SF's Board of Supervisors Grants Police More Surveillance Powers

EFF:

The ordinance, backed by the Mayor and the SFPD, enables the SFPD to access live video streams from private non-city cameras for the purposes of investigating crimes, including misdemeanor and property crimes. Once the SFPD gets access, they can continue live streaming for 24 hours. The ordinance authorizes such access by consent of the camera owner or a court order.

Make no mistake, misdemeanors like vandalism or jaywalking happen on nearly every street of San Francisco on any given day -- meaning that this ordinance essentially gives the SFPD the ability to put the entire city under live surveillance indefinitely. [...]

What is this all about? During the hearing, several of the Supervisors talked about how San Franciscans are worried about crime, but failed to articulate how giving police live monitoring abilities addresses those fears. [...] Which leaves us to the sad conclusion that this ordinance isn't really about the safety of San Franciscans -- it's about security theater.

48 Hills:

A broad coalition including the ACLU, the Public Defender's Office, the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, and the Council on American Islamic Relations, opposed the bill, saying in a letter to the board that:

If the SFPD asked the city to buy thousands of new cameras for live surveillance, residents and the Board would be rightly alarmed. The SFPD's proposal to exploit private surveillance cameras should be met with the same skepticism. [...]

The proposal broadly permits the SFPD to monitor people engaged in a wide array of peaceful activities. Specifically, the proposal dramatically lowers the standard needed for live surveillance by permitting the SFPD to tap into private cameras in response to any violation of criminal law, including misdemeanors. This would encourage the SFPD to cast an extremely large surveillance net to monitor activities completely unrelated to public safety.

mdbarba:

This means SFPD can ask for consent to live monitor the hundreds of cameras controlled by a handful of business groups downtown. They've already done so successfully in Union Square, and are likely to get a thumbs up in Fisherman's Wharf and Mid-Market too.

Meanwhile: Castro CBD votes to end private security camera proposal funded by tech entrepreneur:

The security camera network would have been funded by a $695,000 grant by tech entrepreneur Chris Larsen [...] Larsen is the co-founder of cryptocurrency company Ripple and mortgage lender E-Loans. Larsen has been gifting security cameras to community benefit districts in the city since 2012, and his network now spans 1,000 cameras. The Castro CBD is the first neighborhood group to reject Larsen's funding. [...]

"Whether or not the public supports the proposal is not the most important question, but rather can this technology achieve the intended goal," said Brian Hofer, executive director of Oakland's Secure Justice. "As a subject matter expert that has extensively researched the use of cameras, I can confirm that these types of cameras have little-to-no statistically significant deterrent effect against the types of crimes identified here."

"You likely saw the Chronicle's article last month about 17 Walgreens locations closing over the last few years, along with a number of CVS stores," added Hofer. "Each of those facilities had dozens of cameras, and most had security guards."

"The lack of results speak for themselves," said Hofer.

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Krofft

You are hopefully aware that Sid and Marty Krofft sued McDonald's for plagiarism and won. But today I learned that on Marty Krofft's office wall was a framed letter from McDonald's complaining about a $15,000 quote, alongside a copy of the judgment check for a million dollars:

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Glue

Protester who glued himself to Nanaimo bank sentenced with condition he cannot possess adhesives:

Brice and others were staging the demonstration to demand that RBC divest from the Coastal GasLink pipeline on Wet'suwet'en territory in northern British Columbia, according to a release at the time from environmental group Extinction Rebellion. [...]

Brice was handed a 12-month probation term as part of the discharge, with conditions that include keeping the peace, completing 40 hours of community service by Jan. 31, 2023 and not going to the RBC branch he protested at.

The discharge also carried an unusual condition, that Brice "must not posess any glue, Super Glue, adhesive, fixative, or resin outside your residence," except with the permission of his probation officer.

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Postfix

Dear Lazyweb,

When Postfix delivers to an unknown user via Dovecot it gets status=deferred but I want a reject in smtpd instead. How fix?

main.cf: mailbox_transport = dovecot:

master.cf:
dovecot unix - n n - - pipe
  flags=DRhu user=vmail:vmail argv=/usr/libexec/dovecot/deliver
  -e -f ${sender} -d ${recipient}

Running deliver by hand shows it exiting with status 75.

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Fix it with eyes, Unicode edition

Proposal to revise the glyph of CYRILLIC LETTER MULTIOCULAR O:

Doc Type: Working Group Document
Title: Proposal to revise the glyph of CYRILLIC LETTER MULTIOCULAR O
Source: Michael Everson
Status: Individual Contribution
Action: For consideration by JTC1/SC2/WG2 and UTC
Date: 2022-01-09
Refer to: N3194R (L2/07-003R)

This document requests the replacement of the glyph of U+A66E CYRILLIC LETTER MULTIOCULAR O. A tweet by Étienne FD @etiennefd brought to my attention an old error on my part. Taken from his tweet:

The multiocular O is a rare form of the Cyrillic letter О. How rare?

