News Roundup

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I’m going to admit something here: I’ve never called an Uber. Or summoned an Uber. Used an Uber? Whatever. I’m just old fashioned, I guess. The same cannot be said of Dashawn Cochran, who was recently arrested in Maryland after allegedly robbing a store at gunpoint and escaping via Uber. Very cutting edge! But not successful. It turns out that while Uber drivers are readily available, they’re not highly motivated to try to elude the police. CNET has the story here.

In other news:

Self-driving Teslas now on the road. Well, sort of self-driving. CNET reports here that most recent Tesla models will receive over-the-air software updates that will enable a variety of autopilot features. Apparently, “[t]he car will automatically stay in a lane, slowing down as necessary to avoid traffic and steering around curves. The vehicle can even change lanes, though only when prompted by the driver hitting the turn signal and when the car detects the way is clear.” The future is upon us. And really, what could go wrong with a software update? Those always work perfectly.

Speaking of futuristic vehicles . . . Electric bicycles are becoming a big thing, with 32 million of them sold worldwide last year. Some are pretty fast. As one tour operator said, “it’s darn near driving a moped in the bicycle lane.” Maybe Shea will write a post about when such things cross the line into vehicles that need to be registered, operated with a license, and so on. Yep, CNET has this story too, here.

Prosecutions for “anonymous” speech on Yik Yak. Remember Yik Yak, the location-based “anonymous” messaging service that college students love to abuse? Well, it may be anonymous if you use it to express ideas that are merely tasteless or offensive. But if you use it to make criminal threats, Yik Yak will give law enforcement the IP address and GPS location from which the threat was made. Surprise! Ars Technica reports on several recent cases here.

Charles Koch Institute posts one-minute criminal justice reform videos. They’re here. I watched the ones on policing and overcriminalization, and I thought they were clear and engaging and would appeal to a wide range of people. There are also videos on mandatory minimums, collateral consequences, civil forfeiture, and more. There’s only so much you can do in a one-minute video, but it’s a neat idea.

 

The reward for work well done is more work. That’s what my dad used to say, and it made no sense whatsoever to me as a kid. Furthermore, it appears that the reward for jury duty poorly done is more jury duty. The Wall Street Journal Law Blog reports here on a Florida judge who held a prospective juror in contempt after she violated the judge’s order not to read about the murder case for which she was being considered. Over the next six months, she’s to do 50 hours of community service and must report for jury duty every other Monday until she’s selected and serves. That’s a lot of trips to the courthouse.

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