Posts Tagged ‘spy’


Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

It looks like this:

The Drones of Golden Gate Park: Brocephus Takes His “Parrot Quadricopter” for a Flight in the Panhandle

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

1903: The Wright Brothers perfect controlled, heavier-than-air flight* in Kitty Hawk

2013: A couple of Bros perfect drone** flight just south of NoPA:

Click to expand

(Look for this device hovering just outside your bathroom window when you shower – the flashing red light will tell you that you’re being video’ed.)

*Actually, they worked everything out with gliders in 1902. I’m talking about 3-axis control, actual real flight. And then they backed it up in ’03. So, sorry about that, you French and Russians and Brazilians and whomever, but the Wright Bros were first.

**$47? Wow, that’s cheap!

Know Your Northern California Spy Plane Nose Art: Beale AFB U2 “Dragon Lady” = Santa’s Sleigh

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012


Click to expand

Man, the Falun Gong Protest in Front of the Chinese Consulate on Geary Will Freak You Out

Friday, July 6th, 2012

I don’t know, which would you rather see when you look outside in the morning? Would you rather see freaky Blair Witch evidence or bunch of Falun Gong holding this pose?

Geary at Laguna:

Click to expand

I could go either way.

But, attention cultists, achtung baby: Signals intelligence officers are inside this consulate, sniffing your cell phone data packets, so to speak. Like a giant Google Maps car.

So, Falun Gongers, take your cell phone batteries out of your mobiles, if you know what’s good for you, whenever you protest over there.

Just saying…

RAND Corp: GPS Snitch Units in All Cars Could Enforce New Vehicle-Miles-Traveled Tax

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

Oh man, you drivers out there, you’re out on the road more and more every year* but the amount of gasoline and diesel ‘n stuff you buy isn’t keeping pace. So when people like you trade in their big old fuel-guzzling SUVs for Toyota Prius hybrids, the amount of gasoline they buy and the concomitant tax they pay to the Govmint goes down, let’s say by a half or two-thirds.

That’s good for Prius drivers but bad for the govmints. This chart from a big new report (free .pdf) out of California’s own RAND Corportation think tank ‘splains it all. See? You people are out there clogging up the roads and tearing up the streets 100% more than you were in 1980, but you’re only buying 50% more fuel:

You drivers are paying more in tax but not as much as if you would be paying if you were taxed by the mile. (That makes you a deadbeat in the eyes of the Powers That Be.)

And things are only going to get “worse” when Tesla Motors’ mainstream Model S hits the streets in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, “late 2012,” right? Electric car drivers pay no gas tax at all, so how are we going to make sure that they pay their fair share to repave our streets ‘n stuff**?

The RANDian eggheads looked at these issues and, out of 15 ideas, decided that these three would be the most practicable: 

What if the authorities put a GPS unit in your car or motorcycle? Not the regular kind of GPS receiver, the good kind, the ones that use differentials or whatever to pinpoint your whereabouts down to a couple yards on a 24-7 basis. 

You don’t like that? Well how about a cell phone in your car next to the engine that would call the government on a regular basis to rat out how miles you’ve driven the past week?

You don’t like that neither? Well how about a system that ID’s your car when you buy gas and then computes your Miles Driven by looking at your particular model’s EPA rating?

And let’s say this all gets implemented in five years. 

Or instead, our electeds could simply raise gas taxes a bit, but that’s not something that they like talking about doing.

Of course they could make this new VMT proposal “revenue neutral” by getting rid of or lowering per-gallon fuel taxes that you pay today. Once a system like this is in place, taxes would correlate more directly with miles driven – it’s up to you if you like that or not.

Welcome to The Future.

Speaking of 1980:

My uncle has a country place
That no one knows about.
He says it used to be a farm
Before the Motor Law.
And on Sundays I elude the Eyes,
And hop the Turbine Freight
To far outside the Wire
Where my white-haired uncle waits.

See how this libertarian, Canadian Power Rock Trio story ends after the jump.

*Not so much this past year or two, but you’ll be out there in force again soon enough.

**And maybe that’s the way it should be. I know all the arguments you’re thinking about – this is a political question, of course.


Smile for the TSA – SFO Scores $5 Million from the Feds for More Closed Circuit TV Cameras

Friday, September 25th, 2009

You know what San Francisco’s airport needs? Five mil worth of TV camera and similar equipment to keep an eye on you when you pass through SFO to visit the fam this Thanksgiving.

Read all about it, below.


“The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) today announced approximately $5 million in funding for the purchase of additional equipment for a closed circuit television (CCTV) system at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) – designed to assist Transportation Security Administration efforts to strengthen security at airports.

“The addition of new cameras as well as increased storage capability on pre-existing cameras will be a tremendous asset to our security efforts at SFO airport,” said Federal Security Director Ed Gomez. “These video recording enhancements will strengthen security, allow better personnel deployment and assist with the resolution of suspicious items.”

The $5 million award, which comes from fiscal year 2009 funds, will enhance CCTV systems currently in place at SFO airport. CCTV systems are an integral part of TSA and airport security operations, providing a high level of threat detection and enhancing emergency response and risk mitigation.

“We are extremely appreciative of the additional funding TSA has provided to San Francisco International Airport to further expand and enhance the airport’s comprehensive closed-circuit television system,” said Airport Director John L. Martin. “SFO’s number one priority has been, and always will be, the safety and security of everyone traveling through and working at the San Francisco International Airport.”

CCTV technology is used at hundreds of airports across the country and TSA has collaborated with individual airports to expand these sophisticated and integrated security networks.

To learn more about TSA’s security efforts and technology at airports throughout the country, visit

WHY is TSA using CCTV technology? Closed circuit television (CCTV) systems are sophisticated and integrated security networks which increase the safety and security of airport facilities, employees and passengers. The systems are an integral part of TSA and airport security operations, providing a high level of threat detection and enhancing emergency response and risk mitigation.

 For more information about TSA, visit

4-Door Porsche Panamera Caught on the Streets of San Francisco

Monday, October 20th, 2008

Oh no! Look out BMW Gran Turismo, the Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG, Aston Martin Rapide, Lamborghini Estoque, Maserati Quattroporte, Bentley Continental GT, and Ferrari 612 Scaglietti. ‘Cause here comes der neu 4-door Porsche Panamera!

You see, they need to find out if such a fine vehicle can handle the steep streets of San Francisco. Fair enough, but doesn’t the body look all stretched out, like a 1978 “pregnant cow” Nissan / Datsun 280Z / Fairlady 2+2?

Click to expand:

Both photos via the photostream of Hysterical Bertha:

No front license plate, which is required in California. Minus 5 points, Gryffindor House.

It sure looks fast though.

Can it outrun a recession? We’ll find out soon enough.