13 June 2007

A Little Civ Pro Does a Body Good

There was an interesting Supreme Court decision published Monday where Philip Morris tried (and failed) to argue that because it used the government's method of testing cigarettes, it fell under a statute that allowed removal to federal court when someone acted "under" a federal officer. The opinion talks a lot about federal officers being accused of murder during prohibition and using the statute to get their murder cases removed to federal court. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this use of the statute, although I suppose the climate was different then and states had less respect for the federal government than they do now. A federal court (and its jury) might have more sympathy for a federal agent than a state agent would.
The opinion is pretty short and worth reading in my opinion. Who knows, maybe it will be used to torture first generations of law students for generations to come.

Oh, Dickinson

It looks like Dickinson messed up with their temporary facilities, since they are waiving the fee for transfer applications. To me, that means it is a fair bet that they suffered a high attrition rate from the 1L class. Not that I blame them, I'm not sure how much I would have liked going to school amongst the truck stops.

Dell Windows Install Disks

I read on this blog that Dell -- one time only -- will give you a copy of the installation disks that came with your computer in case you lost them. I'm not sure if they charge you for the install disks (I don't see a discussion of payment on the initial page for it, and I'm not going to type in my information since I have the install disks already and I'd rather wait until I've lost them before ordering them)
Yet another reason I like Dell.

12 June 2007

40 Years Since Anti-Miscegenation Laws Were Banned

Sometimes it's hard for me to believe that the US (in particular the South) was so different forty or fifty years ago, with segregated schools, anti-miscegenation laws, etc.  Today marks the fortieth anniversary of Loving v. Virginia (which banned anti-interracial marriage laws).  

When I was in law school, I always liked Loving because it was an easy case to remember (Loving = Marriage)
Anyhow, the NPR story talked about how far we've come and how far we have to go.  They talked about an interracial couple and the challenges they face.  The white wife was probably still racist (or at least used stereotypes about African-Americans)
I've realized how far we have to go as well.  My neighbor used the n-word the other day, and that has made me even more eager to get out of Chambersburg. (I'm assuming my neighbor doesn't read this blog)

11 June 2007

Surfing in Cupertino

I wanted to come up with a somewhat creative title for this blog entry about Apple Safari entering the Windows market.  

This blogger has much more authority than I do about Safari's market prospects, but my initial thought is that unless it offers something unique, it's going to have a hard time gaining widespread popularity among people other than techie-computer users.  The only thing Safari does is surf the web, and unless it has a "killer" feature, I'm not sure what its market prospects are.  Firefox came on the market and gained widespread popularity partially because Microsoft had so many security problems. Firefox has a reputation for being a "safe browser," and I don't think that Safari has that reputation (I don't mean to say Safari is unsafe, I just mean it doesn't have a reputation of being safe).  Unless something disastrous happens with Firefox, people who want a "safe" browser are probably going to install Firefox, not Safari.
I've installed Safari on my Mac, and am typing this blog entry using it.  I wish that Safari gave me the opportunity (Firefox does) to simultaneously have the beta and non-beta versions installed.  
I also wish that it had an option to add a new tab button to the toolbar.
I would install it on my PC, but my PC runs Windows 2000, which Apple apparently has chosen not to support.  It looks like Windows 2000 is beginning to fall by the wayside for Apple.  I don't entirely fault Apple for this.
Microsoft didn't develop IE 7 for Windows 2000 (although they'll continue to provide security updates until 2010).

10 June 2007

Congestion Pricing in NY

In case you had not heard, Mayor Bloomberg is trying to institute congestion pricing similar to what they have in London (you'd get charged eight dollars for entering Manhattan, with a discount if you used a toll bridge to enter). I think this has potential to work well and will encourage people to take mass transit. I just hope that they are not overwhelmed with people who decide to take the subway instead of paying eight dollars. I'm surprised to see how quickly it is moving thus far, I expected it to stall out in the state legislature, but it looks like it may not.

06 June 2007

Controversial Carousels

There is a controversy in my town about a proposed carousel in Oyster Bay (my town). There is a waterfront park which was donated by the Theodore Roosevelt Association to the town of Oyster Bay in 1942. As part of the deed, it was ordered that there be no carousels or other mechanical rides. The Association (which still exists) has agreed to waive that provision of the deed, but there are a number of people who are still opposed to it. I wonder if (cue scary music) there is a Rule Against Perpetuities concern here, although maybe the way New York implements the RAP will prevent a problem with that.
The park is a relatively small park, and a number of people think that the carousel would add a lot of noise to the park. I tend to agree with them, I also wonder how they are possibly going to get enough visitors to the park to cover the cost of running the carousel.
The Main Street Association also thinks it will draw visitors to the downtown. I disagree. Unfortunately for Oyster Bay, it's on the northern shore of Long Island, and that means it is far away from major east-west arteries like the Long Island Expressway. Even a less major east-west artery (Northern Boulevard/25A) is probably four or five miles from downtown. There are no major roads that go through downtown Oyster Bay, so the downtown has suffered. Two car dealerships have closed, and the downtown is not doing so well. The problem is that the park is not that close to the business district, it's two or three blocks, so I don't think people are going to go to the park and then go shopping.
We'll see what happens, it's before the town board right now.
Here is an article from Newsday.