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CA City Mulls Evading the Law On Red-Light Cameras 366

Posted by kdawson
from the wrong-on-so-many-levels dept.
TechDirt is running a piece on Corona, CA, where officials are considering ignoring a California law that authorizes red-light cameras — cutting the state and the county out of their portion of the take — in order to increase the city's revenue. The story was first reported a week ago. The majority of tickets are being (automatically) issued for "California stops" before a right turn on red, which studies have shown rarely contribute to an accident. TechDirt notes the apparent unconstitutionality of what Corona proposes to do: "The problem here is that Corona is shredding the Sixth Amendment of the US Constitution, the right to a trial by jury. By reclassifying a moving violation... to an administrative violation... Corona is doing something really nefarious. In order to appeal an administrative citation you have to admit guilt, pay the full fine, and then apply for a hearing in front of an administrative official, not a judge in a court. The city could simply deny all hearings for administrative violations or schedule them far out in advance knowing full well that they have your money, which you had to pay before you could appeal."
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Microsoft Releases Prototype of Research OS "Barrelfish"

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  • by bmo (77928) on Friday September 25, 2009 @02:14AM (#29537067)

    3 "New Architechture" operating systems.

    Microsoft is getting more like the old Xerox and IBM every day.

    Xerox PARC: Create industry changing new technology that we hear about but never see. Never release.
    IBM of the 1980's: Fat, lethargic, bureaucracy driven.
    Microsoft right now: Both.

    I'm still waiting for Cairo.

    --
    BMO

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 25, 2009 @02:19AM (#29537093)

    ...but still can't handle modern web standards.

  • Genuine innovation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Max Romantschuk (132276) <max@romantschuk.fi> on Friday September 25, 2009 @02:29AM (#29537119) Homepage

    Say what you want about Microsoft, but their research division does a hell of a lot of genuine innovation.

    This is an important problem area for future software systems, great that alternative approaches are being looked at. More power to them.

  • so... (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Skizmo (957780) on Friday September 25, 2009 @02:34AM (#29537141)

    "...specifically for multicore environments."

    Mr.Gates, this is what we expected from Windows 7.

  • by 1s44c (552956) on Friday September 25, 2009 @02:38AM (#29537155)

    Microsoft is far to big to change direction. They are a marketing company trying to wring every last penny out of windows and related tools. They have never been a technology company and trying to change now will do nothing but burn vast sums of money. Windows is obsolete and they know they have to replace it but they will never be able to come up with anything better.

    They could develop new and better OS's at a fraction of their current research costs by simply giving cash to universities to do the work and keeping their hands off the projects. Sadly they can't think like that.

  • by 1s44c (552956) on Friday September 25, 2009 @02:44AM (#29537179)

    Say what you want about Microsoft, but their research division does a hell of a lot of genuine innovation.

    I don't think so. I'll give them credit for trying really hard and for having a huge budget though.

    Can you give a few examples of really original research? Everything I've seen was either trivial or a rehash of old mainframe ideas. Not that I'm saying there is anything wrong with old mainframe ideas but it's hardly 'genuine innovation'.

  • by GreatBunzinni (642500) on Friday September 25, 2009 @02:50AM (#29537203)
    If you believe that barrelfish, midori and singularity are "new technology" then you don't have a clue about what has been done in the tech world. Microkernels? Done. OSs based/written in managed code? Done. Capabilities-based OSs? Done. What Microsoft is doing is reimplementing old concepts on Microsoft's own technology (C#, CIL, etc) and then using the test code that has been produced by those projects as a marketing tool. So when Windows is known to be plagued with security bugs and, therefore, viruses... Well, here comes Microsoft's marketing division clamouring this new singularity project, armed with it's press release which announces that Microsoft is building from the ground up an OS entirely devoted to security. Very convenient to dispel criticisms but still very irrelevant. So when Windows is known to have lacklustre support for multi-processor/multi-core systems... Well, here comes Microsoft's marketing division clamouring this new barrelfish project, armed with it's press release which announces that Microsoft is building from the ground up an OS entirely devoted to multi-core systems. Once again, very convenient to dispel criticisms but still very irrelevant. After all, although they announce so many of these research projects, all Microsoft is able to dump into the market is a series of Windows NT clones. So why is this even news?
  • by 1s44c (552956) on Friday September 25, 2009 @02:52AM (#29537213)

    By Genuine Innovation you mean "doing stuff Sun was doing well over a decade ago?" Sounds pretty innovative to me.

    I think the 'Genuine Innovation' bit comes in when they lie about having done it first in some huge expensive marketing campaign.

  • by 1s44c (552956) on Friday September 25, 2009 @03:26AM (#29537333)

    .net is their only real innovation that comes to mind.

    In what way is .net an innovation? It's not an innovation without being new in some way.

