How Sony, Microsoft, and Other Gadget Makers Violate Federal Warranty Law
“Warranty void if removed.” These warranty agreements and stickers exist almost entirely to help manufacturers maintain a monopoly on repairing the devices that they sell us.
These stickers and clauses are illegal under a federal law passed in 1975 called the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.
To be clear, federal law says you can open your electronics without voiding the warranty, regardless of what the language of that warranty says.
The statute itself states “for example, a provision in the warranty such as, ‘use only an authorized ABC dealer’ or ‘use only ABC replacement parts,’ is prohibited where the service or parts are not provided free of charge pursuant to the warranty.”
The MMWA is a relatively obscure statute that is most famous for creating “lemon law” for cars. If you’ve ever heard about it before, it’s probably in the context of car warranties: a warranty cannot be voided simply because someone uses aftermarket parts in their device or car.  But the law applies to all consumer devices that cost more than $15, including electronics
The Xbox One has a sticker that, if broken or removed, implies to Microsoft that a third party has opened the device. The Playstation 4 has various stickers that must be broken to open the device that explicitly state that tampering with them invalidates the warranty. iPhones and MacBooks don’t have a warranty-voiding sticker, but Apple Geniuses are trained to look for clues that would tip the company off to the fact that the device has been opened. Apple has also been known to refuse service on devices that have been opened.** Each of those company’s warranty agreements advise against or forbid* opening the device.


The Democratic platform writing committee has voted not to oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)
2016 CLINTON VS TRUMP The Democratic platform writing committee has voted not to oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)
Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton is only “pretending” to oppose the agreement.
Alan Greenspan, the former Fed chairman, once known as the “maestro” of capitalism, declared himself “in a state of shocked disbelief” at the collapse wrought by the unfettered markets he had championed throughout his life. “I’ve found a flaw,” he said. “I’ve been very distressed by that fact.”
The economic order built upon Mr. Reagan’s and Mrs. Thatcher’s common faith in unfettered global markets (and largely accepted by their more liberal successors Bill Clinton and Tony Blair) would be brought down by right-wing populists riding the anger of a working class that has been cast aside in the globalized economy that the two leaders trumpeted 40 years ago.
Clinton gets paid to speak by Goldman and won’t release her speeches.
In early 2008, Libya’s sovereign-wealth fund controlled by Col. Moammar Gadhafi gave $1.3 billion to Goldman Sachs Group to sink into a currency bet and other complicated trades. The investments lost 98% of their value, internal Goldman documents show. What happened next may be one of the most peculiar footnotes to the global financial crisis. In an effort to make up for the losses, Goldman offered Libya the chance to become one of its biggest shareholders, according to documents and people familiar with the matter. Negotiations between Goldman and the Libyan Investment Authority stretched on for months during the summer …
Goldman is politically connected in a way that no other company in America really is.
And they’ve had a hand, really, in a variety of financial disasters over the last two decades. Goldman has repeatedly been involved in creations of speculative INTERNET, HOUSING, COMMODITIES bubbles on Wall Street and continually walk away with fines and no admission of criminal wrongdoing, which emboldens the company to continually get into these schemes.

It’s a Con a Confidence game: They avoid exposing the inner workings of the company when they settle and don’t have to go to trail, and avoid public testimony, being put under oath and explain how the deals work. The public never finds out.

Justice Sotomayor's dissenting opinion in Utah v Strieff

The Right, and sometimes the Left, get myopic and target lock on the Second Amendment.  There are 9 others in the Bill of Rights.  This last week, the protections of one of those amendments was severely diluted.  Sonia Sotomayor wrote such an impassioned and easily understandable dissent.  I thought it important to relay parts of it here.  I’ve moved the legal citations for easier reading.

The case is the State of Utah v Strieff, Jr (No. 14-1373), argued February 22, 2016, decided June 20, 2016
From Justice Sotomayor’s dissenting opinion.
“The Court today holds that the discovery of a warrant for an unpaid parking ticket will forgive a police officer’s violation of your Fourth Amendment rights. Do not be soothed by the opinion’s technical language: This case allows the police to stop you on the street, demand your identification, and check it for outstanding traffic warrants—even if you are doing nothing wrong. If the officer discovers a warrant for a fine you forgot to pay, courts will now excuse his illegal stop and will admit into evidence anything he happens to find by searching you after arresting you on the warrant. Because the Fourth Amendment should prohibit, not permit, such misconduct.”

