Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone, and happy holidays!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Karmic Woes

Upgraded to Ubuntu Karmic Koala today. As it always is with new releases, it comes with its own share of quirks that one has to get used to. Some good, some not so good.

Little things that I've noticed:

- Firefox seems faster.


- the "notification area" is not at the top-right corner, but a bit below that, for no real reason. I've only noticed that for Pidgin notifications, and the area above the notification box is the size of the volume or brightness box.

- another major bummer is the middle-click function that used to work when i clicked on the top right corner of the trackpad. It doesn't work anymore, and there also seems to be a switch in the 2-finger click and 3-finger click functions, which i didn't know existed. The 3-finger click doesn't work on my 'top.

- the new Ubuntu Software Centre. I like the "installed software" section, but i miss being able to install/remove many apps at once.

- having "show icons in menus" unchecked in Appearance Preferences > Interface only removes the icons under the System menu. That's a grand total of 5 icons removed.

- boot time seems much longer, but it might be because it was the first time it was booted after the upgrade.


- Ubuntu is now shipped with a selection of still-life wallpapers, a great number of which feature close-ups of flowers. I hate to admit it, but at some point in my life, I would've gone "ooooooohhhhhh pwetty!" at the sight of it, but now it just seems horribly quaint and bland. To each his own, I guess. I rather liked it when Ubuntu came with 1 default wallpaper. Somehow, it was a symbol of the minimalism of the system. Now it just feels bloated.
There seems to be some typical wallpapers too, besides the close-up flowers: the pier to nowhere, sunrise/sunset, closeup of leaf, &c.
On the upside, I like that they've gotten rid of the fade-in transition when you changed wallpapers, and the black & white clouds pic is quite nice.

- i don't know what's up with the bold text, but I find it rather un-necessary. I figure I'll get used to that eventually. Also, the Firefox shortcut icon on my menu bar seems unusually bright. The blue highlight is paler, it seems, to the previous logo, and it looks like it's shining.

- at the other end of the menu bar, i quite like the icon for the network connection status, but not the one for the messaging services. The Human icon set had a white envelope that earned a green dot at a corner when there was an alert. The new Humanity envelope icon is gray with a dark gray triangle. Not very visible.

(note that the 2 last icons are transparent, and the menu bar is gray.)

Some changes in
- hitting F11 for the Styles dialog will open the dialog, but will not focus it. Rather annoying, because I used to navigate the styles with the arrow keys, and now i have to focus it first.

- they seemed to have fixed that indentation "feature", where hitting backspace would remove the indentation. (Increase the indentation of the paragraph, hit enter. The next paragraph will also be indented. Hit Backspace once, it removes the indentation on the 2nd paragraph. Hit Backspace again, and it will remove the indentation of the previous paragraph, instead of bringing the caret to the indented beginning.)

- that place in the status bar that used to have an "*" signaling unsaved changed now shows a red "!".

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Movie Review: Law-Abiding Citizen


Plotline: Dude get pissed at the way the prosecutor carried out his case, and gets revenge on everybody by blowing them up to bits.

Review: Meh.

To be honest, I don't really know what I was expecting when I decided to go watch this movie. I guess I thought it would be an interesting action movie, and it was mildly related to the justice system, so heck, why not check it out. The trailer made it seem interesting, but then again they always do, and I should've known that. In the end, I have to say, it was rather disappointing.

The trailer set the bar rather high. It was supposed to be a movie about a guy fighting a corrupt system. It was supposed to be a movie about a guy whose intellect was such that he could make people die when he was in prison. It was supposed to be a movie with the typical American patriotism and moral superiority, where good guys prevail and bad guys die.

Well, no.

It turned out to be a movie about a guy who threw a tantrum because he didn't get what he wanted, so everyone else is now the "bad guy" and everybody is personally responsible for what happened to him. The whole plotline was a joke, and only served as a support for a countdown of the 10 most badass ways to kill people.

The Irony started even before the movie. The trailer shown right before the beginning of the film was one of "7 days", in which a father hunts down an tortures the guy who killed his daughter. (Sounds familiar?) The message was clear: this plot is already overused. Then, the high point of that trailer was the dead kid's mom calling the dad, saying "Nobody agrees with what you're doing." And here we are, about to watch a movie celebrating just that.

The nonsenses in this movie are too numerous to be tackled individually. (Why did they have to convict the skinny guy so badly, instead of the fat guy? Why didn't the doctors notice something was wrong when the guy on the execution table was still moving? Did they not notice the steak had a bone?) So I'll just tackle some general issues.

First off, the excuse given for the ire of the dude is quite pathetic. He's angry because the damn prosecutor cut a deal. And this somehow proves that the whole system is corrupt. OK, fine, they tried to show that the prosecutor was very worried by his personal stats, and maybe cared more about his conviction rate than about this elusive concept that we call Justice (with the capital "J" and the band on the eyes). But honestly, prosecutors make deals all the time, and it's not a symptom of corruption per se. Besides, if the prosecutor is only concerned with his own selfish interests, it's not a sign that the whole system is corrupt.

The whole idea was that it is horrible for prosecutors to make deals with criminals, and it would've been better to go to trial and lose, since, at least, the prosecutor would've tried. Well, given the way the story is told, going to trial would probably give the same movie. I'm sure there's lot of films about self-righteous victims who decide to kill jurors because they thought the jurors were corrupt. Either way, the system is supposed to be diseased.

They didn't even make an attempt at including a bit of the corruption that supposedly infects the system. The prosecution was just doing its job, and nothing hits at a job badly done, save the deal. At least they could've tried to show that, I dunno, the prosecution made a mistake and was trying to cover its ass or something. But no. Nothing.

And the judge. Why was the dude so mad at the judge? There was a whole scene at the courthouse that was supposed to show that the judge was incompetent or something, because she was about to release a man charged with murder. Butler's character gave some nice speech that was supposed to sound like bullshit, and cited a precedent that may or may not be real, then accused the judged of being the avatar of the diseased system for being inclined to buy it. Well bad news for you: it's called the Bill of Rights. It's this thing that, ya know, the whole idea of American freedom of democracy is built on.

TBC maybe.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Securities Problem

Last Securities class, the prof gave us a problem to illustrate some principles relating to legal hypothecs, in particular those of "persons having taken part in the construction or renovation of an immovable" (2724 (2) CCQ).

