Santa Clara University

SCU in the News: January 12 to January 25, 2010

Report Overview:
Total Clips (143)
Other (143)


Headline Date Outlet Links

Other (143)
As Priests' Numbers Fall, SR Diocese Seeks Solutions 01/26/2010 Press Democrat Text View Clip
2009 Solar Decathlon 01/25/2010 WIAT-TV Text View Clip
U.S.-China Dispute Over Free Internet Heats Up 01/24/2010 KGO-TV Text View Clip
The Great Firewall of China 01/24/2010 CBS5 Text View Clip
#427 Confusion In California 01/24/2010 Media Awareness Project Text View Clip
As priests' numbers fall, SR Diocese seeks solutions 01/24/2010 Press Democrat - Online Text View Clip
As priests' numbers fall, SR Diocese seeks solutions 01/24/2010 Petaluma360.com Text View Clip
No transparency in "omnibus" bills 01/24/2010 philly.com Text View Clip
Calif. high court strikes down medical pot limits 01/24/2010 CNBC - Online Text View Clip
No transparency in "omnibus" bills 01/24/2010 iStockAnalyst Text View Clip
2009 Solar Decathlon on Eco Company 01/23/2010 WTGS-TV Text View Clip
2009 Solar Decathlon on Eco Company 01/23/2010 WFFF-TV Text View Clip
2009 Solar Decathlon 01/23/2010 KPTV-TV Text View Clip
2009 Solar Decathlon on Eco Company 01/23/2010 WPMT-TV Text View Clip
2009 Solar Decathlon on Eco Company 01/23/2010 WDRB-TV Text View Clip
MUTUAL FUNDS Past Results No Guarantee Of Future Performance 01/23/2010 NASDAQ Text View Clip
Google and China Some General Thoughts 01/23/2010 Circleid.com Text View Clip
The Wish Book More contributions 01/23/2010 Cupertino Courier - Online Text View Clip
Court Ruling Won't Change Local Pot Guidelines, DA Says 01/23/2010 Media Awareness Project Text View Clip
Supreme Court strikes down medical marijuana limits 01/22/2010 Colusa Sun-Herald Text View Clip
Court rejects limits on medical-marijuana possession 01/22/2010 Lexington Herald-Leader - Online Text View Clip
The Stock Markets Little Shop of Horrors And You Thought the Aftermath of 1929 Was Grim (124) 01/22/2010 Journal of Investing Text View Clip
Medical pot limits struck down by high court 01/22/2010 San Francisco Chronicle - Online Text View Clip
Calif. high court strikes down medical pot limits 01/22/2010 BusinessWeek - Online Text View Clip
State limits on medical pot rejected 01/22/2010 Los Angeles Times Text
State Limits on Medical Pot Rejected 01/22/2010 Media Awareness Project Text View Clip
MUTUAL FUNDS Past Results No Guarantee Of Future Performance 01/22/2010 Wall Street Journal Text View Clip
Calif. cuts limits on medical marijuana 01/22/2010 United Press International (UPI) Text
MUTUAL FUNDS Past Results No Guarantee Of Future Performance 01/22/2010 Easybourse.Com Text View Clip
Calif. Cuts Limits On Medical Marijuana 01/22/2010 Post Chronicle, The Text View Clip
MUTUAL FUNDS Past Results No Guarantee Of Future Performance 01/22/2010 SmartMoney - Online Text View Clip
TRADE NEWS Agilent Technologies Sponsors Electrical Engineering Undergraduate Teaching Lab at Silic 01/22/2010 MarketWatch Text View Clip
Santa Cruz medical pot collective settles lawsuit with feds 01/22/2010 Marin Independent Journal - Online Text View Clip
Medical Marijuana California Supreme Court Strikes Down Medical Pot Limits 01/22/2010 Huffington Post, The Text View Clip
Don't judge a mutual fund by its past 01/22/2010 MarketWatch Text
Santa Cruz medical pot collective settles lawsuit with feds 01/22/2010 Oakland Tribune Text
Sunnyvale resident asks for review of ethics code after ex-mayor speaks out 01/21/2010 Cupertino Courier - Online Text View Clip
Calif. Supreme Court strikes down Legislature's attempt to set medical marijuana limits 01/21/2010 Washington Examiner - Online Text View Clip
Calif. high court strikes down medical pot limits 01/21/2010 Fort Worth Star-Telegram - Online Text View Clip
Calif. high court strikes down medical pot limits 01/21/2010 Idaho Statesman - Online Text View Clip
State Supreme Court Strikes Down Medical Pot Limits 01/21/2010 KTVU-TV - Online Text View Clip
Calif. high court strikes down medical pot limits 01/21/2010 St. Paul Pioneer Press - Online Text View Clip
Calif. high court strikes down medical pot limits 01/21/2010 Herald - Online, The Text View Clip
Calif. high court strikes down medical pot limits 01/21/2010 Tribune - Online, The Text View Clip
Calif. high court strikes down medical pot limits 01/21/2010 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer - Online Text View Clip
Calif. high court strikes down medical pot limits 01/21/2010 Houston Chronicle - Online Text View Clip
Calif. high court strikes down medical pot limits 01/21/2010 Kansas City Star - Online Text View Clip
TRADE NEWS Agilent Technologies Sponsors Electrical Engineering Undergraduate Teaching Lab at Silic 01/21/2010 Fox Business Network - Online Text View Clip
Calif. high court strikes down medical pot limits 01/21/2010 Palm Beach Post - Online Text View Clip
Calif. high court strikes down medical pot limits 01/21/2010 Telegraph - Online, The Text View Clip
Calif. high court strikes down medical pot limits 01/21/2010 FindLaw: for Corporate Counsel Text View Clip
No limits on medical pot, Calif. high court rules 01/21/2010 MSNBC.com Text View Clip
Calif. high court strikes down medical pot limits 01/21/2010 Associated Press (AP) Text
Calif. high court strikes down medical pot limits 01/21/2010 Standard-Examiner - Online Text View Clip
Use your college alumni network to find jobs in the San Francisco Bay Area 01/21/2010 Examiner.com Text View Clip
Supreme Court strikes down medical marijuana limits 01/21/2010 Appeal-Democrat - Online Text View Clip
Calif. high court strikes down medical pot limits 01/21/2010 Hanford Sentinel Text View Clip
Calif. high court strikes down medical pot limits 01/21/2010 KVUE-TV - Online Text View Clip
Calif. high court strikes down medical pot limits 01/21/2010 News 25 at 10 PM - WEHT-TV Text View Clip
TRADE NEWS Agilent Technologies Sponsors Electrical Engineering Undergraduate Teaching Lab at Silic 01/21/2010 StreetInsider.com Text View Clip
Calif. high court strikes down medical pot limits 01/21/2010 Boston Globe - Online Text View Clip
State Supreme Court strikes down medical marijuana limits 01/21/2010 San Gabriel Valley Tribune - Online Text View Clip
BRIEF Ayers to be sworn in as Superior Court judge Friday 01/20/2010 Ventura County Star - Sacramento Bureau Text
Rescuecom Geeks Out In Court After Victory Over Google 01/20/2010 MediaPost.com Text View Clip
EBay's 4th-Quarter Earnings Triple From Last Year's 01/20/2010 El Paso Inc. Text View Clip
Sunnyvale resident asks for review of ethics code after ex-mayor speaks out 01/20/2010 Whittier Daily News Text View Clip
Sunnyvale resident asks for review of ethics code after ex-mayor speaks out 01/20/2010 Pasadena Star-News - Online Text View Clip
TELEVISING TRIALS: THE QUESTION IS 'HOW,' NOT 'WHETHER' 01/20/2010 San Francisco Daily Journal Text
Polling 01/19/2010 KLIV-AM Text View Clip
China's potential may outweigh problems for businesses 01/19/2010 TMCnet.com Text View Clip
A-B InBev Fighting Mad Over abinbev.com 01/19/2010 Beverage World - Online Text View Clip
Study Says Most People Are Willing To Torture 01/19/2010 KSHB-TV - Online Text View Clip
Medical Breakthroughs Santa Clara torture test 01/19/2010 KGET-TV - Online Text View Clip
(NATURAL SOUND OF, BUZZER>SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR JERRY 01/18/2010 NewsChannel 6 at 5 PM - WPSD-TV Text
AND DRIVE ONE. SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY INVESTIGATED, AND 01/18/2010 NBC 2 News at 4 PM - WBBH-TV Text
THE RESEARCHERS AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY FOUND ORDINARY 01/18/2010 NBC 5 First at 4 PM - KXAS-TV Text
New study may shed light on why we are willing to torture 01/18/2010 WPSD-TV - Online Text View Clip
Tech firms find China a challenging market 01/18/2010 iStockAnalyst Text View Clip
China's potential may outweigh problems for businesses 01/18/2010 Lexington Herald-Leader - Online Text View Clip
China's potential may outweigh problems for businesses 01/18/2010 TMCnet.com Text View Clip
Tech firms find China a challenging market 01/18/2010 TMCnet.com Text View Clip
China's potential may outweigh problems for businesses 01/18/2010 Sacramento Bee - Online, The Text View Clip
China's potential may outweigh problems for businesses 01/18/2010 iStockAnalyst Text View Clip
Embajada de EE.UU. traera innovadora casa solar para promover energias renovables 01/17/2010 El Mercurio Text View Clip
Playwright Athol Fugard still fighting injustice in South Africa 01/17/2010 El Cerrito Albany Journal Text View Clip
TECH FIRMS COMPETE ON FIELD FAR FROM LEVEL IN CHINA 01/17/2010 San Jose Mercury News Text
SOUTH AFRICA'S VOICE OF CONSCIENCE 01/17/2010 San Jose Mercury News Text
Tech firms find China a challenging market 01/17/2010 El Cerrito Albany Journal Text View Clip
Tech firms find China a challenging market 01/17/2010 Oroville Mercury-Register Text View Clip
Berkeley Rep's 'Coming Home' looks at post-Apartheid era 01/17/2010 Cupertino Courier - Online Text View Clip
TORTURE? RESEARCHERS AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY FOUND OR 01/16/2010 NBC Bay Area News at 11 PM - KNTV-TV Text
2009 Solar Decathlon on Eco Company 01/16/2010 KDVR-TV Text View Clip
THE GROUP BASED AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY, HAS TAKEN 01/16/2010 NBC Bay Area News at 5 AM - KNTV-TV Text
THE GROUP BASED AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY, HAS TAKEN 01/16/2010 NBC Bay Area News Weekend Morning - KNTV-TV Text
A-B InBev fighting mad over abinbev.com 01/16/2010 Poten & Partners Text View Clip
San Jose Mercury News, Calif., Karen D'Souza column 01/16/2010 AARP Bulletin - Online Text View Clip
A-B InBev fighting mad over abinbev.com 01/16/2010 St. Louis Post-Dispatch Text
Tech firms find China a challenging market 01/16/2010 Cupertino Courier - Online Text View Clip
Tech firms find China a challenging market 01/16/2010 Press-Telegram - Online Text View Clip
Tech firms find China a challenging market 01/16/2010 Los Angeles Daily News - Online Text View Clip
Tech firms find China a challenging market 01/16/2010 Santa Cruz Sentinel - Online Text View Clip
Tech firms find China a challenging market 01/16/2010 InsideBayArea.com Text View Clip
Tech firms find China a challenging market 01/16/2010 SiliconValley.com Text View Clip
A-B InBev fighting mad over abinbev.com 01/16/2010 St. Louis Post-Dispatch - Online Text View Clip
A-B InBev is locked in spat over website Brewer covets 'abinbev.com,' which is owned by a S. Korean. 01/16/2010 St. Louis Post-Dispatch Text
Tech firms find China a challenging market 01/16/2010 Tri-Valley Herald Text
Tech firms find China a challenging market 01/16/2010 Oakland Tribune Text
Tech firms find China a challenging market 01/16/2010 San Mateo County Times Text
Tech firms find China a challenging market 01/16/2010 Daily Review, The Text
Tech firms find China a challenging market 01/16/2010 Argus, The Text
Tech firms find China a challenging market 01/16/2010 Alameda Times-Star Text
HEATED TESTIMONY ENDS WEEK 1 01/16/2010 San Jose Mercury News Text
THE GROUP BASED AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY HAS TAKEN 01/15/2010 NBC Bay Area News at 11 PM Weekend - KNTV-TV Text
THE GROUP BASED AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY HAS TAKEN 01/15/2010 NBC Bay Area News at 11 PM - KNTV-TV Text
SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY MAKING IT EASIER FOR STUDENTS TO GET AROUND. 01/15/2010 CBS 5 Eyewitness News at 5 AM - KPIX-TV Text View Clip
SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY MAKING IT EASIER FOR STUDENTS TO GET AROUND. 01/15/2010 CBS 5 Eyewitness News at 5 AM - KPIX-TV Text
Why We Need a Federal Solution 01/15/2010 San Francisco Daily Journal Text
Playwright Athol Fugard still fighting injustice in South Africa 01/15/2010 Tri-Valley Herald Text
Playwright Athol Fugard still fighting injustice in South Africa 01/15/2010 San Mateo County Times Text
Playwright Athol Fugard still fighting injustice in South Africa 01/15/2010 Oakland Tribune Text
Playwright Athol Fugard still fighting injustice in South Africa 01/15/2010 Daily Review, The Text
Playwright Athol Fugard still fighting injustice in South Africa 01/15/2010 Argus, The Text
Playwright Athol Fugard still fighting injustice in South Africa 01/15/2010 Alameda Times-Star Text
4 simple steps to savvy investing 01/15/2010 Yahoo! Finance Text View Clip
Playwright Athol Fugard still fighting injustice in South Africa 01/15/2010 InsideBayArea.com Text View Clip
STARTING TODAY STUDENTS AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY HAVE A NEW WAY TOO GET AROUND. 01/14/2010 CBS 5 Eyewitness News at 6 PM - KPIX-TV Text
STARTING TODAY STUDENTS AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY HAVE A NEW WAY TOO GET AROUND. 01/14/2010 CBS 5 Eyewitness News at 6 PM - KPIX-TV Text View Clip
STARTING TODAY, STUDENTS AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY HAVE A NEW WAY TO GET AROUND. 01/14/2010 CBS 5 Eyewitness News at 5 PM - KPIX-TV Text View Clip
Zipcar Hits SCU Campus 01/14/2010 KGO-AM Text View Clip
in 'Coming Home,' South Africa's Athol Fugard checks on some familiar characters to see how they're 01/14/2010 Mercury News Text View Clip
Students Have New Mode Of Transportation 01/14/2010 KCBS-AM - Online Text View Clip
Adobe also victim of sophisticated attack 01/14/2010 WJRT-TV - Online Text View Clip
Inefficient markets still tough to beat 01/14/2010 Senior Market Advisor Text View Clip
in 'Coming Home,' South Africa's Athol Fugard checks on some familiar characters to see how they're 01/14/2010 Cupertino Courier - Online Text View Clip
SHOCK. Reporter SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR JERRY 01/13/2010 NBC Bay Area News at 11 PM - KNTV-TV Text
SHOCK. Reporter SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR JERRY 01/13/2010 NBC Bay Area News at 11 PM Weekend - KNTV-TV Text
TORTURE? RESEARCHERS AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY INVESTIGATED AND 01/13/2010 NBC Bay Area News at 11 PM Weekend - KNTV-TV Text
TORTURE? RESEARCHERS AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY INVESTIGATED AND 01/13/2010 NBC Bay Area News at 11 PM - KNTV-TV Text View Clip
10 Noteworthy Cyberlaw Developments of 2009 01/13/2010 Circleid.com Text View Clip
ADOBE HELPS KEEP FALCONS' NEST IN VIEW 01/13/2010 San Jose Mercury News Text
Prop. 8 on Trial 01/12/2010 Forum - KQED-FM Text View Clip
Workers Behaving Badly 01/12/2010 Conference Board Review, The Text View Clip
Tom Campbell to announce he's dropping out of California's gubernatorial race 01/12/2010 KPCC-FM - Online Text View Clip


As Priests' Numbers Fall, SR Diocese Seeks Solutions | View Clip
01/26/2010
Press Democrat

Santa Clara University Professor Paul Crowley, S.J. is quoted in a story about the impact of declining numbers of priests on Santa Rosa diocese.

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2009 Solar Decathlon | View Clip
01/25/2010
WIAT-TV

The 2009 Solar Decathlon was featured in the 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. newscasts on WIAT-CBS in Birmingham, AL.

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U.S.-China Dispute Over Free Internet Heats Up | View Clip
01/24/2010
KGO-TV

Santa Clara University law professor Eric Goldman Discusses what international "Internet Freedom" agreements might look like in the future, with KGO-TV (ABC7).

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The Great Firewall of China | View Clip
01/24/2010
CBS5

SCU Law Professor Anna Han explains why Google may be pulling out of China, and discussed the challenges of operating in China for all businesses, with CBS5's morning show.

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#427 Confusion In California | View Clip
01/24/2010
Media Awareness Project

California are printing articles about a Supreme Court of California decision which may impact patients who are authorized to use medicinal cannabis. If there is a common thread in the printed articles it is one of confusion. Many of the articles contain varied opinions about what, if any, impact the decision will have.

You may read the decision at The Los Angeles Times coverage of the story is below. Here are links to some other newspaper articles about the topic: Press Democrat San Francisco Chronicle Sacramento Bee Daily Nexus Pasadena Star-News Times-Standard Oakland Tribune Please consider sending your own opinion as a letter to the editor to your own local newspapers and, if you wish, to some of the newspapers listed in this alert. Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)

Page: A4

Copyright: 2010 Los Angeles Times Contact: Author: John Hoeffel

Referenced: The Supreme Court of California Opinion Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal - U.S.) Bookmark: (Cannabis - California)

STATE LIMITS ON MEDICAL POT REJECTED

California Supreme Court Invalidates a 2003 Provision That Capped Possession at Eight Ounces.

The Justices Unanimously Declare Unconstitutional a 2003 Provision That Capped Possession at Eight Ounces and Cultivation at Six Mature or 12 Immature Plants.

In a unanimous decision filed Thursday, the California Supreme Court struck down the state's specific limits on how much medical marijuana a patient can possess, concluding that restrictions imposed by the Legislature were an unconstitutional amendment of a voter-approved initiative.

The decision, which affirmed an appellate decision, means people who have a doctor's recommendation to use marijuana can possess and cultivate as much as is "reasonably necessary."

The court invalidated a provision of a 2003 state law passed to clarify the initiative. Under that law, patients or their primary caregivers could have no more than eight ounces of dried marijuana and grow no more than six mature or 12 immature plants. The law, however, allowed patients to have more than that if they had a statement from a doctor that the amount was insufficient.

"I'm very pleased. They gave us exactly what we wanted," said Gerald F. Uelmen, a law professor at Santa Clara University who argued the case for Patrick K. Kelly, a medical marijuana patient from Lakewood.

Medical marijuana advocates and defense attorneys said the court's decision could make it harder for prosecutors to win convictions because they will no longer be able to tell juries that a defendant had more medical marijuana than the law allows.

"The big impact is going to be the change in perception by the district attorney," said Allison B. Margolin, a Los Angeles attorney. "It's going to be difficult for a narcotics expert to testify that an amount is unreasonable."

The state's 1996 medical marijuana initiative, known as the Compassionate Use Act, put no limit on the amount of cannabis a patient could possess or cultivate other than to require that it be "personal medical purposes."

Seven years later, the Legislature passed a law to create medical marijuana identification cards to help protect patients from arrest and included the limits on possession and cultivation.

The justices concluded that the state Constitution bars the Legislature from changing an initiative approved by voters, but also appeared to rue that restraint. Almost a third of the 54-page decision written by Chief Justice Ronald M. George discusses how California's initiative process places unparalleled limits on the Legislature. The decision notes that it "may well be prudent and advisable" for lawmakers to have the power to set limits.

George recently gave a speech to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in which he questioned whether initiatives had become "an impediment to the effective functioning of a true democratic process."

In an odd twist, Uelmen and state prosecutors argued before the court that the limits were unconstitutional.

Both sides also argued that the appellate court erred when it ruled the entire section of the law that included the limits was unconstitutional. They maintained that the limits were valid as part of the state's medical marijuana identification card program.

"It effectively would have gutted the ID card program," said Deputy Atty. Gen. Michael Johnsen.

The court agreed, concluding that the limits could still be applied to the identification card program.

Medical marijuana advocates and the state attorney general's office said that means patients with ID cards are shielded from arrest for possession or cultivation if they have less than the limits in state law or the more liberal limits adopted by some cities and counties. But Chris Conrad, a court-qualified expert medical marijuana witness, said he believed the limits would also protect patients without cards.

"In one sense this is a call to patients to enroll in the ID card program if they want to be immune from arrest and prosecution," said Kris Hermes with Americans for Safe Access, a medical marijuana advocacy organization.

The card program, however, has been largely shunned by patients who have been afraid to have their names listed in government records. Statewide, about 38,000 cards, which must be renewed annually, have been issued since the program started. In Los Angeles County, the total is 1,574. PLEASE SEND US A COPY OF YOUR LETTER

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As priests' numbers fall, SR Diocese seeks solutions | View Clip
01/24/2010
Press Democrat - Online

Faced with a declining number of priests, the Santa Rosa Catholic Diocese is actively recruiting seminarians and ready to appoint lay people to handle the management of some parishes.

“I don't know any diocese that can keep up today,” said Rev. Thomas Diaz, referring to the ebbing numbers of an aging priesthood in the North Coast diocese. Diaz is a taking an active role for the diocese in finding men to train for the priesthood.

While the church's hierarchy remains firmly committed to a celibate priesthood, some Catholics say a more dramatic step — the ordination of women priests — is needed to stem the decline in clergy.

A nationally recognized member of the Maryknoll order, who was excommunicated for his public support of ordination for women, received a standing ovation from a crowd of about 150 people Friday night at St. Patrick's Episcopal Church in Kenwood.

“At the very core of our teaching is this sin of sexism,” said Roy Bourgeois. “It's about putting ourselves as men superior to women.”

But with Pope Benedict XVI firmly opposed to such changes, the idea has not been pursued by Santa Rosa diocese lay leaders.

“There is no point embarking on a project that is not acceptable to Rome at this point,” said Yvette Fallandy of Santa Rosa, executive secretary of the Diocesan Pastoral Council's board.

Fallandy said she regrets Rome's hardline view, asserting that ordination of women — which she does not personally favor — “should be left open to informed debate.”

However, there is no such debate in official circles, and none is likely, said Paul Crowley, a Jesuit priest who is chairman of religious studies at Santa Clara University.

But the problem of finding the next generation of priests persists.

The diocese, which serves 167,000 Catholics from Sonoma County to the Oregon border, is facing a net loss of two priests a year over the next five years, according to a pastoral council task force report.

There are now 60 priests assigned to 41 parishes. In the 1970s, the diocese had 85 to 90 priests. Nationwide, the priesthood has shrunk 31 percent since 1975, while the Catholic population has increased 34 percent to more than 65 million Americans.

Bishop Daniel Walsh, in a letter to parishioners last year, cited a shortage of priests “to serve our growing population.” Larger parishes, he said, “are left with fewer priests to attend the needs of the parish.”

Walsh has approved a plan — as have other dioceses around the country — to appoint lay men or women to handle management and leadership duties, known as pastoral care, in parishes that lose a resident priest.

“It's a practical approach,” said Len Marabella of St. Rose Parish, who headed a task force that proposed the hiring of lay pastoral directors. “You don't implement this unless there's a need,” he said.

No lay pastoral directors have yet been appointed in the diocese, but there were 517 serving nationwide last year, up from 93 in 1985.

Diaz said the diocese has made progress since he became director of vocations, in charge of recruiting seminarians. “You find your own,” said Diaz, who doubles as pastor at St. Joan of Arc Church in Yountville.

Sean Rogers of Santa Rosa, a former Piner High School football player, was ordained in 2007, the first priest ordained by the diocese in five years

The diocese now has seven seminarians in training for the priesthood, with three of them — all foreign-born — set to be ordained in May. Seven priests already are eligible for retirement, with more soon to qualify as well, Diaz said.

Years ago, the church turned away prospective seminarians “because we had too many,” he said.

But today's consumer-oriented culture has curbed interest in taking clerical vows of chastity and accepting a priest's meager income, Diaz said.

“We want it here and now,” he said, characterizing the culture.

And in the wake of sex abuse scandals, priests no longer have the same relationship with Catholic boys. If a boy asked to go with him on a ride-along to see what a priest does, Diaz said he would require an adult chaperone for his own protection.

The seven current seminarians are ages 24 to 45, reflecting a trend toward older men embarking on the studies, which take four to eight years.

Bourgeois has recently emerged as a leader in the campaign to allow women priests. The prohibition, he said, is a “grave injustice against women, against our church and against our loving God.”

When he asks fellow priests what they would say to women who feel “called by God” to the ministry, Bourgeois said he is met with “dead silence” because they have no answer.

The celibate male clergy is “going the way of the dinosaurs,” he said.

Accepting women as priests or allowing male priests to marry would boost the ranks of Catholic clergy, said Crowley, the Santa Clara professor.

But it is unlikely to come about.

“We are living in a particularly conservative era in the church,” he said. “Some would say that we are looking backward in some ways.”

The irony, he said, is that it would likely take a conservative pontiff like Benedict to enact such changes.

“Opening the priesthood to women would be an even bigger move,” he said, “one that many people, especially here in the United States, would like to see happen.”

You can reach Staff Writer Guy Kovner at 521-5457 or guy.kovner@pressdemocrat.com.

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As priests' numbers fall, SR Diocese seeks solutions | View Clip
01/24/2010
Petaluma360.com

Faced with a declining number of priests, the Santa Rosa Catholic Diocese is actively recruiting seminarians and ready to appoint lay people to handle the management of some parishes.

“I don't know any diocese that can keep up today,” said Rev. Thomas Diaz, referring to the ebbing numbers of an aging priesthood in the North Coast diocese. Diaz is a taking an active role for the diocese in finding men to train for the priesthood.

While the church's hierarchy remains firmly committed to a celibate priesthood, some Catholics say a more dramatic step — the ordination of women priests — is needed to stem the decline in clergy.

A nationally recognized member of the Maryknoll order, who was excommunicated for his public support of ordination for women, received a standing ovation from a crowd of about 150 people Friday night at St. Patrick's Episcopal Church in Kenwood.

“At the very core of our teaching is this sin of sexism,” said Roy Bourgeois. “It's about putting ourselves as men superior to women.”

But with Pope Benedict XVI firmly opposed to such changes, the idea has not been pursued by Santa Rosa diocese lay leaders.

“There is no point embarking on a project that is not acceptable to Rome at this point,” said Yvette Fallandy of Santa Rosa, executive secretary of the Diocesan Pastoral Council's board.

Fallandy said she regrets Rome's hardline view, asserting that ordination of women — which she does not personally favor — “should be left open to informed debate.”

However, there is no such debate in official circles, and none is likely, said Paul Crowley, a Jesuit priest who is chairman of religious studies at Santa Clara University.

But the problem of finding the next generation of priests persists.

The diocese, which serves 167,000 Catholics from Sonoma County to the Oregon border, is facing a net loss of two priests a year over the next five years, according to a pastoral council task force report.

There are now 60 priests assigned to 41 parishes. In the 1970s, the diocese had 85 to 90 priests. Nationwide, the priesthood has shrunk 31 percent since 1975, while the Catholic population has increased 34 percent to more than 65 million Americans.

Bishop Daniel Walsh, in a letter to parishioners last year, cited a shortage of priests “to serve our growing population.” Larger parishes, he said, “are left with fewer priests to attend the needs of the parish.”

Walsh has approved a plan — as have other dioceses around the country — to appoint lay men or women to handle management and leadership duties, known as pastoral care, in parishes that lose a resident priest.

“It's a practical approach,” said Len Marabella of St. Rose Parish, who headed a task force that proposed the hiring of lay pastoral directors. “You don't implement this unless there's a need,” he said.

No lay pastoral directors have yet been appointed in the diocese, but there were 517 serving nationwide last year, up from 93 in 1985.

Diaz said the diocese has made progress since he became director of vocations, in charge of recruiting seminarians. “You find your own,” said Diaz, who doubles as pastor at St. Joan of Arc Church in Yountville.

Sean Rogers of Santa Rosa, a former Piner High School football player, was ordained in 2007, the first priest ordained by the diocese in five years

The diocese now has seven seminarians in training for the priesthood, with three of them — all foreign-born — set to be ordained in May. Seven priests already are eligible for retirement, with more soon to qualify as well, Diaz said.

Years ago, the church turned away prospective seminarians “because we had too many,” he said.

But today's consumer-oriented culture has curbed interest in taking clerical vows of chastity and accepting a priest's meager income, Diaz said.

“We want it here and now,” he said, characterizing the culture.

And in the wake of sex abuse scandals, priests no longer have the same relationship with Catholic boys. If a boy asked to go with him on a ride-along to see what a priest does, Diaz said he would require an adult chaperone for his own protection.

The seven current seminarians are ages 24 to 45, reflecting a trend toward older men embarking on the studies, which take four to eight years.

Bourgeois has recently emerged as a leader in the campaign to allow women priests. The prohibition, he said, is a “grave injustice against women, against our church and against our loving God.”

When he asks fellow priests what they would say to women who feel “called by God” to the ministry, Bourgeois said he is met with “dead silence” because they have no answer.

The celibate male clergy is “going the way of the dinosaurs,” he said.

Accepting women as priests or allowing male priests to marry would boost the ranks of Catholic clergy, said Crowley, the Santa Clara professor.

But it is unlikely to come about.

“We are living in a particularly conservative era in the church,” he said. “Some would say that we are looking backward in some ways.”

The irony, he said, is that it would likely take a conservative pontiff like Benedict to enact such changes.

“Opening the priesthood to women would be an even bigger move,” he said, “one that many people, especially here in the United States, would like to see happen.”

You can reach Staff Writer Guy Kovner at 521-5457 or guy.kovner@pressdemocrat.com.

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No transparency in "omnibus" bills | View Clip
01/24/2010
philly.com

HARRISBURG - You can read House and Senate bills on a public Web site. You can track legislators' votes and lobbyists' expenses. If officials withhold public information, you can use the new right-to-know law to drag them into court.

But even in this era of government transparency, there is often no surefire way to learn who inserted words into a Pennsylvania law.

Lawmakers have taken strides toward transparency since 2005, when their middle-of-the-night vote to raise their pay touched off a firestorm of protest and calls for reforms.

Even so, there is little accounting for the closed-door negotiations in which legislative leaders and staffers often hash out key provisions, sometimes in a few words amid pages of text.

Such negotiations produced the sentence that gave the oft-delayed Foxwoods casino project a possible extension. It was inserted in a 230-page bill through an "omnibus amendment" - a sweeping package of provisions fused together, officially to save time voting on multiple amendments.

Under the state constitution, bills must be "considered" on three days to let lawmakers and the public scrutinize their content. But procedural maneuvers can shorten that time.

Pennsylvania is not the only state that doesn't provide the public with a full accounting of a bill's contents, said Brenda Erickson, a senior research analyst at the National Conference of State Legislatures.

She said Pennsylvania was actually more transparent in one way: Various iterations of a bill are available for public scrutiny online. Some states reveal only the final product.

New Jersey's Legislature does not formally disclose who made changes in a bill - except in the case of the state budget, where additions and deletions are noted.

Judy Nadler, who teaches ethics to public officials at Santa Clara University in California, said the issue was more "troubling" if the words in question benefited a private interest.

"The public has a right to know . . . where language came from," said Nadler, a former Santa Clara mayor. "If no one can account for the language, it feeds into skepticism that insiders got what they needed."

Contact staff writer Amy Worden at 717-783-2584 or aworden@phillynews.com.

Inquirer staff writer Jonathan Tamari contributed to this article.

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Calif. high court strikes down medical pot limits | View Clip
01/24/2010
CNBC - Online

SAN FRANCISCO - A unanimous California Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a law that sought to impose limits on the amount of marijuana a medical patient can legally possess.

The California Supreme Court ruled that state lawmakers were wrong to change provisions of the voter-approved Proposition 215. The 1996 measure allowed for patients with a doctor's recommendation to possess an unspecified amount of marijuana.

The Legislature, seeking to give law enforcement guidance on when to make marijuana possession arrests, mandated in 2003 that each patient could have a maximum of 8 ounces of dried marijuana.

The high court says only voters can change amendments that they've added to California's constitution through the initiative process. The ruling by Chief Justice Ron George left in place the portion of the new law that protects patients possessing a state-issue medical marijuana identification card from arrest. George did note, though, that police were still authorized to make arrests if they believe the cards to be forgeries or reasonably suspects a crime has been committed.

Left open to interpretation: What amount of marijuana is for legitimate personal medical consumption and how much constitutes illegal trafficking?

"The California Supreme Court did the right thing by abolishing limits on medical marijuana possession and cultivation," said Joe Elford, the top lawyer for the marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access. "At the same time, the Court may have left too much discretion to law enforcement in deciding what are reasonable amounts of medicine for patients to possess and cultivate."

The Supreme Court's decision upholds a lower court ruling that tossed out the conviction of Patrick Kelly, a Southern California man who was arrested for possession of 12 ounces of dried marijuana and seven plants. A "confidential informant" called Lakewood Police to report Kelly's possession in October 2005.

Experts testified that the amount of marijuana Kelly had on hand would last him just a few weeks for treatment of hepatitis C, chronic back pain, and cirrhosis.

The ruling was widely expected because the California Attorney General's office largely agreed with the position of Kelly's court-appointed attorney Gerald Uelman, a Santa Clara University law professor.

Also Thursday, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled that a doctor's permission to use medical marijuana doesn't preclude police from arresting a patient or searching a home. The court upheld the conviction of Jason Fry, a Stevens County man busted with 2 pounds of marijuana in 2004.

Justices said sheriff's officers who smelled marijuana smoke at his home had probable cause to believe a crime was committed — even after the man presented them with an authorization from his doctor.

Justice Richard Sanders disagreed, arguing that under the ruling, a patient could be searched, arrested and hauled to court every time an officer smelled marijuana at his or her home, even absent any evidence the patient is breaking the medical marijuana law.

___

Associated Press Writer Gene Johnson in Seattle contributed to this report.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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No transparency in "omnibus" bills | View Clip
01/24/2010
iStockAnalyst

Jan. 24--HARRISBURG -- You can read House and Senate bills on a public Web site. You can track legislators' votes and lobbyists' expenses. If officials withhold public information, you can use the new right-to-know law to drag them into court.

But even in this era of government transparency, there is often no surefire way to learn who inserted words into a Pennsylvania law.

Lawmakers have taken strides toward transparency since 2005, when their middle-of-the-night vote to raise their pay touched off a firestorm of protest and calls for reforms.

Even so, there is little accounting for the closed-door negotiations in which legislative leaders and staffers often hash out key provisions, sometimes in a few words amid pages of text.

Such negotiations produced the sentence that gave the oft-delayed Foxwoods casino project a possible extension. It was inserted in a 230-page bill through an "omnibus amendment" -- a sweeping package of provisions fused together, officially to save time voting on multiple amendments.

Under the state constitution, bills must be "considered" on three days to let lawmakers and the public scrutinize their content. But procedural maneuvers can shorten that time.

Pennsylvania is not the only state that doesn't provide the public with a full accounting of a bill's contents, said Brenda Erickson, a senior research analyst at the National Conference of State Legislatures.

She said Pennsylvania was actually more transparent in one way: Various iterations of a bill are available for public scrutiny online. Some states reveal only the final product.

New Jersey's Legislature does not formally disclose who made changes in a bill -- except in the case of the state budget, where additions and deletions are noted.

Judy Nadler, who teaches ethics to public officials at Santa Clara University in California, said the issue was more "troubling" if the words in question benefited a private interest.

"The public has a right to know . . . where language came from," said Nadler, a former Santa Clara mayor. "If no one can account for the language, it feeds into skepticism that insiders got what they needed."

Contact staff writer Amy Worden at 717-783-2584 or aworden@phillynews.com.

Inquirer staff writer Jonathan Tamari contributed to this article.

To see more of The Philadelphia Inquirer, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.philly.com/inquirer.

Copyright (c) 2010, The Philadelphia Inquirer

A service of YellowBrix, Inc.

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2009 Solar Decathlon on Eco Company | View Clip
01/23/2010
WTGS-TV

Preview of Team California's 2009 Solar Decathlon house on Eco Company. Santa Clara University's 2007 Solar Decathlon house was also featured.

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2009 Solar Decathlon on Eco Company | View Clip
01/23/2010
WFFF-TV

Preview of Team California's 2009 Solar Decathlon house on Eco Company. Santa Clara University's 2007 Solar Decathlon house was also featured.

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2009 Solar Decathlon | View Clip
01/23/2010
KPTV-TV

The 2009 Solar Decathlon was featured in the 5 p.m. newscast.

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2009 Solar Decathlon on Eco Company | View Clip
01/23/2010
WPMT-TV

Preview of Team California's 2009 Solar Decathlon house on Eco Company. Santa Clara University's 2007 Solar Decathlon house was also featured.

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2009 Solar Decathlon on Eco Company | View Clip
01/23/2010
WDRB-TV

Preview of Team California's 2009 Solar Decathlon house on Eco Company. Santa Clara University's 2007 Solar Decathlon house was also featured.

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MUTUAL FUNDS Past Results No Guarantee Of Future Performance | View Clip
01/23/2010
NASDAQ

TROW

T. Rowe Price Group, Inc. NASDAQ-GS

It's perhaps the most quoted financial-services mantra: Past performance is no indication of future results.

Unfortunately, human nature usually leads investors to think the exact opposite.

Most investors look at a fund manager's returns before deciding to invest. The question is: Just how much can we judge a fund by its track record?

Several studies published last year suggest that picking a fund based on its past is far from a sure thing. Among other findings, the studies show that fund ratings don't help identify future performance, that it's difficult to distinguish a manager's skill from luck, and that for all but the very top funds, future performance is unlikely to meet expectations.

In other words, it's a messy and largely unpredictable business. But that doesn't stop investors from choosing their funds based purely on track record.

"When you look at the data, there's a pretty slight and often infrequent relationship between past and future performance, and yet people still put an awful lot of stock in a fund's performance," said John Rekenthaler, vice president of research at Morningstar Inc. "In their hearts, most people believe that it works."

Top Dogs Fall Down

Advisor Perspectives, an e-newsletter for financial advisers, in December published a study which suggests that Morningstar Inc.'s star ratings, which are based on past returns, don't provide much predictive value. It also found that many five-star-rated funds were likely to underperform their peers.

Robert Huebscher, chief executive of Advisor Perspectives, randomly selected a fund with a particular rating, and then looked at how that fund performed against randomly selected funds with lower-star ratings from the third quarter of 2006 through the third quarter of 2009. He found many cases where the lower- rated funds were more likely to outperform those with higher ratings.

Yet, despite those findings, "the public pour money into funds that get higher ratings," Huebscher said.

Part of the problem is how fund companies sell themselves, he said. "The most concrete thing a fund can sell is its historical performance, so they say, 'We did well in the past and you should think that we'll do well in the future.' "

Matthew Morey, professor of finance at Pace University's Lubin School of Business, conducted several studies on the predictive value of Morningstar ratings. He took issue with some of Huebscher's methodology, particularly the way it lumps all mutual funds into five broad categories--U.S. stock, international stock, taxable bond, balanced and municipal bond--and compares funds within these broad categories. That doesn't account for the variety of approaches that funds take, he said.

A better method, Morey said, would be to look at funds' relative performance within each of Morningstar's 48 categories. And, he said, Huebscher's study acknowledges that it doesn't include funds that were liquidated or merged away during the period--a fact that likely boosts the performance of the worst funds, since it's rare for a four- or five-star fund to close.

Morningstar's Rekenthaler questioned the time frame the study used. But while he disagreed with some of the details, he said he didn't have an issue with the notion that it's hard to use past performance to predict future results.

Luck Versus Skill

Morey said there's a case to be made that top managers can repeat their performance.

"I do think good managers, who've been at a fund a long time, produced consistently good performance and charge relatively low fees are a good way to go," he said.

Morey added that about 10 years ago he was a firm believer in index funds, but has recently come around to the idea that there are some good managers out there.

A Morgan Stanley Smith Barney's Consulting Group study seems to support that view. The study found that the very best managers-- the top 10%--can repeat their performance; at least, they did in three-year periods from 1994 to 2007 covered in the study. But the study also found that the worst 20% of performers are also likely to outperform in the future.

The study's author, Frank Nickel, said this is because the bottom funds benefit from changing market cycles--their holdings were out of favor but then get hot and thus outperform. Nickel said that rather than picking a fund based on manager ability--which his study suggests does exist--he'd rather pick an unloved area of the market and ride its moves to the top.

"I like buying things that are out of favor because they're likely to be cheap," Nickel said in an interview. In other words he thinks a surer way to pick funds is by market cycles rather than manager, even a good manager.

Nickel, as well as Pace University's Morey, said that even funds with good managers may not be wise investments in the future. That's because the popularity of successful funds means over long periods of time they often grow so big that their managers can't repeat their performance: The large number of assets in the fund makes it too hard to put all that money to effective use.

But while Nickel was willing to ascribe some outperformance to manager skill, some researchers dispute even that claim.

A study published late last year by Eugene Fama, professor of finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and Kenneth French, professor of finance at Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business, ran 10,000 simulations of what investors could expect from actively managed funds. They found that outside the top 3% of funds, active management lags results that would be delivered due simply to chance. In other words, aside from the top 3%, there's no way of knowing whether performance is based on luck or skill.

Fama is one of the pioneers of the efficient-market hypothesis-- the idea that securities are priced correctly because they incorporate all the known information relating to a company--and so it fits his views to suggest that very few people can consistently beat the financial markets. But that doesn't lessen the relevance of his research. Nickel said that, while he hasn't seen Fama and French's study, it's possible that the consistency his study found among the top 10% of funds were delivered by the top 3% of managers who could be said to have skill.

Less Efficient Markets

Morey said markets have become less efficient in the past 10 to 15 years, thus creating an opportunity for good managers. He pointed to increasingly unclear company accounts, the fact that derivatives positions aren't fully reported and the recent failures of the bond-ratings agencies as examples of how hard it's become for investors to get full information about companies.

"We're more in the dark now than we were 20 years ago," he said. In such a world, a good manager can make a difference, he added.

Morey named T. Rowe Price Group Inc. (TROW) as an example of a firm with good managers. It's not just about performance, but the fact that T. Rowe seems to encourage and develop its managers, who typically stay for many years.

"There's definitely a 'T. Rowe culture,' " said Rekenthaler, echoing Morey's sentiments.

Rekenthaler said he'd also include American Funds, a unit of Capital Group Cos., and Vanguard Group as fund companies that seem to have the right culture-- not just in manager development, but by charging relatively low fees and having fairly conservative fund strategies, as well as not launching funds in popular sectors just to grow assets.

"I've moved in my thinking from being enamored with a fund to liking a fund company," he said. "You need to surround yourself with the best-quality of people."

So will investors look more at a fund firm's culture rather than a top performing manager? Fund flows suggest it's unlikely.

"It's what we call the hot-hand fallacy," said Hersh Shefrin, professor of finance at Santa Clara University's Leavey School of Business, and a pioneer in the field of behavioral finance.

Think about watching a basketball game. If a player hits several baskets in a row, we think he's hot, that he's more likely to make his next shot. But statistics show that a player who's made his recent buckets isn't more likely to make his next one.

"Our intuition is misguided," said Shefrin. "If we don't know the odds and try to estimate them we tend to overweight recent events."

Instead of taking a chance on an unpredictable fund manager, Shefrin suggested investors review their entire approach.

"There are two needs we're talking about here, financial and psychological," he said. "For your financial needs the best long-term approach is buy-and-hold with a well-diversified set of securities with [passive] bond and stock holdings that reflect your risk profile.

"For your psychological needs--and we're all thrill-seekers-- just recognize it for what it is and protect yourself," Shefrin said. "Treat your [hot stock] choices the way you would if you went to Las Vegas--you don't go expecting to make money."

(Sam Mamudi writes for MarketWatch. He can be reached at 415-439-6400 or by email at: AskNewswires@dowjones.com)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires
01-22-101539ET
Copyright (c) 2010 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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Google and China Some General Thoughts | View Clip
01/23/2010
Circleid.com

I have deferred blogging on the Google/China imbroglio for a few reasons. First, heavyweights such as Jonathan Zittrain have tracked International online censorship and online security issues more closely than I have. Second, after Google's provocative blog post, I wanted to see the facts develop rather than rely solely on Google's assertions. The spin doctors are now moving in, so the useful development of the factual record will be slowing down.

Third, and perhaps most importantly, the Google/China situation is really complex and multi-faceted, and it's been difficult keeping all of the issues straight. Some issues raised by Google's announcement include:

cybersecurity, both corporate and personal

political and industrial espionage

suppression of political speech, especially of dissidents

censorship of search engine results and the likelihood that censorial efforts can succeed on the Internet

"cyber-imperialism," i.e., exporting US norms about Internet law to other countries

economic protectionism and whether US companies compete with local Chinese companies on a level playing field

geopolitical and trade relationships between two world nuclear superpowers

Heady stuff! It would make a good summer blockbuster movie.

Although most folks have lauded Google for its principled stand against China's censorship, I'm not 100% clear that Google's decision is entirely selfless. First, as has been noted frequently, Google has not been making inroads against local search leader Baidu. Further, the deck may be stacked against Google in changing that situation, due perhaps to economic protectionism from the Chinese government. Second, in a point that has gotten less attention, some members of Congress (most notably Rep. Christopher Smith) have repeatedly jawboned Google and other Internet companies to curtail their support of the Chinese government (see, e.g., the Global Online Freedom Act). Google might have rationally concluded that voluntarily cutting China loose could abate Congress' interest in regulating its international operations, which might ultimately avoid profit-degrading domestic regulations.

On that point, I fear that we may hold duplicitous expectations when US Internet companies go global. If a US Internet company wants to successfully compete in a foreign market, it must open a local office and build a localized versions of their services reflecting local legal requirements. Inevitably, these localized versions will be more speech restrictive than the US version of the service. Foreign laws don't have the First Amendment, 47 USC 230 or (in most cases) even a weak safe harbor like 17 USC 512, plus local cultural norms may tolerate unpopular speech less than we do. So what should a US service provider do when trying to expand internationally? It has a few options, none of them particularly attractive:

It can skip unreasonably censorious markets altogether, like Google proposes to do in China.

It can comply with local laws, even though that runs counter to US laws and norms.

It can ignore local laws, which is typically not a successful plan. In extreme cases, it can lead to local company executives going to jail.

It can try to change the local country's laws to be more like ours, either through direct advocacy or by asking the US government to pressure the local government. We routinely use trade negotiations to do this; for example, we have successfully exported our copyright laws this way. But countries usually aren't thrilled to have the US tell them what their laws should be.

Now, I don't support China's efforts to censor search results or suppress political dissent. I understand the arguments that free speech is such a basic human right, like freedom from torture, that we simply won't tolerate any other local choice. However, we already implicitly accept that Internet companies routinely engage in some types of legally compelled or motivated speech restrictions in other countries when they localize their services—perhaps not to the degree exercised by China, but nevertheless more than we would allow in the US. (I note that China might factually dispute this claim because it claims to have an "open" Internet, although the reports I've seen suggest this claim is embarrassingly disingenuous). I recognize that I'm making a slippery slope argument about what government-mandated censorship we'll tolerate from US Internet companies, but I think we should acknowledge the slippery slope before we categorically reject search engines' efforts to comply with China's rules.

If Google ultimately exits China, it would leave Baidu as the search engine market kingpin. This raises another issue I haven't seen fully discussed. I'm going to assume for a moment that Google is a superior search engine to Baidu. (I've never used Baidu, so I have never actually compared the two). Knocking Google out of the Chinese market does two things. First, per my assumption, it takes the better information resource away from Chinese consumers. Second, by reducing competitive pressures on Baidu, quasi-monopolist Baidu is more likely to reduce R&D and service improvements.

If my predicate assumptions are correct, in the long run US consumers will have a consistently superior search tool compared to Chinese consumers. (I also assume China will keep interfering with Chinese consumers' access to Google.com and that superior market entrants won't overtake Baidu). Over time, China may hinder its overall long-term global competitiveness due to an inferior information infrastructure. Perhaps this assertion is overly stylized, but I think effective information resources—such as good search engines—are necessary to maintain healthy economic markets and to enable cutting-edge R&D. Thus, the Chinese government should view losing Google as a Chinese search engine competitor as a long-term detriment.

One final procedural point. Google sparked a global verbal spat between two nuclear superpowers through a single blog post. Talk about the power of blogging! Google's decision to post a confrontational blog post may have helped get the US administration on board but simultaneously reduced Google's ability to negotiate with the Chinese government. I'm no expert in diplomacy or Chinese cultural norms, but my reading of Google's post is that its double-barreled accusations of government-sponsored hacking (which Google has not conclusively proved) and censorship left the Chinese government with few options to save face. Thus, Google effectively forced the Chinese government to take a hard line and reject most proposed compromises. I trust Google knew what it was doing and decided that was the right course of action, but in my opinion Google's approach has pre-determined the final outcome.

Written by Eric Goldman, Associate Professor, Santa Clara University School of Law. Visit the blog maintained by Eric Goldman here.

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The Wish Book More contributions | View Clip
01/23/2010
Cupertino Courier - Online

Most families are touched by cancer at some point, in some way. For San Jose reader Betsy Kodres, having a family member fighting the disease made this year's Wish Book story on Latinas Contras Cancer hit close to home.

"I pray for all those that are battling any form of cancer," she wrote in a note that accompanied her donation to help the San Jose nonprofit that assists mostly Spanish-speaking families as they navigate the ups and downs of a cancer diagnosis. "It affects your whole family. Any and all help is so comforting."

Latinas Contras Cancer also provides support groups and cancer education and promotes early detection through screenings. Wish Book donations will go toward bolstering its Rescue Fund, which pays for transportation to treatment and meetings, small prizes for distribution at health fairs and the occasional helping hand with rent and bills for participants facing uncertain times.

For 27 years, thousands of Mercury News readers have learned about organizations in their community — and helped support the vital work they do — by making donations to the Wish Book Fund. Since its inception, more than $6 million has been distributed to provide warm jackets, shiny new bikes, nutritious meals — and a leg up for people who most need it.

This year's series of stories appeared in the newspaper from Nov. 26 through Dec. 24. To read the Wish Book stories and make a secure online donation, visit

href='http://www.mercurynews.info/wishbook'>www.mercurynews.info/wishbook. Gifts also may be made by mail using the coupon that accompanies this story.

Wish Book readers may earmark their gifts to particular stories or causes, or make general contributions. Donations of any size continue to be welcome and are tax deductible.

Following is a partial list of donors; look for more names each weekend.

Fred Amini; Jose and Mary Baez; Virginia Balch, in honor of Irving Abkin; Ian Band; Helen and Jack Battad; Elizabeth Berkson, in honor of Class H, Seneca Center; Janet Bertaina, in honor of Adam Bertaina; Elizabeth Bettencourt; Carolyn Bircher; Helen Blair; Hella and Tony Bluhm-Stieber; Lois Bookman; Marion and Dan Bourbon, in honor of Kel Alesio; Karen Brieger, in honor of Estelle Wolfish; Jacqueline Browman, in honor of Ann Browman; Vilma Buck; Barbara Busch and Tom Dietz, in honor of their parents; Richard L. Bush;

CCI breeder dog Inez; Vardin Chamaki; Andrew and Veronica Chen; George and Ruth Chippendale; Jonathan Clem, in honor of Don Clem; Vince and Stella Coates; the Crick family; Ann Davis, in honor of Dee Yost; Minh Du, in honor of Kieu Tran; Jim Duzak; the EDGE; Stacy, Dave, Mark and Mary Ann Escobar, in honor of Joe Escobar; Kristina Everhardt; Kathryn "Taffy" Everts and Mark Smallwood, in honor of Donald Smallwood;

Tim and Lynne Farrell, in honor of John and Will Hicks and Taylor Riese; third grade students at Forest Park Elementary School Fremont; Michael Forster; Sharon Fuqua; Marjorie Ganz; Peter Giles, in honor of Leanne Giles; Carol Goedde, in honor of Nicole Wisebarth; Carmen and Harvey Gotliffe, in honor of the Japanese-American Museum; Jean Grye; Tom and Rene Halpern; the Hoag Family Foundation;

Ron and Gloria Jabaut; Tamar Jacobs, in memory of Renette; the Jesuit Community at Santa Clara University; Alison Kellogg; Millie Kellogg, in honor of Marge Yasny; Kelly Kline; Betsy and Ray Kodres, in honor of Mary and Bill Connor; Carolyn Kornberg, in honor of Arthur Kornberg; Janet and Stephen Kornberg, in honor of Daniel and Bernard Kornberg; Wanda Kownacki and John Holton; Susan Larrabee, in honor of Vincent Scally; Pat Larson; Carol Lathrop, in honor of Connie Langford; Sheryl and Eric Lewis; Phil and Judy Livengood; Anita Lusenbrink, in honor of Jan Lee; Oanh Luu, in honor of Huyen Luu; Flora Lyons;

Harrington and Jenny Mah, in honor of Ramon Duran; the Majestic Quilters; Nancy Manasco; Lionel Mattos; Nancy McFarling, in honor of Clifton and Barbara Johnson; Steve and Kathi Minden; Luis and Julia Montes; Charles and Clarice Moody; Jody and Patrick Moore; Patricia Munoz; Carol J. Naumann; Sumita Neogi; Cindy Oberman; Joyce O'Donnell, in honor of Mary Lockyer; Anna Olivera; Ann T. Ozer, in honor of Ellie Guardino; Lenore Penkethman; Sandy Powell;

Geri Raymundo; Eric Recsei, in honor of Acer Landscape Design; Ray and Jana Rendon, in honor of Paul Lugo; Patty and Carl Riccoboni, in honor of Inez Andreoli; Ron and Gail Ritucci, in honor of Alberta Heuring; Karen Sasaki, in honor of Mary Okasaki; Becky Schmitt, in honor of Thyla Conley; Lyle and Sally Sechrest, in memory of Emily Goullart; Jo Ann R. Shank; Joanne Smartt; Kathy and David Squellati; Sal and Louise Stagnitto; Rosemary Stevenson; Donald B. Streepey; Sankaran Suresh, in honor of B.S. Sankaran;

Anoop and Amode Tembhekar; Gale Theodore; Milton Thomas, in honor of Michael Thomas; Larry Tsang; John Tweten; Valley Medical Center Ambulatory Services Quality and Education Staff; Fran Varady, in honor of Colin Murphy; June Willis, in honor of Bill and Mary Walters; Charles B. Wilson; Dave and Joanna Wishner; Lois and Fred Wolcott; Connie Wolff, in honor of Virginia Wolff; Elias and Alice Zelkha.

Information on Latina Contras Cancer is available at www.latinascontrascancer.org or by calling 408-280-0811. Send questions or comments about Wish Book stories to wishbook@mercurynews.com or call coordinator Holly Hayes at 408- 920-5374.

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Court Ruling Won't Change Local Pot Guidelines, DA Says | View Clip
01/23/2010
Media Awareness Project

COURT RULING WON'T CHANGE LOCAL POT GUIDELINES, DA SAYS

A state Supreme Court decision to strike down a law that limits medical marijuana got a mixed reaction in Nevada County.

The California Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously ruled state lawmakers were wrong to change provisions of the voter-approved Proposition 215. The 1996 measure allows people with a doctor's recommendation to possess an unspecified amount of marijuana.

The Legislature, seeking to give law enforcement guidance on when to make marijuana possession arrests, mandated in 2003 that each patient could have a maximum of 8 ounces of dried marijuana.

Nevada County took advantage of a provision in the mandate allowing counties to set more generous guidelines. Under the guidelines, which are not law, county residents are advised they may possess up to 2 pounds of processed marijuana and up to six plants without interference from law enforcement. This is called a 'safe haven,' though it isn't binding, and each possession case is judged individually, said District Attorney Cliff Newell. 'The officers in the field have a lot of discretion based on each case,' Newell said. 'Our drive is to allow patients with a medical purpose to have as much as is reasonable.' The ruling doesn't change Nevada County's safe haven guidelines, Newell added.

But the ruling could change the outcome in 'quite a few' possession cases, said Steven Munkelt, a Nevada City-based defense attorney who has argued in favor of medicinal marijuana.

County prosecutors sometimes used the 8-ounce mandate to prove the defendant was committing a crime, Munkelt said. 'It will be harder for the prosecution to prove now,' Munkelt said. Jim Henry, a county resident who operates a marijuana dispensary in Colfax, was unavailable for comment.

The high court's decision had nothing to do with the debate over the merits and effects of medical marijuana.

Instead, justice ruled only voters can change amendments that they have added to California's constitution through the initiative process. The ruling by Chief Justice Ron George left in place the portion of the new law that protects patients possessing a state-issue medical marijuana identification card from arrest. George did note, though, that police were still authorized to make arrests if they believe the cards to be forgeries or reasonably suspects a crime has been committed.

Left open to interpretation: What amount of marijuana is for legitimate personal medical consumption and how much constitutes illegal trafficking? 'The California Supreme Court did the right thing by abolishing limits on medical marijuana possession and cultivation,' said Joe Elford, the top lawyer for the marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access. 'At the same time, the Court may have left too much discretion to law enforcement in deciding what are reasonable amounts of medicine for patients to possess and cultivate.' The Supreme Court's decision upholds a lower court ruling that tossed out the conviction of Patrick Kelly, a Southern California man who was arrested for possession of 12 ounces of dried marijuana and seven plants.

The ruling was widely expected because the California Attorney General's office largely agreed with the position of Kelly's court-appointed attorney Gerald Uelman, a Santa Clara University law professor.

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Supreme Court strikes down medical marijuana limits | View Clip
01/22/2010
Colusa Sun-Herald

SAN FRANCISCO — A unanimous California Supreme Court today struck down a law that sought to impose limits on the amount of marijuana a medical patient can legally possess.

The Supreme Court ruled that state lawmakers were wrong to change provisions of the voter-approved Proposition 215. The 1996 measure allowed for patients with a doctor's recommendation to possess an unspecified amount of marijuana.

