4.08.2005

Zero Tolerance aka You are going straight to jail

There are defininately some assinine laws on the books in this and many other countries, but this really hits as idiotic. Evidently there are eleven states that have enacted zero tolerance laws for trace amounts of illicit drugs. The following is an excerpt from NORMLs PDF on these witch hunt type laws:

"Zero tolerance per se laws have little to do with promoting public
safety or identifying motorists who drive while impaired," the report
states. "Rather, the enactment and enforcement of zero tolerance DUID
(driving under the influence of drugs) legislation improperly defines many
sober drivers as 'intoxicated' solely because they were found to have
consumed a controlled substance - particularly marijuana - at some
previous, unspecified point in time."
It continues: "This approach is not based on science but on
convenience. Zero tolerance per se laws define a new, driving-related
offense that is divorced from impairment. In their strictest form, any
driver who tests positive for any trace amount of an illicit drug or drug
metabolite (i.e., compounds produced from chemical changes of a drug in
the body, but not necessarily psychoactive themselves), is guilty per se
of the crime of 'drugged driving,' even if the defendant was sober.
"In the case of marijuana, these laws are particularly troublesome.
THC, marijuana's main psychoactive constituent, may be detected at low
levels in the blood of heavy cannabis users for 1-2 days after past use.
Marijuana's primary metabolite THC-COOH, the most common indicator of
marijuana use in workplace drug tests, is detectable in urine for days and
sometimes weeks after past use - long after any psychoactive effects have
ceased. Consequently, under 'zero tolerance' per se laws, a person who
smoked a joint on Monday could conceivably be arrested the following
Friday and charged with 'drugged driving,' even though he or she is no
longer impaired or intoxicated."
To date, eleven states have enacted zero tolerance per se laws for
controlled substances: Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa,
Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, and Wisconsin. Of
these, Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, and Utah forbid drivers from
operating a motor vehicle with any detectable level of a controlled
substance or its metabolites in one's bodily fluids. Similar laws are
pending in additional states.
Get the PDF here.

4.07.2005

Best Bust. The $2 bill crime ring.

Just when you were starting to convince yourselves that I was wrong, Best Buy goes and re-enforces my case. People generally suck. I get enough grief from citizens as it is. I am willing to bet that if I were in this guys place they would have called in a SWAT team.

Via anandtech forums:

"PUT yourself in Mike Bolesta's place. On the morning of Feb. 20, he buys a new radio-CD player for his 17-year-old son Christopher's car. He pays the $114 installation charge with 57 crisp new $2 bills, which, when last observed, were still considered legitimate currency in the United States proper. The $2 bills are Bolesta's idea of payment, and his little comic protest, too."

Read story.

Manage your iPod Shuffle using the Finder and Python

Saw this on MacOSXHints. Since I just picked up a shuffle this is very helpful.


"I came across a nifty little python script called, "iPod shuffle Database Builder" , or rebuild_db.py, which allows you to take full control of your iPod Shuffle without needing iTunes. It allows you to manage the audio on your Shuffle by using the Finder."
Read Story.

iDog




The iDog. I have no words.

Invisible speakers

A must have for all of us that are space limited.
Via Gizmag:

"Sonance, the company that originated high fidelity in-wall loudspeakers some 22 years ago, has acquired the IP of its major competitor Sound Advance Systems for “invisible” loud speaker technology. These technologies offer a range of unique and compelling loudspeaker features in that they are completely undetectable and provide a wide, virtually omnidirectional sound dispersion pattern and are ideal for applications requiring background and foreground music, voice paging, surround sound, and multi-room systems. Sound Advance speakers can be found in such exclusive locations as the Dolce & Gabana, Luis Vuitton, Prada, Armani and Chanel boutiques in cities such as Milan, Paris, New York, Beverly Hills, and St. Moritz, and have been the centerpiece of numerous CEDIA Electronic Lifestyle award winning residential installations."
Full story

Traffic? What traffic?