The relevant section of the Civil Code are the following:
2726. A legal hypothec in favour of the persons having taken part in the construction or renovation of an immovable may not charge any other immovable. It exists only in favour of the architect, engineer, supplier of materials, workman and contractor or sub-contractor in proportion to the work requested by the owner of the immovable or to the materials or services supplied or prepared by them for the work. It is not necessary to publish a legal hypothec for it to exist.
2728. The hypothec secures the increase in value added to the immovable by the work, materials or services supplied or prepared for the work. However, where those in favour of whom it exists did not themselves enter into a contract with the owner, the hypothec is limited to the work, materials or services supplied after written declaration of the contract to the owner. A workman is not bound to declare his contract.
2952. Legal hypothecs in favour of persons having taken part in the construction or renovation of an immovable are ranked before any other published hypothec, for the increase in value added to the immovable; such hypothecs rank concurrently among themselves, in proportion to the value of each claim.
The problem given, which I simplify for the purpose of the present argument, is the following.
Andrew owns a house, valued 100K, on which he does renovations. He has a 75K contract with Bob for the work. Bob sub-contracts with Charles, for work and materials worth 20K. Charles denounces his contract to Andrew. By the end of the works, Andrew still owes 30K to Bob. Charles has not been paid yet. Andrew doesn't pay, so Bob and Charles register a hypothec against Andrew's immovable. Bank ABC also has a 70K hypothec on the same immovable. After the works, the building is worth 150K. The building is sold by judicial authority for 100K. Determine who gets what.
So the hypothecs on the building, according to the prof, are as follows:
- Legal Hypothec (construction) - Bob: 30K
- Legal Hypothec (construction) - Charles: 20K
- Normal Hypothec - ABC Bank: 70K

Legal Hypothecs of constructors are being paid first. However, the owners of the hypothec can only secure the value added to the immovable after the works. The value added corresponds to a percentage of the value of the immovable.
So, the value added was 50K on 150K, which is 33.333%.
This means that the constructors can only secure 33.3% of the proceeds resulting from the sale of the immovable, so 33.333% on 100K, or $33 333.
(1/3 of the value of the building resulted from the works.)

Of the $33 333, 60% goes to Bob, and 40% to Charles. So Bob gets 20K, and Charles gets $13 333.
The rest goes to the Bank.

Now, here's my problem. Both Bob and Charles have a hypothec on the building. However, Charles is a sub-contractor, and the money owed to him is by Bob. This means that of the 30K Bob is owed, 20K was destined to pay Charles. B's "profit" should only have been 10K. However in this case, he gets 20K, which is more than what he's owed! Assuming that C manages to get the ~ 7K he's owed from B, B is still left with ~13K, which is still more than the "profit" he should've earned!

Moreover, A, who only really owes 30K to B, will end up paying >33K!

If you take another situation where the value of the building is high enough that all the creditors will be paid in full. It means that B could get paid 30K, and C would get 20K. So C would have been paid in full, while B, who should have paid 20 of his 30K to C, would be left with an extra 20K.

This does NOT make sense!

Of course, I asked the prof about it, and she replied that it was an "economical question", which somehow should mean that the law has nothing to do with it. She also said that such situations wouldn't matter in practice, because the value of the building wouldn't be enough to pay everybody anyway, and if the building was worth enough, the owner would just sell it himself and pay his creditors.

Very well, So what does it mean? That the legislator writes laws thinking that "Oh, it's OK, there won't be enough money to go around anyway"??

Somehow, I very much doubt that...

Sunday, September 06, 2009

What is a Legal Fiction?

Legal fictions are facts or situations assumed or created by courts which are then used to resolve matters before them. Legal fictions are mostly encountered under common law systems. ~ Wikipedia: Legal Fiction
In other words, legal fictions are things assumed to be true by the courts, usually to fill a legal or factual void. Legal fictions may or may not be statutory, and are used when the situation fits the criteria set in the statute or in the precedents.

Whats's a Non Sequitur?

Non Sequiturs, as a literary device, is a comment which is humorous as it is unrelated to the previous statement. See Wikipedia

Non Sequiturs in logic are arguments in which the conclusion does not follow from the premises. See Wikipedia again

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Duty to Represent?

Law is Cool just posted a blog entry about the lawyers' duty to represent even the unpleasant client.
Imagine two potential civil litigation clients. Both present you with problems well within your expertise and both satisfy your financial retainer requirements. Neither ask you to do anything unethical or underhanded.

The first is a quiet, respectful person who appreciates the limits of the law and wants you to pursue a clearly valid claim. The other is an unpleasant, extreme individual with a warped view of justice and a claim that is marginal.

You explain the law to both clients together with the likely results of litigation. Both ask you to go ahead and issue a claim. What do you do?
Prof Morton argues that lawyers have a duty to represent every client, even those who are unpleasant, as every person is entitled to justice. It is hard to find anything to say against that.

However, I can't say I completely agree with what is being argued in the article. My first reaction is that lawyers are the providers of a service, and as such, should have the freedom to chose who they want to do business with.

On the other hand, the right to justice is one of the most fundamental rights, and everyone should have access to a lawyer to defend these rights. It is very easy to make a parallel between lawyer and doctors, and the natural question to ask is "Should a doctor be allowed to pick and choose his patients, then?" Let's leave this topic for a potential later post, as it is not an easy comparison to make, and besides, it's not particularly relevant for our present purpose.

I think the main problem I have with this is not only with this idea of having a duty to represent someone, but also with the way the problem has been presented.

First off, this idea of duty seems rather strange to me. I understand that a lawyer might have a duty to defend the best interests of his clients, and do so to the best of his abilities. However, I can't really agree with having a duty to take a case just because someone wants you to. I don't think that just because you agree to meet with someone to discuss their case makes makes you obligated to defend them. In short, I don't want to be stuck with such a duty just because someone comes for a consultation.

Then, there's a problem with the way the situation is being presented. See, there are 2 clients: the good one, and the bad one. The Good Client, Good Case, vs the Bad Client, Bad Case. What about the 2 middle ones? What about the Good Client, Bad Case, and the Bad Client, Good Case? Certainly, the goodness of a case is independent from the pleasantness of the client.

However, from the way the question is asked, there is no distinction between a bad client, and a bad case. Such a confusion does little to help solve the ethical problem at hand.

If a client has a bad case, the normal reaction of any lawyer would be to advise him/her against going to court. This has nothing to do with how likeable the client is. But what if the client insists? The above article seems to say that lawyers (at least in Ontario), due to their oath to "neglect no one’s interest and [...] faithfully serve and diligently represent the best interests of [their] client," have a duty to launch a lawsuit and go to court should the client so demand.

