Thursday, February 24, 2011

US Courts Using Facebook To Weed Out Jury

i realise that i never did finish up my series on jury duty, and given that it's been about a year now, i'll have to see how much i remember before any attempts to complete it, which i do hope to but won't be losing sleep over in the meantime.

meanwhile i read about US Courts Using Facebook To Weed Out Jury. now jury selection in america is a much bigger and more involved process than what happens in queensland, so i don't think this type of thing will become an issue in australia. nevertheless, this is another entry in an ever growing list of reasons to be careful about what personal information you put online, whether it be facebook or anywhere else.

the original WSJ article is here.
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related posts:
jury duty - the choosing (of jurors)

the economics of movie piracy

piracy (in the 'copyright infringement' sense) is illegal. no ifs, buts, or maybes.

yet many people participate in it and have no qualms about doing so. i'm not talking about those who make money from piracy, eg selling bootleg DVDs etc, rather those who typically "share" via peer-to-peer networks and the like, for "personal use/enjoyment" and not for any commercial gain, unless you count the fact that the gain is that they haven't had to pay money for something they otherwise would have paid for...

and herein lies the rub of some contrasting views on the economic consequences of piracy.

the australian federation against copyright theft (afact) recently released a study (get the PDF here) that claims this cost to be $1.37b per year for the australian economy.

electronic frontiers australia (efa) countered by calling for "a skeptical reading of this report", noting 8 flaws with the study and the conclusions it drew. internet person matt also casts doubts about the study's reasoning in his blog entry and flow chart.

another recent japanese study examined the case of tv animation in japan on the issue of "Do Illegal Copies of Movies Reduce the Revenue of Legal Products?", and found that youtube can be interpreted as a promotional tool for (boosting) DVD sales. the full study is in japanese though...

somehow i don't see the likes of afact winning this war, even though they have the legal high ground. who knows, maybe the laws will change one day?

Saturday, February 05, 2011

save on Seaworld tickets

a regular (adult) entry to Seaworld costs $74.99.

if you combine your Seaworld entry with a Sunset & City Lights Cruise by Seaworld cruises (normally $39 on its own), the combo ticket only costs $69.

and if you get in before it expires, you can get one of these combo tickets for $39 from Spreets, subject to a short redemption period. the had the same deal a day earlier, and sold 527 vouchers!

anyway, i just found it interesting that spreets is promoting this deal as being worth $114 - which is true if you take the full cost of both items - yet the same combination (not restricted to certain days only) can be purchased for $69 any time of the year...