Exhibit A: Oakland mayor apologizes for promoting local lock picking class.

Exhibit B: Titanium Escape Ring.

It's a simple but elegant-looking ring made of titanium, cut from solid barstock and polished to a mirror finish. But unlike all other rings, this one contains a saw and handcuff shim pick combination tool which is completely hidden from view when worn. Located on a finger, its always in the exact area needed to quickly access and deploy, even when handcuffed. The shim can be used to open single-locked handcuffs, while the saw can cut zip-ties, disposable handcuffs, duct tape, rope, and other non-metallic materials. This stainless steel tool is 2" x 1/8" x 1/64", and its unusual flexibility allows it to curve around and be seated in the ring's interior.

Exhibit C: Texas Declares War on Robots.

Texas legislators are apparently quite concerned that private citizens operating hobby drones might spot environmental violations by businesses. You may recall the story from 2012 in which a hobbyist operating a small UAV over public land in Dallas, TX accidentally photographed a Dallas meat-packing plant illegally dumping pig blood into the Trinity river, resulting in an EPA indictment. Representative Lance Gooden has introduced HB912 to solve this "problem".
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7 Responses:

  1. Elusis says:

    The same Indiana legislature member who just authored a bill to require transvaginal probes before and after a woman receives a pharmaceutical abortion, also authored a bill making it a crime to video someone's farm or factory.


    So to review: Farms and businesses, definitely private. My vagina, definitely needs filming.

  2. nooj says:

    I cry for my state. It should be a punishable offence to introduce legislation that is deemed unconstitutional, especially if it happens after the legislation passes, but before it goes into effect.

    • nooj says:

      FTA: "A person commits an offense if the person uses or authorizes the use of an unmanned vehicle or aircraft to capture an image without the express consent of the person who owns or lawfully occupies the real property captured in the image." ("Image" is defined as including any type of recorded telemetry from sensors that measure "sound waves, thermal, infrared, ultraviolet, visible light, or other electromagnetic waves, odor, or other conditions".)

      There are so many legal issues with this verbiage I don't even know where to begin. I guess the real question is what political machinations he's gained among powers-that-be by being the fall guy "author" of this crap.

      On the other hand, it may be a doomed attempt to keep police from using drones.

      • Ben says:

        Doesn't that cover satellite photography?

      • phuzz says:

        Don't the police already have helicopters? I realise drones make surveillance a lot cheaper, and thus more attractive, but apart from getting closer there's not much difference between the footage you would get from either.
        Not that I'm entirely happy with the idea of being spied on by the police, but perhaps legislation should focus on a more broad outline of the circumstances the police are allowed to surveil people or places, regardless of how they do it?

        • phuzz says:

          edit, wouldn't that also include walking past your factory and my phone picking up noises from inside as I have a conversation?

      • My first thought was that maybe Barbara Streisand was behind this, until I noticed that it only applies to "unmanned vehicle or aircraft". Maybe it's backed by the helicopter pilots' union?