I beg to differ. I think that "faithfully serve and diligently represent the best interest of the client" does not equal going to court whenever the client wants to. Indeed, if, as a lawyer, I consider going to court to be against the best interests of the client, either due to the high costs involved, or to any number of valid reasons, then it seems to me that it would be against professional ethics to launch the lawsuit. If I know that a case seems desperate, and that the client is likely to invest a huge amount of time, effort, and money into a lawsuit that s/he will very likely not win, then I would certainly think that it is not in my client's best interest to pursue the matter. If I pledge to serve my client's "best interests", then I don't see how I would have a duty to sue whenever the client asks me to.

This is certainly what happens when a client arrives with a bad case, be it a pleasant client, or an unpleasant one. Correlating bad client and bad case is just oversimplifying the issue. At worst, it is intellectually dishonest, because you then don't separate the consequences of having a bad case, with those of being an unpleasant client, and act as though lawyers who refuse bad cases do so because the clients are unpleasant.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Small Claims this week...

St-Pierre v. City of Pohénégamook

First off, yes, it's an actual place, and no, I don't know how to say it either.
For some reason, I seem to be developing a fondness for litigation involving municipalities.

The plaintiff is asking for $6000 worth of damages.

The dispute: August 2008, lots of rain. Inadequate drainage duct contributed to the overflowing of water. The water crossed the road and caused damages to the plaintiff's property.

The water picked itself up, and went "F*** this, I'm crossing the road". Why did the water cross the road? Well, apparently, it seemed to have malicious intentions towards the plaintiff's basement.

The defendant contests, because they weren't expecting that shitload of water to fall on their heads on August 2nd and 3rd.

Proof shows that the City has installed a drainage duct, which had a right-angle bend. The diameter was insufficient. There was an overflow, which damaged the plaintiff's property.

According to the plaintiff, the City was at fault by installing and maintaining the ducts. Moreover, the diameter was inadequate, and the overflow stopped as soon as the duct was removed.

After the events, the City conducted some major work in that area, and rearranged the draining system.

The City argued that the amount of rain received on August 2nd was exceptional (89 mm, vs 33 and 25 for the day before and after). On Aug 2nd and 3rd, the storm drains on Rue Principale overflowed. These drains belong to the Ministry of Transports. The other streets (Pignon and St-Laurent) belong to the City.

Proof has shown that the City has had problems with the drains before, and has replaced some with wider-diameter ones on certain streets. The City knew that the ducts had to be replaced.

Water that caused the damage came from higher grounds, which belongs to the City.
The duct was the cause of the water overflow, which caused damage to the plaintiff's property.

Proof shows that the formation of blockages was highly predictable. The City knew that the diameter was not wide enough.

When a municipality executes work on streets or trenches, they must avoid modification of the natural water flow, or plan an effective drainage system for the water in order to avoid floods.

The defendant has not taken reasonable measures to avoid floods. The City has not acted with prudence and diligence.

The Defendant claims Force Majeure (ss 1470 CCQ), because of the truckload of rain they received. However courts have established that rain, even by the truckload, did not constitute force majeure.

So the lesson is: you should always provide for the deluge.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

What happens in the Metro...

I guess I haven't really been following the news lately, because I totally missed what is probably the biggest controversy of the week, namely, the lady getting fined for not holding the handrail in the metro.

My initial reaction upon reading the headlines ("Woman fined for not holding handrail" and the like) was, of course, What The Fuck. But upon reading the article, I have to say that I really can't see anything wrong with what the police did, and I don't particularly sympathize with the lady.

First off, she wasn't only "fined for not holding handrail". Sure, she was. But in my opinion, that fine is only incidental to the real issue, which was obstructing police, for which she got a $320 fine. People shouldn't focus on the handrail, and demonize the police officers because of that. For instance, if the police stops you for a broken headlight, and you assault the police officer because of that, I don't think it would be quite fair to report "Man arrested for broken headlight".

Then, people say that it's stupid to fine people for such a trifle, and the police should have left her off with a warning. However, according to the police, they did warn her multiple times, and he refused to comply. After which they ticketed her. What's a "warning"? No warning would be "Miss, you were not holding the handrail, here's a $100 fine." A warning is: "Miss, you should hold the handrail, please hold the handrail." Or, if you really wanna be thorough with it: "Miss, the law says you have to hold the handrail. You are not holding the handrail. Please hold the handrail (NOW) or you'll get a fine." Here's your warning. So I would say that if you don't start holding that handrail within a reasonably short time, you've had your warning and are eligible for a fine.

Many argue that the police shouldn't be telling people how to ride an escalator. Besides, nobody has ever been fined for not holding the handrail before, so this instance is definitely abusive, right? WRONG. Just because nobody every had doesn't mean nobody ever should be fined, or that it's legally OK not to hold the handrail.

Should she be fined, though? Maybe. I'm not opposed to the fine, and I certainly don't see anything wrong with the fine, given the circumstances.

What circumstances?

Obstructing police work. She yelled at them when they told her to hold the rail.

She says she didn't.

For some reason, I'm not tempted to believe that. Given the facts, I think it's reasonable to say that the police's version is more believable, and that she did obstruct the police in some way.

The only facts we have are these: she was fined for not holding the handrail, and obstruction. She was handcuffed and held in detention.

1. the police was either warning a lot of people, or only picked on her. I find the first case more believable. I don't see any reason the police would pick on her, of all people there.

2. Assuming the police was warning a lot of people, why was she the only one with a fine? Either they picked on her, or she did something to warrant it. Given that she was detained, I'd say she did something. The other option is that police has cuffed her though she didn't do anything. Why would they do that? I don't find this very likely.

So she did something. What did she do?

1. She refused to comply, and
2. Police say she started screaming at them.

Assuming both are true. Should the police have cuffed/arrested her?


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

In small claims court...

Ever since I went to visit the Small Claims Court back in January, I found a liking to these little cases. Granted, it's not Judge Judy, and reading a case is not as fun as watching the proceedings, but they nevertheless offer a glimpse into the issues of ordinary people. Had a bit of time today, so I decided to look up some of the latest cases. I just picked one that seemed interesting: Gaudreault c. Future Shop, because everyone knows Future Shop, and I wanted to see what the Gaudreault person had against the store.

