Today’s Links: February 28, 2012


DAVID CARR: “Blurred Line Between Espionage and Truth
“Last Wednesday in the White House briefing room, the administration’s press secretary, Jay Carney, opened on a somber note, citing the deaths of Marie Colvin and Anthony Shadid, two reporters who had died ‘in order to bring truth’ while reporting in Syria. Jake Tapper, the White House correspondent for ABC News, pointed out that the administration had lauded brave reporting in distant lands more than once and then asked, ‘How does that square with the fact that this administration has been so aggressively trying to stop aggressive journalism in the United States by using the Espionage Act to take whistle-blowers to court?’ He then suggested that the administration seemed to believe that ‘the truth should come out abroad; it shouldn’t come out here.'”

TIMOTHY LEE: “The Real Victims in the Patent Wars
“Patents are supposed to reward innovation, but in the software industry, they are having the opposite effect. The patent system has become a minefield that punishes innovators who accidentally infringe the patents of others. There are now so many software patents in force that it is practically impossible to avoid infringing them all. The result has been an explosion of litigation.”

“Just when you think everything that can be said about Obamacare’s constitutionality has been said, along comes another legal brief that makes a new point. The latest was filed by the Arlington-based Institute for Justice, a nonpartisan, libertarian public-interest law firm. The institute points out that the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate — the requirement to purchase insurance — is not only an unprecedented expansion of federal power. It also undermines several centuries of contract law.”


PRIVACY – French Regulatory Warns of Google Privacy Policy
“Google’s new privacy policy appears to violate the European Union’s data protection rules, France’s regulator said Tuesday, just two days before the new guidelines are set to come into force.”

MORE MONEY, MORE PROBLEMS – Seat Warmers Can Cause ‘Toasted Skin’ Rash
“Doctors say heated seats can lead to a skin condition called Toasted Skin Syndrome. It’s not actually a burn, but a rash caused by prolonged exposure to a warm temperature. Safety experts say heated seats average 105 degrees.”

HEALTH – Real Medical Uses for Illegal and Abused Drugs
“They may be the party favor of choice for rock stars and a source of illicit income for chemistry teachers breaking bad, but many highly illegal and often abused drugs have real medicinal benefits.”