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Posts tagged ‘Law’

The Clooney Foundation for Justice

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Microsoft and The Clooney Foundation for Justice (CFJ) has unveiled a TrialWatch app in an effort to shine a light on injustice in courts around the globe – which too often are simply barbaric. CFJ’s TrialWatch program, which formally launched this year, aims to monitor trials around the world that pose a high risk of human rights violations: trials that oppress vulnerable groups, silence speech, or target political opponents. Through the program, a small group of trial lawyers and activists are trained to report on legal proceedings, boiling a trial down to a series of facts that can be easily recorded and ultimately compared.

The new app aims to augment the ability of TrialWatch’s monitors, making it easier to document happenings in a courtroom. It offers a platform to record audio and take pictures of people and documents, which are then uploaded to the cloud. Having a backup of these documents should serve to protect trial monitors.

British Women’s Comment On Facebook Could Mean Jail Time

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In one of Her alleged comments, Londoner Laleh Shahravesh, 55, described her former husband as an “idiot” after he left her for another woman, while in a separate comment she called his new wife a “horse.”

Oregon Engineering Students Con Apple Out Of Hundreds of Thousand Dollars iPhones

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Two engineering students from Oregon State University allegedly ripped off Apple out of hundreds of thousands of dollars in iPhone replacements and are now facing criminal charges in federal court, as first reported by The Oregonian. Authorities allege the students pulled off a convoluted scheme in order to wring Apple of the cash by using counterfeit devices and exploiting Apple’s return policy.

Beginning in 2017, the two men allegedly smuggled thousands of counterfeit iPhones into the US from China and then sent them in for Apple to repair or replace, claiming the fakes wouldn’t power on. In many cases, Apple did replace the counterfeit goods with real iPhones, which cost the company an estimated $895,800.

911 Calls & Facetime

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The Douglas County Georgia Emergency 911 Center is the latest department using technology that’s like FaceTime for 911 dispatchers, and the company behind it says the lifesaving tool is long overdue.

Seconds count in any emergency and one of the hardest parts of the job for dispatchers is pinpointing a caller’s exact location for first responders.

The technology helps 911 dispatchers immediately locate where an emergency is unfolding, but that’s not all.

More here

New York State Suing Sackler Family For Creation Of OxyContin

The Associated Press

New York is suing the billionaire family behind the company that created OxyContin.

The state, which averages nine opioid-related deaths per day, on Thursday expanded an existing lawsuit against pill maker Purdue Pharma to add members of its controlling Sackler family as defendants. Five other companies that produce opioid painkillers and four drug distributors, which buy medications in bulk and sell them to pharmacies, were also added as defendants.

“This is an extensive lawsuit that leaves no stone unturned,” New York Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat, said at a news conference.

While other states and localities have filed similar suits, New York is taking some novel approaches, such as seeking to bar the companies from marketing and distributing painkillers in New York unless they abide by strict safeguards.

The suit claims drug manufacturers collaborated to falsely deny the serious risks of opioid addiction, and it accuses drug distributors of skirting systems meant to limit orders for painkillers. Distributors even helped pharmacies game the system to evade the caps, the lawsuit alleges.

 

But at the heart of the case are Purdue and the Sacklers, whom James called “the masterminds behind this crisis.”

The suit, like others filed elsewhere, alleges aggressive marketing of OxyContin beginning in the mid-1990s led to massive over prescribing and a scourge of dependency, addiction and death. Once the pills ran out, the lawsuit alleges, many patients craving the same effects turned to cheaper, more potent alternatives: heroin and fentanyl.

Representatives for Purdue and Sackler family members said the suit misleadingly blames them for a problem that’s far bigger than OxyContin.

NYPD Creates Pattern Recognition Software

In this Feb. 11, 2019, photo, Rebecca Shutt, who works in the New York Police Department's Office of Crime Control Strategies, speaks in New York. Shutt utilizes a software called Patternizr, which allows crime analysts to compare robbery, larceny and theft incidents to the millions of crimes logged in the NYPD's database, aiding their hunt for crime patterns.

The software, aka Patternizr, allows crime analysts stationed in each of the department’s 77 precincts to compare robberies, larcenies and thefts to hundreds of thousands of crimes logged in the NYPD’s database, transforming their hunt for crime patterns with the click of a button. Rebecca Shutt,(in photo) who works in the New York Police Department’s Office of Crime Control Strategies, speaks in New York. Shutt utilizes a software called Patternizr, which allows crime analysts to compare robbery, larceny and theft incidents to the millions of crimes logged in the NYPD’s database, aiding their hunt for crime patterns. (Photo: Mark Lennihan, AP)

Claimed to be much faster than the old method, which involved analysts sifting through reports, racking their brains for key details about various crimes and deciding whether they fit into a pattern. It’s more comprehensive, too, with analysts able to spot patterns across the city instead of just in their precinct.

The department disclosed its use of the technology only this month, with Levine and Chohlas-Wood detailing their work in the INFORMS Journal on Applied Analytics in an article alerting other departments how they could create similar software. Speaking about it with the news media for the first time, they told The Associated Press recently that theirs is the first police department in the country to use a pattern-recognition tool like this.

“The goal of Patternizr, is to improve public safety,” said Levine, an astrophysicist by academic training. “The more easily that we can identify patterns in those crimes, the more quickly we can identify and apprehend perpetrators.”

Levine and Chohlas-Wood were inspired by the work of a New York University team that studied a similar approach to pattern recognition but never produced a workable version.

The two trained the program on 10 years of patterns that the department had manually identified. In testing, it accurately re-created old crime patterns one-third of the time and returned parts of patterns 80 percent of the time. The NYPD says the cost was minimal because the two developers were already on staff.

Huawei Sues The United States Government

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Huawei sues the US government over ban, says it’s unconstitutional

Huawei  is fed up with the US government. Whether it will emerge victorious or humiliated is something the tech industry will be watching closely. Huawei has filed a lawsuit in Texas suing the US government over a new law that banned Huawei’s products from use in federal agencies. It has labeled the ban as unconstitutional and seeks to have that part of the law overturned.

There might be little chance that Huawei will win that case but the act alone is enough to create ripples that will be felt in years to come. Huawei said that the US has repeatedly failed to present evidence of accusations of state-sponsored espionage and this lawsuit could very well force the US government to actually produce hard evidence.

This lawsuit could work both ways, depending on whether the US does have such evidence that the company is a national security threat. If it does, it will cement other countries’ decision to ban Huawei from government and maybe even public use as well. Huawei is challenging the new National Defense Authorization Act, saying that the US government is in violation of the constitution by singling it out. In doing so, the US Congress has acted as Judge, jury, and executioner, without even taking the company to court, Huawei says.

 

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