Blog Ipsa Loquitur

Published on under The News

It’s called Dear Congress, Its No Longer OK To Not Know How The Internet Works:

I remember fondly the days when we were all tickled pink by our elected officials’ struggle to understand how the internet works. Whether it was George W. Bush referring to “the internets” or Senator Ted Stevens describing said internets as “a series of tubes,” we would sit back and chortle at our well-meaning but horribly uninformed representatives, confident that the right people would eventually steer them back on course. Well I have news for members of Congress: Those days are over.

Read the rest at Motherboard’s site. And consider donating to the EFF or Public Knowledge for the fine work they’ve been doing campaigning against SOPA.

Published on under Legal Theory

This is the sort of thing my family will make fun of me and the rest of the world’s lawyers for over Christmas dinner. From Abnormal Use:

The plaintiff and his son participated in a pick-up softball game during a Boy Scout camping trip. Despite the fact that the score was not being kept officially, some of the fathers were playing “aggressively” and hitting the ball with “full swings.” Gasp. During one such play, the defendant, attempting to score from second base, collided with the plaintiff, who was blocking home plate. As a result of the collision, the plaintiff suffered a closed head injury and spent two days in the intensive care unit.

Thereafter, the plaintiff and his wife, personally and as guardian ad litem for their son, sued the Boy Scouts of America, the local Pack, and the defendant for personal injury, loss of consortium, and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

Personal injury? Sure, why not? Sounds like the guy got pretty messed up. Negligent infliction of emotional distress? Well, I guess that’s a given with any sort of injury like that; the son could be traumatized at watching his father get knocked out cold like that, or the wife could worry about her husband’s well-being and whatnot.

My favorite tort here, though, is “loss of consortium.” That’s the injury caused by loss of sexytimes. Literally. And you can get money for that. This guy got $1.5 million for loss of consortium when his wife was run over by a bus. It’s actually a really sad story, so don’t read it too close to bedtime.

Wife Hit By Bus is slightly more egregious than This Guy Is Too Into Softball, but loss of sexytimes is still loss of sexytimes. And besides, you already sound ridiculous for suing over a damn Boy Scout softball game, so it’s not like complaining that your sex life took a hit is really going to embarrass you further.

So what happened to the Worst Softball Player Ever? Well, his case got thrown out of court. Then he appealed, and the circuit court threw his case out of court. Then he appealed all the way up to the South Carolina Supreme Court.

Find out what happened at Abnormal Use.

Published on under Irreverently Irrelevant

Louis CK has released a stand-up comedy special. Lots of comics do this. Louis, though, isn’t airing his on HBO or Comedy Central or even going straight-to-DVD with his hour-long show. He paid for a theater, paid for a film crew, edited the show himself, and he’s selling it on his web site for five bucks. His website notes that this show has”

No DRM, no regional restrictions, no crap. You can download this file, play it as much as you like, burn it to a DVD, whatever.

I’m always harping on the idea that media middlemen have outlived their usefulness, but here’s a guy who has put his money where my mouth is. I hope he makes a lot of money and buys a solid gold theater. Or maybe his own media distribution company. Wouldn’t that be ironic?

Seriously, go watch Louis CK: Live at the Beacon Theater. It’s five bucks, and he’s absolutely hilarious.

Published on under Irreverently Irrelevant

Writing 2200 words on defamation and tech policy things was draining; how about a soft news story for the weekend? A little Friday afternoon feel-good story? Okay, here goes.

An athlete who has been paraplegic for half her life suddenly regained the use of her legs after injuring her spinal cord in a bike accident. From NBC Sports:

Paralympic silver medalist Monique van der Vorst has miraculously become an able-bodied Olympic hopeful after a crash reversed her paralysis. Paralyzed from the hip down since she was 13, the 27-year-old handcyclist, who has just signed with the Rabobank women’s professional cycling team to compete as a top-class able-bodied athlete, was hit by a bicycle last year while training in her wheelchair for the 2012 London Paralympics.

While recovering from the trauma, van der Vorst’s feet started to tingle and miraculously she began to move them again. From that point on she spent months in the hospital and in the rehabilitation centre trying to regain the use of her legs.

Spinal trauma: the cause of, and solution to, paralysis. Take that, medical science!

Published on under The News

ShortFormBlog has followed up their story on the not-journalist blogger Crystal Cox, who lost a defamation lawsuit and was ordered to pay $2.5 million in damages. From the follow up story at SFB:

Forbes reporter Kashmir Hill disputes the way the story was first presented by Seattle Weekly, which broke the story: “The facts in the case are far more complicated, and after hearing them, most journalists will not want to include Cox in their camp.” Hill points out that it appeared Cox was attempting to engage in reputation damage, not journalism, including sending out the e-mail shown above, in which Cox reportedly offered reputation-protection services.

Click over to ShortFormBlog to see the email in question. It’s only slightly more veiled than “say, that’s a nice reputation you got here. It’d be a shame if someone were to start a series of websites defaming you.”

Of course, this news doesn’t really change what I wrote about defamation and such yesterday, but it does shed a little more light on the beef between these two.

Published on under Irreverently Irrelevant

From The Verge:

Hulu today announced Face Match, a new feature that allows viewers to hover their cursor over an actor’s face in a video to find out their name and other background information.

What. Whaaaat. mind blown When Facebook does it, it’s a little creepy. But when Hulu does it, it’s the greatest thing I’ve ever seen.