Thursday, July 31, 2008

The People's Court

Two interesting decisions have been made, one by a California Judge, and one by the Massachusetts legislature and Governor.
First, "In one of the most significant legal rulings in the tech industry this year, a Superior Court judge in California has ruled that the practice of charging consumers a fee for ending their cell phone contract early is illegal and violates state law." I won't go on too long about this because my own sentiments echo many of those cited it the articles on the web. I do think it could be the beginning stages of a shift in the cell phone industry.
AT&T recently announce that it would sell the new iPhone 3G with the option of not signing a contract (and of course not getting the discounted price offset by the contract). In what seems to be yet another coming of age in the cellular industry where "smart phones" are becoming more commonplace and the Phone/PDA hybrid continues to evolve (into yet something else perhaps), there are going to be some changes and I hope that for once, they are consumer friendly.
Issue number two relates to human rights. "Surrounded by cheering, clapping gay-rights activists and legislators, Governor Deval Patrick today signed a bill repealing a 95-year-old statute that had prevented gay and lesbian couples from most other states from marrying in Massachusetts."
I'll first address the important part of this story, a human rights victory. Hopefully this will help springboard these issues into other state legislatures and help to create awareness and acceptance.
Something I didn't understand about the quote above is that the statute that was repealed was 95 years old. I am curious as to how a law like this came to be 95 years ago in a time that I assumed these issues existed on a whole different level.
There was another odd article about how this decision might stimulate the local economy as same sex couples from nearby states might flock en masse to Massachusetts - while this might be true I think it overshadows a genuinely important human rights issue and a wonderful victory (though only a small stepping stone, but progress nonetheless).


Joy said...


Chris said...

Joy - Ditto!