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The information on Groklaw is not intended to constitute legal advice. While Mark is a lawyer and he has asked other lawyers and law students to contribute articles, all of these articles are offered to help educate, not to provide specific legal advice. They are not your lawyers.

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Of netbooks, tablets and Linux's revenge | 297 comments | Create New Account
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Prosecutorial Abuse = US vs. Chong
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, January 20 2013 @ 01:45 AM EST
"Chong agreed to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute drug paraphernalia in exchange for non-prosecution of his wife, Shelby, and his son, Paris."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tommy_Chong#US_vs._Chong

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Prosecutorial Abuse = US vs. Swartz
Authored by: IMANAL_TOO on Sunday, January 20 2013 @ 02:57 AM EST
Carmen Ortiz claimed that she knew of Swartz' mental conditions 18 months ago, inclusing the suicide risk. Still, it appears as if Ortiz and colleagues proceeded as if that risk didn't exist.

Prosecuting mentally ill is is special. Here are some random quotes from the web: www.lawofficer.com/article/investigation/prosecuting-mentally-ill:

“Presence of mind is everything. Faith in your thought process. I don’t know what it’s like to be mentally ill. Nor do I have anyone close to me—myself, close friends or family members—who are mentally ill. But I have to imagine that physical illness is much easier to deal with. That’s why it’s so difficult to grasp how, for the past 20 years, my client has been living without presence of mind, without faith in his thought process. Only to find out now, during this trial, that what he had thought was real was a product of his delusion. And, this prosecutor [pointing to me], wants you to convict this poor man of attempted murder because he’s mentally ill. ”"
Here an excerpt from MENTAL HEALTH and CRIMINAL JUSTICE AN OVERVIEW BY ANDREW E. TASLITZ:
"Apart from the cruelty of this state of affairs, it raises questions about whether housing the mentally ill should be a major function of the criminal justice system in the first place and whether our treatment of them has any connection to that system’s goals of retribution, rehabilitation, education, deterrence, and proportional punishment, though it certainly serves one systemic goal: isolation.
Here is a UK perspective (http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/l_to_o/mentally_disordered_offenders/#b01):

The question of fitness to plead may be raised before arraignment by the prosecution, defence or Judge. In the majority of cases it is likely that the defendant will respond to medical treatment and the trial will take place within a reasonable period .The defendant may be remanded to hospital for a report on his medical condition (section 35 Mental Health Act 1983) or for treatment (section 36 Mental Health Act 1983) while he is awaiting trial. Archbold 5-891 - 5-892. In cases of serious or enduring disorder, the issue of fitness to plead should be determined. If there is a reasonable chance that the prosecution case will be successfully challenged, the issue of fitness to plead should not be determined before arraignment, but postponed until a time before the defence case is opened (Archbold 4-170). This may result in a conclusive verdict of acquittal and avoids the need for the issue of unfitness to be determined at all.
Another paper by Taslitz - http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1005758
"The privilege against self-incrimination has been widely attacked as lacking any sound theoretical basis. This article seeks to craft a new one, a variant on the supposedly discredited mental privacy rationale. Drawing on cognitive psychology and linguistics, this piece argues that the privilege is best understood as designed to prevent the compelled disclosure of words or their equivalent. The piece takes oral speech as the paradigm case but expands the argument to written and internet communications. Compelled revelation of words actually changes the speaker's thoughts, feelings, and character while exposing him to unfair judgments about his fundamental nature based upon incomplete information - judgments that his audience will make based upon his words and paralingustic cues alone. The privilege seeks to protect the speaker against this re-definition of his identity in ways that he has not chosen. The privilege is thus more about privacy of words than of thoughts, more about voice (in a very literal sense) than simply about silence. "
A "mentally ill" Swartz was indeed forced to accept charges on 13 counts? How serious is that?

Ponder that Aaron Swartz really had some form of mental illness. Threatening his with 35 years of prison, is that constructive?

