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

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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  • Re:weird (Score:3, Informative)

    by El_Muerte_TDS ( 592157 ) on Friday September 25, 2009 @03:15AM (#29537071) Homepage

    Maybe it's because it's not just Microsoft who's working on that project. The other half of the team is from ETH Zurich Systems Group: [] .

  • by FCh ( 150904 ) on Friday September 25, 2009 @03:19AM (#29537091)

    Transputers had 4 HW links -- those are probably the easiest part to replicate in current processors.
    The difficult part is the threading model: Transputers had their own thread model. Scheduler was hardwired in silicon, together with a couple of dedicated instructions. SW could not tell the difference between a local and a remote communication. Efficient, but not very flexible in terms of OS architecture.

  • by antifoidulus ( 807088 ) on Friday September 25, 2009 @03:47AM (#29537193) Homepage Journal
    By Genuine Innovation you mean "doing stuff Sun was doing well over a decade ago?" Sounds pretty innovative to me.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 25, 2009 @04:34AM (#29537357)

    have you ever written anything in CUDA?

  • by calmofthestorm ( 1344385 ) on Friday September 25, 2009 @05:04AM (#29537465)

    Yeah turns out this problem is really hard and, depending on how you formalize it, uncomputable. What it boils down to is that the system needs to know how long it will take to run a program on itself and how long it will take to spin it off into another thread.

    Sound familiar? It should; that's halt.

    Of course, approximating it well is an interesting research problem in language theory, but I wouldn't expect a general purpose system in actual production use any time soon. Even doing it in a pure, strongly typed language will be extremely difficult; implementing one for something like Java/C[++] will be far harder. And of course the ultimate win is doing it to machine code.

  • by 1s44c ( 552956 ) on Friday September 25, 2009 @05:25AM (#29537511)

    Ease of use is their no 1 selling point

    Indeed. It's a selling point, but that doesn't make it true. It's just what their marketing claims and what people that don't really know IT believe because they have little other information on which to base their choices.

    You claim it's easier to deploy windows and I'm not disagreeing with you. What I'm saying is that total cost of ownership, including additional costs like downtime are higher with windows in almost every case and in many cases they are a great deal higher. Losing the use of email or losing a few websites at an unexpected time is something customers will notice and will judge you on. Losing your whole user authentication system in the middle of a business day can cost a fortune. It might just make the difference between profit and bust.

    I never said people that use windows are stupid. In most cases they just stick to what they know and what the adverts tell them they should use. They believe any companies who sells stuff thats used so widely has to be good, sadly that is bad reasoning.

  • by heffrey ( 229704 ) on Friday September 25, 2009 @06:16AM (#29537667)

    Clearly you have no idea what GCD is.

  • by speedtux ( 1307149 ) on Friday September 25, 2009 @07:00AM (#29537809)

    "Marshalling" means converting data structures into byte streams. No, you didn't have to do that multiple times. The term you're looking for is "routing". Routing can be abstracted into libraries and the OS; no need for every application to worry about it. It was just that the Transputer (as well as a lot of other system software development) was killed when Microsoft monopolized the market.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 25, 2009 @08:03AM (#29538071)

    How can you brag about nine nines of uptime and not even mention what kind of service it is and how many users it's provided to?

    My BASIC hello world script had 1000 9's of uptime last year. That's less than one microsecond of downtime.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 25, 2009 @08:15AM (#29538155)

    Dude, "innovating" means you're doing something unique, for the first time. Have you ever read a Microshit press release without "innovation" and other bullshit sprinkled all over it? I haven't. Thus, they said it. And they lied. They are not innovative in any way shape or form other than as unusually bold, brazen, arrogant asshole scofflaws with legions of braindead zombie-defenders who should never have been allowed to touch a keyboard.

  • prefilled comments (Score:2, Informative)

    by sopssa ( 1498795 ) * <> on Friday September 25, 2009 @11:32AM (#29540115) Journal

    Okay guys, who though it would be funny to prefill the story with comments from other story. damn you kdawson!

    Or is recession so bad that now slashdot is recycling our comments?

  • by MadCow42 ( 243108 ) on Friday September 25, 2009 @11:39AM (#29540181) Homepage

    How did I end up in the Windows 7 thread from the "CA City Mulls Evading the Law On Red Light Cameras" article? It even shows that in the address bar, so I'm not crazy here...

  • by rotide ( 1015173 ) on Friday September 25, 2009 @11:42AM (#29540229)
    Not crazy, happening here too. Read the second real comment on the page and wondered how in the hell it was modded +5 Interesting and not Off-Topic.
  • Wrong comments? (Score:5, Informative)

    by edsousa ( 1201831 ) on Friday September 25, 2009 @11:42AM (#29540231) Journal
    What the hell is going here? I see a story about Corona CA evading the law on red-light cameras and comments (and tags) are about some MS story?
  • Re:"Green Arrow". (Score:5, Informative)

    by godrik ( 1287354 ) on Friday September 25, 2009 @12:17PM (#29540641)

    In the US (not all the state I think), there is turn-on-red which means you can always turn right (provided you are on the most right lane) but you must yield if the traffic light is red. Turn on red is the common thing and it is specified when it is forbidden. Whereas in France, the opposite is used : you can not turn unless the right green arrow is lit.

    I believe the rule is turn on red in the US because the roads are new and built with good visibility. When there is no visibility turn on red is forbidden. Whereas in France at most intersections turn on red would be dangerous due to the lack of visibility. Therefore turn on red is the exception.

