Wotka World Wide

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Crony capitalism strikes again. This time, it is an expiration of the waiver that prohibits unlocking cell phones.  Violators face a $500,000 fine and 5 years in prison.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

In the wake of Reddit founder Aaron Swartz's tragic suicide, members of Congress and the legal community are looking at ways to staunch the prosecutorial overreach that led to Swartz's over-charging by the overzealous and corrupt US Attorney from Boston, Carmen Ortiz.  Members of Congress, led by Zoe Lofgren and Darrell Issa,  are collaborating on Aaron's Law, which will rewrite US computer law to stop prosecutors going after users for violating term of service contracts, while the legal community, led by Glenn Reynolds, Lawrence Lessig, and Radley Balko, among others, have put together a list of ideas to reform the prosecution system to prevent future abuses.  It used to be that the rule of law meant something in this country.  It would be nice to see a return to that standard, while further limiting the power of government to harass citizens that have engaged in speech they dislike (as that likely motivated the Swartz prosecution).

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Monday, February 04, 2013

Popular Mechanics has a great look at the re-emergence of rare earth metal mining in the United States, at a previously decommissioned mine in California.  Given China's dominance of the industry, and the ever growing importance of the materials in all manner of electronics manufacturing applications, it would seem prudent for the US to make sure this venture succeeds.  Fortunately, there are other mines in the development pipeline as well.  But letting China control a critical industry via state-sanctioned price control should be met with the full resistance of US governmental and business interests.