July 2016 Archives

Cloak VPN - Cloak - Super-simple VPN

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From the decision:

Before enacting that law, the legislature requested data on the use, by race, of a number of voting practices. Upon receipt of the race data, the General Assembly enacted legislation that restricted voting and registration in five different ways, all of which disproportionately affected African Americans.

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[JURIST] A three-judge panel for the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit [official website] on Friday struck down [opinion, PDF] several provisions of North Carolina's House Bill 589 (HB 589) [text, PDF], most notably its voter identification requirements. In its decision to annul the voter ID provision of the statute, as well as provisions eliminating early voting, pre-registration same-day registration, and out-of-precinct voting, the court stated that the legislation was "passed with racially discriminatory intent." The panel further explained that it, unlike the lower district court, was unconvinced by the argument that the statute's enactment was "the innocuous back-and-forth of routine partisan struggle." Instead the panel suggested that the Republic-controlled state-legislature was motivated to enact HB 589 after an "unprecedented African American voter participation in a state with troubled racial history and racially polarized voting." While the decision was unanimous, one justice disagreed with the decision to permanently enjoin the voter identification provision, expressing belief that the "reasonable impediment" exception provided ample protection against any potential discrimination. The decision overturns a district court decision [JURIST report] upholding HB 589 in April.


Read complete Jurist-Paper Chase analysis here.




Leaders from the IRS, state tax agencies and the tax preparation community recently urged tax professionals to be proactive in the fight against identity theft and launched an expanded awareness campaign, Protect Your Clients; Protect Yourself, that will provide computer security tips and other information leading into the 2017 tax filing season.

As part of this effort, IRS invites tax professionals to participate in a free 1.5-hour webinar, Protect your Clients; Protect Yourself from Data Theft, on Aug. 17 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern. 

 

You can register for the webinar now.

 

Topics include:

    • Security Summit initiatives for FY 2017, including enhancing tax professional awareness of client data safeguards
    • Legal requirements and best practices to better protect taxpayer information
    • Emerging scams, as outlined by our Criminal Investigation expert
    • Steps tax professionals should take if they suffer a loss of taxpayer data
    • Opening remarks from IRS Commissioner John Koskinen and a live Q&A with IRS subject matter experts

Earn one continuing education credit in the category of federal tax.


Mosaic Threat Assessment Systems

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MOSAIC is an error avoidance method,
a computer-assisted method for conducting comprehensive assessments - in the same way that diagnosis is a method used by a doctor. An effective medical diagnosis results when a doctor knows which questions to ask, knows which tests will produce the most accurate answers, and then knows how to draw relevant conclusions from all the answers combined together.

Similarly, assessing whether a situation has the combination of factors that are associated with escalated risk and danger requires that you know what questions to ask, and then know how to consider all your answers in a way that enhances insight. The MOSAIC method works by breaking a situation down to its elements, factor-by-factor, and then seeing what picture emerges when the pieces of the puzzle are put together.

MOSAIC helps the assessor weigh the present situation in light of expert opinion and research, and instantly compare the present situation to past cases where the outcomes are known.




Teens Use Drone To Catch Boat Thieves | Ubergizmo

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So in the past we have seen how some thieves have been caught with stolen electronics by tracking the device using features like Find My iPhone/iPad and so on. Recently it seems that a group of teenagers successfully managed to foil an attempt to steal a boat using a DJI Phantom drone.

