• IRS Rules Bitcoin Is Property, Not Currency

    IRS Rules Bitcoin Is Property, Not Currency

    The IRS has officially stated that bitcoin is a property – similar to any other valuable commodity – rather than a currency. What does this mean? Not much. In short, if you pay someone in bitcoin – in the same way you could pay them in gold – the wages are taxed accordingly. It is also not considered legal tender but a capital asset. Read More

  • Ontario law bans the use of portable gadgets while driving

    A new law in Ontario, Canada has banned the use of handheld devices while driving. This includes cellphones, GPS devices, MP3 players, etc. Slight problem: the law is broad enough that you can construe it to include doing things like changing the radio station or reaching for a cup of coffee. Read More

  • New Zealand law poised to ban GPS, e-mail, etc. on in-car cellphones

    A well-meaning law, yes, but one that just misses the mark. I refer to, of course (as if you have any idea what I’m talking about), the Road User Amendment Rule 2009 in New Zealand. It would make it illegal to use a cellphone as a navigation device while inside a car. Read More

  • French anti-piracy measure inching closer to reality

    Yup, France is now one step closer to that vicious anti-piracy bill becoming law. Legislators there approved the provision that would kick pirates off the Internet for up to a year following the illegal download of copyrighted material. The PS didn’t like the provision, nor did the EP, but none of that matters now. Onward to the National Assembly for a vote! Read More

  • If you buy a phone in Mexico, you now have to get fingerprinted

    It’s wrongheaded legislation gone wild! Monday saw a law passed in Mexico that will establish a national register of mobile users. Everyone who buys a cell phone from now on will be fingerprinted. Why, you ask? Because gangs use cell phones. Therefore, if you buy a cell phone, you may be a gang member. It’s all perfectly logical. Read More

  • New York bill would ban the sale of racially insensitive video games to minors. Nope, not joking.

    Oh for the love of God, don’t we have better things to do than legislate whether or not kids are playing video games that feature “stereotypical” characters? Apparently not in New York state we don’t! Read More

  • Canada banning fees for text messages! Well, not quite

    Bloomberg reports that Canada’s Prime Minister will be allowing telecoms industry regulators to “ban fees for unsolicited text messages on mobile phones and other ‘unfair charges.'” While that seems like a pretty narrow scope, consider that (with history as a guide) “unfair charges” is an extremely flexible term. It could spell the end of outrageous… Read More

  • Texting while driving now banned in California

    To the girl who almost slammed into me as she was texting away on her phone while driving last week: regardless of the crazy face you made and the nasty words you mouthed through your windshield, that was your fault. California agrees with me. Just yesterday, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation outlawing the reading or writing of text messages while driving. Read More

  • US lawmakers permaban cell phones in-flight

    US Lawmakers are sick of people sitting on airplanes, talking about all sorts of private matters while waiting for the plane to taxi. After a round of story-telling on conversations they’ve overheard in the past, the House of Representatives has voted to upgrade the FAA’s ban on in-flight cell phone usage to “Permanent” status. On one hand, I’ve felt their pain: a… Read More

  • New York law targets video game violence

    Details are scarce right now, but New York’s Governor David Patterson just signed a bill into law that could lead to restrictions in video game violence. Good to see that with the worldwide economy collapsing around us New York’s governor is fighting for what New Yorkers are really concerned about. The law would create some sort of video game violence board, and would require… Read More

  • Associated Press wants to charge $12.50 to quote five words, then turns around and quotes Arrington

    Far be it for the simple gadget bloggers here at to comment on legal issues concerning fair use and quoting other news sources, but if you’ve been following the Associated Press brouhaha over the past week or so, you’ll know that plenty of people are pretty riled up. If you haven’t been following the debate, the short version is that the Associated Press now… Read More

  • High school hacker could get 38 years in jail

    A student in Coto de Caza, California has done what each and every one of us has only dreamed of doing; he broke into his school’s computers and changed his grades. Gather ‘round children, and I’ll tell ye of the time that your old buddy Doug failed his fourth grade geography test. See, I mistakenly labeled Pennsylvania as New York and all hell broke loose as I filled in… Read More

  • You're under arrest, citizen, for crossing the street while talking on the phone

    Mother of god. I’m supportive of the handheld ban while driving, but while walking? Well, if Representative Kenneth Duncan of Illinois gets his way, you’ll have to hang up at every crosswalk. How unbelievably idiotic is that? He even has a backer for the bill, Illinois’ Secretary of State, who thinks it should be softened to being a secondary offense, only applicable to… Read More

  • New Mexico wants to tax video games to make kids less giant

    [photopress:games_for_guns_mexico.jpg,full,center] If there’s one thing we’ve learned over and over again, it’s that you can’t tax people into changing their ways. They’ll still buy cigarettes, gas, and booze, but instead of buying less, they’ll just curse the government and vote for Ron Paul. New Mexico, though, hasn’t learned, as some of its… Read More

  • The Pirate Bay does that European thing to the IFPI where you flick your two front teeth with your thumb

    The IFPI (basically the worldwide RIAA) must have been riding high when it got Denmark’s Tele2 ISP to block access to The Pirate Bay. However, according to the Pirate Bay blog, traffic is up about 12 percent in Denmark thanks to all the media hoopla surrounding the Tele2 fiasco. From the blog, So what has happened in Denmark now the past days? Actually, the number of visits from Denmark… Read More

  • Final Word: You can carry batteries on flights

    So it seems that you can carry batteries, extra batteries, spare batteries, and other, presumably, Leyden jars on flights. The TSA warnings only mention banning “large, palletized shipments” of lithium-ion batteries on flights whereas other batteries are fine. They recommend covering the battery terminals, however. On the other hand, the Department of Transportation says you… Read More

  • Reminder: Washington's "texting while driving" law goes into effect January 1

    If you live in the state of Washington, as I do, you’ve a scant six days left to legally drive whist text messaging, as a new law forbidding just that practice goes into effect on the first. Egads. Thankfully it’s a secondary violation, you can’t get pulled over for it, but really, we all know if a Washington state trooper sees you initiating a booty call at 60MPH on I-5… Read More

  • France wants Amazon to gouge book buyers, or else

    The other day at the subway station, a Frenchman asked me if I could spare him a dime so he could buy a bottle of pop. Soda. Whatever you call it from wherever you are right now. Anyway, I didn’t have any cash on me so I couldn’t help him out. But it got me to thinking. This guy probably would have had that dime if he didn’t have to pay full price for books all the time… Read More

  • Plasma TVs could be endangered in Australia

    In Australia, the land down under where everything is somehow deadly, the latest casualty just might be plasma TVs. As TVs get bigger and brighter, they naturally use more energy. Australia is on the cusp of adopting a new energy-rating system for electronics in a six-star system. Plasma TVs, however, wouldn’t make the cut. So the Australian Broadcasting Company is trying to either work… Read More

  • FAA sez no chatting on the plane anytime soon

    For many people, myself included, airplane time is quiet time. Time for a nap, time to listen to some music, time to tell whoever’s on the other end of your phone that you have to let them go because you’re getting on the plane. So it comes as a great relief that the FAA has decided against lifting its ban on in-flight cell phone use "for the ‘foreseeable… Read More