Friday News Chum: Trademarks, Mooning, and “I Know Where You Are”

It’s been a while, but here’s a bit of lunchtime news chum to send you off into the weekend:

  • From the “Would You Like an Apple With That?” Department: The trademark wars are heating up again. If you recall, in the past, the Beatles did battle with a particular computer company in court over the word “Apple”, and I seem to recall trademark battles over the letter “i” and the word “Space”. This time, the culprit is Facebook: they are attempting to trademark both the prefix “Face” and the suffix “Book”.
  • From the “Moon Over Miami” Department: Here’s an interesting article from St. Louis: No, there will not be two moons tonight. This refers to a circulating hoax: “Two moons will be visible. Planet Mars will look, to the naked eye, as large as the moon.”. What made the article for me, however, was the quote from the director of the St. Louis Planetarium: “if you ever look up at the night sky and see something as big as the full moon and it’s not the full moon, run to the basement.” Always good advice.
  • From the “Lack of Critical Thinking” Department: In the news today is a report about how Law enforcement officers may secretly place a GPS device on a person’s car without seeking a warrant from a judge, according to a recent federal appeals court ruling in California. This (not surprisingly) has people in an uproar… and that uproar demonstrates a lack of critical thinking… for most people already have a device that allows a private company, which is even less constrained than the government by privacy rules, to track you. That’s right: Your cellphone is continually broadcasting where you are, at a greater granularity than “vehicle”. Yet another example of where our technology is moving faster than the laws that protect us.