State v. Newcomb | Animal Legal & Historical Center

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Summary: In this case, the Supreme Court of Oregon reviewed a case in which defendant accused the State of violating her constitutional rights by taking a blood sample of her dog without a warrant to do so. Ultimately, the court held that the defendant did not have a protected privacy interest in the dog's blood and therefore the state did not violate defendant's constitutional rights. Defendant's dog, Juno, was seized by the Humane Society after a worker made a visit to plaintiff's home and had probable cause to believe that Juno was emaciated from not receiving food from plaintiff. After Juno was seized and taken into custody for care, the veterinarian took a blood sample from Juno to confirm that there was no other medical reason as to why Juno was emaciated. Defendant argued that this blood test was a violation of her constitutional rights because the veterinarian did not have a warrant to perform the test. The court dismissed this argument and held that once Juno was taken into custody, defendant had "lost her rights of dominion and control over Juno, at least on a temporary basis." Finally, the court held that because Juno was lawfully seized and Juno's blood was "not 'information' that defendant placed in Juno for safekeeping or to conceal from view," defendant's constitutional rights had not been violated. 

In reaching that conclusion, the Court recognized that animals "are sentient beings capable of experiencing pain stress and fear" and that it indeed made a legal difference that the property seized was a living thing.
Documents: PDF icon State v Newcomb 2016.pdf (135.69 KB)

Free Windows 10 App Is Now Counting Down Days Till Deadline-Ubergizmo.com

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Microsoft released an app called Get Windows 10 last year which pretty much does what the name suggests. It lets people reserve their free upgrade to Windows 10 as long as they're running Windows 8.1 or Windows 7. The free upgrade offer is going to expire by the end of this month and it appears that the Get Windows 10 app now has a countdown timer which is counting down the days until the deadline, after which all updates to Windows 10 will have to be purchased.

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(You)... might not want to miss out on this because if the deadline passes ... will have to pay $119 for Windows 10 Home if ... decided to move up.






In 2011, the Texas legislature passed SB 14, the strictest photo ID law in the nation. For example, the law requires voters to present photo identification from a very limited list before being allowed to vote. A Texas concealed handgun license is acceptable, but an ID from a public university or a tribal identification card is not.

After a long procedural history, described in detail below, on July 20, 2016, the full 5th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision finding that SB 14 has a racially discriminatory effect in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, because the law disproportionately diminishes African Americans' and Latinos' ability to participate in the political process. The appellate court sent the case back to the district court to craft a rule for the November 2016 election that will remedy SB 14's discriminatory results. The appellate court also reversed and remanded the district court's discriminatory intent finding for further review and vacated the district court's findings on plaintiffs' poll tax and right to vote claims.

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Read entire article and scroll down for all original documents at all levels of the case...briefs, etc..



Sidebar_160719-NYSBA

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NOTICE
We received a report of a member getting an unauthorized phone solicitation offering six months' free New York State Bar Association membership. Please be advised that the Association is not engaged in telephone solicitations at this time. Although this is likely an isolated incident, if you receive such a call, do not share any personal information, and please let us know immediately by calling our Member Resource Center at 800.582.2452.

The Showman - The New Yorker

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 Jeffrey Toobin's May 9 article in The New Yorker, appropriately called, "The Showman," about United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara's infatuation with and misuse of the media.

JURIST - When Prosecutors Parade, Criminal Justice Becomes a Circus

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JURIST Guest Columnists Stephen Cooper and Donnie W. Bethel discuss the effect of the behavior of Prosecutors who parade their cases to the media has on the Criminal Justice system...

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Prosecutors routinely call conferences to vet prosecution evidence under the glow of the media's klieg lights--as occurred in the much-publicized Brendan Dassey and Steven Avery case in Netflix's Making A Murderer--tainting the jury pool and infringing on Avery and Dassey's constitutional right to a fair trial (as ably reported upon earlier this year in John Ferak's column, "Legal experts blast Avery prosecutor's conduct.")

The same questionable litigation tactics, dressed up in federal garb, are on full display in Jeffrey Toobin's May 9 article in The New Yorker, appropriately called, "The Showman," about United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara's infatuation with and misuse of the media.

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Read more here.