    MS's real strength is in their ability to take technologies and make them easy to use, consistent and reliable.

    No. Their real strength is marketing, sales, strongarming hardware suppliers, and consumer ignorance. Their software isn't easier to use or more consistent than anything else and it certainly isn't more reliable. Actually it is shockingly unreliable.

    Ever had to deal with active directory? Chain crashes of multiple machines do happen and application level errors often cause a blue screen and leave no logs to indicate what went wrong. In big environments bugs like that cost a few million a day and they happen every day. Companies pay a fortune just to cover things like that up, it happens everywhere.

    Ever seen a virus wipe out over a thousand production servers in a day? I have on windows but never on anything unix based.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 25, 2009 @03:27AM (#29537339)

    Because... even OSX can't protect you from stupid. There's not a pill you can take.. or a book you can read.

    Just wait till major linux distros start including one, if that market share ever perks up above the uber-geek demographic.

  • Re:weird (Score:3, Insightful)

    by calmofthestorm (1344385) on Friday September 25, 2009 @03:59AM (#29537449)

    MS Research is like a research university for all intents and purposes; they basically have academic latitude. Of course by the time the product reaches market it will be made, um..."better".

  • Re:weird (Score:4, Insightful)

    by node 3 (115640) on Friday September 25, 2009 @04:10AM (#29537479)

    MS Research is like a research university for all intents and purposes; they basically have academic latitude. Of course by the time the product reaches market it will be made, um..."better".

    That's exactly it. MS Research is very much like a university except that their projects rarely make it out into the public in any meaningful and open way.

    I'm not begrudging MS keeping their projects to themselves, just pointing out that there is a fairly key distinction to be made here.

  • by bmo (77928) on Friday September 25, 2009 @04:31AM (#29537523)

    What I was pointing out was what you're jumping down my throat about.

    Indeed, didn't I say I was still waiting for Cairo? Yes, I believe I did.

    Please take a fuckin' chill pill and say hello to your new status.

    Burning karma because I have it to burn.

    --
    BMO

  • Re:Windows vs Mac (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 25, 2009 @04:51AM (#29537597)

    That's hardly fair. Safari's new javascript engine was called Squirrelfish for example (before they renamed it Nitro). Squirrelfish, Barrelfish - not a big difference if you ask me.

    Apple is considered cooler because they actually release new tech instead of just bragging about it and then quietly ditching it two years later.

    For example while Microsoft make a big song and dance about their new theorectical OS with efficient multicore support that they may release one day, Apple built Grand Central Dispatch into Snow Leopard and are now selling it.

    In less than a year there will be several actual shipping Mac apps using this technology, probably around about the same time that Microsoft quietly drop Barrelfish and move onto something else that looks shiny.

  • by 7 digits (986730) on Friday September 25, 2009 @05:35AM (#29537723)

    I am always amazed that people can be both assertive and utterly wrong. I despise Microsoft, for a variety of reason, but that isn't a reason to be blind at their qualities:

    > Microsoft is far to big to change direction.

    Internet, WindowsNT, XBox are counter examples. Microsoft is one of the most agile company out there. A lot of dead [wikipedia.org] / moribond [wikipedia.org] companies [wikipedia.org] and a lot of [wikipedia.org] products [wikipedia.org] are there to serve as a warning to others [google.com].

    > They have never been a technology company

    I beg to differ [amazon.com]. It is possible to argue that their are not a technology company anymore, but not that they never were

    > They could develop new and better OS's at a fraction of their current research costs by simply giving cash to universities to do the work and keeping their hands off the projects

    To build an OS that they would get no benefits of ? Wtf? And why does MS would need a new OS ? What is wrong with the current OS model ? They need better apps, they need better subsystems, they need to remove cruft and to clean up stuff, but the core OS is still fine for its uses and can be improved by evolutions.

    They just need Microsoft Research for a few things, mainly:
    * To prevent people working here from working elsewhere, where they could create and apply disruptive technology.
    * To get ideas that may or may not integrated into products (given the origins of the talking paperclip, the latter may be better)
    * To have a better time-to-market IF they needed to produce something due to some disruptive tech appearing from competitors

    Giving cash to university and keeping their hands off the projects obviously wouldn't make any sense

  • by Haxamanish (1564673) on Friday September 25, 2009 @06:00AM (#29537805)
    I've seen an ATW at work in the late 80s. My Archimedes could calculate a mandlebrot set in about 30 seconds, a PC needed several minutes for that. The ATW could zoom in and out mandlebrots _in real time_ and one fly through them like through a 3D-world, I was really stunned when I saw that.
  • by 0ld_d0g (923931) on Friday September 25, 2009 @06:11AM (#29537857)

    Um, so? Not everything in a research lab gets converted into a product. You're thinking on the level of a consumer,.. I thought this site was for technical people? You mean nobody even looked at the code to see if there is any cool tech in there? You mean people are just spouting anti-ms drivel without knowing the first thing about writing operating systems? Say it ain't so !

