Category Archives: Law

Rather Than Innovate, Sue Them

Inside the Hotel Industry’s Plan to Combat Airbnb: Last year, Airbnb underwent a rough regulatory patch. The short-term rental company became a Federal Trade Commission target last summer after three senators asked for an investigation into how companies like Airbnb affect soaring housing costs. In October, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York signed a […]

“Behind every great fortune, is a great crime.”

Uber’s Top Secret “Hell” Program Exploited Lyft’s Vulnerability (paywall): As the ride-sharing market was exploding in the U.S. between 2014 and the early part 2016, Uber had an advantage over Lyft that helped Uber maintain its lead, The Information has learned. Thanks to a secret software-based effort within Uber called “Hell,” Uber could track how […]

Greyball

How Uber Deceives the Authorities Worldwide: At the time, Uber had just started its ride-hailing service in Portland without seeking permission from the city, which later declared the service illegal. To build a case against the company, officers like Mr. England posed as riders, opening the Uber app to hail a car and watching as […]

Vizio is shady.

Vizio settles FTC lawsuit and agrees to get viewer consent before tracking TV habits: Vizio will pay $2.2 million to settle a lawsuit alleging it collected customers’ TV-watching habits without their permission. The lawsuit was filed by the Federal Trade Commission and the state of New Jersey. It alleged that, in 2014, Vizio began using […]

Kickass Gets Ass Kicked by U.S. Feds

TorrentFreak: Feds Seize KickassTorrents Domains, Arrest Owner: The complaint further reveals that the feds posed as an advertiser, which revealed a bank account associated with the site. It also shows that Apple handed over personal details of Vaulin after the investigator cross-referenced an IP-address used for an iTunes transaction with an IP-address that was used […]

Google Wants Everyone’s Milkshake

Ars Technica: Frontier teams with AT&T to block Google Fiber access to utility poles: AT&T’s lawsuit, filed in US District Court in Western Kentucky, concerns the Louisville Metro Council’s “One Touch Make Ready” ordinance’s effect on AT&T-owned utility poles. This type of ordinance is designed to speed up construction of new networks by making it […]

Just My Luck

This is a map of the fireworks laws by state: It’s my luck that I grew up in New Jersey. One of the 3 states that bans them. It was so sad that we actually got excited if someone was able to get a hold of some sparklers. And if someone had bottle rockets? Forget […]

Apple Responds to the FBI

The FBI is asking for Apple’s help unlocking the iPhone 5C of San Bernardino terrorism suspect Syed Rizwan Farook. Tim Cook responded: The government would have us remove security features and add new capabilities to the operating system, allowing a passcode to be input electronically. This would make it easier to unlock an iPhone by […]

Fun With UK Copyright Laws

Copyright legislation will destroy design publishing says Charlotte Fiell: New legislation regarding the use of images of “works of artistic craftsmanship” is being introduced next year as part of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act. The legal reform will extend copyright protection on mass-produced artistic works from 25 years to the length of the author’s […]

Attribution? What’s that?

Over at The Awl, Brian Feldman on Instagram celebrity, The Fat Jew: Over the weekend, Instagram celebrity The Fat Jew—real name Josh Ostrovsky—faced swift and concentrated denunciation over the content (“jokes”) he posts on his account—one-liners, supposedly funny pictures, lowest common denominator viral chaff. Ostrovsky, who swipes material from others without credit and does not […]

Those 140 Characters Are Mine

Tweets are copyrightable: Let’s face it: coming up with a grade-A tweet isn’t easy. That’s why some people just copy good tweets from other people and act like they came up with the 140-character witticism on their own. This has been going on since the beginning of Twitter. It now appears Twitter is using its […]

Apple Watch Success Metrics

Horace Dediu tries to figure out how we’ll figure out if the Apple Watch is a success: Language. Measure whether “Watch” will come to mean “Apple Watch”. “Phone” has come to mean not only “smartphone” but also all mobile/cellular phones and not just things used for calling but things used for all manner of information. […]

Slap on the Wrist

Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was caught on a security camera dragging his unconscious wife-to-be Janay Palmer by the hair, after knocking her unconscious, and the National Football League has chosen to suspend him for two games. Rice in fact will return to the field just in time to wear the NFL’s pink-festooned uniforms […]