Saturday, July 2, 2011

Tech Company Org Charts

From Bonkers World:
"Organizational Charts" by Manu

I think there is some truth in these...

Friday, July 1, 2011

Go the F#@% to Sleep!

Am I a bad parent for LOVING this?

From the Wall Street Journal's Speakeasy blog:
"Samuel Jackson Reads ‘Go the (Blank) to Sleep’"

Notice that you can get an audio version of this "for free, for now." I did, and it is GREAT!

Here's an article on the book, also from the Wall Street Journal:
"From Bedtime Battles to Bestseller" by Michelle Gerdes

"When I learn that a friend is expecting his or her first child, after the big hug and congratulations, I always say, 'Let me know if you want the truth about parenting, or if you’d rather the nicey-nice version.' I do this because I feel that no one was honest with me about how difficult parenting was, and I wish someone had been. That’s why I found the soon-to-be-published book by Adam Mansbach, 'Go the F– to Sleep,' so wonderfully refreshing."

"Thank you, Adam Mansbach, for telling parents the truth."

Amen to that!

And an article from NPR:
"'Go The [Expletive] To Sleep': A Salvo For Tired Parents" by Eyder Peralta

"Of course, the book has received criticism, especially from parents who say they love their children so much, they enjoy every second with them — even when they're struggling to go to sleep. To that Mansbach responds with typical flair: 'They're full of [expletive],' he said."

And finally the link to the book on Amazon, of course:
"Go the F**k to Sleep [Hardcover]" Adam Mansbach (Author), Ricardo Cort├ęs (Illustrator)

Postscript, 8/22/11:
Here are a couple YouTube videos. First, Samuel Jackson reading the book:
"Go The F**k To Sleep" posted by 470media

And a hilarious rendition by a grandmother:
"Grandma's Rendition of 'Go the Fuck to Sleep'" posted by ilovemypapaya

Thursday, June 30, 2011

What Do You Love?

Did you see this new site from Google? Check it out:

What does this site do? I think, in a phrase, it tries to "show" you your search result rather than just "tell" you.

Give it a try. See if you like it.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Can you film the police?

Disturbing news from Rochester, NY. Apparently you can't film police when standing on your own property.

From Boingboing:
"Woman who filmed cop from own yard charged with obstructing his administration of government" by Rob Beschizza

The real story here is in the comments to the article. Yes, there are actually people who defend the police actions in this case. There are actually people who believe that ANY order from a policeman must be obeyed. Seriously.

Let's take a look at some of the comments. Remember as you read these comments that the woman who did the filming was arrested but another person who was just as close was not arrested. It is not the proximity that the cops had a problem with. It was the camera. She was arrested strictly because she was filming.

So, here are some comments, with a few of my comments sprinkled in.

The first comment sums it up well:
nixiebunny: "Documentation == obstruction. Welcome to 1984."

Anon: "'A Sargent came over and gave them advice about how to write up the report that would minimize their wrong doing.'"
Sad, the police can't bring themselves to write the truth.

Here's one scumbag who defends the cops:
darthjer: "When I read the headline, I expected this to be from down at the end of the block or something, but this lady is hanging out within steps of a cop's back, while he's working what could be(they have no way of knowing if it is or isn't) a dangerous situation. The cops have their attention divided by her close presence and that seems to me like what obstructing government administration would be (although I haven't read the specific law, it seems like she's obstructing the cops' ability to do their job)."
"Any traffic stop can be a high-pressure situation and she's hanging back about three feet from the cop who is looking in the car. There was also some sort of exchange before the video starts that isn't included or wasn't recorded."
"This is just like getting arrested for joking at an airport about anything involving terrorism. You aren't actually doing anything threatening, but you should probably get some well-deserved time in jail."
"Was she doing something stupid? Yes. Do I have any sympathy or feel that my rights are being eaten away? No. Could she have made this same video from further away? Yes. Would I feel differently if she were on her porch or down the block from the cops? Most definitely."
Remember, she was arrested. Her friend was not.

