Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Antenna betrays high-tech cheats

ATHENS: Three Greek youths were arrested on Saturday for conspiring to cheat in a university entrance exam using a wireless camera hidden in a pen, police said.

The police were alerted to the ploy by the principal of the Athens high school where the mathematics exam was being held, who noticed an antenna cable running from the school's front gate to a clump of bushes nearby.

Two of the unidentified youths, aged 20 and 24, had hidden a laptop in the bushes overnight, allegedly planning to use it to help their 19-year-old friend cheat.

The 19-year-old intended to use his miniature camera to transmit the exam questions to the computer, and his friends would provide him the answers though his mobile phone earpiece.

Once arrested, the trio confessed to also having cheated in a May 26 biology exam by obtaining the topics from earlier exam-sitters and conveying the answers by mobile phone.

The Next Stop in The Law School Twilight Zone

I am mulling over a short list of options with respect to law school. I can always return to Cooley in the Fall... but have pretty much ruled that out due to the horrific commute. It does seem to get a little better each term as my C's have all been a few points away from hitting the next grade level, whereas last term my C's were barely (and I mean barely) C's in terms of the point spread. I also find it interesting how so many of my peers don't like (or didn't like) to discuss their grades when things went bad. Perhaps this is perfectly logical when all you have are grades to define your future or your next job, but in my case my resume is jam-packed with other things and a JD is in some respects frosting on the cake. Plus, I've never envisioned myself looking for work, but rather planned (and still plan) having my own practice.

I like the idea of Concord as it would let me work plus get a legal education, but serious and obvious drawbacks exist. Last, but not least, is another T4 school in California that is (knock on wood) becoming a green light - short commute, but still expensive and a hassle. And then there is Phoenix International... non-ABA, but only an hour away. Because my application is subject to be very, very late, the best I can hope for is a January admission. It also means tons more private loans (something I am less than thrilled about).

And yes, "C" students CAN transfer out of Cooley, although it is by no means an easy task.

In September I'll post where I end(ed) up at.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Patent absurdities are plain unsporting

Take this [Microsoft] application for "Efficient string searches using numeric keypad". The details of this work of genius: "Contacts are stored in memory on a mobile device with a limited input device containing input points. Each input point corresponds to a subset of the alphabet. For each contact, a string comprising characters representing the input points that correspond to the letters of the alphabet contained in the name of the contact is generated and saved with the contact in the memory. When a user desires to retrieve a contact, the user presses the input point that corresponds to the subset of the alphabet containing the first letter in the name of that contact. A prefix search for the character representing that input point is performed on the saved generated strings. Any contacts containing a matching string are then presented to the user. "

That's what we, you and a billion others do every day when we look up contacts in our mobile phones — and what Microsoft is claiming to have recently invented.

Microsoft struggles to hit EU deadline

MICROSOFT is this weekend trying to finalise new proposals to satisfy the European commission’s concerns about its anti-competitive behaviour, and to avoid the threat of daily fines of about €5m (£3.4m).

From Slashdot: Terrorism and Copyright Piracy

American politics is becoming breathtakingly stupid...

"John Stedman, a lieutenant in the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department in charge of IP violations, testified in front of the Senate Homeland Security committee that some associates of terrorist groups such as Hezbollah may be involved in copyright violations. According to CNET's Declean McCullagh: 'Even though Stedman's evidence is circumstantial, his testimony comes as Congress is expected to consider new copyright legislation this year. An invocation of terrorism, the trump card of modern American politics, could ease the passage of the next major expansion of copyright powers'."

National ID System To Be Built On Microsoft's .NET?

At first I thought this was a joke - Microsoft and HP developing the National ID system, but alas it is not a story out of The Onion after all...

"Yahoo is running a story about HP's national ID plan, 'The need to securely identify people moving across national and international borders has never been more important than it is today,' said Jim Ganthier, worldwide leader, Defense, Intelligence and Public Safety, HP. 'HP and Microsoft are working together to provide government agencies the ability to access the integrated data streams needed to securely identify people both in the physical and virtual worlds.'"

Moodle: An open source learning management system

Distance education is becoming more important in today's connected world. Universities and schools are supplementing traditional classroom-based learning with electronic learning management systems (LMS) -- software designed to deliver on-line education. You may know such software by other names, such as managed learning environments, virtual learning environments, or course management systems. Moodle is the definitive open source learning management system. Like most LMSes, it make extensive use of the Internet, with features such as discussion forums, chats, journals, automated testing and grading tools, and student tracking. Because it's open source, it's also broadly extensible by its large user community.

