Archive for the 'Judiciary' Category

Net Neutrality is Dead, and Why You Should Care

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

InternetNet neutrality has been a hot topic in the internet world, but many people have no idea why it’s important. The linked article gives the best definition that I’ve seen. Essentially, without net neutrality, your ISP and other network providers can play god in regards to the content you receive. They can block certain sites or give preferential treatment to sites. They can demand that a content provider (e.g., Google) pay them in order to not have their content receive degraded performance. This is not hypothetical—I remember reading about how the CEO of a major network provider wanted to charge companies like Google for the traffic coming over its system, even though the network provider’s subscribers were already paying for that access. He saw it as a source of additional income and was upset that Google didn’t have to pay to use the company’s network.

This goes against everything the internet stands for, of course, so the FCC instituted a regulation enforcing net neutrality. The FCC, however, doesn’t have the authority to make that kind of regulation, and the courts recently struck it down. Congress could make a law enforcing net neutrality, but somewhere along the line this topic became a partisan political issue. Not sure why that’s the case, but the end result is that congress is unlikely to pass any legislation in the foreseeable future.

Only time will tell what the major ISPs and network providers do with their new freedom, but I think it’s going to be ugly.


Only in America: eBay Seller Sues Over Negative Feedback

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

GavelSo you’re an eBay seller and have received negative feedback from a customer. You do what you can to resolve the problem, but the buyer refuses to remove the feedback. What can you do? Well, if you’re in the United States then you file a lawsuit. The seller, Med Express, is suing the the buyer, Amy Nicholls, for slander.

I’m on the buyer’s side, although I probably would have only given a “neutral” rating. Having to make a trip to the post office to pay postage due is a always a pain.


Update (2013-04-19): Because of all the publicity, the lawsuit is being dropped. But research shows that Med Express has a history of doing this.

Study: Male Jurors are Biased Against Overweight Women

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

GavelA study by Yale researchers shows that male jurors have a significant bias against overweight female defendants. They did not have a bias for lean women or for men of any weight. Female jurors had no weight or gender bias at all. The guilt difference, based on a 5-point scale, was about ¾ of a point, so not only is it statistically significant, but it’s meaningful in the real world.

Link #1:…

Link #2 (study abstract):…
(via Slate)

Class Action Settlements

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

JudgeJanuary was a good month for class action lawsuit settlements. Some of them have very broad participation requirements.

Two Seats For the Price of One

Thursday, December 4th, 2008

AirplaneHere’s a way to get a two-for-one deal on airline seats. It appears that Canada officially considers obesity to be a disability.

Thanks to Josh for this topic.


Massive Makeup Giveaway

Monday, August 25th, 2008

GavelFor those Chad’s News readers who’ve purchased makeup between 1994 and 2003, you could participate in a $175 million class action settlement. I figure this probably covers anyone who’s female, and possibly even a good number of men.


Class Action Lawsuit For Diamond Purchases

Thursday, January 17th, 2008

ShopperA class action lawsuit has been brought against members of the DeBeers Group for inflating the price of diamonds. You can get part of the settlement if you belong to this group: “All persons located in the United States who purchased any diamond or diamond jewelry or other products containing gem diamonds for personal use and not for resale between January 1, 1994 and March 31, 2006.”

(via The Consumerist)

Class Action Settlement For Seagate Hard Drives

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007

Hard DriveIf you purchased a Seagate hard drive in the United States between March 22, 2001 and September 26, 2007, then you are part of a class-action settlement and can get useful stuff or money. Note that you have to have purchased the hard drive by itself—it doesn’t count if it came with a pre-built system.

(via engadget)

US Money Discriminates Against The Blind

Monday, December 4th, 2006

MoneyA US District Court judge has ruled that the US Treasury must change its currency such that blind people can distinguish between bills of different denominations. Apparently the US is one of the few countries where this is a problem. An appeal has already been authorized.

(via Slashdot)

Link #2:…

DMCA And Fair Use Do Not Mix

Saturday, November 18th, 2006

GavelThis is an insightful article about the clash between fair use and the DMCA. The MPAA is suing a company that will copy your DVD to an iPod for you. The MPAA contends that circumventing the DVD copy protection is illegal, and that users must re-purchase the movie via the iTunes store in order to watch it on an iPod. The worst part is that they may be right.


US Judge Sentences Criminal To Canada

Friday, October 27th, 2006


Canadian officials were understandably upset when a US judge ordered a convicted sex offender to spend 3 years “exiled” in Canada.…

Don’t Carry Large Amounts Of Cash

Sunday, September 3rd, 2006


According to this federal appeals court ruling, carrying large amounts of cash is sufficient cause for the cash to be confiscated and not returned. What planet are these judges from?…