Anon in reply to darthjer: "'Was she doing something stupid?'
"NO. No she was not, unless buckling under to some power-tripping fuckhead with a badge is 'doing something stupid'."

knoxblox: "First, she's nowhere near three feet from the cop who's looking in the car. That's at least ten feet before she backs up, or he's a midget."
"Second, some camera crews follow cops around in more extreme situations all the time while on the fly, running along with them and sometimes getting tangled up in the operation itself, obstructing their duty. It's a television show called COPS.
Yes, they are professionals and the woman is not, but when people are hanging back and filming from a greater distance than the professional cameramen would, how is the situation worse?"
"Furthermore, how does having a camera in your hand make it any different than just standing in your yard, even if you're over the easement by a step? And yes, easements are your property, you just can't build permanent structures on them and you have to allow access for public utility workers."
"Oh well, here's number three. Witnesses claim that there was not a hostile exchange before the start of the recording. You don't have proof, they don't have proof, nobody has any proof that's been shown. So, that's off the table, because it's hearsay."
"I suspect he was about to put words in her mouth on video to try and justify his actions, but noticed the other witness, and changed his tactics. That's what I can gather from his statement on camera. Either way, it's unprovable."

tizroc in reply to darthjer: "Darthjer, having read the article if this was the case then why wasn't the guy with her... standing with her arrested as well? Only the one with the camera was a threat for asserting her use of the camera."

flink: "'As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances there is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged. And it is in such twilight that we all must be most aware of change in the air - however slight - lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.' --Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas"
"Seems to be getting mighty dark of late."
"The only cop who should fear a camera is a dirty cop."

JonStewartMill in reply to mycroft999: "Aside from not actually having a valid reason to arrest the woman, the officer handled the situation well. Is anyone else reminded of this? 'Aside from that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?'"

Anon in reply to mycroft999: "If the arrest was justified, why was only the camera-holder arrested and not her companion, the witness who was standing along side her? Clearly, the arresting officer felt threatened by being filmed, not by the presence of the woman."

Anon: "You know one of the things that you're told is important in 4th ammendment cases is that when a cop ASKS to search your propeerty, acceeding to that request means that the search is not illegal and does not violate your fourth ammendment rights. Notwitstanding the fact that they are armed and intimidating, you are not under an obligation to consent. So when this policeman says 'I'm going to ask you to go in your house,' are we to believe that we ARE under an obligation to comply? Which requests are requests and which are orders?"

Another scumbag:
MindWorX: "It's crazy seeing how fast people jump to 'police brutality' in a situation like this. Poor girl should have just done what she was told, and head inside her house. The same people that jump to 'police brutality' is the same people that would've raged if she'd gotten shot because they didn't get her away from the scene. Yes, it may seem unfair that she can't be on her own front lawn, but you wouldn't be complaining if her house was on fire, and a firefighter removed her forcefully. This may not look like a life and death situation, but unless you can predict the future, then you have no way to know how it evolves. And seeing how three cop cars show up, this guy might have been suspected of being armed and dangerous."

So it comes down to this: Must we obey orders given to us by police? Which orders?
Anon in reply to mycroft999: "'Aside from not actually having a valid reason to arrest the woman, the officer handled the situation well.' You are joking, right? I have a question. Can your cops actually give orders to citizens? Thats frightening. Isnt there some sort of habeas corpus law?"

Here's another good one:
Sal Paradise in reply to Unmutual: "'First rule is, keep your mouth shut.' My copy of the constitution must be faulty. I couldn't that line anywhere."

And another scumbag:
Ephraker: "The officer gave numerous commands that she did not follow. There is no need for the officer to explain his rational or the legality of an order.In fact arguing with the officer about his command only adds to the element of obstruction."
"You must follow an officers command and if you feel that your rights are violated there are avenues which can be followed at A LATER TIME. The officer will gladly explain to you all of the reasons that you have been arrested on your trip to jail but only after he has finished doing what you interrupted."
"If you fail to comply with a command then you are breaking the law and the officer may use force in order to make the arrest. This is an extremely well settled area of law. All of the people making comments such as '"I know my rights' are almost always the ones that don't have a clue."

I agree with this:
Anon: "Wrong. Officer safety does not come first. The law and citizens' rights come first. An officer's first responsibility is not to stay safe, it is to uphold the law. A good analogy is military service. My personal safety is not my highest ideal. If it were, laying waste to an entire village harboring a lone sniper would be justified. I saw three officers on the scene. One suspect in cuffs. One woman with a camera. If three big tough men don't think they can handle a restrained suspect and a woman with a camera while remaining safe, then maybe they ought to rethink their career choice."

