Boots on the ground at the protests in Oakland, CA.

  black_lives_matter california deaths documentation ferguson hands_up_dont_shoot institutional_racism media oakland pictures police protests race social_justice social_media sousveillance video

Disclaimer: I will attempt to be as unemotional and dispassionate as I can. I will undoubtedly fail for many reasons but I think I need to make the attempt anyway. I will make strive to comment only on what I witnessed personally, and keep what I (over-)heard to a minimum. I admit that I am an outsider and will do my best to not seem as if I am not. Nevertheless, compassion and conscience require me to speak out.

Disclaimer the second: I've probably forgotten details even though I have several pages of notes and will have to edit …

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On the riots.

  london police protests riots shooting violence

It's almost impossible to blog about current events anymore. Situations evolve so rapidly that unless you're plugged into a constantly moving flow of information like Twitter anything you write is going to be out of date sixty seconds before you click "Post Entry." In case you haven't guessed, I speak of the riots in London and to a lesser extent the protests in Israel.

So.. assuming that you don't have a prosthetic lobe of your brain constantly connected to the global Net (which isn't as much fun as it sounds - DDoS attacks a few fibre runs over give me such …

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Boston police fight back against cellphone recordings.

  backlash boston cellphones massachusetts police sousveillance surveillance

People recording what is going on around them is a relatively new development in North American history. One supposes that you could trace it back to the beating of Rodney King by officers of the Los Angeles Police Department in the year 1991, in which a bystander recorded the incident with a home video camera. Jump forward a dozen years; cellular phones and digital cameras now have the ability to do the same thing but are far smaller and record in much higher quality. With the proliferation of websites like Youtube and Facebook videos of every kind can be made …

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Merry Christmas, everyone (a couple of days late, but still..)

  travel christmas computers friends games gifts holidays home irwin movies parents pennsylvania pittsburgh police speed_traps traffic

The powers that be saw fit to give everyone at work an opportunity to go home four hours early on 24 December 2008, the better to go home and get ready for Christmas Eve. To that end, I sniffled and honked a bit and set course for home where Lyssa was still hard at work. I sat down to fill out my paperwork for the week (such is the life of a professional contractor), packed a duffel bag for the weekend, and slowly came to the conclusion that I'd somehow caught the beginnings of a cold earlier in the day …

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DC Metro starts random searches of travellers.

  baggage buses dc metro police searches subway travel

In my "to post about" queue for a couple of days but certainly not forgotten has been a recent development in Washington, DC which Lyssa pointed out to me not too long ago. It seems that things are going far too smoothly in the nation's capital, so the decision has been made to randomly search the belongings of people traveling on the DC Metrorail or Metrobus lines, effective 28 October 2008 (registration may be required, BugMeNot for the win), which happens to be the day the new measures were announced. They're citing the upcoming presidential election as their reason for …

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As if there wasn't enough to worry about these days.

  airline_travel cnn heathrow injections macbook_air midazolam nashville piercings police sedatives t_shirt tazer_gun tennessee transformers travel tsa uk usa versed watch_list wtf

Some days, I cringe when I page through my list of newsfeeds at the things going on in the world right now. For starters, the US Transportation Safety Agency, a government organization charged with watching over points of entry and egress to this country has been a thorn in the side of many a passenger since its inception. Have a piercing or two under your skin that sets off the magnetometers? There's an excellent chance that you'll be forced to remove it regardless of the health risk. If you've had it for a while, I hope you packed hand tools …

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A touching amount of concern for a presidential candidate.

  dallas police rally secret_service security texas weapons wtf

I haven't been writing about the beginning of the presidential campaign season because I've been busy with other things, but I thought that this should be spread around a bit more widely... Barack Obama's security detail ordered on-duty police officers at a rally in Dallas, Texas to stop searching attendees for weapons as they filed in.

You read that correctly, the were told to stop looking for weapons. D.W. Lawrence, Deputy Police Chief of Dallas went on the record as saying that the order 'apparently' came down from the US Secret Service because they wanted to "speed up the …

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The Virginia Tech massacre - aftermath.

  aftermath college evidence police scanners shooting suspect virginia_tech

More information's come to light with regard to the massacre on the Virginia Tech campus yesterday. They think that they've figured out who the shooter was, a twenty-three year old English major named Cho Seung-Hui. He was reportedly a loner, and they're having a difficult time finding any information on him as a result. They're going through his schoolwork at this time (he was an English major, after all, so they've got stuff from composition classes and the like to analyze); they found a number of rants and missives about various sorts of people in his dorm room written during …

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Police can legally hide tracking devices on your vehicle, thus sayeth the court system.

  beacons cars gps law_enforcement police tracking

The Seventh Circuit of the US Court of Appeals has decided that it does not violate any of your rights for police to place a GPS tracking unit on your vehicle if they have probable cause. The case in question has to do with someone whose car was tagged with a locator beacon by the police because they thought that he was up to something. He says that it violated his fourth amendment right to freedom from unwarranted search and seizure. The thing is, it wasn't a search or a seizure. In fact, I'd say it was no different from …

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Cue the David and Goliath jokes.

  mexico police weapons

In Tiajuana, Mexico, there is a shakedown and purge of the police department underway due to allegations of corruption. As a result, the police have been disarmed so that their weapons can be used in ballistics tests to see if any were used in a number of murders linked to drug cartels and re-issued slingshots and ball bearings as weapons. They're crude, and definitely underpowered when compared to a pistol, but anything small and hard moving very fast is going to put a hurt on you if and when it hits.