And the Scams Go On

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yogi
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Re: And the Scams Go On

Post by yogi » 19 Feb 2019, 13:37

I don't have a feel for today's entertainment market and was never involved earlier in my life. All I know is the little bit of criticism I've read when DRM came into being. Digital music made it a lot easier to pirate and the youngest of teenie boppers could figure out the encryption in about half an hour. The loudest criticism I read was that the recording industry was behind the times still trying to sell CD's when the rest of the world moved onto streaming and multimedia. Apparently they got their act together, but I don't know the details. I think DJ's must do something like YouTube and pay subscription prices for large blocks of music. Now that I think about it, I don't recall the last time I've seen a music store selling music. Seems like many years ago.

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Kellemora
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Re: And the Scams Go On

Post by Kellemora » 20 Feb 2019, 10:45

Believe it or not, we still have a store down here that sells everything from vinyl to paper music scores.
They do have a few vintage 78's but only the collectors titles.

I've only been in there a couple of times, but you can buy music to be added to your mp3 players and probably cell phones too. I think it is the DJs who keep them in business, buying custom DVDs programmed for their venues.
A DJ who played at a wedding we went to had a huge black box and from a computer he could select any song and add it to the play queue.
I'm sure the quality of what they buy is higher than you find streaming on-line.

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yogi
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Re: And the Scams Go On

Post by yogi » 20 Feb 2019, 11:55

Quality music and DJ's are mutually exclusive terms as far as I'm concerned.

The last wedding I attended had a DJ supplying all the music. I didn't care how he did it at the time so that I never so much as looked into his booth to see what he had in there. I do recall vividly the speakers that were at least 5' tall numbering about six. But There may have been more. As I say, I don't know what he was using but I suspect he had a 500KW generator out in the parking lot running the power amplifier producing the music.

The table we sat at literally shook from the music. I hear that's the 'in thing' -- to not only hear but feel the music. What I heard was distorted and painful atonal sound effects that certainly exceeded the 120dB sound pressure level that not even commercial jet turbines are allowed to generate. We had to be 20-25 feet away form the wall of speakers and I can't imagine what people closer were experiencing. I could only take so much of that and walked out of the reception after a while. On the way out I noted the DJ was wearing what appeared to be high attenuation earmuffs. Obviously he would be deaf without them, but he had no concern about such things for his audience. That was the occasion at which I lost a good deal of my high frequency hearing.

You will have a hard time convincing me that the so called quality of that music was better than what I can stream off YouTube on my desktop.

I don't doubt that Tennessee has more than a few quaint shoppes, music stores being among them. The last music store I walked through, maybe twenty years ago, also sold a limited supply of cassette tapes. I'm not sure DVD's were invented at that time, but every music CD known to mankind could be purchased therein. LOL I don't go to malls often now and days, but each time I do the absence of music stores stands out in my mind.

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Re: And the Scams Go On

Post by Kellemora » 21 Feb 2019, 11:53

You may not remember this, but Singer Sewing Machine stores, the ones in malls, carried a whole wall of record albums and 45s. I think it was a smart move on their part. I know I'm one who bought two sowing machines from them (not at the same time), just because I was in the store when they had sales going on. I think I bought most of my 45s from them also.
There was a huge record store in Maplewood with low prices similar to Singer, while everyone else who sold records was at least 50 to 100% higher in price.

There are a lot of old style things down here. We still have two drive-in theaters, old lunch counters, a general store, etc.
Sorta understandable when you consider the Science Center here only has 20 year old hand-me-downs from St. Louis and elsewhere, hi hi. The drive-ins are nothing like those which were in St. Louis County though.

Similar to RedBox for DVD rentals, we also have BlueBox and GreenBox devices. GreenBox are video downloads onto your USB stick. BlueBox is for record albums and other things for cell phones. Never paid attention to how they work. The library has audiobook downloads, but you can do those on-line from a computer or a Kindle.

Hit something new at Walgreens when I stopped at their drive-up window to pick up my script.
Rather than asking my phone number and address (which they did this time) they passed a box out to me in the drawer to put my thumb on. She said the next time I come to pick up a script, all I have to do is put my thumb on the box mounted in the drawer after it is installed.
So I had to ask, what if I have my wife pick up my script. They said they would get her thumbprint the first time, and she will be good to go after that also.
Maybe in a couple of years they will use retinal scans, hi hi.
Wonder if they are passing our thumbprint over to Big Brother?

