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radio for back up!

Posted on April 22nd, 2008 at 21:53 by John Sinteur in category: News


My friend and I were photographing in the town. I spotted a man being detained by this security guard and a policeman, some kind of altercation was going on, i looked through my zoom lens to see what was happening and then moved on.

Moments later as i walked away this goon jumped in front of me and demanded to know what i was doing. i explained that i was taking photos and it was my legal right to do so, he tried to stop me by shoulder charging me, my friend started taking photos of this, he then tried to detain us both. I refused to stand still so he grabbed my jacket and said i was breaking the law. Quickly a woman and a guy wearing BARGAIN MADNESS shirts joined in the melee and forcibly grabbed my friend and held him against his will. We were both informed that street photography was illegal in the town.
Two security guards from the nearby shopping center THE MALL came running over, we were surrounded by six hostile and aggressive security guards. They then said photographing shops was illegal and this was private land. I was angry at being grabbed by this man so i pushed him away, one of the men wearing a BARGAIN MADNESS shirt twisted my arm violently behind my back, i winced in pain and could hardly breathe in agony.
A policewomen was radioed and came over to question the two suspects ( the total detaining us had risen to seven, a large crowd had now gathered)
The detaining guard released me, i asked the policewoman if my friend and i could be taken away from the six guards, she motioned us to a nearby seat and told all the security people to go. She took our details, name, address, date of birth etc. She wanted to check my camera saying it was unlawful to photograph people in public, i told her this was rubbish. we agreed to come with her and we sat in the back of a police car, she radioed back to the station to check our details, i explained to her the law regarding photography and handed over a MOO card, i asked to take her picture and she said no. We were free to go with no charge. I may press charges for unlawful detention and physical assault by the security guards, watch this space.

luckily my friend videoed some of this so it can be used in evidence.

Here it is


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  1. hope you do take civil action (knowing that they probably won’t press criminal charges given the crazy climate now), do you guys have lawyers that take contingent fees rather than retainers?

  2. That depends on the country you’re in. Could be civil actions, could be a complaint procedure. And payment of lawyers differs so much in countries – I could describe what we have over here in the Netherlands, but that would be useless for you. In any case, most countries have a form of “community lawyers” set up to allow you to at least get free legal advice.

UAV Films Own Demise as Russian MiG Shoots it Down

Posted on April 22nd, 2008 at 21:39 by John Sinteur in category: News


In this video a Russian MiG-29 fighter aircraft shows up, squeezes off an little air-to-air missle and blows a Georgian UAV out of the sky… on camera.

So we have a Russian MiG taking out a ex-Soviet Georgian unarmed UAV that was doing basic surveillance over Georgian soil (according to the Georgians). Whether that is true or not, I would imagine the political fallout over this incident could get ugly. Seems that there is a bit of unrest over there to begin with. But we can give a big thanks to the Russians and Georgians for this nice video.

Oh, and the Russian’s response: “Nonsense. What would a Russian jet be doing over Georgian territory?”

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Clueless in America

Posted on April 22nd, 2008 at 21:35 by John Sinteur in category: News


Ignorance in the United States is not just bliss, it’s widespread. A recent survey of teenagers by the education advocacy group Common Core found that a quarter could not identify Adolf Hitler, a third did not know that the Bill of Rights guaranteed freedom of speech and religion, and fewer than half knew that the Civil War took place between 1850 and 1900.

“We have one of the highest dropout rates in the industrialized world,” said Allan Golston, the president of U.S. programs for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In a discussion over lunch recently he described the situation as “actually pretty scary, alarming.”

Roughly a third of all American high school students drop out. Another third graduate but are not prepared for the next stage of life — either productive work or some form of post-secondary education.

When two-thirds of all teenagers old enough to graduate from high school are incapable of mastering college-level work, the nation is doing something awfully wrong.

Mr. Golston noted that the performance of American students, when compared with their peers in other countries, tends to grow increasingly dismal as they move through the higher grades:

“In math and science, for example, our fourth graders are among the top students globally. By roughly eighth grade, they’re in the middle of the pack. And by the 12th grade, U.S. students are scoring generally near the bottom of all industrialized countries.”

