Dash-cam footage is the only real way to substantiate your claims in the court of law. Forget witnesses. Hit and runs are very common and insurance companies notoriously specialize in denying claims. Two-way insurance coverage is very expensive and almost completely unavailable for vehicles over ten years old-the drivers can only get basic liability. Get into a minor or major accident and expect the other party to lie to the police or better yet, flee after rear-ending you. Since your insurance won’t pay unless the offender is found and sued, you’ll see dash-cam videos of post hit and run pursuits for plate numbers.
And sometimes drivers back up or bump their pre-dented car into yours. It used to be a mob thing, with the accident-staging specialists working in groups. After the “accident,” the offending driver — often an elderly lady — is confronted by a crowd of “witnesses,” psychologically pressured and intimidated to pay up cash on the spot. Since the Age of the Dash-cam, hustle has withered from a flourishing enterprise to a dying trade, mainly thriving in the provinces where dash-cams are less prevalent.
The forces of dark are squaring off against the forces of light in a battle over billboard legislation.
On the side of light — as in vivid, flashing color — is the electronic-billboard industry. It is pushing a bill that would make 70 existing digital billboards along Arizona’s highways legal in the wake of a state Court of Appeals ruling.
The forces of darkness are led by Arizona’s observatories and astronomy industry. They want a statewide standard to ensure “dark skies” protections for areas within a 75-mile radius of observatories.
Since when was astronomy an industry? I suppose if there are enough people based there making telescopes that might be justified, but it seems like odd language. Mind you, it’s the language used in an opinion piece by Angela Cotera, a research astrophysicist at the SETI Institute in Avondale, arguing against the law. Anyway, returning to the original article:
Billboard companies approached lawmakers for a change to state law after the Appeals Court last fall ruled electronic billboards did not comply with the state’s ban on intermittent light.
Meanwhile, this seems a bit surprising:
The Discovery Channel, which is building a new telescope southeast of Flagstaff near Happy Jack, told lawmakers that the limits would help ensure dark skies. Its imaging camera “will be sensitive to even minute increases in sky glow.”
When did TV stations start building telescopes?
The Legislature has unaccountably passed a bill that threatens a unique and precious Arizona asset: our dark skies. Gov. Jan Brewer needs to veto it.
and goes on to say
In this intensely competitive economy, Arizona is fortunate to have a major advantage in astronomy and optics. Our clear, dark nights offer a world-class view of the universe. Arizonans count on Gov. Brewer to protect them. Gov. Brewer should push the off switch on HB 2757.
If you’re upset by twitter’s per-country filtering announcement, you know much less about doing business online than you think you do.
But posting such a thing without laying out “things you should know about doing business online” is, frankly, smug and irritating. So, here goes.
Simon Batistoni: What you need to know about Twitter’s new filters.
Well worth a read, because he knows what he’s talking about.
I strongly agree with this. Currently the US (and, largely, the UK) ration access to the law on the ability of both the (sometimes prospective) litigant and defender to pay, rather than the merits of the case.
Another piece (also via John Gruber) mentions that the Sheppard Fairey vs AP case, on the Obama Hope poster, would have made great case law. Instead, that case ended with an out of court settlement. Shame.
(Would it be bad here to note that there’s another public service which has more demand than access- health care? Of course, the UK largely rations that through need, via the NHS, whereas in the US is dependent on employment, age, and to a nontrivial extent, money.)
James Ball in the Guardian’s Comment is Free: Give Twitter credit for trying to stand up to the courts – unlike others.
Is it really true that four of the five old broadsheets have outsourced email to Google? It’s both plausible yet, somehow, deeply worrying.
There was a lawyer, an engineer and a politician… at The Economist is well worth a read. Some quotes:
Mr Obama’s inner circle is sprinkled with classmates from Harvard Law: the dean of that school, Elena Kagan, is solicitor-general; Cass Sunstein, a professor there, is also in the administration.
President Hu, in contrast, is a hydraulic engineer (he worked for a state hydropower company). His predecessor, Jiang Zemin, was an electrical engineer, who trained in Moscow at the Stalin Automobile Works. The prime minister, Wen Jiabao, specialised in geological engineering.
Africa is full of presidents who won power as leaders of military coups. Many countries, including America, have political dynasties; in Britain, networks are formed at Oxford and Cambridge universities. Countries often have marked peculiarities. Egypt likes academics; South Korea, civil servants; Brazil, doctors.
The presence of so many engineer-politicians in China goes hand in hand with a certain way of thinking. An engineer’s job, at least in theory, is to ensure things work, that the bridge stays up or the dam holds. The process by which projects get built is usually secondary. That also seems true of Chinese politics, in which government often rides roughshod over critics.
Scott Gehlbach and Konstantin Sonin [argue] that three factors have influenced businessmen to go into politics in post-Soviet countries. Politics helps them harm competitors; in new democracies, robber barons are often the only ones rich enough to finance election campaigns; and business people do not trust politicians to keep campaign promises because there is no real party discipline, so they go into politics themselves.
The intrusive demands upon aspiring members of any American administration make it harder for outsiders to enter politics. (The Obama team asked applicants, “If you have ever sent an…e-mail, text message or instant message that could…be a possible source of embarrassment to you, your family or the President-Elect if it were made public, please describe.”) For good or ill, politics is becoming its own profession.
The article is only really let down by its fairly scrappy second chart (included above), but still, it’s a useful piece.