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yogi
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Re: And the Scams Go On

Post by yogi » 21 Feb 2019, 14:25

My Google cleverphone has a spot on it where I can put my thumb for it to use as a mechanism to unlock the phone. It requires a little bit of training, but they have warnings everywhere in the setup instructions. They say it's possible to defeat this and I should be careful how I use it. I've read that exact criticism on the Internet but never expected to see it mentioned in the phone itself.

Apple Computer did one better by going to facial recognition. Same criticism is published in many places. In both cases the sampling points are limited and it's easy enough to fool. The humorous part about all this is that Google is way ahead of the game with facial recognition and sold it's technology to Apple. Apple apparently did a lot of development with the fingerprint ID. Neither one of the inventors are willing to use their own invention. LOL

Well, it's not that simple. Apparently there are a lot of people concerned about all this digital identification. They want to legislate and control how face recognition is used and some groups want to stop research altogether. I guess the concern is exactly what you say, Big Brother may be watching. While that might be true, Big Brother isn't just sitting around watching. China, for example, is going ahead full speed with its face recognition projects. They openly admit they will be monitoring the general flow of traffic for known criminals.

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Re: And the Scams Go On

Post by Kellemora » 22 Feb 2019, 10:52

I don't know about elsewhere, only what is current for here in East TN.
We had a law against Traffic Cameras, especially Stop Sign Cameras.
Before rescinding the law, they went ahead and installed hundreds of stop sign cameras.
These were placed by a third-party company who owned and operated the cameras.
There's not much done legally down here by the government or municipal governments.
Not like back home in St. Loo anyhow.
My wife got a ticket at an intersection claiming she ran a red light.
She didn't of course, but we had to pay the ticket anyhow.
She was in the right turn lane which has never had a stop sign, it is a separate lane like an exit ramp.
In any case, enough lawyers got involved with all the mean stunts this company was doing.
Shorting the yellow light from what it has always been to write more tickets, giving tickets for right turn lanes with Yield signs and a separation island from the straight lanes, etc.
After the smoke cleared, almost all of our cameras where removed, it being deemed illegal for a company to issue tickets when they are not law enforcement. They did hire off duty cops to make it OK, but that was deemed illegal also.

The BIG QUESTION that came up recently was: Did the city have access to the cameras?
A lot of people see TV shows where the police and FBI can access recorded images from traffic cameras.
And they wanted to know if the same took place here.
Turns out, NO, neither the police or FBI can tap into the cameras. However, they could get a court order to obtain the recording from a single traffic camera if they had enough evidence to prove the camera may have shown an incident.

Well, the times are changing, and fast. Police are now installing crime prevention cameras all over the place. They cannot use them to write tickets, yet. But it is only a matter of time.
The areas where there are housing projects are the most heavy crime areas, but they too prevented cameras placed in those areas over and above the same number placed in more affluent areas. Claiming they were singling out minorities.
Even so, every time I drive somewhere, I see more and more cameras, but some of these belong to the radio stations to monitor traffic flow, or so they say.

Big Brother is getting a stronger foothold every day that passes!

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Re: And the Scams Go On

Post by yogi » 22 Feb 2019, 14:58

Privacy was done away with about the time the Internet became popular. Today in 2019 privacy is only a concept. It does not exist in the real world. A lot of people simply ignore the problem and carry on as usual. That''s probably the best course of action because as you point out it's only going to get worse.

Cook County, the one in which the city of Chicago is located, discovered the benefits of those red-light-cameras one day. The popped up in mass quantities before anybody had a chance to object to them. As apparently was the case in Tennessee a lot of lawyers filed suits and legislators were lobbied. At some point the camera citations were not enforced until the courts could settle the issue.

A third party owns and operates the cameras. They take in a percentage of the fines collected. The rest goes to the county general fund. The fines are not collected by law enforcement or the judicial system. They are collected by an arbitration board staffed by the camera company, of course. When a case is contested and you choose to go before the arbitration board to state your case, the police get involved to review the specific recording of said violation. No record means no fine. It came to be known that the company running the cameras had some kind of family connection to, I want to say state legislator, but I don't recall right now. It was somebody in the state government in any case. By the time I left Cook County the cameras were declared legal and more were being planned for installation outside of Cook County.

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Re: And the Scams Go On

Post by Kellemora » 23 Feb 2019, 11:20

I honestly don't have anything against the cameras themselves. It's the way they were done illegally at first, and as I said previously, how they shortened the yellow lights to build higher revenues.
I don't know about elsewhere, but here, after they pulled this stunt, we ended up with a lot more rear-end collisions because people would lock up their brakes on a yellow to keep from getting a ticket.

