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FBI Wants To "Advance the Science of Interrogation"

tophermeyer Re:Quite the opposite. Britains Experience (252 comments)

LEO's in suspect interrogation often use a method called the Reid Technique. It usually starts with several hours of questioning and rapport building to wear down a suspect (fatigue plays a HUGE factor in our ability to deceive). At some point the interrogator will begin moving to a "help us out here, we want to understand" kind of attitude.

One facet of the technique is to identify the individuals values and priorities (kids, job, etc) and offering up potential explanations of the crime that implies they are a bad father, husband, employee etc. If the person is sufficiently fatigued and has built some kind of rapport with the interrogator, the idea is that they will offer up a full confession as a means of explaining why what they did makes them a good father, husband, employee, etc.

Military interrogation is more about general information gathering. Like you describe, a lot of that experience comes out of WWII where we would collect simply vast amounts of information from POWS that individually is largely meaningless, but in aggregate is informative.

Current research with body language, eye tracking, etc indicates most of that is junk. An increase in activity can identify when an individual is nervous about something, but it doesn't necessarily indicate deception and is incredibly sensitive to gender, culture, and (interestingly) language background. The literature talks about these kinds of things as Pinnochio's Nose; some behavior that manifest only when the person is lying, and every time the person is lying. Unfortunately this singular diagnostic behavior doesn't exist.

Source: Worked for a couple of years as a deception researcher, exploring various methods of deception detection.

more than 2 years ago
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Interview With TSA Screener Reveals 'Fatal Flaws'

tophermeyer How dare you assume (582 comments)

that we don't enjoy the challenge of piecing together unintelligible ramblings?

more than 2 years ago
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Survey Says Bosses Fear Being Filmed By Employees

tophermeyer Re:I have an idea (159 comments)

I think my concern would be that someone is trying to collect video of me that, out of context, puts me in a bad light. I say this because I once had a junior employee (not a direct report) try to throw me under the bus for one of his mistakes by presenting an email that appeared to show me giving him specific directions. It was dumb because, you know email. But without context it might be difficult to defend yourself from false allegations.

more than 2 years ago
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Spaceman-Turned-Politician Can Call Himself 'Astronaut' On Ballot

tophermeyer Re:Hmmm (181 comments)

I was in full agreement with icebike until you said:

We have strong reasons for disallowing of titles in this country.

And I found that point to be very powerful. We can hardly call ourselves an egalitarian society while we allow people to rack up titles from roles they no longer fill. In my mind I'm wondering what it could have looked like if Colin Powell had made a run for President back in the day, and people started referring to him as President-General.

I think the only title we really ought to allow people to keep is Mr. President. And even then because it's so rare for those guys to seek a lower office; ex-Presidents usually fill their time with speaking tours and an occasional foreign diplomacy mission.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is a Home Drone Feasible?

tophermeyer Re:Do It Right The First Time!! (274 comments)

I think we're getting down in the weeds on this.

I think that local law enforcement, or pilots, would look at this thing and say "gee, that looks pretty suspicious" (who would head out to a remote, windy, alpine area to fly recreational R/C aircraft?). Law enforcement might not be able to quote FAA regulations by heart, but they're sure going to report something that out of place when they get back to the office.

And as far as the capability to track it down, you're probably right that they're not going to trace it's signal back to the source. But in a remote area like this, it's pretty likely that local LEO's will have a short list of the locals that are capable of putting this kind of thing together.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is a Home Drone Feasible?

tophermeyer Re:Do It Right The First Time!! (274 comments)

Why would you assume cops in remote alpine areas are idiots? In a lot of (US) states remote areas like this are monitored by parks services, which are often subsets of State Police.

Plus, any local pilot who sees this thing is probably going to roughly what it is and if they don't like it, will raise hell with any authority they can reach.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is a Home Drone Feasible?

tophermeyer Re:Do It Right The First Time!! (274 comments)

I think he's got a great model here for developing a cheap method of monitoring and reporting on remote climbing/hiking areas. If he works in a way to publish is data in a manner that is useful to other people, he's got a shot.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is a Home Drone Feasible?

tophermeyer Re:Define (274 comments)

Or anchor a camera equipped weather balloon upwind of the area you want to monitor. Run it up, let it spin around for a while gathering data, and pull it right back down.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is a Home Drone Feasible?

tophermeyer Re:Define (274 comments)

You sound to me like a small startup investigating the viability of an idea that involves using unmanned aircraft to track seasonally changing terrain features in inaccessible areas.

That idea has some merit. Plenty of services exist, for example, to report on surfing conditions on beaches. Deployment there is easier because you only need to report on the conditions in a small fixed area. But the idea is transferable.

This drone reporting would be useful for reporting on remote climbing/hiking trails, off roading trails, and even a third party verification conditions at ski slopes. AFAIK most of that is done right now by helicopter. Which is expensive, and thus limited in scope. Drones could expand that.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is a Home Drone Feasible?

tophermeyer Re:Define (274 comments)

The Sheriff might not. But local pilots might.

