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$125,000 Settlement Given To Man Arrested for Photographing NYPD

lpevey Re:The three made some mistakes (228 comments)

As far as the Black/not Black thing....you may think it is deeply offensive/racist. Others may look at it as getting shot or not getting shot.

I agree with this. Some cops are just the bullying sort. That inherent tendency seems to be what draws some people to the professionsion, so there is a much higher percentage of psychopaths among cops than in the general population. But the way they go about harassing different people varies by race. For black people, it tends to be more rampant, more obvious and more physical. Anyone who lives ina large urban area has probably witnessed an incident firsthand. It is reality.

That is not to say that many [probably most] cops are not bullies to other people when they can be. They definitely are. The post above is right when they say cops are often just looking for people to get aggressive and give them an excuse. It is more challenging to them when people are defiant but very polite. And part of that response is cultural.

I have lived in Bed-Stuy for many years. Why I live here is a long story. Suffice to say I like it here. For those who don't know, this is an area of NYC that has historically had a relatively high crime rate. Most of the residents on my block are black. I am white. It gives me an interesting perspective. It is difficult to explain the psychological effects of police profiling to someone who has never witnessed it.

Small example: If I take the subway home, I get off the train, there is an officer there. Watching. You don't see this on the Upper East Side. No big deal, right? This is great. Well, maybe for me. I give a small smile when I walk by. He or she smiles back. This officer doesn't really make me feel safer. If anything, they make me feel more likely to witness an altercation. But, at least I know how not to get a bad reaction out of them.

Most other residents don't smile. What in their knowledge of or history with the police would make them want to smile? They are suspicous of the police. This fear/suspicion/distrust shows on their faces. The response they get from the police: A nasty look that says more than I can explain. It says not to make one wrong move. It says I have complete power over you. Just a couple of years ago, it said it was completely legal for me to stop you and frisk you at any time, and if you resist--and I hope you do--I will throw you against the wall with all the strength I have. If you think a look can't say that, come pay a visit to Bed-Stuy. If police made me feel that way, how would I respond? I don't know.

The police bother and annoy me, too, but in a very different way that is not comparable. At least four or five different times when I was just walking down the street near my apartment, a cop car has pulled up slowly beside me, rolled down his window (it has always been a man, never a woman cop), and asked me what I was doing in the neighborhood. Like I'm a lost puppy or something. Too stupid to know I shouldn't be here. Most cops on this beat know me by now, I guess, but when there's a new guy, this can happen. I explain that I live here. I explain that I'm in a hurry. They proceed to inform me about how dangerous the area is. I nod. Thanks. Appreciate it. See you around. Hold on, they say. They drag on the conversation. This is not about helping me. This is about their power trip mindset.

Now, from all of this, you must think I live in a third world country. This is how cops treat it. But I am a fan of statistics. Some facts: Statistically, Bed-Stuy is only slightly less safe than the Upper East Side. Who would have thought? And in all the years I have lived here, no one has ever, ever given me a hard time about anything--except the police. I walk by, people nod, say hello.

The way policy treat black people is different. The way the police see black neighborhoods is different. That is just the reality.

2 days ago
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Microsoft Wants You To Trade Your MacBook Air In For a Surface Pro 3

lpevey Re:See even Microsoft thinks MacBook Airs rule! (365 comments)

This is so true. And the feedback has been like this and has been so consistent for so long... I can't understand why Microsoft hasn't already reversed course on some of this madness. I mean, are they TRYING to give Apple market share? Because it's working. I still use a PC desktop much of the time, but my new laptop is a Mac, and I really like it. I never thought I would go Mac. And when Yosemite comes out this fall, it will integrate more fully with my phone and my tablet. Now, when it comes time for me to upgrade my desktop... will I build a new PC? or will I just get a Mac Pro? I really can't say at this point.

about 2 months ago
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Sony Winding Down the PSP

lpevey Re:Piracy (85 comments)

I'm convinced this is a big part of why indie games are having a heyday right now. The big developers just don't get it. Haven't bought an Ubi game since I can't remember when. Might "borrow" Watchdogs at some point but would never in a million years buy it or any other Uplay crap. Burned once, never again. I spend loads of money on games all the time and should be their target customer-- but they don't want my business.

about 3 months ago
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Reason Suggests DoJ Closing Porn Stars' Bank Accounts

lpevey Re:If it was just the banks that would be one thin (548 comments)

Agreed, it is clearly not optional on the part of the banks. This has a very chilling effect on activities where the regs can't actually prosecute for wrongdoing. If they could, they would, and they wouldn't be going this route. This sort of tactic is contrary to the principles of a free society. Banks will "choose" to decline to do business with certain people and companies if they feel they will get sued or have to spend a fortune on a governmental investigation. If there is truly evidence of illegal activities, authorities should go after the people allegedly engaged in those activities, not the banks. But in these cases, often times the activities are not really illegal, even if they are activities not loved by everyone in society. Because the government can't prosecute, should it be allowed to strong-arm banks into doing the dirty work? What does that sort of logic lead to, especially when things like banking are akin to breathing in modern society.