Rare enough to occur in a single phrase, in a single text written in an extinct language, Old Church Slavonic.

The text is a copy of the Book of Psalms, written around 1429 and kept in Russia.

The image in Figure 42 of N3194R which served as evidence for the encoding of the character was not a very good scan from Karsky 1979; that image is given again in Figure 1 below. Better images are shown in Figures 2 and 3. Essentially the glyph that I drew had seven eyes, but the source character has ten. (No, I don't know why I drew seven. Perhaps I miscounted what was in Karsky's reproduction.) The following shows the change being requested.

Bibliography
Karsky, Yefim Fyodorovich (Карский, Е. Ф.). 1979. Славянская кирилловская палеография. Москва: Наука. (Reprint of 1928 edition, Ленинград: Издательство академии наук СССР).

Figure 1. Sample from Карский 1979, showing MULTIOCULAR O in the phrase серафими многоꙮчитїй (abbreviated мн҄оꙮчитїй) 'many-eyed seraphim'.

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Recent Movies and TV

  • Prey (2022): This was just fantastic. Excellent action movie, good characters, great writing, the stakes are set correctly. No notes.
Then I did some slumming and watched a few earlier Predator movies.

  • Predator (1987): Aside from the monster design, this is really not very good. The first hour is macho bullshit posturing, and it is a liiiiiiitle bit self-aware about that, but not much. The last half hour is muddy Arnold being slightly smarter than a machine gun, but it still drags.

I skipped Predator 2 and both Alien vs. Predator movies because even after all of these years I still remember quite clearly that they are absolute shit.

  • Predators (2010): Another ensemble band of idiots in a jungle. Not many surprises, but it's not bad. There are a few "wait... what? Why?" moments like "Why did the predators airdrop these people using Earth-manufactured parachutes?" and why even bring up that "big predator vs. little predator" subplot at all which went nowhere?

  • The Predator (2018): Another ensemble band of idiots, this time in an office park. This one is quite a bit better because the characters are more interesting, funnier and have better lines. And the effects are pretty good. This movie would have been improved by a factor of 5 by just omitting the last 10 minutes, the sequel-bait epilogue with the Tony Stark armor.

  • Dave Made a Maze (2021): Guy builds a cardboard maze that accidentally becomes a pocket dimension and attracts a cardboard minotaur, like you do. It's funny and the sets and effects are amazing -- very Michel Gondry.

  • Day Shift (2022): Plot-wise it's your absolutely standard vampire hunting movie, but it has some great fight scenes. This movie was full employment for every spider-walking contortionist in LA, and the stunt director was, I'm gonna guess, a Jackie Chan fan.

  • Moloch (2022): It's kind of exactly the same predictable plot as every other "folk horror" movie, but it's nice and moody.

  • The Gray Man (2022): Ok first of all that's not what "gray man" means at all. But it was a big dumb action movie where manly men punch each other and make wisecracks. Captain America had a hilarious porn stache. I've already forgotten everything that happened.

  • Diabolik (2021): I am an enormous fan of Danger: Diabolik! (1968) so I was extremely skeptical of this going in, but it's awesome! It's actually a prequel, more of a story about Eva than Diabolik. It's much less campy than the original, but they did a fantastic job on the look of it: not just being set in the 60s but (mostly) looking very much like it was shot in the 60s. It was a little weird that instead of Diabolik being a charming rogue, in this one he's just a straight up psychopath Dirtbag Batman.

    There was a lot of heavy construction for his various underground lairs. I know we're supposed to just overlook this kind of stuff, but, I dunno, were 60s Italian heavy earthworks contractors noted for their discretion?

  • Sandman (2022): Watching the first half of this was a constant repeat of: "Oh, I remember this scene from the comics... No, I'm remembering an earlier, better version of this same scene from Moore's run on Swamp Thing." Was reading Sandman the first time around like this? Probably. I wish those short-lived Swamp Thing and Hellblazer shows had been given a proper chance, because while they both had some rough spots, they were both better than this!

    The Hob Gadling half-episode was great. Everything else, especially all the Rose Walker stuff, was a complete snore. If we're going to let elderly sad goth 80s comics writers continue to get high on their old supply, at least give Grant Morrison more TV, you cowards. (They can never take Flex Mentallo away from us.)

    Also the single half hour episode of Harley Quinn that featured Swamp Thing and Constantine was better than the entire 6+ hours of Sandman.

