ACLU Sues Anaheim Police For Public Records On Cell Phone Surveillance

New submitter Lacey Waymire writes: The ACLU of Northern California is suing for a release of public records regarding Anaheim police’s use of cell phone surveillance devices. “We don’t think any surveillance devices, particularly these sorts of invasive cell phone surveillance devices, should ever be acquired or used without intense public debate and the adoption of safeguards to ensure they are only used in ways that follow our Constitution and laws,” attorney Matt Cagle said. (See this Boing Boing posting with a bit more on “the happiest surveillance state on earth.”)

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Newegg Sues Patent Troll After Troll Dropped Its Own Lawsuit

WheezyJoe writes: Not satisfied that a patent troll dropped its lawsuit against them, Newegg has sued the troll. So-called “patent holding company” Minero Digital sought to exact royalty payments on a wide range of USB hubs, suing, among others, Newegg’s subsidiary Rosewill. But the “non-practicing entity” dropped its East Texas lawsuit against Rosewill within days of getting a call from the Newegg’s lawyer. However, Minero dismissed its Texas lawsuit “without prejudice”, meaning it can refile the case at a time of its choosing. So, Newegg filed its own lawsuit against Minero in Los Angeles federal court, asking a judge to lay down a ruling that Minero’s case against Rosewill is baseless. Says Newegg’s Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng, “Minero’s case does not have merit, and its patent is not only expired but would suck even if it wasn’t expired. Now that they have started the litigation, it would be irresponsible for Newegg to not finish it.”

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How One Texas City Built A Traffic Ticket Juggernaut

Turbocharged surveillance technology turned Officer Ricky Antoine into an unstoppable policing juggernaut. The city of Port Arthur says his approach to traffic safety saves lives. But some of the city’s poorest residents are paying the price.
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‘Snowboarding with the NYPD’: YouTube filmmakers use NYC blizzard shutdown for viral video

A pair of enterprising if law-bending filmmakers used the weekend blizzard that shut down New York City to produce a soon-to-be-viral video showing them skiing and snowboarding through Manhattan's near-empty streets — and right through Times Square.



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Finally Calculated: All the Legal Positions In a 19×19 Game of Go

Reader John Tromp points to an explanation posted at GitHub of a computational challenge Tromp coordinated that makes a nice companion to the recent discovery of a 22 million-digit Mersenne prime. A distributed effort using pooled computers from two centers at Princeton, and more contributed from the HP Helion cloud, after “many hiccups and a few catastrophes” calculated the number of legal positions in a 19×19 game of Go. Simple as Go board layout is, the permutations allowed by the rules are anything but simple to calculate: “For running an L19 job, a beefy server with 15TB of fast scratch diskspace, 8 to 16 cores, and 192GB of RAM, is recommended. Expect a few months of running time.” More: Large numbers have a way of popping up in the game of Go. Few people believe that a tiny 2×2 Go board allows for more than a few hundred games. Yet 2×2 games number not in the hundreds, nor in the thousands, nor even in the millions. They number in the hundreds of billions! 386356909593 to be precise. Things only get crazier as you go up in boardsize. A lower bound of 10^{10^48} on the number of 19×19 games, as proved in our paper, was recently improved to a googolplex.
(For anyone who wants to double check his work, Tromp has posted as open source the software used.)

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Michigan Gov. Snyder on Flint: ‘Terrible decisions’ were made

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder delivers his State of the State address to a joint session of the House and Senate, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016, at the state Capitol in Lansing, Mich. With the water crisis gripping Flint threatening to overshadow nearly everything else he has accomplished, the Republican governor pledged a fix Tuesday night during his annual State of the State speech. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)Embattled Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said Friday he takes responsibility for the Flint water crisis, but shouldered the blame on “career civil service people” who didn’t use common sense.



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