CowTipperGore writes: Viewing child pornography online isn't a crime, the New York Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday in the case of a college professor whose work computer was found to have stored more than a hundred illegal images in its Web cache. While most of the counts were upheld against Kent, two counts were dismissed on the grounds that viewing child porn is not illegal under federal law. "Merely viewing Web images of child pornography does not, absent other proof, constitute either possession or procurement within the meaning of our Penal Law," Senior Judge Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick wrote for a majority of four of the six judges. The court further noted that, "A defendant cannot knowingly acquire or possess that which he or she does not know exists" because the prosecution failed to prove that Kent even knew his Web browser had a cache. All of the judges agreed that child pornography is an abomination, but the majority said it was up to the Legislature to declare merely viewing to be a crime. Twoprevious federal cases had left open the possibility for such a defense if the existence and function of web caching was unknown to the defendant.
CowTipperGore writes: The AP reports (via Yahoo!) that Nintendo of America Inc. has been ordered to pay a small East Texas gaming company $21 million for infringing on a patent while designing controllers for its popular Wii and GameCube systems. No strangertolawsuits over controller designs, a Nintendo spokesman said the company will seek an appeal. The suit was originally filed in 2006 and included Microsoft. Microsoft's aggressive legal push back apparently helped as they reached a (confidential) settlement agreement before the case went to trial.
CowTipperGore writes: The Detroit News is reporting that Michigan Democrats have canceled their recently exposed plan to supply an iPod for every student in the state. The three politicians at the center of the controversy have pledged to repay Apple for the "fact-finding trip" where lawmakers are suspected of hatching the supposed initiative.
CowTipperGore writes: Founded by William Shockley in the mid-50s, Shockley Semiconductor Lab is generally credited with starting the Silicon Valley boom. When he was unable to lure his former Bell Labs coworkers to join him, he filled his ranks with the best and brightest engineering school grads, including Gordon Moore and others who later went on to form Fairchild Semiconductor and Intel.
The building at 391 San Antonio Road, Mountain View, California, is the original site of the company but, unlike the HP Garage, this building has received little protection or preservation. It recently housed a fruit stand, where visitors could find a small display about Shockley above baskets of fruit. The fruit stand is now closed, leaving the future of the building in the air.