Quote of the Day - A right delayed is a right denied.
Redux on Bulletproof Vests - We Scooped ItWe covered it here back in December, last year. The Pennsylvania Attorney General is just now catching up.
Bulletproof vests, that is. MIPTC's article told the story of vest material that was not doing the job. We even got a thank you from one of the men in blue for the warning.
Now, PA's AG has decided to sue the vest manufacturer, perhaps aptly named Second Chance. About time?
Maybe the AG should have read MIPTC back in December.
Mad About ConventionsIt's convention time, both for the GOP and the DNC. Yes, the Green Party has a convention, too, as well as the Libertarians.
I presume there are others that I should give equal time to, but you get the idea. There are almost as many political parties as there are people in the U.S. - especially if you ask for opinions.
What's the hullabaloo all about? Pomp and circumstance? Just an opportunity to get together?
Is it really just for show?
No. It's what we're about. It's voting, something other countries rarely get. It's something we've started wars over.
So, join in, enjoy the fun, listen to the speeches and then, come November, do something about it.
California Beaches Not Rated, But Still CleanAre our beaches here in California clean, or are we just cheap?
Probably not either one. Turns out that we may be being blackmailed.
Californians, along with officials in several other states, refused to pay for a group to come here and "rate" our beaches.
Clean Beaches, a "non-profit" charges $2,500 to "rate" a beach as clean, and $1,500 for every year thereafter. For that sum, you get a "blue" code on the organization's website. If you don't pay, your beach is rated "red." Apparently, the Washington, DC-based group hadn't made it out to California, except by telephone.
No West Coast beach was rated as clean, leading the group's founder and President Walter McLeod to suggest those beaches were not qualified. "We toughened our criteria last year, which means that beaches have to build up to become certified,' McLeod said to CNN last month.
When questioned recently about the lack of payments, however, McLeod responded, "I probably may have misconveyed that it was quality criteria alone that caused California or Hawaii not to be in the program. If that was communicated, then that's certainly not what we intended."
Go swim in the Potomac. That's nice and clean.
Watch the Road or Watch a Movie? Watch Out.You might want to think twice when installing an in-dash DVD player. Apparently, it can be installed bypassing the safety feature requiring your foot to be on the brake when watching it.
That's what prosecutors in Alaska are claiming. They believe that a pickup swerved across the highway and killed the two occupants of an oncoming car. The authorities believe that the pickup driver was watching his in-dash DVD player instead of the road.
The pickup's driver, Erwin J. Petterson Jr., denies using the DVD player as he drove north on along Seward Highway on Oct. 12, 2002, and contends he was only listening to music from a compact disc.
The National Transportation Safety Board discourages the use of in-dash units because they distract drivers. I couldn't find much on the Consumer Electronics Association website. They just seem happy that sales are up.
There's no law against in-dash units yet, but you can expect that Alaska may lead the nation in putting one on the books.
Editing DVDs - Pornography Controls Gone MadThere are already parental controls for television, and now a company has come up with a way to filter DVDs and remove objectionable content.
If they put that on the Chris Rock special, you'd be watching a blank screen. ClearPlay has made possible the technology to essentially edit DVDs.
The Family Movie Act may allow parents to buy DVD filters that screen out material they deem objectionable.
The Director's Guild is upset. "You're getting a doctored, reinterpretation of the product," said Dan McGinn, a spokesman for the Directors Guild of America. "What they [ClearPlay] have is a new version of the product. It should be licensed."
This technology may also be able to automatically remove commercials from cable and network television programs.
Where do I sign up?
Most Important Legal News Today - The Top ChipNever, never, insult a local. Especially if you're an out-of-towner. U.S. District Court Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan saw it clearly in favor of local potato-chip maker, Jays Foods.
Frito-Lay, a Texas-based company, claimed that Chicagoans favored Frito-Lay chips over rival Jays Foods chips 51-44%. Jays, a Chicago company sued.
In Chicago, not Texas.
Jays accused Frito-Lay testers of failing to screen out participants who were not from Chicago. Jays also faulted Frito-Lay for labeling Jays chips as "unflavored" during the tests and instead labeling Lay's as "classic." The judge agreed, and called those tactics "clearly derogatory."
That wasn't the last of it, though. The Judge told Frito-Lay to prove it, but the company couldn't. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Frito-Lay representatives told the newspaper last Monday that they would not turn over the research. However, Frito-Lay attorney Roger Pascal said Wednesday the company offered the research a week ago.
The opinion's not posted yet, but you can run a search here to find it later this week. The AP, however, reports that Judge Der-Yeghiayan said, "Lay's appears to be motivated by greed in displaying and airing advertisements which are not only damaging to Jays but are deceiving to the public."
Reports also indicate that Frito-Lay was using the same tactics against Cape Cod potato chips and Pennsylvania's Utz potato chips.
Of course, we all know that there's no comparison. Sepasang Naga Squid Cracker is the worst chip of all time and, according to this unbiased reporter, Cape Cod potato chips rule. Of course, there are other opinions, and admittedly, Cape Cod is where I spent my summers as a kid.
Trading Lightning Bolts With Federal JudgesHave you ever tried to correct a federal court judge? You know, the ones with the lifetime appointment, and who are not subject to losing their job for anything other than perhaps their own mistakes? After grabbing a lightning bolt and tossing it at you, their response is something akin to, "if you don't like it, you know where to go" - and they're usually referring to up, not down.
In other works, accountable to virtually no one except the various circuits. And who holds them accountable?
Anyway, enough with my soapbox. Besides, not all federal judges are cantankerous. Some are actually nice (or hot).
My objection is not so much the lack of supervision over the federal judiciary, but more about a pair of cases from the Third Circuit.
Now, we lawyers are required to correct mistakes in the trial court. Sure, we can object, and argue the point, but I wasn't aware that Congress suddenly endowed us lawyers with the ability to actually tell a federal judge what to do.
That's like trying to herd cats, except these cats have big teeth.
I already speak up when I'm in court. Maybe now, I'll start throwing those lightning bolts back.
TiVo Tackles FootballI finally got TiVo for my birthday, and have been enjoying skipping through commercials. I believe that I'm probably watching more television than I used to because of it. Before, I just didn't watch, because I wasn't home when the TV shows I wanted to watch were on. I will admit that it was difficult to hook up to a broadband connection.
TiVo, though, is now going one step further. It applied to the FCC to allow viewers to transfer TV shows to other devices (i.e. computers).
Hollywood movie studios are up in arms. So is the NFL. They're both concerned that TV shows and football will end up all over the internet.
Nah. Who would do that?
But if the FCC has anything to say about it, God's machine can't do anything wrong. I'm guessing it will get approved.
Watch your computer for NFL bloopers coming your way soon.