Many people with no mental disorder would at least think of suicide at the thought of up to 35 years in prison and most would NEVER accept to utter lies in court.

This case really hit a nerve.


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IMANAL


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[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

A Moment of Silence for Aaron Swartz - January 25, 2013
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, January 20 2013 @ 03:08 AM EST
I am joining siftdna.org in a moment of silence to mark Aaron Swartz’ passing. On January 25, I will bring down my blog for the day to honor his contributions and mark the tragedy of his passing.

Aaron’s treatment by MIT is not unfamiliar to me. Back when I was a graduate student there, I extracted security keys from the original Microsoft Xbox video game console. I still remember the crushing disappointment of receiving a letter from MIT legal repudiating any association with my work, effectively leaving me on my own to face Microsoft.

Andrew “bunnie” Huang

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

What's in a beefburgers?
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, January 20 2013 @ 11:31 AM EST
`"a beefburger rarely contains 100% beef .. An economy beefburger must contain 47% meat .. Under European law, the term "meat" is defined as "skeletal muscle with naturally included or adherent fat and connective tissue" which has not been mechanically stripped from the carcass. Any meat that has been pressure-blasted from the carcass must be listed separately as MRM (mechanically removed) or MSM (mechanically stripped) meat. MRM meat or paste can in theory be used in economy burgers but has to be listed as a separate ingredient.' link

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Why the Moon Landings Weren’t Faked - Yeah how to annoy my lunatic friends ;-)
Authored by: SilverWave on Sunday, January 20 2013 @ 12:56 PM EST
Why the Moon Landings Weren’t Faked

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RMS: The 4 Freedoms
0 run the program for any purpose
1 study the source code and change it
2 make copies and distribute them
3 publish modified versions

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

School district builds own software to handle student data, defies doubters
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, January 20 2013 @ 01:43 PM EST
The skeptics said a small district with declining enrolment and a tight budget could never pull off a job best left to big corporations.

“We heard lots of that,” said Tim Agnew, project manager. “ ‘You can’t do this. It can’t be done. Your numbers are too low.’ We’ve proven that wrong.”

The district invested about $1.5 million in the project, converted three classrooms in the former Saanichton Elementary School to high-tech offices, and hired a small band of computer programmers to begin work in fall 2011.

The idea was to use local expertise to develop a student information system that was made by B.C. schools for B.C. schools — and do it for a fraction of what it costs to buy and operate a commercial product.

Less than 17 months later, Saanich officials say they are close to finishing the core version of a system that has the potential to save taxpayers and cash-strapped school districts millions.

Lindsay Kines, Victoria Times-Colonist

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BCeSIS Wikipedia

Saanich School District

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Record labels will pitch in to keep UK retailer HMV alive - Chained to a outdated business model
Authored by: SilverWave on Sunday, January 20 2013 @ 02:58 PM EST
Record labels will pitch in to keep UK retailer HMV alive

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RMS: The 4 Freedoms
0 run the program for any purpose
1 study the source code and change it
2 make copies and distribute them
3 publish modified versions

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Carmen Ortiz and all other federal prosecutors are the victims of a diseased system
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 21 2013 @ 02:56 AM EST
Although the conduct of Ms. Ortiz’s office may seem disproportionately harsh, this is unfortunately par for the course. Rather than a procedure dictated from Washington, U.S. attorneys and local D.A.’s enjoy broad discretion in the charges they press. Thanks to tough-on- crime laws and mandatory-minimum sentencing, prosecutors are able to extort—if they so choose—a quick end to the proceedings and a headline-worthy admission of guilt. To single out the conduct of Carmen Ortiz as an anomaly of America’s system of mass incarceration would be to misunderstand its character.

She is a symptom of the entire disease.

