Friday, January 06, 2012

Tab Clearing...

  1. A fascinating article on time perception, via Wouter's Blog.

  2. Flash Mob: Ready-Made Riot in a Can, via Survivalblog.

  3. Having replaced my long-serving Streamlight TwinTask 1L with a Streamlight Micro a few months back, I've had a chance to get a bunch of use out of it lately. Couldn't be happier. Small, tough as nails (you don't need to worry about dropping it onto concrete, I can tell you that,) and brighter than a key fob LED without being blinding overkill the way a 60+ lumen light can be. I think I'll keep it.

  4. The quickest litmus test of a cop's ethics is how they feel about video, in much the same way that the quickest litmus test of a cashier's honesty is how they feel about a camera pointed at the cash drawer. If they demur, you have to wonder why they worry about their employers watching them perform their job.

32 comments:

elmo iscariot said...

My wife Danielle likes to carry the absolute essentials in her Utility Bra (tm). Until recently, that was a Spyderco Cricket and a Victorinox Classic in a tiny clipped sheath. When she found one of those little Streamlights, she was thrilled to be able to add a light source. It goes with her absolutely everywhere now.

Roberta X said...

The term "flash mob" dates back to Larry Niven, sometime in the 1970s or early 80s, cited as a byproduct of mechanical/electronic teleportation devices of phone-booth size (and as ubiquitous as they once were).

WV: "asplat." Yep.

perlhaqr said...

Hrm. I dunno about your video point. I try to be scrupulously honest ("I'm sorry, sir, but you gave me too much change.") but I still don't like having cameras pointed at me.

That said, police have a sufficient amount of power that I would feel comfortable telling them to get over it and get used to being on video.

Anonymous said...

I never stole a penny, but I would never work for anyone who has to use a camera to prevent/catch theft. A good manager hires good people who don't steal.

Now, cops and all other public officials should be on camera, but that's because the public is an awful manager.

LawDog said...

Just watch that Microstream in a Panhandle wind. :-)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link on the time perception article. That's one of the more fascinating pieces I've seen in quite some time.

Explains these dreams I have been/am/will be having.

Goatroper

Anonymous said...

Hmm, the whole 'tachypsychia' thing has interested me for a while, but the doc's Do-It-Yourself experiment of looking at your eyes moving in the mirror leaves me underwhelmed. Having tried it myself, (and got someone else to alternately look at my eyes, so I could see what their eyes are actually doing,) I find that A) the movement of the eyeballs is tiny; B) they move really quickly; and C) how the hell would you see something move when your focus is elsewhere anyway? Seems to me that the brain isn't 'editing out information', it's just that the eyes aren't getting sufficient information in the first place. But then, I don't have any letters after my name and if my watch breaks I don't keep wearing it, so maybe I'm missing something.

MJ

BryanP said...

Those little microstreams are great. I've been carrying one for several years and now give them away as gifts regularly. I keep a 90 lumen light in my murse, but that little microstream gets a whole lot more use.

Sigivald said...

If I was a cop, I'd want to be on camera (and/or filming everything myself) for every second of my job.

Makes it easy to prove, if you're a Good Cop, that you didn't do anything you shouldn't have, in the face of false accusations.

Woodman said...

Amazing how an article on time cleaves a chunk of my afternoon away into nothingness before I even noticed.

Goober said...

Sig;

I agree. For my own safety and protection from false allegations, if nothing else, I'd have a camera on at all times.

There needs to be a law written that basically says that IF evidence exists, and the police try to keep that evidence from being admitted (as is the case in the Seattle lawsuit) either by fighting it's release, covering it up, or "accidentally" losing it, then judgement goes to the plantiff. Period. I know that this might lead to a few false complaints getting through, but it is far less of a crime than even one actual britality complaint getting ignored because the evidence is no longer availalbe. Maybe it will make them a little more cautious about "accidentally" losing stuff, or fighting the release of video of the actions of your officers in public, on public time, driving public vehicles (as if some idea of privacy exists in this situation - it is to laugh...)

Ruth said...

Having been a cashier, in some jobs one that handled some very large sums of cash, I'm perfectly happy to have a camera pointed at my cash drawer. Especially considering some of the customers I had to deal with.

That doesn't mean I want one watching me on my local street corner, they're two different situations.

Tamara (remotely) said...

Ruth,

"That doesn't mean I want one watching me on my local street corner, they're two different situations."

Exactly.

dave said...

Popehat links to the story, but doesn't identify it beyond saying abuse of power: the "Seattle lawsuit" is the City of Seattle suing an attorney for filing a FOIA request for the dash cam videos.

Go read that again. The government is suing someone for filing a FOIA request.

http://reason.com/blog/2012/01/05/seattle-sues-attorney-for-requesting-pol

Yes, the government is that scared of letting the truth get out.

TinCan Assassin said...

Hey, officer.gov, if you haven't got anything to hide, you shouldn't be worried if I search or video you....

I love turning that back on them.

CalmGun said...

I also add my attaboy for the Streamlight Micro!

Montie said...

Damn,

I typed a rather lengthy riposte on this subject slanted heartily in favor of videoing by both the police and the public, having found it useful in the course of my job, but it got lost somewhere ou there in the ether...

So, I'll sum it up by saying video away and if the cops got problems with it, well, they are probably doing something wrong (opinion based on professional experience).

One caveat though: Do your recording quietly and from a discreet distance (outside my personal space) so that you do not become part of the problem. taking that into consideration,I welcome it, because I just might need to subpeona your video if I don't have any of my own.

