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Judge Issues Temporary Order Blocking Expulsion For Refusing To Wear RFID Tag 305

An anonymous reader writes with an update about the student refusing to wear an RFID badge in Texas. From the article: "A district court judge for Bexar County has granted a temporary restraining order (TRO) to ensure that Andrea Hernandez, a San Antonio high school student from John Jay High School's Science and Engineering Academy, can continue her studies pending an upcoming trial. The Northside Independent School District (NISD) in Texas recently informed the sophomore student that she would be suspended for refusing to wear a 'Smart' Student ID card embedded with a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tracking chip."
The Media

Why Paywalls Are Good, But NYT's Is Flawed 256

GMGruman writes "The New York Times has taken a lot of heat for daring to start charging for its product. (What nerve! Imagine if grocery stores, phone companies, or even employees began charging for their wares!) But the problem, InfoWorld columnist Galen Gruman argues, is that its paywall is poorly designed. It encourages unpaid usage in massive quantities via Twitter and other feeds, undermining its very purpose, and it makes multiple-device mobile users — the growing population — pay more than anyone else. Both should be fixed. But the more troubling underlying issue is that the Internet has devalued content nearly to the point where the business reason to create it is disappearing. In mobile, there's a chance to fix that, but in the way is not just the Web's free-loader mentality but the pricing of carriers for data transport that take a larger chunk out of people's budgets than they should, making it that much harder for people to pony up for the value of the content they get through those carriers' pipes."

Beware the King of the Patent Trolls 286

superapecommando writes "If you haven't heard of Intellectual Ventures, you may want to check this out. Set up by ex-Microsoftie Nathan Myhrvold, with investments from Microsoft among others, it is basically a patenting machine – filing and buying them in huge quantities. Note that it doesn't actually use these patents – except to threaten people with. In other words, Intellectual Ventures is a patent troll – or, rather the King of the Patent Trolls. So I was interested to come across this extremely positive blog post on the company. That it is so positive is hardly surprising, since the blog is called 'Tangible IP,' and subtitled 'ipVA's blog on adding value through intellectual property.' Nonetheless, it provides valuable insights into the mindset of fans of intellectual monopolies. Here's what it says about Intellectual Ventures: 'They are an invention house, and have adopted and reinvented leading edge patent strategies to create a portfolio of their own IP which, in its own, would be of high high worth.' They don't invent anything in the proper, deep sense of the word; they merely file and buy patents – with no intent of ever making stuff or solving real-life problems."

Should I Publish Or Patent? 266

BorgeStrand writes 'Patenting is an expensive process, even coming up with some sort of proof that your idea is unique (and thereby try to attract financing) may be prohibitive for the lone inventor. So what do you folks out there do when you come up with a good idea but don't have the means to patent it or market it to someone who will pay for the patenting process? And how much sense does it really make for the lone inventor to patent something? Would it make more sense to publish the whole idea, and make it (and my inventive brainpower) up for grabs? If my ideas are indeed valuable, what is the best way to gain anything from them without investing too much financially? What is your experience?'
The Courts

Jack Thompson Walks Out On Hearing 522

Erik J writes "Apparently Jack had heard enough. The Florida Bar asked for an 'enhanced disbarment' in the disciplinary hearing of Jack Thompson, held earlier this afternoon. The recommendation means Thompson would be disbarred and prohibited from applying to practice law again for ten years, according to 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida spokesperson Eunice Sigler. Thompson's disciplinary hearing apparently ended in the attorney walking out of the courtroom after saying the judge did not have the authority to hear his case."
The Courts

Blogger Subpoenaed for Criticizing Trial Lawyers 500

Cutie Pi writes "Katherine Seidel, mother of an autistic child and an avid blogger has been subpoenaed for her "family's bank records, tax returns, autism-related medical and educational records, and every communication concerning all of the issues to which [she] has devoted [her] attention and energy in recent years." The lawyer in question is representing a mother who is suing Bayer for $20M with the claim that mercury in their vaccines caused her child's autism. In her blog Seidel has spoken out against lawyers trying to cash in on thimerosal lawsuits, noting that the thimerosal-autism link has been debunked in several studies. But Seidel herself has had no direct involvement in the lawsuit."

ID Tech May Mean an End to Anonymous Drinking 514

Anonymous Howard writes "If you visit a lot of bars and restaurants, you've likely crossed paths with driver's license scanners — machines that supposedly verify that your license is valid. In actuality, many of these scanners are designed to record your license information in addition to verifying them, and those that authenticate against a remote database are creating a record of when and where you buy alcohol. Not only that, but they're not even particularly effective — the bar code on your license uses an open, documented standard and can be rewritten to change your age or picture. Collecting our driver's license information is one thing, but collecting data about our personal drinking habits is not only a violation of, according to the ACLU representative quoted in the article, privacy and civil liberties, but this 'drinking record' could also create problems for people in civil and criminal lawsuits as proof of alcohol purchases in DUI cases or evidence of alcoholism in divorce lawsuits."

Judges Reinstate Charges In Google Age Discrimination Suit 291

theodp writes "A California appeals court has reinstated former Stanford prof Brian Reid's age-discrimination suit against Google, ruling that a lower Court erred in siding with Google and rejecting Mr. Reid's claims. From the Court Decision (PDF): 'We conclude that Reid produced sufficient evidence that Google's reasons for terminating him were untrue or pretextual, and that Google acted with discriminatory motive such that a factfinder would conclude Google engaged in age discrimination.' As side notes, helping Reid make his case is CS Prof Norman Matloff, while Google's actions are being defended by Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati of pretexting-was-not-generally-unlawful fame."

D.C. Commuters to be Scanned With Infrared Cameras 452

owlgorithm writes "Washington, D.C. area commuters are going to be "scanned like groceries at the supermarket" in order to catch single-occupant vehicles who are illegally using carpool lanes. The article, from the Washington Post, says that infrared cameras capable of detecting human skin will be installed, rather than the visible-spectrum cameras in use today. So much for using dummies in the front seat."

Be careful when a loop exits to the same place from side and bottom.