"Do You Know How To Use This Weapon?"


Fun With Tasers.


I’ve witnessed shenanigans just like these first hand.

I wonder what would have happened if N.Z. Police were allowed to carry sideearms?

It’s another case of “things could be a lot worse”.


Full Report: Police Arrest and Prosecution of Troy Reuben (PDF, 644kb)

Timaru officers failed to follow good policing practice during potential domestic incident

9 October 2014 – An Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found that the two Timaru Police officers who dealt with a suspected domestic disturbance in December 2011 acted in a way that did not accord with good policing practice.

In releasing the report Independent Police Conduct Authority Chair, Judge Sir David Carruthers said the Authority found that the officers did not adopt strategies to effectively deal with the occupants of the house and de-escalate the situation.

“Their subsequent use of a Taser on an agitated occupant of the house was disproportionate to the perceived threat he posed and amounted to an excessive use of force,” Sir David said.

On 29 December Police were called to a Timaru address following a report of a domestic disturbance. Four Police officers arrived at the house at 11:21pm. Two officers went to check the back of the house while the other two spoke to a young man in the hallway of the house about the reported disturbance. The officers who inspected the back of the house then informed the young man that they would need to check the safety of any other occupants based on the information they had received.

On entering the house the officers saw that the bathroom door was open and that the shower was running. After searching the rest of the house and finding nobody else the officers went into the bathroom where they found Troy Reuben showering with his female partner and his young daughter, having just returned from the beach. Both officers recognised Mr Reuben due to his prior history of criminal and domestic violence.

Despite being asked to leave the officers remained in the bathroom for some time and the situation soon escalated.

“The Authority found that at this point the officers should have left the bathroom and waited outside for Mr Reuben and his partner to get dressed before attempting to talk to them again separately.

“Instead they stayed in the bathroom and as the situation escalated the officers presented a Taser and OC spray,” Sir David said.

At that point Mr Reuben and his daughter moved into the lounge where he gestured to Police to leave the house. As he did so he made contact with the arm of one of the officers. Mr Reuben was then Tasered by one officer while the other officer deployed his OC spray almost simultaneously.

The Authority found that even if Mr Reuben’s contact with the officer was deliberate it amounted to only a minor assault. While it found the use of the OC spray was justified, the use of the Taser was not a proportionate response.

“The use of the Taser, especially in the presence of Mr Reuben’s children was excessive and contrary to law,” Sir David said.

Following the incident Mr Reuben was charged with assaulting Police. He was acquitted at a hearing in the Timaru District Court on 5 July 2012.

Before the hearing, it was discovered by Police that the briefs of evidence of the two officers involved were contradicted by the Taser camera footage. The prosecution was nevertheless allowed to proceed.

“The Authority found that both officers knowingly gave evidence at Court that they knew to be incorrect relating to the incident that occurred on 29 December 2011. It also found that the Police Prosecutor failed in his duty to ensure correct evidence relating to the case was presented in court.

“Given this action the Authority recommends that the Commissioner of Police commence an investigation into the conduct of all of the officers involved,” Sir David said.

The Verge: King of click: the story of the greatest keyboard ever made

Via Hacker News

King of click: the story of the greatest keyboard ever made

Emulated, replicated, and tweaked for 30 years, IBM’s Model M is the forefather of modern keyboard design

By Adi Robertson on October 7, 2014 11:15 am

The first thing you notice about the IBM Model M keyboard, when you finally get your hands on it, is its size. After years of tapping chiclet keys and glass screens on two- and three-pound devices, hefting five pounds of plastic and metal (including a thick steel plate) is slightly intimidating. The second thing is the sound – the solid click that’s turned a standard-issue beige peripheral into one of the computer world’s most prized and useful antiques.

Next year, the Model M turns 30. But to many people, it’s still the only keyboard worth using. It was recently spotted on the desk of Minecraft creator Markus “Notch” Persson, attached to a gaming PC whose graphic cards alone cost thousands of dollars. “The Model M is basically the best keyboard ever made,” he told PC Gamer. YouTube has dozens of Model M typing demos, unboxing videos, and sound comparisons between it and other mechanical keyboards. Since its introduction, the Model M has been the standard to meet for keyboard excellence.

“I enjoy using an iPad, it’s a wonderful device; the Kindle e-reader is a beautiful thing,” says says Brandon Ermita, a Princeton University IT manager. “But I could never write a story, I could never write my dissertation, I could never produce work with a touchscreen.” Ermita is devoted to keeping the Model M alive: he recovers them from supply depots and recycling centers, sells them through his site, ClickyKeyboards, and runs a veritable Model M private museum. He estimates he’s put between 4,000 and 5,000 of the keyboards under the fingertips of aficionados over the past decade.