Christian Stork, WhoWhatWhy

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Dotcom’s Mega: Anti-Piracy Group Moves To Cut Off Site’s Finances
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 21 2013 @ 11:06 AM EST
An anti-piracy group with the stated aim of shutting down file-hosting services by strangling their finances has wasted no time in going after Kim Dotcom’s new baby. Robert King of StopFileLockers says that his outfit has started a campaign to have the payment processor accounts of Mega resellers terminated. King, who is affiliated with the adult industry, says that from the start Mega was never intended to be a legitimate service and has “all the fundamental qualities” of an infringing file-locker.
enigmax, TorrentFreak

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Wikipedia: Kim Dotcom born on 21 January 1974

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

NASA's Opportunity rover notches another milestone on Mars
Authored by: JamesK on Monday, January 21 2013 @ 11:10 AM EST
It was only supposed to last for 3 months!

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The following program contains immature subject matter.
Viewer discretion is advised.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

student expelled because of hack, threatened jailtime
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 21 2013 @ 12:03 PM EST
nationalpost

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Biotech v. Godzilla
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 21 2013 @ 01:01 PM EST

New Unspeakable Vault - enjoy!

Unspeakable Vault (of Doom)

Wayne
http://madhatter.ca

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

O'Reilly donating ebook "Open Government" as a tribute to Aaron Swartz
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 21 2013 @ 01:10 PM EST
Open Government was published in 2010 by O'Reilly Media. The United States had
just elected a president in 2008, who, on his first day in office, issued an
executive order committing his administration to "an unprecedented level of
openness in government." The contributors of Open Government had long
fought for transparency and openness in government, as well as access to public
information. Aaron Swartz was one of these contributors (Chapter 25: When is
Transparency Useful?). Aaron was a hacker, an activist, a builder, and a
respected member of the technology community. O'Reilly Media is making Open
Government free to all to access in honor of Aaron. #PDFtribute

-- Tim O'Reilly, January 15, 2013

https://github.com/oreillymedia/open_government

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

XKCD - Debugger
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 21 2013 @ 01:11 PM EST

New. XKCD.

XKCD

Wayne
http://madhatter.ca

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

I said to the chancellor, ‘Why are you destroying my son?’ He said, ‘We are not.
Authored by: SilverWave on Monday, January 21 2013 @ 01:15 PM EST
“I said to the chancellor, ‘Why are you destroying my son?’ He said, ‘We are not.’ ”

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RMS: The 4 Freedoms
0 run the program for any purpose
1 study the source code and change it
2 make copies and distribute them
3 publish modified versions

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Software, fear and witchcraft
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 21 2013 @ 01:16 PM EST
Evidently the corollary to Arthur C Clarke’s famous quote on technology and magic is that those who create it are witches and wizards. You like the magic and you need a few practitioners but when things start getting weird, it’s pitchfork o’clock.”

[...]

The quote from ACK is of course that “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”.

Peter Nixey

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

O'Reilly Giving Away Open Government As Aaron Swartz Tribute
Authored by: dacii on Monday, January 21 2013 @ 05:10 PM EST
Link (I hope it works) The chapter he wrote was very interesting :)

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Dawson College expulsion letter, Skytech offers job
Authored by: SpaceLifeForm on Monday, January 21 2013 @ 08:20 PM EST
Link

In the first event, it says he attempted to gain access, but does not say he did gain access. 5 days later it says he did gain access. In both events, SQL injection was reported.

And the letter states that access (or the attempted access) was to both College systems *and* external systems.

How would they know about the external systems unless they really were not external? Perhaps Skytech monitoring systems?

Link

The Dawson College computer science student who was expelled after discovering a security breach in a system used by students across Quebec has been offered a scholarship by the company behind the software.

"We will offer him a scholarship so he can finish his diploma in the private sector," said Edouard Taza, the president of Skytech.

The school will not change their mind.

