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Feed Robot to be master of ceremonies at South Korean wedding (

Filed under: Robots

Getting a robot to host a wedding, an event that many see as the ultimate demonstration of humanity, may seem a little weird to some, but to Seok Gyeong-Jae, one of the designers of Tiro the robot, it's perfectly natural. Gyeong-Jae is soon to be married in Daejeon (around 80 miles from Seoul), with Tiro taking the role of master of ceremonies. In order to completely, 100% remove any possibility that Tiro will come off as harsh or inhuman, he will simulate a female voice as he attempts to move proceedings along -- as the logic goes, if it works for in-car GPS, why not for weddings? There's no mention of how the bride feels about all this, so we're assuming one of the robot's alternate tasks is to keep her happy by acting as a personal servant until the big day: let's just hope that she doesn't mind if her "wedding in white" is realized via blinking LEDs.

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Submission + - Internet defamation suit tests online anonymity (

The Xoxo Reader writes: "Reuters reports that two women at Yale Law School have filed suit for defamation and infliction of emotional distress against an administrator and 28 anonymous posters on AutoAdmit (a.k.a. Xoxohth), a popular law student discussion site. Experts are watching to see if the suit will unmask the posters, who are identified in the complaint only by their pseudonyms. Since AutoAdmit's administrators have previously said that they do not retain IP logs of posters, identifying the defendants may test the limits of the legal system and anonymity on the internet. So far, one method was to post the summons on the message board itself and ask the defendants to step forward. The controversy leading to this lawsuit was previously discussed on Slashdot here.""

Comment Re:How is crossing the Atlantic a "right?" (Score 1) 1407

This is so completely wrong I don't even know where to start.

First: even if this were right, it's totally irrelevant. The government can't violate the constitution through its regulations, either. The government can't, for instance, pass a regulation saying that no blacks can be hired at federally regulated airports. Nor could it forbid people from saying bad things about President Bush on an airline.

Of course (persistent error #1 in above analysis), constitutional rights are rarely absolutes -- they can be violated if there's a compelling governmental interest. Hence, I don't have the right to falsely yell fire in a crowded theater. And you don't have the right to pretend to hijack a plane for fun.

Despite this constitutional requirement, federal mandates can discriminate against people (error #2). This is because there is nothing in the constitution that outlaws discrimination. What the constitution says (or at least, how it has been interpreted) is that the federal government can't discriminate against people who are members of a protected class unless they're protecting a compelling government interest. Gun ownership is not a protected class; they only need some rational reason to discriminate against you.

While I'm at it, I'll clear up the commerce clause/gun thing for you:

The federal government is a government of enumerated powers. That means, Congress can only pass laws that are on a particular list in the Constitution, and the Supreme Court will overturn federal rules as outside the power of the government if they don't flow from one of the items on the list. There is no power that says "you can regulate guns" but there is a power that says they can regulate commerce, and arguably, the movement of guns and people is commerce.

However, the presence of something on the list of enumerated powers doesn't mean that they can automatically do it. For instance, interstate commerce would be effected if I said very bad things about beef; the government cannot forbid negative speech about beef. So the Bill of Rights says, "even if you have the enumerated power to do something, you may not do it if it violates one of these rights."

So, in order to be constitutional, federal gun control legislation must both fall under an enumerated power and not violate the constitution. Commerce clause explains the first; the second, of course, stems from the fact that (a) the second amendment has been emasculated, and (b) remember, constitutional rights aren't absolutes, and so security issues may trump the second amendment.

Some regulations have only civil penalties, as you point out. But others have criminal penalties, as you will discover if you try to bring a gun onto a plane. See here for instance.

Furthermore, it's horribly wrong to analogize to OSHA -- OSHA is part of a whole scheme of workman's compensation, which preempts a whole bunch of civil claims. In the case of OSHA, the regulations are tightly linked to liability.

But not all regulations preempt civil suits. Note that people who had loved ones die in 9/11 still sued airlines who had complied with FAA regulations of that time. It is often true that someone who violates a regulation opens themselves up to liability. The inverse -- that following the regulation saves you from liability -- is often false.

Take, for instance, drugs that get FDA approval. Fine, according to regulation, but drug manufacturers get sued all the time.

User Journal

Journal Journal: IANAL, but I am a law student.... 11

I started law school this last week. I've got classes, and reading--oh my head, the reading. It's not as bad as the movies make it out to be, really. So far, I'm actually enjoying it, don't tell anyone.

Journal Journal: Grounding outlets? 10

I have a question. I'm in Ann Arbor, visiting friends and the law school. I found a place to live for next year. It's relatively nice. There's only one problem. It's an older house, and none of the outlets are grounded. Now I have issues plugging my beloved computer in somewhere that doesn't have grounded outlets. There should be a way to safely and effectively ground these thingies. Anyone here know how to do it? Or have any nice references for me?


The Almighty Buck

Journal Journal: Baffling need-based aid! 6

So my Lessig Challenge stuff will be on from here on out.

I'm sure nobody really cares about my law school search, but here's the skinny. So far, I've gotten into Michigan, Duke, Columbia and NYU. And I've jumped through all the financial aid hoops. I'm just waiting to get offers from places. I've discovered that need-based aid for law school is exceptionally confusing.

User Journal

Journal Journal: I must spend more time on slashdot.... 2

I'm ashamed to admit it. I used to be completely addicted to slashdot. Then I started applying to law school. Unfortunately, there's a message board for students applying to law school that I started to frequent because occasionally it contains useful information, like when certain schools are beginning to make decisions and all that stuff.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Who got my money

I decided to give $25 to EFF for a budget membership. That works. I do want to give them more money. I'll probably do so in a later month, and maybe send it for a specific project....
User Journal

Journal Journal: Who to give money? 11

This month, I have approximately no money. This is good. It means I'm going to see no movies and buy no CDs. It means that I owe TJP (truth, justice, and the penguin) $15, my share of the cable modem service.

I'm not a member of EFF, but I will be eventually. But I wanted to give in a month when I owed substantially more. So who do I send the $15 too?

Here are the people I eventually want to give money:
Heifer International

User Journal

Journal Journal: December: Lessig Challenge 3

I've e-mailed Luke Francl and I'm on the list! Woohoo! Least important person on the Lessig challenge! This is worth something, I bet.

Ahem. Now on to the serious biz. The money. The dough. All that stuff. For December:


User Journal

Journal Journal: Lessig and Other Thoughts 4

Hi Slashdot. I haven't written in my journal in approximately three eons. I've been busy--fighting with my graduate advisor, taking the LSAT, applying to law school, et cetera et cetera and so forth.

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"The value of marriage is not that adults produce children, but that children produce adults." -- Peter De Vries