Monthly Archives: March 2012

“The Mandate is in Trouble”

That’s the conclusion of a leading Supreme Court observer based on this morning’s oral arguments.

The source, SCOTUS Blog, is a bit slashdotted at this moment.

Posted in Health Care | 3 Comments

Genuine Tinfoil Solution to ID Hacking

Foil Electronic Pickpockets with Aluminum Foil or Multiple Credit Cards — Lifehacker.

(Not really ‘politics’ but I couldn’t resist putting this under “tinfoil”.)

Posted in ID Cards, Politics: Tinfoil | Leave a comment

We Robot News (3/26/12)

New presentation teaser online today: Lisa A. Shay, Gregory Conti, Woodrow Hartzog, John Nelson, & Dominic Larkin on “Confronting Automated Law Enforcement”.

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The Great Gold Bar Hoax (Hoax?) [Updated]

This story is going viral fast: SilverDoctors: Tungsten Filled 1 kilo Gold Bar Discovered in UK.

Australian Bullion Dealer ABC Bullion has contacted SD to advise that one of its suppliers has provided them photographic evidence of a tungsten filled 1 kilo gold bar discovered this week. The bar passed a hand-held xrf scan which showed 99.98% pure AU. The tungsten was only discovered when the bar was physically cut in half.

After numerous reports of 400oz tungsten filled bars being discovered in Hong Kong, this is the first documented and verified report with photographic evidence that has been made public.

Attached are photographs of a legitimate Metalor 1000gm Au bar that has been drilled out and filled with Tungsten (W).

This bar was purchased by staff of a scrap dealer in xxxxx, UK yesterday. The bar appeared to be perfect other than the fact that it was 2gms underweight. It was checked by hand-held xrf and showed 99.98% Au. Being Tungsten, it would not be ferro-magnetic. The bar was supplied with the original certificate.

The owner of the business that purchased the bar only became suspicious when he realized the weight discrepancy and had the bar cropped. He estimates between 30-40% of the weight of the bar to be Tungsten.

I’ve already seen links to it on blogs I read, and I bet there will be lots more.

It has all the earmarks of the perfect Internet fact(oid): slightly technical information, hard to verify, significant implications if true (how many countries may discover they have much less gold than they thought?), and nothing about it in the mainstream media (yet). Not to mention having the possibility to move markets — although whether in the short term gold prices go up on the theory that supplies are lower than believed, or down due to fear of a Gresham’s Law effect where we don’t know which bars are actually pure gold, is not clear to me.

If it’s true, it’s the Great Gold Bar Hoax. And if it’s not true, or not widespread, it’s the Great Gold Bar Hoax Hoax.

[Updated to reinsert text that inexplicably did not get into original.]

Posted in Econ & Money | Leave a comment

French Constitutional Court says French Biometric ID Card Legislation is Unconstitutional

The somewhat impenetrable decision is Decision no. 2012-652 DC. Discussion at Official: stillborn French biometric ID card scheme not just extra-terrestrial but also unconstitutional, 13 times over. My first guess is that this is pretty significant.

Maybe it’s time to revise Identity Cards and Identity Romanticism?

Spotted via PogoWasRight.

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We Robot News 3/23/12

We Robot 2012 logoOur third speaker promo is online: Patrick Hubbard on “Regulation of Liability for Risks of Physical Injury From ‘Sophisticated Robots’”.

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In NYC, a Work in Progess

I’m in New York for a lightning visit, attending New York Law School’s Internet Law Works in Progress Conference tomorrow.

If I read the program right, I get 25 minutes to talk, and 5 minutes for audience reaction, which is probably the inverse of how I’d wish it were for a work in progress session…

Posted in Talks & Conferences | Leave a comment