Digital rights management embedded in Intel chips

Microsoft and the entertainment industry's holy grail of controlling copyright through the motherboard has moved a step closer with Intel Corp. now embedding digital rights management within in its latest dual-core processor Pentium D and accompanying 945 chipset.

Friday, May 27, 2005

RIAA Sues More Internet2 File Swappers

The Recording Industry Association of America announced Thursday it has filed a second wave of copyright infringement lawsuits against students swapping files on the Internet2 network. The group added 20 new universities to its list of targets, specifically suing 91 students across 33 college campuses.

Slashot Repost: Nuclear Fuel How-To

"The BBC has an article that pretty much sums up everything you might need to know if you wanted to refine nuclear fuel and build some atomic weapons." From the article: "Uranium is the basic raw material of both civilian and military nuclear programmes. It is extracted from either open-cast pits or by underground mining. Although uranium occurs naturally all over the world, only a small fraction is found in concentrated ores. When certain atoms of uranium are split in a chain reaction, energy is released. This process is called nuclear fission."

Developing GNOME Applications with Java

Design your application's GUI look in XML, write the code in Java and plug the whole thing in to the GNOME desktop.

On The Register: Mac OS X 10.4 'Tiger' in depth

I wanted to spend some more time with Tiger before getting off the fence.

So did The Register's Andrew Orlowski, and you can read his thoughts on some of Tiger's key components here.

ALSO another Register article...

Mac OS X 10.4 - More Bling Than Bang?

Creationism: Why No Single Entity is Capable of Dictating the Future

How do you predict the future? That's easy. How do you create the future? That's hard.

Over the years, I've probably written a dozen columns about how to predict the future. The process is pretty simple, really. Just look for a logical vector from the past to the present, then use a bit of English to predict a second vector from the present to the future, because there is always a kink precisely at the point we call "today." Recalculate occasionally so the vector turns into a curve and converges on some date you've chosen in the future. What makes predicting the future easier than creating it is that only observation and thought are required, and that vector is the sum of all forces, seen and unseen. Creating the future, in contrast, requires lots of work, and all the forces generally have to be summoned or at least enticed by the creators, which makes it a combination of engineering, marketing and voodoo. Unseen forces, rather than being automatically integrated, are what kill you.

In high-tech, we like to look back at the days of Xerox PARC in the early 1970s as an idyllic period of future creation. Within three years, fewer than 100 people invented computer networking, client-server computing, graphical user interfaces, and laser printing. They did so by literally living in the future -- using Moore's Law to anticipate the probable performance of hardware 10 years in the future, then building that hardware, no matter how high the cost, and creating for it applications that represented the best way to get work done. Xerox PARC created many things, but one of the most important was a creative culture that was software-based because it had to be. The hardware was all cobbled from eyes of newt and sealing wax -- materials that probably wouldn't be used in real products a decade hence - but the software was real. And it changed the way technologies were developed.

From The Torture Dept... Judge: Public Has Right to See Abuse Photos

NEW YORK -- A federal judge has told the government it will have to release additional pictures of detainee abuse at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison, civil rights lawyers said.

Judge Alvin Hellerstein, finding the public has a right to see the pictures, told the government Thursday he will sign an order requiring it to release them to the American Civil Liberties Union, the lawyers said.

The judge made the decision after he and government attorneys privately viewed a sampling of nine pictures resulting from an Army probe into abuse and torture at the prison.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Cherry Blossoms and Kamikaze

Kamikaze means "divine wind" in Japanese, and originally referred to a miraculous typhoon that saved Japan from a Mongolian invasion force in the 13th century. The Japanese Navy used this term to describe their suicide attack planes. In America, the word "kamikaze" describes actions that are reckless or dangerous to the point of being suicidal. The term "kamikaze" is now applied to a wide range of situations, including terrorist suicide bombings, reckless drivers, and out of control classrooms.

