CerealWrap?

Warning: This Cereal May Be Hazardous to Your Rights

Warning: This Cereal May Be Hazardous to Your Rights

Really? Firms are going to try to expand browsewrap (or web-wrap) to liking them on Facebook? To opening a cereal box? So claims the NYT in When ‘Liking’ a Brand Online Voids the Right to Sue.

From the company’s viewpoint it’s a logical attempt to force consumers into arbitration so that buyers’ rights are more limited than in courts. This would allow the firms to flee liability — especially class action risk — no matter how deadly their products might be.

For courts, I hope very much this rights grab will be held to be unconscionable. Prospects in the 7th circuit must, however, been seen as poor given its approval of shrinkwrap terms for both licenses and sales in ProCD v. Zeidenberg (per Easterbrook). And of course the Supreme Court has been on a pro-arbitration tear for over a decade. This, though, should be a crunch too far.

Posted in Law: Everything Else | Leave a comment

Tax Day

“Taxes are what we pay for civilized society,” wrote Justice Oliver Wendel Holmes (in dissent); it seems I’ve been misquoting it for decades as “taxes are the price of civilization.”

They’ve even got the Holmes version on the front of the IRS building in Washington:

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Just for fun, here’s another good tax quote, from the IRS:

People who complain about taxes can be divided into two classes: men and women.”
— Unknown

Posted in Econ & Money | Leave a comment

Gamification

Reprinted with kind permission of Mike Stanfill

Reprinted with kind permission of Mike Stanfill

Posted in Politics: US | 1 Comment

Summer Research Assistant Wanted

Apologies, blog readers, but this announcement is for UM Law 1L & 2L students only:

I would like to hire a part-time summer research assistant. The hours are negotiable, but likely would be in the 15 hours per week range. It would be best if you could start soon after exams finish. Current UM 1Ls and 2Ls are welcome to apply.

My research assistant will help me with my summer writing projects. The job requires someone who can write clearly, is well-organized, and who is really good at finding things in libraries and on the Internet. There may be some bluebooking involved too. (If you happen to have some web or programming skills (some or all of HTML, MySQL, Perl, Debian), that could be useful, but it is not in any way a requirement.)

The hourly pay of $ 13 is set by the university, and is not as high as you deserve, but the work is sometimes interesting.

If you are interested, please send me an e-mail with the words RESEARCH ASSISTANT (in all caps) followed by your name in the subject line. In the email tell me:

- how many hours you’d ideally like to work per week and what other jobs/courses you have planned for the summer (if any),
- when you are free to start, and whether you have vacation plans (no problem if you are planning to take a week or two off during the summer)
- your phone number and email address.
- whether it is OK for me to share your application with other interested faculty members who might also want a summer research assistant.
- whether, if things work out, you might be interested in continuing on at 10/hrs week during the next academic year.

Please attach the following to your email:

1. A copy of your resume (c.v.),

2. A short writing sample (non-legal is preferred — in any case, please do NOT send your LCOMM memo),

3. A transcript (need not be an official copy).

(You might also mention that you saw the ad here. Can’t hurt.)

Please note that this job is different from the Jotwell summer editor position I am also advertising.

Posted in U.Miami | Leave a comment

We Robot Happened

And it was A Happening. The papers were strong, and the presentations if anything stronger. David Post wins for best line of the 2-day conference, and I’ll link here to his video when we have it up in a few days. (Unedited video can be found at the livestream site)

Meanwhile, however, we had some media at and around the event:

I really think it was the best We Robot yet. I should recover soon.

Posted in Robots, Talks & Conferences | Leave a comment

We Robot is Today & Tomorrow

We Robot 2014 is happening today and tomorrow. We have a great lineup of papers, all of which you can download and read from our Program page. There you can also see our schedule, and follow along on the livestream or via our own proprietary live video feed. Everything will be broadcast except the demos, which take place in different rooms.

The papers seem strong this year, so there’s plenty to read and think about.

I co-authored a paper this year on “self-defense against robots,” which is a fun topic. The paper is actually quite a basic application of tort law to robot issues – it’s one of those papers you write to lay a foundation for other papers. But as far as I know, no one else had written it, so I hope it is useful.

Posted in Robots, Talks & Conferences | Leave a comment

Interviewed by @pfunkmedia

I was interviewed today by @pfunkmedia about #We_Robot. You can hear the podcast — I’m the second half.

Posted in Robots, The Media | Leave a comment