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Bluetooth surveillance secretly tested in the city of Bath

Posted on April 22nd, 2008 at 20:57 by John Sinteur in category: Privacy, Security


“In 2001 Jose Emilio Suarez Trashorras was jailed in a Spanish prison for drug related offences. Whilst imprisoned, Trashorras established regular contact with Jamal Ahmidan who was serving time for a petty crime. Both individuals embraced radical Islamic fundamentalist ideas within the prison and were recruited in the Takfir wa al-Hijra group, a Moroccan terrorist groups linked with al-Qaida . Following their release, Ahmidan became the leader of the terrorist cell that conducted the Madrid bombing. In a drugs-for-bombs exchange with a third party, Trashorras provided the explosives for the 13 backpack bombs that killed 191 people and injured hundreds.“

So write Vassilis and Panos Kostakos in the department of computer science and the University of Bath in the UK, who have come up with a system that they say could spot and monitor these kinds of interactions in prisons.

Their idea? Fit inmates with RFID tags that allow their positions to be monitored, and then number crunch the resulting data sets to see who spends the most time with whom.

Not exactly rocket science but the Kostakos’s have an even more frightening idea. Why not test the idea by anonymously monitoring the movements of students, residents and workers of the city of Bath by listening out for their bluetooth-enabled devices as they move around the city. And that’s what they’ve done.

What the Kostakos found is that it is straightforward to capture data on people’s encounters using bluetooth. In fact they captured data on 10,000 unique devices during the 6 month study. Yep, that’s 10,000.

Exactly how much you can tell about these encounters isn’t clear. But hey, this is only a demonstration (either that or they’re keeping schtum about the juicy details).

These days there’s less and less difference between people inside and outside prisons..

Next up: mandatory bluetooth collars for everybody.

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English, base knave, dost thou speak it?

Posted on April 22nd, 2008 at 20:29 by John Sinteur in category: Funny!, Quote


ACT I SCENE 2. A road, morning. Enter JULES and VINCENT, murderers.

V: And know’st thou what the French name cottage pie?
J: Say they not cottage pie, in their own tongue?
V: But nay, their tongues, for speech and taste alike
Are strange to ours, with their own history:
Gaul knoweth not a cottage from a house.
J: What say they then, pray?
V: Hachis Parmentier.
J: Hachis Parmentier! What name they cream?
V: Cream is but cream, only they say la crème.
J: What do they name black pudding?
V: I know not;
I visited no inn it could be bought.

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Libya Seeks Exemption for Its Debt to Victims

Posted on April 22nd, 2008 at 15:55 by John Sinteur in category: Robber Barons


One by one, top executives of American oil companies met privately over the last year with Libya’s leader, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, often in his signature Bedouin tent, as they lined up contracts allowing them to tap into the country’s oil reserves.

But now, the new allies are working Capitol Hill, trying to weaken a law that threatens those deals. The Libyan government, once a pariah, and the American oil industry have hired high-profile lobbyists, buttonholed lawmakers and enlisted help from the Bush administration, all in an effort to win an exemption from a law that Congress passed in January that is intended to ensure that victims of terrorist attacks are compensated.

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Posted on April 22nd, 2008 at 8:40 by John Sinteur in category: Great Picture

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Office 2007 Fails OOXML Test With 122,000 Errors

Posted on April 22nd, 2008 at 8:30 by John Sinteur in category: Microsoft


“Groklaw is reporting that some people have decided to compare the OOXML schema to actual Microsoft Office 2007 documents. It won’t surprise you to know that Office 2007 failed miserably. If you go by the strict OOXML schema, you get a 17 MiB file containing approximately 122,000 errors, and ‘somewhat less’ with the transitional OOXML schema. Most of the problems reportedly relate to the serialization/deserialization code. How many other fast-tracked ISO standards have no conforming implementations?”

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Posted on April 22nd, 2008 at 8:02 by John Sinteur in category: Cartoon

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