Florida Utilities Lobbied To Make It Illegal For Solar Users To Use Panels In Wake Of Hurricanes, Outages | Techdirt

“FPL’s lobbying wing has fought hard against letting Floridians power their own homes with solar panels. Thanks to power-company rules, it’s impossible across Florida to simply buy a solar panel and power your individual home with it. You are instead legally mandated to connect your panels to your local electric grid. More egregious, FPL mandates that if the power goes out, your solar-power system must power down along with the rest of the grid, robbing potentially needy people of power during major outages.

Source: Florida Utilities Lobbied To Make It Illegal For Solar Users To Use Panels In Wake Of Hurricanes, Outages | Techdirt

So Much for States’ Rights — GOP Senator Wants to Ban State Single Payer In New Health Care Bill


LOUISIANA REPUBLICAN SEN. John Kennedy plans to use the most recent effort to repeal and replace portions of the Affordable Care Act to push an amendment that would bar states from enacting their own single-payer systems, he told reporters on Monday.When asked by The Intercept on Tuesday about the status of his legislation, Kennedy said that the bill’s co-sponsors, Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Bill Cassidy, R-La., told him that the measure already bans single payer, but that he was welcome to offer his amendment either way.“I don’t think states should have the authority to take money from the American taxpayer and set up a single-payer system,” Kennedy said. “Now some people think that that’s inconsistent with the idea of flexibility. But that’s what the United States Congress is for. I very much believe in flexibility, and I know the governors want flexibility. But it’s our job to make sure that that money is properly spent.”

Source: So Much for States’ Rights — GOP Senator Wants to Ban State Single Payer In New Health Care Bill

Court Allows San Diego Comic-Con’s Suit Against The Salt Lake City Comic Con To Move Forward | Techdirt


A few months ago, we alerted our readers that a trademark dispute between the San Diego Comic-Con and a company producing a Salt Lake City Comic Con, originally filed in 2014, was still going on. In fact, the district court hearing the case just recently ruled on several motions from both parties, including motions for judicial notice (essentially having the court affirm basic facts about the case), motions to exclude expert testimony, and motions for summary judgement. On the face of it, the news is mostly bad for the Salt Lake City convention, with nearly every ruling coming down against it. However, digging into the ruling itself, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Source: Court Allows San Diego Comic-Con’s Suit Against The Salt Lake City Comic Con To Move Forward | Techdirt

Well That Settles It! Insurance and Drug Lobbyists Say Medicare for All “Cannot Work”

Except that it does work for almost every other developed country in the world…


Lobbyists for the insurance, drug, and hospital industries were not pleased with the push for single-payer health care legislation.

Source: Well That Settles It! Insurance and Drug Lobbyists Say Medicare for All “Cannot Work”

Cop Cleans Out Wallet Of Unlicensed Hot Dog Vendor Just Because He Can | Techdirt

No job too small. That’s asset forfeiture for you. But small jobs are the safest jobs when it comes to the government keeping someone else’s property. Keeping the seizures small makes it less likely they’ll be challenged by those whose property was taken.The year-end totals may look impressive, but behind those totals are lots and lots of tiny cash grabs. In the cases where agencies’ forfeitures have been itemized and examined (which is a rarity — there’s a ton of opacity in forfeiture reporting), the largest number of forfeitures are for the smallest amounts, usually well under $1,000.Officers take what they can because they can. A video going viral on Twitter shows a California police officer rummaging through the wallet of an unlicensed street vendor and taking the vendor’s cash and debit card. A citation and a shutdown of the hot dog stand should have been enough. But it wasn’t. Officer Sean Aranas decided — with the only citation handed out during the football game — to take the man’s earnings.

Source: Cop Cleans Out Wallet Of Unlicensed Hot Dog Vendor Just Because He Can | Techdirt

Are you an Equifax breach victim? You could give up right to sue to find out | Ars Technica


The breach, via a security flaw on the Equifax website, included full names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and driver license numbers in some cases. Many of the affected consumers have never even directly done business with the giant consumer credit reporting agency. But if you want to find out if your data might have been exposed, you waive your right to sue the Atlanta-based company. We’re not making this up. The company has now published a website allowing consumers to input their last six digits of their Social Security numbers to find out.

Source: Are you an Equifax breach victim? You could give up right to sue to find out | Ars Technica

Kodi Declares ‘War’ on Trademark Trolls – TorrentFreak

The Kodi team, operating under the XBMC Foundation, is taking a stand against ‘trademark trolls’ who abuse the Kodi name for personal profit. They accuse the Canadian trademark owner of actively blackmailing hardware vendors and removing content from Amazon. If needed, the foundation says that it may have to take legal action to keep its software freely accessible.

Source: Kodi Declares ‘War’ on Trademark Trolls – TorrentFreak

FDA slams EpiPen maker for doing nothing while hundreds failed, people died | Ars Technica UK


The manufacturer of EpiPen devices failed to address known malfunctions in its epinephrine auto-injectors even as hundreds of customer complaints rolled in and failures were linked to deaths, according to the Food and Drug Administration. The damning allegations came to light today when the FDA posted a warning letter it sent September 5 to the manufacturer, Meridian Medical Technologies, Inc. The company (which is owned by Pfizer) produces EpiPens for Mylan, which owns the devices and is notorious for dramatically raising prices by more than 400 percent in recent years.The auto-injectors are designed to be used during life-threatening allergic reactions to provide a quick shot of epinephrine. If they fail to fire, people experiencing a reaction can die or suffer serious illnesses. According to the FDA, that’s exactly what happened for hundreds of customers.

Source: FDA slams EpiPen maker for doing nothing while hundreds failed, people died | Ars Technica UK

Opioid maker caught on tape lying to push deadly drug on patient | Ars Technica


Opioid makers have been accused—and in many cases convicted—of doing all sorts of shady things to get people on highly addictive, often deadly opioid pain medications and spurring the devastating epidemic the country is now facing. They’ve allegedly greased doctors into writing unnecessary prescriptions, hidden and misled everyone on the drugs’ addictiveness, and looked the other way as large orders of opioids made their way to the black market.FURTHER READINGLawsuit: Greedy drug maker purposefully flooded black market with opioidsBut an investigation led by Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), the top-ranking Democrat on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, adds a new seedy tidbit to the list: posing as doctors’ offices and straight-up lying to insurers to get deadly, powerful opioids covered for patients who don’t need them. In an audio file and report (PDF) released Wednesday by McCaskill, that’s exactly what you can hear a representative of Insys Therapeutics doing.

Source: Opioid maker caught on tape lying to push deadly drug on patient | Ars Technica