Slashdot Reposts: Mad as Hell Switching to Mac; French Judges Decriminalize File Sharing

"Security dude, Winn Schwartau, has posted an article on Network World about switching his company to Macs because he's fed up with the security issues plaguing Windows-based systems. He also offers his view on why Windows is inherently flawed and why it will eventually fail because of those reasons. From the article, 'This is my first column written on a Mac - ever. Maybe I should have done it a long time ago, but I never said I was smart, just obstinate. I was a PC bigot. But now, I've had it. I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore.'"


Wired reports that judicial activism is taking hold in France, much to the dismay of the recording industry, as judges are beginning to suspend the sentences of convicted file swappers. Further, they believe they are starting a revolution against the draconian laws at the base of the industry's legal agenda, and that sometimes laws need to be changed. Says Judge Dominique Barella of the laws against file swapping in today's society: 'It is similar to the sociological consequences of the Prohibition period in the U.S. (during the 1920s). Certain laws can have unexpected consequences on society.'"

Legal Theory Lexicon: Formalism and Instrumentalism

American law students learn about formalism instrumentalism early on—although those particular terms may not be introduced. Many law students hunger for “black letter law,” for legal rules that can be applied to the facts in a more or less determinate fashion. But in most law school classrooms, this hunger is not satisfied. Instead, the discussion is likely to focus on another set of questions: What should the rule be? What is the purpose of the rule? Would the application of the rule to these facts serve its purpose? Does that rule make sense? And so on. Of course, different professors have different ideas about what makes for good legal rules. Some emphasize good consequences—perhaps as defined by the economic concept of efficiency. Others might emphasize considerations of fairness or distributive justice.

In constitutional law, “black letter law” sometimes seems to disappear entirely. Instead, there is a Supreme Court that seems to act as some sort of super-legislature, resolving the great questions of the day, whether it be “Who shall be President?” or “May states criminalize gay sex?” or “Shall abortion be legal?” Moreover, students quickly learn that the constitutional text is not much of a barrier to a result that the Court really wants to reach. An obvious example is Bolling v. Sharpe in which the Supreme Court applied the substance of the equal protection clause to the federal government—even though it is unmistakably clear that the 14th amendment applies only to the state.

Click the link to read the rest of Legal Lexicon.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Amnesty accuses US over 'torture'

"The United States is leading the way when it comes to protecting human rights and promoting human dignity. We have liberated 50 million people in Iraq and Afghanistan, we have worked to advance freedom and democracy in the world," said Scott McClellan.

Set My Drivers Free

Richard Stallman, one of the main forces behind the GNU/Linux operating system and the free software movement, is in Taiwan fighting on a new front -- to get the island's PC makers to release source code for their drivers.

One Way To Get an "A"...

A TEEN who tried to bump up his grades to an A by hacking into his school’s computer system, accidentally revealed his cunning plan to officials.

Good To Be Home

It's nice to be home. I built some shelves in the garage and installed a much-needed cabinet in the laundry room. Change the oil in the car and sort-of fixed a garage door issue. Sadly, it took a real-man (unlike yours truly) like my father-in-law to stop by to get the opener to actually work right. He's so cool. He's a FOX-news Republican, hardcore fundamentalist, but I couldn't dislike the guy even if I tried. I'm not crazy about Republican Taliban types, but he gets a pass along with my ex-boss Larry (who I happen to think is faking it and is really a closet-progressive Democrat).

It's also nice to be working plus doing some creative stuff. I'm working on a documentary about my dad - he fled Hungary in 1956 during the revolution, spent a few years at Boys Town and went from bagging groceries to becoming a multi-millionaire several times over in a span of less than 10 years. His story has as much to do with rags-to-riches-to-rags as it does with freedom gained and I believe subsequently in the midst of being lost in this country. When a serious Republican like my dad talks about going back to Europe, I can't help but realize just how far removed the Republicans of today are from the Republicans of yesteryear.

He's made-it and lost-it so many times in his life it's scary. Right now he's back at the making-it stage/cycle and although he's 65 he looks to be a man in his late 40's or early 50's. I am pretty sure he is going to be one of those men that die at 95 while in the saddle with a 23 year old busty girlfriend (probably a nurse at some hospital at that point - knowing my dad).

Outside The Beltway

Yes, I know it's a right-wing blog, but I AM a political junkie and will take my fix anyway I can get - right, left or otherwise.

