Tag: traffic

Dash Cam

Dash Cam

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Not terribly long ago I was headed to lunch.  Pulling into the parking lot I was met by a lady screaming out of the parking lot in “hot pursuit!”  She was flying out of the middle of the entrance to the parking lot!

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The driver was a Dallas Cop who had setup her “speed trap” in the parking lot of a busy restaurant in Addison Texas.  Evidently someone went a couple miles over the limit and she was going to stop them and protect us all from someone going 40 in a 35!

Tracy Jones, K. Beth Burnside, Mia Shagena, Sarah Ramsey, Melissa Person
Tracy Jones, K. Beth Burnside, Mia Shagena, Sarah Ramsey, Melissa Person

Had I not stabbed on the brakes, we would have had a head on.

You see, when you leave a parking lot headed for a main road there is this “stop sign” either painted on the road or standing there or assumed.  Even if they don’t have one, you should stop and look both ways before screaming out of the parking lot!  The drivers license manual even tells you to stop, use your turn signal and then proceed when clear.  No where does it say if “you are a cop it is OK to go blasting out of a parking lot without looking, stopping, using a turn signal etc!  Stop hiding in parking lots!   Had she not been blasting out of the parking lot she would have most likely been to the right of the entrance and we could have avoided one another.   She was in HOT PURSUIT! 

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The wreck was narrowly avoided but, had we collided who would have been at fault?  Let me re-phrase that, who would have been blamed?!  Do I trust the police???  I would rather not have to.  We have seen too many times where if there is a possible way to cover your ass, these guys are good at it!

She would have hit me left front.  I was traveling between 5 and 10 mph, no telling what she was doing, as she was flying!

Without dash cam footage, we would have to depend upon forensics and “he said she said” and she is a cop.  Had there been a wreck we would have had to call the “cops.”  Do you think for a minute that they would have sided with me?  Even with the overwhelming preponderance of forensic evidence that would have been there, I can hardly think that it would have ended well for me.  Maybe I am jaded but I have been around a long time, you don’t screw with cops!  They are innocent until proven guilty, and you are guilty until proven innocent; which with cops, your evidence may never see the light of day.  Just saying….

Would she have said, “Oh, I screwed up” and accepted the blame, or would she have somehow blamed me.

She has more to lose than I do.  Her job could be in jeopardy where, I would have simply had a wreck on my record.

Dash Cameras take the mist out of mystery.

Dash cameras in theory are supposed to record in 3 minute increments, a loop of events.

When the car is running the camera is running and not only does it get video but, it also serves as a “cockpit recorder.”  That is right, your voice or radio are recorded for posterity.  If there is no event within that three minute window, that section of “tape” goes into the queue to be recorded over.

If there is an event, there is a “g” sensor in the camera that acts as a mechanism to flag that section of tape(1) as nonvolatile or protected thus, ignored in the subsequent record process.  You can also activate that process by pushing a button telling the machine to save the last 3 minutes of tape.

Problems

  • The button to control that function needs to be easily pushed as we don’t want to cause an accident by saving the tape sequence that is important.  “Someone does something incredibly stupid and you want to upload it to YouTube!”
  • Two cameras that I have tested thus far put out copious amounts of RF that “swamp” the GPS as well as the Satellite radio.
  • The camera plugs into the cigarette lighter socket or 12v power source and starts shortly after voltage is applied.  Problem, those outlets are “hot: when the key is off so there needs to be another form of activation.  Not all cars are like this but mine is.

If I were designing the perfect dash camera, I would tie it to GPS and have it actually encode the coordinates into the data stream.  Along with the coordinates, I would encode speed.  I would make the camera function dependent upon movement either of the vehicle and I would look for movement within the cabin.  If someone gets into the car, the camera starts recording.

I would include a rear facing camera as not all accidents happen from the front of the car.

I would tie the camera into the Automobiles security system so if the shock sensor or other sensor is activated, it starts recording.

If it were a commercial vehicle I would tie it onto the on board computer to let me know if the lights were on, were the brakes hit, was the turn signal activated, What was the RPM of the engine, was it going up or down, what was the speed of the vehicle?

