We have been discussing the ever-expanding copyright and trademarks claims on what seems every object and observation in modern life, including such things as pictures taken of public scenes in London, in Paris, and in New York. Now the Inglewood City Council has attempted to use copyright law to silence critics and control public information by invoking protection over Inglewood city council meeting footage used on YouTube videos. Fortunately, Joseph Teixeira prevailed in City of Inglewood v. Teixeira after a federal court ruled that it could not use copyright to silence him or others.
By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
Another method comes forth that should serve as a reminder that extra measures should be taken to guard one’s electronic security. In an interview with IT News, an Australian news medium, Sec-Tec reported that relatively inexpensive devices attachable to iPhones and other handhelds can use thermal imaging to photograph latent heat signatures left on keypads after users enter their PIN on access devices. Coupling this with technology to receive RFID (Radio Frequency ID) signals that provide account information, hackers and thieves can then be able to gain access to funds and users’ accounts.
We have been following the plight of women in India from an epidemic of rape to discrimination in marriage and advancement. The medieval mentality found in some parts of India was on display in the Gujarat High Court, which asked a rape victim to balance a 40kg rock on her head in order to ‘prove her purity’ and reside with her husband again. It is part of the bizarre ritual called “Agnipariksha,” or “test of fire.”
By Cara L. Gallagher, weekend contributor
5 reasons you hated/loved the Obamacare decision (King v. Burwell):
What a week last week turned out to be at the Supreme Court! It certainly was exciting and unlike last year there wasn’t just one big case, like Hobby Lobby, that got so much attention. There were several big opinions that got the public’s attention over the last week, but one in particular has come up a lot this week.
Odds are you heard bits and pieces of the decisions, but it wasn’t exactly a light week for current events so you may have some gaps in the details. There’s also a very good chance you’re going to a holiday party this weekend where family or friends will gather and try ever so hard to avoid the cardinal sin of holiday gatherings – political discussions. They’re unavoidable and they always seem to happen whether you want them to or not. Rather than squirm or awkwardly walk away from the table when the inevitable happens, be ready and poised for that moment when someone says, “Did you hear about that healthcare decision?”
Such a question is not totally inappropriate. Given how recently the Court finished the term with not only controversial and timely cases, but also a spectacular array of passionate majority opinions, thundering dissents, and even one cantankerous concurrence read from the bench, it’s no surprise the subject could come up. Lots of folks fall back on current events as discussion starters at holiday parties when no one knows what else to talk about. Listen, we’re here to encourage you to resist the urge to flee either because you don’t feel confident enough to hold the conversation or you’re worried your politics may differ from the person engaging the discussion. It’s gonna be ok. Continue reading
I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream For Ice Cream. The organizers of the famous Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert have been faced with a bizarre demand from U.S. land managers that the counterculture event supply special lodging, ice cream and other amenities to their staff working at the event. This includes 24-hour access to Chobani Greek Yogurt and a standalone freezer with Drumstick and Choco Taco ice cream for members of the United States Bureau of Land Management. The federal agencies have been steadily tacking on costs on the events and increasing the fees from $1 million in 2011 to an anticipated $5 million this year. The special compound for federal employees have been estimated to cost as much as $1 million.
By Cara L. Gallagher, weekend contributor
While you were celebrating your free healthcare at gay wedding receptions, you likely missed a decision in a critical case about discrimination, housing, and a legal matter called disparate impact. The decision in this case (Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project) came down Thursday and was off the radar because the Obamacare decision came down the same day. Roberts delivered the Obamacare decision, which upheld the national insurance program and was joined by five other justices. Yes, this much-hyped case – the biggest of the term, in the eyes of some – did not turn out to be a 5-4 decision. The Texas case, however, was the 5-4 case of the day in which Kennedy cast a decisive vote and authored the opinion for the four other liberal justices. Continue reading