Tax Breaks for the Military

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IRS Summertime Tax Tip 2016-06, July 15, 2016

If you are in the U. S. Armed Forces, there are special tax breaks for you. For example, some types of pay are not taxable. Certain rules apply to deductions or credits that you may be able to claim that can lower your tax. In some cases, you may get more time to file your tax return. You may also get more time to pay your income tax. Click Here for some tips to keep in mind.


Federal Student Loan Discharge Procedures Expand-Empire Justice Center

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Advocates will recall that in 2012, the Department of Education amended its regulations governing discharge of federal student loans based on total and permanent disability.  See the December edition of the Disability Law News, http://www.empirejustice.org/issue-areas/disability-benefits/non-disability-issues/misc/federal-student-loan.html#.V3QEscv6vIU.  But not all disabled borrowers were aware of or able to take advantage these provisions. 

As part of the March 2015 Presidential Student Aid Bill of Rights Memorandum, President Obama required the Secretary of Education and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, in consultation with the Commissioner of Social Security, to develop a plan to identify federal student loan borrowers who receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and determine which beneficiaries qualify for a total and permanent disability discharge of their student loans.  In April, the Department of Education announced it will begin contacting borrowers identified by this match to inform them of the loan cancellation process. 

Of the people the Department identified, over 100,000 of those borrowers have been certified for the Treasury Offset Program, meaning that they are at risk of losing federal tax refunds, and of  having a portion of their Social Security benefits taken.  While the new matching program is intended to help SSDI recipients apply for this relief, it will not automatically stop those offsets from occurring.  Borrowers still need to apply for relief.  A Department of Education website includes information on how to get a "total and permanent disability" discharge of federal student loan debt.  There is also an online application.  http://www.disabilitydischarge.com/Application-Process/. 

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By on 07/08/2016 18:16 PDT

Back in the day, catching Pokemon basically involved gamers playing on their Game Boy or Nintendo DS consoles where they could stay in the comfort of their own home and battle other Pokemon trainers, explore the land, and capture Pokemon. Now with Pokemon Go, it takes gamers into the real world where they will be able to find Pokemon wherever they go.

It's a unique idea that really does a great job of leveraging augmented reality tech, but it has also led to problems which forced police in Australia to release a warning to gamers to be careful when playing the game in real life. Now it seems that the game has gotten so big that over in Australia, police have gotten involved in an upcoming Pokemon Go gather.

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Read More.

Life of the Law

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"Law is alive," the authors of Life of the Law
declare. "It doesn't live in books and words. It
thrives on our streets, in our schools, in our
courtrooms, and in our lives." Written and produced
by a team of journalists and scholars, Life of the
Law is a regular 30-minute podcast dedicated to
examining legal news and history in a manner that
enables everyone - not just trained legal scholars -
to understand the significance and nuances of these
developments. Recent episodes have covered the
impact of new French anti-terrorist policies on
French citizens, the history of forced-sterilization
laws and the question of modern-day reparations to
survivors, and an examination of the jury selection
process. On its website, users can browse through
past podcasts (currently there are 85) and either
listen online or download full PDF transcripts.
Interested listeners can subscribe to this podcast
on iTunes as well. 


Copyright © 2016 Internet Scout Research Group - http://scout.wisc.edu


Gretchen Carlson's Lawsuit Against Roger Ailes

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Gretchen Carlson's Lawsuit Against Roger Ailes

Ms. Carlson, the Fox anchor, says that Roger Ailes, the chairman of Fox News, fired her from the network after she refused his sexual advances.

Contributed by: News Documents, The New York Times



The Ultimate PC Bundle Ft. Scrivener & CCleaner Pro | Gizmag Store

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Boost your productivity on your PC with 8 apps that will target specific areas of your workflow, and make them better. From Internet surfing, to backing up your files, to photo editing, to website creating, everything you do on your PC will be done with the highest level of efficiency.Read more

By Alyssa Campbell on 
Posted in Employment Discrimination, New York Law

On May 18, the New York State Division of Human Rights adopted a new regulation prohibiting employment discrimination based on an individual's relationship or association with a member of a protected category covered by the New York Human Rights Law.  The proposed rule was published in the State Register on March 9.  The agency did not receive any public comments regarding the proposed rule, and adopted the rule without making any changes.

