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OpenMarket: March 2012

  • Today's Links: March 21, 2012

    March 21, 2012
    OPINION DAVID HILL: "Will Obama Take a Bite of Apple?" "Whenever products and services become ubiquitous, Democratic consumers and voters start treating them as public assets that should be politicized and placed under the thumb of the state, 'publicized,' the inverse of privatized. Investor-owned utilities and regulated industries like airlines know the syndrome." TIM CARNEY: "Just Making the Bulbs Illegal, Not Banning Them" "[Washington Post factchecker Glenn] Kessler makes the odd claim that nobody has banned Edison's lightbulb -- they just made it illegal to manufacture or...
  • Deposition fun in the Bluetooth case

    March 21, 2012
    It had been a few years since I took a deposition, so it was refreshing to see that I wasn't as rusty as I was worried I'd be. Here's the plaintiffs' expert testifying about the value of the injunctive relief.
    Q: So it is your opinion that only a trained audiologist with experience knows whether or not it is unsafe to listen to a device at a high volume level?

    MR. HART: I object to the form of the question.

    A: It’s my opinion that outside of those rare individuals who are able to educate themselves to such a high degree that no one would be able to determine whether the level at which they’re listening is relatively safe or relatively unsafe.

    Q: So even after you’ve warned your patients, they might be listening to the Bluetooth device at unsafe levels?

    A: No, because I would be able to provide them with detailed enough...
  • Human Achievement of the Day: Mind-Controlled Prostheses

    March 20, 2012
    A breakthrough by researchers at Northwestern University is giving hope to millions of amputees that they might eventually regain some of the ability they lost. While most prosthetic limbs utilize a motor in order to achieve motion, the Northwestern prosthesis can be controlled by the wearer’s own mind. Jesse Sullivan was an electrical lineman until 2001 when he was electrocuted so severely that both of arms needed to be amputated. But Jesse wasn't ready to give up. Eight years ago, he underwent surgery and was fitted with experimental prosthetic limbs, developed by a team of biomechanical engineers at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) through the Northwestern University. The prostheses...
  • National Debt Skyrockets Under Obama, Far Faster Than Under Bush

    March 20, 2012
    CBS News finally reports the obvious: the national debt increased more in President Obama's first three years in office than in the entire eight years of the Bush administration. Earlier, the Congressional Budget Office predicted that Obama's policies would increase the national debt by $9.7 trillion. National and state debt figures are massively understated by their failure to include unfunded pension obligations and healthcare entitlements. Americans now ...
  • Today's Links: March 20, 2012

    March 20, 2012
    OPINION TIMOTHY B. LEE: "Samsung and RIM Sued For Infringing LOL-Worthy Emoticon Patent" "In an apparent quest to make the patent system look even more ridiculous, a firm on Thursday sued Samsung and Research in Motion for allegedly infringing a patent titled 'emoticon input method and apparatus.' [...] Varia claims that a long list of Samsung phones, including the Acclaim, Nexus S, Captivate, Epic, Galaxy Nexus, and Transform, infringe the patent by allowing users to select emoticons from a pop-up menu. Blackberry phones alleged to infringe the patent include the Bold, Curve, Pearl, and Storm." ALICE PARK: "...
  • A Bad Economy's Silver Lining

    March 20, 2012
    The Economist hits the nail on the head -- albeit a nail that has been well hit by many in the free market movement already. In the latest issue, they correctly observe that an ailing economy presents a golden opportunity to roll back economic restrictions and increase liberty. Whether it’s gambling, alcohol, or another "sin" product or service, the case for easing restrictions on the sale and consumption of these “vices” is very tempting, in particular if the case can be made that such changes will increase potential tax revenue and/or create jobs. As those who follow my weekly “Alcohol Regulation Roundup” series may have noticed, the “good” news has increased with each passing month. Southern states are trying to make it easier for brewers...
  • Regulation of the Day 214: Flipping the Bird

    March 20, 2012
    Steven Pogue, 64, was cited by police for flipping the bird while driving in Ballwin, Missouri. He was exonerated on free speech grounds, and the city is now moving to repeal the law.
  • Regulation of the Day 213: Dying

    March 19, 2012
    Falciano del Massico, a small town in Italy, has banned its 4,000 residents from dying because the local cemetery is completely full.
  • Hate Crimes Conviction in Tyler Clementi Case, Which Fueled Anti-Bullying Panic and Assault on Free Speech

    March 19, 2012
    A New Jersey jury has convicted Dharun Ravi of hate crimes in the Tyler Clementi case, which created a furor over bullying that led to legislation that endangers free speech on campus, and helped spawn a thriving "anti-bullying" industry that has enriched opportunistic consultants and self-proclaimed experts. Ravi, a Rutgers University student, surreptitiously filmed his gay college roommate, Tyler Clementi, kissing another man. Clementi committed suicide two days later. Initial media...
  • Today's Links: March 19, 2012

    March 19, 2012
    OPINION EMILY BAZELON: "Dharun Ravi Found Guilty" "Because Tyler Clementi took his own life a few days after Ravi glimpsed him on the webcam—and the day after Ravi set up another 'viewing party,' which led Clementi to ask for a new roommate—this story was initially misunderstood as a parable about the outing of a closeted gay freshman. In fact, Tyler Clementi had come out to his parents before starting at Rutgers in the fall of 2010, and we still don’t know why he killed himself. " RICHARD EPSTEIN: "Unshackle the FDA From Rules That Kill...

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