Archive for June, 2007

Trying out the iPhones

Friday, June 29th, 2007

Sent from my iPhone

Post from iPhone

Friday, June 29th, 2007

Sent from my iPhone

6:00

Friday, June 29th, 2007

Here we go!

Counting the seconds

Friday, June 29th, 2007

The big reveal

Friday, June 29th, 2007

They're taking the shades off the storefront.

Zzz

Friday, June 29th, 2007

Not everyone is buying into the excitement of iPhone mania…

Mmm, Starbucks

Friday, June 29th, 2007

Starbucks just came around and gave out free coffee. The mall cops just made everyone stand up and consolidated the line. Looks like there are about 50 people in line behind me.

45 minutes and counting

Friday, June 29th, 2007

All this build-up, and I'm not even buying one…

iWater

Friday, June 29th, 2007

Apple Store employees are giving away free water to the people in the iPhone line.

No signal

Friday, June 29th, 2007

Darn it… either the Apple Store has turned off its Wi-Fi, or I'm too far away to pick up the signal. And I forgot to bring my modem phone. I guess this means I actually have to study while I wait. ;)

T minus 2 hours 45 minutes

Friday, June 29th, 2007

Looks like between 30 and 40 people in line at the Knoxville Apple Store. … The mall rent-a-cop just told a guy with a baby that he can't use a chair that was (and now is again) sitting unused at a vendor's table next to the line. Ah, arbitrariness.

CNN Breaking News

Friday, June 29th, 2007

Police and security sources say they found bomb components in a second car in central London hours after deactivating a device in the city’s entertainment district.

Visit CNN for the latest.

NYC to require permits for public photography

Friday, June 29th, 2007

Oh, this is good:

Some tourists, amateur photographers, even would-be filmmakers hoping to make it big on YouTube could soon be forced to obtain a city permit and $1 million in liability insurance before taking pictures or filming on city property, including sidewalks.

New rules being considered by the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting would require any group of two or more people who want to use a camera in a single public location for more than a half hour to get a city permit and insurance. …

Julianne Cho, assistant commissioner of the film office, said the rules were not intended to apply to families on vacation or amateur filmmakers or photographers.

Nevertheless, the New York Civil Liberties Union says the proposed rules, as strictly interpreted, could have that effect. The group also warns that the rules set the stage for selective and perhaps discriminatory enforcement by police. …

Christopher Dunn, the group’s associate legal director… suggested that the city deliberately kept the language vague, and that as a result police would have broad discretion in enforcing the rules. In a letter sent to the film office this week, Mr. Dunn said the proposed rules would potentially apply to tourists in places like Times Square, Rockefeller Center or ground zero, “where people routinely congregate for more than half an hour and photograph or film.”

The rule could also apply to people waiting in line to enter the Empire State Building or other tourist attractions.

The rules define a “single site” as any area within 100 feet of where filming begins. Under the rules, the two or more people would not actually have to be filming, but could simply be holding an ordinary camera and talking to each other. …

Mr. Dunn says that in addition to the rules being overreaching, they would also create enforcement problems.

“Your everyday person out there with a camcorder is never going to know about the rules,” Mr. Dunn said. “It completely opens the door to discriminatory enforcement of the permit requirements, and that is of enormous concern to us because the people who are going to get pointed out are the people who have dark skin or who are shooting in certain locations.”

Not only will your everyday citizen not know the rules, but I bet your everyday police officer won’t, either. They’ll just know there’s some sort of law that says you need a permit to take pictures, and they’ll use that knowledge to their own advantage as needed. This relates back to what I was talking about yesterday. In addition to the problems mentioned by the NYCLU, the permit scheme will add another weapon to the arsenal of intimidation devices that bad cops can use when citizens dare criticize their actions or question their authority to issue commands they’re not actually authorized to issue. Now, it’ll be: “interfering with a police officer, disturbing the peace, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest… and taking photos on city property without a permit.” Nevermind that the charge might not stand up in court — it’ll be enough to get most people to back off from, you know, asserting their constitutional rights, including freedom of assembly and the general right to be free from arbitrary governmental interference with legal activities in public areas.

P.S. Imagine the implications of this for videotaping police activity. If someone is standing on a sidewalk, talking with a friend while recording the police making an arrest, and he’s there for more than a half-hour, the police now have a legitimate basis to tell him to stop. (Well… “legitimacy” is in the eye of the beholder… but at least on its face, under New York law, it’ll be legitimate.) Even if the photographer is there for less than a half-hour, do you really think that’s going to stop a policeman (who doesn’t fully know the rules) from accosting a photographer (who’s never even heard of the rules), if by doing so the officer can shield his actions from scrutiny?

Contact information for the commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre & Broadcasting is here. Contact information for President Mayor Bloomberg himself is here.

Terror attack foiled in London

Friday, June 29th, 2007

Yikes:

LONDON (AP) – Police thwarted an apparent terror attack Friday near Piccadilly Circus, defusing an explosive car loaded with gas cylinders, nails and a detonator after an ambulance crew reported seeing smoke coming from the vehicle.

The explosives were powerful enough to have caused “significant injury or loss of life” – possibly killing hundreds in an area famed for its nightlife, British anti-terror police chief Peter Clarke said.

The ambulance crew was there “responding to a call just before 1:30 a.m. about an injury at a nearby nightclub” when they noticed the smoke coming from the car. Whoever caused that injury may have saved a lot of lives!

P.S. According to the BBC, “Police sources say it is quite possible the device failed to ignite – and might have been minutes away from exploding.”

Roundup of links here.

The mom-to-be speaks

Friday, June 29th, 2007

For the first time, Becky blogs about being pregnant.