law

How Buckyballs Fell Apart

As of last week, Buckyballs are dead. The magnetic toy has been officially recalled following a two-year battle with US regulators who sought to ban them. Here’s how a seemingly wonderful amusement became plaything non grata in the span of just a few short years.


The NYPD's Biggest Gang Raid Was Enabled By A Million Facebook Posts

In the early hours of June 4, the New York Police Department raided the General Ulysses S. Grant and Manhattanville housing projects in West Harlem. Its biggest gang raid ever, it saw 40 suspects arrested — and it was masterminded by mining over one million Facebook posts.


New Bill Threatens To Stop FCC Treating Broadband As A Utility

A new bill proposed by URepublican Bob Latta could stop the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the US from reclassifying broadband as a common-carrier utility. Despite the FCC’s call for comment on whether to reclassify broadband as a utility or allow providers to engage in pay-for-play traffic management, the conversation could be rendered pointless if the mew legislation passes.


Why We Shouldn't Worry About Open Wi-Fi

Everyday cafes, airports, libraries, laundromats, schools and individuals operate “open” Wi-Fi routers, sharing their connection with neighbours and passers-by at no charge. The City of San Francisco recently deployed a free, public Wi-Fi network along a 5km stretch of Market Street. Sometimes people use those connections for unauthorised activities. Most of the time they don’t, and the world gets a valuable public service of simple, ubiquitous internet access.


How The NSA Is Transforming Law Enforcement

If you’ve been imagining NSA surveillance as something distant, with analysts sitting in remote data centres quietly analysing metadata — stop now. NSA surveillance has become a part of day-to-day law enforcement fabric in the United States. The Snowden disclosures that were made public as part of Glenn Greenwald’s book No Place to Hide drive this point home, and they emphasise why we need real change to government surveillance, not minor reforms.


Taser Is Attaching Wearable Cameras To 500 Cops

In the biggest trial of its kind, 500 London police officers will today be supplied with wearable cameras to record what they — and those around them — do. The cameras, supplied by Taser, boast 130-degree field of view, record over 12 hours of continuous footage, and are tough enough to cope with being run over by a car.


Watch This Hilarious Argument Over The Legal Definition Of Photocopier

You know what a photocopying machine is, I know what a photocopying machine is, but this IT guy has decided he does not. This very real transcript from the Ohio Supreme Court follows seven minutes of absurd yet somehow perfectly logical arguments over what a photocopying machine really is — in legal terms.


Airbnb Is Banning Thousands Of Dubious New York City Listings

Bad luck, suspicious subletters: Airbnb is in the process of removing over 2000 New York City listings that aren’t “providing a quality, local experience to guests”.


Report: Mt Gox Gives Up And Files For Liquidation

The failed bitcoin exchange Mt Gox has given up on its plan to rise from the ashes under bankruptcy protection. Instead, according to the Wall Street Journal, it has asked a Tokyo court for permission to be liquidated.


How Apple Decided It Wanted To Sue Samsung For $2.19 Billion

If you’ve ever wondered how companies like Apple settle on a figure for which to sue their competitors in the many and varied legal trials you hear about, you’re in luck. Court filings have revealed how Apple came to the $US2.19 billion sum it’s currently pursuing Samsung for.