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science, technology

A potential amazing new medical diagnostic tool powered by the user’s touch.

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A new medical-diagnostic device made out of paper detects biomarkers and identifies diseases by performing electrochemical analyses — powered only by the user’s touch — and reads out the color-coded test results, making it easy for non-experts to understand

Read Article:  https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/08/170822153617.htm

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California's Supreme Court

California’s bullet train is likely to face more environmental hurdles after a high court ruling

cbt

California’s high-speed train project is likely to continue to be buffeted by environmental challenges as a result of a decision by the state’s top court.

In a 6-1 ruling last week written by Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, the California Supreme Court decided that federal rail law does not usurp California’s tough environmental regulation for state-owned rail projects.

The decision has broad significance, lawyers in the case said.

Read Article:  http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-high-speed-rail-court-20170728-story.html

General Law, US Court of Appeals

`Incredible Shrinking Airline Seat’ gets U.S. court rebuke

airline seats

By Alan Levin | Bloomberg News

If you think the government should do something about the cramped legroom on airplanes, you’ve got a friend in a federal appeals court.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., on Friday ordered aviation regulators to consider setting minimum standards for the space airlines give passengers.

“This is the Case of the Incredible Shrinking Airline Seat,” Judge Patricia Ann Millett wrote on behalf of the three-judge panel. “As many have no doubt noticed, aircraft seats and the spacing between them have been getting smaller and smaller, while American passengers have been growing in size.”

The court found in favor of Flyers Rights, a nonprofit advocacy group, which had argued that steadily shrinking legroom and seat size created a safety hazard and the Federal Aviation Administration should impose new restrictions.

Read Article:  http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/07/28/incredible-shrinking-airline-seat-gets-u-s-court-rebuke-2/

technology

photo shop

We see hundreds or even thousands of images a day, and almost all of them have been digitally manipulated in some way. Some have gotten basic color corrections or simple Instagram filter effects, while others have received full on Photoshop jobs to completely transform the subject. It turns out humans aren’t very good at recognizing when an image has been manipulated, even if the change is fairly substantial. Hany Farid is a professor of computer science at Dartmouth College who specializes in photo forensics, and while he can’t share all of his fancy software tools for detecting editing trickery, he has shared a few tips for authenticating images on your own.

Read Article:  http://www.popsci.com/use-photo-forensics-to-spot-faked-images

business law

Advice on protecting your business idea without a patent.

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It’s natural to fear that your idea might be stolen. But you can’t turn your vision into reality without the help of others. Sooner or later, you’re going to want to ask an industry expert to evaluate your product or service. You’re going to need to collaborate with a manufacturer or distributor. But patents cost thousands of dollars and take years to be issued. You can’t afford to wait that long to start bringing your product to market.

Thankfully, there are creative ways to actively protect your idea without applying for a patent. Here are four affordable strategies that will protect your business idea from being stolen:

Do your research. Before you begin working with anyone new, be it an individual or organization, do some research online. Do they have a good track record? Can you find any complaints about their business practices? Try to get a sense of what they’re all about. If you find cause for concern, consider asking about it. As we all know, not everything you find online is true. But if their business practices seem sketchy before you’ve even begun to work with them, that’s not a good sign.

Read Article:  https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/226595

General Law

Read about the complex history and recent legal problems of the news fact-checking site Snopes.

lamp

Snopes Faces an Ugly Legal Battle

(The Atlantic)

The internet’s favorite fact-checkers are caught in a messy dispute.

ALEXIS C. MADRIGAL 

On Monday, the editorial staff of Snopes.com wrote a short plea for help. The post said that the site needed money to fund its operations because another company that Snopes had contracted with “continues to essentially hold the Snopes.com web site hostage.”

“Our legal team is fighting hard for us, but, having been cut off from all revenue, we are facing the prospect of having no financial means to continue operating the site and paying our staff (not to mention covering our legal fees) in the meanwhile,” the note continued.

It was a shocking message from a website that’s been around for more than 20 years—and that’s become a vital part of internet infrastructure in the #fakenews era. The site’s readers have responded. Already, more than $92,000 has been donated to a GoFundMe with a goal of $500,000.

So, what’s going on? Well, it probably won’t surprise you that there’s a startup tech company and a lawsuit involved. There are claims and counterclaims. But if you want to know the gory details that are available in the court filings, here we go.

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2017/07/the-ugly-dispute-threatening-snopes/534708/