How your car could be a star witness against you in court

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Information collected by a car block box intended to help improve federal safety standards, but increasingly it is being used in court cases.

If you are in a serious car accident and are unfortunate enough to land in court afterwards, the the star witness against you may not be an eyewitness or even a human being, it could be your car.

 

 

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Rethinking the Court of Public Opinion

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Futurist Thomas Frey:  American TV personality Ryan Seacrest has a grim look on his face as he walks briskly across the stage. Turning to the camera, he pauses briefly before saying, “You have heard the arguments, listened to the experts, and seen the photos. But now it is up to you to decide the fate of Mr. Howard Cullens.”

 

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1 in 4 Courts to Close in England

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The Government was saving only £13 million from the move and it would affect the victims of crime, who were often elderly and frail.

Nearly one in four courts will close in England and Wales, the Ministry of Justice confirmed last night.  A total of 93 magistrates’ courts and 49 county courts will shut in the major cost-cutting drive.  It means just 15 of the 157 originally proposed for closure have been spared the axe.

 

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Monsanto Takes Fight To Control Your Food To Supreme Court

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The battle over the non-regulated status of genetically modified crops has reached the US Supreme Court. Monsanto has, not surprisingly, appealed a lower court decision that halted the continued unregulated release and planting of the agrifood giant’s Roundup Ready Alfalfa.

Background and implications of the case, after the jump…

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‘Godfather of Spam’ Sentenced to 4 Years in Prison

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Alan Ralsky, the self-proclaimed ‘Godfather of Spam’, has been jailed after being convicted of committing wire and mail fraud.
Alan M. Ralsky, the self-proclaimed “Godfather of Spam” who pleaded guilty to fraud-related charges in June, was sentenced Tuesday to 51 months in prison, the Department of Justice said.
Ralsky, 64, allegedly was the mastermind of an e-mail spamming network that gained the attention of authorities and Microsoft in 2004. He and his associate Scott Bradley, 48, were convicted of conspiring to commit wire fraud and mail fraud, and to violate the CAN-SPAM Act; and for committing wire fraud, engaging in money laundering, and violating the CAN-SPAM Act.
They also were given five years of supervised release after prison and ordered to forfeit $250,000 that the federal government seized in 2007. Both men are from West Bloomfield, Mich.
Two additional associates – How Wai John Hui, 54, a resident of Hong Kong and Canada; and John S. Bown, 45, of Fresno, Calif. – were sentenced Tuesday.
“Through this conspiracy Ralsky and the others were able to manipulate the stock market and maximize their profit,” Andrew G. Arena, special agent in charge for the FBI, said in a DOJ news release. “They flooded our e-mail boxes with unwanted spam e-mail and attempted to use a botnet to hijack our computers assist them in the scheme.”
From the DOJ release:
According to court documents, from January 2004 through September 2005, Ralsky, Bradley, Judy Devenow, Bown, William Neil, James Bragg, James Fite, Hui, Francis Tribble and others allegedly engaged in a related set of conspiracies designed to use spam e-mails to manipulate thinly traded stocks and profit by trading in those stocks once their share prices increased after recipients of the spam e-mails traded in the stocks being promoted. …
According to court documents, many of the spam e-mails promoted thinly traded “pink sheet” stocks for U.S. companies owned and controlled by individuals in Hong Kong and China. The spam e-mails contained materially false and misleading information or omissions and were created and sent using software programs that made it difficult to trace them back to the conspirators. According to the indictment, the conspirators used wire communications, the U.S. mail and common carriers to perpetrate their frauds. The conspirators also engaged in money laundering involving millions of dollars generated by their manipulative stock trading.
Microsoft, for its part, was elated to the point of posting on its Microsoft on the Issues blog. Tim Cranton, associate general council, congratulated the prosecution for successfully putting Ralsky, Bradly, Hui and Bown behind bars.
“Yesterday’s sentencing is a significant success and sends a clear message that the courts take this type of illegal conduct seriously,” Cranton wrote. “Thanks to the diligent efforts of law enforcement and prosecutors, even the most successful and sophisticated spammers may find themselves behind bars for a very long time.”
As with most criminal cases, Microsoft turned evidence over to the DOJ to assist with the investigation, Cranton said.

Alan Ralsky, the self-proclaimed ‘Godfather of Spam’

Alan M. Ralsky, the self-proclaimed “Godfather of Spam” who pleaded guilty to fraud-related charges in June, was sentenced Tuesday to 51 months in prison, the Department of Justice said.

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Man Would Rather Count the Wrinkles on His Dogs Balls Than Serve on Jury Duty

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One, two, three….

There are probably better ways to avoid jury duty than the approach recently taken by a Montana man. After Erik Slye, 36, received a jury notice earlier this year, he filed a notarized affidavit seeking to be excused from serving on a District Court panel in Gallatin County. Slye’s caustic affidavit, which he prepared with help from his wife Jennifer, can be found below…

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Bloggers Are In Trouble In India

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Bloggers beware

“The Indian Supreme Court has ruled that bloggers cannot shelter under an escape clause such as ‘Any views expressed are solely those of the writers’ to exercise freedom of speech in discussions and statements online. The ruling comes in response to an anti-defamation case filed against a 19 year old student’s Orkut community, commenting upon the right-wing political organization Shiv Sena. Continue reading… “Bloggers Are In Trouble In India”

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Low Speed Limits Have Opposite Effect

 Low Speed Limits Have Opposite Effect

Phony speed limits lead people to believe that the law is bendable

Efforts to manipulate driving behavior by setting speed limits artificially low may have had just the opposite effect, eroding respect for speed limits, a US researcher reported on Thursday. More than a third of the people surveyed believed it was safe to drive 20 miles an hour above posted speed limits, and 43% thought it was safe to drive up to 10 miles an hour over, said Fred Mannering of the department of civil engineering at Indiana’s Purdue University.

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South Korean Court Upholds That Only Blind Can Be Masseurs

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At Least They Are Golden

South Korea’s Constitutional Court ruled yesterday that only the visually impaired can be licensed masseurs in the country, upholding a law set up a century ago despite arguments it infringed on free employment rights.

The law was established in 1912 when Korea was under Japanese colonial rule to help guarantee the blind a livelihood, according the to the Korean Association of Masseurs, which now has about 7,100 visually impaired people as members.

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