---

You are being MICROattacked, from various angles, in a SOFT manner.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

French 3-strikes law is just an option for rights holders
Authored by: indyandy on Monday, January 21 2013 @ 08:21 PM EST

The French tech site 'Numerama' quotes a French local news site, the 'Courrier Picard' with a story about how a man living in Amiens was taken directly to court accused of (and admittedly guilty of) piracy.

(Google Translation of Numerama), (Google Translation of Courrier Picard)

He, like most people in France, assumed that he would have two warnings before any action was taken, but no: the three strikes process is just one option available to rights holders. They can choose to go straight to court.

Fortunately for him the fine requested by the prosecution was very reasonable compared with other cases we have heard of, but this must come as a shock to many French people living with a false sense of security.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Welcome our new Neanderthal overlords...
Authored by: Gringo_ on Monday, January 21 2013 @ 08:59 PM EST

A Harvard scientist has said it would be possible to clone a Neanderthal baby from ancient DNA if he could find a woman willing to act as a surrogate.

He told Der Spiegel, the German magazine: "I have already managed to extract enough DNA from fossil bones to reconstruct the DNA of the human species largely extinct. Now I need an adventurous female human." The professor claims that he could introduce parts of the Neanderthal genome to human stem cells and clone them to create a foetus that could then be implanted in a woman.

"Now I need an adventurous female human" - that's all he needs. Any volunteers out there?

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Of netbooks, tablets and Linux's revenge
Authored by: DMP on Monday, January 21 2013 @ 09:35 PM EST
I don't know if anyone has posted this already, if so, my apologies for repetition! The revenge of Linux (against Microsoft). See this article

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

iPad Hack Statement Of Responsibility, by weev (Andrew Auernheimer)
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 22 2013 @ 07:40 AM EST
Editor’s note: Andrew Auernheimer, also known by his pseudonym weev, is an American grey hat hacker and self- described Internet troll.

In June of 2010 there was an AT&T webserver on the open Internet. There was an API on this server, a URL with a number at the end. If you incremented this number, you saw the next iPad 3G user email address. I thought it was egregiously negligent for AT&T to be publishing a complete target list of iPad 3G owners, and I took a sample of the API output to a journalist at Gawker.

I did this because I despised people I think are unjustly wealthy and wanted to embarass them. I thought this is the United States of America where we have the right to do basic arithmetic and query public webservers.

I was convicted of two consecutive five-year felonies, and am now awaiting sentencing.

Andrew Auernheimer, TechCrunch

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weev Wikipedia

Long interview from 27/nov/12 by Adrian Chen on Gawker

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Firefox phones are out now
Authored by: Gringo_ on Tuesday, January 22 2013 @ 10:42 AM EST

Mozilla debuts two Firefox OS developer preview phones...

Today the browser maker unveiled two developer preview phones for Firefox OS that it’s offering in partnership with the Spanish startup Geeksphone, which is building the phones, and Telefonica.

True to its low-end focus, Mozilla is placing the spotlight mostly on the less-powerful Keon (above). It features a small 3.5-inch screen, a 1 gigahertz processor, 4 gigabytes of storage, and 512 megabytes of RAM. With those specs, the Keon would barely even cut it as a cheap Android phone in the U.S. today. But in Brazil, where Mozilla is debuting Firefox OS phones later this year, it’s representative of devices that many consumers will actually be able to afford.

On the slightly more powerful end, Geeksphone is also working on a developer preview phone called Peak (right). It sports a 4.3-inch screen, 1.2 gigahertz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, and a much better camera than the Keon.

See the Mozilla press release.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Microsoft investment to help Dell ? (reported speculation)
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 22 2013 @ 12:51 PM EST
marketwatch

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Ballmer ousted managers that threatened him - former Microsoft exec
Authored by: JamesK on Tuesday, January 22 2013 @ 01:43 PM EST
Former Microsoft vice-president spills the beans on Steve Ballmer’s toxic management style in a new tell-all book

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The following program contains immature subject matter.
Viewer discretion is advised.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

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