Law Prof's Blog

Get inside the mind the of the prof who might be grading your paper. I've always wondered how THEY go about grading the papers, what they think, what they are really looking for, etc, and this blog seems to show that even law school professors have the capacity to one day become human beings. ;-)

Newt for President?

Newt Gingrich seems to have a lot of baggage in his closet...

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Take The Long Way Home

Take the Long Way Home
By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | Perspective

Tuesday 24 May 2005

I'm very tired.

I am tired of watching the death toll rise on a daily basis in Iraq. Five more American soldiers died on Sunday, and eight more died today. Thirty-three Iraqi civilians were killed by car bombs on Monday, and another 120 were wounded. So far this month, 57 U.S. soldiers have died. 1,644 have been killed since this whole thing started. There is still no accurate accounting of Iraqi dead.

I am tired of trying to figure out a way to jar the American people into understanding how unutterably wretched the situation is over there, so that pressure from the citizenry at large can be brought to bear upon the Administration and this disaster can be brought to an end.

This war does not exist in American living rooms; it is only truly real in the towns that surround Bragg, Ord, Lejeune, and Benning, where the families of the soldiers forced to fight this war live and wait and worry. It is real only at Dover Air Force Base, where the bodies arrive home under a cloak of secrecy, entombed in their 'transfer tubes' and wrapped in the flag.

The war certainly does not exist on my television, and I am tired of that as well. The television news media's consensus-building machine works all day and night on a half-dozen news channels, and according to them, all is fine and dandy. It is amazing how effective these small boxes are at controlling the thoughts, emotions and desires of our population. It is daunting to try to come up with a way to get around their noise.

People ask me if the draft, or advocacy for the draft, would put this war into people's back yards and gather their attention to the matter. Of course it would, I tell them. Vietnam became an issue of pressing national concern because of the draft. It forced people to pay attention, to speak up if they thought the war was wrong, because the next lottery number read over the television might have belonged to their son.

With no draft today, with our volunteer army, most people are not staring down the barrel of having to practice what they preach. Patriotism, nationalism and the kill-em-all ethic is a safe place to stand these days, because no civilian is going to get a letter containing orders to report.

As tempting as it might be for some to try to roll this rock down the hill, the truth of the matter is that the draft is no answer to this problem. First of all, the Bush administration would have to be out of its collective mind to call for one. They have the people right where they want them - snowed, buffaloed and disengaged - and a draft would change that overnight.

A draft would also badly disable our already damaged military. During the Vietnam era, it took six weeks of boot camp to learn how to be a soldier. Today it takes two years, and a sudden flood of raw, unwilling recruits would snarl the works badly. Even if the administration wanted a draft, the armed services would kick and scream until the idea was taken off the table. And speaking of kicking and screaming, anyone advocating for a return of the draft will receive a faceful of angry noise from those mothers and fathers of fallen soldiers who have become the strongest and most eloquent anti-war activists anywhere in the country.

I'm very tired. I am tired of hearing about democracy in Iraq when no such thing exists. I am tired of people like Bush using terms like freedom as an advertising pitch for actions that promote anything but freedom. The word itself sounds like a dead fish in his mouth. I am tired of dead soldiers, dead civilians, I am tired of our highest ideals being used to peddle profiteering by war, and I am so damned tired of trying to shake people into doing something about it before we all go over the cliff.


Except maybe it is happening already. Pew Research came out with some poll numbers the other day that auger towards a swelling of anger and discontent across the country. According to Pew, Bush has an anemic approval rating of 43%. Approval for his handling of the economy stands at 35%. Only 37% of those polled think the Iraq war was a good idea. His numbers, in short, are in freefall; in many categories, his approval ratings have dropped more than 10 points since the snow melted in New England.

Just last night, after weeks of bluster and threats, Senate Republicans defied the wishes of their own majority leader and the political mechanics in the White House, and blinked on the filibuster fight. They didn't have to; enough arm-twisting plus Mr. Cheney in the Senate president's chair would have allowed Frist to kill the filibuster as he had promised. But they looked at their own poll numbers, and saw what damage would be done if they pressed this, and they backed off.

Sure, they got three of their wacko judges onto the appellate court as part of the deal, but the filibuster will be available when - not if, but when - a nominee is put forth to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court. In other words, Senate Democrats, working with Republicans who were willing to defy their own leader, saved Roe v. Wade, and kept the GOP from owning the entire government from soup to nuts.