  • Doors (2021): A series of short stories set in a world where some incomprehensible aliens dropped weird gateways onto the planet that drive people nuts. It has a bit of a "cosmic horror" feel, and it is a bit reminiscent of Annihilation. It's ok but it doesn't really go anywhere. Which it also has in common with Annihilation.

  • Better Call Saul (2015-2022): I loved everything about this show, and they stuck the landing on the series finale. I also enjoyed Breaking Bad but Better Call Saul was so, so much better.

  • Atomic Blonde (2017): Just want to mention that I've watched this for like the 8th time and it's still just absolute fucking perfection. Has there been a better spy movie? I even bought the soundtrack, and that was only like 80% for that Health cover and 20% just out of respect.

  • Lord of the Rings, The Rings of Power (2022): I am surprised to report that I am quite enjoying this so far. I say this as someone who did not have the constitutional fortitude to even finish watching Return of the The King, let alone any of The Hobbit.

    (I keep thinking Galadriel is iamamiwhoami.)

  • She-Hulk, Attorney At Law (2022): Absolutely loving this. It is so dumb and fun.

    Though I am disappointed that She-Hulk is not more buff and even taller.

    (Fun fact: it is Marvel canon that hulks import their extra mass from a pocket dimension filled entirely with striated green meat.)

    Also we can thank this show for bringing Law and the Multiverse back out of retirement.

  • Harley Quinn S03: Perfect, no notes. See Sandman, above.

  • Only Murders in the Building S02: Not as good as S01 but still fun. They kind of loaded the entire plot into the last episode, but it was still fun to watch the three of them bumbling along.

  • Tales of the Walking Dead (2022): This is crap. They tricked me by having one good episode, the one with Parker Posey, but the rest of it is crap. Like all Walking Dead shows, it is full of deeply stupid, unlikable people, but at least as an anthology, you only have to put up with each of them for less than 42 minutes.

  • House of the Dragon (2022): Apparently the entire show is going to be about selling little girls into marriage/slavery? The other series was largely about that too, but it at least had other sub-plots. And did the writers learn everything they know about uncle/stepsibling dynamics from PornHub?

    Also the big dragon fight at the beginning was shot so dark I couldn't tell WTF was going on. You had one job! It's in the title of the show!

  • Blood & Treasure S02: Still enjoying this one a lot. It's less globetrotty than S01, but the characters are great.

  • The Resort (2022): A couple at an all-inclusive resort stumble on a decades-old mystery -- but they're idiots. It's pretty funny. The ending goes kind of off the rails.

  • Nope (2022): I love Peele's other movies but I wasn't really crazy about this one. It's got a bunch of different plots going on that only barely tie together, and the whole "monster" plot was just kind of a let-down.

    I enjoyed this (spoilery) Nope fanfic far more than Nope itself.

  • The Bear (2022): Dysfunctional boneheads try to run their restaurant. So much yelling! I enjoyed it, but watching this is not what you'd call a relaxing experience.

  • Paper Girls (2022): I was looking forward to this because I enjoyed the comics it was based on, but the show didn't really grab me. It's alright? Somehow I missed that it had even been released, and it has already been cancelled. One of the interesting things about the comics was that the time travel cosmology is really weird, but they didn't get into that in the show, and now they never will.

  • The Imperfects (2022): Some folks get superpowers and go looking for their mad scientist to make him take them away. It's pretty fun, and it's a nice take that they never even consider superheroing, they just think of themselves as monsters.

  • The Munsters (2022): This was not great. It's all schtick, though. It's like if someone said to Kingfish of Hubba Hubba Revue, I am going to give you half a million dollars, and you are going to make me a Munsters movie. You have exactly 3 months. Go!

    "And that's how I cast my brother as the Werewolf."

    The actors nailed it and the sets were great, but that didn't make it work. It felt like the first 2 episodes of a TV series, and in that context, I would probably still be giving it a chance to find its footing.

    Also, as a prequel / wedding, it was the same plot as the absolutely terrible Addams Family cartoon that came out a couple years ago. Which is stragely appropirate, Munsters biting Addams' style.

    Every movie now has to be a prequel that explains everything. Let me tell you the backstory of that little spaceship toy Luke played with in the garage for 5 seconds! Hey, where did Han get those fuzzy dice? Who gives a shit!

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The kids have killed the reply GIF

It is rare for a multimillion-dollar company to explicitly state that its business is dying because it is simply too uncool to live.

But that is the bold strategy that the gif search engine Giphy has adopted with the UK's competition regulator, which is trying to block a $400m takeover attempt by Facebook's owner, Meta. In a filing with the Competition and Markets Authority, Giphy argued that there was simply no company other than Meta that would buy it.