The Legislature, seeking to give law enforcement guidance on when to make marijuana possession arrests, mandated in 2003 that each patient could have a maximum of 8 ounces of dried marijuana.

The high court says only voters can change amendments that they've added to California's constitution through the initiative process. The ruling by Chief Justice Ron George left in place the portion of the new law that protects patients possessing a state-issue medical marijuana identification card from arrest. George did note, though, that police were still authorized to make arrests if they believe the cards to be forgeries or reasonably suspect a crime has been committed.

Left open to interpretation: What amount of marijuana is for legitimate personal medical consumption and how much constitutes illegal trafficking?

"The California Supreme Court did the right thing by abolishing limits on medical marijuana possession and cultivation," said Joe Elford, the top lawyer for the marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access. "At the same time, the court may have left too much discretion to law enforcement in deciding what are reasonable amounts of medicine for patients to possess and cultivate."

The Supreme Court's decision upholds a lower court ruling that tossed out the conviction of Patrick Kelly, a Southern California man who was arrested for possession of 12 ounces of dried marijuana and seven plants. A "confidential informant" called Lakewood Police to report Kelly's possession in October 2005.

Experts testified that the amount of marijuana Kelly had on hand would last him just a few weeks for treatment of Hepatitis C, chronic back pain and cirrhosis.

The ruling was widely expected because the state Attorney General's office largely agreed with the position of Kelly's court-appointed attorney Gerald Uelman, a Santa Clara University law professor.

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Court rejects limits on medical-marijuana possession | View Clip
01/22/2010
Lexington Herald-Leader - Online

In a unanimous decision filed Thursday, the California Supreme Court struck down the state's specific limits on how much medical marijuana a patient can possess, concluding that restrictions imposed by the Legislature were an unconstitutional amendment of a voter-approved initiative.

The decision, which affirmed an appellate decision, means people who have a doctor's recommendation to use marijuana can possess and cultivate as much as is "reasonably necessary."

The court invalidated a provision of a 2003 state law passed to clarify the initiative. Under that law, patients or their primary caregivers could have no more than eight ounces of dried marijuana and grow no more than six mature or 12 immature plants. The law, however, allowed patients to have more than that if they had a statement from a doctor that the amount was insufficient.

"I'm very pleased. They gave us exactly what we wanted," said Gerald F. Uelmen, a law professor at Santa Clara University who argued the case for Patrick K. Kelly, a medical marijuana patient from Lakewood.

Medical marijuana advocates and defense attorneys said court's decision could make it harder for prosecutors to win convictions because they will no longer be able to tell juries that a defendant had more medical marijuana than the law allows.

"The big impact is going to be the change in perception by the district attorney," said Allison B. Margolin, a Los Angeles attorney. "It's going to be difficult for a narcotics expert to testify that an amount is unreasonable."

The state's 1996 medical marijuana initiative, known as the Compassionate Use Act, put no limit on the amount of cannabis a patient could possess or cultivate other than to require that it be "personal medical purposes."

Seven years later, the legislature passed a law to create medical marijuana identification cards to help protect patients from arrest and included the limits on possession and cultivation.

The justices concluded that the state Constitution bars the Legislature from changing an initiative approved by voters, but also appeared to rue that restraint. Almost a third of the 54-page decision written by Chief Justice Ronald M. George discusses how California's initiative process places unparalleled limits on the Legislature. The decision notes that it "may well be prudent and advisable" for lawmakers to have the power to set limits.

George recently gave a speech to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in which he questioned whether initiatives had become "an impediment to the effective functioning of a true democratic process."

In an odd twist, Uelmen and state prosecutors argued before the court that the limits were unconstitutional.

Both sides also argued that the appellate court erred when it ruled the entire section of the law that included the limits was unconstitutional. They maintained that the limits were valid as part of the state's medical marijuana identification card program.

"It effectively would have gutted the ID card program," said Deputy Attorney General Michael Johnsen.

The court agreed, concluding that the limits could still be applied to the identification card program.

Medical marijuana advocates and the Attorney General's office said that means patients with ID cards are shielded from arrest for possession or cultivation if they have less than the limits in state law or the more liberal limits adopted by some cities and counties. But Chris Conrad, a court-qualified expert medical marijuana witness, said he believed the limits would also protect patients without cards.

"In one sense this is a call to patients to enroll in the ID card program if they want to be immune from arrest and prosecution," said Kris Hermes with Americans for Safe Access, a medical marijuana advocacy organization.

The card program, however, has been largely shunned by patients who have been afraid to have their names listed in government records. Statewide, about 38,000 cards, which must be renewed annually, have been issued since the program started.

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The Stock Markets Little Shop of Horrors And You Thought the Aftermath of 1929 Was Grim (124) | View Clip
01/22/2010
Journal of Investing

Do stocks always beat bonds? Do stocks necessarily beat inflation by 6%7% over long periods? Data from select foreign markets and pre-1926 U.S. markets call these shibboleths into question. Better to regard stocks as always a risky investment, independent of holding period, and regardless of immediate prior returns. Thus, buying after stocks have declined by 40% is no panacea. And, severe declines in excess of 40% are more common than with conventional asset allocation models, as the halcyon decades following the Depression might suggest.

Edward F McQuarrie is a professor at Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, CA. emcquarrie@scu.edu

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Medical pot limits struck down by high court | View Clip
01/22/2010
San Francisco Chronicle - Online

In a victory for medical marijuana users, the state Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a state law that protects them from arrest if they show police official identification cards. The court also overturned a law that limits how much pot patients can carry and how many plants they can grow.

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The court unanimously ruled that the limits - 8 ounces of dried marijuana, six mature plants or 12 immature plants - conflicted with Proposition 215, the 1996 initiative that made California the first state to legalize marijuana for medical use.

Prop. 215 said a patient, with a doctor's approval, could possess an amount of marijuana that was "reasonably related to the patient's current medical needs," and set no numerical limits.

The 2003 legislation, which allowed a jury to convict a defendant who possessed or grew more than the specified amounts, "takes away from rights granted by the initiative" and is therefore an invalid amendment, Chief Justice Ronald George said in the court ruling.

But he said the possession and cultivation limits can still apply to the identification cards authorized by the same law. Holders of the cards, issued by counties, can't be arrested if they possess no more than 8 ounces of marijuana, an amount that individual counties are also allowed to increase.

A state appeals court in Los Angeles had thrown out the ID cards along with the numerical limits in a May 2008 ruling, saying they were part of the same invalid law. The state Supreme Court put the ruling on hold while it considered the case, and agreed Thursday with both a state prosecutor and a defense lawyer - a highly unusual consensus - that patients could still use the cards.

"It seems clear that the Legislature would have preferred such a result" if it had known that the mandatory possession and cultivation limits would be overturned, George said. He noted that lawmakers passed a measure in 2004 to repeal the numerical limits, but Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed it.

The ruling overturned the conviction of Patrick Kelly, who was arrested in October 2005 at his home in Lakewood (Los Angeles County) where sheriff's deputies found seven marijuana plants and 12 ounces of dried marijuana.

Kelly had a doctor's approval to use marijuana for relief from multiple ailments, but a jury convicted him of illegal possession and cultivation after hearing that he had exceeded the limits of the 2003 law. He was sentenced to two days in jail.

The result of the ruling, said Gerald Uelmen, a Santa Clara University law professor who represented Kelly, is that a patient with an identification card can be arrested only for carrying more than 8 ounces of marijuana or growing more than the specified number of plants.

Someone without a card can be arrested for carrying any amount, if police have evidence that the person is selling marijuana or using it for nonmedical purposes, but defendants in any case can still argue that they possessed only what they reasonably needed for medical purposes, Uelmen said.

"People will have a reason to register (for an ID card) and I hope they will," he said.

A medical marijuana advocacy group expressed some qualms, however. The numerical limits provided some guidance to police and patients, and their invalidation "may have left too much discretion to law enforcement in deciding what are reasonable amounts," said Joe Elford, lawyer for Americans for Safe Access.

The case is People vs. Kelly, S164830. The ruling can be viewed at links.sfgate.com/ZJDJ.

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Calif. high court strikes down medical pot limits | View Clip
01/22/2010
BusinessWeek - Online

SAN FRANCISCO

A unanimous California Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a law that sought to impose limits on the amount of marijuana a medical patient can legally possess.

The California Supreme Court ruled that state lawmakers were wrong to change provisions of the voter-approved Proposition 215. The 1996 measure allowed for patients with a doctor's recommendation to possess an unspecified amount of marijuana.

The Legislature, seeking to give law enforcement guidance on when to make marijuana possession arrests, mandated in 2003 that each patient could have a maximum of 8 ounces of dried marijuana.

The high court says only voters can change amendments that they've added to California's constitution through the initiative process. The ruling by Chief Justice Ron George left in place the portion of the new law that protects patients possessing a state-issue medical marijuana identification card from arrest. George did note, though, that police were still authorized to make arrests if they believe the cards to be forgeries or reasonably suspects a crime has been committed.

Left open to interpretation: What amount of marijuana is for legitimate personal medical consumption and how much constitutes illegal trafficking?

"The California Supreme Court did the right thing by abolishing limits on medical marijuana possession and cultivation," said Joe Elford, the top lawyer for the marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access. "At the same time, the Court may have left too much discretion to law enforcement in deciding what are reasonable amounts of medicine for patients to possess and cultivate."

The Supreme Court's decision upholds a lower court ruling that tossed out the conviction of Patrick Kelly, a Southern California man who was arrested for possession of 12 ounces of dried marijuana and seven plants. A "confidential informant" called Lakewood Police to report Kelly's possession in October 2005.

Experts testified that the amount of marijuana Kelly had on hand would last him just a few weeks for treatment of hepatitis C, chronic back pain, and cirrhosis.

The ruling was widely expected because the California Attorney General's office largely agreed with the position of Kelly's court-appointed attorney Gerald Uelman, a Santa Clara University law professor.

Also Thursday, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled that a doctor's permission to use medical marijuana doesn't preclude police from arresting a patient or searching a home. The court upheld the conviction of Jason Fry, a Stevens County man busted with 2 pounds of marijuana in 2004.

Justices said sheriff's officers who smelled marijuana smoke at his home had probable cause to believe a crime was committed -- even after the man presented them with an authorization from his doctor.

Justice Richard Sanders disagreed, arguing that under the ruling, a patient could be searched, arrested and hauled to court every time an officer smelled marijuana at his or her home, even absent any evidence the patient is breaking the medical marijuana law.

Associated Press Writer Gene Johnson in Seattle contributed to this report.

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State limits on medical pot rejected
01/22/2010
Los Angeles Times

In a unanimous decision filed Thursday, the California Supreme Court struck down the state's specific limits on how much medical marijuana a patient can possess, concluding that restrictions imposed by the Legislature were an unconstitutional amendment of a voter-approved initiative.

The decision, which affirmed an appellate decision, means people who have a doctor's recommendation to use marijuana can possess and cultivate as much as is "reasonably necessary."

The court invalidated a provision of a 2003 state law passed to clarify the initiative. Under that law, patients or their primary caregivers could have no more than eight ounces of dried marijuana and grow no more than six mature or 12 immature plants. The law, however, allowed patients to have more than that if they had a statement from a doctor that the amount was insufficient.

"I'm very pleased. They gave us exactly what we wanted," said Gerald F. Uelmen, a law professor at Santa Clara University who argued the case for Patrick K. Kelly, a medical marijuana patient from Lakewood.

Medical marijuana advocates and defense attorneys said the court's decision could make it harder for prosecutors to win convictions because they would no longer be able to tell juries that a defendant had more medical marijuana than the law allows.

"The big impact is going to be the change in perception by the district attorney," said Allison B. Margolin, a Los Angeles attorney. "It's going to be difficult for a narcotics expert to testify that an amount is unreasonable."

The state's 1996 medical marijuana initiative put no limit on the amount of cannabis a patient could possess or cultivate other than to require that it be for "personal medical purposes."

Seven years later, the Legislature passed a law to create medical marijuana identification cards to help protect patients from arrest and included the limits on possession and cultivation.

The justices concluded that the state Constitution bars the Legislature from changing an initiative approved by voters, but also appeared to rue that restraint. Almost a third of the 54-page decision written by Chief Justice Ronald M. George discusses how California's initiative process places unparalleled limits on the Legislature. The decision notes that it "may well be prudent and advisable" for lawmakers to have the power to set limits.

George recently gave a speech to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in which he questioned whether initiatives had become "an impediment to the effective functioning of a true democratic process."

In an odd twist, Uelmen and state prosecutors argued before the court that the limits were unconstitutional.

Both sides also argued that the appellate court erred when it ruled that the entire section of the law that included the limits was unconstitutional. They maintained that the limits were valid as part of the state's medical marijuana identification card program.

"It effectively would have gutted the ID card program," said Deputy Atty. Gen. Michael Johnsen.

The court agreed, concluding that the limits could still be applied to the identification card program.

Medical marijuana advocates and the state attorney general's office said that means patients with ID cards are shielded from arrest for possession or cultivation if they have less than the limits in state law or the more liberal limits adopted by some cities and counties. But Chris Conrad, a court-qualified expert medical marijuana witness, said he believed the limits would also protect patients without cards.

"In one sense this is a call to patients to enroll in the ID card program if they want to be immune from arrest and prosecution," said Kris Hermes with Americans for Safe Access, a medical marijuana advocacy organization.

The card program, however, has been largely shunned by patients who have been afraid to have their names listed in government records. Statewide, about 38,000 cards, which must be renewed annually, have been issued since the program started. In Los Angeles County, the total is 1,574.

--

john.hoeffel@latimes.com

Copyright © 2010 Los Angeles Times

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State Limits on Medical Pot Rejected | View Clip
01/22/2010
Media Awareness Project

STATE LIMITS ON MEDICAL POT REJECTED

California Supreme Court Invalidates a 2003 Provision That Capped Possession at Eight Ounces.

The Justices Unanimously Declare Unconstitutional a 2003 Provision That Capped Possession at Eight Ounces and Cultivation at Six Mature or 12 Immature Plants.

In a unanimous decision filed Thursday, the California Supreme Court struck down the state's specific limits on how much medical marijuana a patient can possess, concluding that restrictions imposed by the Legislature were an unconstitutional amendment of a voter-approved initiative.

The decision, which affirmed an appellate decision, means people who have a doctor's recommendation to use marijuana can possess and cultivate as much as is 'reasonably necessary.' The court invalidated a provision of a 2003 state law passed to clarify the initiative. Under that law, patients or their primary caregivers could have no more than eight ounces of dried marijuana and grow no more than six mature or 12 immature plants. The law, however, allowed patients to have more than that if they had a statement from a doctor that the amount was insufficient. 'I'm very pleased. They gave us exactly what we wanted,' said Gerald F. Uelmen, a law professor at Santa Clara University who argued the case for Patrick K. Kelly, a medical marijuana patient from Lakewood.

Medical marijuana advocates and defense attorneys said the court's decision could make it harder for prosecutors to win convictions because they will no longer be able to tell juries that a defendant had more medical marijuana than the law allows. 'The big impact is going to be the change in perception by the district attorney,' said Allison B. Margolin, a Los Angeles attorney. 'It's going to be difficult for a narcotics expert to testify that an amount is unreasonable.' The state's 1996 medical marijuana initiative, known as the Compassionate Use Act, put no limit on the amount of cannabis a patient could possess or cultivate other than to require that it be 'personal medical purposes.' Seven years later, the Legislature passed a law to create medical marijuana identification cards to help protect patients from arrest and included the limits on possession and cultivation.

The justices concluded that the state Constitution bars the Legislature from changing an initiative approved by voters, but also appeared to rue that restraint. Almost a third of the 54-page decision written by Chief Justice Ronald M. George discusses how California's initiative process places unparalleled limits on the Legislature. The decision notes that it 'may well be prudent and advisable' for lawmakers to have the power to set limits.

George recently gave a speech to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in which he questioned whether initiatives had become 'an impediment to the effective functioning of a true democratic process.' In an odd twist, Uelmen and state prosecutors argued before the court that the limits were unconstitutional.

Both sides also argued that the appellate court erred when it ruled the entire section of the law that included the limits was unconstitutional. They maintained that the limits were valid as part of the state's medical marijuana identification card program. 'It effectively would have gutted the ID card program,' said Deputy Atty. Gen. Michael Johnsen.

The court agreed, concluding that the limits could still be applied to the identification card program.

Medical marijuana advocates and the state attorney general's office said that means patients with ID cards are shielded from arrest for possession or cultivation if they have less than the limits in state law or the more liberal limits adopted by some cities and counties. But Chris Conrad, a court-qualified expert medical marijuana witness, said he believed the limits would also protect patients without cards. 'In one sense this is a call to patients to enroll in the ID card program if they want to be immune from arrest and prosecution,' said Kris Hermes with Americans for Safe Access, a medical marijuana advocacy organization.

The card program, however, has been largely shunned by patients who have been afraid to have their names listed in government records. Statewide, about 38,000 cards, which must be renewed annually, have been issued since the program started. In Los Angeles County, the total is 1,574.

Return to Top



MUTUAL FUNDS Past Results No Guarantee Of Future Performance | View Clip
01/22/2010
Wall Street Journal

...unlikely. It's what we call the hot-hand fallacy, said Hersh Shefrin, professor of finance at Santa Clara University's Leavey School of Business, and a pioneer in the field of behavioral...

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Calif. cuts limits on medical marijuana
01/22/2010
United Press International (UPI)

The California Supreme Court, in an unanimous decision, has declared unconstitutional the state's limits on how much medical marijuana can be legally possessed.

The ruling means patients with a doctor's recommendation can possess and cultivate as much as is "reasonably necessary," The Los Angeles Times reported.

The court's action Thursday struck down a provision of a 2003 state law passed to clarify the amount allowable under the marijuana initiative but affirmed an appellate decision to abolish limits but retain ID cards.

The court invalidated the portion of the law that allowed patients or their primary caregivers to have no more than eight ounces of dried marijuana and to grow no more than six mature or 12 immature plants.

The law, however, also allowed patients to have more than that if they had a statement from a doctor that the amount was insufficient.

"They gave us exactly what we wanted," said Gerald F. Uelmen, a law professor at Santa Clara University who argued the case for Patrick K. Kelly, a medical marijuana patient from Lakewood, Calif.

Copyright © 2010 United Press International

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MUTUAL FUNDS Past Results No Guarantee Of Future Performance | View Clip
01/22/2010
Easybourse.Com

By Sam Mamudi A DOW JONES COLUMN It's perhaps the most quoted financial-services mantra: Past performance is no indication of future results.

Unfortunately, human nature usually leads investors to think the exact opposite.

Most investors look at a fund manager's returns before deciding to invest. The question is: Just how much can we judge a fund by its track record?

Several studies published last year suggest that picking a fund based on its past is far from a sure thing. Among other findings, the studies show that fund ratings don't help identify future performance, that it's difficult to distinguish a manager's skill from luck, and that for all but the very top funds, future performance is unlikely to meet expectations.

In other words, it's a messy and largely unpredictable business. But that doesn't stop investors from choosing their funds based purely on track record.

"When you look at the data, there's a pretty slight and often infrequent relationship between past and future performance, and yet people still put an awful lot of stock in a fund's performance," said John Rekenthaler, vice president of research at Morningstar Inc. "In their hearts, most people believe that it works."

Top Dogs Fall Down

Advisor Perspectives, an e-newsletter for financial advisers, in December published a study which suggests that Morningstar Inc.'s star ratings, which are based on past returns, don't provide much predictive value. It also found that many five-star-rated funds were likely to underperform their peers.

Robert Huebscher, chief executive of Advisor Perspectives, randomly selected a fund with a particular rating, and then looked at how that fund performed against randomly selected funds with lower-star ratings from the third quarter of 2006 through the third quarter of 2009. He found many cases where the lower-rated funds were more likely to outperform those with higher ratings.

Yet, despite those findings, "the public pour money into funds that get higher ratings," Huebscher said.

Part of the problem is how fund companies sell themselves, he said. "The most concrete thing a fund can sell is its historical performance, so they say, 'We did well in the past and you should think that we'll do well in the future.' "

Matthew Morey, professor of finance at Pace University's Lubin School of Business, conducted several studies on the predictive value of Morningstar ratings. He took issue with some of Huebscher's methodology, particularly the way it lumps all mutual funds into five broad categories--U.S. stock, international stock, taxable bond, balanced and municipal bond--and compares funds within these broad categories. That doesn't account for the variety of approaches that funds take, he said.

A better method, Morey said, would be to look at funds' relative performance within each of Morningstar's 48 categories. And, he said, Huebscher's study acknowledges that it doesn't include funds that were liquidated or merged away during the period--a fact that likely boosts the performance of the worst funds, since it's rare for a four- or five-star fund to close.

Morningstar's Rekenthaler questioned the time frame the study used. But while he disagreed with some of the details, he said he didn't have an issue with the notion that it's hard to use past performance to predict future results.

Luck Versus Skill Morey said there's a case to be made that top managers can repeat their performance.

"I do think good managers, who've been at a fund a long time, produced consistently good performance and charge relatively low fees are a good way to go," he said.

Morey added that about 10 years ago he was a firm believer in index funds, but has recently come around to the idea that there are some good managers out there.

A Morgan Stanley Smith Barney's Consulting Group study seems to support that view. The study found that the very best managers-- the top 10%--can repeat their performance; at least, they did in three-year periods from 1994 to 2007 covered in the study. But the study also found that the worst 20% of performers are also likely to outperform in the future.

The study's author, Frank Nickel, said this is because the bottom funds benefit from changing market cycles--their holdings were out of favor but then get hot and thus outperform. Nickel said that rather than picking a fund based on manager ability--which his study suggests does exist--he'd rather pick an unloved area of the market and ride its moves to the top.

"I like buying things that are out of favor because they're likely to be cheap," Nickel said in an interview. In other words he thinks a surer way to pick funds is by market cycles rather than manager, even a good manager.

Nickel, as well as Pace University's Morey, said that even funds with good managers may not be wise investments in the future. That's because the popularity of successful funds means over long periods of time they often grow so big that their managers can't repeat their performance: The large number of assets in the fund makes it too hard to put all that money to effective use.

But while Nickel was willing to ascribe some outperformance to manager skill, some researchers dispute even that claim.

A study published late last year by Eugene Fama, professor of finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and Kenneth French, professor of finance at Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business, ran 10,000 simulations of what investors could expect from actively managed funds. They found that outside the top 3% of funds, active management lags results that would be delivered due simply to chance. In other words, aside from the top 3%, there's no way of knowing whether performance is based on luck or skill.

Fama is one of the pioneers of the efficient-market hypothesis-- the idea that securities are priced correctly because they incorporate all the known information relating to a company--and so it fits his views to suggest that very few people can consistently beat the financial markets. But that doesn't lessen the relevance of his research. Nickel said that, while he hasn't seen Fama and French's study, it's possible that the consistency his study found among the top 10% of funds were delivered by the top 3% of managers who could be said to have skill.

Less Efficient Markets Morey said markets have become less efficient in the past 10 to 15 years, thus creating an opportunity for good managers. He pointed to increasingly unclear company accounts, the fact that derivatives positions aren't fully reported and the recent failures of the bond-ratings agencies as examples of how hard it's become for investors to get full information about companies.

"We're more in the dark now than we were 20 years ago," he said. In such a world, a good manager can make a difference, he added.

Morey named T. Rowe Price Group Inc. (TROW) as an example of a firm with good managers. It's not just about performance, but the fact that T. Rowe seems to encourage and develop its managers, who typically stay for many years.

"There's definitely a 'T. Rowe culture,' " said Rekenthaler, echoing Morey's sentiments.

Rekenthaler said he'd also include American Funds, a unit of Capital Group Cos., and Vanguard Group as fund companies that seem to have the right culture--not just in manager development, but by charging relatively low fees and having fairly conservative fund strategies, as well as not launching funds in popular sectors just to grow assets.

"I've moved in my thinking from being enamored with a fund to liking a fund company," he said. "You need to surround yourself with the best-quality of people."

So will investors look more at a fund firm's culture rather than a top performing manager? Fund flows suggest it's unlikely.

"It's what we call the hot-hand fallacy," said Hersh Shefrin, professor of finance at Santa Clara University's Leavey School of Business, and a pioneer in the field of behavioral finance.

Think about watching a basketball game. If a player hits several baskets in a row, we think he's hot, that he's more likely to make his next shot. But statistics show that a player who's made his recent buckets isn't more likely to make his next one.

"Our intuition is misguided," said Shefrin. "If we don't know the odds and try to estimate them we tend to overweight recent events."

Instead of taking a chance on an unpredictable fund manager, Shefrin suggested investors review their entire approach.

"There are two needs we're talking about here, financial and psychological," he said. "For your financial needs the best long-term approach is buy-and-hold with a well-diversified set of securities with [passive] bond and stock holdings that reflect your risk profile.

"For your psychological needs--and we're all thrill-seekers-- just recognize it for what it is and protect yourself," Shefrin said. "Treat your [hot stock] choices the way you would if you went to Las Vegas--you don't go expecting to make money."

(Sam Mamudi writes for MarketWatch. He can be reached at 415-439-6400 or by email at: AskNewswires@dowjones.com)

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Calif. Cuts Limits On Medical Marijuana | View Clip
01/22/2010
Post Chronicle, The

The California Supreme Court, in an unanimous decision, has declared unconstitutional the state's limits on how much medical marijuana can be legally possessed.

The ruling means patients with a doctor's recommendation can possess and cultivate as much as is "reasonably necessary," The Los Angeles Times reported.

The court's action Thursday struck down a provision of a 2003 state law passed to clarify the amount allowable under the marijuana initiative but affirmed an appellate decision to abolish limits but retain ID cards.

The court invalidated the portion of the law that allowed patients or their primary caregivers to have no more than eight ounces of dried marijuana and to grow no more than six mature or 12 immature plants.

The law, however, also allowed patients to have more than that if they had a statement from a doctor that the amount was insufficient.

"They gave us exactly what we wanted," said Gerald F. Uelmen, a law professor at Santa Clara University who argued the case for Patrick K. Kelly, a medical marijuana patient from Lakewood, Calif. (c) UPI

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MUTUAL FUNDS Past Results No Guarantee Of Future Performance | View Clip
01/22/2010
SmartMoney - Online

It's perhaps the most quoted financial-services mantra: Past performance is no indication of future results.

Unfortunately, human nature usually leads investors to think the exact opposite.

Most investors look at a fund manager's returns before deciding to invest. The question is: Just how much can we judge a fund by its track record?

Several studies published last year suggest that picking a fund based on its past is far from a sure thing. Among other findings, the studies show that fund ratings don't help identify future performance, that it's difficult to distinguish a manager's skill from luck, and that for all but the very top funds, future performance is unlikely to meet expectations.

In other words, it's a messy and largely unpredictable business. But that doesn't stop investors from choosing their funds based purely on track record.

"When you look at the data, there's a pretty slight and often infrequent relationship between past and future performance, and yet people still put an awful lot of stock in a fund's performance," said John Rekenthaler, vice president of research at Morningstar Inc. "In their hearts, most people believe that it works."

Top Dogs Fall Down

Advisor Perspectives, an e-newsletter for financial advisers, in December published a study which suggests that Morningstar Inc.'s star ratings, which are based on past returns, don't provide much predictive value. It also found that many five-star-rated funds were likely to underperform their peers.

Robert Huebscher, chief executive of Advisor Perspectives, randomly selected a fund with a particular rating, and then looked at how that fund performed against randomly selected funds with lower-star ratings from the third quarter of 2006 through the third quarter of 2009. He found many cases where the lower-rated funds were more likely to outperform those with higher ratings.

Yet, despite those findings, "the public pour money into funds that get higher ratings," Huebscher said.

Part of the problem is how fund companies sell themselves, he said. "The most concrete thing a fund can sell is its historical performance, so they say, 'We did well in the past and you should think that we'll do well in the future.' "

Matthew Morey, professor of finance at Pace University's Lubin School of Business, conducted several studies on the predictive value of Morningstar ratings. He took issue with some of Huebscher's methodology, particularly the way it lumps all mutual funds into five broad categories--U.S. stock, international stock, taxable bond, balanced and municipal bond--and compares funds within these broad categories. That doesn't account for the variety of approaches that funds take, he said.

A better method, Morey said, would be to look at funds' relative performance within each of Morningstar's 48 categories. And, he said, Huebscher's study acknowledges that it doesn't include funds that were liquidated or merged away during the period--a fact that likely boosts the performance of the worst funds, since it's rare for a four- or five-star fund to close.

Morningstar's Rekenthaler questioned the time frame the study used. But while he disagreed with some of the details, he said he didn't have an issue with the notion that it's hard to use past performance to predict future results.

Luck Versus Skill

Morey said there's a case to be made that top managers can repeat their performance.

"I do think good managers, who've been at a fund a long time, produced consistently good performance and charge relatively low fees are a good way to go," he said.

Morey added that about 10 years ago he was a firm believer in index funds, but has recently come around to the idea that there are some good managers out there.

A Morgan Stanley Smith Barney's Consulting Group study seems to support that view. The study found that the very best managers-- the top 10%--can repeat their performance; at least, they did in three-year periods from 1994 to 2007 covered in the study. But the study also found that the worst 20% of performers are also likely to outperform in the future.

The study's author, Frank Nickel, said this is because the bottom funds benefit from changing market cycles--their holdings were out of favor but then get hot and thus outperform. Nickel said that rather than picking a fund based on manager ability--which his study suggests does exist--he'd rather pick an unloved area of the market and ride its moves to the top.

"I like buying things that are out of favor because they're likely to be cheap," Nickel said in an interview. In other words he thinks a surer way to pick funds is by market cycles rather than manager, even a good manager.

Nickel, as well as Pace University's Morey, said that even funds with good managers may not be wise investments in the future. That's because the popularity of successful funds means over long periods of time they often grow so big that their managers can't repeat their performance: The large number of assets in the fund makes it too hard to put all that money to effective use.

But while Nickel was willing to ascribe some outperformance to manager skill, some researchers dispute even that claim.

A study published late last year by Eugene Fama, professor of finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and Kenneth French, professor of finance at Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business, ran 10,000 simulations of what investors could expect from actively managed funds. They found that outside the top 3% of funds, active management lags results that would be delivered due simply to chance. In other words, aside from the top 3%, there's no way of knowing whether performance is based on luck or skill.

Fama is one of the pioneers of the efficient-market hypothesis-- the idea that securities are priced correctly because they incorporate all the known information relating to a company--and so it fits his views to suggest that very few people can consistently beat the financial markets. But that doesn't lessen the relevance of his research. Nickel said that, while he hasn't seen Fama and French's study, it's possible that the consistency his study found among the top 10% of funds were delivered by the top 3% of managers who could be said to have skill.

Less Efficient Markets

Morey said markets have become less efficient in the past 10 to 15 years, thus creating an opportunity for good managers. He pointed to increasingly unclear company accounts, the fact that derivatives positions aren't fully reported and the recent failures of the bond-ratings agencies as examples of how hard it's become for investors to get full information about companies.

"We're more in the dark now than we were 20 years ago," he said. In such a world, a good manager can make a difference, he added.

Morey named T. Rowe Price Group Inc. (TROW) as an example of a firm with good managers. It's not just about performance, but the fact that T. Rowe seems to encourage and develop its managers, who typically stay for many years.

"There's definitely a 'T. Rowe culture,' " said Rekenthaler, echoing Morey's sentiments.

Rekenthaler said he'd also include American Funds, a unit of Capital Group Cos., and Vanguard Group as fund companies that seem to have the right culture--not just in manager development, but by charging relatively low fees and having fairly conservative fund strategies, as well as not launching funds in popular sectors just to grow assets.

"I've moved in my thinking from being enamored with a fund to liking a fund company," he said. "You need to surround yourself with the best-quality of people."

So will investors look more at a fund firm's culture rather than a top performing manager? Fund flows suggest it's unlikely.

"It's what we call the hot-hand fallacy," said Hersh Shefrin, professor of finance at Santa Clara University's Leavey School of Business, and a pioneer in the field of behavioral finance.

Think about watching a basketball game. If a player hits several baskets in a row, we think he's hot, that he's more likely to make his next shot. But statistics show that a player who's made his recent buckets isn't more likely to make his next one.

"Our intuition is misguided," said Shefrin. "If we don't know the odds and try to estimate them we tend to overweight recent events."

Instead of taking a chance on an unpredictable fund manager, Shefrin suggested investors review their entire approach.

"There are two needs we're talking about here, financial and psychological," he said. "For your financial needs the best long-term approach is buy-and-hold with a well-diversified set of securities with [passive] bond and stock holdings that reflect your risk profile.

"For your psychological needs--and we're all thrill-seekers-- just recognize it for what it is and protect yourself," Shefrin said. "Treat your [hot stock] choices the way you would if you went to Las Vegas--you don't go expecting to make money."

(Sam Mamudi writes for MarketWatch. He can be reached at 415-439-6400 or by email at: AskNewswires@dowjones.com)

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TRADE NEWS Agilent Technologies Sponsors Electrical Engineering Undergraduate Teaching Lab at Silic | View Clip
01/22/2010
MarketWatch

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Jan 21, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Agilent Technologies Inc. /quotes/comstock/13*!a/quotes/nls/a ( 29.16, -1.36, -4.46%) today announced its sponsorship of the electrical engineering undergraduate teaching lab at Santa Clara University (SCU) in Silicon Valley. The lab is designed to give students access to the most current electronic test equipment used in the industry.

The SCU lab uses Agilent oscilloscopes, power supplies, multimeters and function generators. The lab affirms SCU's commitment to work with Silicon Valley companies, such as Agilent, to deliver an advanced engineering laboratory environment for the undergraduate program. The SCU electrical engineering undergraduate teaching lab recognized Agilent at an on-site dedication ceremony on Wednesday, Jan. 20.

"We are very pleased with the outcome of our work with Agilent and hope that it will be an incentive to other innovative technology companies to partner with us," said Cary Yang, professor and chair of the electrical engineering department. "Santa Clara University is very focused at delivering real-life challenges with academic achievement. This lab gives our students an excellent and competitive engineering instructional environment in which to learn and grow."

"Agilent is dedicated to making available the latest tools and instructional material so the next generation of engineers can successfully compete in the global market," said Bill Wallace, Agilent's Americas education business development manager. "We are already in discussions with SCU about other exciting possibilities for their program."

Additional Information

SCU Electrical Engineering lab dedication ceremony photographs can be found at: www.agilent.com/find/SCUlab_images.

About Santa Clara University

Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California's Silicon Valley, offers its 8,846 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus masters and law degrees, and engineering Ph.D.s. Distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. masters universities, California's oldest operating higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. For more information, see www.scu.edu.

About Agilent Technologies

Agilent Technologies Inc. /quotes/comstock/13*!a/quotes/nls/a ( 29.16, -1.36, -4.46%) is the world's premier measurement company and a technology leader in communications, electronics, life sciences and chemical analysis. The company's 17,000 employees serve customers in more than 110 countries. Agilent had net revenues of $4.5 billion in fiscal 2009. Information about Agilent is available on the Web at www.agilent.com.

SOURCE: Agilent Technologies Inc.

Copyright Business Wire 2010

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Santa Cruz medical pot collective settles lawsuit with feds | View Clip
01/22/2010
Marin Independent Journal - Online

A closeup shot of a 2 week old WAMM (Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana) "cannibus indica" marijuana seedling at the home of Valerie and Michael Corral of Santa Cruz.

A long-running lawsuit against the federal government by the nation's most prominent medical marijuana collective ended in a settlement today that enables the organization to continue serving the ill.

The founders of Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana (WAMM) said they agreed to dismiss the lawsuit based on new government policy with the understanding the litigation they started can be re-instated if the federal government changes its mind and sends drug enforcement agents to WAMM.

The lawsuit stems from a 2002 Drug Enforcement Agency raid on the Santa Cruz-base collective. Thirty armed agents used chainsaws to eradicate marijuana WAMM was growing to provide free to sick people. DEA agents also rousted several members and the owners of the property from bed, pointing assault rifles at them.

Attorneys for WAMM — including the ACLU, Santa Clara University law professor Gerald Uelmen and private attorney Ben Rice — said the settlement was a huge victory for the movement by collectives like WAMM to provide medical marijuana who need it.

The settlement was approved this morning by Judge Jeremy Fogel of the U.S. District Court in San Jose. About 35 members of the Santa Cruz-based collective and their attorneys were in the courtroom. The attorney for the federal government conducted his part by phone.

Uelmen said the case doesn't have "precedent value" for the rest of the country. "But we can point to this case if

there's any further interference with our clients," he said. "What this case represents is a commitment that federal policy will be followed."

That policy was announced by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who issued an order that said the federal government would target medical marijuana distributors only where they violate both state and federal laws.

Contact Linda Goldston at 408-920-5862.

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Medical Marijuana California Supreme Court Strikes Down Medical Pot Limits | View Clip
01/22/2010
Huffington Post, The

PAUL ELIAS | 01/21/10 03:13 PM |

Read More: California-Marijuana, Legalize Marijuana, Marijuana, Marijuana Limit Law, Marijuana Limits, Medical Marijuana, Los Angeles News

SAN FRANCISCO — A unanimous California Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a law that sought to impose limits on the amount of marijuana a medical patient can legally possess.

The California Supreme Court ruled that state lawmakers were wrong to change provisions of the voter-approved Proposition 215. The 1996 measure allowed for patients with a doctor's recommendation to possess an unspecified amount of marijuana.

The Legislature, seeking to give law enforcement guidance on when to make marijuana possession arrests, mandated in 2003 that each patient could have a maximum of 8 ounces of dried marijuana.

The high court says only voters can change amendments that they've added to California's constitution through the initiative process. The ruling by Chief Justice Ron George left in place the portion of the new law that protects patients possessing a state-issue medical marijuana identification card from arrest. George did note, though, that police were still authorized to make arrests if they believe the cards to be forgeries or reasonably suspects a crime has been committed.

Left open to interpretation: What amount of marijuana is for legitimate personal medical consumption and how much constitutes illegal trafficking?

"The California Supreme Court did the right thing by abolishing limits on medical marijuana possession and cultivation," said Joe Elford, the top lawyer for the marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access. "At the same time, the Court may have left too much discretion to law enforcement in deciding what are reasonable amounts of medicine for patients to possess and cultivate."

The Supreme Court's decision upholds a lower court ruling that tossed out the conviction of Patrick Kelly, a Southern California man who was arrested for possession of 12 ounces of dried marijuana and seven plants. A "confidential informant" called Lakewood Police to report Kelly's possession in October 2005.

Experts testified that the amount of marijuana Kelly had on hand would last him just a few weeks for treatment of hepatitis C, chronic back pain, and cirrhosis.

The ruling was widely expected because the California Attorney General's office largely agreed with the position of Kelly's court-appointed attorney Gerald Uelman, a Santa Clara University law professor.

Also Thursday, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled that a doctor's permission to use medical marijuana doesn't preclude police from arresting a patient or searching a home. The court upheld the conviction of Jason Fry, a Stevens County man busted with 2 pounds of marijuana in 2004.

Justices said sheriff's officers who smelled marijuana smoke at his home had probable cause to believe a crime was committed – even after the man presented them with an authorization from his doctor.

Justice Richard Sanders disagreed, arguing that under the ruling, a patient could be searched, arrested and hauled to court every time an officer smelled marijuana at his or her home, even absent any evidence the patient is breaking the medical marijuana law.

Associated Press Writer Gene Johnson in Seattle contributed to this report.

Get HuffPost Los Angeles On

Know something we don't? E-mail us at LA@huffingtonpost.com

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Don't judge a mutual fund by its past
01/22/2010
MarketWatch

Why track records shouldn't guide your investment choices

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- It's perhaps the most quoted financial-services mantra: Past performance is no indication of future results.

Unfortunately, human nature usually leads investors to think the exact opposite.

Most investors look at a fund manager's returns before deciding to invest. The question is: Just how much can we judge a fund by its track record?

Several studies published last year suggest that picking a fund based on its past is far from a sure thing. Among other findings, the studies show that fund ratings don't help identify future performance, that it's difficult to distinguish a manager's skill from luck, and that for all but the very top funds, future performance is unlikely to meet expectations.

In other words, it's a messy and largely unpredictable business. But that doesn't stop investors from choosing their funds based purely on track record.

"When you look at the data, there's a pretty slight and often infrequent relationship between past and future performance, and yet people still put an awful lot of stock in a fund's performance," said John Rekenthaler, vice president of research at Morningstar Inc. "In their hearts, most people believe that it works."

Advisor Perspectives, an e-newsletter for financial advisers, in December published a study which suggests that Morningstar Inc.'s star ratings, which are based on past returns, don't provide much predictive value. It also found that many five-star-rated funds were likely to underperform their peers.

Robert Huebscher, chief executive of Advisor Perspectives, randomly selected a fund with a particular rating, and then looked at how that fund performed against randomly-selected funds with lower-star ratings from the third quarter of 2006 through the third quarter of 2009. He found many cases where the lower-rated funds were more likely to outperform those with higher ratings.

Yet, despite those findings, "the public pour money into funds that get higher ratings," Huebscher said.

Part of the problem is how fund companies sell themselves, he said. "The most concrete thing a fund can sell is its historical performance, so they say, 'We did well in the past and you should think that we'll do well in the future.' "

Matthew Morey, professor of finance at Pace University's Lubin School of Business, conducted several studies on the predictive value of Morningstar ratings. He took issue with some of Huebscher's methodology, particularly the way it lumps all mutual funds into five broad categories -- U.S. stock, international stock, taxable bond, balanced and municipal bond -- and compares funds within these broad categories. That doesn't account for the variety of approaches that funds take, he said.

A better method, Morey said, would be to look at funds' relative performance within each of Morningstar's 48 categories. And, he said, Huebscher's study acknowledges that it doesn't include funds that were liquidated or merged away during the period -- a fact that likely boosts the performance of the worst funds, since it's rare for a four- or five-star fund to close.

Morningstar's Rekenthaler questioned the timeframe the study used. But while he disagreed with some of the details, he said he didn't have an issue with the notion that it's hard to use past performance to predict future results.

Morey said there's a case to be made that top managers can repeat their performance.

"I do think good managers, who've been at a fund a long time, produced consistently good performance and charge relatively low fees are a good way to go," he said.

Morey added that about 10 years ago he was a firm believer in index funds, but has recently come around to the idea that there are some good managers out there.

A Morgan Stanley Smith Barney's Consulting Group study seems to support that view. The study found that the very best managers -- the top 10% -- can repeat their performance; at least, they did in three-year periods from 1994 to 2007 covered in the study. But the study also found that the worst 20% of performers are also likely to outperform in the future.

The study's author, Frank Nickel, said this is because the bottom funds benefit from changing market cycles -- their holdings were out of favor but then get hot and thus outperform. Nickel said that rather than picking a fund based on manager ability -- which his study suggests does exist -- he'd rather pick an unloved area of the market and ride its moves to the top.

"I like buying things that are out of favor because they're likely to be cheap," Nickel said in an interview. In other words he thinks a surer way to pick funds is by market cycles rather than manager, even a good manager.

Nickel, as well as Pace University's Morey, said that even funds with good managers may not be wise investments in the future. That's because the popularity of successful funds means over long periods of time they often grow so big that their managers can't repeat their performance: The large number of assets in the fund makes it too hard to put all that money to effective use.

But while Nickel was willing to ascribe some outperformance to manager skill, some researchers dispute even that claim.

A study published late last year by Eugene Fama, professor of finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and Kenneth French, professor of finance at Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business, ran 10,000 simulations of what investors could expect from actively managed funds. They found that outside the top 3% of funds, active management lags results that would be delivered due simply to chance. In other words, aside from the top 3%, there's no way of knowing whether performance is based on luck or skill.

Fama is one of the pioneers of the efficient-market hypothesis -- the idea that securities are priced correctly because they incorporate all the known information relating to a company -- so it fits his views to suggest that very few people can consistently beat the financial markets. But that doesn't lessen the relevance of his research. Nickel said that, while he hasn't seen Fama and French's study, its possible that the consistency his study found among the top 10% of funds were delivered by the top 3% of managers who could be said to have skill.

Morey said markets have become less efficient in the past 10 to 15 years, thus creating an opportunity for good managers. He pointed to increasingly unclear company accounts, the fact that derivatives positions aren't fully reported and the recent failures of the bond-ratings agencies as examples of how hard it's become for investors to get full information about companies.

"We're more in the dark now than we were 20 years ago," he said. In such a world, a good manager can make a difference, he added.

Morey named T. Rowe Price Group Inc. TROW as an example of a firm with good managers. It's not just about performance, but the fact that T. Rowe seems to encourage and develop its managers, who typically stay for many years.

"There's definitely a 'T. Rowe culture,'" said Rekenthaler, echoing Morey's sentiments.

Rekenthaler said he'd also include American Funds, a unit of Capital Group Cos., and Vanguard Group as fund companies that seem to have the right culture -- not just in manager development, but by charging relatively low fees and having fairly conservative fund strategies, as well as not launching funds in popular sectors just to grow assets.

"I've moved in my thinking from being enamored with a fund to liking a fund company," he said. "You need to surround yourself with the best-quality of people."

So will investors look more at a fund firm's culture rather than a top performing manager? Fund flows suggest it's unlikely.

"It's what we call the hot-hand fallacy," said Hersh Shefrin, professor of finance at Santa Clara University's Leavey School of Business, and a pioneer in the field of behavioral finance.

Think about watching a basketball game. If a player hits several baskets in a row, we think he's hot, that he's more likely to make his next shot. But statistics show that a player who's made his recent buckets isn't more likely to make his next one.

"Our intuition is misguided," said Shefrin. "If we don't know the odds and try to estimate them we tend to overweight recent events."

Instead of taking a chance on an unpredictable fund manager, Shefrin suggested investors review their entire approach.

"There are two needs we're talking about here, financial and psychological," he said. "For your financial needs the best long-term approach is buy-and-hold with a well-diversified set of securities with [passive] bond and stock holdings that reflect your risk profile.

"For your psychological needs -- and we're all thrill-seekers -- just recognize it for what it is and protect yourself," Shefrin said. "Treat your [hot stock] choices the way you would if you went to Las Vegas -- you don't go expecting to make money."

Copyright © 2010 MarketWatch.com

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Santa Cruz medical pot collective settles lawsuit with feds
01/22/2010
Oakland Tribune

A long-running lawsuit against the federal government by the nation's most prominent medical marijuana collective ended in a settlement today that enables the organization to continue serving the ill.

The founders of Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana (WAMM) said they agreed to dismiss the lawsuit based on new government policy with the understanding the litigation they started can be re-instated if the federal government changes its mind and sends drug enforcement agents to WAMM.

The lawsuit stems from a 2002 Drug Enforcement Agency raid on the Santa Cruz-base collective. Thirty armed agents used chainsaws to eradicate marijuana WAMM was growing to provide free to sick people. DEA agents also rousted several members and the owners of the property from bed, pointing assault rifles at them.

Attorneys for WAMM — including the ACLU, Santa Clara University law professor Gerald Uelmen and private attorney Ben Rice — said the settlement was a huge victory for the movement by collectives like WAMM to provide medical marijuana who need it.

The settlement was approved this morning by Judge Jeremy Fogel of the U.S. District Court in San Jose. About 35 members of the Santa Cruz-based collective and their attorneys were in the courtroom. The attorney for the federal government conducted his part by phone.

Uelmen said the case doesn't have "precedent value" for the rest of the country. "But we can point to this case if there's any further interference with our clients," he said. "What this case represents is a commitment that federal policy will be followed."

That policy was announced by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who issued an order that said the federal government would target medical marijuana distributors only where they violate both state and federal laws.

Contact Linda Goldston at 408-920-5862.

Copyright © 2010 The Oakland Tribune. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Media NewsGroup, Inc. by NewsBank, Inc.

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Sunnyvale resident asks for review of ethics code after ex-mayor speaks out | View Clip
01/21/2010
Cupertino Courier - Online

A controversial protest over the sale of a Sunnyvale preschool has raised questions over how city council members should conduct themselves on public issues.

Sunnyvale resident Genavieve Heywood, a pastor at the Congregational Community Church, which owns the preschool, asked the council Jan. 5 to review the city's code of ethics after former mayor Tony Spitaleri spoke during a public protest against the dismissal of teachers as part of the pending sale of the preschool.

Heywood said his involvement is partially responsible for the sale agreement being terminated. The potential buyers asked to renegotiate the sale terms after the public protest, and now the sale is on hold.

"This sale has been jeopardized by a number of events, including the involvement of our mayor, who spoke at an informational meeting with the designated new owners and at a protest on that day," said Heywood.

"Thus, I ask the city council to do a study of the city council code of ethics to determine when the city and its mayor are to be involved with third-party disputes." Spitaleri, who is still on the council and has no children at the preschool, and newly sworn-in Mayor Melinda Hamilton said they believe the ethics code has not been violated, and the issue has not been put on the city council agenda.

In an interview with the Sun, Spitaleri said he was contacted by a number of concerned residents who expressed concern over with the terms of the pending sale

and termination of employees that went with it.

"I think it is our obligation, once contacted, to see what we can do, if anything," he said.

Spitaleri said he wrote two letters to the church asking to discuss the situation, but the requests went unanswered.

He spoke with parents, teachers and the potential new owners to "find a middle ground and move forward," he said.

He also offered an opinion at the Dec. 21 meeting.

"I'm kind of surprised and disappointed that this church, which would allow the school to be around for 40 years to take care of our citizens' children, now turns its back on [the teachers] and throws them out in the street," he said during the church's meeting. "I think you need to go back to the table, resolve this and at least keep our teachers working," he added before stepping outside to make comments during the protest.

Spitaleri does not believe that he jeopardized the sale of the school, as he was not directly involved in negotiations.

"When we have community groups coming to you in your own community and they reach out to you for some help, we have an obligation to help them," he said.

Hamilton said she does not believe Spitaleri overstepped a boundary.

"Tony has a First Amendment right just like all of us do. I don't believe he did anything unethical," she said, adding that his comments were not an official city stance.

"When you take a public office, you do not lose your ability to speak in public and you do not lose your ability to have an opinion," said Judy Nadler, senior fellow in government ethics at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University.

Adam Levermore Rich, deputy communications officer for Sunnyvale, also said Spitaleri is permitted to make comments at events. "As the council's official spokesperson, the mayor is always permitted to speak publicly on the city's behalf," he said.

According to Hamilton, the mayor and council members are permitted to speak at or attend events without an announcement to council.

"We certainly get asked to get involved in things and sometimes it is appropriate and sometimes it is not," Hamilton said, adding that there are shades of gray on some issues.

Hamilton said she also was contacted by community members and decided to call the church to urge communication with the parents to find an "equitable solution for everyone." "We are trying to make the city a better place to live and work and play," she said.

According to Nadler, as citizens, elected officials have the right to express opinions on controversial issues or even hold picket signs during a protest.

"If he is somehow implying that the city of Sunnyvale's position, or that the city of Sunnyvale has taken a position on this, that would not be appropriate," she said.

To avoid any confusion, Nadler suggests every elected official "be very clear when you are speaking in your own voice or you are speaking on behalf of the city."

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Calif. Supreme Court strikes down Legislature's attempt to set medical marijuana limits | View Clip
01/21/2010
Washington Examiner - Online

SAN FRANCISCO — A unanimous California Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a law that sought to impose limits on the amount of marijuana a medical patient can legally possess.

The California Supreme Court ruled that state lawmakers were wrong to change provisions of the voter-approved Proposition 215. The 1996 measure allowed for patients with a doctor's recommendation to possess an unspecified amount of marijuana.

The Legislature, seeking to give law enforcement guidance on when to make marijuana possession arrests, mandated in 2003 that each patient could have a maximum of 8 ounces of dried marijuana.

The high court says only voters can change amendments that they've added to California's constitution through the initiative process. The ruling by Chief Justice Ron George left in place the portion of the new law that protects patients possessing a state-issue medical marijuana identification card from arrest. George did note, though, that police were still authorized to make arrests if they believe the cards to be forgeries or reasonably suspects a crime has been committed.

Left open to interpretation: What amount of marijuana is for legitimate personal medical consumption and how much constitutes illegal trafficking?

"The California Supreme Court did the right thing by abolishing limits on medical marijuana possession and cultivation," said Joe Elford, the top lawyer for the marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access. "At the same time, the Court may have left too much discretion to law enforcement in deciding what are reasonable amounts of medicine for patients to possess and cultivate."

The Supreme Court's decision upholds a lower court ruling that tossed out the conviction of Patrick Kelly, a Southern California man who was arrested for possession of 12 ounces of dried marijuana and seven plants. A "confidential informant" called Lakewood Police to report Kelly's possession in October 2005.

Experts testified that the amount of marijuana Kelly had on hand would last him just a few weeks for treatment of hepatitis C, chronic back pain, and cirrhosis.

The ruling was widely expected because the California Attorney General's office largely agreed with the position of Kelly's court-appointed attorney Gerald Uelman, a Santa Clara University law professor.

Also Thursday, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled that a doctor's permission to use medical marijuana doesn't preclude police from arresting a patient or searching a home. The court upheld the conviction of Jason Fry, a Stevens County man busted with 2 pounds of marijuana in 2004.

Justices said sheriff's officers who smelled marijuana smoke at his home had probable cause to believe a crime was committed — even after the man presented them with an authorization from his doctor.

Justice Richard Sanders disagreed, arguing that under the ruling, a patient could be searched, arrested and hauled to court every time an officer smelled marijuana at his or her home, even absent any evidence the patient is breaking the medical marijuana law.

Associated Press Writer Gene Johnson in Seattle contributed to this report.

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Calif. high court strikes down medical pot limits | View Clip
01/21/2010
Fort Worth Star-Telegram - Online

SAN FRANCISCO —

A unanimous California Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a law that sought to impose limits on the amount of marijuana a medical patient can legally possess.

The California Supreme Court ruled that state lawmakers were wrong to change provisions of the voter-approved Proposition 215. The 1996 measure allowed for patients with a doctor's recommendation to possess an unspecified amount of marijuana.

The Legislature, seeking to give law enforcement guidance on when to make marijuana possession arrests, mandated in 2003 that each patient could have a maximum of 8 ounces of dried marijuana.

The high court says only voters can change amendments that they've added to California's constitution through the initiative process. The ruling by Chief Justice Ron George left in place the portion of the new law that protects patients possessing a state-issue medical marijuana identification card from arrest. George did note, though, that police were still authorized to make arrests if they believe the cards to be forgeries or reasonably suspects a crime has been committed.

Left open to interpretation: What amount of marijuana is for legitimate personal medical consumption and how much constitutes illegal trafficking?

"The California Supreme Court did the right thing by abolishing limits on medical marijuana possession and cultivation," said Joe Elford, the top lawyer for the marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access. "At the same time, the Court may have left too much discretion to law enforcement in deciding what are reasonable amounts of medicine for patients to possess and cultivate."

The Supreme Court's decision upholds a lower court ruling that tossed out the conviction of Patrick Kelly, a Southern California man who was arrested for possession of 12 ounces of dried marijuana and seven plants. A "confidential informant" called Lakewood Police to report Kelly's possession in October 2005.

Experts testified that the amount of marijuana Kelly had on hand would last him just a few weeks for treatment of hepatitis C, chronic back pain, and cirrhosis.

The ruling was widely expected because the California Attorney General's office largely agreed with the position of Kelly's court-appointed attorney Gerald Uelman, a Santa Clara University law professor.

Also Thursday, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled that a doctor's permission to use medical marijuana doesn't preclude police from arresting a patient or searching a home. The court upheld the conviction of Jason Fry, a Stevens County man busted with 2 pounds of marijuana in 2004.

Justices said sheriff's officers who smelled marijuana smoke at his home had probable cause to believe a crime was committed - even after the man presented them with an authorization from his doctor.

Justice Richard Sanders disagreed, arguing that under the ruling, a patient could be searched, arrested and hauled to court every time an officer smelled marijuana at his or her home, even absent any evidence the patient is breaking the medical marijuana law.

Associated Press Writer Gene Johnson in Seattle contributed to this report.

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Calif. high court strikes down medical pot limits | View Clip
01/21/2010
Idaho Statesman - Online

SAN FRANCISCO — A unanimous California Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a law that sought to impose limits on the amount of marijuana a medical patient can legally possess.

The California Supreme Court ruled that state lawmakers were wrong to change provisions of the voter-approved Proposition 215. The 1996 measure allowed for patients with a doctor's recommendation to possess an unspecified amount of marijuana.

The Legislature, seeking to give law enforcement guidance on when to make marijuana possession arrests, mandated in 2003 that each patient could have a maximum of 8 ounces of dried marijuana.

The high court says only voters can change amendments that they've added to California's constitution through the initiative process. The ruling by Chief Justice Ron George left in place the portion of the new law that protects patients possessing a state-issue medical marijuana identification card from arrest. George did note, though, that police were still authorized to make arrests if they believe the cards to be forgeries or reasonably suspects a crime has been committed.

Left open to interpretation: What amount of marijuana is for legitimate personal medical consumption and how much constitutes illegal trafficking?

"The California Supreme Court did the right thing by abolishing limits on medical marijuana possession and cultivation," said Joe Elford, the top lawyer for the marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access. "At the same time, the Court may have left too much discretion to law enforcement in deciding what are reasonable amounts of medicine for patients to possess and cultivate."

The Supreme Court's decision upholds a lower court ruling that tossed out the conviction of Patrick Kelly, a Southern California man who was arrested for possession of 12 ounces of dried marijuana and seven plants. A "confidential informant" called Lakewood Police to report Kelly's possession in October 2005.

Experts testified that the amount of marijuana Kelly had on hand would last him just a few weeks for treatment of hepatitis C, chronic back pain, and cirrhosis.

The ruling was widely expected because the California Attorney General's office largely agreed with the position of Kelly's court-appointed attorney Gerald Uelman, a Santa Clara University law professor.

Also Thursday, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled that a doctor's permission to use medical marijuana doesn't preclude police from arresting a patient or searching a home. The court upheld the conviction of Jason Fry, a Stevens County man busted with 2 pounds of marijuana in 2004.

Justices said sheriff's officers who smelled marijuana smoke at his home had probable cause to believe a crime was committed - even after the man presented them with an authorization from his doctor.

Justice Richard Sanders disagreed, arguing that under the ruling, a patient could be searched, arrested and hauled to court every time an officer smelled marijuana at his or her home, even absent any evidence the patient is breaking the medical marijuana law.