It's hard to say without knowing more about the location. But if this is an alpine environment with climbing/hiking trails, and possibly ski slopes, there are probably also regular helicopter flights to check out the very same information this guy wants to collect. Those guys might have a problem with an autonomous drone that they know nothing about.

more than 2 years ago
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Apple Is Forced By EU To Give 2 Years Warranty On All Its Products

tophermeyer Re:In your face, programmed obsolescence! (270 comments)

My experience with hand tools is that they will get stolen or lost LONG before they will break. The lifetime warranty is great (in theory), but when somebody walks off with your wrench you still have to go out and buy a new one. There will always be a business for high quality hand tools.

more than 2 years ago
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Apple Is Forced By EU To Give 2 Years Warranty On All Its Products

tophermeyer Re:Headline Is Understated for Once (270 comments)

I imagine most products would be fair game for small claims court - no lawyer needed. My first stop would probably be the Better Business Bureau.

This seems like a rare instance where the consumer has an edge over the retailer. You have all the time/resources to file BBB complaints, post flaming reviews, pursue arbitration, etc. For Apple or T-Mobile, the cost of replacing the questionably damaged product is worthwhile to avoid paying people to deal with those things.

more than 2 years ago
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Apple Is Forced By EU To Give 2 Years Warranty On All Its Products

tophermeyer Re:Headline Is Understated for Once (270 comments)

Not to keep beating on Best Buy (not that they don't deserve it), but I see it happen there all the time. They'll scare customers with hypothetical repair quotes from their own service, which is vastly inflated over what you might get at an independent shop.

more than 2 years ago
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Apple Is Forced By EU To Give 2 Years Warranty On All Its Products

tophermeyer Re:As An American... (270 comments)

If I can expound on your comments, it's also not quite accurate to look at local economy figures as an indicator of wealth. Many 'poor' areas develop untrackable economies based on unreported labor, drug, and illegal liquor production. Despite being on-paper 'poor', many unregulated areas possess a surprising amount of wealth.

As an example, I grew up in a rural area of Maine. Though the area was 'poor' and didn't produce much tax revenue, many people supplemented their legal income by growing Marijuana. A lot of this money sits in cash stockpiles rather then reentering the local economy.

more than 2 years ago
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Apple Is Forced By EU To Give 2 Years Warranty On All Its Products

tophermeyer Re:As An American... (270 comments)

To spin this around I'll put on my Patriotic Freedom Hat (TM).

Americans have historically preferred that government not interfere with how people and corporations do business. This freedom to do business how we please traditionally places a responsibility on people to be careful about what arrangements they enter into. More recently people have begun agitating for government to protect people from their own stupidity and inability to understand they contracts they sign.

A person with Rights has an obligation to be responsible. If a free person remains willfully ignorant about the contractual relationships they sign they have nobody to blame but themselves.

more than 2 years ago
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Apple Is Forced By EU To Give 2 Years Warranty On All Its Products

tophermeyer Re:Swings and Roundabouts (270 comments)

So what's your point?

Having the freedom to not be forced into contracts doesn't grant you a magical right to force companies to offer the exact products and services that you want. If you don't like the terms of a contract, don't sign it. But you can't reasonably expect businesses to cater to your specific whims so that you can buy a subsidized cell phone.

more than 2 years ago
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Teacher's Aide Fired For Refusing To Hand Over Facebook Password

tophermeyer Re:The battle now begins. (407 comments)

... during the time between that request and the teacher denying it, that parent can see some of the teacher's FB content....If the teacher's friend tags them in a photo...the parent will see that content.

Facebook has implemented fixes to those bugs. For the privacy minded you can still prevent pending friends from accessing info, and set photo/location tags to require your permission before they go public.

I'm not trying to contradict your major point. Teachers should still be entitled to private lives. And Facebook has come a long way to help people protect that privacy (while farming their all of their personal data).

more than 2 years ago
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House Kills Effort To Stop Workplace Requests For Facebook Passwords

tophermeyer Re:Right: You're a RINO (275 comments)

I don't meant to nitpick, but there is an important point to be made about Romneycare vs. Obamacare.

Romney's health plan was for Massachusetts. And as much as I like to think of myself as a fiscal conservative, as a resident of Massachusetts I have to reluctantly admit that the plan kind of works. For Massachusetts.

Obama's plan is national. It includes an individual mandate that all Americans purchase health insurance. That's a mandate from the Federal Government compelling people to go out and buy something. At the state and local level many of us tolerate and support this. At the Federal level this is unprecedented, and scary.

What works for Massachusetts may not work for the entire nation. As a state, we can do things like anti-smoking legislation and taxing junk foods to mitigate some of our health care risks. I don't think we can do that at a national level.

more than 2 years ago
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House Kills Effort To Stop Workplace Requests For Facebook Passwords

tophermeyer Re:Was anyone suprised? (275 comments)

As someone that was and is opposed to the bill, I honestly believe it was a good faith effort from the Obama administration to include all voices and make sure every concern is heard and considered. Conservatives tried to take advantage of that flexibility to make the bill unpassable, and people like Pelosi never understood why they should have to compromise in the first place.

Regardless of whether you supported this bill, I think we can all look back on the story of it's passing as a very sad, miserable time for American politics.

more than 2 years ago
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House Kills Effort To Stop Workplace Requests For Facebook Passwords

tophermeyer Re:Was anyone suprised? (275 comments)

What kind of job application wouldn't ask for age or birthdate?

American ones. In the US it is illegal to discriminate against people over the age of 40 for employment purposes. Obviously, this varies by Nation.

For those not familiar, in the US applicants generally do everything they can to avoid specificity on age unless it offers a specific advantage. Most don't even list College graduation year, because it could let employers infer age.

more than 2 years ago

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