This, perhaps, is the leading edge of something I have been watching for these last months: A civil war in the ranks of the GOP between the movement fundamentalists and the old-school conservatives. On this filibuster fight, the movement fundamentalists got their lunch eaten by the old-schoolers, and there will be hell to pay.

So yeah, I'm tired. But maybe, just maybe, the clouds are parting a little bit here. It has been a long road to get to this admittedly desolate spot, and it is a longer road ahead. Just put one foot in front of the other, and see where it all winds up.

William Rivers Pitt is a New York Times and internationally bestselling author of two books: War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You to Know and The Greatest Sedition Is Silence.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge

From a review of this book I read it the other night in a single sitting (kinda nice not having to read Civ Pro):

[Jeremy Narby's argument is that when shaman's drink hallucinogenic brews, their consciousness sinks to the molecular level], and literally communicates with DNA, the basic building block of life. DNA appears to shamans, and others who drink these magic brews, as serpents.

This is why, Narby claims, serpents loom large in ancient cultures around the world. It is also how shamans get their expert knowledge of plants. When shamans say that the spirit in the plants tell them how to concoct life-saving remedies, they mean what they say. In hallucinogenic trances, the plants speak. Narby goes onto to speculate that the world is one vast communication network among strands of DNA.

You don't have to buy the DNA-communication theory to enjoy this book. It is written in an engaging, personal, first person narrative style. It shows how science works, how "eureka moments" occur when one is relaxed and thinking about other things. Maybe his theory is totally off-base, but even so, big ideas like this one often spur research in different, interesting directions. We are only as good as our questions, and Narby's question is a great one: What if the shamans are right?

I Seem To Suck At This

Grades are in. I am a "C" student on a path to remaining a "C" student. My LSAT was ho hum. My grades are ho hum. I feel ho hum. Apathy is my new found friend...

Canadian Court rejects appeal on tune swap suit

The Canadian Federal Appeals Court’s refusal Thursday to order the disclosure of the identities of 29 suspected music file swappers over the Internet was one lost battle in the Canadian Recording Industry Association’s (CRIA) war against illegal music file sharing.

Upholding a previous decision by Federal Court Justice Konrad von Finckenstein, the Appeals Court dismissed CRIA’s motion, citing “hearsay” evidence.

“Much of the crucial evidence submitted by the plaintiffs was hearsay and no grounds are provided for accepting the hearsay evidence,” Justice Edgar Sexton said in his decision.

Last year CRIA launched a lawsuit against 29 unnamed individuals who allegedly shared music files over Kazaa’s peer-to-peer network. The individuals were identified only through pseudonyms they used while swapping files.

Apple sued for discrimination by former employee

A former Apple Computer employee has filed a lawsuit charging the company with discrimination among other charges. The employee, Shaune Patterson, worked as a human resources compensation consultant. Lawyers for Patterson say this may be one of the largest discrimination lawsuits filed against Apple by a lesbian.

In an amended complaint recently filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco, Patterson alleges she was suspended for one month and then subsequently wrongfully terminated from her position, after she complained that her white counterparts, who were junior to her, were making higher salaries than she was.

Patterson alleges that the suspension came one day after she complained of racial discrimination.

Patterson, on May 16, 2005, amended her original complaint to include claims of sexual orientation and genetic characteristic discrimination. Prior to her one-month suspension, Patterson alleges that one of Apple’s managers wrote a memo describing her as a “rather obese-sized black lesbian.”

Sunday, May 22, 2005

US tour beckons for Gorgeous George

HIS bristling, chest-out performance at the usually soporific US Senate last week gave Americans their first taste of political debate...

Thursday, May 19, 2005

From Law School to Porn Star

"There's this image that being a male porn star is glamorous, that you get to have sex with all the women you ever wanted," said Luc Parry, a 32-year-old law school dropout from Boston who has been chronicling his recent career turn as a male porn star on Diary of a Porn Star. "

It's comforting to know that if law school doesn't work out, other high paying careers exist in which a legal background might come in handy...

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

From The Stuff You Don't Hear About In America Dept: Briton blasts U.S. accusers

A flamboyant British lawmaker transformed a Senate hearing room into a personal soapbox for his defiant anti-war views yesterday, turning on his American accusers with equal parts sarcasm and venom.

