Apple initially filed a request with the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in October asking the panel to revisit the rejected sales ban that was briefly placed on the Galaxy Nexus last year. Today the court has officially ruled on the matter, rejecting the Cupertino company’s request for an injunction. The reasoning behind the decision remains unclear as the court failed to include any sort of detailed documentation with the ruling.
Alright folks, buckle your seat belts and put down your mobile phone. Actually that’s exactly what the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) wants you to do and recommends that all US states ban the use of cellphones while driving. Now this doesn’t mean that they want you to stop using navigation or music playback, they are gearing this more towards texting and making phone calls without the use of a hands-free method. The following quote from the NTSB sums it up fairly well:
The safety recommendation specifically calls for the 50 states and the District of Columbia to ban the non-emergency use of portable electronic devices (other than those designed to support the driving task) for all drivers. The safety recommendation also urges use of the NHTSA model of high-visibility enforcement to support these bans and implementation of targeted communication campaigns to inform motorists of the new law and heightened enforcement.
Although I am sometimes guilty of such an act (my girlfriend punishingly reminds me), I think this law should be in effect and nation-wide as well. If you have a decent Bluetooth headset or an in-car set-up, there should be no reason for distracting yourself while driving with your cellphone. You can even text with speech-to-text apps such as Vlingo, that don’t even require you to touch your phone. I have no excuse for breaking my states law and deserve the punishment if I were to get caught.
Thousands of people have been killed or injured due to drivers being ‘occupied’ by their phones, when in reality all attention should be devoted to the road. This recommendation from the NTSB stemmed from an accident in 2010 that involved a truck, 2 school buses and a teenager who had been sending text messages while driving. The crash killed two children and injured 38, reason enough for me to support a nation wide law against the use of cellphones while driving. I will definitely have to change my driving habits moving forward and I am going to make an honest attempt at doing so.
What are your thoughts, for or against?
In the latest, and definitely most interesting of the lawsuit circus, Google is now suing the United States government. The lawsuit is specifically against the U.S. Department of the Interior, and says that the dept. “inappropriately wrote procurement requirements for a messaging contract to favor Microsoft Corp (MSFT) over its own Google Apps”.
The suit was apparently filed on Friday, and states that the department sent Microsoft a request for a quote for an email and collaboration product, but that the request specifically excluded Google Apps by stating the solution “had to be part of Microsoft Business Prouctivity Online Suite”. According to the Wall Street Journal:
“The DOI’s decision to only consider Microsoft’s productivity suite is “unduly restrictive of competition” and violates the Competition in Contracting Act, said Google in a claim filed with its government-reselling partner Onix Networking Corp.The U.S agency is looking for a single hosted email and collaboration solution to replace the 13 messaging platforms currently in place for its 88,000 users. The contract is estimated to be worth $59 million over five years.”
Aside from the money, Google’s main aim with this lawsuit is to keep the DOI from moving forward with contracts and quote requests that don’t conduct a “competitive procurement process”.
Eric Goldman, professor at Santa Clara University School of Law, states, “Google rarely goes on the offensive in court. It’s suing the Department of the Interior as a proxy in its battle against Microsoft.”
What do you think of Google going after the U.S government? Be sure to let us know in the comments.
Are you a busy lawerly type, without a lot of time for research? If so, you may want to check out the new Bench & Bar Mobile. According to a press release from eLaw, the newly released Android app (also available on iPhone, but hey… we write about Android in these parts) includes:
- All active bar member listings, including name, admission year, firm, address, phone and fax numbers.
- Complete attorney and law firm listings.
- City, county, state and federal court judges, court clerks, prosecutors, administrators and other officials – addresses, phone, fax numbers and websites.
- Supreme Court judges and administrative personnel – complete listings.
- Insurance companies with direct dial numbers to claims managers.
- State and federal departments and agencies, including names, addresses and numbers of local officials and much more.
So, if this sounds like an app for you, be sure to check it out in the Android Market. Full presser after the break.