This is something I really would like to have. Small enough to get into a garage, enough range to get you palces and no seats for passengers.
Via Gizmag

"The AirScooter II is an ultralight helicopter designed for easy control and manoeuvrability that looks set to take personal recreational airborne vehicles to new heights. Designed by AirScooter Corporation, the AirScooter II is a vehicle that has looked to aviation's past to help develop its future. In building and designing the AirScooter II, inventor and AirScooter Corporation cofounder Woody Norris and his team have successfully adapted a technology that has had a long line of difficulties in getting of the ground. We all recognise the modern helicopter, with its main rotor and tail rotor, but in terms of rotorcraft, the coaxial type seems limited to high-tech military and large transport helicopters."
Full Story

4.06.2005

Speak up

What is the deal with people anyway? Why is it if you do something that irritates, insults or in some manner bothers someone else rather than tell you about it they keep it to themselves. Some might just complain about it to other people. Do you get some type of endorphin rush from it or something? Personally I have never had a problem telling anyone what I was thinking at any particular moment. That I have difficulty in initiating conversation with people I don't know is different. Do something that I find offensive and depending on the situation there are different ways I will let you know my feelings, but let you know my feelings I will. I'm not writing this in reaction to anything that has happened to me recently, but because of an argument I heard a couple having on the street this morning. In the course of the argument she repeatedly brought up certain things that he had been evidently doing for years, yet this was the first she had ever mentioned it. (Yeah this happened outside my window at about 5:30 in the morning and went on for 45 minutes, thanks for sharing folks) I just don't get it. Why would someone keep something that irritated them inside for so long? You know if people were more willing to talk about what bothered them... You know what? Fuck it. You figure it out for yourselves. Just goes to prove people are stupid, individuals show intelligence.

Encrypted HD Enclosure

MVK has released a new series of HD enclosures with hardware encyption of 40 and 128bit. The enclosures will accomadate 2.5" and 3.5" drives. There are USB and USB/Firewire enclosures with prices ranging from 6000yen (about $55) to 29000yen (about $270).
I was just talking about the need for something like this to a buddy yesterday. Think I'll be ordering a couple of these for testing. The link goes to a babelfish translation of the page.

Updates

I haven't posted anything in the last few days for many reasons. The only one that matters though is the news I got from my mother. Turns out she has Cancer. Typical of a hispanic woman her age she reacted instead of taking action. Now that she has calmed down a bit we were able to schedule an appointment with an Oncologist so we can find out whats what.

4.03.2005

First PSP Virus

Via informit.com:
"And I thought the Windows Mobile and Symbian viruses were fast!
According to reports on all the major PSP sites, a new virus has been found in the wild. This virus dubbed, PoPs.a by all the main AV firms appears to be transmittable via the internet. When a user accesses a malicious website, the virus is downloaded to the PSP and infects all saved games files, as well as inserting itself into the RAM for further spreading"

WOW that was fast. Full story

State endorsed extortion

So I said I would explain and I am. Some years ago while on leave with my then wife in Minnesota I came across a hitchhiker that turned out to be the last person I thought I would run into. It was an old childhood friend from back in Jesey. It turns out he was hitchhiking because his car had been stolen. As we talk the story unfolds and I learn that his car wasn't exactly stolen, it was towed by the police. The reason it was towed was he hadn't had insurance on his 944 Porche for 3 years and he hadn't paid any of the tickets. His car is registered in NJ. Insurance for his car at the time was a staggering $8500/year. He felt he was being strong armed into paying because you must have insurance in NJ and none of the insurance companies were willing to provide liability coverage only on his new car even though he had paid cash for it. So he paid for a temp policy for a month just to register it, then let it lapse. So there we were with the insurance companies having called in their enforcers no different than the mob would to take his car. This is a true story. Looking at it that way, shit it does appear to be extortion. There is no way you can convince me that these rates are in anyway justified. THere is no possible way that this state is anymore a risk than any other with similar population and traffic. So to all insuance companies providing auto coverage in NJ fuck you and have a nice day.

Transportation

O.K. so thanks to several factors I have decided to not drive a car anymore. Well not exactly. See here in New Jersey we have what you might call high insurance rates. Now I know what your thinking expensive tends to be an extremely relative term. Good example is the price of a new PowerBook. While this seems to me to be a reasonable price for what you get, (especially since I paid $3000 for my 1Ghz PB 2 years ago) someone else might not agree. So what I consider high is the $3800/Year a friend of mine pays for a 1999 Honda CRX. It's full coverage, but the car is a totally stock daily driver that very much looks it. So based on this extortion, ( I consider it extortion, I'll explain later.) the fact that parking is an extreme pain in the ass and the large amounts of asshats on the road, coupled with ever increasing price of gas and the damage it does to our environment; I will no longer drive a normal car. I plan on buying a diesel powered vehicle which I will run on biodiesel. This and I plan on building a motorcycle from scratch. The bike will likely be electric. This will be a long term project as it involves me learning some skills I have always wanted to have. From my preliminary research into the powertrain I haven't come across anything very inspiring, but I have time. Until I can put these things together though I will be using public transport and the trust SLE. (Thats shoe leather express for those that don't know).