Associated Press Writer Gene Johnson in Seattle contributed to this report.

Return to Top



State Supreme Court Strikes Down Medical Pot Limits | View Clip
01/21/2010
KTVU-TV - Online

SAN FRANCISCO -- A unanimous California Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a law that sought to impose limits on the amount of marijuana a medical patient can legally possess.

The California Supreme Court ruled that state lawmakers were wrong to change provisions of the voter-approved Proposition 215. The 1996 measure allowed for patients with a doctor's recommendation to possess an unspecified amount of marijuana.

The Legislature, seeking to give law enforcement guidance on when to make marijuana possession arrests, mandated in 2003 that each patient could have a maximum of 8 ounces of dried marijuana.

The high court says only voters can change amendments that they've added to California's constitution through the initiative process.

The ruling by Chief Justice Ron George left in place the portion of the new law that protects patients possessing a state-issue medical marijuana identification card from arrest. George did note, though, that police were still authorized to make arrests if they believe the cards to be forgeries or reasonably suspects a crime has been committed.

Left open to interpretation: What amount of marijuana is for legitimate personal medical consumption and how much constitutes illegal trafficking?

"The California Supreme Court did the right thing by abolishing limits on medical marijuana possession and cultivation," said Joe Elford, the top lawyer for the marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access. "At the same time, the Court may have left too much discretion to law enforcement in deciding what are reasonable amounts of medicine for patients to possess and cultivate."

The Supreme Court's decision upholds a lower court ruling that tossed out the conviction of Patrick Kelly, a Southern California man who was arrested for possession of 12 ounces of dried marijuana and seven plants. A "confidential informant" called Lakewood Police to report Kelly's possession in October 2005.

Experts testified that the amount of marijuana Kelly had on hand would last him just a few weeks for treatment of hepatitis C, chronic back pain, and cirrhosis.

The ruling was widely expected because the California Attorney General's office largely agreed with the position of Kelly's court-appointed attorney Gerald Uelman, a Santa Clara University law professor.

Also Thursday, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled that a doctor's permission to use medical marijuana doesn't preclude police from arresting a patient or searching a home. The court upheld the conviction of Jason Fry, a Stevens County man busted with 2 pounds of marijuana in 2004.

Justices said sheriff's officers who smelled marijuana smoke at his home had probable cause to believe a crime was committed -- even after the man presented them with an authorization from his doctor.

Justice Richard Sanders disagreed, arguing that under the ruling, a patient could be searched, arrested and hauled to court every time an officer smelled marijuana at his or her home, even absent any evidence the patient is breaking the medical marijuana law.

Copyright 2010 by Bay City News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Calif. high court strikes down medical pot limits | View Clip
01/21/2010
St. Paul Pioneer Press - Online

SAN FRANCISCO—A unanimous California Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a law that sought to impose limits on the amount of marijuana a medical patient can legally possess.

The California Supreme Court ruled that state lawmakers were wrong to change provisions of the voter-approved Proposition 215. The 1996 measure allowed for patients with a doctor's recommendation to possess an unspecified amount of marijuana.

The Legislature, seeking to give law enforcement guidance on when to make marijuana possession arrests, mandated in 2003 that each patient could have a maximum of 8 ounces of dried marijuana.

The high court says only voters can change amendments that they've added to California's constitution through the initiative process. The ruling by Chief Justice Ron George left in place the portion of the new law that protects patients possessing a state-issue medical marijuana identification card from arrest. George did note, though, that police were still authorized to make arrests if they believe the cards to be forgeries or reasonably suspects a crime has been committed.

Left open to interpretation: What amount of marijuana is for legitimate personal medical consumption and how much constitutes illegal trafficking?

"The California Supreme Court did the right thing by abolishing limits on medical marijuana possession and cultivation," said Joe Elford, the top lawyer for the marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access. "At the

same time, the Court may have left too much discretion to law enforcement in deciding what are reasonable amounts of medicine for patients to possess and cultivate."

The Supreme Court's decision upholds a lower court ruling that tossed out the conviction of Patrick Kelly, a Southern California man who was arrested for possession of 12 ounces of dried marijuana and seven plants. A "confidential informant" called Lakewood Police to report Kelly's possession in October 2005.

Experts testified that the amount of marijuana Kelly had on hand would last him just a few weeks for treatment of hepatitis C, chronic back pain, and cirrhosis.

The ruling was widely expected because the California Attorney General's office largely agreed with the position of Kelly's court-appointed attorney Gerald Uelman, a Santa Clara University law professor.

Also Thursday, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled that a doctor's permission to use medical marijuana doesn't preclude police from arresting a patient or searching a home. The court upheld the conviction of Jason Fry, a Stevens County man busted with 2 pounds of marijuana in 2004.

Justices said sheriff's officers who smelled marijuana smoke at his home had probable cause to believe a crime was committed—even after the man presented them with an authorization from his doctor.

Justice Richard Sanders disagreed, arguing that under the ruling, a patient could be searched, arrested and hauled to court every time an officer smelled marijuana at his or her home, even absent any evidence the patient is breaking the medical marijuana law.

Associated Press Writer Gene Johnson in Seattle contributed to this report.

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Calif. high court strikes down medical pot limits | View Clip
01/21/2010
Herald - Online, The

SAN FRANCISCO -- A unanimous California Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a law that sought to impose limits on the amount of marijuana a medical patient can legally possess.

The California Supreme Court ruled that state lawmakers were wrong to change provisions of the voter-approved Proposition 215. The 1996 measure allowed for patients with a doctor's recommendation to possess an unspecified amount of marijuana.

The Legislature, seeking to give law enforcement guidance on when to make marijuana possession arrests, mandated in 2003 that each patient could have a maximum of 8 ounces of dried marijuana.

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LA City Council moves to close pot dispensaries

Wash. court: Doc's pot OK doesn't preclude search

The high court says only voters can change amendments that they've added to California's constitution through the initiative process. The ruling by Chief Justice Ron George left in place the portion of the new law that protects patients possessing a state-issue medical marijuana identification card from arrest. George did note, though, that police were still authorized to make arrests if they believe the cards to be forgeries or reasonably suspects a crime has been committed.

Left open to interpretation: What amount of marijuana is for legitimate personal medical consumption and how much constitutes illegal trafficking?

"The California Supreme Court did the right thing by abolishing limits on medical marijuana possession and cultivation," said Joe Elford, the top lawyer for the marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access. "At the same time, the Court may have left too much discretion to law enforcement in deciding what are reasonable amounts of medicine for patients to possess and cultivate."

The Supreme Court's decision upholds a lower court ruling that tossed out the conviction of Patrick Kelly, a Southern California man who was arrested for possession of 12 ounces of dried marijuana and seven plants. A "confidential informant" called Lakewood Police to report Kelly's possession in October 2005.

Experts testified that the amount of marijuana Kelly had on hand would last him just a few weeks for treatment of hepatitis C, chronic back pain, and cirrhosis.

The ruling was widely expected because the California Attorney General's office largely agreed with the position of Kelly's court-appointed attorney Gerald Uelman, a Santa Clara University law professor.

Also Thursday, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled that a doctor's permission to use medical marijuana doesn't preclude police from arresting a patient or searching a home. The court upheld the conviction of Jason Fry, a Stevens County man busted with 2 pounds of marijuana in 2004.

Justices said sheriff's officers who smelled marijuana smoke at his home had probable cause to believe a crime was committed - even after the man presented them with an authorization from his doctor.

Justice Richard Sanders disagreed, arguing that under the ruling, a patient could be searched, arrested and hauled to court every time an officer smelled marijuana at his or her home, even absent any evidence the patient is breaking the medical marijuana law.

Associated Press Writer Gene Johnson in Seattle contributed to this report.

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Calif. high court strikes down medical pot limits | View Clip
01/21/2010
Tribune - Online, The

A unanimous California Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a law that sought to impose limits on the amount of marijuana a medical patient can legally possess.

The California Supreme Court ruled that state lawmakers were wrong to change provisions of the voter-approved Proposition 215. The 1996 measure allowed for patients with a doctor's recommendation to possess an unspecified amount of marijuana.

The Legislature, seeking to give law enforcement guidance on when to make marijuana possession arrests, mandated in 2003 that each patient could have a maximum of 8 ounces of dried marijuana.

The high court says only voters can change amendments that they've added to California's constitution through the initiative process. The ruling by Chief Justice Ron George left in place the portion of the new law that protects patients possessing a state-issue medical marijuana identification card from arrest. George did note, though, that police were still authorized to make arrests if they believe the cards to be forgeries or reasonably suspects a crime has been committed.

Left open to interpretation: What amount of marijuana is for legitimate personal medical consumption and how much constitutes illegal trafficking?

"The California Supreme Court did the right thing by abolishing limits on medical marijuana possession and cultivation," said Joe Elford, the top lawyer for the marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access. "At the same time, the Court may have left too much discretion to law enforcement in deciding what are reasonable amounts of medicine for patients to possess and cultivate."

The Supreme Court's decision upholds a lower court ruling that tossed out the conviction of Patrick Kelly, a Southern California man who was arrested for possession of 12 ounces of dried marijuana and seven plants. A "confidential informant" called Lakewood Police to report Kelly's possession in October 2005.

Experts testified that the amount of marijuana Kelly had on hand would last him just a few weeks for treatment of hepatitis C, chronic back pain, and cirrhosis.

The ruling was widely expected because the California Attorney General's office largely agreed with the position of Kelly's court-appointed attorney Gerald Uelman, a Santa Clara University law professor.

Also Thursday, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled that a doctor's permission to use medical marijuana doesn't preclude police from arresting a patient or searching a home. The court upheld the conviction of Jason Fry, a Stevens County man busted with 2 pounds of marijuana in 2004.

Justices said sheriff's officers who smelled marijuana smoke at his home had probable cause to believe a crime was committed - even after the man presented them with an authorization from his doctor.

Justice Richard Sanders disagreed, arguing that under the ruling, a patient could be searched, arrested and hauled to court every time an officer smelled marijuana at his or her home, even absent any evidence the patient is breaking the medical marijuana law.

Associated Press Writer Gene Johnson in Seattle contributed to this report.

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Calif. high court strikes down medical pot limits | View Clip
01/21/2010
Columbus Ledger-Enquirer - Online

SAN FRANCISCO -- A unanimous California Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a law that sought to impose limits on the amount of marijuana a medical patient can legally possess.

The California Supreme Court ruled that state lawmakers were wrong to change provisions of the voter-approved Proposition 215. The 1996 measure allowed for patients with a doctor's recommendation to possess an unspecified amount of marijuana.

The Legislature, seeking to give law enforcement guidance on when to make marijuana possession arrests, mandated in 2003 that each patient could have a maximum of 8 ounces of dried marijuana.

The high court says only voters can change amendments that they've added to California's constitution through the initiative process. The ruling by Chief Justice Ron George left in place the portion of the new law that protects patients possessing a state-issue medical marijuana identification card from arrest. George did note, though, that police were still authorized to make arrests if they believe the cards to be forgeries or reasonably suspects a crime has been committed.

Left open to interpretation: What amount of marijuana is for legitimate personal medical consumption and how much constitutes illegal trafficking?

"The California Supreme Court did the right thing by abolishing limits on medical marijuana possession and cultivation," said Joe Elford, the top lawyer for the marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access. "At the same time, the Court may have left too much discretion to law enforcement in deciding what are reasonable amounts of medicine for patients to possess and cultivate."

The Supreme Court's decision upholds a lower court ruling that tossed out the conviction of Patrick Kelly, a Southern California man who was arrested for possession of 12 ounces of dried marijuana and seven plants. A "confidential informant" called Lakewood Police to report Kelly's possession in October 2005.

Experts testified that the amount of marijuana Kelly had on hand would last him just a few weeks for treatment of hepatitis C, chronic back pain, and cirrhosis.

The ruling was widely expected because the California Attorney General's office largely agreed with the position of Kelly's court-appointed attorney Gerald Uelman, a Santa Clara University law professor.

Also Thursday, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled that a doctor's permission to use medical marijuana doesn't preclude police from arresting a patient or searching a home. The court upheld the conviction of Jason Fry, a Stevens County man busted with 2 pounds of marijuana in 2004.

Justices said sheriff's officers who smelled marijuana smoke at his home had probable cause to believe a crime was committed - even after the man presented them with an authorization from his doctor.

Justice Richard Sanders disagreed, arguing that under the ruling, a patient could be searched, arrested and hauled to court every time an officer smelled marijuana at his or her home, even absent any evidence the patient is breaking the medical marijuana law.

Associated Press Writer Gene Johnson in Seattle contributed to this report.

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Calif. high court strikes down medical pot limits | View Clip
01/21/2010
Houston Chronicle - Online

SAN FRANCISCO — A unanimous California Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a law that sought to impose limits on the amount of marijuana a medical patient can legally possess.

The California Supreme Court ruled that state lawmakers were wrong to change provisions of the voter-approved Proposition 215. The 1996 measure allowed for patients with a doctor's recommendation to possess an unspecified amount of marijuana.

The Legislature, seeking to give law enforcement guidance on when to make marijuana possession arrests, mandated in 2003 that each patient could have a maximum of 8 ounces of dried marijuana.

The high court says only voters can change amendments that they've added to California's constitution through the initiative process. The ruling by Chief Justice Ron George left in place the portion of the new law that protects patients possessing a state-issue medical marijuana identification card from arrest. George did note, though, that police were still authorized to make arrests if they believe the cards to be forgeries or reasonably suspects a crime has been committed.

Left open to interpretation: What amount of marijuana is for legitimate personal medical consumption and how much constitutes illegal trafficking?

"The California Supreme Court did the right thing by abolishing limits on medical marijuana possession and cultivation," said Joe Elford, the top lawyer for the marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access. "At the same time, the Court may have left too much discretion to law enforcement in deciding what are reasonable amounts of medicine for patients to possess and cultivate."

The Supreme Court's decision upholds a lower court ruling that tossed out the conviction of Patrick Kelly, a Southern California man who was arrested for possession of 12 ounces of dried marijuana and seven plants. A "confidential informant" called Lakewood Police to report Kelly's possession in October 2005.

Experts testified that the amount of marijuana Kelly had on hand would last him just a few weeks for treatment of hepatitis C, chronic back pain, and cirrhosis.

The ruling was widely expected because the California Attorney General's office largely agreed with the position of Kelly's court-appointed attorney Gerald Uelman, a Santa Clara University law professor.

Also Thursday, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled that a doctor's permission to use medical marijuana doesn't preclude police from arresting a patient or searching a home. The court upheld the conviction of Jason Fry, a Stevens County man busted with 2 pounds of marijuana in 2004.

Justices said sheriff's officers who smelled marijuana smoke at his home had probable cause to believe a crime was committed — even after the man presented them with an authorization from his doctor.

Justice Richard Sanders disagreed, arguing that under the ruling, a patient could be searched, arrested and hauled to court every time an officer smelled marijuana at his or her home, even absent any evidence the patient is breaking the medical marijuana law.

Associated Press Writer Gene Johnson in Seattle contributed to this report.

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Calif. high court strikes down medical pot limits | View Clip
01/21/2010
Kansas City Star - Online

Posted on Thu, Jan. 21, 2010 12:57 PM

A unanimous California Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a law that sought to impose limits on the amount of marijuana a medical patient can legally possess.

The California Supreme Court ruled that state lawmakers were wrong to change provisions of the voter-approved Proposition 215. The 1996 measure allowed for patients with a doctor's recommendation to possess an unspecified amount of marijuana.

The Legislature, seeking to give law enforcement guidance on when to make marijuana possession arrests, mandated in 2003 that each patient could have a maximum of 8 ounces of dried marijuana.

The high court says only voters can change amendments that they've added to California's constitution through the initiative process. The ruling by Chief Justice Ron George left in place the portion of the new law that protects patients possessing a state-issue medical marijuana identification card from arrest. George did note, though, that police were still authorized to make arrests if they believe the cards to be forgeries or reasonably suspects a crime has been committed.

Left open to interpretation: What amount of marijuana is for legitimate personal medical consumption and how much constitutes illegal trafficking?

"The California Supreme Court did the right thing by abolishing limits on medical marijuana possession and cultivation," said Joe Elford, the top lawyer for the marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access. "At the same time, the Court may have left too much discretion to law enforcement in deciding what are reasonable amounts of medicine for patients to possess and cultivate."

The Supreme Court's decision upholds a lower court ruling that tossed out the conviction of Patrick Kelly, a Southern California man who was arrested for possession of 12 ounces of dried marijuana and seven plants. A "confidential informant" called Lakewood Police to report Kelly's possession in October 2005.

Experts testified that the amount of marijuana Kelly had on hand would last him just a few weeks for treatment of hepatitis C, chronic back pain, and cirrhosis.

The ruling was widely expected because the California Attorney General's office largely agreed with the position of Kelly's court-appointed attorney Gerald Uelman, a Santa Clara University law professor.

Also Thursday, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled that a doctor's permission to use medical marijuana doesn't preclude police from arresting a patient or searching a home. The court upheld the conviction of Jason Fry, a Stevens County man busted with 2 pounds of marijuana in 2004.

Justices said sheriff's officers who smelled marijuana smoke at his home had probable cause to believe a crime was committed - even after the man presented them with an authorization from his doctor.

Justice Richard Sanders disagreed, arguing that under the ruling, a patient could be searched, arrested and hauled to court every time an officer smelled marijuana at his or her home, even absent any evidence the patient is breaking the medical marijuana law.

Associated Press Writer Gene Johnson in Seattle contributed to this report.

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TRADE NEWS Agilent Technologies Sponsors Electrical Engineering Undergraduate Teaching Lab at Silic | View Clip
01/21/2010
Fox Business Network - Online

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Jan 21, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) ----Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE:A) today announced its sponsorship of the electrical engineering undergraduate teaching lab at Santa Clara University (SCU) in Silicon Valley. The lab is designed to give students access to the most current electronic test equipment used in the industry.

The SCU lab uses Agilent oscilloscopes, power supplies, multimeters and function generators. The lab affirms SCU's commitment to work with Silicon Valley companies, such as Agilent, to deliver an advanced engineering laboratory environment for the undergraduate program. The SCU electrical engineering undergraduate teaching lab recognized Agilent at an on-site dedication ceremony on Wednesday, Jan. 20.

"We are very pleased with the outcome of our work with Agilent and hope that it will be an incentive to other innovative technology companies to partner with us," said Cary Yang, professor and chair of the electrical engineering department. "Santa Clara University is very focused at delivering real-life challenges with academic achievement. This lab gives our students an excellent and competitive engineering instructional environment in which to learn and grow."

"Agilent is dedicated to making available the latest tools and instructional material so the next generation of engineers can successfully compete in the global market," said Bill Wallace, Agilent's Americas education business development manager. "We are already in discussions with SCU about other exciting possibilities for their program."

Additional Information

SCU Electrical Engineering lab dedication ceremony photographs can be found at: www.agilent.com/find/SCUlab_images.

About Santa Clara University

Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California's Silicon Valley, offers its 8,846 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus masters and law degrees, and engineering Ph.D.s. Distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. masters universities, California's oldest operating higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. For more information, see www.scu.edu.

About Agilent Technologies

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE:A) is the world's premier measurement company and a technology leader in communications, electronics, life sciences and chemical analysis. The company's 17,000 employees serve customers in more than 110 countries. Agilent had net revenues of $4.5 billion in fiscal 2009. Information about Agilent is available on the Web at www.agilent.com.

SOURCE: Agilent Technologies Inc.

Agilent Technologies Inc.
Janet Smith, Americas, 970-679-5397
janet_smith@agilent.com
Sarah Calnan, Europe, +44 (118) 927 5101
sarah_calnan@agilent.com
Iris Ng, Asia, +852 31977979
iris-hw_ng@agilent.com

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Calif. high court strikes down medical pot limits | View Clip
01/21/2010
Palm Beach Post - Online

SAN FRANCISCO — A unanimous California Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a law that sought to impose limits on the amount of marijuana a medical patient can legally possess.

The California Supreme Court ruled that state lawmakers were wrong to change provisions of the voter-approved Proposition 215. The 1996 measure allowed for patients with a doctor's recommendation to possess an unspecified amount of marijuana.

The Legislature, seeking to give law enforcement guidance on when to make marijuana possession arrests, mandated in 2003 that each patient could have a maximum of 8 ounces of dried marijuana.

The high court says only voters can change amendments that they've added to California's constitution through the initiative process. The ruling by Chief Justice Ron George left in place the portion of the new law that protects patients possessing a state-issue medical marijuana identification card from arrest. George did note, though, that police were still authorized to make arrests if they believe the cards to be forgeries or reasonably suspects a crime has been committed.

Left open to interpretation: What amount of marijuana is for legitimate personal medical consumption and how much constitutes illegal trafficking?

"The California Supreme Court did the right thing by abolishing limits on medical marijuana possession and cultivation," said Joe Elford, the top lawyer for the marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access. "At the same time, the Court may have left too much discretion to law enforcement in deciding what are reasonable amounts of medicine for patients to possess and cultivate."

The Supreme Court's decision upholds a lower court ruling that tossed out the conviction of Patrick Kelly, a Southern California man who was arrested for possession of 12 ounces of dried marijuana and seven plants. A "confidential informant" called Lakewood Police to report Kelly's possession in October 2005.

Experts testified that the amount of marijuana Kelly had on hand would last him just a few weeks for treatment of hepatitis C, chronic back pain, and cirrhosis.

The ruling was widely expected because the California Attorney General's office largely agreed with the position of Kelly's court-appointed attorney Gerald Uelman, a Santa Clara University law professor.

Also Thursday, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled that a doctor's permission to use medical marijuana doesn't preclude police from arresting a patient or searching a home. The court upheld the conviction of Jason Fry, a Stevens County man busted with 2 pounds of marijuana in 2004.

Justices said sheriff's officers who smelled marijuana smoke at his home had probable cause to believe a crime was committed — even after the man presented them with an authorization from his doctor.

Justice Richard Sanders disagreed, arguing that under the ruling, a patient could be searched, arrested and hauled to court every time an officer smelled marijuana at his or her home, even absent any evidence the patient is breaking the medical marijuana law.

Associated Press Writer Gene Johnson in Seattle contributed to this report.

Copyright 2010, The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Calif. high court strikes down medical pot limits | View Clip
01/21/2010
Telegraph - Online, The

SAN FRANCISCO -- A unanimous California Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a law that sought to impose limits on the amount of marijuana a medical patient can legally possess.

The California Supreme Court ruled that state lawmakers were wrong to change provisions of the voter-approved Proposition 215. The 1996 measure allowed for patients with a doctor's recommendation to possess an unspecified amount of marijuana.

The Legislature, seeking to give law enforcement guidance on when to make marijuana possession arrests, mandated in 2003 that each patient could have a maximum of 8 ounces of dried marijuana.

The high court says only voters can change amendments that they've added to California's constitution through the initiative process. The ruling by Chief Justice Ron George left in place the portion of the new law that protects patients possessing a state-issue medical marijuana identification card from arrest. George did note, though, that police were still authorized to make arrests if they believe the cards to be forgeries or reasonably suspects a crime has been committed.

Left open to interpretation: What amount of marijuana is for legitimate personal medical consumption and how much constitutes illegal trafficking?

"The California Supreme Court did the right thing by abolishing limits on medical marijuana possession and cultivation," said Joe Elford, the top lawyer for the marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access. "At the same time, the Court may have left too much discretion to law enforcement in deciding what are reasonable amounts of medicine for patients to possess and cultivate."

The Supreme Court's decision upholds a lower court ruling that tossed out the conviction of Patrick Kelly, a Southern California man who was arrested for possession of 12 ounces of dried marijuana and seven plants. A "confidential informant" called Lakewood Police to report Kelly's possession in October 2005.

Experts testified that the amount of marijuana Kelly had on hand would last him just a few weeks for treatment of hepatitis C, chronic back pain, and cirrhosis.

The ruling was widely expected because the California Attorney General's office largely agreed with the position of Kelly's court-appointed attorney Gerald Uelman, a Santa Clara University law professor.

Also Thursday, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled that a doctor's permission to use medical marijuana doesn't preclude police from arresting a patient or searching a home. The court upheld the conviction of Jason Fry, a Stevens County man busted with 2 pounds of marijuana in 2004.

Justices said sheriff's officers who smelled marijuana smoke at his home had probable cause to believe a crime was committed - even after the man presented them with an authorization from his doctor.

Justice Richard Sanders disagreed, arguing that under the ruling, a patient could be searched, arrested and hauled to court every time an officer smelled marijuana at his or her home, even absent any evidence the patient is breaking the medical marijuana law.

Associated Press Writer Gene Johnson in Seattle contributed to this report.

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Calif. high court strikes down medical pot limits | View Clip
01/21/2010
FindLaw: for Corporate Counsel

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A unanimous California Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a law that sought to impose limits on the amount of marijuana a medical patient can legally possess.

The California Supreme Court ruled that state lawmakers were wrong to change provisions of the voter-approved Proposition 215. The 1996 measure allowed for patients with a doctor's recommendation to possess an unspecified amount of marijuana.

The Legislature, seeking to give law enforcement guidance on when to make marijuana possession arrests, mandated in 2003 that each patient could have a maximum of 8 ounces of dried marijuana.

The high court says only voters can change amendments that they've added to California's constitution through the initiative process. The ruling by Chief Justice Ron George left in place the portion of the new law that protects patients possessing a state-issue medical marijuana identification card from arrest. George did note, though, that police were still authorized to make arrests if they believe the cards to be forgeries or reasonably suspects a crime has been committed.

Left open to interpretation: What amount of marijuana is for legitimate personal medical consumption and how much constitutes illegal trafficking?

"The California Supreme Court did the right thing by abolishing limits on medical marijuana possession and cultivation," said Joe Elford, the top lawyer for the marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access. "At the same time, the Court may have left too much discretion to law enforcement in deciding what are reasonable amounts of medicine for patients to possess and cultivate."

The Supreme Court's decision upholds a lower court ruling that tossed out the conviction of Patrick Kelly, a Southern California man who was arrested for possession of 12 ounces of dried marijuana and seven plants. A "confidential informant" called Lakewood Police to report Kelly's possession in October 2005.

Experts testified that the amount of marijuana Kelly had on hand would last him just a few weeks for treatment of hepatitis C, chronic back pain, and cirrhosis.

The ruling was widely expected because the California Attorney General's office largely agreed with the position of Kelly's court-appointed attorney Gerald Uelman, a Santa Clara University law professor.

Also Thursday, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled that a doctor's permission to use medical marijuana doesn't preclude police from arresting a patient or searching a home. The court upheld the conviction of Jason Fry, a Stevens County man busted with 2 pounds of marijuana in 2004.

Justices said sheriff's officers who smelled marijuana smoke at his home had probable cause to believe a crime was committed - even after the man presented them with an authorization from his doctor.

Justice Richard Sanders disagreed, arguing that under the ruling, a patient could be searched, arrested and hauled to court every time an officer smelled marijuana at his or her home, even absent any evidence the patient is breaking the medical marijuana law.

Associated Press Writer Gene Johnson in Seattle contributed to this report.

2010-01-21 20:13:48 GMT

Copyright 2010. The Associated Press All Rights Reserved.

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No limits on medical pot, Calif. high court rules | View Clip
01/21/2010
MSNBC.com

SAN FRANCISCO - A unanimous California Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a law that sought to impose limits on the amount of marijuana a medical patient can legally possess.

The California Supreme Court ruled that state lawmakers were wrong to change provisions of the voter-approved Proposition 215. The 1996 measure allowed for patients with a doctor's recommendation to possess an unspecified amount of marijuana.

The Legislature, seeking to give law enforcement guidance on when to make marijuana possession arrests, mandated in 2003 that each patient could have a maximum of 8 ounces of dried marijuana.

The high court says only voters can change amendments that they've added to California's constitution through the initiative process. The ruling by Chief Justice Ron George left in place the portion of the new law that protects patients possessing a state-issue medical marijuana identification card from arrest. George did note, though, that police were still authorized to make arrests if they believe the cards to be forgeries or reasonably suspects a crime has been committed.

Left open to interpretation: What amount of marijuana is for legitimate personal medical consumption and how much constitutes illegal trafficking?

"The California Supreme Court did the right thing by abolishing limits on medical marijuana possession and cultivation," said Joe Elford, the top lawyer for the marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access. "At the same time, the Court may have left too much discretion to law enforcement in deciding what are reasonable amounts of medicine for patients to possess and cultivate."

The Supreme Court's decision upholds a lower court ruling that tossed out the conviction of Patrick Kelly, a Southern California man who was arrested for possession of 12 ounces of dried marijuana and seven plants. A "confidential informant" called Lakewood Police to report Kelly's possession in October 2005.

Experts testified that the amount of marijuana Kelly had on hand would last him just a few weeks for treatment of hepatitis C, chronic back pain, and cirrhosis.

The ruling was widely expected because the California Attorney General's office largely agreed with the position of Kelly's court-appointed attorney Gerald Uelman, a Santa Clara University law professor.

Also Thursday, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled that a doctor's permission to use medical marijuana doesn't preclude police from arresting a patient or searching a home. The court upheld the conviction of Jason Fry, a Stevens County man busted with 2 pounds of marijuana in 2004.

Justices said sheriff's officers who smelled marijuana smoke at his home had probable cause to believe a crime was committed — even after the man presented them with an authorization from his doctor.

Justice Richard Sanders disagreed, arguing that under the ruling, a patient could be searched, arrested and hauled to court every time an officer smelled marijuana at his or her home, even absent any evidence the patient is breaking the medical marijuana law.

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Calif. high court strikes down medical pot limits
01/21/2010
Associated Press (AP)

SAN FRANCISCO_A unanimous California Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a law that sought to impose limits on the amount of marijuana a medical patient can legally possess.

The California Supreme Court ruled that state lawmakers were wrong to change provisions of the voter-approved Proposition 215. The 1996 measure allowed for patients with a doctor's recommendation to possess an unspecified amount of marijuana.

The Legislature, seeking to give law enforcement guidance on when to make marijuana possession arrests, mandated in 2003 that each patient could have a maximum of 8 ounces of dried marijuana.

The high court says only voters can change amendments that they've added to California's constitution through the initiative process. The ruling by Chief Justice Ron George left in place the portion of the new law that protects patients possessing a state-issue medical marijuana identification card from arrest. George did note, though, that police were still authorized to make arrests if they believe the cards to be forgeries or reasonably suspects a crime has been committed.

Left open to interpretation: What amount of marijuana is for legitimate personal medical consumption and how much constitutes illegal trafficking?

"The California Supreme Court did the right thing by abolishing limits on medical marijuana possession and cultivation," said Joe Elford, the top lawyer for the marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access. "At the same time, the Court may have left too much discretion to law enforcement in deciding what are reasonable amounts of medicine for patients to possess and cultivate."

The Supreme Court's decision upholds a lower court ruling that tossed out the conviction of Patrick Kelly, a Southern California man who was arrested for possession of 12 ounces of dried marijuana and seven plants. A "confidential informant" called Lakewood Police to report Kelly's possession in October 2005.

Experts testified that the amount of marijuana Kelly had on hand would last him just a few weeks for treatment of hepatitis C, chronic back pain, and cirrhosis.

The ruling was widely expected because the California Attorney General's office largely agreed with the position of Kelly's court-appointed attorney Gerald Uelman, a Santa Clara University law professor.

Also Thursday, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled that a doctor's permission to use medical marijuana doesn't preclude police from arresting a patient or searching a home. The court upheld the conviction of Jason Fry, a Stevens County man busted with 2 pounds of marijuana in 2004.

Justices said sheriff's officers who smelled marijuana smoke at his home had probable cause to believe a crime was committed _ even after the man presented them with an authorization from his doctor.

Justice Richard Sanders disagreed, arguing that under the ruling, a patient could be searched, arrested and hauled to court every time an officer smelled marijuana at his or her home, even absent any evidence the patient is breaking the medical marijuana law.

___

Associated Press Writer Gene Johnson in Seattle contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Calif. high court strikes down medical pot limits | View Clip
01/21/2010
Standard-Examiner - Online

SAN FRANCISCO -- A unanimous California Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a law that sought to impose limits on the amount of marijuana a medical patient can legally possess.

The California Supreme Court ruled that state lawmakers were wrong to change provisions of the voter-approved Proposition 215. The 1996 measure allowed for patients with a doctor's recommendation to possess an unspecified amount of marijuana.

The Legislature, seeking to give law enforcement guidance on when to make marijuana possession arrests, mandated in 2003 that each patient could have a maximum of 8 ounces of dried marijuana.

The high court says only voters can change amendments that they've added to California's constitution through the initiative process. The ruling by Chief Justice Ron George left in place the portion of the new law that protects patients possessing a state-issue medical marijuana identification card from arrest. George did note, though, that police were still authorized to make arrests if they believe the cards to be forgeries or reasonably suspects a crime has been committed.

Left open to interpretation: What amount of marijuana is for legitimate personal medical consumption and how much constitutes illegal trafficking?

"The California Supreme Court did the right thing by abolishing limits on medical marijuana possession and cultivation," said Joe Elford, the top lawyer for the marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access. "At the same time, the Court may have left too much discretion to law enforcement in deciding what are reasonable amounts of medicine for patients to possess and cultivate."

The Supreme Court's decision upholds a lower court ruling that tossed out the conviction of Patrick Kelly, a Southern California man who was arrested for possession of 12 ounces of dried marijuana and seven plants. A "confidential informant" called Lakewood Police to report Kelly's possession in October 2005.

Experts testified that the amount of marijuana Kelly had on hand would last him just a few weeks for treatment of hepatitis C, chronic back pain, and cirrhosis.

The ruling was widely expected because the California Attorney General's office largely agreed with the position of Kelly's court-appointed attorney Gerald Uelman, a Santa Clara University law professor.

Also Thursday, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled that a doctor's permission to use medical marijuana doesn't preclude police from arresting a patient or searching a home. The court upheld the conviction of Jason Fry, a Stevens County man busted with 2 pounds of marijuana in 2004.

Justices said sheriff's officers who smelled marijuana smoke at his home had probable cause to believe a crime was committed -- even after the man presented them with an authorization from his doctor.

Justice Richard Sanders disagreed, arguing that under the ruling, a patient could be searched, arrested and hauled to court every time an officer smelled marijuana at his or her home, even absent any evidence the patient is breaking the medical marijuana law.

Associated Press Writer Gene Johnson in Seattle contributed to this report.

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Use your college alumni network to find jobs in the San Francisco Bay Area | View Clip
01/21/2010
Examiner.com

Most colleges use social networks to stay informed and connect with each other - either via Facebook or LinkedIn or inCircle. In the Bay Area, two local colleges use all of the above to connect with their alumni. St. Mary's College and Santa Clara University use inCircle in addition to Facebook and LinkedIn. inCircle connects school alumni for networking, reconnecting and posting or browsing jobs.

Here's what some savvy alums are doing to increase their chances that their resume will be seen by the hiring manager:

1. Find a job you are interested in that's posted on a job board, LinkedIn, Craigslist or other local sites (see previous article on Where to find jobs in the SF Bay Area)

2. If your school uses inCircle or has a LinkedIn alumni group, search for alumni who work for the company.

3. Connect with the people who work there by inviting them to connect with you (both LinkedIn and iNCircle)

4. Once connected, let them know via email that you are interested in a position at their company and ask to meet for coffee to learn more about what it's like to work there.

5. When you meet, and if they are agreeable, close by asking them if they would walk your cover letter and resume into the hiring manager's office and let the hiring manager know that they are fellow alums and that the hiring manager should meet with you.

Most companies prefer to hire candidates recommended by their employees - in fact, many have incentive programs for employees who refer candidates. This is especially popular now as there are so many resumes coming in for posted jobs, having any kind of a warm referral is welcomed.

Give it a try - most alumni are more than willing to help another alum out - wouldn't you?

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Supreme Court strikes down medical marijuana limits | View Clip
01/21/2010
Appeal-Democrat - Online

SAN FRANCISCO — A unanimous California Supreme Court today struck down a law that sought to impose limits on the amount of marijuana a medical patient can legally possess.

The Supreme Court ruled that state lawmakers were wrong to change provisions of the voter-approved Proposition 215. The 1996 measure allowed for patients with a doctor's recommendation to possess an unspecified amount of marijuana.

The Legislature, seeking to give law enforcement guidance on when to make marijuana possession arrests, mandated in 2003 that each patient could have a maximum of 8 ounces of dried marijuana.

The high court says only voters can change amendments that they've added to California's constitution through the initiative process. The ruling by Chief Justice Ron George left in place the portion of the new law that protects patients possessing a state-issue medical marijuana identification card from arrest. George did note, though, that police were still authorized to make arrests if they believe the cards to be forgeries or reasonably suspect a crime has been committed.

Left open to interpretation: What amount of marijuana is for legitimate personal medical consumption and how much constitutes illegal trafficking?

"The California Supreme Court did the right thing by abolishing limits on medical marijuana possession and cultivation," said Joe Elford, the top lawyer for the marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access. "At the same time, the court may have left too much discretion to law enforcement in deciding what are reasonable amounts of medicine for patients to possess and cultivate."

The Supreme Court's decision upholds a lower court ruling that tossed out the conviction of Patrick Kelly, a Southern California man who was arrested for possession of 12 ounces of dried marijuana and seven plants. A "confidential informant" called Lakewood Police to report Kelly's possession in October 2005.

Experts testified that the amount of marijuana Kelly had on hand would last him just a few weeks for treatment of Hepatitis C, chronic back pain and cirrhosis.

The ruling was widely expected because the state Attorney General's office largely agreed with the position of Kelly's court-appointed attorney Gerald Uelman, a Santa Clara University law professor.

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Calif. high court strikes down medical pot limits | View Clip
01/21/2010
Hanford Sentinel

A unanimous California Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a law that sought to impose limits on the amount of marijuana a medical patient can legally possess.

The California Supreme Court ruled that state lawmakers were wrong to change provisions of the voter-approved Proposition 215. The 1996 measure allowed for patients with a doctor's recommendation to possess an unspecified amount of marijuana.

The Legislature, seeking to give law enforcement guidance on when to make marijuana possession arrests, mandated in 2003 that each patient could have a maximum of 8 ounces of dried marijuana.

The high court says only voters can change amendments that they've added to California's constitution through the initiative process. The ruling by Chief Justice Ron George left in place the portion of the new law that protects patients possessing a state-issue medical marijuana identification card from arrest. George did note, though, that police were still authorized to make arrests if they believe the cards to be forgeries or reasonably suspects a crime has been committed.

Left open to interpretation: What amount of marijuana is for legitimate personal medical consumption and how much constitutes illegal trafficking?

"The California Supreme Court did the right thing by abolishing limits on medical marijuana possession and cultivation," said Joe Elford, the top lawyer for the marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access. "At the same time, the Court may have left too much discretion to law enforcement in deciding what are reasonable amounts of medicine for patients to possess and cultivate."

The Supreme Court's decision upholds a lower court ruling that tossed out the conviction of Patrick Kelly, a Southern California man who was arrested for possession of 12 ounces of dried marijuana and seven plants. A "confidential informant" called Lakewood Police to report Kelly's possession in October 2005.

Experts testified that the amount of marijuana Kelly had on hand would last him just a few weeks for treatment of hepatitis C, chronic back pain, and cirrhosis.

The ruling was widely expected because the California Attorney General's office largely agreed with the position of Kelly's court-appointed attorney Gerald Uelman, a Santa Clara University law professor.

Also Thursday, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled that a doctor's permission to use medical marijuana doesn't preclude police from arresting a patient or searching a home. The court upheld the conviction of Jason Fry, a Stevens County man busted with 2 pounds of marijuana in 2004.

Justices said sheriff's officers who smelled marijuana smoke at his home had probable cause to believe a crime was committed _ even after the man presented them with an authorization from his doctor.

Justice Richard Sanders disagreed, arguing that under the ruling, a patient could be searched, arrested and hauled to court every time an officer smelled marijuana at his or her home, even absent any evidence the patient is breaking the medical marijuana law.

Associated Press Writer Gene Johnson in Seattle contributed to this report.

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Calif. high court strikes down medical pot limits | View Clip
01/21/2010
KVUE-TV - Online

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A unanimous California Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a law that sought to impose limits on the amount of marijuana a medical patient can legally possess.

The California Supreme Court ruled that state lawmakers were wrong to change provisions of the voter-approved Proposition 215. The 1996 measure allowed for patients with a doctor's recommendation to possess an unspecified amount of marijuana.

The Legislature, seeking to give law enforcement guidance on when to make marijuana possession arrests, mandated in 2003 that each patient could have a maximum of 8 ounces of dried marijuana.

The high court says only voters can change amendments that they've added to California's constitution through the initiative process. The ruling by Chief Justice Ron George left in place the portion of the new law that protects patients possessing a state-issue medical marijuana identification card from arrest. George did note, though, that police were still authorized to make arrests if they believe the cards to be forgeries or reasonably suspects a crime has been committed.

Left open to interpretation: What amount of marijuana is for legitimate personal medical consumption and how much constitutes illegal trafficking?

"The California Supreme Court did the right thing by abolishing limits on medical marijuana possession and cultivation," said Joe Elford, the top lawyer for the marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access. "At the same time, the Court may have left too much discretion to law enforcement in deciding what are reasonable amounts of medicine for patients to possess and cultivate."

The Supreme Court's decision upholds a lower court ruling that tossed out the conviction of Patrick Kelly, a Southern California man who was arrested for possession of 12 ounces of dried marijuana and seven plants. A "confidential informant" called Lakewood Police to report Kelly's possession in October 2005.

Experts testified that the amount of marijuana Kelly had on hand would last him just a few weeks for treatment of hepatitis C, chronic back pain, and cirrhosis.

The ruling was widely expected because the California Attorney General's office largely agreed with the position of Kelly's court-appointed attorney Gerald Uelman, a Santa Clara University law professor.

Also Thursday, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled that a doctor's permission to use medical marijuana doesn't preclude police from arresting a patient or searching a home. The court upheld the conviction of Jason Fry, a Stevens County man busted with 2 pounds of marijuana in 2004.

Justices said sheriff's officers who smelled marijuana smoke at his home had probable cause to believe a crime was committed — even after the man presented them with an authorization from his doctor.

Justice Richard Sanders disagreed, arguing that under the ruling, a patient could be searched, arrested and hauled to court every time an officer smelled marijuana at his or her home, even absent any evidence the patient is breaking the medical marijuana law.

___

Associated Press Writer Gene Johnson in Seattle contributed to this report.

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Calif. high court strikes down medical pot limits | View Clip
01/21/2010
News 25 at 10 PM - WEHT-TV

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A unanimous California Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a law that sought to impose limits on the amount of marijuana a medical patient can legally possess.

The California Supreme Court ruled that state lawmakers were wrong to change provisions of the voter-approved Proposition 215. The 1996 measure allowed for patients with a doctor's recommendation to possess an unspecified amount of marijuana.

The Legislature, seeking to give law enforcement guidance on when to make marijuana possession arrests, mandated in 2003 that each patient could have a maximum of 8 ounces of dried marijuana.

The high court says only voters can change amendments that they've added to California's constitution through the initiative process. The ruling by Chief Justice Ron George left in place the portion of the new law that protects patients possessing a state-issue medical marijuana identification card from arrest. George did note, though, that police were still authorized to make arrests if they believe the cards to be forgeries or reasonably suspects a crime has been committed.

Left open to interpretation: What amount of marijuana is for legitimate personal medical consumption and how much constitutes illegal trafficking?

"The California Supreme Court did the right thing by abolishing limits on medical marijuana possession and cultivation," said Joe Elford, the top lawyer for the marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access. "At the same time, the Court may have left too much discretion to law enforcement in deciding what are reasonable amounts of medicine for patients to possess and cultivate."

The Supreme Court's decision upholds a lower court ruling that tossed out the conviction of Patrick Kelly, a Southern California man who was arrested for possession of 12 ounces of dried marijuana and seven plants. A "confidential informant" called Lakewood Police to report Kelly's possession in October 2005.

Experts testified that the amount of marijuana Kelly had on hand would last him just a few weeks for treatment of hepatitis C, chronic back pain, and cirrhosis.

The ruling was widely expected because the California Attorney General's office largely agreed with the position of Kelly's court-appointed attorney Gerald Uelman, a Santa Clara University law professor.

Also Thursday, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled that a doctor's permission to use medical marijuana doesn't preclude police from arresting a patient or searching a home. The court upheld the conviction of Jason Fry, a Stevens County man busted with 2 pounds of marijuana in 2004.

Justices said sheriff's officers who smelled marijuana smoke at his home had probable cause to believe a crime was committed - even after the man presented them with an authorization from his doctor.

Justice Richard Sanders disagreed, arguing that under the ruling, a patient could be searched, arrested and hauled to court every time an officer smelled marijuana at his or her home, even absent any evidence the patient is breaking the medical marijuana law.

Associated Press Writer Gene Johnson in Seattle contributed to this report.

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TRADE NEWS Agilent Technologies Sponsors Electrical Engineering Undergraduate Teaching Lab at Silic | View Clip
01/21/2010
StreetInsider.com

SANTA CLARA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: ) today announced its sponsorship of the electrical engineering undergraduate teaching lab at Santa Clara University (SCU) in Silicon Valley. The lab is designed to give students access to the most current electronic test equipment used in the industry.

The SCU lab uses Agilent oscilloscopes, power supplies, multimeters and function generators. The lab affirms SCU's commitment to work with Silicon Valley companies, such as Agilent, to deliver an advanced engineering laboratory environment for the undergraduate program. The SCU electrical engineering undergraduate teaching lab recognized Agilent at an on-site dedication ceremony on Wednesday, Jan. 20.

"We are very pleased with the outcome of our work with Agilent and hope that it will be an incentive to other innovative technology companies to partner with us," said Cary Yang, professor and chair of the electrical engineering department. "Santa Clara University is very focused at delivering real-life challenges with academic achievement. This lab gives our students an excellent and competitive engineering instructional environment in which to learn and grow."

"Agilent is dedicated to making available the latest tools and instructional material so the next generation of engineers can successfully compete in the global market," said Bill Wallace, Agilent's Americas education business development manager. "We are already in discussions with SCU about other exciting possibilities for their program."

Additional Information

SCU Electrical Engineering lab dedication ceremony photographs can be found at: www.agilent.com/find/SCUlab_images.

About Santa Clara University

Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California's Silicon Valley, offers its 8,846 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus masters and law degrees, and engineering Ph.D.s. Distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. masters universities, California's oldest operating higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. For more information, see www.scu.edu.

About Agilent Technologies

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: ) is the world's premier measurement company and a technology leader in communications, electronics, life sciences and chemical analysis. The company's 17,000 employees serve customers in more than 110 countries. Agilent had net revenues of $4.5 billion in fiscal 2009. Information about Agilent is available on the Web at www.agilent.com.

Source: Agilent Technologies Inc.

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Calif. high court strikes down medical pot limits | View Clip
01/21/2010
Boston Globe - Online

SAN FRANCISCO—A unanimous California Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a law that sought to impose limits on the amount of marijuana a medical patient can legally possess.

The California Supreme Court ruled that state lawmakers were wrong to change provisions of the voter-approved Proposition 215. The 1996 measure allowed for patients with a doctor's recommendation to possess an unspecified amount of marijuana.

The Legislature, seeking to give law enforcement guidance on when to make marijuana possession arrests, mandated in 2003 that each patient could have a maximum of 8 ounces of dried marijuana.

The high court says only voters can change amendments that they've added to California's constitution through the initiative process. The ruling by Chief Justice Ron George left in place the portion of the new law that protects patients possessing a state-issue medical marijuana identification card from arrest. George did note, though, that police were still authorized to make arrests if they believe the cards to be forgeries or reasonably suspects a crime has been committed.

Left open to interpretation: What amount of marijuana is for legitimate personal medical consumption and how much constitutes illegal trafficking?

"The California Supreme Court did the right thing by abolishing limits on medical marijuana possession and cultivation," said Joe Elford, the top lawyer for the marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access. "At the same time, the Court may have left too much discretion to law enforcement in deciding what are reasonable amounts of medicine for patients to possess and cultivate."

The Supreme Court's decision upholds a lower court ruling that tossed out the conviction of Patrick Kelly, a Southern California man who was arrested for possession of 12 ounces of dried marijuana and seven plants. A "confidential informant" called Lakewood Police to report Kelly's possession in October 2005.

Experts testified that the amount of marijuana Kelly had on hand would last him just a few weeks for treatment of hepatitis C, chronic back pain, and cirrhosis.

The ruling was widely expected because the California Attorney General's office largely agreed with the position of Kelly's court-appointed attorney Gerald Uelman, a Santa Clara University law professor.

Also Thursday, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled that a doctor's permission to use medical marijuana doesn't preclude police from arresting a patient or searching a home. The court upheld the conviction of Jason Fry, a Stevens County man busted with 2 pounds of marijuana in 2004.

Justices said sheriff's officers who smelled marijuana smoke at his home had probable cause to believe a crime was committed -- even after the man presented them with an authorization from his doctor.

Justice Richard Sanders disagreed, arguing that under the ruling, a patient could be searched, arrested and hauled to court every time an officer smelled marijuana at his or her home, even absent any evidence the patient is breaking the medical marijuana law.

Associated Press Writer Gene Johnson in Seattle contributed to this report.

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State Supreme Court strikes down medical marijuana limits | View Clip
01/21/2010
San Gabriel Valley Tribune - Online

Staff and wire reports

A unanimous California Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a law that limited the amount of marijuana a medical patient could legally possess.

The California Supreme Court ruled that state lawmakers were wrong to change provisions of the voter-approved Proposition 215, which limited to eight ounces the amount of marijuana one person could have.

Lawmakers wanted to give law enforcement guidance on when to make marijuana possession arrests.

The 1996 measure allowed for patients with a doctor's recommendation to possess an unspecified amount of marijuana.

Jeff Fisher, a medical marijuana distributor in Covina, welcomed the high court's decision.

"That's definitely a step in the right direction," said fisher, operator of Northern Lights Nursery. "It's always nice when something like that happens and a restriction is lifted."

The high court said Thursday only voters can change amendments that they've added to California's constitution through the initiative process.

The ruling by Chief Justice Ron George left in place the portion of the new law that protects patients possessing a state-issue medical marijuana identification card from arrest.

George noted, however, that police were still authorized to make arrests if they believe the cards to be forgeries or reasonably suspect a crime has been committed.

What the Court left open for interpretation is what amount of marijuana constitutes personal

medical consumption and how much is illegal trafficking.

"The California Supreme Court did the right thing by abolishing limits on medical marijuana possession and cultivation," said Joe Elford, Chief Counsel for the Oakland-based marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access, in a written statement. "At the same time, the Court may have left too much discretion to law enforcement in deciding what are reasonable amounts of medicine for patients to possess and cultivate."

Fischer acknowledged that local police will struggle with limits on medical marijuana.

"There's always that," he said. "For local law enforcement, it's always been a grey area."

The Supreme Court's decision upholds a lower court ruling that tossed out the conviction of Patrick Kelly, a Southern California man who was arrested for possession of 12 ounces of dried marijuana and seven plants.

Experts testified that the amount of marijuana Kelly had on hand would last him just a few weeks for treatment of hepatitis C, chronic back pain, and cirrhosis.

The ruling was widely expected because the California Attorney General's office largely agreed with the position of Kelly's court-appointed attorney Gerald Uelman, a Santa Clara University law professor.

Jeremy Marcum, owner of Hacienda Caregivers on Gale Avenue in Hacienda Heights, said he was happy about the ruling.

The But he added that eight ounces if marijuana was plenty for one person.

"It's cool," he said. "But I don't think anyone needs more than that."

"Per patient, eight ounces should be enough."

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BRIEF Ayers to be sworn in as Superior Court judge Friday
01/20/2010
Ventura County Star - Sacramento Bureau

Jan. 20--An installation ceremony for newly appointed Judge Nancy L. Ayers will be held at 4 p.m. Friday in Courtroom 22 of the Hall of Justice in Ventura, according to Ventura County Superior Court officials.

The Hall of Justice is at the County Government Center, 800 S. Victoria Ave.

The public is invited.

Retired Judge Steven E. Hintz will administer the oath of office to Ayers.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Ayers to the bench Sept. 9.

She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Arturo Gutierrez. Ayers earned her law degree at Santa Clara University School of Law and her bachelor's degree from University of the Pacific.

Ayers worked as a deputy district attorney for the Fresno County District Attorney's Office since 2007. She served as a senior deputy district attorney for the Ventura County District Attorney's Office from 1984 to 2007. From 1983 to 1984, she worked as a law clerk and associate for Kahn, Soares and Conway.

Copyright © 2010 Ventura County Star, Calif.

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Rescuecom Geeks Out In Court After Victory Over Google | View Clip
01/20/2010
MediaPost.com

Computer repair shop Rescuecom scored a major coup last year when an appellate court allowed the company to proceed with a lawsuit against Google over keyword ads.

But the win might prove a Pyrrhic victory for Rescuecom.

That's because the computer services company is again in court fighting about keyword ads on search engines, but this time is defending its use of another company's trademark -- Best Buy's "geek squad" -- to trigger pay-per-click ads.

The face-off between Rescuecom and Best Buy dates back to last October, when Best Buy demanded that Rescuecom stop using "geek squad" as an ad keyword, according to Rescuecom's court papers. Within one week, Rescuecom quietly brought a case in the northern district of New York seeking declaratory judgment that its use of "geek squad" was legitimate.

The company argued its use of geek squad was protected by fair use principles and that the ad copy obviously showed that Rescuecom was a competitor to Geek Squad. "Rescuecom's use of the Geek Squad trademark to trigger this advertisement does not give rise to a likelihood of confusion," the repair shop argued.

Best Buy filed a counterclaim alleging trademark infringement and other violations. "Consumers looking for the Geek Squad or information on the Geek Squad using a Google search have been confronted with sponsored links that direct consumers to Rescuecom's website," Best Buy alleged, adding that Rescuecom's use of keyword ads is misleading and diverts consumers who are trying to find Best Buy.

Rescuecom's lawsuit against Google involved similar issues, but in that case Rescuecom successfully argued it should be allowed to sue the search giant for "hijacking" Rescuecom's trademark and diverting consumers to its competitors.

Google had argued that the lawsuit should be dismissed at a preliminary stage because allowing trademarks to trigger ads wasn't a "use in commerce." A trial court agreed with Google, but Rescuecom appealed to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals.

The appellate court ruled that using trademarks to trigger search ads is a use in commerce and returned the case to the trial court for further proceedings. The ruling doesn't mean that Rescuecom will win the case; the company still would have to show that the search ads confused consumers before it can prevail.

But the decision makes it harder for companies to get allegations of trademark infringement dismissed at an early stage of the lawsuit. That matter is still pending in the northern district of New York.

Law professor Eric Goldman says that Rescuecom's position in the lawsuit against Google is "intrinsically inconsistent" with its stance in the Best Buy litigation -- which could end up hurting Rescuecom in both cases. "In my opinion, they have some duplicity in their arguments -- and that duplicity ultimately doesn't play well with judges," says Goldman, director of the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University.

He also points out that Rescuecom isn't the only litigant to argue both sides of the same ad-related issue. "This is yet another example of a plaintiff in a keyword advertising case who loves keyword advertising," he says. "It's embarrassing for a company that gets hand caught in the cookie jar that way.

Another company in a similar situation 1-800-contacts, which unsuccessfully sued WhenU for trademark infringement for allowing rivals to send pop-up ads to people who visited 1-800-contacts' Web site. The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the lawsuit on the ground that using Web addresses to trigger ads isn't a use in commerce. But the court also mentioned in a footnote that 1-800-contacts had itself arranged to have its competitors' Web sites trigger pop-up and banner ads.

Representatives of Rescuecom and Best Buy didn't respond to messages seeking comment for this article.

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EBay's 4th-Quarter Earnings Triple From Last Year's | View Clip
01/20/2010
El Paso Inc.

EBay earnings soared in the critical fourth quarter as it succeeded in luring more people to its shopping Web sites during the holiday season. EBay, which is based in San Jose, Calif., reported net income in the fourth quarter, which ended Dec. 31, was $1.4 billion, or $1.02 a share, up from $367 million in the year-ago quarter. The quarter's results includes proceeds from the sale of its Skype Internet telephony business resulting in a net gain of $1.4 billion. The company said revenue climbed 16 percent to $2.4 billion. Skype contributed $112.0 million in revenue.

“We delivered a strong fourth quarter with double-digit revenue growth driven by exceptional performance at PayPal and turnaround progress and momentum in our core eBay business,” said John J. Donahoe, eBay's chief executive, in a statement.

Analysts said that the fourth quarter was very important for eBay because of the holiday shopping season. It marked Mr. Donahoe's two-year anniversary as chief executive.

“John Donahoe is in the early stage of regaining investor confidence and he could not afford to disappoint this quarter,” said Sandeep Aggarwal, an analyst at Collins Stewart.

EBay's online payments business continued to drive its growth, while its marketplace business stabilized.

Revenue at the payments business, which consists of PayPal and Bill Me Later, grew 28 percent, to $795.6 million. More Web sites began using PayPal after eBay opened its platform to software developers in November.

Revenue on eBay's e-commerce sites increased 15 percent, to $1.5 billion. The total of all transactions except for cars, a metric that eBay calls gross merchandise volume, increased 24 percent, to $14.2 billion, from the same quarter last year.

EBay has been taking steps to improve this part of its business. It has ranked top-rated sellers, so buyers can be more confident about trusting them, and has given merchants discounts if they offer free shipping. EBay also started Fashion Vault, a site that sells deeply discounted designer goods for limited times, a model that has been popularized by sites like Gilt.

Still, though shoppers are spending more money than ever online, more of them are going to sites other than eBay. Amazon.com, which has long had fewer monthly unique visitors than eBay, had an average six million more during the holidays, according to comScore.

Walmart.com and other offline stores' Web sites are also attracting more shoppers. These multi-channel retailers are a growing source of competition for eBay, said Kirthi Kalyanam, a professor at the Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University in California who studies Internet retailing.

“What they're doing is playing a different card, saying, ‘We're going to go online, but we have a lot of stores, so we're going to try and give you the best of both worlds.' ”

For the year, eBay's revenue increased 2 percent, to $8.7 billion, and net income grew 34 percent, to $2.4 billion, or $1.83 a share.

