[FoRK] looking for a secure dumbphone

Stephen Williams sdw at lig.net
Sun Jun 2 21:50:19 PDT 2013

On 6/2/13 7:47 PM, Bill Kearney wrote:
> Bullshit.

Really?  How am I not making a rational assessment?

1. In very few cases where police decide to pursue someone at high speed are known to involve immediate probability of violence 
to others.  Let's estimate that at 5% to be very high.
2. Apparently 1/3 of police chases result in crashes and many of those are going to involve loss of property, injury, or death. 
Let's say all of them involve property loss and half result in severe injury or death.

How is 1/3rd property damage and 1/6th injury/death probability better than less than 1/20th probability that violence would be 
In a rational sense, it's not, unless for some reason the pride / excitement / bonus / anger / vindictive sense of judgment / 
whatever of the officer means more to him than public safety.

> All this assumes a much larger police force and budget than anyone rightly wants.

Not necessarily, only when restricted to traditional methods, which would be dumb.  I'm just suggesting a "do no harm" (really, 
"incur no optional outsized risk") policy.  "Make rational decisions to optimize public safety."  Or, Spike-ified: "Do the right 

You don't need much more than an Android phone or tablet with a fairly straightforward app (another startup idea) to create a 
greatly enhanced track and stop alert system, synchronizing all officers.

> It's tragic this poor guy died but the fault lies solely with the operator of the vehicle that caused it.

I and many disagree.  While the precise apportionment would be tough to pin down, the police were the proximate cause of the 
chase and therefore the accident.  They share in the responsibility.  The cop could have made different decisions based on 
obvious and well-known possible outcome probability which would have drastically changed the situational risk profile.

> -----Original Message-----
> Aye.  There is no excuse.  Police have radios, cameras, etc.  They could easily develop or have developed various tracking
> methods. Call ahead to other officers.  Temporarily freeze all traffic lights and close gates, tunnels, and bridges in the path
> of travel.  Fire a goo-soaked GPS/celluar tracker to stick to a car. Activate a helicopter / building / UAV camera-based
> tracker.  (You could make use of Shot Tracker, which is already in place in much of the Bay Area, to launch a UAV to an
> intersection.  Fire two blanks precisely a certain time apart to signal 'come track'.  Vary the time to avoid spoofing.)  Or
> just wait for their next chance to resolve things peacefully.
> Creating a pair of deadly missiles through densely populated areas A) is lazy, lame, and stupid, B) shows they don't respect the
> traffic laws they otherwise are aggressive about ticketing others for, and C) is major abuse of public trust.  A pair of out of
> control vehicles could easily kill 50+ people in seconds in a city. Either change the policies and laws now or do it after you
> kill the 8th grade class visiting from Peoria.
> If you're chasing the Boston Marathon bomber or other would-be mass murder, go for it; the trade off is worth it.  Chasing
> someone for speeding, drugs, alcohol, or even robbing without actual violence, then, unless you're talking an open highway
> chase, the cop should be charged with a crime or otherwise reprimanded in many cases.  Even if the cop feels they can operate
> the vehicle safely enough, they should assume someone stupid enough to commit a crime is unlikely to be as competent.


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