The Massachusetts Supreme Court has ruled in favor of allowing OpenCourt to expand their streaming video feeds of court proceedings beyond Quincy District Court. The WBUR project has been running since last year, allowing anybody to watch what’s going on in the courtroom. It’s been a success by any measure, but when they tried to expand to broadcasting jury trials, the county DA sued to stop them. The court ruled that there’s simply no legal basis to stop them—they have the same right as any other media outlet to film in the courtroom. This is a great project, doing the important work of opening up courtrooms. This is the second such legal challenge that they’ve faced, the second time it’s gone to the state’s highest court, and the second time that they’ve won. →
- Christian Science Monitor: Way cleared for horse slaughter to resume in US after 5-year ban
Congress has passed a bill, and the president has signed it into law, that re-legalizes the slaughter of horses for human consumption. Banning that practice was a huge mistake, for reasons that were obvious at the time, but it took a five-year ban to show that to be so. Even PETA supports the change. The problem was that horses were either being abandoned to starve to death or shipped in crowded trailers to Canada or Mexico, where they were slaughtered (under terrible conditions in Mexico) and their meat sent back to the U.S. It actually increased animal suffering. Good for Congress for making a necessary—sure to be unpopular—change in the law.
- ACLU of Virginia: Norfolk Man Who Refused to Stop Videotaping Police at Demonstration Is Not Guilty of Disorderly Conduct
A Norfolk man was charged with disorderly conduct for videotaping an on-duty police officer back in April. I'm glad to see that he's been found not guilty by a Norfolk General District Court judge. There's been a strange rash of arrests, all around the country, for the non-existent crime of videotaping police officers. Decisions like this will help bring this to an end.
- Print Free Graph Paper
Just what it says on the tin.
- Wikipedia: Point Roberts, Washington
A tiny exclave of the United States is found off the coast of Washington State. "Point Bob," as it's known, is the southernmost tip of a Canadian peninsula, which extends just barely south of the 49th parallel that defines the U.S./Canadian border. To get there by land, one must go through two international border crossings. There are just over 600 households there, and one elementary school. After third grade, kids have to take a bus through Canada and back to the U.S. to get to school.
- Macleans OnCampus: Is this what 17-year-old students are really like?
I think Beloit College's annual Mindset List is wretched. Every year it's full of mistakes, exaggerations, and generally poor thinking. I'm glad to see McLeans acknowledge this.
News stations are either loving their Dejero or coveting one. It's like a whole news truck in a suitcase, using a 3G signal to send HD-quality video back to the station for live broadcast. We're surely not more than 3–5 years away from accomplishing the same thing with a device the size of an iPhone.
- Matt MacDonald: Extracting quotes from 5 years of Watertown Town Council meetings
It's great to see open government technologists turning their attention to local government.
YouTube is full of crap, and I’d no sooner watch rah-rah-Democrats videos on YouTube than I’d watch Bill O’Reilly on Fox News. That said, this “I’m Voting Republican” video is very funny, and I think a good message for Democrats this year. It’s not entirely fair, of course, but that’s more than compensated for by the humor. BTW, the comments on YouTube make me suspect the internet has failed. (Pity Tom Paine.) There’s a reason why YouTube comments power StupidFilter. (Via RK)