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Sunnyvale resident asks for review of ethics code after ex-mayor speaks out | View Clip
01/20/2010
Whittier Daily News

A controversial protest over the sale of a Sunnyvale preschool has raised questions over how city council members should conduct themselves on public issues.

Sunnyvale resident Genavieve Heywood, a pastor at the Congregational Community Church, which owns the preschool, asked the council Jan. 5 to review the city's code of ethics after former mayor Tony Spitaleri spoke during a public protest against the dismissal of teachers as part of the pending sale of the preschool.

Heywood said his involvement is partially responsible for the sale agreement being terminated. The potential buyers asked to renegotiate the sale terms after the public protest, and now the sale is on hold.

"This sale has been jeopardized by a number of events, including the involvement of our mayor, who spoke at an informational meeting with the designated new owners and at a protest on that day," said Heywood.

"Thus, I ask the city council to do a study of the city council code of ethics to determine when the city and its mayor are to be involved with third-party disputes." Spitaleri, who is still on the council and has no children at the preschool, and newly sworn-in Mayor Melinda Hamilton said they believe the ethics code has not been violated, and the issue has not been put on the city council agenda.

In an interview with the Sun, Spitaleri said he was contacted by a number of concerned residents who expressed concern over with the terms of the pending sale

and termination of employees that went with it.

"I think it is our obligation, once contacted, to see what we can do, if anything," he said.

Spitaleri said he wrote two letters to the church asking to discuss the situation, but the requests went unanswered.

He spoke with parents, teachers and the potential new owners to "find a middle ground and move forward," he said.

He also offered an opinion at the Dec. 21 meeting.

"I'm kind of surprised and disappointed that this church, which would allow the school to be around for 40 years to take care of our citizens' children, now turns its back on [the teachers] and throws them out in the street," he said during the church's meeting. "I think you need to go back to the table, resolve this and at least keep our teachers working," he added before stepping outside to make comments during the protest.

Spitaleri does not believe that he jeopardized the sale of the school, as he was not directly involved in negotiations.

"When we have community groups coming to you in your own community and they reach out to you for some help, we have an obligation to help them," he said.

Hamilton said she does not believe Spitaleri overstepped a boundary.

"Tony has a First Amendment right just like all of us do. I don't believe he did anything unethical," she said, adding that his comments were not an official city stance.

"When you take a public office, you do not lose your ability to speak in public and you do not lose your ability to have an opinion," said Judy Nadler, senior fellow in government ethics at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University.

Adam Levermore Rich, deputy communications officer for Sunnyvale, also said Spitaleri is permitted to make comments at events. "As the council's official spokesperson, the mayor is always permitted to speak publicly on the city's behalf," he said.

According to Hamilton, the mayor and council members are permitted to speak at or attend events without an announcement to council.

"We certainly get asked to get involved in things and sometimes it is appropriate and sometimes it is not," Hamilton said, adding that there are shades of gray on some issues.

Hamilton said she also was contacted by community members and decided to call the church to urge communication with the parents to find an "equitable solution for everyone." "We are trying to make the city a better place to live and work and play," she said.

According to Nadler, as citizens, elected officials have the right to express opinions on controversial issues or even hold picket signs during a protest.

"If he is somehow implying that the city of Sunnyvale's position, or that the city of Sunnyvale has taken a position on this, that would not be appropriate," she said.

To avoid any confusion, Nadler suggests every elected official "be very clear when you are speaking in your own voice or you are speaking on behalf of the city."

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Sunnyvale resident asks for review of ethics code after ex-mayor speaks out | View Clip
01/20/2010
Pasadena Star-News - Online

A controversial protest over the sale of a Sunnyvale preschool has raised questions over how city council members should conduct themselves on public issues.

Sunnyvale resident Genavieve Heywood, a pastor at the Congregational Community Church, which owns the preschool, asked the council Jan. 5 to review the city's code of ethics after former mayor Tony Spitaleri spoke during a public protest against the dismissal of teachers as part of the pending sale of the preschool.

Heywood said his involvement is partially responsible for the sale agreement being terminated. The potential buyers asked to renegotiate the sale terms after the public protest, and now the sale is on hold.

"This sale has been jeopardized by a number of events, including the involvement of our mayor, who spoke at an informational meeting with the designated new owners and at a protest on that day," said Heywood.

"Thus, I ask the city council to do a study of the city council code of ethics to determine when the city and its mayor are to be involved with third-party disputes." Spitaleri, who is still on the council and has no children at the preschool, and newly sworn-in Mayor Melinda Hamilton said they believe the ethics code has not been violated, and the issue has not been put on the city council agenda.

In an interview with the Sun, Spitaleri said he was contacted by a number of concerned residents who expressed concern over with the terms of the pending sale

and termination of employees that went with it.

"I think it is our obligation, once contacted, to see what we can do, if anything," he said.

Spitaleri said he wrote two letters to the church asking to discuss the situation, but the requests went unanswered.

He spoke with parents, teachers and the potential new owners to "find a middle ground and move forward," he said.

He also offered an opinion at the Dec. 21 meeting.

"I'm kind of surprised and disappointed that this church, which would allow the school to be around for 40 years to take care of our citizens' children, now turns its back on [the teachers] and throws them out in the street," he said during the church's meeting. "I think you need to go back to the table, resolve this and at least keep our teachers working," he added before stepping outside to make comments during the protest.

Spitaleri does not believe that he jeopardized the sale of the school, as he was not directly involved in negotiations.

"When we have community groups coming to you in your own community and they reach out to you for some help, we have an obligation to help them," he said.

Hamilton said she does not believe Spitaleri overstepped a boundary.

"Tony has a First Amendment right just like all of us do. I don't believe he did anything unethical," she said, adding that his comments were not an official city stance.

"When you take a public office, you do not lose your ability to speak in public and you do not lose your ability to have an opinion," said Judy Nadler, senior fellow in government ethics at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University.

Adam Levermore Rich, deputy communications officer for Sunnyvale, also said Spitaleri is permitted to make comments at events. "As the council's official spokesperson, the mayor is always permitted to speak publicly on the city's behalf," he said.

According to Hamilton, the mayor and council members are permitted to speak at or attend events without an announcement to council.

"We certainly get asked to get involved in things and sometimes it is appropriate and sometimes it is not," Hamilton said, adding that there are shades of gray on some issues.

Hamilton said she also was contacted by community members and decided to call the church to urge communication with the parents to find an "equitable solution for everyone." "We are trying to make the city a better place to live and work and play," she said.

According to Nadler, as citizens, elected officials have the right to express opinions on controversial issues or even hold picket signs during a protest.

"If he is somehow implying that the city of Sunnyvale's position, or that the city of Sunnyvale has taken a position on this, that would not be appropriate," she said.

To avoid any confusion, Nadler suggests every elected official "be very clear when you are speaking in your own voice or you are speaking on behalf of the city."

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TELEVISING TRIALS: THE QUESTION IS 'HOW,' NOT 'WHETHER'
01/20/2010
San Francisco Daily Journal

By Margaret Russell
When asked in 1996 for his view on televising U.S. Supreme Court arguments, Justice David Souter famously remarked, "[T]he day you see a camera come into our courtroom, it's going to roll over my dead body." Amusing hyperbole aside, in 2010 the tide is turning and the cameras are beginning to roll. It is time for our profession to address head-on the introduction of television technologies in federal courts. Compelling public interests are at stake, and the key question should be not whether, but how to balance these competing concerns in a technologically-advanced society.

The current impetus for this debate is the battle over live-streaming of the anti-gay-marriage Proposition 8 trial in San Francisco. With extraordinary dispatch, the U.S. Supreme Court last week overturned Chief District Judge Vaughn Walker's order (approved by 9th Circuit Chief Judge Alex Kozinski), which would have allowed real-time broadcasting of the trial in federal courthouses in five cities. Before examining this clash of titans, it may be useful to review the major merits and demerits of the issue of cameras in courts.

The greatest benefit of cameras in the courts is the furtherance of First Amendment rights to know the workings of one's government. Increased access to judicial proceedings; transparency; education about the legal system; due process in action: these are among the most cherished of societal values. Camera access can provide a clearer basis for understanding our rights.

The biggest drawback of televised coverage is that cameras may affect trial participants in ways that skew case outcomes and compromise the constitutional rights of fair trial and due process. Possible adverse effects commonly cited are: "grandstanding" behavior; "circus-like" atmosphere; disrespect of court decorum; intimidation; chilling effect; diminished security and privacy. Although the Court's decision to strike down Judge Walker's order ostensibly rested on the need for "procedural regularity" rather than any of these rationales, it goes on to discuss the possibility that some of the above factors could cause irreparable harm. Some have voiced concerns as well about the ways in which mere observation of public court proceedings (particularly without knowledge of the written record, the law, and norms of practice) can misrepresent the true nature of what the legal system can and cannot accomplish.

Clearly, striking a fair balance requires nuanced attention to these factors as well as the different functions of trial and appellate courts, and of courts of limited and general jurisdiction.

Before the Court's precipitous intervention to halt limited broadcasting of the Proposition 8 trial, Judge Walker had approved real-time video-streaming to federal courthouses in San Francisco, Brooklyn, Seattle, Pasadena, and Portland, Ore. In the works but not yet finalized (and therefore not at issue before the Supreme Court) were plans to post recordings of the trial proceedings on YouTube for future viewing. As Judge Kozinski noted in a letter to the Judicial Conference: "Technology has changed the way trials are conducted and reported.... Like it or not, we are now well into the 21st century, and it is up to those of us who lead the federal judiciary to adopt policies that are consistent with the spirit of the times and the advantages afforded us by new technologies."

Responding to a writ (Hollingsworth v. Perry) from the Proposition 8 proponents, the Court issued a temporary stay and two days later ordered that no live-streaming could occur. Five justices ruled that Judge Walker had violated a federal "notice and comment" provision for local rules. The Court stated that their review was limited to the strictly procedural question of "whether the [d]istrict [c]ourt's amendment of its local rules to broadcast this trial complied with federal law." Strikingly, the majority emphasized, "[w]e do not here express any views on the propriety of broadcasting court proceedings generally."

Despite this professed agnosticism, the Court offered a troubling analysis of whether the Proposition 8 proponents had met their burden of showing that "irreparable harm" would ensue if live-streaming were permitted. The Court's language substantively reflects an unexamined aversion to televised proceedings in several respects.

First, the Court defers to the Proposition 8 proponents' unproven assertions that their witnesses would face threats and intimidation as a result of the live-streaming. The Court fails to consider that the burdens of fame (and infamy) will most likely fall equally upon both sides of the case, not because of the live-streaming, but because of the case itself. Conventional outside-of-court media - as well as twitterers and bloggers - are far to more likely to dwell on the identities of trial participants than are cameras in court.

The Court also quotes Estes v. Texas (1965) for the proposition that "witness testimony may be chilled if broadcast." This maxim is true but of limited utility given that Estes is no longer controlling law on the issue of cameras in courts. In fact, Justice Stephen G. Breyer's dissent in Hollingsworth (joined by Justices John Paul Stevens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Sonia Sotomayor) cites the more recent precedent of Chandler v. Florida (1981), in which the Court held 8-0 that states may use "evolving technology" such as broadcast (including cameras) in trials without violating due process. If the Court recognized that "evolving technology" might have become less intrusive between 1965 and 1981, it might certainly do so between 1981 and 2010.

Most significantly, the Hollingsworth majority finds that the Proposition 8 proponents would likely suffer "irreparable harm" if the proceedings were televised, but that the plaintiff same-sex couples would suffer no harm if the proceedings were not televised. Thus, the Court concludes, it is imperative to stop the cameras because they would cause harm that would be "difficult - if not impossible - to reverse." This part of the opinion gives short shrift to reasoned analysis in that it offers little logical support for its conclusion of inevitable, irreversible "harm;" no discussion of alternative approaches to framing the question of "harm;" no consideration of "harms" to the plaintiffs or to the public interest that may flow from a camera ban; and no consideration for the ways in which federal court judges are invested with both the power and the skills to manage their courtrooms with fairness, safety, and decorum.

In the Hollingsworth dissent, Justice Breyer rejects the majority's intervention as procedurally and substantively inappropriate, and cautions: "[T]he wisdom of a camera policy is primarily a matter for the proper administrative bodies to determine.... This Court has no legal authority to address that larger policy question except insofar as it implicates a question of law."

With Justice Breyer's admonition in mind, we can turn for guidance to the considerable work that has already been done at the state and federal levels to examine the pluses and minuses of cameras in the courtroom in a real-world context. Congressional committees have debated policy and legislative proposals on cameras in the federal courts for over a decade; with greater controversy, so has the Judicial Conference of the United States. The experimentation and research so far, while of course ongoing, has both breadth and depth. As of January 2010, at the trial level, at least forty-two states and two federal district courts (in the 2nd and 9th U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals) give judges some discretion to broadcast civil non-jury trials. At the appellate level, most states have guidelines permitting some televised coverage of both intermediate and highest court arguments; both the 2nd and 9th Circuit Courts of Appeal authorize camera coverage as well, although under more stringent guidelines than in state appellate courts. Thus far, the weight of empirical evidence on both the state and federal levels supports the view that reasonable restrictions on the use of cameras in the courtroom - rather than blanket prohibitions - far better serve the competing interests at hand.

Finally, returning to the topic of the Supreme Court's historic resistance to cameras at its own oral arguments, it may be instructive to recall that the Court refused to allow general public distribution even of audiotapes of its oral arguments until 1993, when a constitutional historian battled for the right to copy audiotapes as public documents that should be widely accessible. The Court relented, and today audio recordings of Supreme Court arguments are so widely available that they seem quite passé.

Hard as it may be to accept today, over time we may see cameras in the courtroom as passé as well.

Margaret Russell is an associate professor of law at Santa Clara University, specializing in constitutional law and civil procedure.

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Polling | View Clip
01/19/2010
KLIV-AM

Judy Nadler of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics discusses with KLIV radio the ethics of using polling to craft campaign stances and the way polling questions can be manipulated.

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China's potential may outweigh problems for businesses | View Clip
01/19/2010
TMCnet.com

SAN JOSE, Calif, Jan 18, 2010 (San Jose Mercury News - McClatchy-Tribune News Service via COMTEX) -- Google's threat last week to leave China, after it spent millions of dollars to get a toehold in the country's enormous Internet market, underscores the promise and pitfalls of operating in the world's fastest-growing major economy.

Western companies have stampeded into the country of 1.3 billion, drawn by both a huge pool of cheap labor and the buying power of a swelling middle class. But doing business in China means dealing with rampant piracy, an intrusive government, widespread theft of intellectual property and a regulatory environment that often favors local competitors.

And while no other Western companies signaled they would follow Google's example, more are expressing frustration with business conditions in the country.

"I think there are lots of areas in which it is or will get harder to operate," said Mark Natkin, managing director of Beijing-based Marbridge Consulting.

Government intrusion varies significantly by industry. The Internet and telecommunications industries are under tight scrutiny, facing censorship of the Internet, because the technology of companies like Google can provide access to politically sensitive information.

"If you provide something they disapprove of, they'll come down on you," said Anna Han, a Santa Clara University law professor who advises American companies on doing business in China.

On the other hand, manufacturers of everything from shoes to chips can face fewer pressures and in fact are often warmly embraced. When Intel announced it was building a chip plant in the northeastern city of Dalian, government officials rolled out the red carpet with tax breaks and handshakes.

Many companies have downplayed the problems and continue to make a huge bet on the country. Commenting on Google's charge that hackers with possible ties to the Chinese government launched cyberattacks on the search giant and at least 20 other companies, Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd told the Financial Times that "I'd hate to run off on this one example and say it's a threat to the evolution of the IT industry." He described China as "an amazing market with tremendous growth." In 2008, Palo Alto, Calif.-based Hewlett-Packard sold more than 4.4 million PCs in China, making it the nation's second-largest computer vendor after Lenovo, according to the IDC research firm. Not long ago, Hewlett-Packard announced it planned to open its second manufacturing plant in Chongqing in the country's central-western region. In addition, a branch of HP Labs, the company's highly regarded research division, is based in Beijing.

But even PC makers ran into a roadblock last summer when the government suddenly demanded all new computers sold in China be preloaded with the so-called "Green Dam" Web-filtering software that would block both pornography and banned political sites. After a global and domestic uproar, the government indefinitely set aside the requirement.

In a report last fall, the European Chamber of Commerce complained that despite some positive changes, operating in China was becoming more challenging.

For instance, the Chinese government released new rules in November requiring that computer hardware, software and green technology products must be based on intellectual property that was developed and owned by Chinese companies, in order for the products to be certified for sale to Chinese agencies.

"No other country in the world has a proposal as draconian as this," said Robert Holleyman, CEO of the Business Software Alliance, a trade group for commercial software companies. "This is completely antithetical to how products are created, particularly for software, which tends to be developed on a global basis, with elements designed by teams all over the world." "U.S. companies are finding it increasingly frustrating to do business in the Chinese market," added John Neuffer, vice president for global policy at the Information Technology Industry Council, a tech industry trade group.

(EDITORS: BEGIN OPTIONAL TRIM) Added to these recent tensions are long-standing concerns. The Business Software Alliance, for instance, estimates that 80 percent of the software used by businesses in China is pirated, meaning they are illegal copies for which no license has been paid.

And knockoff brand-name laptops are hawked on street corners in Shenzhen, fake iPhones roll off nearby assembly lines and the latest version of Microsoft's Windows operating system can be had for a lot less than its retail price.

Still, those who have operated in China for many years say the government is far more sophisticated about understanding what foreign companies need.

"I started doing business in China during the early '90s. The restrictions back then were a lot more than they are today," said Jack Jia, chief executive of Baynote, a Cupertino startup that makes search software and has operations in China. "In 1993, 70 to 80 percent of business was based on government relationships. Even business to business was done through the government." China's strong infrastructure makes starting a business easier than other countries, said Michael Cusumano, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management who has worked in both countries.

"There is corruption in China," he said. "But it doesn't compare with the levels of corruption you see in India." (END OPTIONAL TRIM) While frustrations are sure to continue, no one expects other major Silicon Valley companies to threaten to leave China as Google has done.

"When it comes to sales, it's a huge market of a billion-plus people. If you capture even a small percentage of that, you're still doing well," Santa Clara University's Han said. "It's a market you can't ignore." ___ (Steve Johnson of the San Jose Mercury News contributed to this report.) ___ (c) 2010, San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.).

Visit MercuryNews.com, the World Wide Web site of the Mercury News, at http://www.mercurynews.com.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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A-B InBev Fighting Mad Over abinbev.com | View Clip
01/19/2010
Beverage World - Online

Visit "abinbev.com" online and you might expect to find the website for Anheuser-Busch InBev.

Instead, you get a Korean dating service.

A-B InBev, the world's largest beer company, missed its chance to register what would seem to be its rightful domain name. The megabrewer is worried about someone else controlling what looks like its legitimate corporate online identity. But A-B InBev is facing an unusually difficult fight to get abinbev.com back, a fight that continues today, despite deploying teams of attorneys for more than a year.

A Korean man, Sung-Wook Jung, secured rights to the name back in May 2008, just days after the news first leaked about a potential merger between U.S. brewer Anheuser-Busch and Belgian brewer InBev. Jung has not developed his website beyond a simple logo that tries to use the "abinbev" name as an acronym for his nascent dating service.

This would seem to be a slam-dunk case of cybersquatting, when a trademarked or well-known brand name is registered by someone with no rightful claim. Several Internet law experts contacted by the Post-Dispatch dismissed Jung's claim as a stretch.

International rules for settling domain name disputes favor trademark holders. The rules were created in response to the Wild West days of the mid-1990s, when companies failed to recognize the importance of the Internet and cybersquatters could hold domain names hostage. In one famous case, a magazine writer working on an article about the value of domain names illustrated his point by buying McDonalds.com in 1994. He gave it to the fast-food chain only after it made a donation to charity. Others have sold domain names for serious money.

While cybersquatting is still rampant, most cases are resolved quickly and easily through arbitration. But not this one.

"This is a special case," said attorney Eric Goldman, director of the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University in California.

While most are relatively mundane, disputes like the one over abinbev.com can take interesting, unexpected turns. When the owners of the Panavision trademark tried to take back panavision.com for its camera systems, the man who owned that domain name (and hundreds of others) tried to claim he was using the site to promote his vision for Pana, Ill., a tiny town 100 miles northeast of St. Louis. He lost in court. Delta Airlines acquired delta.com only after a legal battle and settlement with a financial services company also named Delta, which had registered the domain name and had an obvious right to it. And candyland.com first went to an adult entertainment provider before Hasbro, maker of the board game, perked up and sued.

A-B InBev appears to have discovered that abinbev.com was taken in July 2008. The merger was not finalized. But that month the brewer registered a-b-inbev.com and ab-inbev.com; the last one is what it now uses "as its primary method of communicating with the public via the Internet," as the company explained in one court filing.

A-B InBev makes extensive use of the website. It serves as a clearinghouse for information to investors, media, the public and regulators.

In October 2008, A-B InBev tried seizing abinbev.com. It filed a complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization, a group certified to arbitrate domain name disputes. A-B InBev, through its Belgian attorneys, pointed out the peculiar timing of the Korean man's domain registration and the use of the trademarked name. Jung responded he didn't know anything about the proposed merger when he registered abinbev.com and said he resorted to the name because his first choice, binb.com, was taken. (Taken by Microsoft, apparently, to protect its bing.com search engine against so-called "typo-squatters," a growing industry of cashing in on misspelled domain names.)

Three months later, the arbitrator ruled Jung acted in bad faith and had no legitimate claim to the domain name. The arbitrator ordered abinbev.com transferred to the beer company.

But the rules governing domain name disputes allow for one last option. And Jung took it. The rules say the arbitrator's decision is ignored if either the complainant or respondent wants the naming dispute resolved in court. And the court with jurisdiction is where the domain name registrar is located—in this case, South Korea.

Domain names are essentially slipcovers for strings of numbers comprising Web addresses. The names are managed by a series of worldwide domain registrars, who agree to abide by certain rules, including those covering naming disputes.

But A-B InBev got impatient. In a move that surprised some Internet law experts, the beer company in July 2009 asked a federal judge in Virginia to award it the domain name. A-B InBev, this time using its U.S. attorneys, made essentially the same argument it did in arbitration.

In November, the company won a default judgment in federal court. But it appears to be an empty victory—because abinbev.com still belongs to Jung.

"I'm not surprised (the Korean domain) registrar refuses to abide by orders issued in Virginia," said Atlanta attorney Doug Isenberg, who has handled many domain name disputes.

"The problem with a judgment in a U.S. court is jurisdiction," said Ilhyung Lee, a law professor and senior fellow at the Center for the Study of Dispute Resolution at the University of Missouri at Columbia, who is considered an expert in domain name disputes involving Korea.

"It's an obvious case of cybersquatting," Lee said, but nothing will happen until a Korean court rules on the matter.

The Greenberg Traurig law firm, which represented A-B InBev in federal court, declined to comment for this article. Jung and his attorney could not be reached. A-B InBev issued a short statement, noting the litigation and saying, "We are pursuing this so consumers looking for our company will not be directed to a site unrelated to us."

Jung's attorney did file a response to the federal lawsuit. The attorney said he expected the court in Korea to issue a ruling next month.

Until then, and perhaps beyond, abinbev.com remains a dating website.

Copyright (c) 2010, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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Study Says Most People Are Willing To Torture | View Clip
01/19/2010
KSHB-TV - Online

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – A Psychology Professor at Santa Clara University has replicated the infamous Milgram Experiment of the sixties. The results are disheartening, but telling.

The goal of the experiment was to find out whether people were willing to go against their own conscience and inflict pain on another person simply because they were told to.

The subject was told to push a switch that would administer an electric shock to another person for every wrong answer they gave to a test.

Jerry Burger, the professor conducting the study, said that, "Under the right circumstances today people will administer painful, perhaps lethal electric shocks to another person."

At 150 Volts, the subject hears reactions like, “My heart is starting to bother me,” and “Let me out.”

It is at that point that the study found that 70 percent of the subjects were willing to continue administering the shocks.

Surprisingly, there was no difference between men and women.

Burger says that the findings can shed light on extreme situations such as the torture that took place at Abu Grahaib, the infamous Iraqi prison where U.S. soldiers were photographed abusing prisoners.

The study indicates that given an unfamiliar or surreal situation, like war, an amoral authority figure and bad behavior that increases in small increments, 70 percent of the population would be willing to torture someone else.

Burger says that ultimately, the people who consider themselves accountable for their actions are more likely to do what is right. But those who blame the situation or their circumstances, making it easy to defer that responsibility, can and do commit abuses.

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Medical Breakthroughs Santa Clara torture test | View Clip
01/19/2010
KGET-TV - Online

"Wrong. 75 volts. The correct answer is hair." "The punishment is an electric shock."

Santa Clara University Professor Jerry Burger replicated the famed Milgram Experiment of the 60s. The goal to find out whether people would obey an order, no matter how much it may go against their own conscience and morals. "Under the right circumstances today people will administer painful, perhaps lethal electric shocks to another person."

The subject was instructed to give a test to another person and for every wrong answer he was told to push a switch that would shock that person. "Everyone says, 'I would not do it,' but when we sit people down and do the study we find the majority of people do."

At 150 volts, the subject hears an extreme reaction. "My heart's starting to bother me. I refuse to go on. Let me out." "At this moment we want to see, 'is this person going to refuse to continue or is this person going to continue with the next item?' what we found is 70% of the time our person continues."

Burger stops the experiment here, extrapolating that anyone willing to go on would go all the way and women were found just as likely to push the switch. "Ah!" ...as men. Burger says the findings can shed light on extreme situations such as the torture that took place at Abu Grahaib, the infamous Iraqi prison where soldiers, including female Specialist Lynndie England, were photographed abusing prisoners.

Burger says the modern day Milgram Experiment shows that situations more than individual beliefs can determine the way we act. Almost all the people who refused to shock the other person said they would consider themselves responsible for injuries to that person. Those who continued with the experiment, didn't take the blame, but instead fingered the study and even the university.

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(NATURAL SOUND OF, BUZZER>SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR JERRY
01/18/2010
NewsChannel 6 at 5 PM - WPSD-TV

DOCTOR KING'S ACTUAL BIRTHDAY IS JANUARY 15, HOWEVER, THE FEDERAL HOLIDAY TO HONOR HIM IS OBSERVED ON THE THIRD MONDAY OF JANUARY. DR. KING WAS ASSASSINATED IN MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE ON APRIL FOURTH, 1968, BY JAMES EARL RAY. THE CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER, WHO WOULD HAVE BEEN 80 THIS YEAR, HELPED CALL ATTENTION TO THE NATION'S CIVIL RIGHTS STRUGGLE. PRESIDENT OBAMA HONORED TODAY'S HOLIDAY BY SERVING THE LESS FORTUNATE. OVER RECENT YEARS, PEOPLE HAVE COME TOGETHER TO HONOR DR. KING'S LEGACY WITH THE KING DAY OF SERVICE. THE PRESIDENT AND FIRST LADY SPENT PART OF THEIR DAY HELPING THE HOMELESS AND POOR ENJOY A NICE MEAL. THE PRESIDENT SERVED MEALS NEAR A POSTER OF DOCTOR MARTIN LUTHER KING JUNIOR, WHILE THE FIRST LADY POURED DRINKS. LOCAL SCHOOLS, BANKS, AND GOVERNMENT AGENCIES ALL CLOSED TODAY TO MARK DR. KING'S BIRTHDAY. PADUCAH LEADERS HELD THEIR ANNUAL MARCH DOWN MARTIN LUTHER KING DRIVE. THE MARCH STARTED AT TEN THIS MORNING WITH MEMBERS OF THE NAACP AND OTHERS IN THE COMMUNITY RE-ENACTING THE MARCHES LED BY KING DURING THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT. TODAY'S MARCH ENDED WITH A WREATH LAYING CEREMONY AT THE KING MONUMENT ON 19TH STREET. A LUNCHEON FOLLOWED AT THE ROBERT CHERRY CIVIC CENTER WHERE JAMES BERRY, PADUCAH'S FIRST BLACK POLICE CHIEF SPOKE TO THE GROUP. CHIEF BERRY TALKED ABOUT GROWING UP DURING THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT, GOING TO A SEGREGATED SCHOOL, BEING HOSED DOWN AT CIVIL RIGHTS MARCHES, AND TESTING THE LAW THAT SAID HE COULDN'T DRINK FROM THE SAME WATER FOUNTAIN AS WHITE PEOPLE. (19:38 WHAT I WOULD DO IS GO TO WOOLWORTHS. THEY HAD TWO WATER FOUNTAINS, ONE COLORED ONE FOR WHITES. I THOUGHT THE WHITE FOUNTAIN MUST TASTE BETTER SO I'D TAKE A DRINK. MY MOTHER SAID BOY YOU'RE GOING TO JAIL. >CHIEF BERRY SAYS HE ALWAYS EMPHASIZES THERE WERE BOTH BLACK AND WHITE PEOPLE MARCHING IN THE LINES FOR EQUALITY. AND THAT BOTH BLACK AND WHITES DIED IN THE EFFORT. IT'S DOWN TO THE WIRE IN MASSACHUSETTS IN ADVANCE OF TOMORROW'S SPECIAL ELECTION TO FILL TED KENNEDY'S SENATE SEAT. DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE MARTHA COAKLEY WAS IN BOSTON MONDAY MORNING TO SPEAK AT THE 40TH ANNUAL MARTIN LUTHER KING JUNIOR MEMORIAL BREAKFAST ALONGSIDE GOVERNOR DEVAL PATRICK AND MAYOR THOMAS MENINO. LATER THIS MORNING COAKLEY TALKED TO SUPPORTERS AT JOHNNY'S LUNCHEONETTE IN NEWTON. MARTHA COAKLEY (D)SENATE CANDIDATE : 05/: 10/: 09 "I'M RUNNING FOR THE UNITED STATES SENATE BECAUSE DR. KING'S WORK IS UNFINISHED. HIS DREAM IS UNREALIZED AND WE KNOW THAT. ">REPUBLICAN HOPEFUL SCOTT BROWN ATTENDED THE EVENT BUT WAS NOT ASKED TO SPEAK. A KENTUCKY COUNTY HAS RESTORED THE TEN COMMANDMENTS TO THE COURTHOUSE WALLS - DAYS AFTER AN APPELLATE COURT ALLOWED THE DOCUMENT TO BE DISPLAYED. GRAYSON COUNTY RETURNED THE COMMANDMENTS TO A DISPLAY OF HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS. THE MOVE COMES LESS THAN A WEEK AFTER THE 6TH USCIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS STRUCK DOWN AN INJUNCTION BARRING THE TEN COMMANDMENTS FROM PUBLIC PROPERTY. A US DISTRICT JUDGE PREVIOUSLY BARRED THE DISPLAY IN 2008, SAYING ITS PRIMARY INTENT WAS RELIGIOUS. THE FIRE MARSHALL IS INVESTIGATING AN OVERNIGHT HOUSE FIRE IN WEST FRANKFORT, ILLINOIS. THE 911 CALL CAME IN AT AROUND 1:30 THIS MORNING. A HOUSE WAS ON FIRE AT NORTH HORN STREET. BENTON AND JOHNSTON CITY FIRE DEPARTMENTS PUT OUT THE FLAMES BUT DESCRIBE THE BUILDING AS A TOTAL LOSS. THE HOUSE WAS EMPTY BUT DID HAVE POWER AND GAS SERVICE. TWENTY ROOMS AT THE THRIFTY INN ARE STILL TEMPORARY HOMES FOR RESIDENTS OF THE IRVIN COBB APARTMENTS TENANTS WERE FORCED TO LEAVE WHEN A FROZEN PIPE BURST AND FLOODED THE BUILDING. PEOPLE LIVING ABOVE THE FOURTH FLOOR HAVE MOVED BACK IN, BUT MANY ARE STILL DISPLACED TONIGHT. THERE'S STILL NO WORD ON WHEN EVERYONE CAN MOVE BACK IN. REND LAKE IS GETTING A NEW LOOK, THANKS TO MORE THAN 25-MILLION DOLLARS IN STIMULUS MONEY. 8-MILLION DOLLARS OF THAT WILL GO TOWARD THE CONSTRUCTION OF A NEW VISITORS'CENTER. THE CENTER WILL HAVE A MULTI-PURPOSE ROOM FOR CLASSES, AS WELL AS A CENTER FOR EXHIBITS AND DISPLAYS. AND BECAUSE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICES FOR THE US ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS WILL BE IN THE COMPLEX, THE VISITORS' CENTER WILL BE ABLE TO STAY OPEN YEAR-ROUND. OTHER PROJECTS INCLUDE WORK ON THE DAM, FIXING A MAINTENANCE BACKLOG, BIKE TRAILS, AND MAKEOVERS OF THE SOUTH MARCUM AND GUN CREEK AREAS. A RACEHORSE WITH A PROMISING FUTURE IS DEAD AFTER A BARN FIRE IN BOURBON COUNTY OVER THE WEEKEND. THE BOURBON COUNTY FIRE DEPARTMENT SAYS BY THE TIME THEY GOT THERE, THE FIRE WAS TOO INTENSE TO TRY TO SAVE THE HORSE. OWNERS PLANNED TO RUN THE HORSE, "STONE WILD" AT KEENELAND THIS SPRING. INVESTIGATORS WERE BACK ON THE SCENE TODAY AND STILL HAVEN'T DETERMINED WHAT IGNITED THE FIRE. WHAT MAKES SOMEONE CAPABLE OF TORTURE? (NATURAL SOUND OF, BUZZER>SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR JERRY BURGER REPLICATED THE FAMED MILGRAM EXPERIMENT OF THE 60S. SUBJECTS WERE INSTRUCTED TO TEST PEOPLE, AND FOR EVERY WRONG ANSWER WERE TOLD TO PUSH A SWITCH THAT WOULD SHOCK THAT PERSON. THE EXPERIMENT SHOWS THAT SITUATIONS MORE THAN INDIVIDUAL BELIEFS CAN DETERMINE THE WAY WE ACT. BURGER SAYS THE FINDINGS SHED LIGHT ON EXTREME SITUATIONS SUCH AS THE TORTURE THAT TOOK PLACE AT ABU GRAHAIB, THE INFAMOUS IRAQI PRISON WHERE SOLDIERS WERE PHOTOGRAPHED ABUSING PRISONERS. ANOTHER KEY FINDING, ALMOST ALL THE PEOPLE WHO REFUSED TO ADMINISTER THE SHOCK SAID THEY CONSIDERED THEMSELVES RESPONSIBLE FOR INJURIES TO THAT PERSON.

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AND DRIVE ONE. SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY INVESTIGATED, AND
01/18/2010
NBC 2 News at 4 PM - WBBH-TV

HE DECLINED TO COMMENT - SAYING HE WANTS TO WAIT FOR THE LEGAL PROCESS TO PLAY OUT. PIERRE-LOUIS FACES FIVE CHARGES, INCLUDING FELONY COUNTS OF DOMESTIC BATTERY BY STRANGULATION, BURGLARY, FALSE IMPRISONMENT, AND PREVENTING THE WOMAN FROM CONTACTING POLICE. WE ARE GETTING SOME NEW DRAMATIC VIDEO NOW OF A CAR BOMBING CAUGHT ON TAPE IN KABUL DURING THE ATTACK BY THE TALIBAN EARLIER TODAY. POLICE STOPPED AN AMBULANCE AT A CHECKPOINT IN DOWNTOWN KABUL AND QUICKLY REALIZED IT WAS PACKED FULL OF EXPLOSIVES. DOWNTOWN KABUL AND QUICKLY REALIZED IT WAS PACKED FULL OF EXPLOSIVES. YOU CAN SEE SECURITY FORCES RUNNING AWAY FROM THE AMBULANCE BEFORE IT EXPLODED. ITS NOT CLEAR IF THIS WAS A SUICIDE BOMBING, BUT THERE WERE SEVERAL BOMBINGS THROUGHOUT THE CITY. IT WAS THE WORST ATTACK ON THE CITY IN NEARLY A YEAR AND CAME AS PRESIDENT HAMID KARZAI WAS SWEARING IN CABINET MEMBERS. THE TURKISH MAN WHO SHOT POPE JOHN PAUL NEARLY 30 YEARS AGO IS OUT OF PRISON, AND WARNING OF THE END OF THE WORLD. IN A WRITTEN STATEMENT DISTRIBUTED BY ONE OF HIS ATTORNEYS, THE MAN CALLS HIMSELF A MESSENGER OF GOD AND PREDICTS THAT THE WORLD WILL END IN THIS CENTURY. HE SPENT MORE THAN 29 YEARS BEHIND BARS FOR SHOOTING THE POPE IN MAY 1981 AS HE RODE THROUGH ST. PETERS SQUARE IN AN OPEN CAR. THE PONTIFF FORGAVE THE SHOOTER TWO YEARS LATER AS THEY MET IN AN ITALIAN PRISON. THE MOTIVE FOR HIS ATTACK HAS NEVER BEEN MADE CLEAR. FIVE PEOPLE, INCLUDING A YOUNG CHILD, WERE FOUND MURDERED INSIDE A HOME IN SOUTHEAST TEXAS. INVESTIGATORS IN BELLVILLE FOUND THE BODIES OF FOUR ADULTS AND ONE CHILD AFTER RECEIVING A 9-1-1 CALL FROM THE HOME SUNDAY. ONE PERSON IS IN CUSTODY FOR QUESTIONING, HOWEVER, NO CHARGES HAVE BEEN FILED. POLICE ARE NOT RELEASING A MOTIVE FOR THE MURDERS OR SAYING HOW THE PERSON BEING QUESTIONED MAY BE INVOLVED. NEW RIGHT NOW, TACO BELL SAYS THE FOUNDER OF THE FAST-FOOD CHAIN HAS DIED. GLEN W. BELL JUNIOR, DIED SUNDAY AT HIS HOME IN CALIFORNIA. HE WAS 86 YEARS OLD. THE CAUSE OF DEATH HAS NOT BEEN RELEASED. BELL LAUNCHED TACO BELL BACK IN 1962. THE CHAIN SERVES MORE THAN 36 MILLION PEOPLE EVERY WEEK IN THE U-S. HE IS SURVIVED BY HIS WIFE, TWO SONS, THREE SISTERS AND FOUR GRANDCHILDREN. NEW RESEARCH OUT TODAY PUTS A NUMBER ON THE PERCENTAGE OF PEOPLE WHO WOULD TORTURE OTHERS IF PUT IN EXTREME ENOUGH SITUATIONS. AND THE NUMBER IS QUITE HIGH. A FULL REPORT, NEXT AT FOUR. WHAT MAKES SOMEONE CAPABLE OF TORTURE? RESEARCHERS AT (announcer)WE SPEAK CAR. WE SPEAK RPMs SO YOU CAN ZIP BY OTHER CARS. BUT WE ALSO SPEAK MPGs SO YOU CAN FLY BY GAS STATIONS. IN FACT, WE SPEAK MPGs SO FLUENTLY, WE CAN SAY FORD FUSION IS THE MOST FUEL-EFFICIENT MIDSIZE SEDAN IN AMERICA. YES, WE SPEAK CAR. AND APPARENTLY, QUITE WELL. FUSION IS NOW MOTOR TREND'S 2010 CAR OF THE YEAR. GET IN, AND DRIVE ONE. SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY INVESTIGATED, AND FOUND THAT ORDINARY PEOPLE, MEN AND WOMEN, IN EXTRAORDINARY SITUATIONS WILL DO THINGS THEY NEVER IMAGINED THEY WOULD. VICKY NGUYEN REPORTS, FIRST AT FOUR. nats: Wrong. 75 volts. The correct answer is hair. nats of buzzer nats: The punishment is an electric shock. SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR JERRY BURGER REPLICATED THE FAMED MILGRAM EXPERIMENT OF THE 60S.

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THE RESEARCHERS AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY FOUND ORDINARY
01/18/2010
NBC 5 First at 4 PM - KXAS-TV

THE GOVERNMENT IS SAYING CHILDREN AND TEENS SHOULD BE CHECKED. RESEARCHERS, THEY EXAMINED 20 CLINICAL TRIALS AND FOUND SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE THAT CHILDHOOD OBESITY CAN BE TREATED. EFFECTIVE TREATMENT PROGRAMS INCLUDE COUNSELING FOR WEIGHT LOSS, HEALTHY EATING, PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND BEHAVE RAL TECHNIQUES SUCH ASSETING GOALS. WHAT MAKES SOMEONE CAPABLE OF TORTURE? THE RESEARCHERS AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY FOUND ORDINARY PEOPLE IN EXTRAORDINARY SITUATION ALSO DO THINGS THEY NEVER IMAGINED. HERE'S NBC'S VICKIE NGUYEN. THE CORRECT ANSWER IS HAIR. Reporter: THE PUNISHMENT THAT THE PERSON RECEIVED FOR GETTING A WRONG ANSWER IS AN ELECTRIC SHOCK. Reporter: THE PROFESSOR REPLICATED THE FAMED EXPERIMENT IN THE '60s AND THE GOAL, TO FIND OUT IF PEOPLE WILL OBEY AN ORDER NO MATTER O HOW MUCH IT GOES AGAINST THEIR CONSCIOUS AND THEIR MORALS. AND UNDER THE RIGHT CIRCUMSTANCES, PEOPLE WILL ALMOST ADMINISTER PAINFUL OR PERHAPS, LETHAL SHOCKS TO ANOTHER PERSON. Reporter: THE SUBJECT WAS SFWROUKTD GIVE A TEST TO ANOTHER PERSON AND FOR EVERY WRONG ANSWER HE WAS TOLD TO PUSH A SWITCH THAT WOULD SHOCK THAT PERSON. EVERYBODY SAYS, I WOULD NOT DO IT. BUT WHEN WE SIT PEOPLE DOWN AND DO THE TU DID WE FIND THE MAJORITY OF PEOPLE DO. AT 150 VOLTS THE SUBJECT GETS AN EXTREME REACTION. MY HEART'S STARTING TO BOTHER ME. I REFUSE TO GO ON. LET ME OUT. AT THIS MOMENT WE WAITED TO SEE IF THE PERSON WAS GOING TO REFUSE TO CONTINUE OR IS THE PERSON GOING TO CONTINUE WITH THE NEXT ITEM ON THE TEST. WE FOUND THAT 70% OF THE TIME OUR PARTICIPANTS CONTINUED WITH THE NEXT ITEM ON THE TEST. BURGER STOPS THE EXPERIMENT HERE EXTRAPOLATING THAT ANYONE WILLING TO GO ON WOULD GO ALL THE WAY AND WOMEN WERE FOUND JUST AS LIKELY TO PUSH THE SWITCH AS MEN. NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN. ALMOST EXACTLY THE SAME. HE SAYS THE FINDINGS CAN SHE HAD LIGHT ON EXTREME SITUATIONS SUCH AS THE TORTURE THAT TOOK PLACE AT ABU GHRAIB, THE INFAMOUS IRAQI PRISON WHERE SOLDIERS WERE PHOTOGRAPHED ABUSING PRISONERS. I WAS IN SHOCK. I DIDN'T THINK PEOPLE YOU SHOULDN'T EVEN BE TREATING PEOPLE LIKE THAT. CHRISTINE WAS AN ARMY SPECIALIST IN CAN TAR WHEN SHE LEARNED OF THE ABUSES AND SAID WHAT HER FELLOW SOLDIERS DID WAS INEXCUSABLE BUT CAN UNDERSTAND THE PRESSURE TO FOLLOW ORDERS AND HOW THE SURREAL CIRCUMSTANCES OF WAR CAN ALTER ONE'S JUDGMENT. ON A DAILY BASIS YOU SEE THIS AND YOU GET USED TO IT SO WE'LL START DOING THE THINGS THAT WE SEE. BURGER SAYS THE MODERN-DAY EXPERIMENT SHOWS THAT SITUATIONS MORE THAN INDIVIDUAL BELIEFS CAN DETERMINE THE WAY WE ACT WERE GIVEN AN UNFAMILIAR SITUATION SUCH AS WAR AND AN AUTHORITY FIGURE AND BAD BEHAVIOR THAT INCREASES IN SMALL INCREMENTS, SEVEN IN TEN PEOPLE WOULD HURT SOMEONE ELSE. WE HAVE TO TELL PEOPLE, YOU ARE ULTIMATELY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ACTIONS THAT YOU TAKE AND WHEN WE SET UP A SITUATION IT MAKES IT'S EASY TO DEFER THAT RESPONSIBILITY AND WE'RE CREATING A VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION. HE SAYS THE TAKE-HOME MESSAGE. IF PEOPLE CONSIDER THEMSELVES ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR OWN ACTIONS THEY'RE MORE LIKELY TO DO WHAT'S RIGHT. THOSE THAT BLAME THE SITUATION OR CIRCUMSTANCES CAN AND DO COMMIT ABUSES. ANOTHER KEY FINDING ALMOST ALL THE PEOPLE WHO REFUSED TO SHOCK THE OTHER PERSON SAID THEY WOULD CONSIDER THEMSELVES RESPONSIBLE FOR INJURIES TO THAT PERSON. THOSE WHO CONTINUED WITH THE EXPERIMENT BLAMED THE STUDY EVEN THE UNIVERSITY.

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New study may shed light on why we are willing to torture | View Clip
01/18/2010
WPSD-TV - Online

A new study sheds light on what might make someone capable of torture.

Santa Clara University Professor Jerry Bulger replicated the famed Milgram Experiment of the 1960's. Subjects were instructed to give a test to another person. For every wrong answer, the test giver was told to push a button that would shock that person.

The experiment shows that situations determine the way we act more than individual beliefs. Bulger says the findings shed light on extreme situations such as torture that took place at Abu Grahaib, the infamous Iraqi prison where soldiers were photographed abusing prisoners.

The key finding was that almost all the people who refused to administer the shock said they considered themselves responsible for injuries to that person. Those who continued most always said they did so because they were instructed to and the action was the fault of the study or the university.

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Tech firms find China a challenging market | View Clip
01/18/2010
iStockAnalyst

Jan. 17--Google's threat last week to leave China, after it spent millions of dollars to get a toehold in the country's enormous Internet market, underscores the promise and pitfalls of operating in the world's fastest-growing major economy.

Western companies have stampeded into the country of 1.3 billion, drawn by both a huge pool of cheap labor and the buying power of a swelling middle class. But doing business in China means dealing with rampant piracy, an intrusive government, widespread theft of intellectual property and a regulatory environment that often favors local competitors.

And while no other Western companies signaled they would follow Google's example, more are expressing frustration with business conditions in the country.

"I think there are lots of areas in which it is or will get harder to operate," said Mark Natkin, managing director of Beijing-based Marbridge Consulting.

Government intrusion varies significantly by industry. The Internet and telecommunications industries are under tight scrutiny, facing censorship of the Internet, because the technology of companies like Google can provide access to politically sensitive information.

"If you provide something they disapprove of, they'll come down on you," said Anna Han, a Santa Clara University law professor who advises American companies on doing business in China.

On the other hand, manufacturers of everything from shoes to chips can face fewer pressures

and in fact are often warmly embraced. When Intel announced it was building a chip plant in the northeastern city of Dalian, government officials rolled out the red carpet with tax breaks and handshakes.

Many companies have downplayed the problems and continue to make a huge bet on the country. Commenting on Google's charge that hackers with possible ties to the Chinese government launched cyberattacks on the search giant and at least 20 other companies, Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd told the Financial Times that "I'd hate to run off on this one example and say it's a threat to the evolution of the IT industry." He described China as "an amazing market with tremendous growth."

In 2008, Palo Alto-based HP sold more than 4.4 million PCs in China, making it the nation's second-largest computer vendor after Lenovo, according to the IDC research firm. Not long ago HP announced it planned to open its second manufacturing plant in Chongqing in the country's central-western region. In addition, a branch of HP Labs, the company's highly regarded research division, is based in Beijing.

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China's potential may outweigh problems for businesses | View Clip
01/18/2010
Lexington Herald-Leader - Online

SAN JOSE, Calif -- SAN JOSE, Calif. - Google's threat last week to leave China, after it spent millions of dollars to get a toehold in the country's enormous Internet market, underscores the promise and pitfalls of operating in the world's fastest-growing major economy.

Western companies have stampeded into the country of 1.3 billion, drawn by both a huge pool of cheap labor and the buying power of a swelling middle class. But doing business in China means dealing with rampant piracy, an intrusive government, widespread theft of intellectual property and a regulatory environment that often favors local competitors.

And while no other Western companies signaled they would follow Google's example, more are expressing frustration with business conditions in the country.

"I think there are lots of areas in which it is or will get harder to operate," said Mark Natkin, managing director of Beijing-based Marbridge Consulting.

Government intrusion varies significantly by industry. The Internet and telecommunications industries are under tight scrutiny, facing censorship of the Internet, because the technology of companies like Google can provide access to politically sensitive information.

"If you provide something they disapprove of, they'll come down on you," said Anna Han, a Santa Clara University law professor who advises American companies on doing business in China.

On the other hand, manufacturers of everything from shoes to chips can face fewer pressures and in fact are often warmly embraced. When Intel announced it was building a chip plant in the northeastern city of Dalian, government officials rolled out the red carpet with tax breaks and handshakes.

Many companies have downplayed the problems and continue to make a huge bet on the country. Commenting on Google's charge that hackers with possible ties to the Chinese government launched cyberattacks on the search giant and at least 20 other companies, Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd told the Financial Times that "I'd hate to run off on this one example and say it's a threat to the evolution of the IT industry." He described China as "an amazing market with tremendous growth."

In 2008, Palo Alto, Calif.-based Hewlett-Packard sold more than 4.4 million PCs in China, making it the nation's second-largest computer vendor after Lenovo, according to the IDC research firm. Not long ago, Hewlett-Packard announced it planned to open its second manufacturing plant in Chongqing in the country's central-western region. In addition, a branch of HP Labs, the company's highly regarded research division, is based in Beijing.

But even PC makers ran into a roadblock last summer when the government suddenly demanded all new computers sold in China be preloaded with the so-called "Green Dam" Web-filtering software that would block both pornography and banned political sites. After a global and domestic uproar, the government indefinitely set aside the requirement.

In a report last fall, the European Chamber of Commerce complained that despite some positive changes, operating in China was becoming more challenging.

For instance, the Chinese government released new rules in November requiring that computer hardware, software and green technology products must be based on intellectual property that was developed and owned by Chinese companies, in order for the products to be certified for sale to Chinese agencies.

"No other country in the world has a proposal as draconian as this," said Robert Holleyman, CEO of the Business Software Alliance, a trade group for commercial software companies. "This is completely antithetical to how products are created, particularly for software, which tends to be developed on a global basis, with elements designed by teams all over the world."

"U.S. companies are finding it increasingly frustrating to do business in the Chinese market," added John Neuffer, vice president for global policy at the Information Technology Industry Council, a tech industry trade group.

Added to these recent tensions are long-standing concerns. The Business Software Alliance, for instance, estimates that 80 percent of the software used by businesses in China is pirated, meaning they are illegal copies for which no license has been paid.

And knockoff brand-name laptops are hawked on street corners in Shenzhen, fake iPhones roll off nearby assembly lines and the latest version of Microsoft's Windows operating system can be had for a lot less than its retail price.

Still, those who have operated in China for many years say the government is far more sophisticated about understanding what foreign companies need.

"I started doing business in China during the early '90s. The restrictions back then were a lot more than they are today," said Jack Jia, chief executive of Baynote, a Cupertino startup that makes search software and has operations in China. "In 1993, 70 to 80 percent of business was based on government relationships. Even business to business was done through the government."

China's strong infrastructure makes starting a business easier than other countries, said Michael Cusumano, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management who has worked in both countries.

"There is corruption in China," he said. "But it doesn't compare with the levels of corruption you see in India."

While frustrations are sure to continue, no one expects other major Silicon Valley companies to threaten to leave China as Google has done.

"When it comes to sales, it's a huge market of a billion-plus people. If you capture even a small percentage of that, you're still doing well," Santa Clara University's Han said. "It's a market you can't ignore."

(Steve Johnson of the San Jose Mercury News contributed to this report.)

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China's potential may outweigh problems for businesses | View Clip
01/18/2010
TMCnet.com

[January 18, 2010]

SAN JOSE, Calif, Jan 18, 2010 (San Jose Mercury News - McClatchy-Tribune News Service via COMTEX) -- Google's threat last week to leave China, after it spent millions of dollars to get a toehold in the country's enormous Internet market, underscores the promise and pitfalls of operating in the world's fastest-growing major economy.

Western companies have stampeded into the country of 1.3 billion, drawn by both a huge pool of cheap labor and the buying power of a swelling middle class. But doing business in China means dealing with rampant piracy, an intrusive government, widespread theft of intellectual property and a regulatory environment that often favors local competitors.

And while no other Western companies signaled they would follow Google's example, more are expressing frustration with business conditions in the country.

"I think there are lots of areas in which it is or will get harder to operate," said Mark Natkin, managing director of Beijing-based Marbridge Consulting.

Government intrusion varies significantly by industry. The Internet and telecommunications industries are under tight scrutiny, facing censorship of the Internet, because the technology of companies like Google can provide access to politically sensitive information.

"If you provide something they disapprove of, they'll come down on you," said Anna Han, a Santa Clara University law professor who advises American companies on doing business in China.

On the other hand, manufacturers of everything from shoes to chips can face fewer pressures and in fact are often warmly embraced. When Intel announced it was building a chip plant in the northeastern city of Dalian, government officials rolled out the red carpet with tax breaks and handshakes.

Many companies have downplayed the problems and continue to make a huge bet on the country. Commenting on Google's charge that hackers with possible ties to the Chinese government launched cyberattacks on the search giant and at least 20 other companies, Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd told the Financial Times that "I'd hate to run off on this one example and say it's a threat to the evolution of the IT industry." He described China as "an amazing market with tremendous growth." In 2008, Palo Alto, Calif.-based Hewlett-Packard sold more than 4.4 million PCs in China, making it the nation's second-largest computer vendor after Lenovo, according to the IDC research firm. Not long ago, Hewlett-Packard announced it planned to open its second manufacturing plant in Chongqing in the country's central-western region. In addition, a branch of HP Labs, the company's highly regarded research division, is based in Beijing.

But even PC makers ran into a roadblock last summer when the government suddenly demanded all new computers sold in China be preloaded with the so-called "Green Dam" Web-filtering software that would block both pornography and banned political sites. After a global and domestic uproar, the government indefinitely set aside the requirement.

In a report last fall, the European Chamber of Commerce complained that despite some positive changes, operating in China was becoming more challenging.

For instance, the Chinese government released new rules in November requiring that computer hardware, software and green technology products must be based on intellectual property that was developed and owned by Chinese companies, in order for the products to be certified for sale to Chinese agencies.

"No other country in the world has a proposal as draconian as this," said Robert Holleyman, CEO of the Business Software Alliance, a trade group for commercial software companies. "This is completely antithetical to how products are created, particularly for software, which tends to be developed on a global basis, with elements designed by teams all over the world." "U.S. companies are finding it increasingly frustrating to do business in the Chinese market," added John Neuffer, vice president for global policy at the Information Technology Industry Council, a tech industry trade group.

(EDITORS: BEGIN OPTIONAL TRIM) Added to these recent tensions are long-standing concerns. The Business Software Alliance, for instance, estimates that 80 percent of the software used by businesses in China is pirated, meaning they are illegal copies for which no license has been paid.

And knockoff brand-name laptops are hawked on street corners in Shenzhen, fake iPhones roll off nearby assembly lines and the latest version of Microsoft's Windows operating system can be had for a lot less than its retail price.

Still, those who have operated in China for many years say the government is far more sophisticated about understanding what foreign companies need.

"I started doing business in China during the early '90s. The restrictions back then were a lot more than they are today," said Jack Jia, chief executive of Baynote, a Cupertino startup that makes search software and has operations in China. "In 1993, 70 to 80 percent of business was based on government relationships. Even business to business was done through the government." China's strong infrastructure makes starting a business easier than other countries, said Michael Cusumano, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management who has worked in both countries.

"There is corruption in China," he said. "But it doesn't compare with the levels of corruption you see in India." (END OPTIONAL TRIM) While frustrations are sure to continue, no one expects other major Silicon Valley companies to threaten to leave China as Google has done.

"When it comes to sales, it's a huge market of a billion-plus people. If you capture even a small percentage of that, you're still doing well," Santa Clara University's Han said. "It's a market you can't ignore." ___ (Steve Johnson of the San Jose Mercury News contributed to this report.) ___ (c) 2010, San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.).

Visit MercuryNews.com, the World Wide Web site of the Mercury News, at http://www.mercurynews.com.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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Tech firms find China a challenging market | View Clip
01/18/2010
TMCnet.com

[January 18, 2010]

Jan 17, 2010 (San Jose Mercury News - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Google's threat last week to leave China, after it spent millions of dollars to get a toehold in the country's enormous Internet market, underscores the promise and pitfalls of operating in the world's fastest-growing major economy.

Western companies have stampeded into the country of 1.3 billion, drawn by both a huge pool of cheap labor and the buying power of a swelling middle class. But doing business in China means dealing with rampant piracy, an intrusive government, widespread theft of intellectual property and a regulatory environment that often favors local competitors.

And while no other Western companies signaled they would follow Google's example, more are expressing frustration with business conditions in the country.

"I think there are lots of areas in which it is or will get harder to operate," said Mark Natkin, managing director of Beijing-based Marbridge Consulting.

Government intrusion varies significantly by industry. The Internet and telecommunications industries are under tight scrutiny, facing censorship of the Internet, because the technology of companies like Google can provide access to politically sensitive information.

"If you provide something they disapprove of, they'll come down on you," said Anna Han, a Santa Clara University law professor who advises American companies on doing business in China.

On the other hand, manufacturers of everything from shoes to chips can face fewer pressures and in fact are often warmly embraced. When Intel announced it was building a chip plant in the northeastern city of Dalian, government officials rolled out the red carpet with tax breaks and handshakes.