Ewen Gilmour – Rust In Pieces.

Ewen Gilmour: http://www.ewengilmour.com/

Died the day before yesterday. Westie (read white trash) icon.

Sadly missed.

He did a comedy show, had a beer, went home, and died in his sleep.

So in Ewen’s honour, this:

This Is The Sort Of Thing That Rupert Murdoch Wants Gone.

I’ve been bingeing on BBC Radio 4’s “In Our Time” for the last week or so.

It’s a shame we don’t get BBC Radio 4 content rebroadcast on Radio New Zealand the way we do other public radio content. I’m sure there’s some bullshit regional licensing arcana to blame there.

No matter. It’s all available via this magical interweb thing. And unlike BBC television, it’s not subject to arbitrary (and ineffective!) online geographical restrictions.

Hey. BBC bean counters. Are you listening? If you want me to jump through hoops or to pay exorbitant amounts for excessively DRM restricted media in order to watch your TV programming, I’M NOT INTERESTED.

Thanks for the radio though. I’m enjoying that, and I will continue to do so until someone decides to put a clamp on the hosepipe.

For the time being, episodes of “In Our Time” dating back to 2011 are available to download directly. Everything else in the archive plays in the BBC iPlayer.

Three cheers for the Brits who pay their television licensing fee!

English speakers of the world salute you.

Those of us who haven’t suffered commercial media induced braindeath that is…

Fun Stuff On The WayBack Machine.

I found this via Dennis Ritchie’s archived homepage.

I don’t know which is funnier – the joke on a Nobel Prize winner, or Penn Jillette’s hair!



I wrote this account of an encounter with Penn and Teller fairly soon after it occurred in 1989, and haven’t edited it except to add HTML markup. So words like “recently” have to be understood relative to late 1989 or early 1990.

Although it’s barely mentioned in the account, the whole thing was recorded on multiple videotapes with an elaborate though amateur setup. Later Teller came back to the Labs once or twice to tape the intro and voice-over of the story by me, in order to create a coherent video. I was not a good narrator or TV actor, and (to my relief) Teller decided to enlist Penn to do it, with a script from P&T’s perspective instead of mine. This worked much better. The material was rather nicely edited, given its sub-broadcast quality. The tape was shown at Usenix conventions, and clips were shown during Arno Penzias’s retirement observances.

This video was digitized (2002) by Gerard Holzmann, and is available as a big (88MB: caution!) MPEG here.

The reference to a treatment “by a better author” had to do with an article that Penn thought of writing, but didn’t, so far as I know. Accounts of the story did appear in the Wall Street Journal, but by the paper’s own reporter, and also in Wired.

Rob remains pretty close to Penn Jillette; in turn Penn now and then drops Rob’s name.

Amongst the unmentioned bennies I got out of the experience is a gift book from Penn: Darwin’s Thumb Tip Miracles, forward by Siegfried and Roy. Penn was kind enough to inscribe it “Dennis– on to magic trips of many nations. …. the Roy of Penn and Teller. — Penn.” Oh yes, and also a lifetime supply of thumbtips, which my relatives are now more than hip to.

Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media (1993)


Funny, provocative and surprisingly accessible, MANUFACTURING CONSENT explores the political life and ideas of world-renowned linguist, intellectual and political activist Noam Chomsky. Through a dynamic collage of biography, archival gems, imaginative graphics and outrageous illustrations, Mark Achbar and Peter Wintonick’s award-winning documentary highlights Chomsky’s probing analysis of mass media and his critique of the forces at work behind the daily news. MANUFACTURING CONSENT features appearances by journalists Bill Moyers and Peter Jennings, pundit William F. Buckley Jr., novelist Tom Wolfe and philosopher Michel Foucault.




The Drowned Rat Of Democracy.

So I got my vote in for our national election today with half an hour to spare before the polls close at 19:00 NZST.

And of course I got absolutely bloody SOAKED on my way to and from the polling place at the Auckland High Court.

But it’s done.

How Voting In NZ Works.

My electoral vote went to the Labour candidate for Auckland Central because I like her and I’m a cradle Labour supporter. My party vote went to the Greens because we need more wild eyed tree huggers in Parliament.

Now I’m going to turn the election coverage on Radio New Zealand on, dry my hair, hang my jeans up to dry, and have a cup of coffee.

I have something akin to religious faith that my vote counts. I’m reasonably sure though that unlike belief in $IMAGINARY_BEING, our combination of Mixed Member Proportional Representation and Westminster Democracy actually *is* better than the alternative.

If the people I didn’t vote for end up running the show for another three years – well so be it. I’ve had my say.

It will be time to look towards 2017 and to push for some change.


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