Arbitration: how America's corporations got their own private legal system

In 1925, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations of similar size and bargaining power could use arbitration, rather than courts, to settle their differences; today, corporations demand that customers and employees agree to use the arbitration system for redress of any grievances, while reserving the right to use the courts to attack humans who offend them.

Check out the stunning artwork from this 90s DUNE Collectible Card Game

My friends and I were really into the Star Wars Customizable Card Game one summer in the 90s, and I have a vague recollection of us trying to get into the DUNE game around the same time. For whatever reason, it failed, and I forgot about it until I saw these images of the game on Instagram:

You can check out more of the artwork on illustrator Mark Zug's website. — Read the rest

Bigfoot sighted, the Queen's $1 trillion tax bill, and coronavirus targets the stars, in this week's dubious tabloids

Harry Arnold, the legendary Royal reporter for British tabloid 'The Sun,' used to tell the story of his meeting with Prince Charles, in which the Royal heir asked incredulously: "Where do you get your stories?"

Harry looked up into the air, as if following an unseen fly buzzing above his head, and suddenly shot his hand out, grabbing at the imaginary insect. — Read the rest

Want a ride in a Lyft? Just sign away your right to sue if they kill, maim, rape or cheat you

Spotted today in my Lyft app: a new set of terms and conditions that require you to "agree" to binding arbitration (an onerous condition heretofore reserved for downtrodden drivers), through which you agree to waive your right to join class action suits or pursue legal redress through the courts should Lyft, through its deliberate actions or negligence, cause you to be killed, maimed, raped or cheated — something that, not coincidentally, Lyft is in a lot of trouble over at the moment.

Propublica finds millions of Americans' medical images and data sitting on unprotected, publicly accessible servers

An investigation by Propublica and Bayerischer Rundfunk found 187 servers hosting more than 5,000,000 patients' confidential medical records and scans (including a mix of Social Security numbers, home addresses and phone numbers, scans and images, and medical files) that were accessible by the public, "available to anyone with basic computer expertise."

A self-appointed wing of the American judicial system is about to make it much harder to fight terms of service

The American Law Institute is a group of 4,000 judges, law profs and lawyers that issues incredibly influential "restatements" of precedents and trends in law, which are then heavily relied upon by judges in future rulings; for seven years they have been working on a restatement of the law of consumer contracts (including terms of service) and now they're ready to publish.

A deep dive into the internal politics, personalities and social significance of the Googler Uprising

Writing in Fortune, Beth Kowitt gives us a look inside the Googler Uprising, wherein Google staff launched a string of internal reform movements, triggered first by the company's secret participation in an AI/drone warfare project for the Pentagon, then a secret attempt to build a censored/surveilling search engine for use in China, then the revelation that the company had secretly paid off an exec accused of sexual assault, to tune of $150m.