Compare and Contrast

Earlier this year it was reported that the London borough of Haringey had used a spy plane to record residents’ energy use patterns:

    Thermal images of homes have been taken by a light aircraft fitted with military spy technology to record the heat escaping from people’s houses.Maps identifying individual homes have now been placed on the internet to encourage occupiers to reduce their wastage and carbon emissions by fitting insulation and turning the thermostat down.

More specifically:

    An aircraft, fitted with a military-style thermal imager, flew over the borough 17 times to take pictures of almost every house in the area.Footage of heat loss was converted into stills, then laid over a map of the area, before each house was given colour-coded ratings.

    Homes that were losing the most heat were represented as bright red on the map. The least wasteful households were shown in deep blue. Shades of paler blues and reds were used to show grades of heat loss.

The Haringey heat map is now available online.
thermal_imaging_01
Creepy government intrusion.  Very Big Brother from the land of George Orwell.  So its just fine for government to actively snoop on your house.  And what happens when you drive down the street, record the images and make them available on the web?  How about this?

A formal complaint about Google’s Street View has been sent to the Information Commissioner (ICO).

Drawn up by lobby group Privacy International (PI), it cites more than 200 reports from members of the public identifiable via the service.

PI wants Street View shut down while the ICO investigates the service.

“The ICO has repeatedly made clear that it believes that in Street View the necessary safeguards are in place to protect people’s privacy,” said Google.

Privacy International (PI) director Simon Davies said his organisation had filed the complaint given the “clear embarrassment and damage” Street View had caused to many Britons.

Active government invasion of your privacy is OK, recording public views of the streets isn’t.

Britain is a strange, strange country any more.

Monitoring

Personally, I don’t think this is such a bad thing:

It turns out the feds have been monitoring Interstate 5 for nuclear “dirty bombs.” They do it with radiation detectors so sensitive it led to the following incident.

“Vehicle goes by at 70 miles per hour,” Giuliano told the crowd. “Agent is in the median, a good 80 feet away from the traffic. Signal went off and identified an isotope [in the passing car].”

The agent raced after the car, pulling it over not far from the monitoring spot (near the Bow-Edison exit, 18 miles south of Bellingham). The agent questioned the driver, then did a cursory search of the car, Giuliano said.

Did he find a nuke?

“Turned out to be a cat with cancer that had undergone a radiological treatment three days earlier,” Giuliano said.

Actually I’m amazed that the feds are actually doing anything.  Of course the weenies at the Seattle “Would invading my privacy in this way allow the feds to find my dope stash?” Times are wetting themselves at the thought that someone might actually be watching our borders for smuggled nuclear material.  Of course they then prove the point that monitoring might actually be good by this little nugget at the bottom of the article:

Giuliano says the point really is to catch terrorists. He says it’s true that the odds of catching one here may be “a billion to one. But despite that, we have caught two.” (Gazi Ibrahim Abu Mezer, who tried to sneak in at Blaine in 1997 to blow up the New York subway; and Millennium Bomber Ahmed Ressam, nabbed at Port Angeles in 1999.)

Don’t you just wonder what those two have in common besides trying to sneak into this country to kill people?  I wonder what kind of profile they might fit if we were to profile those who wanted to sneak into this country to commit mass murder?

And if they can find a cat who had a cancer treatment three days ago – just why can’t they find whole human beings who are crossing the southern border illegally?  The answer is that they could if they wanted to–they just don’t want to find those kind of people.

Hilllarycare Preview 2155

Mixed Sex Wards? Oh come on – there won’t be any more private or semi-private hospital rooms. You will be on a ward and its going to be with whoever they want to stuff in there. Women and Men together? Its cost-effective. After all – the health care bureaucrats need their year-end bonuses.And don’t you just love the weaselly worded response from the Health Minister. Does it remind you of someone parsing the meaning of the word “is”?
clipped from blogs.telegraph.co.uk
Lord Darzi, the Health Minister, told the Lords yesterday: “The Government is committed to single sex accommodation, not single sex wards – they are two different things. The only way we are going to have single sex wards in the NHS is to build the whole of the NHS into single rooms (really?)…that is an aspiration that cannot be met.
“We used to have single sex wards 15 years ago but medicine has moved on.”
Note his words carefully. There is no mention of mixed sex wards – only “accommodation”. In other words, the Government is no longer committed to the provision of “single sex wards” but to “single sex accommodation”, a piece of fudging which means, in essence, that mixed sex wards will continue to exist
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High Schoolers Post Drinking Photos – Shocked When They Get In Trouble For It

I just love the “huge invasion of privacy” comment. They post this stuff so other people can see it, and then are shocked when they get in trouble for it? And might this be a suggestion that every parent of a child with a social networking page check that page to see if they are boasting about their illegal actions?
clipped from www.startribune.com
Eden Prairie High School administrators have reprimanded more than 100 students and suspended some from sports and other extracurricular activities after obtaining Facebook photos of students partying, several students said Tuesday.
“I don’t really put bad stuff on my page,” she said. “I’m not dumb.”

Students throughout the school are talking about getting stung by the Facebook photos, but the administration has not made any public announcements about it or sent out any information, Kalaidis said.

“Everyone thinks it’s pretty weird,” she said. “I think it’s a huge invasion of privacy.”

The Minnesota State High School League requires student athletes to sign a pledge that they will not drink alcoholic beverages.
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