More stupidity:
Unmutual in reply to delt664: "Standing on your lawn with a camera is not civil disobedience. That's not what she was arrested for. She was arrested for refusing to comply with his explicit order to get back in the house."
"He also explicitly warned her that she would be arrested if she failed to do so. So that's what makes this civil disobedience in my mind. She deliberately got herself arrested to challenge . . . something or other. I think she started crying when she realized she didn't know what the point was either."

And more common sense:
Anon: "Police do not own the city, they are hired to police it. They have limits to their authority and must follow laws, rules and procedures. Reviewing the video, it is apparent:
1. there was no provocation whatsoever for the police to interfere with a citizen who was watching or photographing a police stop.
2. The police officer has no basis to claim a 'fear for his safety' because there is another person present.
3. There was no basis for the officer to conclude she was 'anti-police'.
4. There was no basis for the police to instruct her to move into her house or a foot backwards from where she was able to observe the police stop.
5. The officer had no basis whatsoever to believe a law was violated to cause her arrest.
The City should be ashamed to have police of such low caliber on its force. In most jurisdictions, police officers are subject to official and civil sanctions for exceeding their authority which occurred here."

This is a very salient point:
dainel: "Those who says the cop was right in arresting her does not answer one important question. Why was her companion not arrested as well? And I also disagree with those who says she was arrested for filming the cops."
"She was arrested for that common offense that is not in the books anywhere. 'pissing off the cop'. This explains the need for the 1 hour conference on the parking lot to think of something else to charge her for."
"It also explains why her companion was not arrested. After she was arrested, he picked up the camera and carried on filming, and even conducted a short interview with the cop. The cop said he was OK with that because he was standing in front of the cop, not behind him. Which sounds weird to me. Because she was never standing behind him. The cop who arrested her and complained about her standing behind him was standing on the far side of the car at the start of the video."

knoxblox in reply to Ephraker: "'"You must follow an officers command and if you feel that your rights are violated there are avenues which can be followed at A LATER TIME. The officer will gladly explain to you all of the reasons that you have been arrested on your trip to jail but only after he has finished doing what you interrupted.'"
"Please explain how this safeguards the public from an officer who is clearly not following proper police procedure? I'd really like a good explanation if you feel this is a must.
To be specific, yet hypothetical, officers who beat, grope or rape citizens during traffic stops, engage in witness intimidation, or who are guilty of murdering citizens in cold blood? In the last situation, it's kind of hard to redress your rights at a later time."

Anon in reply to Ephraker: "Oh, cool, I can't wait to be a police officer."
"'I am ordering you to write out a will leaving everything to me. Next, I am ordering you to step into a noose and onto this chair.
Next I am ordering you to jump off the chair.'"
"I'll make millions! And hey, maybe I'll indulge my inner sadistic perv and order people to sexually service me too! Yeah, that sounds awesome. I mean, there'll always be people like you who suggest that they have to obey and the time to deal with it is later, and, well, I can always make sure there is no later, right?"
"Police officers rights must be specific and limited before-the-fact. Unlimited vague rights will be abused, EVEN if there's an after-the-fact means to redress."

Anon: "To those who feel she wasn't 'following his orders' - he's never given her an order. He's clearly and unmistakably 'asked' her to go into her house. That's not an order, even when he exclaims she isn't following his 'orders'. That's merely a request, she doesn't have to obey it. Not a basis for an arrest by any stretch."
"And besides, he never had any basis to give her an order to begin with. That initial call of his "I don't feel safe with you standing there" is a bullshit exclamation he utters in all consciousness knowing that he has to create some sort of bogus precedent situation to subsequently have a bogus reason to go after someone filming him. This is all about stopping the filming, and nothing else. Everything else is bogus. Abuse of power without any doubt in my mind."
"He might hate the fact that some random citizen is filming him in public while he's performing his public-service tax-funded job. Fair enough, I can sympathize with that to some degree. But that's tough luck for him - people have a right to do that. Period."