Many companies have downplayed the problems and continue to make a huge bet on the country. Commenting on Google's charge that hackers with possible ties to the Chinese government launched cyberattacks on the search giant and at least 20 other companies, Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd told the Financial Times that "I'd hate to run off on this one example and say it's a threat to the evolution of the IT industry." He described China as "an amazing market with tremendous growth." In 2008, Palo Alto-based HP sold more than 4.4 million PCs in China, making it the nation's second-largest computer vendor after Lenovo, according to the IDC research firm. Not long ago HP announced it planned to open its second manufacturing plant in Chongqing in the country's central-western region. In addition, a branch of HP Labs, the company's highly regarded research division, is based in Beijing.

But even PC makers ran into a roadblock last summer when the government suddenly demanded all new computers sold in China be preloaded with the so-called "Green Dam" Web-filtering software that would block both pornography and banned political sites. After a global and domestic uproar, the government indefinitely set aside the requirement.

In a report last fall, the European Chamber of Commerce complained that despite some positive changes, operating in China was becoming more challenging.

For instance, the Chinese government released new rules in November requiring that computer hardware, software and green technology products must be based on intellectual property that was developed and owned by Chinese companies, in order for the products to be certified for sale to Chinese agencies.

"No other country in the world has a proposal as draconian as this," said Robert Holleyman, CEO of the Business Software Alliance, a trade group for commercial software companies. "This is completely antithetical to how products are created, particularly for software, which tends to be developed on a global basis, with elements designed by teams all over the world." "U.S. companies are finding it increasingly frustrating to do business in the Chinese market," added John Neuffer, vice president for global policy at the Information Technology Industry Council, a tech industry trade group.

Added to these recent tensions are long-standing concerns. The Business Software Alliance, for instance, estimates that 80 percent of the software used by businesses in China is pirated, meaning they are illegal copies for which no license has been paid.

And knockoff brand-name laptops are hawked on street corners in Shenzhen, fake iPhones roll off nearby assembly lines and the latest version of Microsoft's Windows operating system can be had for a lot less than its retail price.

Still, those who have operated in China for many years say the government is far more sophisticated about understanding what foreign companies need.

"I started doing business in China during the early '90s. The restrictions back then were a lot more than they are today," said Jack Jia, chief executive of Baynote, a Cupertino startup that makes search software and has operations in China. "In 1993, 70 to 80 percent of business was based on government relationships. Even business to business was done through the government." China's strong infrastructure makes starting a business easier than in other countries, said Michael Cusumano, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management who has worked in both countries.

"There is corruption in China," he said. "But it doesn't compare with the levels of corruption you see in India." While frustrations are sure to continue, no one expects other major Silicon Valley companies to threaten to leave China, as Google has done.

"When it comes to sales, it's a huge market of a billion-plus people. If you capture even a small percentage of that, you're still doing well," Santa Clara University professor Han said. "It's a market you can't ignore." Staff writer Steve Johnson contributed to this report. Contact John Boudreau at 408-278-3496.

To see more of the San Jose Mercury News, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.mercurynews.com. Copyright (c) 2010, San Jose Mercury News, Calif.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. For reprints, email tmsreprints@permissionsgroup.com, call 800-374-7985 or 847-635-6550, send a fax to 847-635-6968, or write to The Permissions Group Inc., 1247 Milwaukee Ave., Suite 303, Glenview, IL 60025, USA.

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China's potential may outweigh problems for businesses | View Clip
01/18/2010
Sacramento Bee - Online, The

SAN JOSE, Calif -- SAN JOSE, Calif. - Google's threat last week to leave China, after it spent millions of dollars to get a toehold in the country's enormous Internet market, underscores the promise and pitfalls of operating in the world's fastest-growing major economy.

Western companies have stampeded into the country of 1.3 billion, drawn by both a huge pool of cheap labor and the buying power of a swelling middle class. But doing business in China means dealing with rampant piracy, an intrusive government, widespread theft of intellectual property and a regulatory environment that often favors local competitors.

And while no other Western companies signaled they would follow Google's example, more are expressing frustration with business conditions in the country.

"I think there are lots of areas in which it is or will get harder to operate," said Mark Natkin, managing director of Beijing-based Marbridge Consulting.

Government intrusion varies significantly by industry. The Internet and telecommunications industries are under tight scrutiny, facing censorship of the Internet, because the technology of companies like Google can provide access to politically sensitive information.

"If you provide something they disapprove of, they'll come down on you," said Anna Han, a Santa Clara University law professor who advises American companies on doing business in China.

On the other hand, manufacturers of everything from shoes to chips can face fewer pressures and in fact are often warmly embraced. When Intel announced it was building a chip plant in the northeastern city of Dalian, government officials rolled out the red carpet with tax breaks and handshakes.

Many companies have downplayed the problems and continue to make a huge bet on the country. Commenting on Google's charge that hackers with possible ties to the Chinese government launched cyberattacks on the search giant and at least 20 other companies, Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd told the Financial Times that "I'd hate to run off on this one example and say it's a threat to the evolution of the IT industry." He described China as "an amazing market with tremendous growth."

In 2008, Palo Alto, Calif.-based Hewlett-Packard sold more than 4.4 million PCs in China, making it the nation's second-largest computer vendor after Lenovo, according to the IDC research firm. Not long ago, Hewlett-Packard announced it planned to open its second manufacturing plant in Chongqing in the country's central-western region. In addition, a branch of HP Labs, the company's highly regarded research division, is based in Beijing.

But even PC makers ran into a roadblock last summer when the government suddenly demanded all new computers sold in China be preloaded with the so-called "Green Dam" Web-filtering software that would block both pornography and banned political sites. After a global and domestic uproar, the government indefinitely set aside the requirement.

In a report last fall, the European Chamber of Commerce complained that despite some positive changes, operating in China was becoming more challenging.

For instance, the Chinese government released new rules in November requiring that computer hardware, software and green technology products must be based on intellectual property that was developed and owned by Chinese companies, in order for the products to be certified for sale to Chinese agencies.

"No other country in the world has a proposal as draconian as this," said Robert Holleyman, CEO of the Business Software Alliance, a trade group for commercial software companies. "This is completely antithetical to how products are created, particularly for software, which tends to be developed on a global basis, with elements designed by teams all over the world."

"U.S. companies are finding it increasingly frustrating to do business in the Chinese market," added John Neuffer, vice president for global policy at the Information Technology Industry Council, a tech industry trade group.

Added to these recent tensions are long-standing concerns. The Business Software Alliance, for instance, estimates that 80 percent of the software used by businesses in China is pirated, meaning they are illegal copies for which no license has been paid.

And knockoff brand-name laptops are hawked on street corners in Shenzhen, fake iPhones roll off nearby assembly lines and the latest version of Microsoft's Windows operating system can be had for a lot less than its retail price.

Still, those who have operated in China for many years say the government is far more sophisticated about understanding what foreign companies need.

"I started doing business in China during the early '90s. The restrictions back then were a lot more than they are today," said Jack Jia, chief executive of Baynote, a Cupertino startup that makes search software and has operations in China. "In 1993, 70 to 80 percent of business was based on government relationships. Even business to business was done through the government."

China's strong infrastructure makes starting a business easier than other countries, said Michael Cusumano, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management who has worked in both countries.

"There is corruption in China," he said. "But it doesn't compare with the levels of corruption you see in India."

While frustrations are sure to continue, no one expects other major Silicon Valley companies to threaten to leave China as Google has done.

"When it comes to sales, it's a huge market of a billion-plus people. If you capture even a small percentage of that, you're still doing well," Santa Clara University's Han said. "It's a market you can't ignore."

(Steve Johnson of the San Jose Mercury News contributed to this report.)

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China's potential may outweigh problems for businesses | View Clip
01/18/2010
iStockAnalyst

(Source: San Jose Mercury News)SAN JOSE, Calif. _ Google's threat last week to leave China, after it spent millions of dollars to get a toehold in the country's enormous Internet market, underscores the promise and pitfalls of operating in the world's fastest-growing major economy.

Western companies have stampeded into the country of 1.3 billion, drawn by both a huge pool of cheap labor and the buying power of a swelling middle class. But doing business in China means dealing with rampant piracy, an intrusive government, widespread theft of intellectual property and a regulatory environment that often favors local competitors.

And while no other Western companies signaled they would follow Google's example, more are expressing frustration with business conditions in the country.

"I think there are lots of areas in which it is or will get harder to operate," said Mark Natkin, managing director of Beijing-based Marbridge Consulting.

Government intrusion varies significantly by industry. The Internet and telecommunications industries are under tight scrutiny, facing censorship of the Internet, because the technology of companies like Google can provide access to politically sensitive information.

"If you provide something they disapprove of, they'll come down on you," said Anna Han, a Santa Clara University law professor who advises American companies on doing business in China.

On the other hand, manufacturers of everything from shoes to chips can face fewer pressures and in fact are often warmly embraced. When Intel announced it was building a chip plant in the northeastern city of Dalian, government officials rolled out the red carpet with tax breaks and handshakes.

Many companies have downplayed the problems and continue to make a huge bet on the country. Commenting on Google's charge that hackers with possible ties to the Chinese government launched cyberattacks on the search giant and at least 20 other companies, Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd told the Financial Times that "I'd hate to run off on this one example and say it's a threat to the evolution of the IT industry." He described China as "an amazing market with tremendous growth."

In 2008, Palo Alto, Calif.-based Hewlett-Packard sold more than 4.4 million PCs in China, making it the nation's second-largest computer vendor after Lenovo, according to the IDC research firm. Not long ago, Hewlett-Packard announced it planned to open its second manufacturing plant in Chongqing in the country's central-western region.

China's potential may outweigh problems for businesses

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Embajada de EE.UU. traera innovadora casa solar para promover energias renovables | View Clip
01/17/2010
El Mercurio

The U.S. Ambassador to Chile, Paul Simons, hopes to bring Santa Clara University's solar house to Santiago, Chile to promote alternative energy. See the attached article written in Spanish.

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Playwright Athol Fugard still fighting injustice in South Africa | View Clip
01/17/2010
El Cerrito Albany Journal

San Jose Mercury News

BERKELEY REPERTORY THEATRE COMPANY Roslyn Ruff stars in "Coming Home," Athol Fugard's new play about a South African woman trying to make a new and better life for hern and young son..

Athol Fugard made his name as the bard of apartheid.

The South African playwright, who now lives in San Diego, exposed the racial oppression of his homeland in a series of emotionally shattering plays. From "Blood Knot" (1961, revised 1987) to " 'Master Harold'... and the Boys" (1982), Fugard's work changed the way many viewed apartheid. Although his works often were banned in his homeland, in 1985 Time magazine dubbed him "the greatest active playwright in the English-speaking world." He is regarded as a towering figure in the realm of political theater.

"Fugard is a giant. He's a quintessential artist because he's got the courage to hold that mirror up to his fellow countrymen," says Aldo Billingslea, drama professor at Santa Clara University.

"Fugard's plays discover the deepest truths of human relations in the slightest moments of everyday life, the mopping of a floor, the lighting of a candle, the scratching of chalk on a blackboard; just listen closely and you'll hear the breaking of a heart," says Robert Kelley, artistic director of TheatreWorks.

Struggle continues

The playwright is still bearing witness to ordinary South Africans' struggle to survive, despite sweeping political changes. In "Coming Home," now in its West Coast premiere at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, he revisits the lost souls he introduced in the lyrical "Valley Song" (1995) and illustrates that the end of apartheid in

1994 did not mark an end to injustice and suffering.

"When Nelson Mandela was let out of jail (after 27 years Feb. 11, 1990), there was such hope," remembers soft-spoken Fugard, 77, speaking by phone from his home in San Diego, where he has lived and taught for many years. "I wrote 'Valley Song' out of hope for my country, the hope that we might be able to redeem our past and become a moral example for the world. All of the politicians made great big promises that never materialized, and the hope started to unravel into regret."

"Coming Home" is set in a remote village in the South African desert region of Karoo, where Fugard grew up. It was there he first met Veronica, a girl with a frayed cotton dress and a voice sweeter than honey. She was always singing, lightening the air, until the day she went off to seek her fortune in Cape Town. She vanished and was never heard from again.

"That is the tragedy of so many young people in South Africa — they get swallowed up in the big city, in the desperation and the slums and the drugs, and they never come back," says Fugard, who is of English-Irish and Afrikaner descent.

Veronica inspired "Valley Song," which Berkeley Rep first produced in 1998, starring an incandescent Anika Noni Rose. In "Coming Home," Fugard imagines what might have happened if Veronica actually had made it back to Karoo.

Ghosts of apartheid

Whenever the playwright returns home, he sees the ghosts of an earlier era. "The wreckage of the past is vast; it's there all around us," he says. "You can't escape it."

In his newest play, "The Train Driver," a black woman is so demoralized by her lot in life that she stands on a train track with her children and waits to be pulverized.

Despite his dark writings, Fugard himself has never been one to give in to despair. "I don't see the story of South Africa as a tragedy," he says. "It is sobering, but progress is being made."

The optimism in his nature may be why he takes pains to re-imagine Veronica's fate in "Coming Home," where she returns to the family farm. Her spirit may be crushed, her big dreams turned to dust, but she clings to the belief that she will be redeemed through her son, Mannetjie, whom Fugard modeled on his own grandchild.

"I owed it to Veronica to return to her story," says the playwright, who confesses the wrenching drama was hard to write. "My heart has been broken before many times over the years, telling these stories."

Grappling with life's pain has always been worth it, though, for Fugard, who long has had faith that theater in South Africa could "pave the way for change."

In "Coming Home," the specter of racism still looms large, as does the devastation of AIDS. Once Veronica contracts the disease during her dark time in the city, her days are numbered. Medicine is so prohibitively expensive it may as well not exist in Karoo.

The situation angers Fugard. "An appalling lack of action on the part of the government — the corruption in South Africa puts Washington to shame — has led to incalculable suffering," the playwright says. "Now we have a whole generation of HIV-positive babies to reckon with."

"Many of the issues" raised by Fugard "still have to be dealt with," Billingslea says. "The scourge of AIDS also demands our attention."

Fugard frequently ventures back and forth between San Diego and South Africa (where he will soon direct a production of "The Train Driver"). He senses echoes of his homeland in this country. "There's a very raw and generous quality to life in South Africa that is similar to life here," he says, "and yet looking at South Africa from a distance is a sobering experience, much like looking at America from a distance."

No matter how sad Veronica's story becomes in "Coming Home," Fugard ends the play on a note of hope. He, like little Mannetjie, has faith in the future.

"Children are the seeds of hope; they are the only hope of any society," he says. "I hope that people come away from the play with a reverence for life, the fragility of life."

THEATER PREVIEW

WHAT: Berkeley Repertory Theatre Company presents "Coming Home," by Athol Fugard

WHEN: Now in previews, opens 8 p.m. Wednesday and plays Tuesdays-Sundays through Feb. 28

WHERE: Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Thrust Stage, 2025 Addison St., Berkeley

TICKETS: $13.50-$86; 510-647-2949, www.berkeley

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TECH FIRMS COMPETE ON FIELD FAR FROM LEVEL IN CHINA
01/17/2010
San Jose Mercury News

Google's threat last week to leave China, after it spent millions of dollars to get a toehold in the country's enormous Internet market, underscores the promise and pitfalls of operating in the world's fastest-growing major economy.

Western companies have stampeded into the country of 1.3 billion, drawn by both a huge pool of cheap labor and the buying power of a swelling middle class. But doing business in China means dealing with rampant piracy, an intrusive government, widespread theft of intellectual property and a regulatory environment that often favors local competitors.

And while no other Western companies signaled they would follow Google's example, more are expressing frustration with business conditions in the country.

"I think there are lots of areas in which it is or will get harder to operate," said Mark Natkin, managing director of Beijing-based Marbridge Consulting.

Government intrusion varies significantly by industry. The Internet and telecommunications industries are under tight scrutiny, facing censorship of the Internet, because the technology of companies like Google can provide access to politically sensitive information.

"If you provide something they disapprove of, they'll come down on you," said Anna Han, a Santa Clara University law professor who advises American companies on doing business in China.

On the other hand, manufacturers of everything from shoes to chips can face fewer pressures and in fact are often warmly embraced. When Intel announced it was building a chip plant in the northeastern city of Dalian, government officials rolled out the red carpet with tax breaks and handshakes.

Many companies have downplayed the problems and continue to make a huge bet on the country. Commenting on Google's charge that hackers with possible ties to the Chinese government launched cyberattacks on the search giant and at least 20 other companies, Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd told the Financial Times that "I'd hate to run off on this one example and say it's a threat to the evolution of the IT industry." He described China as "an amazing market with tremendous growth."

In 2008, Palo Alto-based HP sold more than 4.4 million PCs in China, making it the nation's second-largest computer vendor after Lenovo, according to the IDC research firm. Not long ago HP announced it planned to open its second manufacturing plant in Chongqing in the country's central-western region. In addition, a branch of HP Labs, the company's highly regarded research division, is based in Beijing.

But even PC makers ran into a roadblock last summer when the government suddenly demanded all new computers sold in China be preloaded with the so-called "Green Dam" Web-filtering software that would block both pornography and banned political sites. After a global and domestic uproar, the government indefinitely set aside the requirement.

In a report last fall, the European Chamber of Commerce complained that despite some positive changes, operating in China was becoming more challenging.

For instance, the Chinese government released new rules in November requiring that computer hardware, software and green technology products must be based on intellectual property that was developed and owned by Chinese companies, in order for the products to be certified for sale to Chinese agencies.

"No other country in the world has a proposal as draconian as this," said Robert Holleyman, CEO of the Business Software Alliance, a trade group for commercial software companies. "This is completely antithetical to how products are created, particularly for software, which tends to be developed on a global basis, with elements designed by teams all over the world."

"U.S. companies are finding it increasingly frustrating to do business in the Chinese market," added John Neuffer, vice president for global policy at the Information Technology Industry Council, a tech industry trade group.

Added to these recent tensions are long-standing concerns. The Business Software Alliance, for instance, estimates that 80 percent of the software used by businesses in China is pirated, meaning they are illegal copies for which no license has been paid.

And knockoff brand-name laptops are hawked on street corners in Shenzhen, fake iPhones roll off nearby assembly lines and the latest version of Microsoft's Windows operating system can be had for a lot less than its retail price.

Still, those who have operated in China for many years say the government is far more sophisticated about understanding what foreign companies need.

"I started doing business in China during the early '90s. The restrictions back then were a lot more than they are today," said Jack Jia, chief executive of Baynote, a Cupertino startup that makes search software and has operations in China. "In 1993, 70 to 80 percent of business was based on government relationships. Even business to business was done through the government."

China's strong infrastructure makes starting a business easier than in other countries, said Michael Cusumano, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management who has worked in both countries.

"There is corruption in China," he said. "But it doesn't compare with the levels of corruption you see in India."

While frustrations are sure to continue, no one expects other major Silicon Valley companies to threaten to leave China, as Google has done.

"When it comes to sales, it's a huge market of a billion-plus people. If you capture even a small percentage of that, you're still doing well," Santa Clara University professor Han said. "It's a market you can't ignore."

Contact John Boudreau at 408-278-3496.

Copyright © 2010 San Jose Mercury News

Return to Top



SOUTH AFRICA'S VOICE OF CONSCIENCE
01/17/2010
San Jose Mercury News

Athol Fugard made his name as the bard of apartheid.

The South African playwright, who now lives in San Diego, exposed the racial oppression of his homeland in a series of emotionally shattering plays. From "Blood Knot" (1961, revised 1987) to --?'Master Harold'... and the Boys" (1982), Fugard's work changed the way many viewed apartheid. Though his works were often banned in his homeland, in 1985 Time magazine dubbed him "the greatest active playwright in the English-speaking world." He is regarded as a towering figure in the realm of political theater.

"Fugard is a giant. He's a quintessential artist because he's got the courage to hold that mirror up to his fellow countrymen," says Aldo Billingslea, drama professor at Santa Clara University.

"Fugard's plays discover the deepest truths of human relations in the slightest moments of everyday life, the mopping of a floor, the lighting of a candle, the scratching of chalk on a blackboard; just listen closely and you'll hear the breaking of a heart," says Robert Kelley, artistic director of TheatreWorks.

The playwright is still bearing witness to ordinary South Africans' struggle to survive, despite sweeping political changes. In "Coming Home," now in its West Coast premiere at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, he revisits the lost souls he introduced in the lyrical "Valley Song" (1995) and illustrates that the end of apartheid in 1994 did not mark an end to injustice and suffering.

"When Nelson Mandela was let out of jail (after 27 years on Feb. 11, 1990), there was such hope," remembers the soft-spoken Fugard, 77, speaking by phone from his home in San Diego, where he has lived and taught for many years. "I wrote 'Valley Song' out of hope for my country, the hope that we might be able to redeem our past and become a moral example for the world. All of the politicians made great big promises that never materialized, and the hope started to unravel into regret."

"Coming Home" is set in a remote village in the South African desert region of Karoo, where Fugard grew up. It was there he first met Veronica, a girl with a frayed cotton dress and a voice sweeter than honey. She was always singing, lightening the air, until the day she went off to seek her fortune in Cape Town. She vanished and was never heard from again.

"That is the tragedy of so many young people in South Africa -- they get swallowed up in the big city, in the desperation and the slums and the drugs, and they never come back," says Fugard, who is of English-Irish and Afrikaner descent.

Veronica inspired "Valley Song," which Berkeley Rep first produced in 1998, starring an incandescent Anika Noni Rose. In "Coming Home," Fugard imagines what might have happened if Veronica actually had made it back to Karoo.

Whenever the playwright returns home, he sees the ghosts of an earlier era. "The wreckage of the past is vast; it's there all around us," he says. "You can't escape it."

In his newest play, "The Train Driver," a black woman is so demoralized by her lot in life that she stands on a train track with her children and waits to be pulverized.

Despite his dark writings, Fugard himself has never been one to give in to despair. "I don't see the story of South Africa as a tragedy," he says. "It is sobering, but progress is being made."

The optimism is in his nature may be why he takes pains to re-imagine Veronica's fate in "Coming Home," where she returns to the family farm. Her spirit may be crushed, her big dreams turned to dust, but she clings to the belief that she will be redeemed through her son, Mannetjie, whom Fugard modeled on his own grandchild.

"I owed it to Veronica to return to her story," says the playwright, who confesses the wrenching drama was hard to write. "My heart has been broken before many times over the years, telling these stories."

Grappling with life's pain has always been worth it, though, for Fugard, who has long had faith that theater in South Africa could "pave the way for change."

In "Coming Home," the specter of racism still looms large, as does the devastation of AIDS. Once Veronica contracts the disease during her dark time in the city, her days are numbered. Medicine is so prohibitively expensive it may as well not exist in Karoo.

The situation angers Fugard. "An appalling lack of action on the part of the government -- the corruption in South Africa puts Washington to shame -- has led to incalculable suffering," the playwright says. "Now we have a whole generation of HIV-positive babies to reckon with."

"Many of the issues" raised by Fugard "still have to be dealt with," Billingslea says. "The scourge of AIDS also demands our attention."

Fugard frequently ventures back and forth between San Diego and South Africa (where he will soon direct a production of "The Train Driver"). He senses echoes of his homeland in this country. "There's a very raw and generous quality to life in South Africa that is similar to life here," he says, "and yet looking at South Africa from a distance is a sobering experience, much like looking at America from a distance."

No matter how sad Veronica's story becomes in "Coming Home," Fugard ends the play on a note of hope. He, like little Mannetjie, has faith in the future.

"Children are the seeds of hope; they are the only hope of any society," he says. "I hope that people come away from the play with a reverence for life, the fragility of life."

Contact Karen D'Souza at (408) 271-3772. Check out her theater reviews, features and blog at www.mercurynews.com/karen-dsouza.

Copyright © 2010 San Jose Mercury News

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Tech firms find China a challenging market | View Clip
01/17/2010
El Cerrito Albany Journal

Google's threat last week to leave China, after it spent millions of dollars to get a toehold in the country's enormous Internet market, underscores the promise and pitfalls of operating in the world's fastest-growing major economy.

Western companies have stampeded into the country of 1.3 billion, drawn by both a huge pool of cheap labor and the buying power of a swelling middle class. But doing business in China means dealing with rampant piracy, an intrusive government, widespread theft of intellectual property and a regulatory environment that often favors local competitors.

And while no other Western companies signaled they would follow Google's example, more are expressing frustration with business conditions in the country.

"I think there are lots of areas in which it is or will get harder to operate," said Mark Natkin, managing director of Beijing-based Marbridge Consulting.

Government intrusion varies significantly by industry. The Internet and telecommunications industries are under tight scrutiny, facing censorship of the Internet, because the technology of companies like Google can provide access to politically sensitive information.

"If you provide something they disapprove of, they'll come down on you," said Anna Han, a Santa Clara University law professor who advises American companies on doing business in China.

On the other hand, manufacturers of everything from shoes to chips can face fewer pressures

and in fact are often warmly embraced. When Intel announced it was building a chip plant in the northeastern city of Dalian, government officials rolled out the red carpet with tax breaks and handshakes.

Many companies have downplayed the problems and continue to make a huge bet on the country. Commenting on Google's charge that hackers with possible ties to the Chinese government launched cyberattacks on the search giant and at least 20 other companies, Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd told the Financial Times that "I'd hate to run off on this one example and say it's a threat to the evolution of the IT industry." He described China as "an amazing market with tremendous growth."

In 2008, Palo Alto-based HP sold more than 4.4 million PCs in China, making it the nation's second-largest computer vendor after Lenovo, according to the IDC research firm. Not long ago HP announced it planned to open its second manufacturing plant in Chongqing in the country's central-western region. In addition, a branch of HP Labs, the company's highly regarded research division, is based in Beijing.

But even PC makers ran into a roadblock last summer when the government suddenly demanded all new computers sold in China be preloaded with the so-called "Green Dam" Web-filtering software that would block both pornography and banned political sites. After a global and domestic uproar, the government indefinitely set aside the requirement.

In a report last fall, the European Chamber of Commerce complained that despite some positive changes, operating in China was becoming more challenging.

For instance, the Chinese government released new rules in November requiring that computer hardware, software and green technology products must be based on intellectual property that was developed and owned by Chinese companies, in order for the products to be certified for sale to Chinese agencies.

"No other country in the world has a proposal as draconian as this," said Robert Holleyman, CEO of the Business Software Alliance, a trade group for commercial software companies. "This is completely antithetical to how products are created, particularly for software, which tends to be developed on a global basis, with elements designed by teams all over the world."

"U.S. companies are finding it increasingly frustrating to do business in the Chinese market," added John Neuffer, vice president for global policy at the Information Technology Industry Council, a tech industry trade group.

Added to these recent tensions are long-standing concerns. The Business Software Alliance, for instance, estimates that 80 percent of the software used by businesses in China is pirated, meaning they are illegal copies for which no license has been paid.

And knockoff brand-name laptops are hawked on street corners in Shenzhen, fake iPhones roll off nearby assembly lines and the latest version of Microsoft's Windows operating system can be had for a lot less than its retail price.

Still, those who have operated in China for many years say the government is far more sophisticated about understanding what foreign companies need.

"I started doing business in China during the early '90s. The restrictions back then were a lot more than they are today," said Jack Jia, chief executive of Baynote, a Cupertino startup that makes search software and has operations in China. "In 1993, 70 to 80 percent of business was based on government relationships. Even business to business was done through the government."

China's strong infrastructure makes starting a business easier than in other countries, said Michael Cusumano, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management who has worked in both countries.

"There is corruption in China," he said. "But it doesn't compare with the levels of corruption you see in India."

While frustrations are sure to continue, no one expects other major Silicon Valley companies to threaten to leave China, as Google has done.

"When it comes to sales, it's a huge market of a billion-plus people. If you capture even a small percentage of that, you're still doing well," Santa Clara University professor Han said. "It's a market you can't ignore."

Staff writer Steve Johnson contributed to this report. Contact John Boudreau at 408-278-3496.

Return to Top



Tech firms find China a challenging market | View Clip
01/17/2010
Oroville Mercury-Register

Google's threat last week to leave China, after it spent millions of dollars to get a toehold in the country's enormous Internet market, underscores the promise and pitfalls of operating in the world's fastest-growing major economy.

Western companies have stampeded into the country of 1.3 billion, drawn by both a huge pool of cheap labor and the buying power of a swelling middle class. But doing business in China means dealing with rampant piracy, an intrusive government, widespread theft of intellectual property and a regulatory environment that often favors local competitors.

And while no other Western companies signaled they would follow Google's example, more are expressing frustration with business conditions in the country.

"I think there are lots of areas in which it is or will get harder to operate," said Mark Natkin, managing director of Beijing-based Marbridge Consulting.

Government intrusion varies significantly by industry. The Internet and telecommunications industries are under tight scrutiny, facing censorship of the Internet, because the technology of companies like Google can provide access to politically sensitive information.

"If you provide something they disapprove of, they'll come down on you," said Anna Han, a Santa Clara University law professor who advises American companies on doing business in China.

On the other hand, manufacturers of everything from shoes to chips can face fewer pressures

and in fact are often warmly embraced. When Intel announced it was building a chip plant in the northeastern city of Dalian, government officials rolled out the red carpet with tax breaks and handshakes.

Many companies have downplayed the problems and continue to make a huge bet on the country. Commenting on Google's charge that hackers with possible ties to the Chinese government launched cyberattacks on the search giant and at least 20 other companies, Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd told the Financial Times that "I'd hate to run off on this one example and say it's a threat to the evolution of the IT industry." He described China as "an amazing market with tremendous growth."

In 2008, Palo Alto-based HP sold more than 4.4 million PCs in China, making it the nation's second-largest computer vendor after Lenovo, according to the IDC research firm. Not long ago HP announced it planned to open its second manufacturing plant in Chongqing in the country's central-western region. In addition, a branch of HP Labs, the company's highly regarded research division, is based in Beijing.

But even PC makers ran into a roadblock last summer when the government suddenly demanded all new computers sold in China be preloaded with the so-called "Green Dam" Web-filtering software that would block both pornography and banned political sites. After a global and domestic uproar, the government indefinitely set aside the requirement.

In a report last fall, the European Chamber of Commerce complained that despite some positive changes, operating in China was becoming more challenging.

For instance, the Chinese government released new rules in November requiring that computer hardware, software and green technology products must be based on intellectual property that was developed and owned by Chinese companies, in order for the products to be certified for sale to Chinese agencies.

"No other country in the world has a proposal as draconian as this," said Robert Holleyman, CEO of the Business Software Alliance, a trade group for commercial software companies. "This is completely antithetical to how products are created, particularly for software, which tends to be developed on a global basis, with elements designed by teams all over the world."

"U.S. companies are finding it increasingly frustrating to do business in the Chinese market," added John Neuffer, vice president for global policy at the Information Technology Industry Council, a tech industry trade group.

Added to these recent tensions are long-standing concerns. The Business Software Alliance, for instance, estimates that 80 percent of the software used by businesses in China is pirated, meaning they are illegal copies for which no license has been paid.

And knockoff brand-name laptops are hawked on street corners in Shenzhen, fake iPhones roll off nearby assembly lines and the latest version of Microsoft's Windows operating system can be had for a lot less than its retail price.

Still, those who have operated in China for many years say the government is far more sophisticated about understanding what foreign companies need.

"I started doing business in China during the early '90s. The restrictions back then were a lot more than they are today," said Jack Jia, chief executive of Baynote, a Cupertino startup that makes search software and has operations in China. "In 1993, 70 to 80 percent of business was based on government relationships. Even business to business was done through the government."

China's strong infrastructure makes starting a business easier than in other countries, said Michael Cusumano, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management who has worked in both countries.

"There is corruption in China," he said. "But it doesn't compare with the levels of corruption you see in India."

While frustrations are sure to continue, no one expects other major Silicon Valley companies to threaten to leave China, as Google has done.

"When it comes to sales, it's a huge market of a billion-plus people. If you capture even a small percentage of that, you're still doing well," Santa Clara University professor Han said. "It's a market you can't ignore."

Staff writer Steve Johnson contributed to this report. Contact John Boudreau at 408-278-3496.

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Berkeley Rep's 'Coming Home' looks at post-Apartheid era | View Clip
01/17/2010
Cupertino Courier - Online

Playwright Athol Fugard. Photo courtesy Berkeley Repertory Theatre.

Athol Fugard made his name as the bard of apartheid.

The South African playwright, who now lives in San Diego, exposed the racial oppression of his homeland in a series of emotionally shattering plays. From "Blood Knot" (1961, revised 1987) to —‰'Master Harold'... and the Boys" (1982), Fugard's work changed the way many viewed apartheid. Though his works were often banned in his homeland, in 1985 Time magazine dubbed him "the greatest active playwright in the English-speaking world." He is regarded as a towering figure in the realm of political theater.

"Fugard is a giant. He's a quintessential artist because he's got the courage to hold that mirror up to his fellow countrymen," says Aldo Billingslea,

Find things to do

drama professor at Santa Clara University.

"Fugard's plays discover the deepest truths of human relations in the slightest moments of everyday life, the mopping of a floor, the lighting of a candle, the scratching of chalk on a blackboard; just listen closely and you'll hear the breaking of a heart," says Robert Kelley, artistic director of TheatreWorks.

The playwright is still bearing witness to ordinary South Africans' struggle to survive, despite sweeping political changes. In "Coming Home," now in its West Coast premiere at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, he revisits the lost souls he introduced in the lyrical "Valley Song" (1995) and illustrates that the end of apartheid in 1994 did not mark an end to injustice and suffering.

"When Nelson Mandela was let out of jail (after 27 years on Feb. 11, 1990), there was such hope," remembers the soft-spoken Fugard, 77, speaking by phone from his home in San Diego, where he has lived and taught for many years. "I wrote 'Valley Song' out of hope for my country, the hope that we might be able to redeem our past and become a moral example for the world. All of the politicians made great big promises that never materialized, and the hope started to unravel into regret."

"Coming Home" is set in a remote village in the South African desert region of Karoo, where Fugard grew up. It was there he first met Veronica, a girl with a frayed cotton dress and a voice sweeter than honey. She was always singing, lightening the air, until the day she went off to seek her fortune in Cape Town. She vanished and was never heard from again.

"That is the tragedy of so many young people in South Africa — they get swallowed up in the big city, in the desperation and the slums and the drugs, and they never come back," says Fugard, who is of English-Irish and Afrikaner descent.

Veronica inspired "Valley Song," which Berkeley Rep first produced in 1998, starring an incandescent Anika Noni Rose. In "Coming Home," Fugard imagines what might have happened if Veronica actually had made it back to Karoo.

Whenever the playwright returns home, he sees the ghosts of an earlier era. "The wreckage of the past is vast; it's there all around us," he says. "You can't escape it."

In his newest play, "The Train Driver," a black woman is so demoralized by her lot in life that she stands on a train track with her children and waits to be pulverized.

Despite his dark writings, Fugard himself has never been one to give in to despair. "I don't see the story of South Africa as a tragedy," he says. "It is sobering, but progress is being made."

The optimism is in his nature may be why he takes pains to re-imagine Veronica's fate in "Coming Home," where she returns to the family farm. Her spirit may be crushed, her big dreams turned to dust, but she clings to the belief that she will be redeemed through her son, Mannetjie, whom Fugard modeled on his own grandchild.

"I owed it to Veronica to return to her story," says the playwright, who confesses the wrenching drama was hard to write. "My heart has been broken before many times over the years, telling these stories."

Grappling with life's pain has always been worth it, though, for Fugard, who has long had faith that theater in South Africa could "pave the way for change."

In "Coming Home," the specter of racism still looms large, as does the devastation of AIDS. Once Veronica contracts the disease during her dark time in the city, her days are numbered. Medicine is so prohibitively expensive it may as well not exist in Karoo.

The situation angers Fugard. "An appalling lack of action on the part of the government — the corruption in South Africa puts Washington to shame — has led to incalculable suffering," the playwright says. "Now we have a whole generation of HIV-positive babies to reckon with."

"Many of the issues" raised by Fugard "still have to be dealt with," Billingslea says. "The scourge of AIDS also demands our attention."

Fugard frequently ventures back and forth between San Diego and South Africa (where he will soon direct a production of "The Train Driver"). He senses echoes of his homeland in this country. "There's a very raw and generous quality to life in South Africa that is similar to life here," he says, "and yet looking at South Africa from a distance is a sobering experience, much like looking at America from a distance."

No matter how sad Veronica's story becomes in "Coming Home," Fugard ends the play on a note of hope. He, like little Mannetjie, has faith in the future.

"Children are the seeds of hope; they are the only hope of any society," he says. "I hope that people come away from the play with a reverence for life, the fragility of life."

Contact Karen D'Souza at (408) 271-3772. Check out her theater reviews, features and blog at www.mercurynews.com/karen-dsouza.

"Coming Home"

Where: Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Thrust Stage, 2025 Addison St., Berkeley

Through: Now in previews, opens Wednesday, continues through

Tickets: $13.50-$86; 510-647-2949,

Athol Fugard:

selected works

"Sizwe Bansi Is Dead" (1972)

"A Lesson from Aloes" (1981)

—‰"Master Harold"... and the Boys" (1982)

"Blood Knot" (1961, revised 1987)

"The Road to Mecca" (1985)

"Valley Song" (1995)

"Coming Home" (2008)

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TORTURE? RESEARCHERS AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY FOUND OR
01/16/2010
NBC Bay Area News at 11 PM - KNTV-TV

WHAT MAKES SOMEONE CAPABLE OF TORTURE? RESEARCHERS AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY FOUND OR NARY PEOPLE IN EXTRAORDINARY SITUATIONS WILL DO THINGS THEY NEVER IMAGINED THEY WOULD. ABOUT 75 VOLTS. THE CORRECT ANSWER IS HAIR. THE PUNISHMENT THE PERSON RECEIVES FOR A WRONG ANSWER IS ELECTRIC SHOCK. Reporter: THE SANTA CLARA PROFESSOR REPLICATED THE FAMED EXPERIMENT OF THE '60s TO FIND OUT WHETHER PEOPLE WOULD OBEY AN ORDER NO MATTER HOW MUCH IT MAY GO AGAINST THEIR OWN CONSCIENCE AND MORALS. UNDER THE RIGHT CIRCUMSTANCES TODAY PEOPLE ALSO WILL ADMINISTER PAINFUL PERHAPS LETHAL ELECTRIC SHOCK TO ANOTHER PERSON. Reporter: THE SUBJECT INSTRUCTED TO GIVE A TEST TO ANOTHER PERSON AND FOR EVERY WRONG ANSWER WAS TOLD TO PUSH A SWITCH THAT WOULD SHOCK THAT PERSON. AH! EVERYBODY SAYS, I WOULD NOT DO IT BUT OF COURSE WHEN WE ACTUALLY SIT PEOPLE DOWN AND DO THE STUDY WE FIND THE MAJORITY DO. Reporter: AT 150 VOLTS, THE SUBJECT HAS AN EXTREME REACTION. MY HEART'S STARTING TO BOTHER ME. I REFUSE TO GO ON, LET ME OUT. AT THIS POINT WE WAITED TO SEE IS THE PERSON GOING TO REFUSE TO CONTINUE OR GO TO THE NEXT ITEM ON THE TEST. WHAT WE FOUND 70% OF THE TIME OUR PARTICIPANTS CONTINUED WITH THE NEXT ITEM ON THE TEST. Reporter: HE STOPS THE TEST HERE. WOMEN WERE FOUND JUST AS LIKELY TO PUSH THE SWITCH AS MEN. NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN. ALMOST EXACTLY THE SAME. Reporter: SAYING FINDINGS CAN SHED LIGHT ON EXTREME SITUATIONS SUCH AS THE TORTURE THAT TOOK PLACE AT ABU GHRAIB, THE INFAMOUS PRISON WHERE SOLDIERS INCLUDING A FEMALE WERE PHOTOGRAPHED ABUSING PRISONERS. I WAS SHOCKED. I DIDN'T THINK PEOPLE LIKE WE SHOULDN'T EVEN BE TREATING PEOPLE LIKE THAT. Reporter: AN ARMY SPECIALIST AND LEARNED OF THE ABUSES THERE. SHE SAID WHAT HER FELLOW SOLDIERS DID IS INEXCUSABLE BUT UNDERSTANDS THE PRESSURE TO FOLLOW ORDERS AND HOW THE REAL CIRCUMSTANCES OF WAR CAN ALTER ONE'S JUDGMENT. LIKE WE SEE ON A DAILY BASIS WE'LL GET USED TO IT AND START DOING THE THINGS WE SEE. Reporter: SHE SAYS THE MODERN DAY EXPERIMENT SHOWS SITUATIONS MORE THAN INDIVIDUAL BELIEF CAN DETERMINE HOW WE ACT GIVEN AN UNFAMILIAR SITUATION SUCH AS WAR, AUTHORITY FIGURE AND BAD BEHAVIOR THAT INCREASES IN SMALL INCREMENTS. I TELL PEOPLE, YOU ARE ULTIMATELY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ACTIONS THAT YOU TAKE. AND WE SET UP A SITUATION THAT MAKES IT EASY TO DEFER THAT RESPONSIBILITY, CREATING A VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION. Reporter: SAYING THE TAKEHOME MESSAGE IF PEOPLE CONSIDER THEMSELVES ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR OWN ACTIONS THEY ARE MORE LIKELY TO DO WHAT'S RIGHT BUT THOSE WHO BLAME THE SITUATION OR THEIR CIRCUMSTANCES CAN AND DO COMMIT ABUSES.

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2009 Solar Decathlon on Eco Company | View Clip
01/16/2010
KDVR-TV

Preview of Team California's 2009 Solar Decathlon house on Eco Company. Santa Clara University's 2007 Solar Decathlon house was also featured.

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THE GROUP BASED AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY, HAS TAKEN
01/16/2010
NBC Bay Area News at 5 AM - KNTV-TV

HERE DNA TESTING HACK A GODSEND FOR SOME PEOPLE COMMITTED OF CRIMES THEY DID NOT COMMIT. FOR THEM A DNA TEST SET THEM FREE. BUT WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE STATE REFUSES TO TEST? AS NBC BAY AREA'S GARVIN THOMAS REPORTS, SOME THINK A DOOR TO FREEDOM IS BEING SHUT. Reporter: IT IS AN OLD CASE, WITH THE POTENTIAL TO BREAK NEW GROUND IN THE FIGHT TO FREE THE WRONGLY CONVICTED. THIS IS THE FIRST TIME THIS ISSUE HAS COME UP IN CALIFORNIA. Reporter: RHONDA DENADO IS SUPERVISING ATTORNEY WITH THE NORTHERN CALIFORNIA INNOCENCE PROJECT, THE GROUP BASED AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY, HAS TAKEN UP THE CASE OF JACK EDWARD SAGAN, ACCUSED OF STABBING TO DEATH A 40-YEAR-OLD WOMAN IN HER MONTEREY APARTMENT BACK IN JULY OF 1985. BASED LARGELY ON THE TESTIMONY OF THIS TWO JAILHOUSE INFORMANTS, A JURY SAID HE DID IT. WE DON'T BELIEVE HE DID. IN THIS CASE, MR. SAGAN WAS CONVICTED BASED ON NO PHYSICAL EVIDENCE THAT TIES HIM TO THE SCENE. Reporter: WHICH IS NOT TO SAY THERE WASN'T ANY PHYSICAL EVIDENCE. THE DNA OF FOUR DIFFERENT MEN WAS FOUND AT THE SCENE. THE INNOCENCE PROJECT SUCCESSFULLY FOUGHT TO GET THE CASE REOPENED, AND THOSE SAMPLES TESTED. AND THE ANSWER CAME BACK THAT MR. SAGAN'S DNA IS NOT LOCATED IN ANY PORTION OF THE CRIME SCENE. Reporter: WHOSE DNA IS IT? THAT'S WHAT WE WANT TO KNOW. Reporter: AND THAT IS WHY THEY NOW WANT THOSE SAMPLES RUN AGAINST THE STATE DNA DATABASE. IT'S A SIMPLE COMPUTER SEARCH. Reporter: TO SEE IF ANY MATCHES POP UP. A JUDGE AGREES AND ORDERED THE TESTS TO TAKE PLACE, BUT THE MONTEREY COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE IS RESISTING, SAYING THE DNA TESTING LAW AS IT NOW STANDS WON'T ALLOW IT. AS FAR AS I KNOW, NO COURT HAS EVER ORDERED THIS TAKE PLACE. Reporter: FIRST OFF, THEY SAY, WITHOUT OTHER EVIDENCE, THE DNA ONLY TELLS THEM SO MUCH. NO MATTER WHAT DNA IS DETERMINED TO BELONG TO WHOEVER, IT'S NOT GOING TO CHANGE THE BASIC EVIDENCE IN THIS CASE. THE BASIC EVIDENCE THAT WAS USED TO CONVICT MR. SAGAN. Reporter: BUT THE D. 'S OFFICE SAYS THEIR MAIN REASON FOR OPPOSING THIS ORDER IS MUCH MORE FUNDAMENTAL. THEY SAY IT WOULD SET A BAD PRECEDENT FOR COURTS TO ACTUALLY DICTATE TO THE DA HOW TO HANDLE A CASE. THEY SAY WHILE THE WORK OF THE NORTHERN CALIFORNIA INNOCENCE PROJECT MAY HAVE BEEN KEY IN REOPENING THIS INVESTIGATION, THAT DOESN'T MEAN THEY NOW GET TO RUN THE INVESTIGATION. WHY SHOULDN'T THE COURTS JUST ORDER US TO GO AND QUESTION VARIOUS PEOPLE? WHY SHOULDN'T THE COURT ORDER US TO GO ASSIGN INVESTIGATORS AND AND GET THEM TO QUESTION PEOPLE THAT THE INNOCENCE PROJECT WOULD LIKE QUESTIONED? Reporter: THE INNOCENCE PROJECT, THOUGH, SAYS THIS IS NOT ABOUT RUNNING THE CASE. IT'S ABOUT FINDING THE TRUTH. WE THINK THAT THE COMMUNITY WANTS TO KNOW IF THERE IS POSSIBLY THE PERSON WHO COMMITTED THIS HORRIBLE CRIME STILL FREE IN THEIR COMMUNITY. Reporter: AND IF THE ONE MAN WHO DIDN'T NEEDS TO BE FREED. GARVIN THOMAS, NBC BAY AREA NEWS.

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THE GROUP BASED AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY, HAS TAKEN
01/16/2010
NBC Bay Area News Weekend Morning - KNTV-TV

HERE DNA TESTING HACK A GODSEND FOR SOME PEOPLE COMMITTED OF CRIMES THEY DID NOT COMMIT. FOR THEM A DNA TEST SET THEM FREE. BUT WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE STATE REFUSES TO TEST? AS NBC BAY AREA'S GARVIN THOMAS REPORTS, SOME THINK A DOOR TO FREEDOM IS BEING SHUT. Reporter: IT IS AN OLD CASE, WITH THE POTENTIAL TO BREAK NEW GROUND IN THE FIGHT TO FREE THE WRONGLY CONVICTED. THIS IS THE FIRST TIME THIS ISSUE HAS COME UP IN CALIFORNIA. Reporter: RHONDA DENADO IS SUPERVISING ATTORNEY WITH THE NORTHERN CALIFORNIA INNOCENCE PROJECT, THE GROUP BASED AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY, HAS TAKEN UP THE CASE OF JACK EDWARD SAGAN, ACCUSED OF STABBING TO DEATH A 40-YEAR-OLD WOMAN IN HER MONTEREY APARTMENT BACK IN JULY OF 1985. BASED LARGELY ON THE TESTIMONY OF THIS TWO JAILHOUSE INFORMANTS, A JURY SAID HE DID IT. WE DON'T BELIEVE HE DID. IN THIS CASE, MR. SAGAN WAS CONVICTED BASED ON NO PHYSICAL EVIDENCE THAT TIES HIM TO THE SCENE. Reporter: WHICH IS NOT TO SAY THERE WASN'T ANY PHYSICAL EVIDENCE. THE DNA OF FOUR DIFFERENT MEN WAS FOUND AT THE SCENE. THE INNOCENCE PROJECT SUCCESSFULLY FOUGHT TO GET THE CASE REOPENED, AND THOSE SAMPLES TESTED. AND THE ANSWER CAME BACK THAT MR. SAGAN'S DNA IS NOT LOCATED IN ANY PORTION OF THE CRIME SCENE. Reporter: WHOSE DNA IS IT? THAT'S WHAT WE WANT TO KNOW. Reporter: AND THAT IS WHY THEY NOW WANT THOSE SAMPLES RUN AGAINST THE STATE DNA DATABASE. IT'S A SIMPLE COMPUTER SEARCH. Reporter: TO SEE IF ANY MATCHES POP UP. A JUDGE AGREES AND ORDERED THE TESTS TO TAKE PLACE, BUT THE MONTEREY COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE IS RESISTING, SAYING THE DNA TESTING LAW AS IT NOW STANDS WON'T ALLOW IT. AS FAR AS I KNOW, NO COURT HAS EVER ORDERED THIS TAKE PLACE. Reporter: FIRST OFF, THEY SAY, WITHOUT OTHER EVIDENCE, THE DNA ONLY TELLS THEM SO MUCH. NO MATTER WHAT DNA IS DETERMINED TO BELONG TO WHOEVER, IT'S NOT GOING TO CHANGE THE BASIC EVIDENCE IN THIS CASE. THE BASIC EVIDENCE THAT WAS USED TO CONVICT MR. SAGAN. Reporter: BUT THE D. 'S OFFICE SAYS THEIR MAIN REASON FOR OPPOSING THIS ORDER IS MUCH MORE FUNDAMENTAL. THEY SAY IT WOULD SET A BAD PRECEDENT FOR COURTS TO ACTUALLY DICTATE TO THE DA HOW TO HANDLE A CASE. THEY SAY WHILE THE WORK OF THE NORTHERN CALIFORNIA INNOCENCE PROJECT MAY HAVE BEEN KEY IN REOPENING THIS INVESTIGATION, THAT DOESN'T MEAN THEY NOW GET TO RUN THE INVESTIGATION. WHY SHOULDN'T THE COURTS JUST ORDER US TO GO AND QUESTION VARIOUS PEOPLE? WHY SHOULDN'T THE COURT ORDER US TO GO ASSIGN INVESTIGATORS AND AND GET THEM TO QUESTION PEOPLE THAT THE INNOCENCE PROJECT WOULD LIKE QUESTIONED? Reporter: THE INNOCENCE PROJECT, THOUGH, SAYS THIS IS NOT ABOUT RUNNING THE CASE. IT'S ABOUT FINDING THE TRUTH. WE THINK THAT THE COMMUNITY WANTS TO KNOW IF THERE IS POSSIBLY THE PERSON WHO COMMITTED THIS HORRIBLE CRIME STILL FREE IN THEIR COMMUNITY. Reporter: AND IF THE ONE MAN WHO DIDN'T NEEDS TO BE FREED. GARVIN THOMAS, NBC BAY AREA NEWS.

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A-B InBev fighting mad over abinbev.com | View Clip
01/16/2010
Poten & Partners

Jan. 16--Visit "abinbev.com" online and you might expect to find the website for Anheuser-Busch InBev.

Instead, you get a Korean dating service.

A-B InBev, the world's largest beer company, missed its chance to register what would seem to be its rightful domain name. The megabrewer is worried about someone else controlling what looks like its legitimate corporate online identity. But A-B InBev is facing an unusually difficult fight to get abinbev.com back, a fight that continues today, despite deploying teams of attorneys for more than a year.

A Korean man, Sung-Wook Jung, secured rights to the name back in May 2008, just days after the news first leaked about a potential merger between U.S. brewer Anheuser-Busch and Belgian brewer InBev. Jung has not developed his website beyond a simple logo that tries to use the "abinbev" name as an acronym for his nascent dating service.

This would seem to be a slam-dunk case of cybersquatting, when a trademarked or well-known brand name is registered by someone with no

rightful claim. Several Internet law experts contacted by the Post-Dispatch dismissed Jung's claim as a stretch.

International rules for settling domain name disputes favor trademark holders. The rules were created in response to the Wild West days of the mid-1990s, when companies failed to recognize the importance of the Internet and cybersquatters could hold domain names hostage. In one famous case, a magazine writer working on an article about the value of domain names illustrated his point by buying McDonalds.com in 1994. He gave it to the fast-food chain only after it made a donation to charity. Others have sold domain names for serious money.

While cybersquatting is still rampant, most cases are resolved quickly and easily through arbitration. But not this one.

"This is a special case," said attorney Eric Goldman, director of the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University in California.

While most are relatively mundane, disputes like the one over abinbev.com can take interesting, unexpected turns. When the owners of the Panavision trademark tried to take back panavision.com for its camera systems, the man who owned that domain name (and hundreds of others) tried to claim he was using the site to promote his vision for Pana, Ill., a tiny town 100 miles northeast of St. Louis. He lost in court. Delta Airlines acquired delta.com only after a legal battle and settlement with a financial services company also named Delta, which had registered the domain name and had an obvious right to it. And candyland.com first went to an adult entertainment provider before Hasbro, maker of the board game, perked up and sued.

A-B InBev appears to have discovered that abinbev.com was taken in July 2008. The merger was not finalized. But that month the brewer registered a-b-inbev.com and ab-inbev.com; the last one is what it now uses "as its primary method of communicating with the public via the Internet," as the company explained in one court filing.

A-B InBev makes extensive use of the website. It serves as a clearinghouse for information to investors, media, the public and regulators.

In October 2008, A-B InBev tried seizing abinbev.com. It filed a complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization, a group certified to arbitrate domain name disputes. A-B InBev, through its Belgian attorneys, pointed out the peculiar timing of the Korean man's domain registration and the use of the trademarked name. Jung responded he didn't know anything about the proposed merger when he registered abinbev.com and said he resorted to the name because his first choice, binb.com, was taken. (Taken by Microsoft, apparently, to protect its bing.com search engine against so-called "typo-squatters," a growing industry of cashing in on misspelled domain names.)

Three months later, the arbitrator ruled Jung acted in bad faith and had no legitimate claim to the domain name. The arbitrator ordered abinbev.com transferred to the beer company.

But the rules governing domain name disputes allow for one last option. And Jung took it. The rules say the arbitrator's decision is ignored if either the complainant or respondent wants the naming dispute resolved in court. And the court with jurisdiction is where the domain name registrar is located -- in this case, South Korea.

Domain names are essentially slipcovers for strings of numbers comprising Web addresses. The names are managed by a series of worldwide domain registrars, who agree to abide by certain rules, including those covering naming disputes.

But A-B InBev got impatient. In a move that surprised some Internet law experts, the beer company in July 2009 asked a federal judge in Virginia to award it the domain name. A-B InBev, this time using its U.S. attorneys, made essentially the same argument it did in arbitration.

In November, the company won a default judgment in federal court. But it appears to be an empty victory -- because abinbev.com still belongs to Jung.

"I'm not surprised (the Korean domain) registrar refuses to abide by orders issued in Virginia," said Atlanta attorney Doug Isenberg, who has handled many domain name disputes.

"The problem with a judgment in a U.S. court is jurisdiction," said Ilhyung Lee, a law professor and senior fellow at the Center for the Study of Dispute Resolution at the University of Missouri at Columbia, who is considered an expert in domain name disputes involving Korea.

"It's an obvious case of cybersquatting," Lee said, but nothing will happen until a Korean court rules on the matter.

The Greenberg Traurig law firm, which represented A-B InBev in federal court, declined to comment for this article. Jung and his attorney could not be reached. A-B InBev issued a short statement, noting the litigation and saying, "We are pursuing this so consumers looking for our company will not be directed to a site unrelated to us."

Jung's attorney did file a response to the federal lawsuit. The attorney said he expected the court in Korea to issue a ruling next month.

Until then, and perhaps beyond, abinbev.com remains a dating website.

To see more of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.stltoday.com.

Copyright (c) 2010, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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San Jose Mercury News, Calif., Karen D'Souza column | View Clip
01/16/2010
AARP Bulletin - Online

Source: San Jose Mercury News | January 15, 2010

Jan. 14, 2010 (McClatchy-Tribune Regional News delivered by Newstex) -- Athol Fugard made his name as the bard of apartheid.

The South African playwright, who now lives in San Diego, exposed the racial oppression of his homeland in a series of emotionally shattering plays. From "Blood Knot" (1961, revised 1987) to --‰'Master Harold'... and the Boys" (1982), Fugard's work changed the way many viewed apartheid. Though his works were often banned in his homeland, in 1985 Time magazine dubbed him "the greatest active playwright in the English-speaking world." He is regarded as a towering figure in the realm of political theater.

"Fugard is a giant. He's a quintessential artist because he's got the courage to hold that mirror up to his fellow countrymen," says Aldo Billingslea, drama professor at Santa Clara University.

"Fugard's plays discover the deepest truths of human relations in the slightest moments of everyday life, the mopping of a floor, the lighting of a candle, the scratching of chalk on a blackboard; just listen closely and you'll hear the breaking of a heart," says Robert Kelley, artistic director of TheatreWorks.

The playwright is still bearing witness to ordinary South Africans' struggle to survive, despite sweeping political changes. In "Coming Home," now in its West Coast premiere at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, he revisits the lost souls he introduced in the lyrical "Valley Song" (1995) and illustrates that the end of apartheid in 1994 did not mark an end to injustice and suffering.

"When Nelson Mandela was let out of jail (after 27 years on Feb. 11, 1990), there was such hope," remembers the soft-spoken Fugard, 77, speaking by phone from his home in San Diego, where he has lived and taught for many years. "I wrote 'Valley Song' out of hope for my country, the hope that we might be able to redeem our past and become a moral example for the world. All of the politicians made great big promises that never materialized, and the hope started to unravel into regret."

"Coming Home" is set in a remote village in the South African desert region of Karoo, where Fugard grew up. It was there he first met Veronica, a girl with a frayed cotton dress and a voice sweeter than honey. She was always singing, lightening the air, until the day she went off to seek her fortune in Cape Town. She vanished and was never heard from again.

"That is the tragedy of so many young people in South Africa -- they get swallowed up in the big city, in the desperation and the slums and the drugs, and they never come back," says Fugard, who is of English-Irish and Afrikaner descent.

Veronica inspired "Valley Song," which Berkeley Rep first produced in 1998, starring an incandescent Anika Noni Rose. In "Coming Home," Fugard imagines what might have happened if Veronica actually had made it back to Karoo.

Whenever the playwright returns home, he sees the ghosts of an earlier era. "The wreckage of the past is vast; it's there all around us," he says. "You can't escape it."

