Judge Rules Eavesdropping Law Unconstitutional

A Cook County judge today ruled the state’s controversial eavesdropping law unconstitutional.

The law makes it a felony offense to make audio recordings of police officers without their consent even when they’re performing their public duties.

Judge Stanley Sacks, who is assigned to the Criminal Courts Building, found the eavesdropping law unconstitutional because it potentially criminalizes “wholly innocent conduct.”

via Chicago Tribune.

What the story has wrong is that it’s not just illegal to record police officers; it’s illegal to record ANY conversation where all parties to said conversation are not aware that they are being recorded.

So it’s safe to say that this is not the end of the story.  It’s most likely still illegal to record you telephone calls without letting the party on the other end know.  I wonder what the Illinois legislature will do with this.

High Gas Prices Raise Airline Ticket Costs

“[R]ising jet fuel costs put significant cost pressure on the airline industry,” Steve Lott, vice present of communications for Airlines for America told CBSDC. “Regarding fuel, it was the airline industry’s largest expense in 2011, representing 35 percent of total costs. In 2011, the price of jet fuel reached a record high of $3.00 per gallon for the year.  …

“As with any business, if [an airline] pays more for fuel and operational costs, they need to pass that cost on to the consumer,” she told CBSDC. “There have been [similar] effects in the past.”

via CBS DC.

The article cites way that airlines try to reduce the impact of rising fuel prices, include “single engine taxi” which is just as it sounds.  One issue with this practice is that jet engines are really designed to run “at operating temperature” and not take to the air immediately upon start-up.  Naturally the airlines’ practices are pretty safe, but I would suggest this particular solution is less than ideal.

GM (Temporarily) Laying off 1300 Due to Low Volt Sales

General Motors Co. announced the temporary suspension of Chevrolet Volt production and the layoffs of 1300 employees, as the company is cutting Volt manufacturing to meet lower-than-expected demand for the electric cars.

“Even with sales up in February over January, we are still seeking to align our production with demand,” GM spokesman Chris Lee said. The car company had hoped to sell 45,000 Chevy Volts in America this year, according to the Detrot News, but has only sold about 1,626 over the first two months of 2012.

“GM blamed the lack of sales in January on “exaggerated” media reports and the federal government’s investigation into Volt batteries catching fire, which officially began in November and ended Jan. 21,” the Ann Arbor (Mich.) News reported.

The laid-off employees will be rehired April 23rd, when GM resumes production of the Volt.

via Washington Examiner.

I kinda think the headline should be, “People don’t want a car that starts on fire; Media to blame.”

This is the kind of story that would only appear in a country where the government ran the auto company… oh, wait….