  • by speedtux (1307149) on Friday September 25, 2009 @06:18AM (#29537885)

    Well, if Microsoft's new OS can handle multi-core, multi-processor transparently for the applications

    No more than current OS'es. This OS simply claims to be internally more efficient.

    The thing I found quite elegant in Erlang is that it makes it so transparent

    Erlang really does little that you can't do as easily in other languages. The real value of Erlang is in what it lacks: it prevents you from doing things that are hard to distribute across cores.

    Imagine an OS with a "normal-looking" set of library that can handle all the hard works transparently. I'd say, bully to them.

    That's wishful thinking. "Normal-looking" code is "normal-looking" because it uses constructs that are intrinsically hard to parallelize.

  • by timmarhy (659436) on Friday September 25, 2009 @07:59AM (#29538495)
    .net is innovative in the sense it's a worthy competitor to java. while you could argue .net isn't truely innovative because it fills the same niche that java did years before, you'd be vastly understating the work that went into the .net framework and not understanding how they've done things differently. remmeber innovation isn't finding new problems, it's finding new solutions to problems.

    To answer your question i use AD daily at work - it's fine. i haven't ever had a single problem with it going back to 2000. it's always done exactly what it's supposed to. at the moment i run windows 2003 server and sql server 2005. while i'm not 100% satisfied with reporting services, it's still well ahead of anything OSS has to offer and cheaper then buying crystal reports. with the exception of service packs windows server 2003 hasn't ever needed a restart or crashed. the only issues i've ever had have been flaky 3rd party apps.

    you retreat into the tired old fanboy nonsense of accusing me of having an MS pr play book - that's total bullshit, there are great OSS projects i have used and am a fan of. python, postgresql and apache to name some.

    what i can't stand is OSS people who refuse point blank to consider MS has done anything right. for fucks sake, they are the market leader, they must be doing something right. i want better software, not your ideology.

  • by amliebsch (724858) on Friday September 25, 2009 @08:35AM (#29538839) Journal

    The IBM-PC may have been a turd in comparison, but it was a turd that cost a tenth of the price while still doing most of what people needed a computer to do. So, it was a cost-efficient turd. That meant that companies could afford to computerize much more of their workforce, sooner, and that more families could get a computer, earlier. And I don't think that's sad at all.

  • by Kell Bengal (711123) on Friday September 25, 2009 @10:46AM (#29540277)
    Just be glad they aren't outsourcing them to Digg.
  • by Sparr0 (451780) <sparr0@gmail.com> on Friday September 25, 2009 @11:12AM (#29540571) Homepage Journal

    The "exception" is that they are pretending that this is not a fine for a crime, but instead is a fee for a non-crime interaction with the govt. You don't need a jury trial to tell you that [any non-criminal interaction with the DMV or court clerk or registrar] is going to have a fee attached to it. They are trying to put this "fee" for keeping your driver's license after a violation in the same category as the fee for getting your driver's license in the first place.

  • by EsJay (879629) on Friday September 25, 2009 @11:18AM (#29540647)
    The lack of a moving violation has an advantage for the motorist. Here in Illinois, red-light tickets do not affect your driving record or insurance rates.

    As a bicyclist in a city where red lights mean "four more cars!", I was happy to see the red light cameras arrive. Even after getting a ticket as a driver. The on-line video of my violation was educational - it looked like an audition for "Cops". I'm a lot more careful now.
  • by xav_jones (612754) on Friday September 25, 2009 @02:12PM (#29542645)
    The overuse of stop signs in southern California is unbelievable. Even on streets that one would naturally expect to flow through there are many 3- and 4-way stops. Having grown up with Australian traffic infrastructure and driven extensively in Europe the multitude of unnecessary stops in California is maddening -- not to mention environmentally unfriendly and inefficient. It may be ego but by sheer numbers of rolling stops being done here the title is not undeserved.
  • All about REVENUE (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Nonillion (266505) on Friday September 25, 2009 @04:50PM (#29544491)

    "where officials are considering ignoring a California law that authorizes red-light cameras -- cutting the state and the county out of their portion of the take -- in order to increase the city's revenue."

    If this doesn't convince you that it's NOT "all about safety" then I don't know what will...

  • Re:I'm outraged! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by commodore64_love (1445365) on Friday September 25, 2009 @06:25PM (#29545217) Journal

    You're right!

    What we need to do is surround the building and remind this town's legislators who gave them their job. This bullshit red-light ticketing without a trial needs to end.

    Then once that's done, we'll surround the headquarters of RIAA and shoot anyone who tries to leave the building. (Or until the police show up.)

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