Note: below is a summary of the decision, and not a complete translation.
Gaudreault v. Future Shop
Qc, Ca, Chicoutimi District
Judge: Jean-Yves Tremblay

The plaintiff demands the replacement of a 52-inch Samsung LNT TV, bought May 31, 2008, because the empolyee of the defandant has accidentally knocked the TV while loading the furniture (TV table?), thereby breaking it.

[Declaration of Gaudreault's wife, stating that the Future Shop employee was loading the TV with her husband]

[Contestation from the defendant, stating that the plaintiff was informed his car was too small, and was warned that the plaintiff would be responsible for any damages, but decided to transport the TV nevertheless. Physical damages are not covered by the Service Plan. The defendant also claims that it is impossible to determine when the damage has occurred, and the plaintiff has been warned of the risks.]

[Declaration of and employee of the defendant, stating that the TV has been wrapped in bubble wrap and then loaded in the plaintiff's car. The employee had remarked that the car was very small to transport a TV of that size.]

Proof revealed that the TV was very well wrapped. The plaintiff had also been offered the delivery service and the employees had warned the plaintiff the risks.

The Plaintiff's wife was in the car, and confirmed the loading maneuvers, but couldn't confirm that it was then the TV was broken. Moreover, the Plaintiff was part of the maneuvers, and even if that was when the damages occurred, he is the first to affirm that it was an accident.

Article 2803 states that "A person wishing to assert a right shall prove the facts on which his claim is based."


In the current case, it is impossible to determine when the damages occurred. Was it during the loading, the transport, the unloading, or the installation? Moreover, the Plaintiff had participated in the operations.


This case is quite typical, as lack of proof is one of the main reasons a claim gets dismissed. I can imagine such things can be quite frustrating. One one side, it's one of these lawsuits that happen when you do something you shouldn't. Bad things happen, and you want someone to pay for it. The guy shows up with a car that's too small, squeeze a valuable and potentially fragile article inside. It breaks, and the guy is trying to blame the store.

On the other hand, there's a guy who just spent a substantial amount of money getting a big TV, and doesn't even get to use it once. He hasn't been able to enjoy his TV, so of course he feels that the money has been wasted, and wants it back.

Well, apparently that's not gonna happen.

So the moral of the story is this: before you even start wondering whether you're right or wrong, make sure you can PROVE IT. And a busted TV doesn't prove anything.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Chinese, English, & Probabilities

I just discovered a Chinese-learning blog that looked very interesting. I read a few entries, and came up across a post about some phonetic coincidences between English words and their Chinese translation.

This is a very interesting topic, as it has some kind of mystical appeal. However, every time someone wonders whether something is just a coincidence or not, I have a strong urge to work out the math behind it, and find out exactly what the odds are. So I have done a bit of number crunching. Here goes:

According to this table: Wikipedia Pinyin Table Chinese words have a possibility of 402 different sounds (I counted). That's not including the intonations, since I'm assuming that "fee" (in English), for instance, would be deemed similar to "fei" whether it's the 1st tone or the 4th. This means that any Chinese word would have to match one of these 402 sounds.

Assuming that every english word has a corresponding chinese word, and that every english sound has a corresponding sound in Chinese that can be deemed "close enough", it means that given a random English word, and a random Chinese sound, there are 1 in 402 chances that the meaning of a chinese word matching that sound corresponds to the same definition in English.

Therefore, for every English word, there is a 1/402 chance that its Chinese equivalent has the same sound. (assuming every Chinese sound can correspond to an English one. )

If we then assume (conservative estimate) that there are 3500 single-syllable words in English (Dr. Phyllis Fisher's word list) and every word having a 1 in 402 chance of finding its correspondent in Chinese, then the odds would be that 3500 X 1/402 = 8.7 English words would sound similar in chinese.

The odds would be even more favourable if you decide that sounds like zh/z, ch/c, sh/s, an/en, ang/eng ai/ei, etc. are similar enough to be considered identical, and if you assume there are more one-syllable English words.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Just answering some fan mail

Hey JC, I have been listening to The Mystery of the Yellow Room. Just what is your background? Your English diction is great - and from the other comments I take it that your French is equally perfect. But I can't place your accent.

Whatever, you are an excellent reader and I am truly enjoying The Yellow Room.

MaryAnn (who has been a lawyer now for some 15+ years, is still enjoying the profession while hopefully making a positive contribution to society at large, and who wishes you a long and satisfying career)
Hi MaryAnn! Thank you so much for your kind comments! I'm glad to see that you are enjoying the audiobooks.

I'm actually of Chinese origin, so Mandarin is technically my first language. I've been living in Quebec for quite a while, so my French definitely has a Quebec accent. I guess my English would be Canadian English with a bit of Quebecois background.

However, since I tend to mumble a bit when I talk, I try to enunciate more, and one of the ways I've found was to borrow a bit of british-ish pronounciation, like saying "oll" for "all". Which might make the accent a bit erratic at times, and I do apologize for the listeners who are annoyed by that.

I hope this answers your question!
Thanks again for your comments!

PS: I'm glad that you are still enjoying the legal profession! :)

Monday, March 09, 2009

Circular reasoning works because...

Philosophy of Law

People have different conceptions of an egalitarian society. K. Nielsen's conception is rather radical. His vision has a marxist flavour to it, and involves getting rid of all social classes, and redistributing wealth around the world.

I found this theory rather annoying. The way our prof presented it, the system was based on the premise that the world will offer abundant resources. And in my mind, if the resources are abundant, then of course you could reach equality. The reasoning seemed somewhat circular.

I mean, if you consider that material inequality is caused by the scarcity of resources, or the perceived scarcity of resources, then the minute you eliminate this scarcity, then you eliminate one of the causes of inequality. And it will be like saying that "In a world without inequality, there will be equality." The rest is just figuring out a way to distribute the wealth, which is what most of the theory is about. (And yes, I do realize that most of the inequality comes from the uneven redistribution of wealth, and having a theory about the redistribution of wealth is good, and might be a step towards equality.)

Of course, it is admitted that this conception is rather utopian, and it should somewhat excuse the initial flaw. Methinks the real theory should be finding a way to achieve a sustainable exploitation of resources, and to distribute them equally. Thus, the eradication of scarcity (or of the perception of scarcity) will bring equality.

On the other hand, some people say that we currently produce enough resources to fulfill the needs of all human beings. (no, I don't have a source for that, it's just something one hears, and I don't feel like looking it up either) So assuming the Earth does produce enough for everyone, then basing a theory on an idea (or ideal) of "abundance" seems like an attempt to overcome the obvious non-applicability of the theory.