In his newest play, "The Train Driver," a black woman is so demoralized by her lot in life that she stands on a train track with her children and waits to be pulverized.

Despite his dark writings, Fugard himself has never been one to give in to despair. "I don't see the story of South Africa as a tragedy," he says. "It is sobering, but progress is being made."

The optimism is in his nature may be why he takes pains to re-imagine Veronica's fate in "Coming Home," where she returns to the family farm. Her spirit may be crushed, her big dreams turned to dust, but she clings to the belief that she will be redeemed through her son, Mannetjie, whom Fugard modeled on his own grandchild.

"I owed it to Veronica to return to her story," says the playwright, who confesses the wrenching drama was hard to write. "My heart has been broken before many times over the years, telling these stories."

Grappling with life's pain has always been worth it, though, for Fugard, who has long had faith that theater in South Africa could "pave the way for change."

In "Coming Home," the specter of racism still looms large, as does the devastation of AIDS. Once Veronica contracts the disease during her dark time in the city, her days are numbered. Medicine is so prohibitively expensive it may as well not exist in Karoo.

The situation angers Fugard. "An appalling lack of action on the part of the government -- the corruption in South Africa puts Washington to shame -- has led to incalculable suffering," the playwright says. "Now we have a whole generation of HIV-positive babies to reckon with."

"Many of the issues" raised by Fugard "still have to be dealt with," Billingslea says. "The scourge of AIDS also demands our attention."

Fugard frequently ventures back and forth between San Diego and South Africa (where he will soon direct a production of "The Train Driver"). He senses echoes of his homeland in this country. "There's a very raw and generous quality to life in South Africa that is similar to life here," he says, "and yet looking at South Africa from a distance is a sobering experience, much like looking at America from a distance."

No matter how sad Veronica's story becomes in "Coming Home," Fugard ends the play on a note of hope. He, like little Mannetjie, has faith in the future.

"Children are the seeds of hope; they are the only hope of any society," he says. "I hope that people come away from the play with a reverence for life, the fragility of life."

Contact Karen D'Souza at (408) 271-3772. Check out her theater reviews, features and blog at www.mercurynews.com/karen-dsouza.

"Coming Home"

Where: Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Thrust Stage, 2025 Addison St., Berkeley

Through: Now in previews, opens Jan. 20, continues through Feb. 28

Tickets: $13.50-$86; 510-647-2949, www.berkeleyrep.org

Athol Fugard: selected works

"Sizwe Bansi Is Dead" (1972)

"A Lesson from Aloes" (1981)

--‰"Master Harold"... and the Boys" (1982)

"Blood Knot" (1961, revised 1987)

"The Road to Mecca" (1985)

"Valley Song" (1995)

"Coming Home" (2008)

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A-B InBev fighting mad over abinbev.com
01/16/2010
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Jan. 16--Visit "abinbev.com" online and you might expect to find the website for Anheuser-Busch InBev.

Instead, you get a Korean dating service.

A-B InBev, the world's largest beer company, missed its chance to register what would seem to be its rightful domain name. The megabrewer is worried about someone else controlling what looks like its legitimate corporate online identity. But A-B InBev is facing an unusually difficult fight to get abinbev.com back, a fight that continues today, despite deploying teams of attorneys for more than a year.

A Korean man, Sung-Wook Jung, secured rights to the name back in May 2008, just days after the news first leaked about a potential merger between U.S. brewer Anheuser-Busch and Belgian brewer InBev. Jung has not developed his website beyond a simple logo that tries to use the "abinbev" name as an acronym for his nascent dating service.

This would seem to be a slam-dunk case of cybersquatting, when a trademarked or well-known brand name is registered by someone with no

rightful claim. Several Internet law experts contacted by the Post-Dispatch dismissed Jung's claim as a stretch.

International rules for settling domain name disputes favor trademark holders. The rules were created in response to the Wild West days of the mid-1990s, when companies failed to recognize the importance of the Internet and cybersquatters could hold domain names hostage. In one famous case, a magazine writer working on an article about the value of domain names illustrated his point by buying McDonalds.com in 1994. He gave it to the fast-food chain only after it made a donation to charity. Others have sold domain names for serious money.

While cybersquatting is still rampant, most cases are resolved quickly and easily through arbitration. But not this one.

"This is a special case," said attorney Eric Goldman, director of the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University in California.

While most are relatively mundane, disputes like the one over abinbev.com can take interesting, unexpected turns. When the owners of the Panavision trademark tried to take back panavision.com for its camera systems, the man who owned that domain name (and hundreds of others) tried to claim he was using the site to promote his vision for Pana, Ill., a tiny town 100 miles northeast of St. Louis. He lost in court. Delta Airlines acquired delta.com only after a legal battle and settlement with a financial services company also named Delta, which had registered the domain name and had an obvious right to it. And candyland.com first went to an adult entertainment provider before Hasbro, maker of the board game, perked up and sued.

A-B InBev appears to have discovered that abinbev.com was taken in July 2008. The merger was not finalized. But that month the brewer registered a-b-inbev.com and ab-inbev.com; the last one is what it now uses "as its primary method of communicating with the public via the Internet," as the company explained in one court filing.

A-B InBev makes extensive use of the website. It serves as a clearinghouse for information to investors, media, the public and regulators.

In October 2008, A-B InBev tried seizing abinbev.com. It filed a complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization, a group certified to arbitrate domain name disputes. A-B InBev, through its Belgian attorneys, pointed out the peculiar timing of the Korean man's domain registration and the use of the trademarked name. Jung responded he didn't know anything about the proposed merger when he registered abinbev.com and said he resorted to the name because his first choice, binb.com, was taken. (Taken by Microsoft, apparently, to protect its bing.com search engine against so-called "typo-squatters," a growing industry of cashing in on misspelled domain names.)

Three months later, the arbitrator ruled Jung acted in bad faith and had no legitimate claim to the domain name. The arbitrator ordered abinbev.com transferred to the beer company.

But the rules governing domain name disputes allow for one last option. And Jung took it. The rules say the arbitrator's decision is ignored if either the complainant or respondent wants the naming dispute resolved in court. And the court with jurisdiction is where the domain name registrar is located -- in this case, South Korea.

Domain names are essentially slipcovers for strings of numbers comprising Web addresses. The names are managed by a series of worldwide domain registrars, who agree to abide by certain rules, including those covering naming disputes.

But A-B InBev got impatient. In a move that surprised some Internet law experts, the beer company in July 2009 asked a federal judge in Virginia to award it the domain name. A-B InBev, this time using its U.S. attorneys, made essentially the same argument it did in arbitration.

In November, the company won a default judgment in federal court. But it appears to be an empty victory -- because abinbev.com still belongs to Jung.

"I'm not surprised (the Korean domain) registrar refuses to abide by orders issued in Virginia," said Atlanta attorney Doug Isenberg, who has handled many domain name disputes.

"The problem with a judgment in a U.S. court is jurisdiction," said Ilhyung Lee, a law professor and senior fellow at the Center for the Study of Dispute Resolution at the University of Missouri at Columbia, who is considered an expert in domain name disputes involving Korea.

"It's an obvious case of cybersquatting," Lee said, but nothing will happen until a Korean court rules on the matter.

The Greenberg Traurig law firm, which represented A-B InBev in federal court, declined to comment for this article. Jung and his attorney could not be reached. A-B InBev issued a short statement, noting the litigation and saying, "We are pursuing this so consumers looking for our company will not be directed to a site unrelated to us."

Jung's attorney did file a response to the federal lawsuit. The attorney said he expected the court in Korea to issue a ruling next month.

Until then, and perhaps beyond, abinbev.com remains a dating website.

Copyright © 2010 St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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Tech firms find China a challenging market | View Clip
01/16/2010
Cupertino Courier - Online

Google's threat last week to leave China, after it spent millions of dollars to get a toehold in the country's enormous Internet market, underscores the promise and pitfalls of operating in the world's fastest-growing major economy.

Western companies have stampeded into the country of 1.3 billion, drawn by both a huge pool of cheap labor and the buying power of a swelling middle class. But doing business in China means dealing with rampant piracy, an intrusive government, widespread theft of intellectual property and a regulatory environment that often favors local competitors.

And while no other Western companies signaled they would follow Google's example, more are expressing frustration with business conditions in the country.

"I think there are lots of areas in which it is or will get harder to operate," said Mark Natkin, managing director of Beijing-based Marbridge Consulting.

Government intrusion varies significantly by industry. The Internet and telecommunications industries are under tight scrutiny, facing censorship of the Internet, because the technology of companies like Google can provide access to politically sensitive information.

"If you provide something they disapprove of, they'll come down on you," said Anna Han, a Santa Clara University law professor who advises American companies on doing business in China.

On the other hand, manufacturers of everything from shoes to chips can face fewer pressures

and in fact are often warmly embraced. When Intel announced it was building a chip plant in the northeastern city of Dalian, government officials rolled out the red carpet with tax breaks and handshakes.

Many companies have downplayed the problems and continue to make a huge bet on the country. Commenting on Google's charge that hackers with possible ties to the Chinese government launched cyberattacks on the search giant and at least 20 other companies, Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd told the Financial Times that "I'd hate to run off on this one example and say it's a threat to the evolution of the IT industry." He described China as "an amazing market with tremendous growth."

In 2008, Palo Alto-based HP sold more than 4.4 million PCs in China, making it the nation's second-largest computer vendor after Lenovo, according to the IDC research firm. Not long ago HP announced it planned to open its second manufacturing plant in Chongqing in the country's central-western region. In addition, a branch of HP Labs, the company's highly regarded research division, is based in Beijing.

But even PC makers ran into a roadblock last summer when the government suddenly demanded all new computers sold in China be preloaded with the so-called "Green Dam" Web-filtering software that would block both pornography and banned political sites. After a global and domestic uproar, the government indefinitely set aside the requirement.

In a report last fall, the European Chamber of Commerce complained that despite some positive changes, operating in China was becoming more challenging.

For instance, the Chinese government released new rules in November requiring that computer hardware, software and green technology products must be based on intellectual property that was developed and owned by Chinese companies, in order for the products to be certified for sale to Chinese agencies.

"No other country in the world has a proposal as draconian as this," said Robert Holleyman, CEO of the Business Software Alliance, a trade group for commercial software companies. "This is completely antithetical to how products are created, particularly for software, which tends to be developed on a global basis, with elements designed by teams all over the world."

"U.S. companies are finding it increasingly frustrating to do business in the Chinese market," added John Neuffer, vice president for global policy at the Information Technology Industry Council, a tech industry trade group.

Added to these recent tensions are long-standing concerns. The Business Software Alliance, for instance, estimates that 80 percent of the software used by businesses in China is pirated, meaning they are illegal copies for which no license has been paid.

And knockoff brand-name laptops are hawked on street corners in Shenzhen, fake iPhones roll off nearby assembly lines and the latest version of Microsoft's Windows operating system can be had for a lot less than its retail price.

Still, those who have operated in China for many years say the government is far more sophisticated about understanding what foreign companies need.

"I started doing business in China during the early '90s. The restrictions back then were a lot more than they are today," said Jack Jia, chief executive of Baynote, a Cupertino startup that makes search software and has operations in China. "In 1993, 70 to 80 percent of business was based on government relationships. Even business to business was done through the government."

China's strong infrastructure makes starting a business easier than in other countries, said Michael Cusumano, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management who has worked in both countries.

"There is corruption in China," he said. "But it doesn't compare with the levels of corruption you see in India."

While frustrations are sure to continue, no one expects other major Silicon Valley companies to threaten to leave China, as Google has done.

"When it comes to sales, it's a huge market of a billion-plus people. If you capture even a small percentage of that, you're still doing well," Santa Clara University professor Han said. "It's a market you can't ignore."

Staff writer Steve Johnson contributed to this report. Contact John Boudreau at 408-278-3496.

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Tech firms find China a challenging market | View Clip
01/16/2010
Press-Telegram - Online

Google's threat last week to leave China, after it spent millions of dollars to get a toehold in the country's enormous Internet market, underscores the promise and pitfalls of operating in the world's fastest-growing major economy.

Western companies have stampeded into the country of 1.3 billion, drawn by both a huge pool of cheap labor and the buying power of a swelling middle class. But doing business in China means dealing with rampant piracy, an intrusive government, widespread theft of intellectual property and a regulatory environment that often favors local competitors.

And while no other Western companies signaled they would follow Google's example, more are expressing frustration with business conditions in the country.

"I think there are lots of areas in which it is or will get harder to operate," said Mark Natkin, managing director of Beijing-based Marbridge Consulting.

Government intrusion varies significantly by industry. The Internet and telecommunications industries are under tight scrutiny, facing censorship of the Internet, because the technology of companies like Google can provide access to politically sensitive information.

"If you provide something they disapprove of, they'll come down on you," said Anna Han, a Santa Clara University law professor who advises American companies on doing business in China.

On the other hand, manufacturers of everything from shoes to chips can face fewer pressures

and in fact are often warmly embraced. When Intel announced it was building a chip plant in the northeastern city of Dalian, government officials rolled out the red carpet with tax breaks and handshakes.

Many companies have downplayed the problems and continue to make a huge bet on the country. Commenting on Google's charge that hackers with possible ties to the Chinese government launched cyberattacks on the search giant and at least 20 other companies, Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd told the Financial Times that "I'd hate to run off on this one example and say it's a threat to the evolution of the IT industry." He described China as "an amazing market with tremendous growth."

In 2008, Palo Alto-based HP sold more than 4.4 million PCs in China, making it the nation's second-largest computer vendor after Lenovo, according to the IDC research firm. Not long ago HP announced it planned to open its second manufacturing plant in Chongqing in the country's central-western region. In addition, a branch of HP Labs, the company's highly regarded research division, is based in Beijing.

But even PC makers ran into a roadblock last summer when the government suddenly demanded all new computers sold in China be preloaded with the so-called "Green Dam" Web-filtering software that would block both pornography and banned political sites. After a global and domestic uproar, the government indefinitely set aside the requirement.

In a report last fall, the European Chamber of Commerce complained that despite some positive changes, operating in China was becoming more challenging.

For instance, the Chinese government released new rules in November requiring that computer hardware, software and green technology products must be based on intellectual property that was developed and owned by Chinese companies, in order for the products to be certified for sale to Chinese agencies.

"No other country in the world has a proposal as draconian as this," said Robert Holleyman, CEO of the Business Software Alliance, a trade group for commercial software companies. "This is completely antithetical to how products are created, particularly for software, which tends to be developed on a global basis, with elements designed by teams all over the world."

"U.S. companies are finding it increasingly frustrating to do business in the Chinese market," added John Neuffer, vice president for global policy at the Information Technology Industry Council, a tech industry trade group.

Added to these recent tensions are long-standing concerns. The Business Software Alliance, for instance, estimates that 80 percent of the software used by businesses in China is pirated, meaning they are illegal copies for which no license has been paid.

And knockoff brand-name laptops are hawked on street corners in Shenzhen, fake iPhones roll off nearby assembly lines and the latest version of Microsoft's Windows operating system can be had for a lot less than its retail price.

Still, those who have operated in China for many years say the government is far more sophisticated about understanding what foreign companies need.

"I started doing business in China during the early '90s. The restrictions back then were a lot more than they are today," said Jack Jia, chief executive of Baynote, a Cupertino startup that makes search software and has operations in China. "In 1993, 70 to 80 percent of business was based on government relationships. Even business to business was done through the government."

China's strong infrastructure makes starting a business easier than in other countries, said Michael Cusumano, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management who has worked in both countries.

"There is corruption in China," he said. "But it doesn't compare with the levels of corruption you see in India."

While frustrations are sure to continue, no one expects other major Silicon Valley companies to threaten to leave China, as Google has done.

"When it comes to sales, it's a huge market of a billion-plus people. If you capture even a small percentage of that, you're still doing well," Santa Clara University professor Han said. "It's a market you can't ignore."

Staff writer Steve Johnson contributed to this report. Contact John Boudreau at 408-278-3496.

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Tech firms find China a challenging market | View Clip
01/16/2010
Los Angeles Daily News - Online

Google's threat last week to leave China, after it spent millions of dollars to get a toehold in the country's enormous Internet market, underscores the promise and pitfalls of operating in the world's fastest-growing major economy.

Western companies have stampeded into the country of 1.3 billion, drawn by both a huge pool of cheap labor and the buying power of a swelling middle class. But doing business in China means dealing with rampant piracy, an intrusive government, widespread theft of intellectual property and a regulatory environment that often favors local competitors.

And while no other Western companies signaled they would follow Google's example, more are expressing frustration with business conditions in the country.

"I think there are lots of areas in which it is or will get harder to operate," said Mark Natkin, managing director of Beijing-based Marbridge Consulting.

Government intrusion varies significantly by industry. The Internet and telecommunications industries are under tight scrutiny, facing censorship of the Internet, because the technology of companies like Google can provide access to politically sensitive information.

"If you provide something they disapprove of, they'll come down on you," said Anna Han, a Santa Clara University law professor who advises American companies on doing business in China.

On the other hand, manufacturers of everything from shoes to chips can face fewer pressures

and in fact are often warmly embraced. When Intel announced it was building a chip plant in the northeastern city of Dalian, government officials rolled out the red carpet with tax breaks and handshakes.

Many companies have downplayed the problems and continue to make a huge bet on the country. Commenting on Google's charge that hackers with possible ties to the Chinese government launched cyberattacks on the search giant and at least 20 other companies, Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd told the Financial Times that "I'd hate to run off on this one example and say it's a threat to the evolution of the IT industry." He described China as "an amazing market with tremendous growth."

In 2008, Palo Alto-based HP sold more than 4.4 million PCs in China, making it the nation's second-largest computer vendor after Lenovo, according to the IDC research firm. Not long ago HP announced it planned to open its second manufacturing plant in Chongqing in the country's central-western region. In addition, a branch of HP Labs, the company's highly regarded research division, is based in Beijing.

But even PC makers ran into a roadblock last summer when the government suddenly demanded all new computers sold in China be preloaded with the so-called "Green Dam" Web-filtering software that would block both pornography and banned political sites. After a global and domestic uproar, the government indefinitely set aside the requirement.

In a report last fall, the European Chamber of Commerce complained that despite some positive changes, operating in China was becoming more challenging.

For instance, the Chinese government released new rules in November requiring that computer hardware, software and green technology products must be based on intellectual property that was developed and owned by Chinese companies, in order for the products to be certified for sale to Chinese agencies.

"No other country in the world has a proposal as draconian as this," said Robert Holleyman, CEO of the Business Software Alliance, a trade group for commercial software companies. "This is completely antithetical to how products are created, particularly for software, which tends to be developed on a global basis, with elements designed by teams all over the world."

"U.S. companies are finding it increasingly frustrating to do business in the Chinese market," added John Neuffer, vice president for global policy at the Information Technology Industry Council, a tech industry trade group.

Added to these recent tensions are long-standing concerns. The Business Software Alliance, for instance, estimates that 80 percent of the software used by businesses in China is pirated, meaning they are illegal copies for which no license has been paid.

And knockoff brand-name laptops are hawked on street corners in Shenzhen, fake iPhones roll off nearby assembly lines and the latest version of Microsoft's Windows operating system can be had for a lot less than its retail price.

Still, those who have operated in China for many years say the government is far more sophisticated about understanding what foreign companies need.

"I started doing business in China during the early '90s. The restrictions back then were a lot more than they are today," said Jack Jia, chief executive of Baynote, a Cupertino startup that makes search software and has operations in China. "In 1993, 70 to 80 percent of business was based on government relationships. Even business to business was done through the government."

China's strong infrastructure makes starting a business easier than in other countries, said Michael Cusumano, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management who has worked in both countries.

"There is corruption in China," he said. "But it doesn't compare with the levels of corruption you see in India."

While frustrations are sure to continue, no one expects other major Silicon Valley companies to threaten to leave China, as Google has done.

"When it comes to sales, it's a huge market of a billion-plus people. If you capture even a small percentage of that, you're still doing well," Santa Clara University professor Han said. "It's a market you can't ignore."

Staff writer Steve Johnson contributed to this report. Contact John Boudreau at 408-278-3496.

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Tech firms find China a challenging market | View Clip
01/16/2010
Santa Cruz Sentinel - Online

By John Boudreau and Brandon Bailey

Google's threat last week to leave China, after it spent millions of dollars to get a toehold in the country's enormous Internet market, underscores the promise and pitfalls of operating in the world's fastest-growing major economy.

Western companies have stampeded into the country of 1.3 billion, drawn by both a huge pool of cheap labor and the buying power of a swelling middle class. But doing business in China means dealing with rampant piracy, an intrusive government, widespread theft of intellectual property and a regulatory environment that often favors local competitors.

And while no other Western companies signaled they would follow Google's example, more are expressing frustration with business conditions in the country.

"I think there are lots of areas in which it is or will get harder to operate," said Mark Natkin, managing director of Beijing-based Marbridge Consulting.

Government intrusion varies significantly by industry. The Internet and telecommunications industries are under tight scrutiny, facing censorship of the Internet, because the technology of companies like Google can provide access to politically sensitive information.

"If you provide something they disapprove of, they'll come down on you," said Anna Han, a Santa Clara University law professor who advises American companies on doing business in China.

On the other hand, manufacturers of everything from shoes to chips can face fewer pressures

and in fact are often warmly embraced. When Intel announced it was building a chip plant in the northeastern city of Dalian, government officials rolled out the red carpet with tax breaks and handshakes.

Many companies have downplayed the problems and continue to make a huge bet on the country. Commenting on Google's charge that hackers with possible ties to the Chinese government launched cyberattacks on the search giant and at least 20 other companies, Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd told the Financial Times that "I'd hate to run off on this one example and say it's a threat to the evolution of the IT industry." He described China as "an amazing market with tremendous growth."

In 2008, Palo Alto-based HP sold more than 4.4 million PCs in China, making it the nation's second-largest computer vendor after Lenovo, according to the IDC research firm. Not long ago HP announced it planned to open its second manufacturing plant in Chongqing in the country's central-western region. In addition, a branch of HP Labs, the company's highly regarded research division, is based in Beijing.

But even PC makers ran into a roadblock last summer when the government suddenly demanded all new computers sold in China be preloaded with the so-called "Green Dam" Web-filtering software that would block both pornography and banned political sites. After a global and domestic uproar, the government indefinitely set aside the requirement.

In a report last fall, the European Chamber of Commerce complained that despite some positive changes, operating in China was becoming more challenging.

For instance, the Chinese government released new rules in November requiring that computer hardware, software and green technology products must be based on intellectual property that was developed and owned by Chinese companies, in order for the products to be certified for sale to Chinese agencies.

"No other country in the world has a proposal as draconian as this," said Robert Holleyman, CEO of the Business Software Alliance, a trade group for commercial software companies. "This is completely antithetical to how products are created, particularly for software, which tends to be developed on a global basis, with elements designed by teams all over the world."

"U.S. companies are finding it increasingly frustrating to do business in the Chinese market," added John Neuffer, vice president for global policy at the Information Technology Industry Council, a tech industry trade group.

Added to these recent tensions are long-standing concerns. The Business Software Alliance, for instance, estimates that 80 percent of the software used by businesses in China is pirated, meaning they are illegal copies for which no license has been paid.

And knockoff brand-name laptops are hawked on street corners in Shenzhen, fake iPhones roll off nearby assembly lines and the latest version of Microsoft's Windows operating system can be had for a lot less than its retail price.

Still, those who have operated in China for many years say the government is far more sophisticated about understanding what foreign companies need.

"I started doing business in China during the early '90s. The restrictions back then were a lot more than they are today," said Jack Jia, chief executive of Baynote, a Cupertino startup that makes search software and has operations in China. "In 1993, 70 to 80 percent of business was based on government relationships. Even business to business was done through the government."

China's strong infrastructure makes starting a business easier than in other countries, said Michael Cusumano, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management who has worked in both countries.

"There is corruption in China," he said. "But it doesn't compare with the levels of corruption you see in India."

While frustrations are sure to continue, no one expects other major Silicon Valley companies to threaten to leave China, as Google has done.

"When it comes to sales, it's a huge market of a billion-plus people. If you capture even a small percentage of that, you're still doing well," Santa Clara University professor Han said. "It's a market you can't ignore."

Staff writer Steve Johnson contributed to this report. Contact John Boudreau at 408-278-3496.

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Tech firms find China a challenging market | View Clip
01/16/2010
InsideBayArea.com

Google's threat last week to leave China, after it spent millions of dollars to get a toehold in the country's enormous Internet market, underscores the promise and pitfalls of operating in the world's fastest-growing major economy.

Western companies have stampeded into the country of 1.3 billion, drawn by both a huge pool of cheap labor and the buying power of a swelling middle class. But doing business in China means dealing with rampant piracy, an intrusive government, widespread theft of intellectual property and a regulatory environment that often favors local competitors.

And while no other Western companies signaled they would follow Google's example, more are expressing frustration with business conditions in the country.

"I think there are lots of areas in which it is or will get harder to operate," said Mark Natkin, managing director of Beijing-based Marbridge Consulting.

Government intrusion varies significantly by industry. The Internet and telecommunications industries are under tight scrutiny, facing censorship of the Internet, because the technology of companies like Google can provide access to politically sensitive information.

"If you provide something they disapprove of, they'll come down on you," said Anna Han, a Santa Clara University law professor who advises American companies on doing business in China.

On the other hand, manufacturers of everything from shoes to chips can face fewer pressures

and in fact are often warmly embraced. When Intel announced it was building a chip plant in the northeastern city of Dalian, government officials rolled out the red carpet with tax breaks and handshakes.

Many companies have downplayed the problems and continue to make a huge bet on the country. Commenting on Google's charge that hackers with possible ties to the Chinese government launched cyberattacks on the search giant and at least 20 other companies, Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd told the Financial Times that "I'd hate to run off on this one example and say it's a threat to the evolution of the IT industry." He described China as "an amazing market with tremendous growth."

In 2008, Palo Alto-based HP sold more than 4.4 million PCs in China, making it the nation's second-largest computer vendor after Lenovo, according to the IDC research firm. Not long ago HP announced it planned to open its second manufacturing plant in Chongqing in the country's central-western region. In addition, a branch of HP Labs, the company's highly regarded research division, is based in Beijing.

But even PC makers ran into a roadblock last summer when the government suddenly demanded all new computers sold in China be preloaded with the so-called "Green Dam" Web-filtering software that would block both pornography and banned political sites. After a global and domestic uproar, the government indefinitely set aside the requirement.

In a report last fall, the European Chamber of Commerce complained that despite some positive changes, operating in China was becoming more challenging.

For instance, the Chinese government released new rules in November requiring that computer hardware, software and green technology products must be based on intellectual property that was developed and owned by Chinese companies, in order for the products to be certified for sale to Chinese agencies.

"No other country in the world has a proposal as draconian as this," said Robert Holleyman, CEO of the Business Software Alliance, a trade group for commercial software companies. "This is completely antithetical to how products are created, particularly for software, which tends to be developed on a global basis, with elements designed by teams all over the world."

"U.S. companies are finding it increasingly frustrating to do business in the Chinese market," added John Neuffer, vice president for global policy at the Information Technology Industry Council, a tech industry trade group.

Added to these recent tensions are long-standing concerns. The Business Software Alliance, for instance, estimates that 80 percent of the software used by businesses in China is pirated, meaning they are illegal copies for which no license has been paid.

And knockoff brand-name laptops are hawked on street corners in Shenzhen, fake iPhones roll off nearby assembly lines and the latest version of Microsoft's Windows operating system can be had for a lot less than its retail price.

Still, those who have operated in China for many years say the government is far more sophisticated about understanding what foreign companies need.

"I started doing business in China during the early '90s. The restrictions back then were a lot more than they are today," said Jack Jia, chief executive of Baynote, a Cupertino startup that makes search software and has operations in China. "In 1993, 70 to 80 percent of business was based on government relationships. Even business to business was done through the government."

China's strong infrastructure makes starting a business easier than in other countries, said Michael Cusumano, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management who has worked in both countries.

"There is corruption in China," he said. "But it doesn't compare with the levels of corruption you see in India."

While frustrations are sure to continue, no one expects other major Silicon Valley companies to threaten to leave China, as Google has done.

"When it comes to sales, it's a huge market of a billion-plus people. If you capture even a small percentage of that, you're still doing well," Santa Clara University professor Han said. "It's a market you can't ignore."

Staff writer Steve Johnson contributed to this report. Contact John Boudreau at 408-278-3496.

Return to Top



Tech firms find China a challenging market | View Clip
01/16/2010
SiliconValley.com

By John Boudreau and Brandon Bailey

Google's threat last week to leave China, after it spent millions of dollars to get a toehold in the country's enormous Internet market, underscores the promise and pitfalls of operating in the world's fastest-growing major economy.

Western companies have stampeded into the country of 1.3 billion, drawn by both a huge pool of cheap labor and the buying power of a swelling middle class. But doing business in China means dealing with rampant piracy, an intrusive government, widespread theft of intellectual property and a regulatory environment that often favors local competitors.

And while no other Western companies signaled they would follow Google's example, more are expressing frustration with business conditions in the country.

"I think there are lots of areas in which it is or will get harder to operate," said Mark Natkin, managing director of Beijing-based Marbridge Consulting.

Government intrusion varies significantly by industry. The Internet and telecommunications industries are under tight scrutiny, facing censorship of the Internet, because the technology of companies like Google can provide access to politically sensitive information.

"If you provide something they disapprove of, they'll come down on you," said Anna Han, a Santa Clara University law professor who advises American companies on doing business in China.

On the other hand, manufacturers of everything from shoes to chips can face fewer pressures

and in fact are often warmly embraced. When Intel announced it was building a chip plant in the northeastern city of Dalian, government officials rolled out the red carpet with tax breaks and handshakes.

Many companies have downplayed the problems and continue to make a huge bet on the country. Commenting on Google's charge that hackers with possible ties to the Chinese government launched cyberattacks on the search giant and at least 20 other companies, Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd told the Financial Times that "I'd hate to run off on this one example and say it's a threat to the evolution of the IT industry." He described China as "an amazing market with tremendous growth."

In 2008, Palo Alto-based HP sold more than 4.4 million PCs in China, making it the nation's second-largest computer vendor after Lenovo, according to the IDC research firm. Not long ago HP announced it planned to open its second manufacturing plant in Chongqing in the country's central-western region. In addition, a branch of HP Labs, the company's highly regarded research division, is based in Beijing.

But even PC makers ran into a roadblock last summer when the government suddenly demanded all new computers sold in China be preloaded with the so-called "Green Dam" Web-filtering software that would block both pornography and banned political sites. After a global and domestic uproar, the government indefinitely set aside the requirement.

In a report last fall, the European Chamber of Commerce complained that despite some positive changes, operating in China was becoming more challenging.

For instance, the Chinese government released new rules in November requiring that computer hardware, software and green technology products must be based on intellectual property that was developed and owned by Chinese companies, in order for the products to be certified for sale to Chinese agencies.

"No other country in the world has a proposal as draconian as this," said Robert Holleyman, CEO of the Business Software Alliance, a trade group for commercial software companies. "This is completely antithetical to how products are created, particularly for software, which tends to be developed on a global basis, with elements designed by teams all over the world."

"U.S. companies are finding it increasingly frustrating to do business in the Chinese market," added John Neuffer, vice president for global policy at the Information Technology Industry Council, a tech industry trade group.

Added to these recent tensions are long-standing concerns. The Business Software Alliance, for instance, estimates that 80 percent of the software used by businesses in China is pirated, meaning they are illegal copies for which no license has been paid.

And knockoff brand-name laptops are hawked on street corners in Shenzhen, fake iPhones roll off nearby assembly lines and the latest version of Microsoft's Windows operating system can be had for a lot less than its retail price.

Still, those who have operated in China for many years say the government is far more sophisticated about understanding what foreign companies need.

"I started doing business in China during the early '90s. The restrictions back then were a lot more than they are today," said Jack Jia, chief executive of Baynote, a Cupertino startup that makes search software and has operations in China. "In 1993, 70 to 80 percent of business was based on government relationships. Even business to business was done through the government."

China's strong infrastructure makes starting a business easier than in other countries, said Michael Cusumano, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management who has worked in both countries.

"There is corruption in China," he said. "But it doesn't compare with the levels of corruption you see in India."

While frustrations are sure to continue, no one expects other major Silicon Valley companies to threaten to leave China, as Google has done.

"When it comes to sales, it's a huge market of a billion-plus people. If you capture even a small percentage of that, you're still doing well," Santa Clara University professor Han said. "It's a market you can't ignore."

Staff writer Steve Johnson contributed to this report. Contact John Boudreau at 408-278-3496.

Return to Top



A-B InBev fighting mad over abinbev.com | View Clip
01/16/2010
St. Louis Post-Dispatch - Online

Visit "abinbev.com" online and you might expect to find the website for Anheuser-Busch InBev.

Instead, you get a Korean dating service.

A-B InBev, the world's largest beer company, missed its chance to register what would seem to be its rightful domain name. The megabrewer is worried about someone else controlling what looks like its legitimate corporate online identity. But A-B InBev is facing an unusually difficult fight to get abinbev.com back, a fight that continues today, despite deploying teams of attorneys for more than a year.

A Korean man, Sung-Wook Jung, secured rights to the name back in May 2008, just days after the news first leaked about a potential merger between U.S. brewer Anheuser-Busch and Belgian brewer InBev. Jung has not developed his website beyond a simple logo that tries to use the "abinbev" name as an acronym for his nascent dating service.

This would seem to be a slam-dunk case of cybersquatting, when a trademarked or well-known brand name is registered by someone with no

rightful claim. Several Internet law experts contacted by the Post-Dispatch dismissed Jung's claim as a stretch.

International rules for settling domain name disputes favor trademark holders. The rules were created in response to the Wild West days of the mid-1990s, when companies failed to recognize the importance of the Internet and cybersquatters could hold domain names hostage. In one famous case, a magazine writer working on an article about the value of domain names illustrated his point by buying McDonalds.com in 1994. He gave it to the fast-food chain only after it made a donation to charity. Others have sold domain names for serious money.

While cybersquatting is still rampant, most cases are resolved quickly and easily through arbitration. But not this one.

"This is a special case," said attorney Eric Goldman, director of the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University in California.

While most are relatively mundane, disputes like the one over abinbev.com can take interesting, unexpected turns. When the owners of the Panavision trademark tried to take back panavision.com for its camera systems, the man who owned that domain name (and hundreds of others) tried to claim he was using the site to promote his vision for Pana, Ill., a tiny town 100 miles northeast of St. Louis. He lost in court. Delta Airlines acquired delta.com only after a legal battle and settlement with a financial services company also named Delta, which had registered the domain name and had an obvious right to it. And candyland.com first went to an adult entertainment provider before Hasbro, maker of the board game, perked up and sued.

A-B InBev appears to have discovered that abinbev.com was taken in July 2008. The merger was not finalized. But that month the brewer registered a-b-inbev.com and ab-inbev.com; the last one is what it now uses "as its primary method of communicating with the public via the Internet," as the company explained in one court filing.

A-B InBev makes extensive use of the website. It serves as a clearinghouse for information to investors, media, the public and regulators.

In October 2008, A-B InBev tried seizing abinbev.com. It filed a complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization, a group certified to arbitrate domain name disputes. A-B InBev, through its Belgian attorneys, pointed out the peculiar timing of the Korean man's domain registration and the use of the trademarked name. Jung responded he didn't know anything about the proposed merger when he registered abinbev.com and said he resorted to the name because his first choice, binb.com, was taken. (Taken by Microsoft, apparently, to protect its bing.com search engine against so-called "typo-squatters," a growing industry of cashing in on misspelled domain names.)

Three months later, the arbitrator ruled Jung acted in bad faith and had no legitimate claim to the domain name. The arbitrator ordered abinbev.com transferred to the beer company.

But the rules governing domain name disputes allow for one last option. And Jung took it. The rules say the arbitrator's decision is ignored if either the complainant or respondent wants the naming dispute resolved in court. And the court with jurisdiction is where the domain name registrar is located — in this case, South Korea.

Domain names are essentially slipcovers for strings of numbers comprising Web addresses. The names are managed by a series of worldwide domain registrars, who agree to abide by certain rules, including those covering naming disputes.

But A-B InBev got impatient. In a move that surprised some Internet law experts, the beer company in July 2009 asked a federal judge in Virginia to award it the domain name. A-B InBev, this time using its U.S. attorneys, made essentially the same argument it did in arbitration.

In November, the company won a default judgment in federal court. But it appears to be an empty victory — because abinbev.com still belongs to Jung.

"I'm not surprised (the Korean domain) registrar refuses to abide by orders issued in Virginia," said Atlanta attorney Doug Isenberg, who has handled many domain name disputes.

"The problem with a judgment in a U.S. court is jurisdiction," said Ilhyung Lee, a law professor and senior fellow at the Center for the Study of Dispute Resolution at the University of Missouri at Columbia, who is considered an expert in domain name disputes involving Korea.

"It's an obvious case of cybersquatting," Lee said, but nothing will happen until a Korean court rules on the matter.

The Greenberg Traurig law firm, which represented A-B InBev in federal court, declined to comment for this article. Jung and his attorney could not be reached. A-B InBev issued a short statement, noting the litigation and saying, "We are pursuing this so consumers looking for our company will not be directed to a site unrelated to us."

Jung's attorney did file a response to the federal lawsuit. The attorney said he expected the court in Korea to issue a ruling next month.

Until then, and perhaps beyond, abinbev.com remains a dating website.

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A-B InBev is locked in spat over website Brewer covets 'abinbev.com,' which is owned by a S. Korean.
01/16/2010
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Visit "abinbev.com" online and you might expect to find the website for Anheuser-Busch InBev.

Instead, you get a Korean dating service.

A-B InBev, the world's largest beer company, missed its chance to register what would seem to be its rightful domain name. The megabrewer is worried about someone else controlling what looks like its legitimate corporate online identity. But A-B InBev is facing an unusually difficult fight to get abinbev.com back, a fight that continues today, despite deploying teams of attorneys for more than a year.

A Korean man, Sung-Wook Jung, secured rights to the name back in May 2008, just days after the news first leaked about a potential merger between U.S. brewer Anheuser-Busch and Belgian brewer InBev. Jung has not developed his website beyond a simple logo that tries to use the "abinbev" name as an acronym for his nascent dating service.

This would seem to be a slam-dunk case of cybersquatting, when a trademarked or well-known brand name is registered by someone with no

rightful claim. Several Internet law experts contacted by the Post-Dispatch dismissed Jung's claim as a stretch.

International rules for settling domain name disputes favor trademark holders. The rules were created in response to the Wild West days of the mid-1990s, when companies failed to recognize the importance of the Internet and cybersquatters could hold domain names hostage. In one famous case, a magazine writer working on an article about the value of domain names illustrated his point by buying McDonalds.com in 1994. He gave it to the fast-food chain only after it made a donation to charity. Others have sold domain names for serious money.

While cybersquatting is still rampant, most cases are resolved quickly and easily through arbitration. But not this one.

"This is a special case," said attorney Eric Goldman, director of the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University in California.

While most are relatively mundane, disputes like the one over abinbev.com can take interesting, unexpected turns. When the owners of the Panavision trademark tried to take back panavision.com for its camera systems, the man who owned that domain name (and hundreds of others) tried to claim he was using the site to promote his vision for Pana, Ill., a tiny town 100 miles northeast of St. Louis. He lost in court. Delta Airlines acquired delta.com only after a legal battle and settlement with a financial services company also named Delta, which had registered the domain name and had an obvious right to it. And candyland.com first went to an adult entertainment provider before Hasbro, maker of the board game, perked up and sued.

A-B InBev appears to have discovered that abinbev.com was taken in July 2008. The merger was not finalized. But that month the brewer registered a-b-inbev.com and ab-inbev.com; the last one is what it now uses "as its primary method of communicating with the public via the Internet," as the company explained in one court filing.

A-B InBev makes extensive use of the website. It serves as a clearinghouse for information to investors, media, the public and regulators.

In October 2008, A-B InBev tried seizing abinbev.com. It filed a complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization, a group certified to arbitrate domain name disputes. A-B InBev, through its Belgian attorneys, pointed out the peculiar timing of the Korean man's domain registration and the use of the trademarked name. Jung responded he didn't know anything about the proposed merger when he registered abinbev.com and said he resorted to the name because his first choice, binb.com, was taken. (Taken by Microsoft, apparently, to protect its bing.com search engine against so-called "typo-squatters," a growing industry of cashing in on misspelled domain names.)

Three months later, the arbitrator ruled Jung acted in bad faith and had no legitimate claim to the domain name. The arbitrator ordered abinbev.com transferred to the beer company.

But the rules governing domain name disputes allow for one last option. And Jung took it. The rules say the arbitrator's decision is ignored if either the complainant or respondent wants the naming dispute resolved in court. And the court with jurisdiction is where the domain name registrar is located - in this case, South Korea.

Domain names are essentially slipcovers for strings of numbers comprising Web addresses. The names are managed by a series of worldwide domain registrars, who agree to abide by certain rules, including those covering naming disputes.

But A-B InBev got impatient. In a move that surprised some Internet law experts, the beer company in July 2009 asked a federal judge in Virginia to award it the domain name. A-B InBev, this time using its U.S. attorneys, made essentially the same argument it did in arbitration.

In November, the company won a default judgment in federal court. But it appears to be an empty victory - because abinbev.com still belongs to Jung.

"I'm not surprised (the Korean domain) registrar refuses to abide by orders issued in Virginia," said Atlanta attorney Doug Isenberg, who has handled many domain name disputes.

"The problem with a judgment in a U.S. court is jurisdiction," said Ilhyung Lee, a law professor and senior fellow at the Center for the Study of Dispute Resolution at the University of Missouri at Columbia, who is considered an expert in domain name disputes involving Korea.

"It's an obvious case of cybersquatting," Lee said, but nothing will happen until a Korean court rules on the matter.

The Greenberg Traurig law firm, which represented A-B InBev in federal court, declined to comment for this article. Jung and his attorney could not be reached. A-B InBev issued a short statement, noting the litigation and saying, "We are pursuing this so consumers looking for our company will not be directed to a site unrelated to us."

Jung's attorney did file a response to the federal lawsuit. The attorney said he expected the court in Korea to issue a ruling next month.

Until then, and perhaps beyond, abinbev.com remains a dating website.

"The problem with a judgment in a U.S. court is jurisdiction."

Illhyung Lee, a law professor and senior fellow at the Center for the Study of Dispute Resolution at the University of Missouri at Columbia

Copyright © 2010 St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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Tech firms find China a challenging market
01/16/2010
Tri-Valley Herald

SAN JOSE — Google's threat to leave China, after it spent millions of dollars to get a toehold in the country's enormous Internet market, underscores the promise and pitfalls of operating in the world's fastest-growing major economy.

Western companies have stampeded into the country of 1.3 billion, drawn by both a huge pool of cheap labor and the buying power of a swelling middle class. But doing business in China means dealing with rampant piracy, an intrusive government, widespread theft of intellectual property and a regulatory environment that often favors local competitors.

And while no other Western companies signaled they would follow Google's example, more are expressing frustration with business conditions in the country.

"I think there are lots of areas in which it is or will get harder to operate," said Mark Natkin, managing director of Beijing-based Marbridge Consulting.

Government intrusion varies significantly by industry. The Internet and telecommunications industries are under tight scrutiny, facing censorship of the Internet, because the technology of companies like Google can provide access to politically sensitive information.

"If you provide something they disapprove of, they'll come down on you," said Anna Han, a Santa Clara University law professor who advises American companies on doing business in China.

On the other hand, manufacturers of everything from shoes to chips can face fewer pressures and in fact are often warmly embraced. When Intel announced it was building a chip plant in the northeastern city of Dalian, government officials rolled out the red carpet with tax breaks and hand shakes.

And many companies have downplayed the problems and continue to make a huge bet on the country. Commenting on Google's charge that hackers with possible ties to the Chinese government launched cyberattacks on the search giant and at least 20 other companies, Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd told the Financial Times that "I'd hate to run off on this one example and say it's a threat to the evolution of the IT industry." He described China as "an amazing market with tremendous growth."

In 2008, Palo Alto-based HP sold more than 4.4 million PCs in China, making it the nation's second-largest computer vendor after Lenovo, according to the IDC research firm. Not long ago HP announced it planned to open its second manufacturing plant in Chongqing in the country's central-western region. In addition, a branch of HP Labs, the company's highly regarded research division, is based in Beijing.

But even PC makers ran into a roadblock last summer when the government suddenly demanded all new computers sold in China be pre-loaded with the so-called "Green Dam" Web-filtering software that would block both pornography and banned political sites. After a global and domestic uproar, the government indefinitely set aside the requirement.

In a report last fall, the European Chamber of Commerce complained that despite some positive changes, operating in China was becoming more challenging.

For instance, the Chinese government released new rules in November requiring that computer hardware, software and green technology products must be based on intellectual property that was developed and owned by Chinese companies, in order for the products to be certified for sale to Chinese agencies.

"No other country in the world has a proposal as draconian as this," said Robert Holleyman, CEO of the Business Software Alliance, a trade group for commercial software companies. "This is completely antithetical to how products are created, particularly for software, which tends to be developed on a global basis, with elements designed by teams all over the world."

"U.S. companies are finding it increasingly frustrating to do business in the Chinese market," added John Neuffer, vice president for global policy at the Information Technology Industry Council, a tech industry trade group.

Added to these recent tensions are long-standing concerns. The Business Software Alliance, for instance, estimates that 80 percent of the software used by businesses in China is pirated, meaning they are illegal copies for which no license has been paid.

And knockoff brand-name laptops are hawked on street corners in Shenzhen, fake iPhones roll off nearby assembly lines and the latest version of Microsoft's Windows operating system can be had for a lot less than its retail price.

Still, those who have operated in China for many years say the government is far more sophisticated about understanding what foreign companies need.

"I started doing business in China during the early '90s. The restrictions back then were a lot more than they are today," said Jack Jia, chief executive of Baynote, a Cupertino startup that makes search software and has operations in China. "In 1993, 70 to 80 percent of business was based on government relationships. Even business to business was done through the government."

China's strong infrastructure makes starting a business easier than other countries, said Michael Cusumano, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management who has worked in both countries.

"There is corruption in China," he said. "But it doesn't compare with the levels of corruption you see in India."

While frustrations are sure to continue, no one expects other major Silicon Valley companies to threaten to leave China as Google has done.

"When it comes to sales, it's a huge market of a billion-plus people. If you capture even a small percentage of that, you're still doing well," Santa Clara University professor Han said. "It's a market you can't ignore."

Staff writer Steve Johnson contributed to this story.

Contact John Boudreau at 408-278-3496.

Copyright © 2010 Tri-Valley Herald. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Media NewsGroup, Inc. by NewsBank, Inc.

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Tech firms find China a challenging market
01/16/2010
Oakland Tribune

SAN JOSE — Google's threat to leave China, after it spent millions of dollars to get a toehold in the country's enormous Internet market, underscores the promise and pitfalls of operating in the world's fastest-growing major economy.

Western companies have stampeded into the country of 1.3 billion, drawn by both a huge pool of cheap labor and the buying power of a swelling middle class. But doing business in China means dealing with rampant piracy, an intrusive government, widespread theft of intellectual property and a regulatory environment that often favors local competitors.

And while no other Western companies signaled they would follow Google's example, more are expressing frustration with business conditions in the country.

"I think there are lots of areas in which it is or will get harder to operate," said Mark Natkin, managing director of Beijing-based Marbridge Consulting.

Government intrusion varies significantly by industry. The Internet and telecommunications industries are under tight scrutiny, facing censorship of the Internet, because the technology of companies like Google can provide access to politically sensitive information.

"If you provide something they disapprove of, they'll come down on you," said Anna Han, a Santa Clara University law professor who advises American companies on doing business in China.

On the other hand, manufacturers of everything from shoes to chips can face fewer pressures and in fact are often warmly embraced. When Intel announced it was building a chip plant in the northeastern city of Dalian, government officials rolled out the red carpet with tax breaks and hand shakes.

And many companies have downplayed the problems and continue to make a huge bet on the country. Commenting on Google's charge that hackers with possible ties to the Chinese government launched cyberattacks on the search giant and at least 20 other companies, Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd told the Financial Times that "I'd hate to run off on this one example and say it's a threat to the evolution of the IT industry." He described China as "an amazing market with tremendous growth."

In 2008, Palo Alto-based HP sold more than 4.4 million PCs in China, making it the nation's second-largest computer vendor after Lenovo, according to the IDC research firm. Not long ago HP announced it planned to open its second manufacturing plant in Chongqing in the country's central-western region. In addition, a branch of HP Labs, the company's highly regarded research division, is based in Beijing.

But even PC makers ran into a roadblock last summer when the government suddenly demanded all new computers sold in China be pre-loaded with the so-called "Green Dam" Web-filtering software that would block both pornography and banned political sites. After a global and domestic uproar, the government indefinitely set aside the requirement.

In a report last fall, the European Chamber of Commerce complained that despite some positive changes, operating in China was becoming more challenging.

For instance, the Chinese government released new rules in November requiring that computer hardware, software and green technology products must be based on intellectual property that was developed and owned by Chinese companies, in order for the products to be certified for sale to Chinese agencies.

"No other country in the world has a proposal as draconian as this," said Robert Holleyman, CEO of the Business Software Alliance, a trade group for commercial software companies. "This is completely antithetical to how products are created, particularly for software, which tends to be developed on a global basis, with elements designed by teams all over the world."

"U.S. companies are finding it increasingly frustrating to do business in the Chinese market," added John Neuffer, vice president for global policy at the Information Technology Industry Council, a tech industry trade group.

Added to these recent tensions are long-standing concerns. The Business Software Alliance, for instance, estimates that 80 percent of the software used by businesses in China is pirated, meaning they are illegal copies for which no license has been paid.

And knockoff brand-name laptops are hawked on street corners in Shenzhen, fake iPhones roll off nearby assembly lines and the latest version of Microsoft's Windows operating system can be had for a lot less than its retail price.

Still, those who have operated in China for many years say the government is far more sophisticated about understanding what foreign companies need.

"I started doing business in China during the early '90s. The restrictions back then were a lot more than they are today," said Jack Jia, chief executive of Baynote, a Cupertino startup that makes search software and has operations in China. "In 1993, 70 to 80 percent of business was based on government relationships. Even business to business was done through the government."

China's strong infrastructure makes starting a business easier than other countries, said Michael Cusumano, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management who has worked in both countries.

"There is corruption in China," he said. "But it doesn't compare with the levels of corruption you see in India."

While frustrations are sure to continue, no one expects other major Silicon Valley companies to threaten to leave China as Google has done.

"When it comes to sales, it's a huge market of a billion-plus people. If you capture even a small percentage of that, you're still doing well," Santa Clara University professor Han said. "It's a market you can't ignore."

Staff writer Steve Johnson contributed to this story.

Contact John Boudreau at 408-278-3496.

Copyright © 2010 The Oakland Tribune. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Media NewsGroup, Inc. by NewsBank, Inc.

Return to Top



Tech firms find China a challenging market
01/16/2010
San Mateo County Times

SAN JOSE — Google's threat to leave China, after it spent millions of dollars to get a toehold in the country's enormous Internet market, underscores the promise and pitfalls of operating in the world's fastest-growing major economy.

Western companies have stampeded into the country of 1.3 billion, drawn by both a huge pool of cheap labor and the buying power of a swelling middle class. But doing business in China means dealing with rampant piracy, an intrusive government, widespread theft of intellectual property and a regulatory environment that often favors local competitors.

And while no other Western companies signaled they would follow Google's example, more are expressing frustration with business conditions in the country.

"I think there are lots of areas in which it is or will get harder to operate," said Mark Natkin, managing director of Beijing-based Marbridge Consulting.

Government intrusion varies significantly by industry. The Internet and telecommunications industries are under tight scrutiny, facing censorship of the Internet, because the technology of companies like Google can provide access to politically sensitive information.

"If you provide something they disapprove of, they'll come down on you," said Anna Han, a Santa Clara University law professor who advises American companies on doing business in China.

On the other hand, manufacturers of everything from shoes to chips can face fewer pressures and in fact are often warmly embraced. When Intel announced it was building a chip plant in the northeastern city of Dalian, government officials rolled out the red carpet with tax breaks and hand shakes.

And many companies have downplayed the problems and continue to make a huge bet on the country. Commenting on Google's charge that hackers with possible ties to the Chinese government launched cyberattacks on the search giant and at least 20 other companies, Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd told the Financial Times that "I'd hate to run off on this one example and say it's a threat to the evolution of the IT industry." He described China as "an amazing market with tremendous growth."

In 2008, Palo Alto-based HP sold more than 4.4 million PCs in China, making it the nation's second-largest computer vendor after Lenovo, according to the IDC research firm. Not long ago HP announced it planned to open its second manufacturing plant in Chongqing in the country's central-western region. In addition, a branch of HP Labs, the company's highly regarded research division, is based in Beijing.

But even PC makers ran into a roadblock last summer when the government suddenly demanded all new computers sold in China be pre-loaded with the so-called "Green Dam" Web-filtering software that would block both pornography and banned political sites. After a global and domestic uproar, the government indefinitely set aside the requirement.

In a report last fall, the European Chamber of Commerce complained that despite some positive changes, operating in China was becoming more challenging.

For instance, the Chinese government released new rules in November requiring that computer hardware, software and green technology products must be based on intellectual property that was developed and owned by Chinese companies, in order for the products to be certified for sale to Chinese agencies.

"No other country in the world has a proposal as draconian as this," said Robert Holleyman, CEO of the Business Software Alliance, a trade group for commercial software companies. "This is completely antithetical to how products are created, particularly for software, which tends to be developed on a global basis, with elements designed by teams all over the world."

"U.S. companies are finding it increasingly frustrating to do business in the Chinese market," added John Neuffer, vice president for global policy at the Information Technology Industry Council, a tech industry trade group.

Added to these recent tensions are long-standing concerns. The Business Software Alliance, for instance, estimates that 80 percent of the software used by businesses in China is pirated, meaning they are illegal copies for which no license has been paid.

And knockoff brand-name laptops are hawked on street corners in Shenzhen, fake iPhones roll off nearby assembly lines and the latest version of Microsoft's Windows operating system can be had for a lot less than its retail price.

Still, those who have operated in China for many years say the government is far more sophisticated about understanding what foreign companies need.

"I started doing business in China during the early '90s. The restrictions back then were a lot more than they are today," said Jack Jia, chief executive of Baynote, a Cupertino startup that makes search software and has operations in China. "In 1993, 70 to 80 percent of business was based on government relationships. Even business to business was done through the government."

China's strong infrastructure makes starting a business easier than other countries, said Michael Cusumano, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management who has worked in both countries.

"There is corruption in China," he said. "But it doesn't compare with the levels of corruption you see in India."

While frustrations are sure to continue, no one expects other major Silicon Valley companies to threaten to leave China as Google has done.

"When it comes to sales, it's a huge market of a billion-plus people. If you capture even a small percentage of that, you're still doing well," Santa Clara University professor Han said. "It's a market you can't ignore."

Staff writer Steve Johnson contributed to this story.

Contact John Boudreau at 408-278-3496.

Copyright © 2010 San Mateo County Times. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Media NewsGroup, Inc. by NewsBank, Inc.

Return to Top



Tech firms find China a challenging market
01/16/2010
Daily Review, The

SAN JOSE — Google's threat to leave China, after it spent millions of dollars to get a toehold in the country's enormous Internet market, underscores the promise and pitfalls of operating in the world's fastest-growing major economy.

Western companies have stampeded into the country of 1.3 billion, drawn by both a huge pool of cheap labor and the buying power of a swelling middle class. But doing business in China means dealing with rampant piracy, an intrusive government, widespread theft of intellectual property and a regulatory environment that often favors local competitors.

And while no other Western companies signaled they would follow Google's example, more are expressing frustration with business conditions in the country.

"I think there are lots of areas in which it is or will get harder to operate," said Mark Natkin, managing director of Beijing-based Marbridge Consulting.

Government intrusion varies significantly by industry. The Internet and telecommunications industries are under tight scrutiny, facing censorship of the Internet, because the technology of companies like Google can provide access to politically sensitive information.

"If you provide something they disapprove of, they'll come down on you," said Anna Han, a Santa Clara University law professor who advises American companies on doing business in China.

On the other hand, manufacturers of everything from shoes to chips can face fewer pressures and in fact are often warmly embraced. When Intel announced it was building a chip plant in the northeastern city of Dalian, government officials rolled out the red carpet with tax breaks and hand shakes.

And many companies have downplayed the problems and continue to make a huge bet on the country. Commenting on Google's charge that hackers with possible ties to the Chinese government launched cyberattacks on the search giant and at least 20 other companies, Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd told the Financial Times that "I'd hate to run off on this one example and say it's a threat to the evolution of the IT industry." He described China as "an amazing market with tremendous growth."

In 2008, Palo Alto-based HP sold more than 4.4 million PCs in China, making it the nation's second-largest computer vendor after Lenovo, according to the IDC research firm. Not long ago HP announced it planned to open its second manufacturing plant in Chongqing in the country's central-western region. In addition, a branch of HP Labs, the company's highly regarded research division, is based in Beijing.

But even PC makers ran into a roadblock last summer when the government suddenly demanded all new computers sold in China be pre-loaded with the so-called "Green Dam" Web-filtering software that would block both pornography and banned political sites. After a global and domestic uproar, the government indefinitely set aside the requirement.

In a report last fall, the European Chamber of Commerce complained that despite some positive changes, operating in China was becoming more challenging.

For instance, the Chinese government released new rules in November requiring that computer hardware, software and green technology products must be based on intellectual property that was developed and owned by Chinese companies, in order for the products to be certified for sale to Chinese agencies.

"No other country in the world has a proposal as draconian as this," said Robert Holleyman, CEO of the Business Software Alliance, a trade group for commercial software companies. "This is completely antithetical to how products are created, particularly for software, which tends to be developed on a global basis, with elements designed by teams all over the world."

"U.S. companies are finding it increasingly frustrating to do business in the Chinese market," added John Neuffer, vice president for global policy at the Information Technology Industry Council, a tech industry trade group.

Added to these recent tensions are long-standing concerns. The Business Software Alliance, for instance, estimates that 80 percent of the software used by businesses in China is pirated, meaning they are illegal copies for which no license has been paid.

