*I added a “t” to pains, to make it read properly.]
OddityMall: Pepper Spray That Takes A Picture And Alerts The Police.
Later: The above is where I found it. Here’s the direct link.
Independent.UK: John Myatt - The artist and convicted forger on life and art in and out of prison.
“The art industry has been nodding through paintings with extremely dubious histories.” As I’ve suspected. Way too many ‘miracle’ discoveries lately.
MeFi: DIY Law School - Learn the Law Without Law School.
ProPublica: Report Criticizes EPA Oversight of Injection Wells.
“ProPublica’s investigation found that the EPA did not know exactly how many wells existed in the United States or what volume of waste was being injected into them, and that it did not possess complete records required to be collected under the Safe Drinking Water Act.” My unastonished italics.
Fire Engineering: Drone Causes Problems at California Wildfire.
Seattle.gov: Space Needle Still Standing After Reported Drone Strike.
Another dope. Good luck to the President’s EO; the FAA is the proper venue, no matter what others say. If that thing had broken its props against the Needle, it could have killed or seriously injured someone on the way down. In a “Me, Myself and I” culture, this can’t end well without regulations.
ReadWrite: President Obama To Kick Off Drone Privacy Guidelines.
Hmmm. Seems like evidence of some pretty heavy-handed business interests smelling profits. Pulling responsibilities away from the FAA? Yeow.
Aeon: How we can get bystanders to help victims of crime.
Oh, poo. Most people are a) afraid of the perpetrator or b) afraid of litigation. Few understand ‘good samaritan’ laws - and to be honest, because they vary so much, many still hesitate even knowing what’s allowed.
Mashable: Officials Search for 3 Days; Drone Finds Missing Man After 20 Minutes.
Match point, FAA. What are you going to do about the very positive aspects of quadcopter/drones?
Vox: Why a federal court just ruled Obamacare subsidies are illegal in 36 states.
“The suit alleges that subsidies should only be available in states that set up their own insurance exchanges, based on the text of the Affordable Care Act. The government can still appeal, but if it ultimately loses the case at the Supreme Court, it’s possible that federal subsidies will no longer be available to help make insurance affordable in over thirty states.” And everything hinges on a single word. Who says proper English isn’t important?
TechDirt: FAA Investigates Congressman’s Use Of Drone To Help Videotape His Wedding.
“That brings us to today, where we get to read news about the FAA investigating the use of a drone to take sky-recordings of the wedding of a US Congressman who sits on the subcommittee that oversees the FAA.” Oh, this one’s worth watching, just for the entertainment value alone.
Mischiefs of Faction: Impeachable offenses are in the eyes of the beholders (part 1).
The question is, impeachable for what, exactly? Listed under “Psychology” for psychoceramic reasons.
BBC: French blogger fined over review’s Google search placing.
“A French judge has ruled against a blogger because her scathing restaurant review was too prominent in Google search results. The judge ordered that the post’s title be amended and told the blogger Caroline Doudet to pay damages.” Of note to bloggers. One of the hallmarks of (old school) blogging was matter-of-factness. The letter of the law may not appreciate unblemished opinion. This is France, of course; however, jurisprudence tends to stay aware of cross-border judgments.
Reason.com: Mom Jailed Because She Let Her 9-Year-Old Daughter Play in the Park Unsupervised.
Pffft. I walked by myself to kindergarten. Today, state-enforced helicopter parenting? Man, I’m so glad I grew up when I did.
Time: Bloggers, Surveillance and Obama’s Orwellian State.
“In some ways, bloggers use the same practices of 19th Century pamphleteers, where anybody with a hand-crank could stand on a corner and shout to a group of people.” I’ve repeated this metaphor countless times now … I should have trademarked it a decade ago.
Flytenow Blog: The Legality of Ride Sharing in Aviation.
Of general interest: “While we cannot speak to the practices of other companies, we would like to update you regarding our efforts on getting explicit FAA approval and provide our analysis of the law. After comprehensive research, we continue to believe that Flytenow is well within the FAR’s (Federal Aviation Regulations).” The concept of catching a ride somewhere in a private aircraft appeals to me.
Metafilter: Tsilhquot’in victory in the Supreme Court.
“The recognition of aboriginal title rings in a new era, after years of frustration over treaty negotiations …” So, we’re returning the Black Hills when?
The Atlantic: Corporations, Still Not People.
Ars Technica: IRS policy that targeted Tea Party groups also aimed at open source projects.
Worth watching. “You have a substantial nonexempt purpose because you develop software published under open source compatible licenses that authorize use by any person for any purpose, including nonexempt purposes such as commercial, recreational, or personal purposes.”
Las Cruces Sun-News: New Mexico bans text messaging by all drivers.
“A statewide ban on texting while driving takes effect Tuesday in New Mexico. Under the new law, drivers are prohibited from sending or reading text message and emails — even while at a stop light or temporarily stuck in a traffic jam. Motorists also will be banned from searching the Internet on smartphones or other hand-held wireless devices. However, the law does allow a driver to pull over to the side of the road to send or receive a text message.” Good. This habit has become a scourge.
NY Times: A Grieving Father Pulls a Thread That Unravels BNP’s Illegal Deals.
Guardian.UK: Facebook emotion study breached ethical guidelines, researchers say.