[ExI] privacy this time, and smoke detectors again, was: RE: quiet growth

spike spike66 at att.net
Fri Dec 19 17:44:27 UTC 2014



From: extropy-chat [mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of spike

>…building codes should go directly from requiring battery backup in smoke detectors to prohibiting battery backup in smoke detectors.


>…Back to your point BillK: your estimate suggested a kiloprole per month in Jolly Olde suffers from ladder accidents… we can estimate 3k per month or about 40k per year colonists end up in the body shop or the morgue from ladder falls…



OK so I was way off on my estimate of number of house fires, but ironically very close on the numbers of proles damaged or destroyed in house fires:




I think they are counting any cooking experiment which gets a little out of hand as a house fire.  All those firemen need to justify their existence.  I was counting only those which pose a real danger to the residents.


I like these trends.  We are down to about 17 kilo-injuries and 3k expirations due to house fires, down considerably in just the last decade.


The problem is we don’t get data specifically from falls due to drunkards trying to change the battery in the smoke detector.  It all gets lumped into falls in the household.


OK then, we have the building code requiring that the smoke detector be mounted to the ceiling, which makes sense because smoke is hot and rises, but if they require instead that they be mounted on the wall at a height of two meters, any drunken fool could remove the chirping device and smash it to shards without a chair.  The detector mounted 3 meters from the floor would still detect smoke up high, even if it introduced a slight delay.


Current building code requires both a battery backup and a power cable to each detector, but this in itself introduces yet another risk.  Note the camera on your cell phone, how small is the lens, and note your smoke detector LED.  A sneaky landlord could rig the smoke detectors with cell phone cameras then create nekkid videos of her tenants, that sort of thing.  The phone camera could be removed and disguised inside the smoke detector, with a memory device.  This could create video files, then send them over the power cable to a device disguised as the voltage transformer (smoke detectors work on low voltage.)  Then the sneaky landlord could call the central device and collect her possibly-embarrassing video without the risk of detection of Bluetooth signals.  The power cables to the smoke detectors could cover the tracks of the surreptitious observer.


Since I am on the topic, if you care at all about your own privacy, you must realize that any public restroom or hotel room could potentially have video detection hidden in it already.  From a purely technical standpoint, it would be easy to hide a modern video camera in a hotel room.  You have seen them, ja?  They are smaller than a sugar cube.  If they are ever discovered, there is no way to know whodunit, so there is no risk.  Any commie Nork could place them, then blackmail whoever they caught on candid camera.  


Cell phones are so cheap we toss them in the trash every couple years when a new one comes along.  In my own misspent youth, we used to take trashed electronics apart and reuse the pieces in other applications, but we were talking resistors, transistors, capacitors and inductors.  Now those misspending their youth can take a trashed cell phone and retrieve a fully functioning video camera with the ability to call it remotely and watch anything anywhere.


We have no assured privacy anywhere outside our homes.  For that matter, these cameras are so small it is only a matter of time before some sneaky reprobate glues one to the back of a goddam cockroach and gets it to crawl thru your ventilation system into your bedroom.  My only protection is I have nothing anyone would want to see.  


Do you?














I live in an area where I estimate there are 100k people close enough to my abode such that if a house fire occurs, I can hear the siren.  I estimate that area has less than 5 house fires per year, so 5 in 100k, scale that to the nation, I get around 10k to 20k house fires per year.  A house might have an average of 3 residents, so one might be up around the 40 kiloproles per year impacted by house fires, but wait; my original notion was that the battery backup in the smoke detectors.  Only a fraction of these would fail because of the power being off in a house fire, the majority of which in our modern times are caused by the residents becoming stoned or drunk and forgetting something on the stove, in which case the power goes right on (kitchens are on a separate circuit protected by ground fault breakers.)


I would estimate that about four times as much damage or serious death is caused by battery-backups in smoke detectors than is prevented.


So what do we do? 





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