It would be like saying "Right now, we don't have equality, because the resources are scarce, but IF the resources were to be plenty, then we'd be equal."
But what if the Earth does produce enough? This is does not seem to be something that Nielsen (or my prof, since my knowledge of Nielsen's theory only comes through my prof) considers, since the conception is qualified as being utopian, and being such, it means that the initial condition of plentifulness are non-existent.

In which case, it makes for very nice philosophical considerations, but we're arguing into the void, as we are ignoring the problem of the non-practical-applicability of the theory by presuming its non-practical-applicableness. (Or, in better English, it cannot be applied in practice, because it has not been made to be applicable in practice, since it --supposedly-- deals with an ideal of plentifulness that doesn't exist)

Friday, February 13, 2009

'Tis all about the math!

Legal Interpretation this morning. Got me thinking about math, for some reason.

here's the situation:
You have Law A and Law B that contradict each-other. Which one will take precedence?

1. The law that explicitly claims precedence prevails. (eg: "notwithstanding any other disposition..." etc)
2. The more recent law takes precedence over the older.
3. The more specific law takes precedence over the more general.

And with these, the judges found that if you have Law A which is Specific, Claims Precedence, and adopted earlier, and Law B, which is General, Claims Precedence, and adopted later, then Law B will prevail.

And it got me thinking about logical operations, which is weird since I know virtually nothing about it...

To the guy walking in front of me in Snowdon metro station:

I would like to inform you that when walking in a metro station during high-traffic hours, it is always good policy to KEEP WITH THE FLOW, and avoid sudden deceleration. Indeed, said deceleration is likely to unsettle certain human bodies that have elected to follow the rules of inertia, viz. that a body in movement tends to remain in movement.

I do not contest that this reckless suspension of momentum might not be entirely unjustified. However, I would like to point out that although it might be commendable to yield the right of way to the nice lady walking beside you, it would also be wise to mind the nice lady walking behind.

This time, collision was averted due to my mad ninja skills, but next time, you might not be so lucky.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Legal BURN of the Day

Larose c. Emanuel (1990)
La parole donnée, manifestation du sens de l'honneur, est une chose consacrée au Barreau. Malheureusement, il y a des gens qui observent les règles de l'honneur comme on observe les étoiles, de loin.

(The given word, a manifestation of the sense of honour, is a consecrated thing. Unfortunately, there are people who observe the rules of honour as we observe the stars, from afar.)

Legal FAIL of the Day

Betanzos v. Premium Sound N Pictures inc (2006)

Sometimes, a lawsuit can backfire...

On November 25, 2002, Plaintiff (Mr Betanzos) was dismissed by his employer, the Defendant (Premium). He had been working for Premium for eight years [...]. He claims $81,700.00 from Premium ($74,200.00 in lieu of notice, $2,500.00 for his share in the profits of 2002 and $5,000.00 for loss of coverage under the Benefit Plan he was entitled to).

[...] At the time of the cancellation of the contract, Premium paid $25,800.00 to Mr Betanzos to buy peace. [...] Since he did not inform Premium of his intention not to accept the settlement before cashing the cheques and since he sued immediately after having done so, Premium considers he has acted in bad faith and claims, in its Cross-Demand, the reimbursement of the sum of $25,800.00 and an additional amount of $15,000.00 for legal fees.

Judge's ruling:
In the Court's opinion, the evidence is overwhelming and Premium was justified to dismiss Mr Betanzos. His performance was not what was expected of him and notwithstanding his having been told so on a number of occasions, the situation did not improve. As a matter of fact it worsened. [...]

In view of the Court's answer to this question,[...] Mr Betanzos' claim will be dismissed.


The evidence is clear: a verbal contract had intervened between the parties. It was a transaction and it had the authority of a final judgment between Premium and Mr Betanzos.

Mr Betanzos cashed the cheques of $20,000.00 and $1,800.00 in January 2003 without indicating beforehand to Premium that he was no longer in agreement with the transaction. Furthermore, immediately after having cashed the cheques, he sent a letter of demand and, a month later, instituted the present proceedings.

This is not behaving in good faith and this is not respecting the contract which was the law of the parties. [...]

The Court cannot condone such a behaviour. Mr Betanzos knew what he was doing: he had consulted a lawyer. He also knew that, for Premium, this was a final settlement: a transaction.

Since Mr Betanzos has not respected the contract of transaction, the Court will order him to refund $25,800.00 to Premium since the contract of transaction is a whole and cannot be severed.


Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Crash course on computer fonts

Please. This is a public service announcement to all teachers preparing course packs. Please.


At least have the decency of using Times! Here's my beef: Arial is a relatively large font. It is so large, in fact, that most teachers who know what they're talking about will request assignments to be printed either in Times 12, or Arial 10. A large font in course packs makes for a lot of pages. WAY too many pages. AND it's not very practical, because a given text will span many pages, whereas it could be squeezed into 2 or 3, thereby offering a more satisfactory experience to the reader who likes to have a more global view of the text.

Please. I do not want to be obliged to flip 2 pages to find the end of a sentence that began 2 pages earlier.

Plus, using Arial 12 is juvenile. Remember when, back in the days when the teacher gave an assignment, and you had nothing to write, and tried to find the largest possible font just to make it look like you wrote a lot, and fooling no one in the process?

Yeah. Exactly.

Moreover, it's a waste of paper. And a pain for the students who are lugging their stuff around.


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Tech support @ home

Topic of the day: how to "put those pictures from the camera into the computer"

Open the folder
No, not this folder, the other one
The one that looks like a folder
Yeah, this one. Double click
Ok, how about select and hit enter
No, I don't know in which folder the pictures are, why don't you just look?
No, they're not in the computer yet
No, you have to save them into the computer
I know you're looking at them; they're still not in the computer
You need to copy/paste
You need to TELL THE COMPUTER that you want to copy/paste
OK, how about drag & drop?
Here, I'll create a folder on the desktop, just drag & drop
You need to select a group then
No, you can't click on an icon to select a group
Here, let me show you
yeah, so now just drag it to the folder and let go
Well, um, looks like you've missed the folder
Oh, don't worry, it's just saving them all on the desktop


2nd topic of the day: "why can't I hear?"

MOM: I'm trying to use Skype (which she pronounces "skippy") but it doesn't work
ME: ??
MOM: Look, she's telling me she can hear me, but I can't hear her! Is there something wrong?
ME: I don't think so...
MOM: Well, I can't hear her! Is our computer broken?
ME: No...
MOM: I can't hear her!
ME: I know.
MOM: What do you mean, you know?
ME: The earphones are on the table.

