STLR Link Roundup – April 13, 2018

Oracle and Google Dispute Has Implications for Copyright Law On March 27, 2018, the United States Court of Appeal for the Federal Circuit handed down a decision in a suit between Oracle and Google. The three judge panel overruled a jury verdict from the United States District Court for the Northern District of California which found that Google had a fair use defense to their unauthorized use of Oracle’s Java application programming interface packages (API Continue Reading →

Understanding Blockchain-Enabled Distributed (P2P) Energy Trading

This article aims not to discuss the recent frenetic price changes in cryptocurrencies, but to rather take a closer look at one of the proposed facets of the Blockchain revolution: Blockchain-Enabled Distributed Energy Trading (or Blockchain-Enabled P2P Energy Trading). This supposed revolution posits that Blockchain enables retail users to trade energy with each other effectively, the economic incentives of which will prompt retail users to produce their own electricity with renewable means, and thus, reduce Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – April 7, 2018

Technology Stocks Lose Billions Amid Fears of Increased Regulation and Trade Wars The so-called FAANG stocks – Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google parent Alphabet – continued to fall this week amid growing fears of increased regulation, trade wars, and social backlash. Since the Nasdaq Composite’s March 12 peak, the FAANG stocks have lost a total of $397 billion. FAANG stocks are the five most popular tech stocks in the market and are frequently grouped Continue Reading →

Up in the CLOUD: What the New Congressional Act Means for Data Security

Until this past week, Microsoft looked as though they would receive an unfavorable ruling from the Supreme Court. In 2013, the U.S. Justice Department issued a warrant for the emails of individuals they were investigating as drug dealers, but the technology giant refused to hand them over on the grounds that the information in question was hosted on a server in Ireland and warrants are only applicable in the United States. The Court was likely Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – March 31, 2018

AI Accountability A driverless car operated by Uber recently killed a pedestrian when the test driver failed to intervene.  Last week, a person was also killed while Tesla’s autopilot was active. Questions of accountability as driverless cars become more prevalent have rocked the autonomous vehicle community, however the dangers associated with them may be overstated, especially compared to the safety of human drivers. Several ideas have been proposed throughout the years, however it’s possible that Continue Reading →

Shining a Light on the New Solar Tariffs

On January 22nd, 2018 President Donald Trump authorized tariffs on solar cell and module imports beginning at 30 percent and gradually reducing to 15 percent over four years. These tariffs took effect on February 7th. The United States solar industry including its lead trade group, the Solar Energy Industries Association, and senators on both sides of the aisle fervently fought against the decision due to the impact on jobs and the potential for retaliation. The Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – March 18, 2018

NY State Village, Plattsburgh, Becomes the First Town to Ban Bitcoin Mining Plattsburgh, a city in upstate New York, has been a hotbed of Bitcoin mining activity because of its access to low cost electricity. The profitability of Bitcoin mining is largely a function of electricity costs. Plattsburgh has one of the lowest electricity rates in the United States. The country-wide average rate is 10 cents per kilowatt-hour. In Plattsburgh, residents pay 4.5 cents and Continue Reading →

Can Electronic Surveillance Constitute a Search of Private Property Under the 4th Amendment? Gorsuch’s Comments Raise New Questions.

At oral argument in Carpenter v. United States, now awaiting final decision, Justice Gorsuch raised the possibility that individuals have a property right in their data. Specifically, Gorsuch suggested that a customer of a cellular provider had a property interest in location data that police had obtained from the provider without a warrant. This is relevant in a Fourth Amendment context because government trespass against private property is a form of “search.” But there is Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – March 11, 2018

Washington Becomes the First State to Pass Net Neutrality Law Washington’s new law, House Bill 2822, is the first state law passed to reinstate the protections dismantled when the Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal net neutrality this past December. The bill received bipartisan support and Washington Governor, Jay Inslee, announced at the bill signing ceremony that “Today we make history: Washington will be the first state in the nation to preserve the open internet.” Continue Reading →

Has the Time Come to Kill Quill?

The Online Sales Tax Controversy State and local governments are at a nearly unprecedented level of underfunding and it might have something to do with our online shopping carts. In 2017, the Government Accountability Office estimated that state and local governments experienced a loss of anywhere from $8 billion to $13 billion due to the prohibition on collecting state sales taxes on online purchases. Online commerce accounts for 9.1% of total retail sales and continues Continue Reading →