There are plenty of nefarious behaviors going on at banks that regulators would be wise to oversee, but this is a case of overstepping IMO. Regulators are forcing discrimination. Is it okay for banks to be choosy based on certain parameters (I don't like your business because it's porn and I think porn is ruining our society) and not others (I don't like your business because it supports, say, charter schools, and I the bank president happen to think charter schools are ruining our society)? That's discrimination. At the very same time, regulators would bring proceedings against these very same banks for refusing to do business with certain people/organizations just because they choose to.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/...

"PNC Financial Services Group Inc. (PNC) received a subpoena regarding the return rate for its payment-processor clients from the U.S. Department of Justice. The department’s consumer protection unit is seeking information “for certain merchant and payment processor customers with whom PNC has a depository relationship,” the Pittsburgh-based bank said today in a regulatory filing. “We believe that the subpoena is intended to determine whether, and to what extent, PNC may have facilitated fraud committed by third-parties against consumers.” "

about 4 months ago
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Wil Wheaton Announces New TV Show

lpevey Re:Oh, it's on SyFy? (167 comments)

...but he's got a certain cachet among the midrange nerdies who grew up on ST:tNG.

Yeah, he certainly still has cred with me. Also, one thing is for sure: Wil Wheaton is a huge Borderlands 2 fan. Who else picked up on that based on the language and phrasings he used? Yeah, the guy is definitely a true geek. Love him.

about 5 months ago
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Fighting the Flu May Hurt Those Around You

lpevey Re:I've always wondered that about antihistamines (351 comments)

Not necessarily. I developed allergies as a teenager. To this day, when I return to the area of the country where I lived at the time, I get immediate and severe hay fever. When I return to the Northeast, where I've lived since I graduated from college, I have no issues, even in Spring.

about 7 months ago
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Experiment Shows Caffeine Boosts Long Term Memory

lpevey Re:Memorization, or attention to detail? (123 comments)

I'm also dubious about the idea that any one, simple chemical can ever make you smarter in any general way without adverse consequences. Evolution has a lot of time to scope out all simple neurochemical effects, so beware studies that suggest they've found a "smart pill".

I think this is a very wise statement. In this case, caffeine is known to increase levels of stress hormones. Many studies have shown that memories during times of stress tend to be more vivid and enduring. (The extreme of this is PTSD.) So the study results are not at all surprising to me. I think more work would have to be done to tease out whether there is any independent effect.

about 7 months ago
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Web Surfing Improves Motor Skills

lpevey Re:Ovbiously (33 comments)

Yes, but these were migrant works, presumably with little previous experience writing or typing or mouse-clicking or doing other things that require much in the way of fine motor skills versus gross motor skills.

I would imagine there is a point of diminishing marginal returns that most of us here passed a long, long time ago. :)

about 8 months ago
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The Changing Face of Software Development

lpevey Re:Might Indicate More Females (173 comments)

To be fair, there is a small chance that it could indicate men are dropping out at a faster rate than women, rather than more women taking up programming, as compared to previously.

about a year ago
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Hybrid Hard Drives Just Need 8GB of NAND

lpevey Re: Of course! And you never need more than 640K R (373 comments)

Samsung 830. I've bought several, even a couple well after the release of the 840. The 840 is just not nearly as reliable, and the 830 is plenty fast.

1 year,14 days
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Ask Slashdot: Cyber Insurance. Solution Or Snake Oil?

lpevey Re:Yes and no ... (71 comments)

There is a good bit of focus on the financial, but only because that is what buyers of insurance tend to want--protection from financial loss. There are some buyers who are also concerned about reputation damage from crisis situations, and there are insurance policies for that as well. Crisis coverage is generally added as a feature of a Directors & Officers Liability policy rather than a specialized cyber policy. It is a coverage that provides access to specialized PR services.

On the question about real world examples from the OP, there are a number of real world examples available. One place to get them is the AIG Cyber iPad app. I'm sure there are other stats available from other companies, too. The data is out there.

This is a fast-growing area of insurance. It used to be that IT administrators weren't excited about the idea of insurance because they thought it might make it look like they were admitting incompetence, i.e., proactively covering their own ass. But these days, everyone realizes that security is much more complicated than that, and every layer of protection helps.

1 year,17 days
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Robot Produces Paintings With That 'Imperfect' Human Look

lpevey Re:hello (74 comments)

>>"Having an apartment has a pretty solid meaning over here"

Not according to the 8M+ people living in NYC. Lots of people own apartments. The vast majority are not condos (they are coops), and people just refer to them as apartments. You were trying to be snarky, but failed.

