27 Jun 2018
AI security cameras coming to stores in Japan, reduce shoplifting by 40 percent – SoraNews 24, 2018/05/31
A recent study by telecom giant NTT found that Japanese businesses lose around 400 billion yen (US$3.7B) annually through five-fingered discounts. No store is immune to this larceny, except perhaps anvil shops, and technology has yet to come up with a strong enough solution to effectively combat it, until now.
The way it works is simple. The camera watches the store interior and identifies all the humans inside as they walk about. AI Guardman is aware of the different techniques commonly used by shoplifters in different types of stores, such as looking for blindspots in supermarkets or constantly checking one’s surroundings in bookstores.
If one shopper exhibits motions and postures typical of a shoplifter in that type of store, an alert will be sent to the clerk’s smartphone telling them the location and a photo of the suspect.
A good use of technology.
27 Jun 2018
Justice Anthony Kennedy Is Retiring and All Hell Is About to Break Loose – Reason, 2018/06/27
Appointed to the Supreme Court in 1987 by President Ronald Reagan, Kennedy’s impact on American law and politics is almost beyond reckoning. From the battles over gay rights, abortion, and affirmative action, to the clashes over gun control, campaign finance, and health care reform, Kennedy’s fingerprints are everywhere. He is perhaps the single most influential jurist alive today and he will surely go down in American legal history as one of the most influential justices to serve on the high court.
As a moderate conservative with liberal tendencies, Kennedy often found himself casting the tie-breaking vote in such closely divided cases. That gave him tremendous influence over the direction of American law.
Regardless of your political viewpoint, the nomination process is going to be terrible for the country.
26 Jun 2018
Woman who lied about being raped on college campus gets jail – MLive, 2018/06/19
Despite previously indicating he wouldn’t do so, a Bay County judge sent a woman to jail for making up a story about being raped in a Delta College parking lot.
Bay County Circuit Judge Joseph K. Sheeran on Monday, June 18, sentenced 21-year-old Mary T. Zolkowski to 45 days in jail, with no credit for any time served. Once Zolkowski serves her term, she’ll be on probation for two years, during which she is to be tested for drugs and alcohol and participate in substance abuse counseling.
Good. It’s time to increase the risk for those who report false crimes.
Here’s a running list of false reports of crimes.
Fake Hate Crimes Database
22 Jun 2018
More on the theme of re-structuring the government – this is a presentation made to President Trump on the progress of streamlining the agencies.
22 Jun 2018
WHITE HOUSE PROPOSES PRIVATIZING FANNIE AND FREDDIE – The Daily Caller, 2018/06/21
The Trump administration proposed on Thursday an end to the conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which would move the government-sponsored enterprises (GSE) into the private sector.
The changes aim to “ensure more transparency and accountability to taxpayers, and to minimize the risk of taxpayer-funded bailouts, while maintaining responsible and sustainable support for homeowners.”
This would be a good thing.
22 Jun 2018
Zones for New Federal Tax Breaks Approved in All 50 States – Route Fifty, 2018/06/15
The selection process is now complete for the newly created Opportunity Zones program, which will offer federal tax incentives for investments in low-income communities.
On Thursday, the U.S. Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service announced that they’d approved a final round of zone designations, and that areas have been tapped for the program in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Proponents say Opportunity Zones hold great promise for drawing new money into communities that have previously failed to attract investment. But there are skeptics, as well, including some who point to the limited effectiveness of similar programs in the past.
There have also been worries that governors would skew their zone selections toward gentrifying areas.
The Opportunity Zones program was created as part of the sweeping federal tax overhaul that Republicans pushed through late last year.
21 Jun 2018
‘Jerry Springer’ Future Uncertain as Production Halts After 27 Years – The Hollywood Reporter, 2018/06/14
The Jerry Springer Show, the tabloid talker that all but defined “guilty pleasure” at its peak in late 1990s, is currently in limbo, with no new episodes planned for the foreseeable future.
A starring vehicle for the former politician and one-time mayor of Cincinnati, Springer’s show premiered in 1991 as a serious-minded talker with a focus on issues and politics. By its second year, after a move to Chicago, the subject matter and bookings quickly turned to the salacious to boost ratings. Guests admitted to adultery and incest, revealed pregnancies and threw chairs at one another. It was often too outlandish to believe.
And the more Springer leaned into the absurd, the more popular he became. Chants of “Jer-ry, Jer-ry!” would begin whenever he took the stage. Springer played himself in more than a dozen film and TV projects, shilled a nudity-filled spinoff (Too Hot for TV) on VHS and starred in a feature film parody (Ringmaster). The show’s popularity seemed to reach its apex in 1998 when Springer briefly topped Oprah Winfrey’s ratings with a daily audience of nearly 10 million viewers.
Other than finding the article, I probably would not have noticed its departure.