I would also offer a version of the camera that incorporated cellular technology that actually sent a data stream up to the cloud for later retrieval.  I would do this on all commercial vehicles so at any point in time the person responsible for them could go to a web site and see were their vehicle is, what it is doing and possible retrieve other information like the status of the vehicle.

The creator of such a camera could offer “cloud storage” as part of a complete package, thus not simply selling a device, but a service with a constant revenue stream that goes into perpetuity.

The RFI issues need to be resolved as we have come to rely on GPS as an everyday thing, much like road signs.

Shielding the camera to contain the RFI needs to be looked at, in the factory.

What is generating RFI in the GHZ range?  Is it the on-board processor? Can it be shielded?

This is not rocket science, it is simply best practice engineering.

-Best

© All rights reserved 2015

(1) Tape is simply used here as  vernacular that the public would easily understand.  There is in fact no more tape, as everything is recorded digitally.  The storage in most cameras are some form of memory card.

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Freedom of speech @GregAbbott_tx @thefive

Freedom of speech @GregAbbott_tx @thefive

Freedom of speech

Here in the good ole USA we have something in our Bill of Rights called the first amendment.

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Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

This is important enough to be the “First Amendment!”

Recently a Vet tried to take away a flag from some protestors on some college.  The protestors were desecrating the flag to make a point and the veteran was having no part of that.

There most certainly must be a better way for the protestors to get their point across, rather than desecrating that which most of us hold dear, it is their right to do so!

Trampling on a flag is a form of speech according to the law so I have another form of speech that is being abridged and we are doing nothing about it.

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She denies doing this for publicity… You be the judge.
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Being arrested for stopping some students from trampling on the American Flag.

If I am traveling down the road and see some cop lurking in the woods waiting for some speeder; and I flash my lights to warn fellow travelers I can get ticketed.

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Folks that is wrong on so many levels and nothing is being done about it.  Some days don’t you just feel like a sheep with the cops and other bureaucrats as the big bad wolf?

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Flashing my lights is my right under the first amendment. Just as it is my right to flip on the CB or other communication device and warn people.

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I have tried this with some success. It is better if you have a passenger so you don’t have to fool with something while driving.
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Hard to love this…
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From about the same time as Smokey and the Bandit.
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One of the best on the market.

The problems are twofold.

First and foremost traffic tickets have been a source of revenue generation and that is wrong as it removes objectivity from the equation.  In many cases it turns traffic enforcement into a game and guess what it does for public relations between citizen’s and the police?

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Secondly what is flashing my lights?  It is a code.  What is a code?  It is a form of speech, my speech!

This is actually a case for the ACLU… My free speech is being abridged here!

Not only I am well within my rights to flash my lights, I am doing a public service in that I am actually slowing traffic back to whatever the legal limit is; which is the sole purpose of the traffic cop in the first place.

This needs to be a change.org thing.

This will probably be better suited for the states to deal with rather than trying to get those inside the beltway to do anything.  They have to take a poll to figure out if they should go to the bathroom much less actually vote on something that matters.

As always, I welcome your input, thoughts and enlightened conversation about this or any of my other blogs.

© All rights Reserved 2015

#viral web #traffic or 15 minutes?

#viral web #traffic or 15 minutes?

Viral web traffic or 15 minutes?

Is this what we want?  Do we want thousands or tens of thousands stumbling across our blogs because they were dragged here by some trick of code, or slight of algorithm?

The lady that harassed that driver to speed and loose control of his truck and subsequently wreck out was going for a viral video on YouTube.  Why?  For her 15 minutes of pathetic fame!  She played the role of traffic Nazi under the guise of “keeping everyone safe on the slick roads, until the guy is finally trying to pass her and she does what?  She speeds up to further piss the guy off until he does indeed go too fast and wreck his truck.  At which time she does what?  She stops and gets out and further video’s the guy in the ditch and does she offer to help?  Hell no, she taunts the poor guy even further and then, she adds insult to injury and calls the cops and plays the video that she was recording while driving down the road!  Had the cops had their heads out of their butts, they would have heard her engine speed up and figured out that she was indeed the person her provoked and indeed instigated the whole mess for what?  Her viral video!