According to the Division, the purpose of the new regulation is to confirm long-standing precedent supporting anti-discrimination protection for individuals based on their relationship or association with members of a protected class.  The new regulation applies to employment discrimination and all other types of discrimination protected under the New York Human Rights Law, including housing, public accommodations, access to educational institutions, and credit.  In order to prove a claim of employment discrimination in this context, an individual must prove that he or she was subjected to an adverse employment action based on the individual's known relationship or association with a member of a protected class.

Read more...

How to Jump Ship From Evernote and Take Your Data With You-lifehacker

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Earlier this week, Evernote announced its subscriptions are getting more expensive and free users are now limited to just two devices. For the scores of existing users, that little restriction and that price increase are a big pain. Thankfully, you have other options.

Before you jump ship from Evernote, you'll want to pick which new tool for managing your notes and clippings is best for you. You have a few solid options here: The most obvious choice for most people is Microsoft's OneNote, which goes toe-to-toe with Evernote in most features. If you're a dedicated Apple user totally inside their ecosystem, Apple Notes is a surprisingly robust option. Alternately, you can go a completely different direction with something like plain text if you don't use Evernote's fancy features, or Google Drive if you're looking to dump a lot of long-form notes in a searchable format.

Click here to read entire article.




Family Sues After Disabled Teen Beaten Bloody at Memphis Airport

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A partially paralyzed teenager who was returning home after being treated for a brain tumor was reportedly beaten bloody by airport security, then led out of the Memphis International Airport in handcuffs.  

According to a lawsuit filed by her family against the Transportation Security Administration, the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority, and Memphis airport police on 28 June 2016, 19-year-old Hannah Cohen was headed back to Chattanooga after visiting St. Jude Hospital for treatment in June 2015...

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11. More particularly, the Plaintiff, Hannah Cohen, has damage from radiation and removal of a brain tumor that substantially limits her ability to speak, walk, stand, see, hear, care for herself, learn and work, think, concentrate, and interact with others.

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Read the ADA complaint here.


Refugee Law and Policy In Selected Countries | beSpacific

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Refugee Law and Policy In Selected Countries, The Library of Congress Global Legal Research Center. March 2016.

"This report describes the law and policy on refugees and other asylum seekers in twenty-two geographically dispersed countries and, at the supranational level, in the European Union (EU). The individual surveys cover such topics as participation in relevant international conventions; laws and regulations governing the admission of refugees and handling refugee claims; processes for handling refugees arriving at the border; procedures for evaluating whether an applicant is entitled to refugee status; the accommodations and assistance provided to refugees in the jurisdiction; requirements for naturalization; and whether asylum policy has been affected by international emergencies, such as the current refugee crisis in Europe. A bibliography of selected relevant English-language materials from recent years is included."




The impact of technology on legal practice isn't just felt in eDiscoveryincriminating selfies, or AI junior associates -- it's also playing out in courtrooms. 


Tech's impact in the courtroom ranges from cutting edge, still hypothetical applications like virtual reality crime scenes, to everyday uses like electronic filing and electronically displayed evidence.


But how are judges, often considered tech-averse, responding to these changes? They love them, according to a recent survey by the New York City Bar Association, but they also don't always use tech to its fullest potential.


















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Changes to Evernote's Pricing Plans - Evernote Blog

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Beginning today  (June 28, 2016), the prices for our Plus and Premium tiers will change for new subscriptions, and access from Evernote Basic accounts will be limited to two devices. Current subscribers and Basic users who are using more than two devices will have some time to adjust before the changes take effect. If you are impacted, look for a message from us in the coming days.

For more information about these changes, See our FAQ »

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Get complete information on the Evernote price increase.



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