It's official: the Supreme Court has upheld the Affordable Care Act, which, however you feel about it, means 32 million Americans will likely gain health care coverage. A part of the legislation dictates that all those people, by law, need somewhere to enroll, compare coverage, and purchase insurance. The design consultancy Ideo has spent more than a year putting together an open-source template to keep the potential paperwork from crushing everyone before they even have health insurance to cover the damage.
Amid all the hype over the federal health care law before the Supreme Court, you might have missed this even more relevant news: The high court rejected an appeals court ruling allowing genes to be patented. The case involves two genes linked to breast and ovarian cancer, patented by Myriad Genetics Inc.
The ruling is not a final decision, but sends the case back down to the district court for further action.
The Yale Law Journal's Betsy Cooper wrote an essay examining our favorite Jeopardy! champion (and new medical diagnoser) robot Watson, but from a new angle: Could Watson help judges make legal decisions?
With their shapeless black robes and lined faces, the justices of the Supreme Court do not project a particularly cutting-edge image. And for the most part, that's not a problem. The judges concentrate primarily on cases related to either hot-button issues like torture and abortion, or cases dealing with the legal minutiae of how courts should properly function.
"Rip, Mix, Burn" more than an Apple marketing campaign, it was a rallying cry that meant "Take control of your music!" Well, today the Supreme Court killed Rip, Mix, Burn, or at least the innovative spirit behind it.
In the MGM v. Grokster case, several major record labels successfully sued a group of peer-to-peer (P2P) software companies for producing software that permitted copyright infringement (that is, online trading of commercial music) when the court believed that a different, less-efficient design might have prevented it. The justices ruled against P2P companies Grokster and Streamcast because they believed that the companies intended for their users to infringe copyright with their service.