"Now, I know that standards have slipped over the last few years in Washington, but for a lawyer, you're remarkably cavalier with any idea of justice," Galloway told Coleman.

He also took exception to charges that he had met with Saddam "many times," saying he had met the deposed Iraqi leader twice, the same number of times as Rumsfeld.

Coleman listened placidly, but afterward, he told reporters he didn't find Galloway a credible witness and said if he had lied, there would be "consequences."

"I am afraid the liars are on the other side of this argument," Galloway responded in a CNN interview.

Galloway also accused Coleman of recycling discredited newspaper accounts which accused him of receiving $10 million (U.S.) from Saddam.

He sued the newspapers, won and the documents were proved to be forgeries.

America On Track To Become Next Argentina

"To do nothing," Butler added, "would lead to deficits of the scale we've never seen in this country or any major in industrialized country. We've seen them in Argentina. That's a chilling thought, but it would mean that."

..."No republic in the history of the world lasted more than 300 years," Walker said. "Eventually, the crunch comes."

Marijuana will remain legal in Alaska

A few months ago, [Freedom Loving] Alaska Gov. Frank Murkowski (R) declared that re-criminalizing marijuana would be one of his top legislative priorities this year. At his urging, the state legislature introduced twin bills to impose the same penalty for the possession of four ounces of marijuana as for incest -- five years in prison.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Only The Sith Think In Absolutes

This is how liberty dies -- to thunderous applause."So observes Queen Amidala of Naboo as the galactic senate grants dictator-to-be Palpatine sweeping new powers in his crusade against the Jedi...

...At one point, Darth Vader, already deep in the thrall of the dark side and echoing the words of George W. Bush, hisses at Obi-Wan, 'If you're not with me, you're my enemy.' Obi-Wan's response is likely to surface as a bumper sticker during the next election campaign: 'Only a Sith thinks in absolutes.' "...

...Lucas said he has long been interested in the transition from democracy to dictatorship.

"In ancient Rome, 'why did the senate, after killing Caesar, turn around and give the government to his nephew?' Lucas said. 'Why did France, after they got rid of the king and that whole system, turn around and give it to Napoleon? It's the same thing with Germany and Hitler.'

" 'You sort of see these recurring themes where a democracy turns itself into a dictatorship, and it always seems to happen kind of in the same way, with the same kinds of issues, and threats from the outside, needing more control. A democratic body, a senate, not being able to function properly because everybody's squabbling, there's corruption.' "

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Slashdot: MS Calls On Kids to Stop Thought Thieves

"Microsoft is calling all UK kids aged 14-17 to enter its Thought Thieves Competition. Remember kids, finalists must agree to formally license all intellectual property rights in their film on terms acceptable to Microsoft. And don't forget to download your free Thought Thieves Poster!"

FREE Avast Antivirus - An Alternative to Norton, AVG, et el

Here is a nice alternative to the better known anti-virus applications -free Avast Antivirus. I was unhappy with the free version of AVG due to its barebone features, and I use Windows only on an occasional basis and can't justify making an anti-virus purchase. Avast seems to be working nicely. It's fast and lightweight and worth a look.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Post-Law School Blues

Taking a term off is turning out to be a bit strange for me. On the upside, it's nice to get some relief from the grind, on the downside I feel a bit aimless and lost - sort of like an extended form of how I felt during Christmas/Winter break. I feel like I should be studying... something.

A Terrorist Comes Home to Roost

Posada, who in an interview with the New York Times seven years ago admitted to organising a wave of bombings in Cuba in 1997 that killed an Italian tourist and injured 11 others, is best known as the prime suspect in the bombing of a Cubana Airlines flight shortly after it took off from Barbados in October 1976.

The incident, in which all 73 crew members and passengers including teenaged members of Cuba's national fencing team were killed, was the first confirmed mid-air terrorist bombing of a commercial airliner.

Then-President George Bush in 1990 pardoned Orlando Bosch, another Cuban exile opposed to President Fidel Castro and implicated in the plot, overruling a strong U.S. Justice Department opinion that called for Bosch's deportation.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The Microsoft/SCO Empire Strikes Back

This is big news in my world - the Linux world that is and this article stands to launch the mother of all blow-backs in the Microsoft/SCO fight to kill Linux and the Gnu Public License.