They are now wanting to use the cameras to trap speeders.
We have several roadways here with no driveway or cross street connections where they dropped the speed limit down to 20, right after coming off a highway exit. Then you get to a heavily congested winding street with numerous driveways, cross streets, and hospital traffic and they up the speed to 45 in the most dangerous place to do so.
Why 20 mph on a one lane road with no access points? And RADAR CONTROLLED yet!
What is ironic is the State put up a Yellow Caution sign stating the safe speed is 35 mph, hi hi.

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Re: And the Scams Go On

Post by yogi » 23 Feb 2019, 14:34

I seriously doubt that anybody in government would admit that they depend on the fines from traffic violations for income. That doesn't mean they don't do it; they just won't admit it. I think what might be happening in Tennessee is that the tax base isn't sufficient to support the government. Thus they must rely on other means of revenue. In Illinois they took that idea one step further and enriched the bank accounts of a few selected state congressmen along the way.

In theory the camera surveillance is a good idea. Our former co-administrator would tell me how prevalent it is all over England. Also, they don't have what we would call speed traps. If a copper is going to check on traffic with his portable radar unit, his position must be announced with warning signs before motorists reach the checkpoint. That seems crazy to me but she claimed they catch a lot of people in spite of the obvious warnings. I've notice that the drivers in Missouri are way more courteous and law abiding than what I left behind in Illinois. It has to do with attitude, I think.

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Re: And the Scams Go On

Post by Kellemora » 24 Feb 2019, 16:32

Most of the municipalities in St. Louis County, and perhaps a few other Counties, all the Three Strikes Rule as a way for citizens to keep bad cops off the force. If three different citizens provide information of an offense by a police officer, and it can be validated for each occurrence, that policeman is kicked off the force.

I often wondered where they went to get a job after that, and guess what, I found them all down here in Knoxville, hi hi.
They have the most law abusing police force I've ever seen down here, and it extends upwards throughout the entire government.

Our past Mayor Bill Haslam stole millions using trickery and shady dealings, and still ended up as a Governor.
And the saddest part is, they Boasted About It, knowing nothing would ever be done.
Even sadder, the money he stole was earmarked to help the homeless, who only got about 300 per month out of the 18,000 per month set aside for each of them. The reason I say 18,000 dollars per month for each of them, is because only 48 homeless were helped burning up over 10 million dollars. That comes to 18,000 per month per homeless person assisted, yet they only saw 300 bucks a month. Where did all the rest go? Bill Haslam's friends and cohorts for made up jobs supposedly to help the homeless. Yet again, only 48 people were helped and nothing new done for them that hasn't already been done all along.
It was nothing but another government scam to bilk the taxpayers out of money that only went into the poly-tick-ians pockets.

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Re: And the Scams Go On

Post by yogi » 25 Feb 2019, 13:30

Tennessee certainly must be part of the "Good Ol' Boys" network judging by your stories and those I've read in the news. In Illinois it's called the Mafia but essentially operates the same way. I don't know what they have down here in St Charles County but some of the state level politicians have made headlines with their less than moral behavior. It's like cockroaches, I suppose. If you find one crooked politician you can be sure there are a thousand more you never hear about.

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Re: And the Scams Go On

Post by Kellemora » 26 Feb 2019, 12:12

Us Oldsters remember how things used to be!
Back when your house was always open, cars unlocked with keys left in the ignition, didn't have to worry about kids outside playing until near dark, etc.
I think we are lucky to have been raised during the good years!
Even while my kids were growing up, things were not quite as bad as they have become.
Now they have to live in fear of the dangers presented to their kids.
It's sad that evil is winning!

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Re: And the Scams Go On

Post by yogi » 27 Feb 2019, 08:42

I can't tell you how many times I've said the same thing. Evil has won and is in total control. And I'm an optimist. :mrgreen:

The fact that kids can't go to school anymore without having to worry about some moron with an assault weapon unloading on them is more than sad. I have some odd ideas about good and evil which I won't explain here, but I did read about an interesting experiment done with rats' population. It seems that the greater the numbers in the population, the more aggressive the rats became. It got to the point where they even started ganging up on individual members and killed them off. The point of this experiment was to show that there is a critical number for the size of a population before it goes manic. When it comes to humans, I've also read that the critical number is anywhere between 8 and 12 billion. We are closing in on 8 billion as I write this. I think the same thing is happening to us humans as did happen to the rats. The difference is that we have nuclear weapons with which to destroy ourselves.

