Some recent goings-on in the world of regulation:
- The PATRIOT Act is having the unintended consequence of stalling the growth of cloud computing. The Act empowers the federal government to snoop through databases, which makes foreign entities skittish about doing business with Google and other firms. The PATRIOT Act’s national security benefits are somewhat less clear than its economic costs.
- Arlington, Virginia, is deregulating massage parlors. Shockingly, it turns out that they are legitimate businesses, not prostitution fronts.
- Toronto parent gets hit in head with soccer ball, school bans balls from its playground.
- TSA stops 17-year-old girl because her purse had a design of a gun on it. Not a real gun. Not even a replica of one. A gun-shaped leather patch sewn into her purse.
- 13-year old boy arrested for burping.
- Washington, D.C., requires licenses for street photographers.
- The heavily subsidized Chevy Volt might be a bit of a fire hazard, according to testing. No real-world incidents yet, thankfully. GM is offering to buy them back from concerned owners — of which there are only about 6,000. The Nissan Leaf has not experienced similar troubles.
- Department of Transportation set to ban truck drivers from texting, using cell phones.
- Electronic devices cause zero interference with a plane’s communications. That means the FAA regulation requiring passengers to turn them off has zero safety benefits. Kudos to The New York Times for advocating this regulation’s repeal.
- Boy, 7, kicks bully in the groin. To most people, that’s fair retaliation. To officials at his school, that’s sexual harassment.
- Sweden’s government-run health care system denied a legless man a wheelchair because authorities were “uncertain if the impairment was permanent.”
- McDonald’s outsmarts the Happy Meal police in San Francisco.