Fred said...

I use that little flashlight more often than anything else I have in my pockets. It is awesome.

Ruth said...

Tam, I know you agree, sorry, its a sore point cause the city where I work has decided that their street corner cameras were such a success this last year that they're going to add more! Arg.

the pawnbroker said...

Ruth said and Tam concurred:

"That doesn't mean I want one watching me on my local street corner, they're two different situations."

But anybody can record anything, and as Montie noted, it's all subject to gov seizure...uh, I mean subpoena. Or worse.

Employees, whether of the local cop shop or the stop 'n rob, have no expectation of privacy in the performance of their jobs.

Off the clock and standing on her street corner though, Ruth might expect it but she doesn't have it. Montie's "bystanders" record her getting a ticket and bitching out the cop for it, an internet entrepreneur upskirts her thong underwear, public and private security cameras record her just trying to have a bite of lunch and read a few chapters of a book while sitting on a park bench. And it's all a permanent record that can end up online, in court, or in the hands of a stalker.

But, if you're not doing anything you're ashamed of, you shouldn't mind at all, right? Right?

Tam said...

PB,

Unless you have gotten a signed model's release from everybody in the background of every photo you've ever take, your comment doesn't even make a lick of sense.

Sport Pilot said...

I agree that the Streamlight Micro is a great little light. I'll also say that in car cameras are wonderful for LEA and LEO. It's not fun having to review them as often as I do but worth the time and money. I've cleared officers and disciplined them with the cameras. I've no complaints with such systems when they work correctly.

the pawnbroker said...

Exactly, TK; no one would ever agree to a release, but it doesn't matter because no one asks.

We (and by we I mean you) can rail against scrutiny of us *by* gov agents, and rally for scrutiny by us *of* gov agents...

But it's all that gray area in between -and its potential for use and abuse- that robs us of any semblance or even hope of privacy.

Tam said...

PB,

The very concept of "privacy" as we once knew it is dead and gone. We cannot prevent real people from intruding on it unless we can prove real, actionable harm.

However, the concept of privacy in regards to government intrusion ought to be easier to implement, should we muster the collective will to do so. Since the entity known as "government" is entirely a legal fiction, it is more easily constrained by the magic incantations known as "laws".

Don M said...

I got to take the tour of the Maginot Line once, and submit there is much that it has to offer in terms of architecture tips for the modern retail establishment.

To enter required traversing several long hallways leading up to a door with a water cooled machine gun. The French Machinegun squirted a tablespoon or so of water into the bore between rounds to boil off, keeping the bore temperature from rising above 300 degrees or so.

Even after a few hallways were cleared, there were more behind that. If you ever decided to leave, you again got to traverse the long hallways with someone warming you from behind.

Hans said...

While I'd agree that the micro is neat, I was less than thrilled by its durability. Mine died after being my edc for a year and a half or so.

Ruth said...

Pb, I can't prevent the private person from recording what they want, and wouldn't want to (though if the pervert is upskirting me he deserves what he'll get) but I can object to cameras on the street corners run by authorities as they are not acting on their personal behalf.

the pawnbroker said...

"Since the entity known as "government" is entirely a legal fiction, it is more easily constrained by the magic incantations known as "laws"."

Nice theory, but try telling that to Granny as she gets felt up by the Blue Gloves. And the expectation that the entity being constrained is responsible for creating those "laws" that would constrain it? Now that really doesn't make a lick of sense.

But of course my central point that you originally missed or dismissed is that all of that intrusion by "real people" is increasingly accessed and used by those fictional entities (and other unsavories) as Montie so blithely pointed out. And with the ubiquity of all our little slave devices, we ain't seen nothing yet.

Good luck to us all in using those "magic incantations" to constrain *that*.

wv: preache...yeah I know, preaching to the choir. Still.

Borepatch said...

Lawdog has a quite interesting post up about this. He points out that if the Officer did in fact break the law (or someone else did), that the video is no considered evidence.

Jennifer said...

My little microstream has been my constant companion since Christmas. I love it. I think everyone is getting one next year.

the pawnbroker said...

Thanks, Borepatch; Lawdog nails part of my concerns, that when you record something that turns out to be "something", that awesome little smartphone of yours just became evidence. But he skips right past Montie's version whereby a subpoena would at least make it not a warrantless search, and says his detectives would just seize your device.

His main admonition is that since sharks in thousand-dollar suits looooove them some video, if you captured something "good" you could be all up in somebody else's shit for years to come.

More alarming to me though is this; what else is on that "phone"? But all your private stuff that is unrelated to the case would be in safe hands I'm sure.

And all this is not to mention being on the other side of the camera. If I'm pulled over I deal with it professionally, especially since I know I'm on the cop's dashcam. But if I want to visit Ruth's park bench with a coffee and a book and maybe take a discreet toke to enhance the texture of it all, I'd like not to be on somebody's damn video, public or private.

But alas...

Tam: "The very concept of "privacy" as we once knew it is dead and gone."

How totally, desperately sad is that? One more reason to be glad I'm almost done here.

Tam said...

PB,

1. "Easier" is not the same as "easy". Also note the caveat "should we muster the collective will"; an event I consider as likely as a lottery win. A disturbing number of people are all too happy to be probulated.

2. Montie has the same 6th Amendment right to subpoena your tape as you do his. It's right there in the Constitution.

3. This genie isn't going back into the bottle. As someone who was born in the dying days of actual privacy, I'm not at all sure I'm going to enjoy the brave new world of my closing decades, either.