.. unlawful “stops” have severe consequences much greater than the inconvenience suggested by the name. This Court has given officers an array of instruments to probe and examine you. When we condone officers’ use of these devices without adequate cause, we give them reason to target pedestrians in an arbitrary manner. We also risk treating members of our communities as second-class citizens.
Although many Americans have been stopped for speeding or jaywalking, few may realize how degrading a stop can be when the officer is looking for more. This Court has allowed an officer to stop you for whatever reason he wants—so long as he can point to a pretextual justification after the fact. That justification must provide specific reasons why the officer suspected you were breaking the law, but it may factor in your ethnicity, where you live, what you were wearing, and how you behaved. The officer does not even need to know which law you might have broken so long as he can later point to any possible infraction—even one that is minor, unrelated, or ambiguous.
The indignity of the stop is not limited to an officer telling you that you look like a criminal. The officer may next ask for your “consent” to inspect your bag or purse without telling you that you can decline. Regardless of your answer, he may order you to stand “helpless, perhaps facing a wall with [your] hands raised.” If the officer thinks you might be dangerous, he may then “frisk” you for weapons. This involves more than just a pat down. As onlookers pass by, the officer may “‘feel with sensitive fingers every portion of [your] body. A thorough search [may] be made of [your] arms and armpits, waistline and back, the groin and area about the testicles, and entire surface of the legs down to the feet.’”
The officer’s control over you does not end with the stop. If the officer chooses, he may handcuff you and take you to jail for doing nothing more than speeding, jaywalking, or “driving [your] pickup truck . . . with [your] 3-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter . . . without [your] seatbelt fastened.”  At the jail, he can fingerprint you, swab DNA from the inside of your mouth, and force you to “shower with a delousing agent” while you “lift [your] tongue, hold out [your] arms, turn around, and lift [your] genitals.” Even if you are innocent, you will now join the 65 million Americans with an arrest record and experience the “civil death” of discrimination by employers, landlords, and whoever else conducts a background check.[1]  And, of course, if you fail to pay bail or appear for court, a judge will issue a warrant to render you “arrestable on sight” in the future.[2]
This case involves a suspicionless stop, one in which the officer initiated this chain of events without justification.As the Justice Department notes, supra, at 8, many innocent people are subjected to the humiliations of these unconstitutional searches. The white defendant in this case shows that anyone’s dignity can be violated in this manner.[3]  But it is no secret that people of color are disproportionate victims of this type of scrutiny.[4]  For generations, black and brown parents have given their children “the talk”—instructing them never to run down the street; always keep your hands where they can be seen; do not even think of talking back to a stranger—all out of fear of how an officer with a gun will react to them.[5]
By legitimizing the conduct that produces this double consciousness, this case tells everyone, white and black,guilty and innocent, that an officer can verify your legal status at any time. It says that your body is subject to invasion while courts excuse the violation of your rights. It implies that you are not a citizen of a democracy but the subject of a carceral state, just waiting to be cataloged.
We must not pretend that the countless people who are routinely targeted by police are “isolated.” They are the canaries in the coal mine whose deaths, civil and literal, warn us that no one can breathe in this atmosphere.[6]  They are the ones who recognize that unlawful police stops corrode all our civil liberties and threaten all our lives. Until their voices matter too, our justice system will continue to be anything but.”

I dissent.  J. Sotomayor.”
++ Whren v. United States, 517 U. S. 806, 813 (1996)
++ Terry, 392 U. S., at 21
++ United States v. Brignoni-Ponce, 422 U. S. 873, 886–887 (1975)
++ Adams v. Williams, 407 U. S. 143, 147 (1972)
++ United States v. Sokolow, 490 U. S. 1, 4–5 (1989)
++ Illinois v. Wardlow, 528 U. S. 119, 124–125 (2000)
++ Devenpeck v. Alford, 543 U. S. 146, 154–155 (2004); Heien v. North Carolina, 574 U. S. ___ (2014)
++  Epp, PulledOver, at 5.
++ See Florida v. Bostick, 501 U. S. 429, 438 (1991).
++ Terry, 392 U. S., at 17.
++ Terry, 392 U. S., at 17, n. 13.
++ Atwater v. Lago Vista, 532 U. S. 318, 323–324 (2001).
++ Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders of County of Burlington, 566 U. S. ___, ___–___ (2012) (slip op., at 2–3); Maryland v. King, 569 U. S. ___, ___ (2013) (slip op., at 28).
1.   Chin, The New Civil Death, 160 U. Pa. L. Rev. 1789, 1805 (2012); see J. Jacobs, The Eternal Criminal Record 33–51 (2015); Young & Petersilia, Keeping Track, 129 Harv. L. Rev.1318, 1341–1357 (2016).
2. A. Goffman, On the Run 196 (2014).
3. See M. Gottschalk, Caught 119–138 (2015).
4. See M. Alexander, The New Jim Crow 95–136 (2010).
5. See, e.g., W. E. B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk (1903); J. Baldwin, The Fire Next Time (1963); T. Coates, Between the World and Me (2015).
6. See L. Guinier & G. Torres, The Miner’s Canary 274–283(2002).

Culturally Constructed Ignorance Wins the Day

Culturally Constructed Ignorance Wins the Day
June 27, 2016 2:06 PM EDT
Barry Ritholtz
I spend much of my time shrugging off breathless news events. Ebola (now Zika), employment reports, Federal Reserve rate changes, government shutdowns, peak earnings and so on. Much of what passes for earth-shaking news turns out to be, with the benefit of hindsight, something in between idle gossip and fear-mongering. The genuine, not well-anticipated, actual market-moving news — such as the U.K.’s vote to leave the European Union — is a relatively rare thing.
However, there is a disconcerting trend that has gained strength: agnotology. It’s a term worth knowing, since it is going global. The word was coined by Stanford University professor Robert N. Proctor, who described it as “culturally constructed ignorance, created by special interest groups to create confusion and suppress the truth in a societally important issue.” It is especially useful to sow seeds of doubt in complex scientific issues by publicizing inaccurate or misleading data.
Culturally constructed ignorance played a major role in the Brexit vote, as we shall see after a bit of explanation.