The article has a certain flavor to it that lends itself to what one might expect to find on a law school or bar exam, hence I'm curious if any of my fellow law students can spot the issue(s), elements, tort/crime/etc in this article...

Monday, May 09, 2005

It Lives! Broadcast Anti-piracy Flag Issue Still Alive

Hollywood plans to turn to Congress in its bid to add anti-piracy technology to digital TVs after an appeals court Friday struck down controversial new Federal Communications Commission rules.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., said the FCC exceeded its authority in 2003 when it required new technology in electronics products to prevent digital broadcasts from being blasted over the Internet.

While the FCC's power over the broadcast industry can extend to TVs and related products, the court said, the agency can regulate only how the devices receive a program, not what they do with it later.

"In the seven decades of its existence, the FCC has never before asserted such sweeping authority," the three-judge panel ruled.

The decision disrupts plans by electronics makers to add anti-piracy technology to digital TVs sold after July 1.

Public-interest advocates, who challenged the FCC rules as an undue restraint on consumers, hailed the decision.

"The court clearly said the (law) does not give the FCC the power to dictate the design of devices," says Gigi Sohn, director of Public Knowledge.

But Hollywood studios say the ruling, if upheld, would discourage them from producing first-rate shows for over-the-air TV.

Oh - so THAT's why TV seems to suck so much these days! It's because I can still legally use my VCR to record TV shows. Thankfully, Congress will make our lives better soon with the help of the so-called Hollywood lobby.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Phoenix International School of Law

A strange thing happened on the way back from Cooley … I discovered a new law school in Phoenix – The Phoenix International School of Law. It’s open (very open) for debate as to whether or not my ho hum grades and equally ho hum LSAT will even get my foot in the door, but the price is right, the location is definitely right and the school seems to be somewhat progressive with how it approaches legal training. I will be making a visit in about two weeks. There is, however, just one problem… the school is not ABA approved.

UPDATE 5-9-2005: This school is off my list due to the fact that Stafford loans are unavailable - only private SLM-type loans that I definitely do NOT want.

National ID System Passes Republican Congress

Security experts have expressed dismay about new legislation that will usher in the nation's first national ID system—citing a lack of confidence in the government's ability to employ the technology in such a way as to prevent citizens from being preyed upon by identity thieves. The Real ID Act of 2005, added on to the $82 billion Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill, was passed by the House of Representatives on Thursday and is expected to be passed by the Senate next week.

This is awesome! A national ID system is finally taking root! Even better - this bill EXPANDS the the definition of "terrorist organization" to incorporate a broader range of underlying activities! Hopefully, the government will do this right and retain Microsoft to provide the software to keep our national ID system safe from terrorists... (sorry - a bit heavy on the sarcasm - hard to resist)

Friday, May 06, 2005

Col. David Hackworth Has Died

If you visit my archives you will note that I am/was a long time admirer of Col. David Hackworth - a great American and real soldier, unlike the sham currently sitting in The White House.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

New Law Blog: Althouse

I lived in Madison Wisconsin for about a year and contemplated going to law school at UW, but with my ho hum LSAT 151 getting into a psuedo-Ivy League school UW Madison struck me as unrealistic. Since Althouse blogs from Wisconsin, she caught my eye as I am/was rather fond of Madison.

Mr. Bass

Need something to delouse your Windows box? Mr. Bass is the place.

A Lawyer, Seeking A Cause

As part of our Take Two series on people re-inventing themselves through their work, we visit a man who chose to leave an engineering career in hopes of using a law degree to help others. But all has not gone according to plan.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Lawyers Find Work Outsourced

Many in need of legal advice find they can't afford the high fees. Indian lawyers hope to offer a cheaper solution. Host Jennifer Ludden talks about the latest in outsourcing with Puneet Mohey, a Detroit resident and the president of Lexadigm, a business that provides Indian lawyers to American companies.

Let's see if I can get this straight - If I go to Concord, a non-ABA school, I can't practice law in Arizona (not to mention roughly 20 other states), but if I am a lawyer in India... I can give legal advice to anyone in the US?

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Problems with Mozilla? Not Crazy About Firefox? Hate IE? Try Opera

The above link discusses how to get started with Opera 8. If you're having trouble with other non-IE browsers on Windows, Opera is worth a look.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Trapped At The Infinite Circle Of Creative Destruction

Sorry fellow bloggers. I've been busy situating myself back in Calizona.