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Re: And the Scams Go On

Post by Kellemora » 27 Feb 2019, 12:03

Hmm, I may have read those same articles on population density and increased violence. Maybe not the same ones you read, but one did talk about not only an experimental rat farm, but also a finch aviary. In the animal kingdom it seems survival of the fittest physically is who wins. While in human populations, it is not necessarily who is the fittest physically, but who has become the most evil.

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Re: And the Scams Go On

Post by yogi » 27 Feb 2019, 14:30

I believe the notions of "good" and "evil" are just that, concepts. There is no such thing occurring naturally in the universe, well in our portion of it. When I claim Evil has won, it is done slightly tongue in cheek. The terms good and evil implies morality and only humans identify with it. I suppose the myths involving devils and angels are attempts to personify the concept, but it's very difficult for me to see them as entities onto themselves. What happens in dense populations is not actually good or evil. If anything, it's the living being requiring space of its own. When less space is available, something, or more apropos somebody, has to go. We probably did read similar if not the same articles. I certainly don't recall if any conclusions were made beyond the observation. I do see things deteriorating among human beings.

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Re: And the Scams Go On

Post by Kellemora » 28 Feb 2019, 10:59

Well, the gene pool is definitely breaking down, hi hi.

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Re: And the Scams Go On

Post by yogi » 01 Mar 2019, 08:57

I'd guess it boils down to entropy and not so much genetics. The idea behind entropy is equilibrium. The universe is seeking a balanced state. In terms of humanity that means some of us are being dumbed down while others are being enlightened. The end results would be equilibrium.

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Re: And the Scams Go On

Post by Kellemora » 01 Mar 2019, 11:36

My grandpa had a saying, Leniency breed laziness and increases crime.
He had a very strict schedule he used to determine what punishment he would use, and he rarely if ever backed down a level from his chart.
As far as running the city goes, he was the most fair of anyone who came after him.
He did not believe in monetary fines for an infraction of the law, because then the law only applies to the poor and to the rich, it is no punishment at all. He had lists of chores an offender had to do, and most folks knew what chores fit what crimes. Dad said their was no greater sight in the world than seeing ornery old Doc Klein, one of the richest men around back then, scrubbing pigeon shit and polishing the bell in the schoolhouse for a small crime he committed. It couldn't have been too small of a crime if he got that chore, hi hi.

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Re: And the Scams Go On

Post by yogi » 01 Mar 2019, 15:29

I like what you say about your grandpa. He was the judge, the jury, and the warden all in one package. It must have seemed fair given the circumstances, but the fate of all the citizens were then in the hands of a single person. I suppose that too is fair since he owned the town. LOL

I don't know much about prisons these days but I have this picture of thousands of inmates sitting around idle most of the day. It's an archaic idea but I'm thinking forced labor of some sort would be a wonderful incentive for people to try and stay out of jail. A lot of public projects could be completed by the captive labor force at a much reduced cost. I'm certain even commercial enterprises would love the nearly free cost of labor provided by inmates. I guess some places have tried something similar to fight the costs of running a penitentiary. For some reason Indianan comes to mind, but I may be wrong about that. Apparently the idea of forced labor goes against the grain of some do-gooders. I'd agree in the case of regular citizens. But if you can't put in the time, don't do the crime.

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Re: And the Scams Go On

Post by Kellemora » 02 Mar 2019, 13:23

No grandpa wasn't boss hogg, hi hi. He was merely the trustee for the town first, and then later the first and long time Mayor. He may have created the chart, I'm sure it was amended a few times before being voted on by something like 14 to 1. I can go look it up if you want an exact figure.
The state prison did have Chain Gangs working on the roads and other public projects, like digging for the storm sewers.
And if you recall, almost all of our license plates were made by prisoners too.

Although young, I do remember the Big Stink made by some government agency higher than the state level, claiming our town and the ones around us were operating nothing less than debtors prisons, which was not the case at all. We never put anyone into prison over an unpaid debt. But the state said keeping someone in prison until they paid restitution for their crime, after their sentence for the crime was up, that we couldn't do that anymore.
No problem! Most of the cities around us just upped the jail terms to double, or even triple in the case of Maplewood.
We stood our ground on Do the Time, no Fines levied, until the state came back at us again. Then we added a Fine, a really big fine too, after all, it had to cover the theft or damage plus pay for their keep, hi hi.

I think this was about the same time you couldn't imprison someone for not paying a fine.
You know the phrase, 90 dollars or 90 days, would be the equivalent of a debtors prison in our states eyes.
This is one reason we only had Do the Crime, Do the Time, no Fines.

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