Today in ubiquitous surveillance news:

Ars acquires 4.6M license plate scans from the cops

In response to a public records request, we obtained the entire LPR dataset of the Oakland Police Department (OPD), including more than 4.6 million reads of over 1.1 million unique plates between December 23, 2010 and May 31, 2014. The dataset is likely the largest ever publicly released in the United States -- perhaps in the world.

After analyzing this data with a custom-built visualization tool, Ars can definitively demonstrate the data's revelatory potential. Anyone in possession of enough data can often -- but not always -- make educated guesses about a target's home or workplace, particularly when someone's movements are consistent (as with a regular commute).

For instance, during a meeting with an Oakland city council member, Ars was able to accurately guess the block where the council member lives after less than a minute of research using his license plate data. Similarly, while "working" at an Oakland bar mere blocks from Oakland police headquarters, we ran a plate from a car parked in the bar's driveway through our tool. The plate had been read 48 times over two years in two small clusters: one near the bar and a much larger cluster 24 blocks north in a residential area -- likely the driver's home.

All Muni Buses Now Have Transit Lane Enforcement Cameras

Muni has installed front-facing cameras on every Muni bus to ticket drivers who double-park in transit-only lanes.

Muni is the first major American transit agency to have enforcement cameras on every bus.

Muni didn't publicize the milestone, but we checked up on the effort with SFMTA spokesperson Paul Rose, who said it was completed last fall (a few months off the target date of spring 2014). Equipping the whole fleet marks a major milestone in the effort to make Muni service more effective, and it nicely complements the city's growing number of red-painted transit lanes.

So be warned, drivers: If a Muni bus weaves around your parked car in a transit lane, you will get a ticket in the mail. The base fine is $110.

Unfortunately, state law prohibits the cameras from being used to cite moving violations, so drivers cruising down a Muni lane can still only be penalized by the SFPD.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

Tags: , , , , ,

Rina Dragunova

Goes great with previously.

Tags: , ,

The Flashularity

Is there a graph anywhere of how quickly Flash security updates are coming now? Is it accelerating exponentially? Has is gotten to multiple times a week yet?

I'm pretty sure we've already reached the point where the security updates are coming faster than my desire to run Flash -- that is, every time I want to play Flash, I have to update it first. Kind of like how every time I turn on my Playstation, I can't actually play any games until it spends two hours downloading updates first.

I guess that's a good sign, coffin-nail-wise?

If you use Safari, ClickToPlugin is decent. It translates many Flash players to HTML5 players, including Youtube.

Previously, previously.

Tags: , , , ,

Sundays

Sundays

Previously, previously, previously, previously.

Tags: , , ,

MindWarp

Peter Watts visits the effects shop that makes Hannibal corpses:

I have a whole subdirectory of such wondrous fans, ripe for exploitation. A few of them have turned out to be economists; I'll be exploiting them a fair bit over the next few months. But only one of these economists has a partner who makes disembodied bodies for a living.


Lesser FX houses would just build a solid mannequin, slice it up, and paint the slices. Not these guys. These guys built the body from the inside out -- viscera, skeleton, body fat, connective fascia, musculature -- and then carved it up. I don't know if mere pictures can convey the icky verisimilitude of the result.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Without Real String or Fish

Shriekback give exceptionally good merch:

It is also a fantastic album! Go buy.

Previously, previously.

Tags: , ,

BSOD

@ActualPerson084:

THEY SOLD US NEW TELEVISIONS WHEN WE BEGAN SEEING TEETH IN THE STATIC. NOW, THROUGH ALL THAT BLUE, SOMETHING IMMENSE IS SWIMMING TOWARD US.

THE SLEEK LIGHTLESS ÜBERS WHICH COLLECT ONE PASSENGER AFTER ANOTHER, BUT WHICH NEVER EMPTY OUT. THE TOLLS THEY DEMAND DURING SURGE PRICING.

A PRIVATE FIRM HAS WEAPONIZED THE SENSATION OF GOING TO A ROCK SHOW ALONE

LANDLINES, CHOKED WITH VEILS OF SPIDER'S WEB, WITH NO CURRENT OF VOICES TO SWEEP THEM CLEAN

REVELATION THAT, EVEN THOUGH THE U2 ALBUM'S GONE, IT MAY HAVE LAID EGGS IN OUR PHONES

TILDA SWINTON HAS FOLLOWED YOU INTO A CRAWL SPACE: AN EXHIBIT AT MoMA

ONCE ELLO REACHES ENOUGH ACTIVE ACCOUNTS, VENTURE CAPITALISTS ARE FREE TO SELL THE USER BASE TO A COMPANY THAT "PROCESSES BONES."

INCREASINGLY DESPERATE GOOGLE SEARCH FOR "HOW MANY SHADOWS SHOULD I HAVE?"

THE WORLD TILTS ALONG SOME AWFUL AXIS. YOU UNDERSTAND BITCOIN NOW. YOUR FACE PRESSED TO THE FLOOR, HOWLING ABOUT A DISAPPEARING MOUNTAIN.

THE BRAND OF BOTTLED WATER THAT NEVER QUITE DRIES AFTER A SPILL, ITS CONSUMERS GOING ABOUT THEIR LIVES WITH DRIPPING HANDS AND CHINS.

YOUR PHONE CLUTCHING YOU WITH FRIGHTENED LITTLE CLAWS WHENEVER YOU MOVE TO SET IT DOWN.

Previously, previously, previously.

Tags:

The Clown Wars

I can't help but think that this film completes the trilogy begun with New Moon on Monday and No Church in The Wild.

Taco Bell Launches Cold War Against McDonald's With Propaganda Imagery

That's all to say, it depicts a dystopian world, but the whole concept also can't help but come across as some kind of meta wormhole, like a microcosm of capitalism trying to devour itself. A smaller fast-food giant is knocking a bigger goliath for creating a fantastical totalitarian communist state, wherein the greatest strain on individual freedom is uninspired food, and the most dire physical threat to would-be defectors is whatever horror befalls a person who gets hit by a confetti bomb, or jumps into a grimy ball pit. (Though, in fairness, it's always been hard not to wonder what's lurking in the bottoms of those things -- they're too colorful to trust.)


Do you want Jokers? Because this is how you get Jokers. But don't forget, "Taco Bell was the only restaurant to survive the Franchise Wars, so now all restaurants are Taco Bell."

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

Scene missing! A video that used to be embedded in this post has disappeared. If you know of a copy of this video that is still accessible, please mail me so that I can update the link.
Tags: , , , , , , ,

  • Previously