And knockoff brand-name laptops are hawked on street corners in Shenzhen, fake iPhones roll off nearby assembly lines and the latest version of Microsoft's Windows operating system can be had for a lot less than its retail price.

Still, those who have operated in China for many years say the government is far more sophisticated about understanding what foreign companies need.

"I started doing business in China during the early '90s. The restrictions back then were a lot more than they are today," said Jack Jia, chief executive of Baynote, a Cupertino startup that makes search software and has operations in China. "In 1993, 70 to 80 percent of business was based on government relationships. Even business to business was done through the government."

China's strong infrastructure makes starting a business easier than other countries, said Michael Cusumano, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management who has worked in both countries.

"There is corruption in China," he said. "But it doesn't compare with the levels of corruption you see in India."

While frustrations are sure to continue, no one expects other major Silicon Valley companies to threaten to leave China as Google has done.

"When it comes to sales, it's a huge market of a billion-plus people. If you capture even a small percentage of that, you're still doing well," Santa Clara University professor Han said. "It's a market you can't ignore."

Staff writer Steve Johnson contributed to this story.

Contact John Boudreau at 408-278-3496.

Copyright © 2010 The Daily Review. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Media NewsGroup, Inc. by NewsBank, Inc.

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Tech firms find China a challenging market
01/16/2010
Argus, The

SAN JOSE — Google's threat to leave China, after it spent millions of dollars to get a toehold in the country's enormous Internet market, underscores the promise and pitfalls of operating in the world's fastest-growing major economy.

Western companies have stampeded into the country of 1.3 billion, drawn by both a huge pool of cheap labor and the buying power of a swelling middle class. But doing business in China means dealing with rampant piracy, an intrusive government, widespread theft of intellectual property and a regulatory environment that often favors local competitors.

And while no other Western companies signaled they would follow Google's example, more are expressing frustration with business conditions in the country.

"I think there are lots of areas in which it is or will get harder to operate," said Mark Natkin, managing director of Beijing-based Marbridge Consulting.

Government intrusion varies significantly by industry. The Internet and telecommunications industries are under tight scrutiny, facing censorship of the Internet, because the technology of companies like Google can provide access to politically sensitive information.

"If you provide something they disapprove of, they'll come down on you," said Anna Han, a Santa Clara University law professor who advises American companies on doing business in China.

On the other hand, manufacturers of everything from shoes to chips can face fewer pressures and in fact are often warmly embraced. When Intel announced it was building a chip plant in the northeastern city of Dalian, government officials rolled out the red carpet with tax breaks and hand shakes.

And many companies have downplayed the problems and continue to make a huge bet on the country. Commenting on Google's charge that hackers with possible ties to the Chinese government launched cyberattacks on the search giant and at least 20 other companies, Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd told the Financial Times that "I'd hate to run off on this one example and say it's a threat to the evolution of the IT industry." He described China as "an amazing market with tremendous growth."

In 2008, Palo Alto-based HP sold more than 4.4 million PCs in China, making it the nation's second-largest computer vendor after Lenovo, according to the IDC research firm. Not long ago HP announced it planned to open its second manufacturing plant in Chongqing in the country's central-western region. In addition, a branch of HP Labs, the company's highly regarded research division, is based in Beijing.

But even PC makers ran into a roadblock last summer when the government suddenly demanded all new computers sold in China be pre-loaded with the so-called "Green Dam" Web-filtering software that would block both pornography and banned political sites. After a global and domestic uproar, the government indefinitely set aside the requirement.

In a report last fall, the European Chamber of Commerce complained that despite some positive changes, operating in China was becoming more challenging.

For instance, the Chinese government released new rules in November requiring that computer hardware, software and green technology products must be based on intellectual property that was developed and owned by Chinese companies, in order for the products to be certified for sale to Chinese agencies.

"No other country in the world has a proposal as draconian as this," said Robert Holleyman, CEO of the Business Software Alliance, a trade group for commercial software companies. "This is completely antithetical to how products are created, particularly for software, which tends to be developed on a global basis, with elements designed by teams all over the world."

"U.S. companies are finding it increasingly frustrating to do business in the Chinese market," added John Neuffer, vice president for global policy at the Information Technology Industry Council, a tech industry trade group.

Added to these recent tensions are long-standing concerns. The Business Software Alliance, for instance, estimates that 80 percent of the software used by businesses in China is pirated, meaning they are illegal copies for which no license has been paid.

And knockoff brand-name laptops are hawked on street corners in Shenzhen, fake iPhones roll off nearby assembly lines and the latest version of Microsoft's Windows operating system can be had for a lot less than its retail price.

Still, those who have operated in China for many years say the government is far more sophisticated about understanding what foreign companies need.

"I started doing business in China during the early '90s. The restrictions back then were a lot more than they are today," said Jack Jia, chief executive of Baynote, a Cupertino startup that makes search software and has operations in China. "In 1993, 70 to 80 percent of business was based on government relationships. Even business to business was done through the government."

China's strong infrastructure makes starting a business easier than other countries, said Michael Cusumano, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management who has worked in both countries.

"There is corruption in China," he said. "But it doesn't compare with the levels of corruption you see in India."

While frustrations are sure to continue, no one expects other major Silicon Valley companies to threaten to leave China as Google has done.

"When it comes to sales, it's a huge market of a billion-plus people. If you capture even a small percentage of that, you're still doing well," Santa Clara University professor Han said. "It's a market you can't ignore."

Staff writer Steve Johnson contributed to this story.

Contact John Boudreau at 408-278-3496.

Copyright © 2010 The Argus. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Media NewsGroup, Inc. by NewsBank, Inc.

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Tech firms find China a challenging market
01/16/2010
Alameda Times-Star

SAN JOSE — Google's threat to leave China, after it spent millions of dollars to get a toehold in the country's enormous Internet market, underscores the promise and pitfalls of operating in the world's fastest-growing major economy.

Western companies have stampeded into the country of 1.3 billion, drawn by both a huge pool of cheap labor and the buying power of a swelling middle class. But doing business in China means dealing with rampant piracy, an intrusive government, widespread theft of intellectual property and a regulatory environment that often favors local competitors.

And while no other Western companies signaled they would follow Google's example, more are expressing frustration with business conditions in the country.

"I think there are lots of areas in which it is or will get harder to operate," said Mark Natkin, managing director of Beijing-based Marbridge Consulting.

Government intrusion varies significantly by industry. The Internet and telecommunications industries are under tight scrutiny, facing censorship of the Internet, because the technology of companies like Google can provide access to politically sensitive information.

"If you provide something they disapprove of, they'll come down on you," said Anna Han, a Santa Clara University law professor who advises American companies on doing business in China.

On the other hand, manufacturers of everything from shoes to chips can face fewer pressures and in fact are often warmly embraced. When Intel announced it was building a chip plant in the northeastern city of Dalian, government officials rolled out the red carpet with tax breaks and hand shakes.

And many companies have downplayed the problems and continue to make a huge bet on the country. Commenting on Google's charge that hackers with possible ties to the Chinese government launched cyberattacks on the search giant and at least 20 other companies, Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd told the Financial Times that "I'd hate to run off on this one example and say it's a threat to the evolution of the IT industry." He described China as "an amazing market with tremendous growth."

In 2008, Palo Alto-based HP sold more than 4.4 million PCs in China, making it the nation's second-largest computer vendor after Lenovo, according to the IDC research firm. Not long ago HP announced it planned to open its second manufacturing plant in Chongqing in the country's central-western region. In addition, a branch of HP Labs, the company's highly regarded research division, is based in Beijing.

But even PC makers ran into a roadblock last summer when the government suddenly demanded all new computers sold in China be pre-loaded with the so-called "Green Dam" Web-filtering software that would block both pornography and banned political sites. After a global and domestic uproar, the government indefinitely set aside the requirement.

In a report last fall, the European Chamber of Commerce complained that despite some positive changes, operating in China was becoming more challenging.

For instance, the Chinese government released new rules in November requiring that computer hardware, software and green technology products must be based on intellectual property that was developed and owned by Chinese companies, in order for the products to be certified for sale to Chinese agencies.

"No other country in the world has a proposal as draconian as this," said Robert Holleyman, CEO of the Business Software Alliance, a trade group for commercial software companies. "This is completely antithetical to how products are created, particularly for software, which tends to be developed on a global basis, with elements designed by teams all over the world."

"U.S. companies are finding it increasingly frustrating to do business in the Chinese market," added John Neuffer, vice president for global policy at the Information Technology Industry Council, a tech industry trade group.

Added to these recent tensions are long-standing concerns. The Business Software Alliance, for instance, estimates that 80 percent of the software used by businesses in China is pirated, meaning they are illegal copies for which no license has been paid.

And knockoff brand-name laptops are hawked on street corners in Shenzhen, fake iPhones roll off nearby assembly lines and the latest version of Microsoft's Windows operating system can be had for a lot less than its retail price.

Still, those who have operated in China for many years say the government is far more sophisticated about understanding what foreign companies need.

"I started doing business in China during the early '90s. The restrictions back then were a lot more than they are today," said Jack Jia, chief executive of Baynote, a Cupertino startup that makes search software and has operations in China. "In 1993, 70 to 80 percent of business was based on government relationships. Even business to business was done through the government."

China's strong infrastructure makes starting a business easier than other countries, said Michael Cusumano, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management who has worked in both countries.

"There is corruption in China," he said. "But it doesn't compare with the levels of corruption you see in India."

While frustrations are sure to continue, no one expects other major Silicon Valley companies to threaten to leave China as Google has done.

"When it comes to sales, it's a huge market of a billion-plus people. If you capture even a small percentage of that, you're still doing well," Santa Clara University professor Han said. "It's a market you can't ignore."

Staff writer Steve Johnson contributed to this story.

Contact John Boudreau at 408-278-3496.

Copyright © 2010 Alameda Times-Star. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Media NewsGroup, Inc. by NewsBank, Inc.

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HEATED TESTIMONY ENDS WEEK 1
01/16/2010
San Jose Mercury News

The first week of the historic Proposition 8 trial ended Friday with equal parts raw emotion and hotly debated expert testimony

The emotion came from Helen Zia, a San Francisco-based writer who married her partner, Lia, in 2008, making it down the aisle a few months before voters restored California's ban on same-sex weddings through Proposition 8. And the expert testimony came from glib Cambridge University professor Michael Lamb, who vouched for the ability of same-sex couples to raise children.

The daylong testimony symbolized the nature of the plaintiffs' approach all week in the bid to overturn Proposition 8 in the first trial ever held in federal court involving a challenge to a state's right to outlaw same-sex marriage.

All week, the trial was a blend of first-person accounts from gays and lesbians who recounted discrimination against their relationships, and the testimony of experts called to explore everything from the economic impact of denying same-sex marriage to the merits of gay parenting.

Witnesses faced aggressive questioning from Proposition 8's defense team, which depicted them as inconsistent and biased in favor of gay marriage. Andrew Pugno, Proposition 8's counsel, took particular aim at the experts, saying there was a "trend" of putting on professors "in favor of homosexual marriage."

But in a phone interview Friday with the Mercury News, Jeff Zarrillo and Paul Katami, one of the two couples challenging the initiative, said they were confident after watching much of the first week of trial. And they were emotionally drained from the proceedings, which included their own testimony on being gay and trying to marry.

"As much as you want to mentally and emotionally prepare for this, there is no preparation for it," said Katami, a Santa Clara University graduate now living in Burbank with Zarrillo

Added Zarrillo, "I don't think about losing. I think we are on the right side of the law and the right side of history."

Meanwhile, Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker allowed Zia's testimony over the objections of Proposition 8 lawyers, who argued it was irrelevant and amounted to the isolated account of just one married lesbian instead of scientific evidence.

Zia described the rejection of losing her first marriage license in 2004, when San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom's licensing was blocked by the courts, and the later importance of the right to marry again.

"In those most-important moments in our lives, marriage made it very clear we are family and where we stand," Zia testified.

Lamb's stay on the witness stand far exceeded any of the witnesses so far, primarily because he was subjected to four hours of hostile cross-examination from Proposition 8 attorney David Thompson. The confrontation was not surprising: Lamb was called to recount his research showing that same-sex couples are equally able to raise children as heterosexual couples, a theory that goes to the heart of a central defense of Proposition 8.

Supporters of the gay marriage ban insist that same-sex marriage threatens traditional marriage and children being raised by their biological parents. But Lamb said that was wrong.

"Having gay and lesbian parents does not make children more likely to be maladjusted than children raised by heterosexual couples," Lamb testified.

The trial resumes Tuesday with a lineup of witnesses likely to include controversial Proposition 8 proponent William Tam and San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, a Republican former police chief who switched positions and came out in favor of same-sex marriage. The plaintiffs say they will rest their case Wednesday.

Contact Howard Mintz at 408-286-0236.

Copyright © 2010 San Jose Mercury News

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THE GROUP BASED AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY HAS TAKEN
01/15/2010
NBC Bay Area News at 11 PM Weekend - KNTV-TV

DNA TESTING. IT'S BEEN A GODSEND FOR SOME. CONVICTED OF CRIMES THEY DID NOT COMMIT. A DNA TEST HAS SET THEM FREE. BUT WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE STATE REFUSES THAT TEST? AS NBC SHOWS, SOME THINK A DOOR TO FREEDOM IS BEING CLOSED. Reporter: IT IS AN OLD CASE WITH THE POTENTIAL TO BREAK NEW GROUND IN THE FIGHT TO FREE THE WRONGLY CONVICTED. THIS IS THE FIRST TIME THIS ISSUE HAS COME UP IN CALIFORNIA. Reporter: RHONDA DANOTO IS THE ATTORNEY WITH THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA INNOCENCE PROJECT. THE GROUP BASED AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY HAS TAKEN UP THE CASE OF JACK EDWARD SAGAN, ACCUSED OF STABBING TO DEATH A 40-YEAR-OLD WOMAN IN HER MONTERREY APARTMENT IN JULY OF 1985. BASED LARGELY ON THE TESTIMONY OF TWO JAILHOUSE INFORMANTS, A JURY SAID HE DID IT. WE DON'T BELIEVE HE DID. IN THIS CASE, MR. SAGAN WAS CONVICTED BASED ON NO PHYSICAL EVIDENCE THAT TIES HIM TO THE SCENE. Reporter: WHICH IS NOT TO SAY THERE WASN'T ANY PHYSICAL EVIDENCE. THE DNA OF FOUR DIFFERENT MEN WAS FOUND AT THE SCENE. THE INNOCENCE PROJECT SUCCESSFULLY FOUGHT TO GET THE CASE REOPENED, AND THOSE SAMPLES TESTED. THE ANSWER CAME BACK THAT MR. SAGAN'S DNA IS NOT LOCATED IN ANY PORTION OF THE CRIME SCENE. WHOSE DNA IS? THAT'S WHAT WE WANT TO KNOW. Reporter: AND THAT IS WHY THEY NOW UPON THOSE SAMPLES RUN AGAINST THE STATE DNA DATA BASE. IT'S A SIMPLE COMPUTER SEARCH. Reporter: TO SEE IF ANY MATCHES POP UP. A JUDGE AGREED AND ORDERED THE TEST TO TAKE PLACE, BUT THE MONTERREY COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE IS RESISTING SAYING THE DNA TESTING LAW AS IT NOW STANDS WON'T ALLOW IT. AS FAR AS I KNOW NO COURT HAS EVER ORDERED THIS TO TAKE PLACE. Reporter: FIRST OFF, THEY SAY, WITHOUT OTHER EVIDENCE THE DNA ONLY TELLS THEM SO MUCH. NO MATTER WHAT DNA IS DETERMINED TO BELONG TO WHOEVER, IT'S NOT GOING TO CHANGE THE BASIC EVIDENCE IN THIS CASE. THE BASIC EVIDENCE THAT WAS USED TO CONVICT MR. SAGAN. Reporter: BUT THE D. 'S OFFICE SAYS THE MAIN REASON FOR OPPOSING THIS ORDER IS MUCH MORE FUNDAMENTAL. THEY SAY IT WOULD SET A BAD PRECEDENT FOR COURTS TO ACTUALLY DICTATE TO THE DA HOW TO HANDLE A CASE. THEY SAY WHILE THE WORK OF THE NORTHERN CALIFORNIA INNOCENCE PROJECT MAY IS BEEN KEY IN REOPENING THIS INVESTIGATION, THAT DOESN'T MEAN THEY NOW GET TO RUN THE INVESTIGATION. WHY SHOULDN'T THE COURT JUST ORDER US TO GO AND QUESTION MARRIED PEOPLE? WHY SHOULDN'T THE COURT ORDER US TO GO ASSIGN INVESTIGATORS AND AND BEGIN TO QUESTION PEOPLE THAT THE INNOCENCE PROJECT WOULD LIKE QUESTIONED? Reporter: THE INNOCENCE PROJECT, THOUGH, SAYS THIS IS NOT ABOUT RUNNING THE CASE. IT'S ABOUT FINDING THE TRUTH. WE THINK THAT THE COMMUNITY WANTS TO KNOW IF THERE IS POSSIBLY THE PERSON WHO COMMITTED THIS HORRIBLE CRIME STILL FREE IN THEIR COMMUNITY. Reporter: AND IF THE ONE MAN WHO DIDN'T NEED TO BE FREE. GARVIN THOMAS, NBC BAY AREA NEWS. THE MONTERREY COUNTY DA HAS APPEALED THE JUDGE'S RULING.

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THE GROUP BASED AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY HAS TAKEN
01/15/2010
NBC Bay Area News at 11 PM - KNTV-TV

DNA TESTING. IT'S BEEN A GODSEND FOR SOME. CONVICTED OF CRIMES THEY DID NOT COMMIT. A DNA TEST HAS SET THEM FREE. BUT WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE STATE REFUSES THAT TEST? AS NBC SHOWS, SOME THINK A DOOR TO FREEDOM IS BEING CLOSED. Reporter: IT IS AN OLD CASE WITH THE POTENTIAL TO BREAK NEW GROUND IN THE FIGHT TO FREE THE WRONGLY CONVICTED. THIS IS THE FIRST TIME THIS ISSUE HAS COME UP IN CALIFORNIA. Reporter: RHONDA DANOTO IS THE ATTORNEY WITH THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA INNOCENCE PROJECT. THE GROUP BASED AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY HAS TAKEN UP THE CASE OF JACK EDWARD SAGAN, ACCUSED OF STABBING TO DEATH A 40-YEAR-OLD WOMAN IN HER MONTERREY APARTMENT IN JULY OF 1985. BASED LARGELY ON THE TESTIMONY OF TWO JAILHOUSE INFORMANTS, A JURY SAID HE DID IT. WE DON'T BELIEVE HE DID. IN THIS CASE, MR. SAGAN WAS CONVICTED BASED ON NO PHYSICAL EVIDENCE THAT TIES HIM TO THE SCENE. Reporter: WHICH IS NOT TO SAY THERE WASN'T ANY PHYSICAL EVIDENCE. THE DNA OF FOUR DIFFERENT MEN WAS FOUND AT THE SCENE. THE INNOCENCE PROJECT SUCCESSFULLY FOUGHT TO GET THE CASE REOPENED, AND THOSE SAMPLES TESTED. THE ANSWER CAME BACK THAT MR. SAGAN'S DNA IS NOT LOCATED IN ANY PORTION OF THE CRIME SCENE. WHOSE DNA IS? THAT'S WHAT WE WANT TO KNOW. Reporter: AND THAT IS WHY THEY NOW UPON THOSE SAMPLES RUN AGAINST THE STATE DNA DATA BASE. IT'S A SIMPLE COMPUTER SEARCH. Reporter: TO SEE IF ANY MATCHES POP UP. A JUDGE AGREED AND ORDERED THE TEST TO TAKE PLACE, BUT THE MONTERREY COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE IS RESISTING SAYING THE DNA TESTING LAW AS IT NOW STANDS WON'T ALLOW IT. AS FAR AS I KNOW NO COURT HAS EVER ORDERED THIS TO TAKE PLACE. Reporter: FIRST OFF, THEY SAY, WITHOUT OTHER EVIDENCE THE DNA ONLY TELLS THEM SO MUCH. NO MATTER WHAT DNA IS DETERMINED TO BELONG TO WHOEVER, IT'S NOT GOING TO CHANGE THE BASIC EVIDENCE IN THIS CASE. THE BASIC EVIDENCE THAT WAS USED TO CONVICT MR. SAGAN. Reporter: BUT THE D. 'S OFFICE SAYS THE MAIN REASON FOR OPPOSING THIS ORDER IS MUCH MORE FUNDAMENTAL. THEY SAY IT WOULD SET A BAD PRECEDENT FOR COURTS TO ACTUALLY DICTATE TO THE DA HOW TO HANDLE A CASE. THEY SAY WHILE THE WORK OF THE NORTHERN CALIFORNIA INNOCENCE PROJECT MAY IS BEEN KEY IN REOPENING THIS INVESTIGATION, THAT DOESN'T MEAN THEY NOW GET TO RUN THE INVESTIGATION. WHY SHOULDN'T THE COURT JUST ORDER US TO GO AND QUESTION MARRIED PEOPLE? WHY SHOULDN'T THE COURT ORDER US TO GO ASSIGN INVESTIGATORS AND AND BEGIN TO QUESTION PEOPLE THAT THE INNOCENCE PROJECT WOULD LIKE QUESTIONED? Reporter: THE INNOCENCE PROJECT, THOUGH, SAYS THIS IS NOT ABOUT RUNNING THE CASE. IT'S ABOUT FINDING THE TRUTH. WE THINK THAT THE COMMUNITY WANTS TO KNOW IF THERE IS POSSIBLY THE PERSON WHO COMMITTED THIS HORRIBLE CRIME STILL FREE IN THEIR COMMUNITY. Reporter: AND IF THE ONE MAN WHO DIDN'T NEED TO BE FREE. GARVIN THOMAS, NBC BAY AREA NEWS. THE MONTERREY COUNTY DA HAS APPEALED THE JUDGE'S RULING.

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SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY MAKING IT EASIER FOR STUDENTS TO GET AROUND. | View Clip
01/15/2010
CBS 5 Eyewitness News at 5 AM - KPIX-TV

SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY MAKING IT EASIER FOR STUDENTS TO GET AROUND. YESTERDAY, THE CAMPUS LAUNCHED THE CAR SHARING SERVICE ZIPCAR. STUDENTS 18 AND OVER CAN RENT THEIR CHOICE OF TWO CARS FOR $8 AN HOUR. GAS AND INSURANCE ARE INCLUDED. AND IF ANYONE FORGETS WHERE THE CAR IS PARKED, THE COMPANY SAYS THERE IS AN APP FOR THAT. iPHONE APP THAT YOU WALK INTO A LOT AND YOU CAN'T FIND YOUR ZIPCAR, YOU PUSH THE BUT THE TONIGHT ON THE iPHONE APP AND YOUR CAR HONKS. LIKE WOW, THERE IT IS, YOU KNOW? IT'S JUST REALLY COOL TECHNOLOGY. YEAH. [ LAUGHTER ] THE UNIVERSITY SAYS IT HOPES THE ZIPCAR OPTION WILL CUT DOWN PARKING AND TRAFFIC CONGESTION ON CAMPUS.

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SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY MAKING IT EASIER FOR STUDENTS TO GET AROUND.
01/15/2010
CBS 5 Eyewitness News at 5 AM - KPIX-TV

SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY MAKING IT EASIER FOR STUDENTS TO GET AROUND. YESTERDAY, THE CAMPUS LAUNCHED THE CAR SHARING SERVICE ZIPCAR. STUDENTS 18 AND OVER CAN RENT THEIR CHOICE OF TWO CARS FOR $8 AN HOUR. GAS AND INSURANCE ARE INCLUDED. AND IF ANYONE FORGETS WHERE THE CAR IS PARKED, THE COMPANY SAYS THERE IS AN APP FOR THAT. iPHONE APP THAT YOU WALK INTO A LOT AND YOU CAN'T FIND YOUR ZIPCAR, YOU PUSH THE BUT THE TONIGHT ON THE iPHONE APP AND YOUR CAR HONKS. LIKE WOW, THERE IT IS, YOU KNOW? IT'S JUST REALLY COOL TECHNOLOGY. YEAH. [ LAUGHTER ] THE UNIVERSITY SAYS IT HOPES THE ZIPCAR OPTION WILL CUT DOWN PARKING AND TRAFFIC CONGESTION ON CAMPUS.

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Why We Need a Federal Solution
01/15/2010
San Francisco Daily Journal

DAILY JOURNAL NEWSWIRE ARTICLE
http://www.dailyjournal.com
© 2010 The Daily Journal Corporation.
All rights reserved.
-------------------------------------------
WHY WE NEED A FEDERAL SOLUTION

By Patricia Cain

The same-sex marriage trial of the century began in San Francisco on Monday, January 11. The case, Perry v. Schwarzenegger, challenges the constitutionality of California's anti-gay-marriage Proposition 8 under the federal constitution. The reason I call this the same-sex marriage trial of the century is that, if the plaintiffs in this case are ultimately successful, the case will lead to a federal solution to a mounting problem that has left same-sex married couples in the surreal position of gaining and losing rights each time they drive across state lines in their own country.

This problem is caused by the hodge podge of laws in the 50 states for recognizing same-sex unions. Such problems historically have been solved by a U..S. Supreme Court opinion that construed the federal constitution to provide a uniform rule of law for the country - something the parties in Perry are gunning for. While I share the doubts of many lesbian- and gay-rights lawyers that the Supreme Court will ultimately rule that same sex marriages are constitutionally required, that is precisely what sound legal logic would dictate is needed.

For almost 20 years lesbian and gay rights activists have been litigating and lobbying, state by state, for marriage equality. Movement lawyers have resisted making these marriage equality claims in federal court, fearing that the U.S. Supreme Court is not yet prepared to rule broadly in favor of extending marriage to same-sex couples. As a result of this state-by-state strategy, we now live in a country that is a virtual patchwork quilt of status recognition laws.

Five states currently authorize and recognize same-sex marriages. California, home of the Perry litigation, recognizes some same-sex marriages, those performed before Proposition 8 took effect, including valid marriages from other states. One state, New York, recognizes valid foreign same-sex marriages, but does not authorize such marriages under New York law. The District of Columbia also recognizes valid foreign same-sex marriages and recently authorized same-sex marriages performed within its borders, a law that will become effective upon inaction by Congress, which many predict is likely. And New Mexico sometimes recognizes valid foreign same-sex marriages for some purposes.

At least five states (including California) recognize some alternative status (domestic partner or civil union) that is equivalent to marriage. Five more states recognize an alternative status that provides some of the benefits and responsibilities of marriage. And bills creating civil union and domestic partner status continue to be introduced and moved forward in a number of other states.

Despite this recent trend in favor of state recognition of same-sex relationships, however, early campaigns by marriage equality opponents have left many states with state constitutional amendments that prevent state courts and legislatures from according any rights to same-sex couples. For example, the Michigan constitutional amendment prevents recognition of same-sex relationships for any purpose and has been construed by the Michigan Supreme Court to ban domestic partner health benefits at state colleges and universities. Virginia has a state law that makes it questionable whether contracts between same-sex couples can be enforced.

This legal patchwork creates huge problems for a mobile society. As a general rule, opposite-sex marriages valid in any state are recognized in other states. But a same-sex couple married in Massachusetts, vacationing in Virginia, can be stripped of all state-provided marital protections when they cross the state line. If one of the spouses is killed in an automobile accident in Virginia, the surviving spouse would not have the ability to recover damages under the Virginia wrongful death statute. We need a federal solution to this problem because the states cannot agree.

Of course the federal government has not been a leader in the area of protecting lesbian and gay couples. In 1996, Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act, providing that the federal government will not recognize same-sex marriages for purposes of federal law. As a result, married couples are treated as strangers to each other for purposes of taxation, social security, immigration, and a host of other federal laws.

This approach creates some strange results. For example, a same-sex married couple, treated by the Internal Revenue Code as two single individuals, is often entitled to twice the benefits as married couples. Check the law on adoption tax credits and mortgage interest deductions and you'll see the irony. But if the Defense of Marriage Act is repealed (as the Obama administration supports), the federal government will then have to deal with the patchwork quilt of recognition laws across the country. Which same-sex marriages should federal law honor? Only those of couples residing in states that recognize the marriages? And why shouldn't federal law recognize marriage equivalents such as civil unions and domestic partnerships? We need a federal answer to these questions and we need it soon.

Can Congress provide a federal solution, a uniform rule about family recognition? Many legal scholars think not. The creation of domestic relations law has been traditionally relegated to state legislatures. Congress has limited powers and there is nothing, other than a broad reading of the commerce clause, that might justify a federal definition of marriage or family.

Therefore, the best, and perhaps only, route for a federal solution to this problem is for the U.S. Supreme Court to constitutionalize the rights of same-sex couples to have their relationships recognized at the state level.

When the case reaches the Supreme Court, assuming it grants the writ of certiorari that inevitably will be requested by whichever party loses at the 9th Circuit level, it will be faced with an equality question and a liberty question under the 14th Amendment. If the equality question is treated seriously, as I think it should be, then the Court would extend equal marriage rights to same-sex couples, thereby creating a uniform rule for the entire country. But even if the Court minimizes the equality claim, it will nonetheless need to address the liberty claim. The liberty question is whether or not same-sex couples have a constitutionally protected right to have their relationships recognized by the states. I believe they do and I believe that right is called "marriage."

But if lesbian and gay rights legal activists are right that any such constitutional validation of same-sex relationships is unlikely given the current Supreme Court make-up - this is the court, after all, which voted 5 to 4 to ban live broadcasts of the Perry trial - then the Court will more likely retain the status quo.

Anything short of full marriage equality is unlikely to provide us with the necessary federal solution. And just as it was in the case of segregated schools and interracial marriages, we need a federal solution here. We need a positive Supreme Court opinion to create that federal solution. The clearest federal solution would be a ruling in favor of same sex marriage. The Perry case carries that promise. That is why it may be the marriage trial of the century.

Patricia A. Cain is the Inez Mabie Distinguished Professor of Law, Santa Clara University. She is married to her same-sex partner of 26 years, Jean C. Love.

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Playwright Athol Fugard still fighting injustice in South Africa
01/15/2010
Tri-Valley Herald

Athol Fugard made his name as the bard of apartheid.

The South African playwright, who now lives in San Diego, exposed the racial oppression of his homeland in a series of emotionally shattering plays. From "Blood Knot" (1961, revised 1987) to " 'Master Harold'... and the Boys" (1982), Fugard's work changed the way many viewed apartheid. Although his works often were banned in his homeland, in 1985 Time magazine dubbed him "the greatest active playwright in the English-speaking world." He is regarded as a towering figure in the realm of political theater.

"Fugard is a giant. He's a quintessential artist because he's got the courage to hold that mirror up to his fellow countrymen," says Aldo Billingslea, drama professor at Santa Clara University.

"Fugard's plays discover the deepest truths of human relations in the slightest moments of everyday life, the mopping of a floor, the lighting of a candle, the scratching of chalk on a blackboard; just listen closely and you'll hear the breaking of a heart," says Robert Kelley, artistic director of TheatreWorks.

Struggle continues

The playwright is still bearing witness to ordinary South Africans' struggle to survive, despite sweeping political changes. In "Coming Home," now in its West Coast premiere at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, he revisits the lost souls he introduced in the lyrical "Valley Song" (1995) and illustrates that the end of apartheid in 1994 did not mark an end to injustice and suffering.

"When Nelson Mandela was let out of jail (after 27 years Feb. 11, 1990), there was such hope," remembers soft-spoken Fugard, 77, speaking by phone from his home in San Diego, where he has lived and taught for many years. "I wrote 'Valley Song' out of hope for my country, the hope that we might be able to redeem our past and become a moral example for the world. All of the politicians made great big promises that never materialized, and the hope started to unravel into regret."

"Coming Home" is set in a remote village in the South African desert region of Karoo, where Fugard grew up. It was there he first met Veronica, a girl with a frayed cotton dress and a voice sweeter than honey. She was always singing, lightening the air, until the day she went off to seek her fortune in Cape Town. She vanished and was never heard from again.

"That is the tragedy of so many young people in South Africa — they get swallowed up in the big city, in the desperation and the slums and the drugs, and they never come back," says Fugard, who is of English-Irish and Afrikaner descent.

Veronica inspired "Valley Song," which Berkeley Rep first produced in 1998, starring an incandescent Anika Noni Rose. In "Coming Home," Fugard imagines what might have happened if Veronica actually had made it back to Karoo.

Ghosts of apartheid

Whenever the playwright returns home, he sees the ghosts of an earlier era. "The wreckage of the past is vast; it's there all around us," he says. "You can't escape it."

In his newest play, "The Train Driver," a black woman is so demoralized by her lot in life that she stands on a train track with her children and waits to be pulverized.

Despite his dark writings, Fugard himself has never been one to give in to despair. "I don't see the story of South Africa as a tragedy," he says. "It is sobering, but progress is being made."

The optimism in his nature may be why he takes pains to re-imagine Veronica's fate in "Coming Home," where she returns to the family farm. Her spirit may be crushed, her big dreams turned to dust, but she clings to the belief that she will be redeemed through her son, Mannetjie, whom Fugard modeled on his own grandchild.

"I owed it to Veronica to return to her story," says the playwright, who confesses the wrenching drama was hard to write. "My heart has been broken before many times over the years, telling these stories."

Grappling with life's pain has always been worth it, though, for Fugard, who long has had faith that theater in South Africa could "pave the way for change."

In "Coming Home," the specter of racism still looms large, as does the devastation of AIDS. Once Veronica contracts the disease during her dark time in the city, her days are numbered. Medicine is so prohibitively expensive it may as well not exist in Karoo.

The situation angers Fugard. "An appalling lack of action on the part of the government — the corruption in South Africa puts Washington to shame — has led to incalculable suffering," the playwright says. "Now we have a whole generation of HIV-positive babies to reckon with."

"Many of the issues" raised by Fugard "still have to be dealt with," Billingslea says. "The scourge of AIDS also demands our attention."

Fugard frequently ventures back and forth between San Diego and South Africa (where he will soon direct a production of "The Train Driver"). He senses echoes of his homeland in this country. "There's a very raw and generous quality to life in South Africa that is similar to life here," he says, "and yet looking at South Africa from a distance is a sobering experience, much like looking at America from a distance."

No matter how sad Veronica's story becomes in "Coming Home," Fugard ends the play on a note of hope. He, like little Mannetjie, has faith in the future.

"Children are the seeds of hope; they are the only hope of any society," he says. "I hope that people come away from the play with a reverence for life, the fragility of life."

THEATER PREVIEW* WHAT: Berkeley Repertory Theatre Company presents "Coming Home," by Athol Fugard* WHEN: Now in previews, opens 8 p.m. Wednesday and plays Tuesdays-Sundays through Feb. 28* WHERE: Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Thrust Stage, 2025 Addison St., Berkeley* TICKETS: $13.50-$86; 510-647-2949, www.berkeley

rep.org

Copyright © 2010 Tri-Valley Herald. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Media NewsGroup, Inc. by NewsBank, Inc.

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Playwright Athol Fugard still fighting injustice in South Africa
01/15/2010
San Mateo County Times

Athol Fugard made his name as the bard of apartheid.

The South African playwright, who now lives in San Diego, exposed the racial oppression of his homeland in a series of emotionally shattering plays. From "Blood Knot" (1961, revised 1987) to " 'Master Harold'... and the Boys" (1982), Fugard's work changed the way many viewed apartheid. Although his works often were banned in his homeland, in 1985 Time magazine dubbed him "the greatest active playwright in the English-speaking world." He is regarded as a towering figure in the realm of political theater.

"Fugard is a giant. He's a quintessential artist because he's got the courage to hold that mirror up to his fellow countrymen," says Aldo Billingslea, drama professor at Santa Clara University.

"Fugard's plays discover the deepest truths of human relations in the slightest moments of everyday life, the mopping of a floor, the lighting of a candle, the scratching of chalk on a blackboard; just listen closely and you'll hear the breaking of a heart," says Robert Kelley, artistic director of TheatreWorks.

Struggle continues

The playwright is still bearing witness to ordinary South Africans' struggle to survive, despite sweeping political changes. In "Coming Home," now in its West Coast premiere at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, he revisits the lost souls he introduced in the lyrical "Valley Song" (1995) and illustrates that the end of apartheid in 1994 did not mark an end to injustice and suffering.

"When Nelson Mandela was let out of jail (after 27 years Feb. 11, 1990), there was such hope," remembers soft-spoken Fugard, 77, speaking by phone from his home in San Diego, where he has lived and taught for many years. "I wrote 'Valley Song' out of hope for my country, the hope that we might be able to redeem our past and become a moral example for the world. All of the politicians made great big promises that never materialized, and the hope started to unravel into regret."

"Coming Home" is set in a remote village in the South African desert region of Karoo, where Fugard grew up. It was there he first met Veronica, a girl with a frayed cotton dress and a voice sweeter than honey. She was always singing, lightening the air, until the day she went off to seek her fortune in Cape Town. She vanished and was never heard from again.

"That is the tragedy of so many young people in South Africa — they get swallowed up in the big city, in the desperation and the slums and the drugs, and they never come back," says Fugard, who is of English-Irish and Afrikaner descent.

Veronica inspired "Valley Song," which Berkeley Rep first produced in 1998, starring an incandescent Anika Noni Rose. In "Coming Home," Fugard imagines what might have happened if Veronica actually had made it back to Karoo.

Ghosts of apartheid

Whenever the playwright returns home, he sees the ghosts of an earlier era. "The wreckage of the past is vast; it's there all around us," he says. "You can't escape it."

In his newest play, "The Train Driver," a black woman is so demoralized by her lot in life that she stands on a train track with her children and waits to be pulverized.

Despite his dark writings, Fugard himself has never been one to give in to despair. "I don't see the story of South Africa as a tragedy," he says. "It is sobering, but progress is being made."

The optimism in his nature may be why he takes pains to re-imagine Veronica's fate in "Coming Home," where she returns to the family farm. Her spirit may be crushed, her big dreams turned to dust, but she clings to the belief that she will be redeemed through her son, Mannetjie, whom Fugard modeled on his own grandchild.

"I owed it to Veronica to return to her story," says the playwright, who confesses the wrenching drama was hard to write. "My heart has been broken before many times over the years, telling these stories."

Grappling with life's pain has always been worth it, though, for Fugard, who long has had faith that theater in South Africa could "pave the way for change."

In "Coming Home," the specter of racism still looms large, as does the devastation of AIDS. Once Veronica contracts the disease during her dark time in the city, her days are numbered. Medicine is so prohibitively expensive it may as well not exist in Karoo.

The situation angers Fugard. "An appalling lack of action on the part of the government — the corruption in South Africa puts Washington to shame — has led to incalculable suffering," the playwright says. "Now we have a whole generation of HIV-positive babies to reckon with."

"Many of the issues" raised by Fugard "still have to be dealt with," Billingslea says. "The scourge of AIDS also demands our attention."

Fugard frequently ventures back and forth between San Diego and South Africa (where he will soon direct a production of "The Train Driver"). He senses echoes of his homeland in this country. "There's a very raw and generous quality to life in South Africa that is similar to life here," he says, "and yet looking at South Africa from a distance is a sobering experience, much like looking at America from a distance."

No matter how sad Veronica's story becomes in "Coming Home," Fugard ends the play on a note of hope. He, like little Mannetjie, has faith in the future.

"Children are the seeds of hope; they are the only hope of any society," he says. "I hope that people come away from the play with a reverence for life, the fragility of life."

THEATER PREVIEW* WHAT: Berkeley Repertory Theatre Company presents "Coming Home," by Athol Fugard* WHEN: Now in previews, opens 8 p.m. Wednesday and plays Tuesdays-Sundays through Feb. 28* WHERE: Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Thrust Stage, 2025 Addison St., Berkeley* TICKETS: $13.50-$86; 510-647-2949, www.berkeley

rep.org

Copyright © 2010 San Mateo County Times. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Media NewsGroup, Inc. by NewsBank, Inc.

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Playwright Athol Fugard still fighting injustice in South Africa
01/15/2010
Oakland Tribune

Athol Fugard made his name as the bard of apartheid.

The South African playwright, who now lives in San Diego, exposed the racial oppression of his homeland in a series of emotionally shattering plays. From "Blood Knot" (1961, revised 1987) to " 'Master Harold'... and the Boys" (1982), Fugard's work changed the way many viewed apartheid. Although his works often were banned in his homeland, in 1985 Time magazine dubbed him "the greatest active playwright in the English-speaking world." He is regarded as a towering figure in the realm of political theater.

"Fugard is a giant. He's a quintessential artist because he's got the courage to hold that mirror up to his fellow countrymen," says Aldo Billingslea, drama professor at Santa Clara University.

"Fugard's plays discover the deepest truths of human relations in the slightest moments of everyday life, the mopping of a floor, the lighting of a candle, the scratching of chalk on a blackboard; just listen closely and you'll hear the breaking of a heart," says Robert Kelley, artistic director of TheatreWorks.

Struggle continues

The playwright is still bearing witness to ordinary South Africans' struggle to survive, despite sweeping political changes. In "Coming Home," now in its West Coast premiere at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, he revisits the lost souls he introduced in the lyrical "Valley Song" (1995) and illustrates that the end of apartheid in 1994 did not mark an end to injustice and suffering.

"When Nelson Mandela was let out of jail (after 27 years Feb. 11, 1990), there was such hope," remembers soft-spoken Fugard, 77, speaking by phone from his home in San Diego, where he has lived and taught for many years. "I wrote 'Valley Song' out of hope for my country, the hope that we might be able to redeem our past and become a moral example for the world. All of the politicians made great big promises that never materialized, and the hope started to unravel into regret."

"Coming Home" is set in a remote village in the South African desert region of Karoo, where Fugard grew up. It was there he first met Veronica, a girl with a frayed cotton dress and a voice sweeter than honey. She was always singing, lightening the air, until the day she went off to seek her fortune in Cape Town. She vanished and was never heard from again.

"That is the tragedy of so many young people in South Africa — they get swallowed up in the big city, in the desperation and the slums and the drugs, and they never come back," says Fugard, who is of English-Irish and Afrikaner descent.

Veronica inspired "Valley Song," which Berkeley Rep first produced in 1998, starring an incandescent Anika Noni Rose. In "Coming Home," Fugard imagines what might have happened if Veronica actually had made it back to Karoo.

Ghosts of apartheid

Whenever the playwright returns home, he sees the ghosts of an earlier era. "The wreckage of the past is vast; it's there all around us," he says. "You can't escape it."

In his newest play, "The Train Driver," a black woman is so demoralized by her lot in life that she stands on a train track with her children and waits to be pulverized.

Despite his dark writings, Fugard himself has never been one to give in to despair. "I don't see the story of South Africa as a tragedy," he says. "It is sobering, but progress is being made."

The optimism in his nature may be why he takes pains to re-imagine Veronica's fate in "Coming Home," where she returns to the family farm. Her spirit may be crushed, her big dreams turned to dust, but she clings to the belief that she will be redeemed through her son, Mannetjie, whom Fugard modeled on his own grandchild.

"I owed it to Veronica to return to her story," says the playwright, who confesses the wrenching drama was hard to write. "My heart has been broken before many times over the years, telling these stories."

Grappling with life's pain has always been worth it, though, for Fugard, who long has had faith that theater in South Africa could "pave the way for change."

In "Coming Home," the specter of racism still looms large, as does the devastation of AIDS. Once Veronica contracts the disease during her dark time in the city, her days are numbered. Medicine is so prohibitively expensive it may as well not exist in Karoo.

The situation angers Fugard. "An appalling lack of action on the part of the government — the corruption in South Africa puts Washington to shame — has led to incalculable suffering," the playwright says. "Now we have a whole generation of HIV-positive babies to reckon with."

"Many of the issues" raised by Fugard "still have to be dealt with," Billingslea says. "The scourge of AIDS also demands our attention."

Fugard frequently ventures back and forth between San Diego and South Africa (where he will soon direct a production of "The Train Driver"). He senses echoes of his homeland in this country. "There's a very raw and generous quality to life in South Africa that is similar to life here," he says, "and yet looking at South Africa from a distance is a sobering experience, much like looking at America from a distance."

No matter how sad Veronica's story becomes in "Coming Home," Fugard ends the play on a note of hope. He, like little Mannetjie, has faith in the future.

"Children are the seeds of hope; they are the only hope of any society," he says. "I hope that people come away from the play with a reverence for life, the fragility of life."

THEATER PREVIEW* WHAT: Berkeley Repertory Theatre Company presents "Coming Home," by Athol Fugard* WHEN: Now in previews, opens 8 p.m. Wednesday and plays Tuesdays-Sundays through Feb. 28* WHERE: Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Thrust Stage, 2025 Addison St., Berkeley* TICKETS: $13.50-$86; 510-647-2949, www.berkeley

rep.org

Copyright © 2010 The Oakland Tribune. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Media NewsGroup, Inc. by NewsBank, Inc.

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Playwright Athol Fugard still fighting injustice in South Africa
01/15/2010
Daily Review, The

Athol Fugard made his name as the bard of apartheid.

The South African playwright, who now lives in San Diego, exposed the racial oppression of his homeland in a series of emotionally shattering plays. From "Blood Knot" (1961, revised 1987) to " 'Master Harold'... and the Boys" (1982), Fugard's work changed the way many viewed apartheid. Although his works often were banned in his homeland, in 1985 Time magazine dubbed him "the greatest active playwright in the English-speaking world." He is regarded as a towering figure in the realm of political theater.

"Fugard is a giant. He's a quintessential artist because he's got the courage to hold that mirror up to his fellow countrymen," says Aldo Billingslea, drama professor at Santa Clara University.

"Fugard's plays discover the deepest truths of human relations in the slightest moments of everyday life, the mopping of a floor, the lighting of a candle, the scratching of chalk on a blackboard; just listen closely and you'll hear the breaking of a heart," says Robert Kelley, artistic director of TheatreWorks.

Struggle continues

The playwright is still bearing witness to ordinary South Africans' struggle to survive, despite sweeping political changes. In "Coming Home," now in its West Coast premiere at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, he revisits the lost souls he introduced in the lyrical "Valley Song" (1995) and illustrates that the end of apartheid in 1994 did not mark an end to injustice and suffering.

"When Nelson Mandela was let out of jail (after 27 years Feb. 11, 1990), there was such hope," remembers soft-spoken Fugard, 77, speaking by phone from his home in San Diego, where he has lived and taught for many years. "I wrote 'Valley Song' out of hope for my country, the hope that we might be able to redeem our past and become a moral example for the world. All of the politicians made great big promises that never materialized, and the hope started to unravel into regret."

"Coming Home" is set in a remote village in the South African desert region of Karoo, where Fugard grew up. It was there he first met Veronica, a girl with a frayed cotton dress and a voice sweeter than honey. She was always singing, lightening the air, until the day she went off to seek her fortune in Cape Town. She vanished and was never heard from again.

"That is the tragedy of so many young people in South Africa — they get swallowed up in the big city, in the desperation and the slums and the drugs, and they never come back," says Fugard, who is of English-Irish and Afrikaner descent.

Veronica inspired "Valley Song," which Berkeley Rep first produced in 1998, starring an incandescent Anika Noni Rose. In "Coming Home," Fugard imagines what might have happened if Veronica actually had made it back to Karoo.

Ghosts of apartheid

Whenever the playwright returns home, he sees the ghosts of an earlier era. "The wreckage of the past is vast; it's there all around us," he says. "You can't escape it."

In his newest play, "The Train Driver," a black woman is so demoralized by her lot in life that she stands on a train track with her children and waits to be pulverized.

Despite his dark writings, Fugard himself has never been one to give in to despair. "I don't see the story of South Africa as a tragedy," he says. "It is sobering, but progress is being made."

The optimism in his nature may be why he takes pains to re-imagine Veronica's fate in "Coming Home," where she returns to the family farm. Her spirit may be crushed, her big dreams turned to dust, but she clings to the belief that she will be redeemed through her son, Mannetjie, whom Fugard modeled on his own grandchild.

"I owed it to Veronica to return to her story," says the playwright, who confesses the wrenching drama was hard to write. "My heart has been broken before many times over the years, telling these stories."

Grappling with life's pain has always been worth it, though, for Fugard, who long has had faith that theater in South Africa could "pave the way for change."

In "Coming Home," the specter of racism still looms large, as does the devastation of AIDS. Once Veronica contracts the disease during her dark time in the city, her days are numbered. Medicine is so prohibitively expensive it may as well not exist in Karoo.

The situation angers Fugard. "An appalling lack of action on the part of the government — the corruption in South Africa puts Washington to shame — has led to incalculable suffering," the playwright says. "Now we have a whole generation of HIV-positive babies to reckon with."

"Many of the issues" raised by Fugard "still have to be dealt with," Billingslea says. "The scourge of AIDS also demands our attention."

Fugard frequently ventures back and forth between San Diego and South Africa (where he will soon direct a production of "The Train Driver"). He senses echoes of his homeland in this country. "There's a very raw and generous quality to life in South Africa that is similar to life here," he says, "and yet looking at South Africa from a distance is a sobering experience, much like looking at America from a distance."

No matter how sad Veronica's story becomes in "Coming Home," Fugard ends the play on a note of hope. He, like little Mannetjie, has faith in the future.

"Children are the seeds of hope; they are the only hope of any society," he says. "I hope that people come away from the play with a reverence for life, the fragility of life."

THEATER PREVIEW* WHAT: Berkeley Repertory Theatre Company presents "Coming Home," by Athol Fugard* WHEN: Now in previews, opens 8 p.m. Wednesday and plays Tuesdays-Sundays through Feb. 28* WHERE: Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Thrust Stage, 2025 Addison St., Berkeley* TICKETS: $13.50-$86; 510-647-2949, www.berkeley

rep.org

Copyright © 2010 The Daily Review. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Media NewsGroup, Inc. by NewsBank, Inc.

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Playwright Athol Fugard still fighting injustice in South Africa
01/15/2010
Argus, The

Athol Fugard made his name as the bard of apartheid.

The South African playwright, who now lives in San Diego, exposed the racial oppression of his homeland in a series of emotionally shattering plays. From "Blood Knot" (1961, revised 1987) to " 'Master Harold'... and the Boys" (1982), Fugard's work changed the way many viewed apartheid. Although his works often were banned in his homeland, in 1985 Time magazine dubbed him "the greatest active playwright in the English-speaking world." He is regarded as a towering figure in the realm of political theater.

"Fugard is a giant. He's a quintessential artist because he's got the courage to hold that mirror up to his fellow countrymen," says Aldo Billingslea, drama professor at Santa Clara University.

"Fugard's plays discover the deepest truths of human relations in the slightest moments of everyday life, the mopping of a floor, the lighting of a candle, the scratching of chalk on a blackboard; just listen closely and you'll hear the breaking of a heart," says Robert Kelley, artistic director of TheatreWorks.

Struggle continues

The playwright is still bearing witness to ordinary South Africans' struggle to survive, despite sweeping political changes. In "Coming Home," now in its West Coast premiere at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, he revisits the lost souls he introduced in the lyrical "Valley Song" (1995) and illustrates that the end of apartheid in 1994 did not mark an end to injustice and suffering.

"When Nelson Mandela was let out of jail (after 27 years Feb. 11, 1990), there was such hope," remembers soft-spoken Fugard, 77, speaking by phone from his home in San Diego, where he has lived and taught for many years. "I wrote 'Valley Song' out of hope for my country, the hope that we might be able to redeem our past and become a moral example for the world. All of the politicians made great big promises that never materialized, and the hope started to unravel into regret."

"Coming Home" is set in a remote village in the South African desert region of Karoo, where Fugard grew up. It was there he first met Veronica, a girl with a frayed cotton dress and a voice sweeter than honey. She was always singing, lightening the air, until the day she went off to seek her fortune in Cape Town. She vanished and was never heard from again.

"That is the tragedy of so many young people in South Africa — they get swallowed up in the big city, in the desperation and the slums and the drugs, and they never come back," says Fugard, who is of English-Irish and Afrikaner descent.

Veronica inspired "Valley Song," which Berkeley Rep first produced in 1998, starring an incandescent Anika Noni Rose. In "Coming Home," Fugard imagines what might have happened if Veronica actually had made it back to Karoo.

Ghosts of apartheid

Whenever the playwright returns home, he sees the ghosts of an earlier era. "The wreckage of the past is vast; it's there all around us," he says. "You can't escape it."

In his newest play, "The Train Driver," a black woman is so demoralized by her lot in life that she stands on a train track with her children and waits to be pulverized.

Despite his dark writings, Fugard himself has never been one to give in to despair. "I don't see the story of South Africa as a tragedy," he says. "It is sobering, but progress is being made."

The optimism in his nature may be why he takes pains to re-imagine Veronica's fate in "Coming Home," where she returns to the family farm. Her spirit may be crushed, her big dreams turned to dust, but she clings to the belief that she will be redeemed through her son, Mannetjie, whom Fugard modeled on his own grandchild.

"I owed it to Veronica to return to her story," says the playwright, who confesses the wrenching drama was hard to write. "My heart has been broken before many times over the years, telling these stories."

Grappling with life's pain has always been worth it, though, for Fugard, who long has had faith that theater in South Africa could "pave the way for change."

In "Coming Home," the specter of racism still looms large, as does the devastation of AIDS. Once Veronica contracts the disease during her dark time in the city, her days are numbered. Medicine is so prohibitively expensive it may as well not exist in Karoo.

The situation angers Fugard. "An appalling lack of action on the part of the government — the corruption in South Africa puts Washington to shame — has led to incalculable suffering," the playwright says. "Now we have a whole generation of HIV-positive babies to reckon with."

"Many of the issues" raised by Fugard "still have to be dealt with," Billingslea says. "The scourge of AIDS also demands our attention."

Fugard frequently ventures back and forth between San Diego and South Africa (where he will soon direct a production of "The Train Driver"). He senses echoes of his homeland in this country. "There's a very raw and generous quality to life in South Africa that is similar to life here," he says, "and yet looking at South Africa from a distance is a sobering experience, much like looking at America from a distance."

No matter how sad Veronica's story becomes in "Coming Home," Fugard ends the play on a note of hope. He, like little Mannetjie, has faith in the future.

"Children are the seeds of hope; they are the only hope of any society," he says. "I hope that people come away from the play with a reverence for life, the fragility of life."

THEATER PREVIEW* WHAT: Berkeley Repertory Theatre Company presents "Coming Home," by Athol Fugard* WHEN: Now in previews, opens 8 p.m. Wednesday and plays Tuesdays-Sundays through Feb. 28* WHERE: Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Thrust Stage, 2025 Addison St., Berkeley* TICKETS: $13.50-$86; 510-647-2949, www.berkeley

rep.org

Copyright © 2010 The Argus. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Media NewsGroup, Inc. by NewsBank, Inc.

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Playwright Athol Fugard still fighting injustice in South Africa
01/15/2010
Alameda Times-Star

Athol Fugard made his name as the bard of apartheid.

The South African playwright, who now lives in San Diego, exposed the racial oppression of his homeland in a series of emotionally shattering plays. From "Blood Knot" (1961, revised 1987) to " 'Master Harold'... and the Boys" (1982), Fugard's work changed the way many viewed apartheid. Although his works often were banned in his homeland, in 1985 Time magazine dubbed him "the greatest active playwright in the English-speaking world." He is regarded as a towering figure in the realm of political theater.

"Fugard is a giant. He's a quintessential artist because he's got the courage to hold that mirror up to his fellow countrymen," says Aldo Billingslea, drama professor at Santa Clara University.

"Fugard's plays discover the deepest truths of human relations in the slightest moments of everyday life, the mopping of a floor, the lighting of a candle, the scratching of chalk on a blackboard; just listen closely and you'll hear the breaking of a heart," says Robert Kelley, artistic director of TheatreWorks.

Struggle continues

The playwright is still bearing witness to ordinary South Africans' struggle to survive, despite sweeping political changes. In "Coming Home," now in its West Coast premiere at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, he revisits the lost souls he introduced in the lyrical "Valley Song" (1995) and illustrates that the end of apartheid in 1994 did not mark an end to injustice and suffering.

"When Nelson Mandela was let out of jail (after 27 years Feb. 11, 1990), there was such hope," remembers soft-spoken Fugard, 77, speaking by phone from his home in San Diego, where he has lived and taught for many years. "I wrote 'Valley Song' out of hope for my country, the hope that we might be able to redeem our past and become a moral example for the world. All of the politicians made great big promises that never materialized, and the hope started to unravel into regret."

"Coming Home" is set in a remote village in the South African desert region of Karoo, where Fugard grew up. It was there he first met Veronica, a girl with a frayed cotton dress and a voice sweeter than honey. She was always singing, lightening the air, until the day she went off to seek her fortune in Cape Town. She vanished and was never heard from again.

"That is the tragedy of so many young people in South Africa — they get swallowed up in the big city, in the desperation and the slums and the drugs, and they never come back," says Fugard, who is of English-Irish and Afrikaner descent.

Veronica inspired "Valley Song," which Berkeley Rep first produced in 1998, starring an incandescent Anika Noni Rose. In "Coming Home," Fugard imagines what might have happened if Veronica actually had made it back to Karoo.

Ghosts of apartheid

Whenever the playwright returns home, he sees the ghosts of an earlier era. "The wreckage of the past is vast; it's there all around us," he says. "You can't escape it."

In his newest play, "The Train Driver," a black woman is so demoralized by her lot in life that she stands on a train track with her children and waits to be pulverized.

Despite his dark writings, Fugard himself has never been one to give in to despair. "I don't see the story of South Africa as a tragedy," he says. "It is sobering, but progress is being made."

The optimism in his nature may be why he takes pains to re-imagine Veronica's fate in "Coming Home," where she returns to the family farm. Her spirit may be crushed, her big dreams turned to dust, but she clings to the belief that she will be redeemed through her son, Mannetjie, whom Fugard modeled on his own grandchild.

"I owed it to Veronica to return to her story," says the playwright, who confesses the wrenching drama was hard to write. "My heart has been broken before many times over the years, telling these stories."

Grappling with life's pain has always been worth it, though, for Fugard, who long has had faith that theater in South Africa could "pave the way for change."