Friday, January 23, 2009

What does "naked" mean?

It is a rule that you generally assume that the judges, lawyers, and your professors are competent, if not absolute geniuses (or genii). And then you encounter a judgment that makes you wonder what the deuce they're arguing about.

I had "Interprétation des lois" (legal interpretation) this morning, and the prof was talking about the first rule of interpretation, which is that you read the text, and use the normal meaning of the words, and/or the definitions provided by the law.

Well, it so happens that in a particular case, namely R. v. Verrette, which is remarkable not only because it contains the following sentences:
The uncontradicted evidence shows that the Appellant was a “gogo boy”, that is to say a male dancer, who performed on a stage in the hotel. At one point he was dressed in small “panties”, but as the performance progressed he took these off and continued to dance while totally exposed. It was dark in the hall, but a spotlight illuminated the stage. The music, described as typically “gogo”, was rather fast, and the Appellant’s testicles and penis “swung back and forth”.

but also because the lawyers had to interpret §170 of the Criminal code (at that time), which said
170. (1) Every one who, without lawful excuse,

(a) is nude in a public place, or

(b) is nude and exposed to public view while on private property, whether or not the property is his own,

is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

(2) For the purpose of this section a person is nude who is so clad as to offend against public decency or order.

Now, the controversy stems from paragraph (b), which said that a "nude" person is "clad...". The question: does the definition include a person who is stark naked, ie not "clad"?

Believe it or not, they went to the Supreme Court for that.

Now this is the part that annoys me. The judge went into lengthy discussions about the normal meaning of the words, and how it would be contrary to logic to determine that a stark naked person is not "nude" in the sense of the law because the definition says "clad", etc,
In the case at bar, the Court of Appeal said that s. 170(2) is “more than just a definition” and indicated that the situation would be different should the subsection provide that nude persons “include” persons clad offensively. In definition provisions, the word “includes” is generally used extensively in contradistinction to the restrictive word “means”. To underline that the word “includes” has not been used is to suggest, a contrario, that the word “means” might have come closer to expressing the real intent. The Court of Appeal stopped short at that point; if that suggestion were accepted, the subsection would be construed as if it read:

For the purposes of this section, “nude” means to be so clad as to offend against public decency or order.

An anomalous consequence would follow: to be clad in a certain way would be an offence under s. 170; to be completely naked would not.

Neither “includes” nor “means” were used and I think little is to be gained by the consideration of words which are not in the section.

The key word of s. 170(2) is the verb “is” in the proposition “a person is nude”. In my opinion “is” here means “shall be deemed to be”, the very expression used in the predecessor of s. 170 which was added to the Criminal Code as s. 205A by the Statutes of Canada, 1931, c. 28, s. 2:
The last paragraph of s. 205A(1), a deeming provision, accordingly assimilated scantiness of dress to complete nudity provided that scantiness of dress was such as to offend against public decency or order.
Thus, a scantily dressed person is not really nude; but if under certain conditions that person be deemed to be nude in a provision prohibiting nudity, the word “nude” keeps its ordinary meaning which at the same time is extended to something which is not nudity.

A very fancy interpretation indeed.

I like mine better.

The mistake in this reasoning is that the judge seems to think that §170 (1) (b) is a definition of the word "nude", which it isn't. Rather, it is a qualification of being "so clad as to offend ..."

Indeed, consider this:
A bicycle is an automobile. - VS - An automobile is a bicycle.
Similar, yet not.

In the first case, I'm putting bicycle in the "automobile" category, without prejudice (<<- !! I'm actually using this expression!!) to the normal meaning of "automobile". Whenever I talk about automobiles, I'm including the bicycles. (Which is "non-exhaustive" and broadens the meaning of "automobile" by creating a legal fiction.)

In the second case, I'm defining "automobile" as being a bicycle, and (likely), nothing else, thus, whenever I talk about automobiles, I'm only referring to bicycles. (Which would be called an "exhaustive" definition.)

Now consider the problematic sentence:
"For the purpose of this section a person is nude who is so clad as to offend against public decency or order."

Let's just work with the italicized part.
"a person is nude who is so clad as to offend" can be re-written as
"is nude a person who is so clad as to offend" or
"a person who is so clad as to offend is nude".

All 3 sentences have the same meaning. (Darn, I could've gone into Linguistics.)

Now, consider:
"a person who is so clad as to offend is nude" - VS - "Nude is a person who is so clad as to offend"
Assuming I'm not Yoda, the first and 2nd sentences have different meanings. In the first sentence, you define the "person who is so clad as to offend" as being "nude", and in the second, you define "nude" as a scantily clad person.

The rest is just logic and common sense.

Definitely no need to go into 3 pages of precedents and legal history.

but what do I know. I'm just a law student.

Not the best time, but fun nevertheless

For some time, there was a picture of a headstone that was circulating on the Internet. The headstone has a poem inscribed on its back, and the first letter of every line spells FUCK YOU. I never thought much of it, until I came across this picture, and I realized this masterpiece of cynicism and humour was actually located in Montreal! (See the Oratory on the top right of the picture)

So, today, I went to the cemetery with a friend, and, armed with that picture, set off to find that headstone. Granted, it was rather cold outside, and I can say that we could definitely have chosen a better season for such an expedition, as there was about 3 feet of snow on the ground.

We started at noon, and since we had no idea where the headstone was, we just entered from the first gate we saw, which was the one on Decelles. History will tell that we chose the wrong entrance to start the search.

We didn't have much to go on. From the picture, we tried to triangulate the position based on the Oratory and the other building. Unfortunately, there were 2 high-rises around that place, and we made the mistake of referring to the wrong one. We walked a bit too much to the east, until I realized this was not going to work, as the angle was wrong. In case you go looking, the building in the picture is actually the one on the right. (You'll know if you go there)

I was a bit confused at first, since the Oratory seemed farther in the picture than it was in real life, making me think the stone was farther uphill.

It took us about 40 minutes to walk to the general area corresponding to the picture. Once we got the building aligned just right, we had pretty much spotted the lot in which the stone should be.

The first clue was when I found the tree. (The contorted one you see on the right.) The rest was a matter of observation, and we soon found the stone. It was surprisingly conspicuous once we spotted it, and I don't know how we missed it after walking past twice. There was a road behind the lot, and the stone was in the first row, although right behind it was a rather large tree (whose trunk splits in 2 rather close to the ground). Given the snow, I was quite happy we didn't have to go looking any further. Considering the size of the place, I'm just glad we found it at all. Honestly, I almost lost hope at some point.

