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. Read the rest

A beautiful classic Star Trek Tricorder

I have always wanted a TRI-Function reCORDER. Of all the cool gadgets they had on Star Trek the science Tricorder was my favorite.

This lovely Diamond Select model is well made, comes completely with all the sound effects and lights up quite nicely. I also like the smaller medical tricorder, which was just a salt shaker during filming of TOS.

Diamond Select Toys Star Trek: The Original Series Tricorder via Amazon Read the rest

20 years ago, Ted Cruz published a law paper proving companies could always beat customers with terms of service

You might think that when companies impose crappy, abusive terms of service on their customers that the market could sort it out, by creating competition to see who could offer the best terms and thus win the business of people fed up with bad actors. Read the rest

Airbnb stealth-updates terms of service, says it's not an insurer and requires binding arbitration

The March 29 edition of Airbnb's terms of service requires that people who rent out their homes acknowledge that despite the company's widely advertised Host Protection Insurance program, "you understand and agree that Airbnb does not act as an insurer." Read the rest

Online privacy policies explained

The Zero Knowledge Foundation's explainer on privacy policies is a pretty good introduction to where the fine-print on the sites you read comes from, and the surprisingly meaningful differences between different privacy policies on different sites. It's easy to assume (as I usually do) that the average privacy policy says, "You have no privacy," but there's a lot of difference between the policies on Craigslist, Facebook and Twitter, say.

The Fine Print of Privacy | Zero Knowledge Privacy Foundation

(Thanks, Josh) Read the rest