SCOTUS has ruled, sticking a GPS transponder on a car without a warrant is bad. It was unanimous. The details of the case concerned a drug dealer, and the attempt by law enforcement to monitor the car for 28 days. Interesting though that the rationale for the option was divided 5-4 with Scalia writing for the majority and Roberts Jr. Kennedy, Thomas and Sotomayor joining in on the majority opinion. They wrote, "We hold that the government’s installation of a G.P.S. device on a target’s vehicle, and its use of that device to monitor the vehicle’s movements, constitutes a search."
So far so good. But the 4 concurring justices pointed out that the majority just used 18th-century legal concepts on a 21st-century technology. They were looking for a contemporary argument on a reasonable expectation of privacy. Alito, Ginsburg, Breyer and Kagan joined the concurrence.
The murky gray areas of course abound. Licence Plate Reader technology springs to mind. Does a driveby by your local police give them right to hunt you down for unpaid parking tickets or outstanding violations and warrants? it would have been nice if SCOTUS started down that path of the 21st century realities.
Word tricking accross the tuebs is that Harry Reid is pulling the vote on SOPA. But our former Senator Chris Dodd is showing temper tantrum on of all places foxnews.
"Candidly, those who count on quote 'Hollywood' for support need to understand that this industry is watching very carefully who's going to stand up for them when their job is at stake," Dodd told Fox News. "Don't ask me to write a check for you when you think your job is at risk and then don't pay any attention to me when my job is at stake."
Dodd, who became CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America after leaving the Senate in 2011, noted the movie "Avatar" was stolen by online pirates 21 million times. Such acts, he said, threaten to decimate his industry.
Arrrghhh Pirates. Let's think about piracy for a moment, as in classic piracy on the high seas, not Johnny Depp's Pirates of the Caribbean. You see in the olden days, pirates used ships to sail the high seas and then find other ships carrying valuable cargo, and commence an intricate battle that may or may not involve swashbucking swordfights. They boarded those ships and pillaged and plundered and stole the cargo. Let's be clear here, they removed the cargo, depriving the rightful owner of the cargo the rights of ownership. So chests of pieces of eight, and baubles of gemstones etc. were taken. That is piracy.
Flash forward to the days of Yahoo! instead of yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum, and we get the label piracy attached to just about anything. But in the case of the Internet, or as former Alaska Senator Ted Stevens once said, the tubes, piracy has morphed from an action that deprives ownership to one that simply deprives profit. That's a whole lot of important distinction.
You see, making a copy of something doesn't deprive ownership. The original is safe in the hands of whomever owns it. But now another replica exists. So instead of one person enjoying the use of let's say, a post card of a bottle of rum, two or more people can enjoy the same postcard. There is no loss of ownership.
But wait, you say, what about if the original owner wanted to sell that postcard. If there are all these copies that you can get for free, no one will buy the original. Well that's an interesting philosophy there. But we already know what happens when massive amounts of copies get made that are free. What happens is that more people become aware of the original and not surprisingly, want to buy it. We know this because of the lowly VHS tape. Remember those?
WIth the holiday travel days fast approaching, here's a reminder of what could have been if we realized that the TSA and the airline industry are just killing all the fun and joy out of travelling by air.
Laguna Woods Village is a retirement community an hour or so south of LA. There are shops, community centres and a large outdoor pool where, one hot afternoon, 80-year-old Nancy King stands with her toes hooked over the edge and – expert, fish-like – dives in without raising a splash. She jackknifes in the water, points one leg in the air and, doing a neat somersault, emerges, blinking, into the white California light.
Synchronised swimming is generally the preserve of lithe 20-year-olds, much mocked for its promotion to an Olympic sport but requiring more agility, strength and lung capacity than more obviously robust endeavours. To say the Laguna Woods team (oldest member: 96) is an anomaly is an understatement. It has been running for 46 years, has up to 25 members at a time and every year stages an annual 90-minute show, the Aqua-Follies. "It's the same as the Olympic sport," says Valerie Andrews Link, the coach and, at 57, baby of the team. "But we're 40 pounds heavier, 40 years older, 40 miles an hour slower." Sitting alongside King by the pool, she laughs uproariously.
Here’s How to Get a Gold Star from the Federal Government
The State Department of Motor Vehicles has begun a federally mandated program to improve security.
It’s called SelectCT ID and it aims to reverify licenses renewed over the next six years.
In order to get a gold star placed on a license — which will allow holders to bypass some security at airports and federal buildings starting in 2017 — residents will have to bring as many as six forms of identification to DMV, including:
Either a Social Security card or a recent (less than 5-year-old) W2 form.
A U.S. birth certificate or a passport or a certificate of citizenship.
Two documents that show a Connecticut address, including a bank statement, bill or pay stub.
With proper identification, motorists will get a new license with a gold star in the right hand corner.
Residents can choose to opt out and just renew their license.
Without the gold star, travelers will likely face greater scrutiny at airports and when entering federal buildings.
DMV is rolling out the new program now because Connecticut is on a six-year license renewal cycle and everyone needs to have a new license before 2017, when the federal regulations go into effect.