The public saw it from her view of “the guy was a jerk and got what he deserved.”  The forensically minded, “me” dug a little deeper, and so should the cops!  She provoked that guy and he was the victim.

We see many videos that were taken while someone was being beat up, or assaulted in some form or fashion.  Instead of helping or stopping the actions of others, we see many looking for their 15 minutes of fame!  There was one video making the rounds where some ASSHOLE was beating the snot out of a dog!  Some poor dog was getting the crap beat out of it while another asshole videoed the whole thing, and posted it for the world to see!

Yes, I want followers.  Do I want to trick you into following me, hell no! Do I want to pay some service to direct tens of thousands here to this blog, so WordPress can validate their advertising scheme and sell “clicks” to vendors who benefit from my work? No…

If you follow me and enjoy my work, that is what I am looking for.  If you feel others would enjoy what I do, and or find my words interesting enough to share; that too would be much appreciated.

This blog is for people who think outside the box, like me.  This blog is for thinkers or those that would like to engage in conversation that is above the normal fray.

This is the place to be if you like to engage in conversation about topics that others fear to even think about.  The opinions are my own.  I may not always be right, but I am open minded enough to listen to people from all walks of life, and welcome dialogue in that vein.

Yes, I want followers but, only those that will actually read what I write, and feel compelled to possibly comment or share it with their friends.  My goal is to surround myself with like minded folks, and make this a home for others, “like myself” to become acquainted.

If you find this blog such a place, then welcome!

Pull up a chair, kick off your shoes and stay a while.  I have spent many hours pontificating about many different things over the last several months, and will continue to do so; as I am either asked to, or as events of the day need to be talked about.

Make this a place to escape from the daily chatter or noise from the TV, or work, or life!

Enlightened conversation is always welcome, and appreciated!

-Best to you and those that you care about!

 Copyright 2015 Timedok, All rights reserved.

#Airtraffic

#Airtraffic

Air Traffic

I live in an area that at any given time has aircraft overhead.  It you sit in the backyard and just look up you can see aircraft going in all directions.

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On multiple occasions I have seen aircraft that could not be a half mile apart.  Today, two aircraft at the same altitude were intersecting when the westbound aircraft made a maneuver taking him abruptly north of his path.  The horizontal separation was staggeringly close.

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I realize that they have changed to a GPS system but as someone who lives under this “point on the map,” I would appreciate a little more separation as I really don’t want to become a statistic of those who had a plan crash on them.

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Southwest is one of the biggest perpetrators of flying below the radar.  Those folks fly so low at times I swear I can see the people looking out the windows!

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Only a few times have any of the larger jets, 747’s come over the house.  Those things are unmistakable with the sound that they make.

One time this summer there was a southbound 727 which all of the sudden veered to the left while pouring the coals to it to gain altitude, seconds later a 747 came over the house from the south.  Those things rarely if ever fly over this area so where he came from and where he was going is a mystery.  He was low, under 2000 and at the same approximate altitude that Southwest uses to land at Love Field.

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Between two major airports and several general aviation airports, air traffic in the area is robust.  You don’t have to go to an air show to see a lot of different types of aircraft.

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Several of these flew over one day heading to an air force base in the area.  They were following several big helicopters.

There is a large contingent of military aircraft that also fly around with the most notable being the old war birds.  Those too have a unique sound but nothing like the Osprey.  Those things when they fly by, have a sound all to themselves.  Sounds kind of like the big helicopters but different.

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One of the most unique aircraft that I see from time to time is a Beech craft. 

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Compound the tight traffic patterns and the idea that drones will be and are sharing that air space and one has to wonder how much room we have for error?

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There are multiple news reports of pilots seeing these things on landings.

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This is an idea of what air traffic looks like over the US in a given day!

Safe Travels!

#Truckers, #Drivers, #Distraction and You.