Balancing Security and Liberty

CSDL Home IEEE Internet Computing 2001 vol.5 Issue No.06 – November/December

Balancing Security and Liberty

Issue No.06 – November/December (2001 vol.5)
pp: 96
David Farber
DOI Bookmark:
This is an excellent time to make security fundamental to any real next-generation network, and for the technical community to get involved in continuing efforts to preserve liberty as well as safety.
David Farber, “Balancing Security and Liberty”, IEEE Internet Computing, vol.5, no. 6, pp. 96, November/December 2001, doi:10.1109/MIC.2001.968840

[Nethappenings] Bluegrass Legend Ralph Stanley Dead at 89

Bluegrass Legend Ralph Stanley Dead at 89


Dr. Stanley would later go on to be named a Living Legend by the Library of Congress in 2000. His rendition of the Appalachian folk song “O Death” was featured prominently in the Coen brothers’ film O Brother, Where Art Thou?


[NetHappenings] #Brexit

Britain’s most celebrated statesman was a huge party monster and racked up an absurd amount of debt
When Democrats Sat In, Republicans Took Them Hostage | New Republic Former Hospital President: Skyrocketing healthcare costs are caused by political corruption


Here’s the Brexit memo Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein sent to staff

No matter the outcome, polls demonstrate how quickly half of any population can be convinced to vote against itself. Quite a lesson.

the 1/2 of population w/o a college edu that voted against itself was told they had no value by the educated 1/2 .was.stupid?

Democrats fighting an epidemic vs 1%

By now you’ve no doubt watched some footage of Representative John Lewis, the civil-rights legend, causing trouble once again on Wednesday by sitting down on the floor of the House and refusing to move without action on gun safety legislation. You’ve probably seen the chaotic images of House Republicans taking the floor in the wee hours of the morning, amid chants and shouting matches, eventually voting to adjourn the chamber for 12 days.

In the four months-plus since President Obama requested $1.9 billion in funding for mosquito control, research into vaccines, and public-education programs about Zika, more than 2,200 Americans have been stricken with the virus, which causes multiple birth defects, including babies being born with abnormally small heads. Yet Republicans have consistentlyresisted approving an emergency Zika response.
The story of what they finally did pass is telling: In this supposedly “do-nothing” Republican Congress, this is how things get done. The House and Senate attached competing versions of Zika funding, both inadequate to what federal health agencies believe necessary, to a Military Construction and Veterans Administration appropriations bill. The Senate offered $1.1 billion and the House just $622 million. The House and Senate reconciled the differences in a conference report, negotiated entirely by Republicans without Democratic input, which was seemingly constructed to include the worst elements of each version.

The good news is that the higher level of Zika funding, $1.1 billion, was put into the final bill. That’s still $800 million less than the president’s request, but it could have been lower. The rest of the news is bad: Almost all the Zika funding, $750 million, will be offset with spending cuts. Despite Zika clearly being a public health emergency, Congress did not provide emergency funding, but instead raided other parts of the budget—namely, other programs for public health.
The offsets include $107 million from emergency funding to prevent Ebola—stealing from one public health crisis to pay for another. Ebola has not been fully contained, and now the United States will have less money to assist that effort. Another $100 million comes from the Department of Health and Human Services, and the largest money source, $543 million, cuts the Affordable Care Act’s transition fund for U.S. territories to stand up health insurance exchanges. Democrats add that the precedent being set here—of paying for emergencies like Zika with offsets, which is not normally done—will make it harder to quickly deliver money after a flood or an earthquake.
But that’s not all. Republicans took advantage of a bill with Zika funding, something Democrats desperately want (as should all Americans), to lard up the legislation with nakedly partisan riders. The appropriations bill restricts Zika funding from going to Planned Parenthood birth-control services. Zika can be sexually transmitted, and Planned Parenthood is often the only facility offering birth control in Zika-affected communities. So this puts women at risk of infection and their babies at deeper risk.
Another rider in the bill would roll back the permitting process for spraying pesticides that could end up in bodies of water used for fishing and recreation. Republicans say this is needed to eradicate the mosquitoes that carry Zika, but its real purpose is clear: They’ve put the same measure in nearly half a dozen other bills over the years, clearly at the behest of polluters.
And then there’s the most darkly ironic rider of all: the one that blocks analready-approved deal that would prohibit Confederate flags in federal facilities, like parks and cemeteries. John Lewis himself delivered an emotional address last year calling for finally banning the flag. Congress agreed, but House Republicans reversed themselves in the bill they rammed through at 3:10 a.m.