Its valuation is down by $200m from its peak in 2016 and, more importantly, its core offering shows signs of going out of fashion. "There are indications of an overall decline in gif use," the company said in its filing, "due to a general waning of user and content partner interest in gifs.

"They have fallen out of fashion as a content form, with younger users in particular describing gifs as 'for boomers' and 'cringe'."

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Last man standing in the floppy disk business

Tom Persky is the time-honored founder of floppydisk.com, a US-based company dedicated to the selling and recycling of floppy disks.

How many floppy disks do you have in stock at the moment?

Not as many as I'd like, something in the order of half a million. We carry all the different flavors: 3.5-inch, 5.25-inch, 8-inch, and some rather rare diskettes. Another thing that happened organically was the start of our floppy disk recycling service. We give people the opportunity to send us floppy disks and we recycle them, rather than put them into a landfill. The sheer volume of floppy disks we get in has really surprised me, it's sometimes a 1,000 disks a day. [...]

Are there still any companies left that produce them?

I would say my last buy from a manufacturer was about ten or twelve years ago. Back then I made the decision to buy a large quantity, a couple of million disks, and we've basically been living off of that inventory ever since. [...]

Who are your main customers at the moment?

The customers that are the easiest to provide for are the hobbyists -- people who want to buy ten, 20, or maybe 50 floppy disks. However, my biggest customers -- and the place where most of the money comes from -- are the industrial users. These are people who use floppy disks as a way to get information in and out of a machine. Imagine it's 1990, and you're building a big industrial machine of one kind or another. You design it to last 50 years and you'd want to use the best technology available. At the time this was a 3.5-inch floppy disk. Take the airline industry for example. Probably half of the air fleet in the world today is more than 20 years old and still uses floppy disks in some of the avionics. That's a huge consumer. There's also medical equipment, which requires floppy disks to get the information in and out of medical devices. The biggest customer of all is probably the embroidery business though. Thousands and thousands of machines that use floppy disks were made for this, and they still use these.

If there is still a demand for floppy disks in the industrial world, why would the manufacturers stop producing them?

People tend to think about floppy disks in the same way as CDs and DVDs. To produce these, you only have to pour plastic in one end of a large machine, and you're getting CDs or DVDs out at the other end. Even though this might already look like a complex process, it's nothing compared to the manufacturing of a floppy disk. A floppy disk has perhaps nine unique components. There's the plastic moulding, the cookie, a shutter, a spring, etc. [...] The amount of effort it would take to recreate a manufacturing line for all of the pieces that go into a floppy would be virtually impossible. [...] People have been living off of inventory for five or ten years now. [...]

When you think about a manufacturing process that's getting to the end of its life, you have to consider that the testing equipment falls out of calibration. [...] In the end the quality was so bad that people didn't even test the disks anymore. Rather, they just tried to format the disk and if it didn't work, they knew it was bad. They started spitting out as many disks as possible to burn through the remaining stock.

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Truck spills its load of dildos and lube

The incident took place on the I-40, near Mustang on the outskirts of Oklahoma City, on Wednesday.

Video shot from a helicopter by local network KWTV News 9 showed a large number of boxes and phallic shaped items spread across the highway. [...]

A station anchor asks: "Jim can you tell what he's carrying there? What's all over the road?"

As the cameras zoom in for a closeup shot Gardner replies: "We're zooming in...not really. I can't tell. Maybe you can tell?" [...]

Speaking to The U.S. Sun Oklahoma City Police Department confirmed "toys" had been spilled on the highway by the crash, though didn't give further details.

The absolute cowards at KWTV News 9 have not updated their initial reporting to say, "Yup, it was dongs."

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DNA Lounge: Wherein Best of the Bay is upon us once more

Bonus DNA Lounge content: did you notice the new logo we stamped into the sidewalk after the sewer work? We intended to sink another steel logo into the concrete like last time, but it had set a bit too much by the time we got there, so instead we have a bas relief. Which also turned out pretty good!
Please vote for us! We crave validation.

Categories for your consideration:

  • Best Takeout: DNA Pizza
  • Best Pizza: DNA Pizza
  • Best Overall Bar: DNA Lounge
  • Best Dance Company: Hubba Hubba Revue
  • Best Theatre Company: Hubba Hubba Revue
  • Best Performance Venue: DNA Lounge
  • Best Live Music Venue: DNA Lounge
  • Best Nightclub: DNA Lounge
  • Best Dance Party: So Stoked, Harder Better Faster Stronger, Turbo Drive, Wasted, Death Guild...
  • Best Burlesque: Hubba Hubba Revue
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