Today I would like to visit with you about a few rules of the road.

Recently (very recently) I spent some time on the highways of Texas and Louisiana.

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The first thing that I would like to address is drivers and cell phones.  The things have invaded every facet of our lives.  We have them everywhere and we are married to them.  These things are the Swiss army knife of technology.

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There are so many ways that the phone has become an integral part of our daily lives that if we leave home without it we will turn around and go get it.  If we are too far away when it is discovered we will actually have anxiety issues about it not being with us.

 We will pull it out at a red light.  This action often times causes you to be sitting there after the light has turned green causing the guy behind you to honk.  (That guy is me by the way.)

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We pull it out on side streets and try to text, Facebook and what have you, while driving.  We will pull it out on the highway and not only try to talk but text, Facebook. 

One of my favorite all time News Anchors pulled it out and took a picture of her dash while traveling down the road at 60 MPH showing the temp of  -14 and of course driving at night on icy roads.  She really should lead by example, and this is not it.

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On this last trip I noticed a new twist to this phenomena, truck drivers are doing it.  On multiple occasions I would see a truck swerve on the highway.  Often times they would swerve to avoid going into the ditch and their truck / trailer would end up in the other lane from the over correct.  As I passed each and every truck that did this they had the phone up next to their ear.

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They did this on dry pavement and they did this during a blinding rain storm.

 The driver that really caught my eye was a Texas Trooper, who also swerved.  As he passed me, he too had a phone up to his ear. I guess that he was late for something as he passed me well in excess of the speed limit, on a rain slick street, with a phone next to his ear.  Can a citizen pull over a cop?

 I have never driven a “big rig.”  I really don’t know what would happen if they were to drop a wheel off of the paved road.  The over correcting part that put them in the other lane, however; I can guess what would happen if someone was beside them.

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Normal every day drivers do this all day every day with no thought of the danger that they are putting themselves in, not to mention the rest of us.

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This type of behavior is cause for every day drivers to pay attention not only to the road but each and every car around you as you never know when someone is going to try and do something stupid!

 Hands free devices should be mandatory for those who wish to talk and drive.  My vehicle allows me to hit a button on the wheel, tell my phone who to dial and handle everything without taking my eyes off of the road.  There are after market devices like this so, really there are no excuses.  Even a blue tooth headset will allow you to do this.

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Distracted driving is illegal.  We should not need a special law for each and every thing that you might do with your car while driving.

 

On another note, who came up with the speed limits on our roads?

 

Some road should clearly be marked faster than they are and some should not be marked as fast as they are.  There should be standards and that can be state by state but there should be consistency.   Two lanes farm to market roads have no business being 75MPH.  Multiple lane highways have no business changing from 75 to 55 when they are the same road with the same kind of traffic.  We need to work to fix things and lead by example.

 

Small towns that change their speed limits on the main road to 30 mph at the drop of a hat, with the sign being partially or fully obstructed by a tree or shrub or some other structure ought to be fined by some sort of oversight committee.

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Recently I went through Cross Plains Texas where the speed drops from 75 to 30.  Just inside the border there is a really old sheriff or some sort of cop that wears a T-Shirt that says police on it.  He has a cowboy hat and boots and jeans.  Truly he is a throwback from another era.  The tickets appear to be an 8.5 X 11 piece of paper and he goes through many, from what I am told. Maybe they are the large print variety.

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As I was quite lost while looking for a place, I went through the town many times. Each and every time he had someone pulled over.  It is not that the town should not be 30; the road going to the town should not be above 60.

 

On a recent trip through the Keys I found that the road going through them was under construction for the entire trip. Highway 1 was about a 100 miles of intermittent speeds going from a high of 55 down to 30 with little or no warning.  Behind each and every sign was a cop and of course while all of the signs said, “active construction zone” there was not a sole lifting a spade of dirt.  There should be a law against this type of thing.  By the way for the record; this was a work day, middle of the day.  The entire week that I was there I never saw anyone doing anything that one could call construction.

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 Slow down, don’t text and drive, and get a hands free device and learn to use it.

 

-Best