1 year,23 days
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PC Sales See 'Longest Decline' In History

lpevey Re:Producers vs Consumers (385 comments)

Some decent points except (IMO) for the first one. As far as I know, I can't hook my Wacom up to my iPad. And anything else is...inferior, to be polite. ;)

about a year ago
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9th Grade Science Experiment: Garden Cress Won't Germinate Near Routers

lpevey Re:Need a control. (327 comments)

This comment is not really insightful. A lot of people even use electric heating pads underneath seed trays specifically to generate heat. I agree the experiment would have been even more impressive with controls wrt certain variables (including heat--why not), but it is extremely, extremely unlikely that, as the poster put it, "they can also get warm enough to prevent a seed grom growing."

about a year ago
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Most Doctors Don't Think Patients Need Full Access To Med Records

lpevey Re:Conspiracy! (659 comments)

It isn't about hiding the price tag. It's about protecting against potential liabilities.

about a year and a half ago
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Who Would Actually Build an Ubuntu Smartphone?

lpevey Re:don't get the cart before the horse (230 comments)

You have a different opinion, and I won't try to convince you. I myself had the same opinion for many years. My only point was that, in response to the original question of "who will buy this?" I think it was always a pretty small niche, and now even smaller with long-time users like me throwing in the towel.

My view:

- With Windows, I can install pretty much any application I want.
- With Apple, I am completely at the company's mercy.
- With Ubuntu, it is sort of in between. I can install whatever I want that's available to me, which isn't as much as with Windows because of the barriers to developing for Linux. Those barriers are real. I they weren't, any commercial developer looking to make money (i.e., all of them) would port their apps to Linux. All of the apps you cited don't change the fact that the majority of commercial apps that end users actually want to buy are not ported to Linux. There are good reasons for that. The community does not make it easy.

about a year and a half ago
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Who Would Actually Build an Ubuntu Smartphone?

lpevey Re:don't get the cart before the horse (230 comments)

>>And hey, Unity is always being criticised as looking like a phone/tablet OS shoehorned onto a desktop...

This is a very valid point.

about a year and a half ago
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Who Would Actually Build an Ubuntu Smartphone?

lpevey Re:don't get the cart before the horse (230 comments)

My argument was not that Ubuntu is more open than Apple. However, I do think that from a user's perspective it is less open than Windows or Android. That it why I said Ubuntu is not the choice for someone looking to escape Apple's closed ecosystem.

I understand your argument: You can install whatever app you want on Ubuntu. Technically, this is true. In practice, no. The apps most people want are not available on Ubuntu, and probably never will be.

The vast majority of people who have stuck with windows on the desktop and never switched cite one major reason: Availability of applications. This is especially evident with games but also true of many other types of apps. It is pretty easy to get gimp, mplayer, vlc, xbmc, etc., running on Windows, but not so easy to get closed applications ported to linux. Large parts of the community actively discourage it. There is no support for developers who might want to sell an application, because making a living by selling software is somehow inherently bad. I call this "closed." I wholeheartedly support the idea of an open-source OS, but only if the developers of that OS understand that it needs to be able to run a wide spectrum of software. Right now, commercial developers have little incentive to port anything to linux unless they fork a whole distribution that they can control. Otherwise, the community will just break the software with every update.

One reason people have so much vitriol toward Windows 8 is that they sense they will lose something very valuable if Win 8 is widely adopted. Win 8 moves MS a step closer to a closed system, and it makes people realize that Windows 7 is the most open-architecture OS we have right now. No, it is not open source or free software. But it is the most open.

about a year and a half ago
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Who Would Actually Build an Ubuntu Smartphone?

lpevey Re:don't get the cart before the horse (230 comments)

The thing is, a year or two ago, I would have bought one. Until recently, I ran Ubuntu as my primary desktop since Dapper (before that, I was a RedHat person), so you would think I would be part of the primary target group. But, if my own feelings are in any way indicative, this is going to be a very tough sell. Even I gave up hope for Ubuntu (and linux) after numerous annoyances and bugs...things were getting worse each year, not better.

- The Ubuntu One annoyance started it for me.
- The Gnome 3 fiasco. "We just don't care what our users think. If we build it, they will come. Oh, wait, don't leave... Come back!" Nope, we're gone.
- The Unity fiasco. Worse than Windows 8. Really. (OK, I'll be honest: I haven't used Windows 8. It could be just as bad. But it's bad.)
- The Amazon search fiasco. Wow. Privacy, anyone?
- The ongoing hostility toward anything closed being available on linux (because god forbid we users actually have a choice).

Given the last two items, why would a nerd who is protesting Apple's closed system ever want to choose Ubuntu?

Nerds like to tinker. We pride ourselves on it. But we also pride ourselves on using the best tool for the job. That is no longer Ubuntu.

Ubuntu is completely misreading their market.

My switch: I have been using Win 7 for about 6 months now, and I love it. There are also smaller smaller things that I didn't even notice were wrong until I switched: When transferring large files on my network with NFS, I always got random Nautilus crashes from time to time. I just assumed it was my router or something, and never really had time to look into it. I lived with it. No such issues with Windows 7 shares. Dragging and dropping large folders from one computer to another has never been easier for me. I could kick myself for being so stubborn that I didn't switch sooner.

about a year and a half ago
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Of Science and Choice In Online Dating

lpevey Re:Easy for you to say (311 comments)

That was really funny. Thanks for the link.

more than 5 years ago

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