I took 2 pictures. Here they are:

It took us about 50 minutes to find the headstone. We then took the bus to go back to the Cote-Des-Neiges metro, and it took us 2 minutes to go back. It would've been easier if we had started by taking the bus to the entrance on Cote-Des-Neiges (where the main building is), as the stone was in the lot right behind it. I'd provide you with the lot number, but where would the fun be?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Cocktail @ McMillan

Had a "parrainage" event at McMillan today. Quite different from yesterday's place; this one was a cocktail rather than an actual tour.

We didn't get to visit the cabinet, which was a bit of a disappointment. Otherwise, it was really great! There were actual lawyers there, and they were really interesting. The dynamic is quite different from a guided tour, since you just grab a drink and chat.

They had some pretty great people there. The lawyers were really friendly and casual, and the group dynamic was pretty amazing.

McMillan is a medium-large cabinet (~50 lawyers). Their internship structure is very interesting: instead of being in a certain domain, you get to work with pretty much everything. This is appealing, since I like variety. The downside, if you can call it that, is that they only let you work 1 summer, after the 3rd year, as opposed to some other cabinets who will hire you to work the summer after your 2nd year.

McMillan deals with corporate law, and has only 1 lawyer who works on Intellectual Property. :( Obviously, banking, insolvency and litigation are much more popular.

It is still quite hard to judge a firm at those events, since they're obviously putting their best foot forward. Of course, they will pretty much tell you the same thing, eg, that they're looking for people who will integrate well into their team, and they're looking for dynamic people, etc, which is rather a no-brainer.

However, I did gather that one of the lawyers did 16-hr days once, for an assignement, though the general tendency seems to be closer to 12-hr days.

Overall, I have to say, I felt a good vibe at that place.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Parrainage @ Law Firm

Journée parrainage @ law firm in Mtl. Hunting season is approaching.

Went to visit a law firm this morning. Pretty neat. One of the largest law firms in Mtl, with offices pretty much everywhere.

I have to say, it was a very nice experience. We did a little tour of the cabinet, and met a few lawyers.

Reception is quite impressive. Diffused light and wooden doors, which make for a very convivial and rather gorgeous place. The only thumbs-down so far was a rather loud abstract-art painting that contrasted with the smooth decor. I didn't like the painting, but then I tend to be suspicious of all paintings that can be made with a roller. I don't like abstract art either, except when they're wallpapers (the computer kind, not the sticky kind) AND when they're smooth and pretty. I like curves, and soft colours. That painting had anything but. It had a bright red background, with a wedge shape that had its point around the lower left corner, and its wider part to the upper right. Said shape (I almost called it a triangle, but it obviously had 4 sides) was black and white, and I think had yellow too, contrasting with the red background. I think the thing that annoyed me the most wasn't so much the colour, or the lack of curves, as the fact that the pointy bit didn't quite go exactly to the corner of the canvas. Rather, it sat at the edge of the canvas, about 2 inches above the lower left corner. Anyway. It seemed off.

Our tour guides were students and interns from the cabinet. The lawyers we met were really great people. We met the CEO, who was an extremely engaging guy and was eager to meet us (!!). The people seemed very casual, and the atmosphere, friendly and relaxed.

The 2nd lawyer we met greeted us with "Welcome to my mess", yet had the most tidy office I've seen.

They have a lounge with a big-screen TV, and a REALLY fancy coffee-maker with pretty blue lights.

Saw a couple of lawyers who were in Intellectual Property. Seems that IP deals much more with patents and trademarks, than with copyright. I could live with that.

The luncheon was excellent. Must learn to make that beet salad.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

3... 2... 1... The hunt has begun!

Soon, VERY SOON, is the "Course au Stage" (Literally: internship hunt). On the 22nd, all participating legal cabinets will set up a stand in the hallways, and we'll have to dash from one to the other in a desperate search for The Place That Will Hire Me. This mythical place is the law student's Nirvana, where all his legal dreams will come true. It is where we will spend the 6 months of our internship, and, if we're lucky maybe the next summer or two. But that's later. Much later.

Right now, the goal is to browse, to search, and make yourself known. Socialize, socialize, socialize. Wear a funny hat, or platform shoes, and hope to stand out from the crowd.

Then you apply. Resume + cover letter.

I hate cover letters. I never know what to write. Ironically enough, I have a friend who turns to ME every time she needs someone to review her cover letters. She even brokers my reviewing services: she set up a meeting with me for her friend so that I would review her Med School application letter.

Anyway. I thought up something just this morning. Since the trick is to make a good impression, and stand out from the crowd, what if I handwrote my cover letter? I could go get nice letter paper, and a nice pen, and whip out my nice handwriting...

I might even have the guts to do just that... Pick half of the places at random (OK, maybe fewer. Don't want to alienate that many people just now) and send them the handwritten letter and see what happens.

Or maybe not at random. Just those who advertise originality (which is pretty much every one of them, but some more than others) and see if they live by their own standards.

Then again, I might strike them as someone who doesn't own a printer... And the only thing it will show is that I have a nice pen...
I think something should be made illegal: Professors publishing books and making the students buy them.

For your average student who labours all summer to pay for his/her studies, nothing is more annoying than a teacher telling you you need his book for the class. Said book will, of course, cost you a good $100 of your hard-earned money. Which is 10 hours of work.

Here's my beef: it wouldn't be so bad if the book were actually useful for the class, but what really annoys me is that most of the times, it's barely used. Of course, the prof will refer to a few pages from the book, but very rarely does it offer more insight than what the teacher says.

Case in point: Last year, I had a teacher who told us at the beginning of the semester that we needed the book (which he co-authored, and cost around $100, and new edition, please, because the one from 2 yrs ago isn't good enough) because there would be some topics we won't have time to see in class, which could be in the final. Well, guess what? They weren't.

Now, this year, I've another teacher who makes us buy his book. Which is, almost word-to-word, a reiteration of what he says in class. Down to the examples and analogies he gives. But of course, you need the book, because that's where all the stuff is. And, sneaky, sneaky, the cases to read aren't listed on his course plan; they're in the book. Basically, I'm spending $100 to get a transcript of his course. Book which I HAVE to acquire, because it has the benefit of only quoting the important passages of the relevant cases.

So, message to all professors: Stop doing that! It's annoying!

