Quote of the Day - The information encoded in your DNA determines your unique biological characteristics, such as sex, eye color, age and Social Security number.
Spying on the CIA and AGCNN News reports that the Foundation for Taxpayer & Consumer Rights group spent just $26.00 and obtained two social security numbers.
Not a big deal, except that the SSNs belonged to CIA Director George Tenet and United States Attorney General John Ashcroft. Even the government watchdogs aren't safe from privacy theft.
In response to these types of attacks on personal privacy, about a week ago, Governor Gray Davis signed a new privacy act into law, retroactively effective on July 1, 2003. If you want some government guidance on how to protect your privacy, California has an Office of Privacy Protection. Maybe Tenet and Ashcroft haven't checked that link out yet.
The Long Arm of the Law Stretches from CA to MaineThe procedural rules behind jurisdiction over foreign companies is one of the first year courses law students study in law school. No surprise, then, that the Ninth Circuit felt compelled to give us another lesson.
L.L. Bean does six percent of its business in California, and it asked a California company, Gator, Inc. to stop triggering pop-up ads that featured discount coupons for L.L. Bean customers. So far, I was voting for L.L. Bean. But that's not really the issue in the case.
Gator provides a "digital wallet" service that assists customers in making online purchases. As part of its "service," advertisers (read competitors of L.L. Bean) bought "ad space" that created a pop-up ad whenever a Gator customer visited the L.L. Bean website. Not happy with that creativity, L.L. Bean asked Gator to stop.
Also not one to shy away from a fight, Gator sued, asking the court to declare the pop-up ads legal. In Califorinia. Gator wanted the home-court advantage, so to say.
L.L. Bean contested jurisdiction, and the District Court agreed. The Ninth Circuit, in what is becoming part of a rapidly growing web of decisions on internet issues, reversed. Now, L.L. Bean has to answer Gator's action in California over the validity of the competitor's pop-up ads.
Sounds like another commerce-clause, free-speech case to me. My money's on Gator now.
UFF DAThis month's column is out, and posted, and Beds points out the peculiarities of Norway's judicial system, complete with a new set of his classic footnotes.
Justice Moore, ReduxIn My August 28, 2003 post on Justice Moore, "God in the Courthouse," I opined that the "So help you God" portion of legal oaths had been removed.
I was wrong.
The Curmudgeonly Clerk points out that the oath is still widely used.
In fact, I was doubly wrong.
It turns out that California Code of Civil Procedure section 2094 has two optional oaths, subsections (1) and (2). The first contains the "So help you God" language, the second does not.
I let my experience do the talking instead of the well-written, researched and thought out commentary by the Curmudgeonly Clerk. In the most recent trials I've handled, I hadn't remembered hearing the "So help you God" portion of the oath, since many judges have stopped using it. So, I generalized.
Blogging is a wonderful opportunity to have discussions like this by well-informed and reasoned readers. It's a great intellectual discussion and I look forward to more back-and-forth commentary across blogs.
Not to say anything about learning a thing or two.
There's a new Sheriff in town - it's a SatelliteHe didn't even look back. But, he forgot to look up.
A 40 year-old Jaynesville, Wisconsin resident spotted a brick-sized electronic object outside a home and stole it, carting it off to his apartment, apparently hoping to fence it. What you'd do with a piece of electronic equipment that had no immediately discernable use, I have no idea, but this bright blub did.
So did others. Apparently, it was as a tracking device for a prisoner on house arrest. You know, the kind that won't let you travel more than a few hundred feet without notifying the local S.W.A.T. team.
When the home prisoner notified the prison that the device had been stolen, the prison guards did what they were trained to do. They flipped a switch.
That switch activated an electronic beacon, and a trail of red dots appeared on the screen, leading right to an apartment. The very same apartment where our hero was planning how to spend his ill-gotten gains.
Needless to say, our hero was immediately arrested.
Yep, a true story - originaly reported by the Associated Press. I don't even have to try to make these things up. Real life is too good.
Professional Courtesy Returned, With A Rain CheckSeems like I've picked up some new readers. Famed blogger Denise Howell referenced one of my posts on one of my favorite pastimes, diving.
Apparently, she can't now, but hopefully in something less than nine months will be able to again. I heard something about a dive boat? I'm hoping for a Carribean destination.
How to Balance California's Budget
Ready to 'fess up, Reliant Energy (formerly know as Relaint Resources) said Saturday that it will pay a whopping $836,000 to resolve allegations that it manipulated electricity prices in California during the 2000-2001 energy crisis.
For an updated News Release as of August 7, 2007 click here.
Live to Ride, Ride to LiveOut for a ride local today on the Harleys, Lisa and I are enjoying the sun and open road. Too bad we're not in Milwaukee for the 100th Anniversary party. We missed Sturgis, too. Perhaps next year after the new firm settles in a bit.
Apart from the Harleys, we did take a recent vacation to Cape Cod and enjoyed taking a long walk at Rock Harbor (see the photo in the link) at low tide, but that has been our only vacation this summer.
We dream of diving again at Bora Bora. Great time, great dives, beautiful scenery.
But, I have to pay attention to the road and keep both wheels on the ground.