Ever since VE Holding, a 1990 Federal Circuit decision, patent holders have been able to sue their adversaries in practically any court in America, leading to competition among jurisdictions to see which one bend the furthest backwards to deliver patent-friendly decisions and so tempt the nation's most litigious companies to sue in their local courthouse. Read the rest
Zomg, the kid is charming. He reveals that he's switching high-schools, thanks his supporters, discussing his inventing and tinkering, and talks about his delight at being invited to the White House. Read the rest
Ahmed Mohamed was repeatedly denied access to counsel and to his parents, a direct and glaring violation of Texas Family Code section 52.025, which states "A child may not be left unattended in a juvenile processing office and is entitled to be accompanied by the child's parent, guardian, or other custodian or by the child’s attorney."
Also: every cop show in the history of America has made it clear to even the thickest planks that you get to have a lawyer present during questioning. This apparently escaped the notice of Irving's finest, though.
The Texas ACLU is all over this, and points out that MacArthur High principal Daniel Cummings's attempt to get Mohamed to sign a confession could have given the police the tools to arrest him on terrorism charges and secure a conviction.
Read the rest
Irving Police Chief Larry Boyd said he did “not have answers to [that] specific question” when reporters asked him Wednesday why Mohamed was not allowed to speak to his parents.
The executive director of the Texas chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union said that answer is not good enough.
“Once they’re being questioned, they have a right to refuse answering,” Terri Burke told The Daily Beast. “And, unless it's something like a traffic violation, [police] immediately need to release the child to their parents.”
At the very least, Mohamed should have been able to speak with his parents.
“If a child seeks to have a short conference with his parents, [the police] cannot deny them that.
Irving mayor Beth Van Duyne is a notorious racist and is also the sworn mayor of the townspeople of Irving, TX, where Ahmed Mohamed and his family live.
On hearing the news that her police chief had dropped criminal charges against Ahmed Mohamed, a boy who made a clock because he wanted to engage with the makers in his new high school, Mayor Van Duyne posted to Facebook, exonerating the police and asking townsfolk not to hold their grotesque abuse of authority and farcically bad judgment against them:
I do not fault the school or the police for looking into what they saw as a potential threat. They have procedures to run when a possible threat or criminal act is discovered. They follow these procedures in the sole interest of protecting our children and school personnel. To the best of my knowledge, they followed protocol for investigating whether this was an attempt to bring a Hoax Bomb to a school campus. Following this investigation, Irving PD has stated no charges will be filed against the student. I hope this incident does not serve as a deterrent against our police and school personnel from maintaining the safety and security of our schools.
Later, she appended a little weak-kneed blurb about how it's nice that kids are creative to her initial victim-blaming, bad-cop-exonerating post.
Ahmed Mohamed is a gifted, driven maker-kid who's in the ninth grade at MacArthur High in Irving, Texas. When he showed the homemade clock he soldered and pieced together to his engineering teacher, he was told to keep it in his bag. But when the alarm went off in English class, his teacher accused him of bringing a bomb to school.
He told the teacher, and then the principal, and then the police offers who'd been summoned, that it was a digital clock he'd made and brought to school to show as evidence of the kinds of things he was making. He'd loved robotics club in middle school and was hoping to connect to a similar peer group in his new high school.
He was arrested, handcuffed, and paraded through the school with an officer on each arm, wearing his NASA shirt.
When he was brought before the school police, the officer who arrested him looked at him and said, "Yup. That’s who I thought it was." Ahmed Mohamed and his family (and the Council on Islamic American Relations) believe that the officer was referring to the color of his skin and his name.
Police spokesman James McLellan admits that Mohamed always maintained that the device was a clock, not a bomb, "but there was no broader explanation." When the Dallas Morning News asked him what "broader explanation" he was looking for, McLellan said, “It could reasonably be mistaken as a device if left in a bathroom or under a car. Read the rest
Redditor Mystharia terminated a pregnancy for medical reasons last week; her doctor gave her this consent form, mandated by -- and scathingly attacking -- the Texas legislature, which requires the doctor to enumerate an eye-wateringly detailed account of the foetal development before termination. (Icon: Kevin Dooley/CC-BY) Read the rest
The Secret Service raid on Austin's Steve Jackson Games started the fight over freedom and privacy online, and resulted in the founding of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and EFF-Austin. Read the rest
The former Texas GOP Senator testified that AT&T CEO Edward Whitacre was an "exploited worker," whose $75 million golden handshake proved "bigotry that is still allowed in America...bigotry against the successful." Read the rest
Abel Gonzales Jr was raised by Tex-Mex restaurateurs, and began his career as God of the deep fryer out of necessity, when he was desperate to come up with a dish for the Texas State Fair's Big Tex Choice Award, and all he had was a fryer. Read the rest
The Waggoner ranch, covering six counties in Texas, is the largest ranch within a single fence in the United States. For $175 million, it can be yours. Read the rest
Rural county and town clerks are refusing to issue marriage licenses or perform civil ceremonies for same-sex couples, despite the Supreme Court's ruling last week. Read the rest
McKinney is Texas's worst-ranked city for open records requests, and says that it will have to hire a programmer to write entirely new code to search its old, "unsearchable" email system for the emails of Officer Eric Casebolt, who made headlines by tackling a young black girl in a bikini at a pool party and threatening her with his gun. Read the rest