Friday, January 16, 2009

I was a little bored today...

... so I thought: I have a highly customizable GUI, with a lot of extras. What should I do? I was experimenting with the Screenlets application, and the Ring Sensors, and it suddenly hit me. Now, it took a while to make everything look right, and I had to re-start many times, and got tired and just went Whatever!, then of course it worked, but I was too annoyed to make it look pretty again.

Basically, being the Dr Who fan that I am, I made my desktop look like a Tardis computer. With the right wallpaper, and the Ring Sensors placed at strategic places, the result looks pretty cool. Only, it's too bad I can't find the place from where I downloaded my wallpaper.

(BTW, Photobucket doesn't seem to like .png files)

My Desktop now looks like this, and the ring sensors work, so it looks a bit like a Tardis dashboard. Now, if you're really into it, you can re-size the sensors to make it prettier, which I had done, but the rings wouldn't load properly when I logged in, for some reason.


Incidentally, I found the wallpaper. It's from here.

Another pretty wallpaper is this but I'd rather have it with David Tennant's face...

Ubuntu Intrepid, Screenlets 0.1.2, with Ring Sensors: CPU, RAM, TEMP, and Batteries.

Now the only thing I need is a round icon for my trash, or a Tardis-looking icon...

Thursday, January 08, 2009

I had a bit of time, so started looking at random websites. Then my StumbleUpon button froze, and I didn't know what to do anymore.


Teacher: "At first, the small claims were $1500 max, and Quebec court's limit was 15K. Then, small claims were raised to $3000, and the Qc court, to 30K. Then, all of a sudden, the Qc court's limit jumps to $70K. What does it show?"

And the first thing that came to my mind was: that the Small Claims' Court's limit was 7K?

Ah, I crack myself up.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The latest outrage in Facebook concerns breastfeeding pictures, and whether or not Facebook should allow them. I'd link to an article, but since it's from the AP, I won't bother. (Because of this.)

Anyway, so I went and had a peek at Facebook's terms of use. First of all, you have to read the Terms.
... you agree not to... upload, post, transmit, share, store or otherwise make available any content that we deem to be harmful, threatening, unlawful, defamatory, infringing, abusive, inflammatory, harassing, vulgar, obscene, fraudulent, invasive of privacy or publicity rights, hateful, or racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable;

However, that's not enough. Under the 15 bullet-points that lists all the things "you agree not to" do, the Terms of Use will send you to another page
Without limiting any of the foregoing, you also agree to abide by our Facebook Code of Conduct that provides further information regarding the authorized conduct of users on Facebook.

Said Code of Conduct provides that
you may not post or share Content that:

- is obscene, pornographic or sexually explicit
- depicts graphic or gratuitous violence
- makes threats of any kind or that intimidates, harasses, or bullies anyone
- is derogatory, demeaning, malicious, defamatory, abusive, offensive or hateful

What about breastfeeding? Many would argue that it's certainly not obscene, or pornographic, or sexually explicit.

Maybe they should do what some US court did, and clearly define what body parts are forbidden?

For instance, a US court has decided that "buttocks" would be so defined:
the area at the rear of the body which lies between two imaginary lines running parallel to the ground when a person is standing, the first or top such line drawn at the top of the cleavage of the nates [i.e., the prominence formed by the muscles running from the back of the hip to the back of the leg] and the second or bottom line drawn at the lowest visible point of this cleavage or the lowest point of the curvature of the fleshy protuberance, whichever is lower, and between two imaginary lines on each side of the body, which lines are perpendicular to the ground and to the horizontal lines described above, and which perpendicular lines are drawn through the point at which each nate meets the outer side of each leg. The Ordinance would be violated, therefore, if any portion of this area is visible from any vantage point. (from here)

Or, if this is still not precise enough for you, this should do?
The area at the rear of the human body (sometimes referred to as the gluteus maximus) which lies between two imaginary straight lines running parallel to the around when a Person is standing the first or ton of such line being 1/2 inch below the ton of the vertical cleavage of the nates (i.e. the prominence formed by the muscles running from the back of the his to the back of the leg and the second or bottom of such line being 1/2 inch above the lowest point of the curvature of the fleshy protuberance (sometimes referred to as the gluteal fold). and between two imaginary straight lines, one on each side of the body (the "outside lines"), which outside lines are perpendicular to the around and to the horizontal lines described above and which perpendicular outside lines pass through the outermost point(s) at which each nate meets the outer side of each lea. Notwithstanding the above Buttocks shall not include the leg, the hamstring muscle below the gluteal fold, the tensor fasciae latae muscle or any of the above-described portion of the human body that is between either (i) the left inside perpendicular line and the left outside perpendicular line or (ii} the right inside perpendicular line and the right outside perpendicular line. For the purpose of the previous sentence the left inside perpendicular line shall be an imaginary straight line on the left side of the anus (i) that is perpendicular to the around and to the horizontal lines described above and (ii) that is 1/3 of the distance from the anus to the left outside line, and the right inside perpendicular line shall be an imaginary straight line on the right side of the anus (i) that is perpendicular to the around and to the horizontal lines described above and (ii) that is 1/3 of the distance from the anus to the right outside line. (the above description can generally be described as covering 1/3 of the buttocks centered over the cleavage for the length of the cleavage.) (source )


While there, I spotted some more interesting clauses in the Facebook Code of Conduct. Indeed, you may not
use Facebook to send or make available any unsolicited or unauthorized advertising, solicitations, promotional materials, "junk mail," "spam," "chain letters," "pyramid schemes," or any other form of solicitation

I wonder if that includes all these invitations that people send you to take such-or-such a test, or join such-or-such a group. Imagine! Invite-you-friend could violate their terms of use! There IS a god after all!

(I wonder if the annoying quizzes that force you to invite 10 friends before giving you your results still exist...)

[you may not] solicit passwords or personal information from anyone, including those under 18

because those under 18 are usually not concerned by the password-solicitation prohibition? ...

[you may not] use information or content you obtained on the Facebook website or service in any manner not authorized by the Facebook Code of Conduct or Terms of Use
OK, I don't know if I need more legal education, or what, but what does THAT mean? That you may not use the info in the manners prohibited by FB? Or that you may not use any info in any manner UNLESS it's authorized by the FB code? In which case, does the Code authorize ways to use the info?

[you may not] register for more than one account or use or attempt to use another's account, service or system without authorization or create a false identity on the Service or the Site
HAHA they haven't specified whose authorization you need.

gosh I'm such a geek.