  • Re:"Green Arrow". (Score:3, Informative)

    by DaveV1.0 ( 203135 ) on Friday September 25, 2009 @12:23PM (#29540701) Journal

    We have green right turn arrows here. They mean it is safe to turn right on red without stopping. They only light if there should not be any on-coming traffic and the pedestrian light is "Don't walk". Otherwise, unless posted, one can turn right on red, provided one follows the same rules you have listed.

  • by guruevi ( 827432 ) <`moc.stiucricve' `ta' `ive'> on Friday September 25, 2009 @12:32PM (#29540817) Homepage

    (Red light story) - PA already does it in many cities/villages. You are required to pay a $50 non-refundable 'administrative' fee in order to be able to present your case to a judge and the judge will usually give you a reduction on the fine even if you have a good case (cop always wins). Given that the fines are somewhere between $75 and $150, it's not even worth going in.

    NY does it also in large cities. You don't even go to a judge anymore, you go to an administrator at the Traffic Violations Bureau who decides how much you have to pay, no plea bargaining, no judges.

  • Constitutional? (Score:4, Informative)

    by PPH ( 736903 ) on Friday September 25, 2009 @01:46PM (#29541671)

    "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. T

    Could someone send a copy of the applicable amendments and supporting court decisions to Washington State? Moving violations have been considered "administrative violations" here for years. WA state does things a little differently; they don't require you to admit guilt. Guilt has nothing to to with paying/not paying a fine. They also employ someone who is nominally a judge to handle contested violations. But at the outset of the "trial" they state that it is not a trail, rules of evidence do not apply including the municipalities need to prove a case. Other than the semantics, it sounds just like Corona's system.

  • Re:Right to a jury?! (Score:4, Informative)

    by pthisis ( 27352 ) on Friday September 25, 2009 @02:36PM (#29542263) Homepage Journal

    If it's a criminal case, Amendment VI provides a right to a jury.

    If it isn't, and the amount at stake is over $20, Amendment VII provides it.

    The bolded portion is wrong. Amendment VII only provides the right to a jury in civil suits, not in all non-criminal trials.

    The distinction is important because at the time the Constitution was written there was a difference between petty crimes and so-called criminal offenses--the former were not afforded a jury trial under common law, while the latter were.

    While petty crimes are, today, lumped in with criminal offenses in many ways, the distinction still remains when it comes to determining whether a jury trial is required or not.

    See Petty Federal Offenses and the Constitutional Guaranty of Trial by Jury, 39 Harv.L.Rev. 917, 922-965, 983-1019, or the summary of the law visible in Google books here: []

  • Re:"Green Arrow". (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 25, 2009 @02:48PM (#29542409)

    1. Right turn on red is not a yield in the US. The driver must come to a full stop before turning red, whereas for a yield the full stop is not necessary.

    2. The "california stop" mentioned in the original article is also called a rolling stop and is where the driver replaces stop and then go behavior with the yield and then go behavior of coasting to a low speed before going through the intersection. This is technically running the red light since the driver didn't stop before deciding it was safe to go and turning right.

    3. More obscure, but at least in California it's ok to do a right on red if a) it's not probited by a sign at the intersection, and b) you're either in the right most lane or all lanes further right are right turn only. So it's possible to do a right-on-red from lanes other than the right-most lane legally.

    4. Also obscure, but in California if there's an island separating the forward lanes from the right turn lanes, then the red light for the straight ahead lanes does not require a stop for the right turn lane, unless there's a separate stop light on the right turn lane. In this case the right turn lane often has a Yield sign though it's still o.k. to yield in this case even when the straight lanes have a red light. There are cases where this law is not understood even by police and by the folks who administer driving tests, so use this one at your own peril.

    Captcha is "pothole"

  • Re:"Green Arrow". (Score:3, Informative)

    by Change ( 101897 ) on Friday September 25, 2009 @02:49PM (#29542413)

    In California, home of the rolling stop, we also have many double right turn lanes at the end of freeway offramps, where the the two rightmost lanes are for right turns. Californians have come to behave (erroneously) as if a right on red is legal from either lane. Rather than educate the drivers, cities have begun installing NO RIGHT ON RED signage at these intersections.

    Where is such a turn prohibited in the vehicle code?

    21453(b): Except when a sign is in place prohibiting a turn, a driver, after stopping as required by subdivision (a), facing a steady circular red signal, may turn right, or turn left from a one-way street onto a one-way street. A driver making that turn shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians lawfully within an adjacent crosswalk and to any vehicle that has approached or is approaching so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard to the driver, and shall continue to yield the right-of-way to that vehicle until the driver can proceed with reasonable safety.

    22100(a)(3): Upon a highway having an additional lane or lanes marked for a right turn by appropriate signs or markings, the driver of a vehicle may turn right from any lane designated and marked for that turning movement.

    You come to the light at either of the right-turn lanes, you stop, and if it is safe to do so you may make a right turn.

  • by Durindana ( 442090 ) on Friday September 25, 2009 @03:18PM (#29542723)

    Well, that's odd.

    But anyway, concerning Corona, CA, it should be noted that some blogger linked to by TechDirt is no better a legal scholar than... anyone else, apparently. There's no Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial to "shred" for traffic violations, or any misdemeanor involving less than six months or so of jail.

  • Re:"Green Arrow". (Score:3, Informative)

    by tygt ( 792974 ) on Friday September 25, 2009 @03:47PM (#29543081)
    "Turn-on-red", as far as I know, does not require you to yield (ie, slow, and stop only if there's opposing traffic of higher priority), but to actually stop first, and proceed with the turn only if it's safe to do so.

Man is an animal that makes bargains: no other animal does this-- no dog exchanges bones with another. -- Adam Smith