Two almost comically depressing links

November 8th, 2010  |  Tags: ,  |  4 Comments

Roadside assistance

It looks like Eagle, CO might be as bad a place to ride a bike as it is to be a 19-year-old female hotel employee. Apparently, Vail Valley District Attorney Mark Hurlbert is willing to avoid pursuing felony hit-and-run charges against an investment banker who ran over a cyclist and only stopped to phone Mercedes roadside assistance in order to report the damage to his car. His rationale is that a felony conviction would negatively impact the perpetrator’s career.

One might assume that Hurlbert is merely weary of the increasing criminalization of the American public, and that he allowed this (admittedly completely egregious) offense to slide with misdemeanor charges in order to make some ideological statement about the nature of punishment. One would be wrong, though, as Hurlbert has also pursued felony criminal-impersonation charges against two women who exchanged race numbers for a mountain-bike event.

There’s not a lot I can say about this story without using naughty words. However, I would like to apologize to the town of Middleton, WI, for anything negative I have ever said regarding its climate for cyclists. I’ll take antipathy and incompetence over corruption and abject hostility any day.

Cargo cult security

Bruce Schneier points out that the future of in-flight wi-fi is in doubt as a result of the attempted cargo plane bombings on UPS flights from Yemen; while these package bombs did not have internet-enabled triggers, such a trigger exists in the realm of logical possibility, so it’s obviously better to outlaw in-flight internet access altogether.

Schneier notes that this will not prevent any known class of attack (and, indeed, leaves less-sophisticated bomb triggers involving timers and altimeters completely unaffected). Personally, I assume that every passenger and bag will soon have to pass through an electromagnetic pulse, right after the security groping and peepshow.