In "Coming Home," the specter of racism still looms large, as does the devastation of AIDS. Once Veronica contracts the disease during her dark time in the city, her days are numbered. Medicine is so prohibitively expensive it may as well not exist in Karoo.

The situation angers Fugard. "An appalling lack of action on the part of the government — the corruption in South Africa puts Washington to shame — has led to incalculable suffering," the playwright says. "Now we have a whole generation of HIV-positive babies to reckon with."

"Many of the issues" raised by Fugard "still have to be dealt with," Billingslea says. "The scourge of AIDS also demands our attention."

Fugard frequently ventures back and forth between San Diego and South Africa (where he will soon direct a production of "The Train Driver"). He senses echoes of his homeland in this country. "There's a very raw and generous quality to life in South Africa that is similar to life here," he says, "and yet looking at South Africa from a distance is a sobering experience, much like looking at America from a distance."

No matter how sad Veronica's story becomes in "Coming Home," Fugard ends the play on a note of hope. He, like little Mannetjie, has faith in the future.

"Children are the seeds of hope; they are the only hope of any society," he says. "I hope that people come away from the play with a reverence for life, the fragility of life."

THEATER PREVIEW* WHAT: Berkeley Repertory Theatre Company presents "Coming Home," by Athol Fugard* WHEN: Now in previews, opens 8 p.m. Wednesday and plays Tuesdays-Sundays through Feb. 28* WHERE: Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Thrust Stage, 2025 Addison St., Berkeley* TICKETS: $13.50-$86; 510-647-2949, www.berkeley

rep.org

Copyright © 2010 Alameda Times-Star. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Media NewsGroup, Inc. by NewsBank, Inc.

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4 simple steps to savvy investing | View Clip
01/15/2010
Yahoo! Finance

I've been writing about investing for nearly a quarter of a century. And if I've learned one thing after counseling Money readers through three recessions, three stock market crashes, and two derivatives debacles (yes, two: 14 years before the recent flare-up with mortgage-backed securities, derivatives tripped up several government income and money-market funds), it's this: Savvy investing need not be complicated. Just focus on what's most important to stay on the path to financial success and filter out all the noise along the way.

To do just that, follow this four-step program:

1. Don't obsess over the "best" investments.

Cable-TV investing shows may make you feel like a slouch if you're not constantly searching for hot new investments. But I've seen too many Next Big Things turn into the Next Big Letdowns -- limited partnerships in the '80s and, recently, mutual funds that replicate hedge fund strategies, to name two.

In reality, smart investing is more about assembling a group of tried-and-true assets that give you diversification than trying to predict tomorrow's top gainers. "I'd rather have mediocre funds in the right mix of categories than great funds without an underlying allocation strategy," says Charlottesville, Va., financial planner David Marotta.

The reason is that asset classes, more than individual picks, drive your long-term returns. Creating a well-rounded portfolio isn't that hard. Marotta figures you need only five or six funds that cover key assets such as large and small U.S. stocks, foreign shares, and bonds -- plus maybe another that invests in natural resources, real estate, or other inflation hedges.

2. Think long term, not year to year.

Birthdays and anniversaries are the milestones of our lives. So it's not surprising that we tend to think in annual terms when gauging our portfolios. Yet it's dangerous to think of investing as a sprint rather than a marathon.

Why? If you're seeking the best gains over the next 12 months, you'll naturally gravitate toward more volatile investments because they'll give you a better shot at big short-term gains. But your odds of picking those winners year in and year out are extremely slim.

"It's like someone on a hot streak at the roulette wheel," says York University finance professor Moshe Milevsky. "You know it's not going to last." What's more likely to happen is that you'll end up in investments that go down just as quickly as they went up.

3. Keep a tight rein on costs.

When was the last time you heard someone brag about his razor-thin mutual fund expenses? Probably never. That's because high returns are a lot sexier than low fees.

Still, you're better off paying as much attention, if not more, to what your funds charge than to past performance. "The probability of a manager outperforming going forward is small," says Financial Engines chief investment officer Christopher Jones. "But fees are far more predictable." And remember that every dollar you pay in fees reduces the returns you get to keep -- and that can add up over the long haul.

To gauge the effect of costs, I used Morningstar's database to sort all large-cap stock funds with 15-year records into four groups, based on expenses. I then compared each group's average annualized 15-year returns. Result: The higher a group's fees, the lower its average return. This mirrors an analysis that Burton Malkiel and Charles Ellis (two heavyweights in the investing world) include in their new book, The Elements of Investing.

4. Keep a tighter rein on yourself.

During my career at Money, I've seen stock prices fall more than 20% in a single day (Oct. 19, 1987) and twice drop by roughly half over longer periods (March 2000 to October 2002 and October 2007 to March 2009).

But if those crashes led to similarly steep losses in your portfolio, you can't blame the market entirely for your misfortune. More often than not, to paraphrase Shakespeare, the fault is not in the markets, but in ourselves. When things are going well we tend to get overconfident and plow more money than we should into risky assets, making us overly vulnerable to downturns. And when a setback inevitably arrives, says Santa Clara University economist Hersh Shefrin, "We bail out and focus so much on safety that we're not positioned to capture gains when the market turns around, which it typically does very quickly."

Rather than swinging between euphoria in up markets and depression in down ones, you're better off keeping your emotions -- and strategy -- on an even keel. Granted, achieving that Zen-like outlook is easier said than done. But the more you can maintain your equanimity and resist Wall Street's entreaties to fiddle with your investments, the fewer mistakes you'll make -- and the more wealth you'll end up with in the long run.

Buzz up!

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Playwright Athol Fugard still fighting injustice in South Africa | View Clip
01/15/2010
InsideBayArea.com

San Jose Mercury News

BERKELEY REPERTORY THEATRE COMPANY Roslyn Ruff stars in "Coming Home," Athol Fugard's new play about a South African woman trying to make a new and better life for hern and young son..

Athol Fugard made his name as the bard of apartheid.

The South African playwright, who now lives in San Diego, exposed the racial oppression of his homeland in a series of emotionally shattering plays. From "Blood Knot" (1961, revised 1987) to " 'Master Harold'... and the Boys" (1982), Fugard's work changed the way many viewed apartheid. Although his works often were banned in his homeland, in 1985 Time magazine dubbed him "the greatest active playwright in the English-speaking world." He is regarded as a towering figure in the realm of political theater.

"Fugard is a giant. He's a quintessential artist because he's got the courage to hold that mirror up to his fellow countrymen," says Aldo Billingslea, drama professor at Santa Clara University.

"Fugard's plays discover the deepest truths of human relations in the slightest moments of everyday life, the mopping of a floor, the lighting of a candle, the scratching of chalk on a blackboard; just listen closely and you'll hear the breaking of a heart," says Robert Kelley, artistic director of TheatreWorks.

Struggle continues

The playwright is still bearing witness to ordinary South Africans' struggle to survive, despite sweeping political changes. In "Coming Home," now in its West Coast premiere at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, he revisits the lost souls he introduced in the lyrical "Valley Song" (1995) and illustrates that the end of apartheid in

1994 did not mark an end to injustice and suffering.

"When Nelson Mandela was let out of jail (after 27 years Feb. 11, 1990), there was such hope," remembers soft-spoken Fugard, 77, speaking by phone from his home in San Diego, where he has lived and taught for many years. "I wrote 'Valley Song' out of hope for my country, the hope that we might be able to redeem our past and become a moral example for the world. All of the politicians made great big promises that never materialized, and the hope started to unravel into regret."

"Coming Home" is set in a remote village in the South African desert region of Karoo, where Fugard grew up. It was there he first met Veronica, a girl with a frayed cotton dress and a voice sweeter than honey. She was always singing, lightening the air, until the day she went off to seek her fortune in Cape Town. She vanished and was never heard from again.

"That is the tragedy of so many young people in South Africa — they get swallowed up in the big city, in the desperation and the slums and the drugs, and they never come back," says Fugard, who is of English-Irish and Afrikaner descent.

Veronica inspired "Valley Song," which Berkeley Rep first produced in 1998, starring an incandescent Anika Noni Rose. In "Coming Home," Fugard imagines what might have happened if Veronica actually had made it back to Karoo.

Ghosts of apartheid

Whenever the playwright returns home, he sees the ghosts of an earlier era. "The wreckage of the past is vast; it's there all around us," he says. "You can't escape it."

In his newest play, "The Train Driver," a black woman is so demoralized by her lot in life that she stands on a train track with her children and waits to be pulverized.

Despite his dark writings, Fugard himself has never been one to give in to despair. "I don't see the story of South Africa as a tragedy," he says. "It is sobering, but progress is being made."

The optimism in his nature may be why he takes pains to re-imagine Veronica's fate in "Coming Home," where she returns to the family farm. Her spirit may be crushed, her big dreams turned to dust, but she clings to the belief that she will be redeemed through her son, Mannetjie, whom Fugard modeled on his own grandchild.

"I owed it to Veronica to return to her story," says the playwright, who confesses the wrenching drama was hard to write. "My heart has been broken before many times over the years, telling these stories."

Grappling with life's pain has always been worth it, though, for Fugard, who long has had faith that theater in South Africa could "pave the way for change."

In "Coming Home," the specter of racism still looms large, as does the devastation of AIDS. Once Veronica contracts the disease during her dark time in the city, her days are numbered. Medicine is so prohibitively expensive it may as well not exist in Karoo.

The situation angers Fugard. "An appalling lack of action on the part of the government — the corruption in South Africa puts Washington to shame — has led to incalculable suffering," the playwright says. "Now we have a whole generation of HIV-positive babies to reckon with."

"Many of the issues" raised by Fugard "still have to be dealt with," Billingslea says. "The scourge of AIDS also demands our attention."

Fugard frequently ventures back and forth between San Diego and South Africa (where he will soon direct a production of "The Train Driver"). He senses echoes of his homeland in this country. "There's a very raw and generous quality to life in South Africa that is similar to life here," he says, "and yet looking at South Africa from a distance is a sobering experience, much like looking at America from a distance."

No matter how sad Veronica's story becomes in "Coming Home," Fugard ends the play on a note of hope. He, like little Mannetjie, has faith in the future.

"Children are the seeds of hope; they are the only hope of any society," he says. "I hope that people come away from the play with a reverence for life, the fragility of life."

THEATER PREVIEW

WHAT: Berkeley Repertory Theatre Company presents "Coming Home," by Athol Fugard

WHEN: Now in previews, opens 8 p.m. Wednesday and plays Tuesdays-Sundays through Feb. 28

WHERE: Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Thrust Stage, 2025 Addison St., Berkeley

TICKETS: $13.50-$86; 510-647-2949, www.berkeley

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STARTING TODAY STUDENTS AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY HAVE A NEW WAY TOO GET AROUND.
01/14/2010
CBS 5 Eyewitness News at 6 PM - KPIX-TV

STARTING TODAY STUDENTS AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY HAVE A NEW WAY TOO GET AROUND. THE CAR SHARING SERVICE ZIPCAR IS NOW AVAILABLE ON CAMPUS. STUDENTS AGED 18 AND UP CAN RENT THEIR CHOICE OF TWO CARS AT ABOUT $8 AN HOUR. GAS AND INSURANCE ARE INCLUDED IN THE PRICE. FORGET WHERE YOU PARKED? NO WORRY. THE COMPANY SAYS THERE IS AN APP FOR THAT. iPHONE APP YOU WALK INTO A LOT AND YOU CAN'T FIND YOUR ZIPCAR YOU PUSH THE BUTTON ON THE iPHONE APP AND THE HORN HONKS. COOL TECHNOLOGY. THE UNIVERSITY HOPES THE RENTAL OPTION WILL REDUCE AUTOMOBILE CONGESTION ON CAMPUS. HOPE YOU ENJOYED THE SUN TODAY BECAUSE IT'S GOING AWAY. SURE IS. I'M NOT BUDGING FROM THE WEATHER CENTER. I'M STAYING PUT AT LEAST FOR THE NEXT WEEK. BECAUSE IF EVERYTHING HAPPENS THAT THESE COMPUTER MODELS SUGGEST, WE ARE GOING TO HAVE ONE OF THE RAINIEST WEEKS COMING UP THAT I HAVE SEEN IN THE PAST 14 YEARS THAT I HAVE BEEN HERE. THIS IS THE BAY AREA AS WE PAN OUT TODAY TO HIGHS ANYWHERE FROM 57 AT THE AIRPORT IN NAPA TO 63 DEGREES IN GILROY. IT WAS 68 IN SALINAS, 60 IN SAN FRANCISCO. THAT'S TYPICAL FOR THIS TIME OF THE YEAR. TONIGHT CLOUDS INCREASING AND REDEVELOPMENT OF FOG, AS WELL. FOR THE MORNING COMMUTE IT WILL BE VERY FOGGY. IN FACT, SOME AREAS OF DENSE FOG. IT WILL THEN BE PARTLY TO MOSTLY SUNNY. LAST NIGHT, NORMAN SNAPPED THIS PICTURE FROM SAN LEANDRO SHORES. IT'S BEAUTIFUL. WE'LL SEE A SIMILAR SUNSET TOMORROW NIGHT AND THEN WE WON'T SEE THE SUN FOR UP TO 8 DAYS BECAUSE A SERIES OF STORMS IS STACKING UP OUT OVER THE PACIFIC OCEAN. WE SEE CLOUDS UNDERCUTTING THE RIDGE OF HIGH PRESSURE MOVING IN TONIGHT BUT WE'LL SEE SOME CLEARING TOMORROW AS HIGH PRESSURE CONTINUES TO TRY TO BUILD IN. BUT THEN OUT BACK BEHIND ME HERE IS AN AREA OF LOW PRESSURE THAT WILL BRING SOME HEAVY RAIN BEGINNING LATE SATURDAY NIGHT INTO OUR SUNDAY AND IT WILL NOT STOP UNTIL ABOUT MONDAY AFTERNOON. TONIGHT TEMPERATURES IN THE 30s IN THE TRI-VALLEY. 40s THROUGH SAN JOSE. 47 SAN FRANCISCO. MEANWHILE TOMORROW'S COASTAL HIGHS IN THE MID-50s. WE'LL HAVE A SOUTHEAST BREEZE ABOUT 5 TO 10 MILES PER HOUR. 50s BEACHES, LOW 60s HALF MOON BAY. SANTA CLARA VALLEY ALSO INTO THE 60s. 57 DEGREES IN ALAMEDA, 60 IN DANVILLE, 58 LIVERMORE. GOING WITH THE LOW NUMBER BECAUSE I THINK YOU WILL HAVE A REALLY HARD TIME SCRUBBING OUT THE AREAS OF FOG. ANYTHING NORTH OF THE GOLDEN GATE IN THE 50s TO LOW 60s. SAN FRANCISCO IN THE UPPER 50s. MEANWHILE GOT TO WALK YOU THROUGH THE EXTENDED FORECAST BECAUSE AGAIN, THE RAIN BEGINS OVERNIGHT SATURDAY NIGHT, THROUGH OUR SUNDAY. ONE TO THREE INCHES OF RAIN BY THE TIME IT TAPERS OFF WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON. STORM NUMBER 2 ON TUESDAY. THAT DAY ALONE A BREAK WEDNESDAY MORNING A MORE POWERFUL BIGGER SYSTEM ON WEDNESDAY CARRYING OVER TO THURSDAY BY THE TIME IT TAPERS OFF ON FRIDAY MORNING, FIVE INCHES OF RAIN IN THE WETTEST LOCATION OF THE BAY AREA. WE ARE TALKING ABOUT MAJOR RAIN IN THE BAY AREA. WE HAVE PLAN AHEAD. DENNIS. I WAS GOING TO GO GOLFING ON PEBBLE BEACH TUESDAY. THANKS A LOT. THAT WOMAN IS NOTHING BUT BAD NEWS FOR ME. [ LAUGHTER ] EVERY TIME SHE DOES ONE OF THOSE FORECASTS.

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STARTING TODAY STUDENTS AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY HAVE A NEW WAY TOO GET AROUND. | View Clip
01/14/2010
CBS 5 Eyewitness News at 6 PM - KPIX-TV

STARTING TODAY STUDENTS AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY HAVE A NEW WAY TOO GET AROUND. THE CAR SHARING SERVICE ZIPCAR IS NOW AVAILABLE ON CAMPUS. STUDENTS AGED 18 AND UP CAN RENT THEIR CHOICE OF TWO CARS AT ABOUT $8 AN HOUR. GAS AND INSURANCE ARE INCLUDED IN THE PRICE. FORGET WHERE YOU PARKED? NO WORRY. THE COMPANY SAYS THERE IS AN APP FOR THAT. iPHONE APP YOU WALK INTO A LOT AND YOU CAN'T FIND YOUR ZIPCAR YOU PUSH THE BUTTON ON THE iPHONE APP AND THE HORN HONKS. COOL TECHNOLOGY. THE UNIVERSITY HOPES THE RENTAL OPTION WILL REDUCE AUTOMOBILE CONGESTION ON CAMPUS. HOPE YOU ENJOYED THE SUN TODAY BECAUSE IT'S GOING AWAY. SURE IS. I'M NOT BUDGING FROM THE WEATHER CENTER. I'M STAYING PUT AT LEAST FOR THE NEXT WEEK. BECAUSE IF EVERYTHING HAPPENS THAT THESE COMPUTER MODELS SUGGEST, WE ARE GOING TO HAVE ONE OF THE RAINIEST WEEKS COMING UP THAT I HAVE SEEN IN THE PAST 14 YEARS THAT I HAVE BEEN HERE. THIS IS THE BAY AREA AS WE PAN OUT TODAY TO HIGHS ANYWHERE FROM 57 AT THE AIRPORT IN NAPA TO 63 DEGREES IN GILROY. IT WAS 68 IN SALINAS, 60 IN SAN FRANCISCO. THAT'S TYPICAL FOR THIS TIME OF THE YEAR. TONIGHT CLOUDS INCREASING AND REDEVELOPMENT OF FOG, AS WELL. FOR THE MORNING COMMUTE IT WILL BE VERY FOGGY. IN FACT, SOME AREAS OF DENSE FOG. IT WILL THEN BE PARTLY TO MOSTLY SUNNY. LAST NIGHT, NORMAN SNAPPED THIS PICTURE FROM SAN LEANDRO SHORES. IT'S BEAUTIFUL. WE'LL SEE A SIMILAR SUNSET TOMORROW NIGHT AND THEN WE WON'T SEE THE SUN FOR UP TO 8 DAYS BECAUSE A SERIES OF STORMS IS STACKING UP OUT OVER THE PACIFIC OCEAN. WE SEE CLOUDS UNDERCUTTING THE RIDGE OF HIGH PRESSURE MOVING IN TONIGHT BUT WE'LL SEE SOME CLEARING TOMORROW AS HIGH PRESSURE CONTINUES TO TRY TO BUILD IN. BUT THEN OUT BACK BEHIND ME HERE IS AN AREA OF LOW PRESSURE THAT WILL BRING SOME HEAVY RAIN BEGINNING LATE SATURDAY NIGHT INTO OUR SUNDAY AND IT WILL NOT STOP UNTIL ABOUT MONDAY AFTERNOON. TONIGHT TEMPERATURES IN THE 30s IN THE TRI-VALLEY. 40s THROUGH SAN JOSE. 47 SAN FRANCISCO. MEANWHILE TOMORROW'S COASTAL HIGHS IN THE MID-50s. WE'LL HAVE A SOUTHEAST BREEZE ABOUT 5 TO 10 MILES PER HOUR. 50s BEACHES, LOW 60s HALF MOON BAY. SANTA CLARA VALLEY ALSO INTO THE 60s. 57 DEGREES IN ALAMEDA, 60 IN DANVILLE, 58 LIVERMORE. GOING WITH THE LOW NUMBER BECAUSE I THINK YOU WILL HAVE A REALLY HARD TIME SCRUBBING OUT THE AREAS OF FOG. ANYTHING NORTH OF THE GOLDEN GATE IN THE 50s TO LOW 60s. SAN FRANCISCO IN THE UPPER 50s. MEANWHILE GOT TO WALK YOU THROUGH THE EXTENDED FORECAST BECAUSE AGAIN, THE RAIN BEGINS OVERNIGHT SATURDAY NIGHT, THROUGH OUR SUNDAY. ONE TO THREE INCHES OF RAIN BY THE TIME IT TAPERS OFF WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON. STORM NUMBER 2 ON TUESDAY. THAT DAY ALONE A BREAK WEDNESDAY MORNING A MORE POWERFUL BIGGER SYSTEM ON WEDNESDAY CARRYING OVER TO THURSDAY BY THE TIME IT TAPERS OFF ON FRIDAY MORNING, FIVE INCHES OF RAIN IN THE WETTEST LOCATION OF THE BAY AREA. WE ARE TALKING ABOUT MAJOR RAIN IN THE BAY AREA. WE HAVE PLAN AHEAD. DENNIS. I WAS GOING TO GO GOLFING ON PEBBLE BEACH TUESDAY. THANKS A LOT. THAT WOMAN IS NOTHING BUT BAD NEWS FOR ME. [ LAUGHTER ] EVERY TIME SHE DOES ONE OF THOSE FORECASTS.

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STARTING TODAY, STUDENTS AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY HAVE A NEW WAY TO GET AROUND. | View Clip
01/14/2010
CBS 5 Eyewitness News at 5 PM - KPIX-TV

STARTING TODAY, STUDENTS AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY HAVE A NEW WAY TO GET AROUND. THAT'S OUR STORY HERE. CAR SHARING SERVICE ZIPCAR IS AVAILABLE ON CAMPUS NOW. YOU HAVE TO BE 18 OR OVER. YOU CAN CHOOSE BETWEEN TWO CARS, GAS AND INSURANCE INCLUDED FOR THE PRICE OF ABOUT $8 AN HOUR. THE COMPANY SAYS THERE IS EVEN AN iPHONE APP. IT HONKS THE CAR'S HORN IF YOU FORGET WHERE YOU PARKED IT? THAT'S VERY USEFUL. SOMEBODY SHOULD TELL SUE NO PERSONAL CALLS ON COMPANY TIME! [ LAUGHTER ] NO CALLS DURING PERSONAL TIME! EIGHT DAYS WITHOUT THE SUN? THERE WILL BE SOME RAIN IN THERE, TOO. I WORKED HERE FOR 14 YEARS HERE AT CBS 5 AND I HAVE BEEN GOING THROUGH ALL MY WEATHER RECORDS HERE TO SEE WHEN IS THE LAST TIMING WE HAVE HAD A WEEK LIKE THE ONE THAT'S COMING UP. AND I HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO FIND IT. WE HAVE SOME VERY HEAVY RAIN MOVING INTO THE BAY AREA ON SUNDAY NIGHT. TODAY WE HAD A BEAUTIFUL SUNSET OFFICIALLY AT 5:14. WE BEGIN THE MORNING WITH LOW CLOUDS AND FOG. THERE YOU SEE IT, IT LOOKS LIKE A SEA OF CLOUDS THAT ROLLED IN AND OVER THE BAY WE HAVE M- AND HIGH-LEVEL CLOUDS. THIS IS PICKED UP BY CHOPPER 5 HIGH IN THE SKY. AND TONIGHT IT'S GOING TO BE OUT AND ABOUT, OUR LIVE CBS 5 WEATHER CAMERA INDICATES THAT WE HAVE THE INFLUX OF MORE CLOUDS THAT ARE STREAMING OVERHEAD BECOMING MOSTLY CLOUDY. FOG DEVELOPS IN THE OVERNIGHT HOURS, AS WELL. WE WILL BEGIN YOUR FRIDAY MORNING THE END OF THE WORKWEEK ON A FOGGY NOTE AND PARTLY TO MOSTLY SUNNY TEMPERATURES SIMILAR TO TODAY. LAST NIGHT'S SUNSET LOOKED LIKE THIS. NORMAN SENT THIS IN FROM SAN LEANDRO SHORES WHERE WE HAD A HIGH TEMPERATURE THERE IN THE LOW 60s. AND WE THANK YOU, SIR, FOR CAPTURING THAT AND SENDING IT TO CBS5.COM/MYPIX. I WANT TO SEE ALL YOUR PICTURES OUT THERE, AS WELL. ANOTHER PICTURE THIS ONE BY SATELLITE GOES WEST 10 UP IN THE YOU'RE LOOKING DOWN ON THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA. WE HAVE A STREAM OF CLOUDS THAT ARE UNDERCUTTING THE RIDGE OF HIGH PRESSURE. SURE, WE ARE STILL UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF HIGH PRESSURE SO ONE MORE DAY WITH DRY CONDITIONS FOR FRIDAY. THEN WE'LL TURN MOSTLY CLOUDY BEFORE THIS AREA OF LOW PRESSURE PUSHES IN ON SUNDAY PROVIDING US WITH RAIN ALL THE WAY THROUGH THE HOLIDAY. TONIGHT OVERNIGHT 38 DEGREES IN LIVERMORE TO 47 DEGREES IN SAN FRANCISCO. LOW 40s TRI-VALLEY TO 40 IN NAPA. TOMORROW'S DAYTIME HIGHS SEASONAL A COUPLE DEGREES BELOW AVERAGE DUE TO OPENING DENSE FOG. 58 IN LIVERMORE, MID-50s SAND ROSE AND 50s IN THE CENTRAL BAY TO 60s THE FURTHER SOUTH YOU GO. 56 TOWARDS SALINAS AND HOLLISTER. THIS TAKES SOME EXPLAINING. STORM NUMBER ONE ON SUNDAY DOESN'T TAPER OFF UNTIL LATE AFTERNOON ON MONDAY. UP TO 3" OF RAIN THEN. A SECOND SYSTEM ON TUESDAY, TWO TO FOUR INCHES OF RAIN. WE GET A BREAK WEDNESDAY MORNING, THEN WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON WE ARE GOING TO BE SLAPPED HARD WITH THE BIGGEST SYSTEM, STORM NUMBER 3, ALL THE WAY THROUGH THURSDAY, THAT COULD PRODUCE UP TO 5" OF RAIN RIGHT HERE THROUGHOUT THE BAY AREA. OBVIOUSLY BY THEN WE COULD SEE SOME HYDRO PROBLEMS IN THE FORM OF FLOODING. I'M LOOKING BY FRIDAY PROGRAMS 20" OF RAIN IN THE BAY AREA! I CANNOT REMEMBER THE LAST TIME I HAVE EVEN SAID THAT SO PLAN AHEAD FOR WATCHES AND WARNINGS. THANK YOU.

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Zipcar Hits SCU Campus | View Clip
01/14/2010
KGO-AM

In an effort to cut down on the number of cars on campus, Santa Clara University today launched its new Zipcar service. KGO's Jennifer Hodges reports from our South Bay Bureau.

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in 'Coming Home,' South Africa's Athol Fugard checks on some familiar characters to see how they're | View Clip
01/14/2010
Mercury News

Athol Fugard made his name as the bard of apartheid.

The South African playwright, who now lives in San Diego, exposed the racial oppression of his homeland in a series of emotionally shattering plays. From "Blood Knot" (1961, revised 1987) to —‰'Master Harold'... and the Boys" (1982), Fugard's work changed the way many viewed apartheid. Though his works were often banned in his homeland, in 1985 Time magazine dubbed him "the greatest active playwright in the English-speaking world." He is regarded as a towering figure in the realm of political theater.

"Fugard is a giant. He's a quintessential artist because he's got the courage to hold that mirror up to his fellow countrymen," says Aldo Billingslea, drama professor at Santa Clara University.

"Fugard's plays discover the deepest truths of human relations in the slightest moments of everyday life, the mopping of a floor, the lighting of a candle, the scratching of chalk on a blackboard; just listen closely and you'll hear the breaking of a heart," says Robert Kelley, artistic director of TheatreWorks.

The playwright is still bearing witness to ordinary South Africans' struggle to survive, despite sweeping political changes. In "Coming Home," now in its West Coast premiere at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, he revisits the lost souls he introduced in the lyrical "Valley Song" (1995) and illustrates that the end of apartheid in 1994 did not mark an end to injustice and suffering.
"When Nelson Mandela was let out of jail (after 27 years on Feb. 11, 1990), there was such hope," remembers the soft-spoken Fugard, 77, speaking by phone from his home in San Diego, where he has lived and taught for many years. "I wrote 'Valley Song' out of hope for my country, the hope that we might be able to redeem our past and become a moral example for the world. All of the politicians made great big promises that never materialized, and the hope started to unravel into regret."

"Coming Home" is set in a remote village in the South African desert region of Karoo, where Fugard grew up. It was there he first met Veronica, a girl with a frayed cotton dress and a voice sweeter than honey. She was always singing, lightening the air, until the day she went off to seek her fortune in Cape Town. She vanished and was never heard from again.

"That is the tragedy of so many young people in South Africa — they get swallowed up in the big city, in the desperation and the slums and the drugs, and they never come back," says Fugard, who is of English-Irish and Afrikaner descent.

Veronica inspired "Valley Song," which Berkeley Rep first produced in 1998, starring an incandescent Anika Noni Rose. In "Coming Home," Fugard imagines what might have happened if Veronica actually had made it back to Karoo.

Whenever the playwright returns home, he sees the ghosts of an earlier era. "The wreckage of the past is vast; it's there all around us," he says. "You can't escape it."

In his newest play, "The Train Driver," a black woman is so demoralized by her lot in life that she stands on a train track with her children and waits to be pulverized.

Despite his dark writings, Fugard himself has never been one to give in to despair. "I don't see the story of South Africa as a tragedy," he says. "It is sobering, but progress is being made."

The optimism is in his nature may be why he takes pains to re-imagine Veronica's fate in "Coming Home," where she returns to the family farm. Her spirit may be crushed, her big dreams turned to dust, but she clings to the belief that she will be redeemed through her son, Mannetjie, whom Fugard modeled on his own grandchild.

"I owed it to Veronica to return to her story," says the playwright, who confesses the wrenching drama was hard to write. "My heart has been broken before many times over the years, telling these stories."

Grappling with life's pain has always been worth it, though, for Fugard, who has long had faith that theater in South Africa could "pave the way for change."

In "Coming Home," the specter of racism still looms large, as does the devastation of AIDS. Once Veronica contracts the disease during her dark time in the city, her days are numbered. Medicine is so prohibitively expensive it may as well not exist in Karoo.

The situation angers Fugard. "An appalling lack of action on the part of the government — the corruption in South Africa puts Washington to shame — has led to incalculable suffering," the playwright says. "Now we have a whole generation of HIV-positive babies to reckon with."

"Many of the issues" raised by Fugard "still have to be dealt with," Billingslea says. "The scourge of AIDS also demands our attention."

Fugard frequently ventures back and forth between San Diego and South Africa (where he will soon direct a production of "The Train Driver"). He senses echoes of his homeland in this country. "There's a very raw and generous quality to life in South Africa that is similar to life here," he says, "and yet looking at South Africa from a distance is a sobering experience, much like looking at America from a distance."

No matter how sad Veronica's story becomes in "Coming Home," Fugard ends the play on a note of hope. He, like little Mannetjie, has faith in the future.

"Children are the seeds of hope; they are the only hope of any society," he says. "I hope that people come away from the play with a reverence for life, the fragility of life."

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Students Have New Mode Of Transportation | View Clip
01/14/2010
KCBS-AM - Online

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (KCBS) -- Cash-strapped college students at Santa Clara University now have another option for low-cost transportation: the Zipcar.

Zipcars are "wheels when you need them," a popular ride-sharing program that touts some 350,000 members.

And, the two Zipcars now stationed at Santa Clara University can be reserved online and controlled remotely with an iPhone.

The high-tech touches are offset by the fact that the cars still run on regular old unleaded.

"Every Zipcar on the road removes about 15-20 personal vehicles," said Michael Uribe with Zipcar. "And in an urban campus like Santa Clara University, it reduces parking congestion here on the campus itself."

Students can drive the cars for $8 an hour, or reserve them by the day. Senior Chris Woodhouse said he's already signed up for the program.

"I don't have a car here, I just have a bike to get from my apartment to campus, so I may want to go to Target, grocery shopping or maybe take a road trip down to Santa Cruz with my buddies," Woodhouse said.

The Zipcar is now on 150 college campuses nationwide.

(kmi)

Copyright 2010, KCBS. All Rights Reserved.

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Adobe also victim of sophisticated attack | View Clip
01/14/2010
WJRT-TV - Online

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Jose's Adobe Systems now joins Google in acknowledging that corporate network systems managed by Adobe and other companies were the target of a "sophisticated, coordinated attack" on Jan. 2.

In a blog posting late Tuesday afternoon, Google said the attacks originated in China and attempted to break into email accounts of human rights activists. Hacking into the corporate systems might also have allowed access to sensitive documents and intellectual property. However, Adobe issued a statement today saying that was not the case, "We have no evidence to indicate that any sensitive information has been compromised."

Google's response to the intrusion that it might leave the China market prompted praise from human rights groups and from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, who has been critical of China's record on human rights. Google said it will work with China to end censorship of its Chinese search engine, google.cn, as requested by the Chinese government.

At risk is an estimated $200 million to $300 million in revenue Google current earns in annual online ad sales. That estimate comes from several analysts, including Barron's West Coast editor Eric Savitz in Palo Alto. Savitz points out that China search engine advertising generates about $1 billion in yearly revenue with baidu.cn the dominant player with over 70 percent of the market. He says leaving the China market could have a short-term impact on Google's earnings.

If Google pulls out of China, the door may close permanently. "China has a long memory," said Santa Clara University law professor Anna Han, who has been advising companies on doing business in China for 25 years. And Google has now challenged China in a very public way.

Han says China has a long history of cases in which intellectual property, such as trademarks and products, has been stolen. She cited recent cases that were won in Chinese courts by U.S. firms Starbucks and pharmaceutical giant Pfizer. Without knowing yet what may have been stolen, Prof. Han believes other companies will be reluctant to join Google in taking on China out of fear of losing the opportunity to do business in a country with 1.3 billion potential customers.

The sophistication of the attack is at the highest level, according to George Kurtz, worldwide chief technology officer at Santa Clara based Internet security firm McAfee. Kurtz said corporations maintain strong firewalls to protect their computer systems from intrusion. However, the weakest link can be employees who download software with malicious code that opens the door to cyber thieves. He says individuals with Gmail or other hosted e-mail services need to be vigilant about using and updating antivirus software.

Google Wednesday turned down an interview request. Its blog posting from Tuesday in which the breach was disclosed has not been updated.

(Copyright ©2010 KGO-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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Inefficient markets still tough to beat | View Clip
01/14/2010
Senior Market Advisor

"Between the Dow Jones Industrial Average's record in October 2007 and the bear-market low in March 2009, Bank of America's stock fell 94%. Then, by year-end 2009, it went up 380%. It wasn't just financial stocks that acted like yo-yos: Over the same period, Alcoa's stock fell 87%, then more than tripled."

How can such crazy swings in price be "efficient"? An important question asked by Jason Zweig of the Wall Street Journal.

"As millions of smart buyers and sellers compete to maximize their wealth, they update stock prices with all the relevant information that's available. That's what an 'efficient market' means. It presumes that the market price is the best estimate of a stock's intrinsic value, or what all its current and future cash flows are worth."

But, as Zweig notes, the fact that the market price is the best available estimate doesn't mean that the market price is right.

As he explains, "In 1974 the great financial analyst Benjamin Graham wryly described the efficient-market hypothesis as a theory that 'could have great practical importance if it coincided with reality.' Mr. Graham marveled at how Avon Products, which traded at $140 a share in 1973, had sunk below $20 in 1974: 'I deny emphatically that because the market has all the information it needs to establish a correct price the prices it actually registers are in fact correct.'

"Mr. Graham proposed that the price of every stock consists of two elements. One, "investment value," measures the worth of all the cash a company will generate now and in the future. The other, the "speculative element," is driven by sentiment and emotion: hope and greed and thrill-seeking in bull markets, fear and regret and revulsion in bear markets."

The market is quite efficient at processing the information that determines investment value, Zweig writes. But predicting the shifting emotions of tens of millions of people is no easy task. So the speculative element in pricing is prone to huge and rapid swings that can swamp investment value.

Thus, Zweig concludes, it's important not to draw the wrong conclusions from the market's inefficiency. "The evidence does suggest that the market is not rational," he quotes Meir Statman, a finance professor at Santa Clara University in California, as saying. "But watch out for the voice of the devil inside of you saying that therefore it must be easy to beat the market."

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in 'Coming Home,' South Africa's Athol Fugard checks on some familiar characters to see how they're | View Clip
01/14/2010
Cupertino Courier - Online

Athol Fugard made his name as the bard of apartheid.

The South African playwright, who now lives in San Diego, exposed the racial oppression of his homeland in a series of emotionally shattering plays. From "Blood Knot" (1961, revised 1987) to —‰'Master Harold'... and the Boys" (1982), Fugard's work changed the way many viewed apartheid. Though his works were often banned in his homeland, in 1985 Time magazine dubbed him "the greatest active playwright in the English-speaking world." He is regarded as a towering figure in the realm of political theater.

"Fugard is a giant. He's a quintessential artist because he's got the courage to hold that mirror up to his fellow countrymen," says Aldo Billingslea, drama professor at Santa Clara University.

"Fugard's plays discover the deepest truths of human relations in the slightest moments of everyday life, the mopping of a floor, the lighting of a candle, the scratching of chalk on a blackboard; just listen closely and you'll hear the breaking of a heart," says Robert Kelley, artistic director of TheatreWorks.

The playwright is still bearing witness to ordinary South Africans' struggle to survive, despite sweeping political changes. In "Coming Home," now in its West Coast premiere at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, he revisits the lost souls he introduced in the lyrical "Valley Song" (1995) and illustrates that the end of apartheid in 1994 did not mark an end to injustice and suffering.

"When Nelson Mandela was let out of jail (after 27 years on Feb. 11, 1990), there was such hope," remembers the soft-spoken Fugard, 77, speaking by phone from his home in San Diego, where he has lived and taught for many years. "I wrote 'Valley Song' out of hope for my country, the hope that we might be able to redeem our past and become a moral example for the world. All of the politicians made great big promises that never materialized, and the hope started to unravel into regret."

"Coming Home" is set in a remote village in the South African desert region of Karoo, where Fugard grew up. It was there he first met Veronica, a girl with a frayed cotton dress and a voice sweeter than honey. She was always singing, lightening the air, until the day she went off to seek her fortune in Cape Town. She vanished and was never heard from again.

"That is the tragedy of so many young people in South Africa — they get swallowed up in the big city, in the desperation and the slums and the drugs, and they never come back," says Fugard, who is of English-Irish and Afrikaner descent.

Veronica inspired "Valley Song," which Berkeley Rep first produced in 1998, starring an incandescent Anika Noni Rose. In "Coming Home," Fugard imagines what might have happened if Veronica actually had made it back to Karoo.

Whenever the playwright returns home, he sees the ghosts of an earlier era. "The wreckage of the past is vast; it's there all around us," he says. "You can't escape it."

In his newest play, "The Train Driver," a black woman is so demoralized by her lot in life that she stands on a train track with her children and waits to be pulverized.

Despite his dark writings, Fugard himself has never been one to give in to despair. "I don't see the story of South Africa as a tragedy," he says. "It is sobering, but progress is being made."

The optimism is in his nature may be why he takes pains to re-imagine Veronica's fate in "Coming Home," where she returns to the family farm. Her spirit may be crushed, her big dreams turned to dust, but she clings to the belief that she will be redeemed through her son, Mannetjie, whom Fugard modeled on his own grandchild.

"I owed it to Veronica to return to her story," says the playwright, who confesses the wrenching drama was hard to write. "My heart has been broken before many times over the years, telling these stories."

Grappling with life's pain has always been worth it, though, for Fugard, who has long had faith that theater in South Africa could "pave the way for change."

In "Coming Home," the specter of racism still looms large, as does the devastation of AIDS. Once Veronica contracts the disease during her dark time in the city, her days are numbered. Medicine is so prohibitively expensive it may as well not exist in Karoo.

The situation angers Fugard. "An appalling lack of action on the part of the government — the corruption in South Africa puts Washington to shame — has led to incalculable suffering," the playwright says. "Now we have a whole generation of HIV-positive babies to reckon with."

"Many of the issues" raised by Fugard "still have to be dealt with," Billingslea says. "The scourge of AIDS also demands our attention."

Fugard frequently ventures back and forth between San Diego and South Africa (where he will soon direct a production of "The Train Driver"). He senses echoes of his homeland in this country. "There's a very raw and generous quality to life in South Africa that is similar to life here," he says, "and yet looking at South Africa from a distance is a sobering experience, much like looking at America from a distance."

No matter how sad Veronica's story becomes in "Coming Home," Fugard ends the play on a note of hope. He, like little Mannetjie, has faith in the future.

"Children are the seeds of hope; they are the only hope of any society," he says. "I hope that people come away from the play with a reverence for life, the fragility of life."

Contact Karen D'Souza at (408) 271-3772. Check out her theater reviews, features and blog at www.mercurynews.com/karen-dsouza.

"Coming Home"

Where: Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Thrust Stage, 2025 Addison St., Berkeley

Through: Now in previews, opens Jan. 20, continues through Feb. 28

Tickets: $13.50-$86; 510-647-2949, www.berkeleyrep.org

Athol Fugard: selected works

"Sizwe Bansi Is Dead" (1972)

"A Lesson from Aloes" (1981)

—‰"Master Harold"... and the Boys" (1982)

"Blood Knot" (1961, revised 1987)

"The Road to Mecca" (1985)

"Valley Song" (1995)

"Coming Home" (2008)

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SHOCK. Reporter SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR JERRY
01/13/2010
NBC Bay Area News at 11 PM - KNTV-TV

ABOUT 75 VOLTS, THE CORRECT ANSWER IS HAIR. THE PUNISHMENT THAT A PERSON RECEIVES FOR GETTING A WRONG ANSWER IS A SHOCK. Reporter: SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR JERRY BURGER REPLICATED AN EXPERIMENT OF THE '60s, THE GOAL TO FIND OUT HOW MUCH PEOPLE OBEY AN ORDER NO MATTER HOW MUCH IT GOES AGAINST THEIR MORALS. IN THE RIGHT CIRCUMSTANCES PEOPLE WILL ADMINISTER PAINFUL PERHAPS LETHAL ELECTRIC SHOCKS TO ANOTHER PERSON. Reporter: THE SUBJECT WAS INSTRUCTED TO GIVE A TEST TO ANOTHER PERSON. FOR EVERY WRONG ANSWER, HE WAS TOLD TO PUSH A SWITCH THAT WOULD SHOCK THAT PERSON. AH! EVERYBODY SAYS, I WOULD NOT DO IT. OF COURSE WHEN WE SIT PEOPLE DOWN AND DO THE STUDY, WE FIND THE MAJORITY DO. Reporter: AT 150 VOLTS, THE SUBJECT GIVES AN EXTREME REACTION. MY HEART'S STARTING TO BOTHER ME. I REFUSE TO GO ON. LET ME OUT. WE WAITED TO SEE IF THE PERSON WOULD REFUSE TO CONTINUE OR IS THE PERSON GOING TO CONTINUE WITH THE NEXT ITEM ON THE TEST. WHAT WE FOUND WAS THAT 70% OF THE TIME OUR PARTICIPANTS CONTINUED WITH THE NEXT ITEM ON THE TEST. Reporter: BURGER STOPS THE EXPERIMENT HERE EXTRAPOLATING THAT ANYONE WILLING TO GO ON WOULD GO ALL THE WAY, AND WOMEN WERE FOUND JUST AS LIKELY TO PUSH THE SWITCH AS MEN. NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN. ALMOST EXACTLY THE SAME. Reporter: HE SAYS THE FINDINGS CAN SHED LIGHT ON EXTREME SITUATIONS SUCH AS THE TORTURE THAT TOOK PLACE AT ABU GHRAIB, THE INFAMOUS IRAQI PRISON WHERE SOLDIERS INCLUDING FEMALE SPECIALIST LINDEY ENGLAND, WERE PHOTOGRAPHED ABUSING PRISONERS. I WAS SHOCKED. I DIDN'T THINK PEOPLE YOU SHOULDN'T BE TREATING PEOPLE LIKE THAT. Reporter: CHRISTINE ORTIZ OF AN ARMY SPECIALIST IN QATAR WHEN SHE LEARNED OF THE ABUSES AT ABU GHRAIB. SHE SAYS WHAT HER FELLOW SOLDIERS DID IS INEXCUSABLE, B SHE CAN'T UNDERSTAND THE PRESSURE SHE CAN UNDERSTAND THE PRESSURE TO FOLLOW ORDERS AND HOW THE SURREAL CIRCUMSTANCES OF WAR CAN ALTER ONE'S JUDGMENT. WHAT WE SEE ON A DAILY BASIS, WE GET USED TO IT. WE'LL START DOING THE THINGS THAT WE SEE. Reporter: BURGER SAYS THE MODERN-DAY EXPERIMENT SHOWS THAT SITUATIONS MORE THAN INDIVIDUAL BELIEFS CAN DETERMINE THE WAY WE ACT GIVEN AN UNFAMILIAR SITUATION SUCH AS WAR, AN AUTHORITY FIGURE AND BAD BEHAVIOR THAT INCREASES IN SMALL INCREMENTS. SEVEN IN TEN PEOPLE WOULD HURT SOMEONE ELSE. WE HAVE TO TELL PEOPLE, YOU ARE ULTIMATELY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ACTIONS THAT YOU TAKE. AND WE SET UP A SITUATION THAT MAKES IT EASY TO DEFER THAT RESPONSIBILITY, WE'RE CREATING A DANGEROUS SITUATION. Reporter: HE SAYS THE TAKE-HOME MESSAGE IS PEOPLE CONSIDER THEMSELVES ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR OWN ACTIONS, THEY'RE MORE LIKELY TO DO WHAT'S RIGHT. THOSE WHO BLAME THE SITUATION OR THEIR CIRCUMSTANCES CAN AND DO COMMIT ABUSES. VICKY NGUYEN, NBC BAY AREA NEWS. ANOTHER KEY FINDING OF THAT STUDY, ALMOST ALL THE PEOPLE WHO REFUSED TO SHOCK THE OTHER PERSON SAID THEY WOULD CONSIDER THEMSELVES RESPONSIBLE IF THAT PERSON WAS INJURED. THOSE WHO CONTINUED THE EXPERIMENT DIDN'T TAKE THE BLAME BUT FINGERED THE STUDY AND EVEN THE UNIVERSITY. A FASCINATING STUDY ON WHAT WE'RE CAPABLE OF.

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SHOCK. Reporter SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR JERRY
01/13/2010
NBC Bay Area News at 11 PM Weekend - KNTV-TV

ABOUT 75 VOLTS, THE CORRECT ANSWER IS HAIR. THE PUNISHMENT THAT A PERSON RECEIVES FOR GETTING A WRONG ANSWER IS A SHOCK. Reporter: SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR JERRY BURGER REPLICATED AN EXPERIMENT OF THE '60s, THE GOAL TO FIND OUT HOW MUCH PEOPLE OBEY AN ORDER NO MATTER HOW MUCH IT GOES AGAINST THEIR MORALS. IN THE RIGHT CIRCUMSTANCES PEOPLE WILL ADMINISTER PAINFUL PERHAPS LETHAL ELECTRIC SHOCKS TO ANOTHER PERSON. Reporter: THE SUBJECT WAS INSTRUCTED TO GIVE A TEST TO ANOTHER PERSON. FOR EVERY WRONG ANSWER, HE WAS TOLD TO PUSH A SWITCH THAT WOULD SHOCK THAT PERSON. AH! EVERYBODY SAYS, I WOULD NOT DO IT. OF COURSE WHEN WE SIT PEOPLE DOWN AND DO THE STUDY, WE FIND THE MAJORITY DO. Reporter: AT 150 VOLTS, THE SUBJECT GIVES AN EXTREME REACTION. MY HEART'S STARTING TO BOTHER ME. I REFUSE TO GO ON. LET ME OUT. WE WAITED TO SEE IF THE PERSON WOULD REFUSE TO CONTINUE OR IS THE PERSON GOING TO CONTINUE WITH THE NEXT ITEM ON THE TEST. WHAT WE FOUND WAS THAT 70% OF THE TIME OUR PARTICIPANTS CONTINUED WITH THE NEXT ITEM ON THE TEST. Reporter: BURGER STOPS THE EXPERIMENT HERE EXTRAPOLATING THAT ANYONE WILLING TO GO ON WOULD GO ALL THE WAY, AND WOMEN WERE FOUND JUST AS LIKELY TO PUSH THE SWITCH AS MEN. NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN. ALMOST EXACTLY THE SAME. Reporter: HE SAYS THE FINDINGS CAN SHED LIGHT ON EXTREME SITUATIONS SUCH AS THE TORTURE THAT TOOK PLACE AT ABU GHRAIB, THE INFAMOUS IRAQI PRISON WHERE SOLDIERS INCLUDING FEMALE SPECIALIST LINDEY ENGLAND, WERE PHOTOGRAPHED ABUSING PRISONERS. I WAS SHOCKED. I DIDN'T THINK PEOPLE YOU SHOULDN'T BE TREATING PEOPLE LIKE THAT. Reporter: CHRISTINE ORTIZ OF AN ARMY SPECIALIST IN QATAR WHEN SHE LEARNED OF THE ABUSES AT ABU GHRAIB. SHE SAYS WHAT HER FELLOW SOLDIERS DID IS INEXCUSABLE, B SHE CAN'T UNDERSTAND THE PRESSURE SHE CAN UNDERSTAND THE PRESSURE TO FOLLOW ORDERS AND HOW THE SURREAL CIRCUMSTANCES OF WAR CAN ALTER ONE'S JUDGMENT. WHAT WE SEE ON A DAILY BASIS, WE GET USED TO IT. WE'LL START DOING THE THINGS THAT WE SEE. Reporter: BURGER SAYS THE MODERN-DAY EXPERIMENT SHOWS THAT SITUATIONS MORE THAN INDIVIDUAL BELIEFS CAN DETERMINE THE WAY WE ACT GIVEN AN UNFAMILIAR SITUATION SUCH AS WAR, AN AUTHORITY FIGURE AND BAD BEHAVIOR THAT INCREASES IN SMALL INCREMENTS. SEVEN IN TEN PEOPLE WOULD HURT SOMEONE ELSE. WE HAVE TO TELL PEOPLE, YOU ARE ULTIMATELY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ACTIONS THAT YOU TAKE. AND WE SET UP A SITUATION THAT MAKES IT EASY TO DEFER THAT RESPONSIBILITY, WE'RE CREATING A DANGEROUS SITUATION. Reporter: HE SAYS THE TAKE-HOME MESSAGE IS PEOPLE CONSIDER THEMSELVES ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR OWN ACTIONS, THEY'RE MORE LIKELY TO DO WHAT'S RIGHT. THOSE WHO BLAME THE SITUATION OR THEIR CIRCUMSTANCES CAN AND DO COMMIT ABUSES. VICKY NGUYEN, NBC BAY AREA NEWS. ANOTHER KEY FINDING OF THAT STUDY, ALMOST ALL THE PEOPLE WHO REFUSED TO SHOCK THE OTHER PERSON SAID THEY WOULD CONSIDER THEMSELVES RESPONSIBLE IF THAT PERSON WAS INJURED. THOSE WHO CONTINUED THE EXPERIMENT DIDN'T TAKE THE BLAME BUT FINGERED THE STUDY AND EVEN THE UNIVERSITY. A FASCINATING STUDY ON WHAT WE'RE CAPABLE OF.

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TORTURE? RESEARCHERS AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY INVESTIGATED AND
01/13/2010
NBC Bay Area News at 11 PM Weekend - KNTV-TV

WHAT MAKES SOMEONE CAPABLE OF TORTURE? RESEARCHERS AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY INVESTIGATED AND FOUND THAT ORDINARY PEOPLE, MEN AND WOMEN IN EXTRAORDINARY SITUATIONS, WILL DO THINGS THEY NEVER IMAGINED THEY WOULD. NBC BAY AREA'S VICKY NGUYEN REPORTS.

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TORTURE? RESEARCHERS AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY INVESTIGATED AND | View Clip
01/13/2010
NBC Bay Area News at 11 PM - KNTV-TV

WHAT MAKES SOMEONE CAPABLE OF TORTURE? RESEARCHERS AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY INVESTIGATED AND FOUND THAT ORDINARY PEOPLE, MEN AND WOMEN IN EXTRAORDINARY SITUATIONS, WILL DO THINGS THEY NEVER IMAGINED THEY WOULD. NBC BAY AREA'S VICKY NGUYEN REPORTS.

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10 Noteworthy Cyberlaw Developments of 2009 | View Clip
01/13/2010
Circleid.com

While I like John Ottaviani's perspectives on 2009's top Cyberlaw developments a lot, I independently developed my own top 10 list that has a different emphasis. You might enjoy the contrasts. My list:

#10: Louis Vuitton v. Akanoc. After the judge ordered a web host to stand trial, a jury awarded the trademark owner $32 million due to the web host's contributions to trademark infringement by its customers. This case stands out for the big damages award and as a rare example where an online provider was held liable under a contributory trademark liability theory. Many trademark practitioners are scratching their heads trying to figure out the import of this case, however. Does this case represent a dangerous new frontier of online liability? Was this a bad jury verdict fueled by poor defense lawyering? Or was this an appropriate outcome because the web host actually engaged in bad behavior that distinguishes it from most "legitimate" web hosts? 2010 may help us understand if this case is part of a new trend or an aberration.

#9: Gordon v. Virtumundo. We've seen a lot of silly anti-spam litigation, including the emergence of an entirely new group of entrepreneurs called "spam litigation entrepreneurs" who try to make a living on anti-spam lawsuits. These folks have a true love-hate relationship with spam; they hate it so much that they devote their lives to fighting it, but they love getting spam because each one is a potential revenue source. In general, judges hate spam a lot too, so over the years we have seen a number of doctrinally unsupportable results where judges bent the law to make sure spammers lost.

However, the judicial pendulum has swung in the opposite direction, and in Gordon v. Virtumundo, the Ninth Circuit destroyed a serial anti-spam plaintiff's entrepreneurial business in a doctrinally questionable but strongly worded opinion. In short order, a number of other spam litigation entrepreneurs have seen their lawsuits shut down with emphasis. Due to this ruling, the era of anti-spammers partying in courts may be on the wane.

#8: Zango v. Kaspersky. The question raised in this issue is simple to state but hard to answer: who should decide what constitutes spam, spyware or a virus? Vendors of software designed to curb these threats would like unfettered discretion to make their classifications; businesses who are classified as a threat would like judges to overturn adverse decisions. As it turns out, in a relatively obscure provision (47 USC 230(c)(2)), in 1996 Congress said that software vendors get to make classifications decisions and unhappy businesses can't complain about them. In June, the Ninth Circuit upheld Kaspersky's decision to classify Zango's software as a threat and rejected Zango's efforts to take the classification decision out of Kaspersky's hands. This ruling gives enormous freedom to vendors of anti-spam/anti-spyware/anti-virus software to do their best to keep us safe.

#7: Columbia Pictures v. Fung. This case came out just before the Christmas holiday, so it got lost in the holiday hoopla a bit, but it's a case of potentially significant import. First, it held that the specific torrent sites at issue induced copyright infringement. Second, the court denied the torrent sites' eligibility for the DMCA online safe harbors. In part, the court said that an inducing website was categorically disqualified from the DMCA online safe harbors. Like the Akanoc case, it's not entirely clear if this result was a legal aberration or an appropriate reaction to the defendants' poor choices. Either way, it is possible that more "legitimate" websites may change their behavior to minimize their exposure based on the legal precedents in this case. If they do, this case could have a major impact on UGC websites.

#6: Lori Drew's acquittal. Megan Maier's suicide remains a heartbreaking tragedy, but unfortunately, overzealous prosecutors compounded the tragedy by prosecuting Lori Drew using bogus legal doctrines. The tragic facts got a jury to convict Drew of some misdemeanor crimes. Fortunately, the judge recognized the legal errors of the prosecution's theory and the jury's conclusions and granted Drew an acquittal despite the jury findings. The judge finally got to the right result as a matter of Cyberlaw, but the case remains a chilling testament to prosecutorial power.

#5: Harris v. Blockbuster. The rule is really clear. Service providers can't amend online user agreements in the provider's sole discretion without notice. As the Ninth Circuit informed us in 2007, those contracts don't fare well in court. So although these provisions are in just about every online user agreement, they don't work--as Blockbuster found out the hard way.

As part of the litigation detritus from the Facebook Beacon experiment, users sued Blockbuster for sharing their rental transactions with Facebook and all of their friends, allegedly in violation of the Video Privacy Protection Act. Blockbuster tried to bust the class action by invoking the contract's arbitration clause. Instead, because Blockbuster had the impermissible amendment provision in its user agreement, the court said the contract was illusory and refused to send the case to arbitration.

This case should signal the end of the ridiculous amendment clauses. We'll see how long it takes the lawyers to give the provisions up.

#4: Battles Over the First Sale Doctrine. We have seen numerous legal battles this year over the First Sale defenses in both copyright and trademark law.

Copyright owners try to engage in price discrimination by carving up the world into geographic territories with different prices for the same product. If they can use copyright law to keep the cheap products from entering the other geographic market, this keeps the product from effectively price-competing with itself.

This year, two cases involved European textbooks which were functionally equivalent to the textbooks being sold in the United States at higher prices. Entrepreneurs were buying the cheap European texts, shipping them to the US and then selling them online. The entrepreneurs invoked the First Sale doctrine, which says that copyright law can't prohibit the legitimate purchaser of a tangible copyrighted item from reselling the item to whomever they want at whatever price they want.

However, copyright law has another provision that allows copyright owners to block the importation of copyrighted works into the United States. In the 1998 Quality King case, the US Supreme Court said that the First Sale doctrine trumped the importation right when the goods were manufactured in the US, sold overseas, and then imported back to the US. However, in Pearson v. Liu and John Wiley & Sons v. Kirtsaeng, the judges said that the importation right trumps the First Sale doctrine when the goods were initially manufactured overseas. This issue is ripe for further adjudication, though. A similar importation case, Costco v. Omega, is pending before the US Supreme Court, which is deciding whether or not it wants to hear the case. If it does, we may get clearer instructions about the interplay between the First Sale doctrine and the copyright importation right.

Copyright's First Sale doctrine was also at issue in Vernor v. Autodesk, where the purchaser of a software disk wanted to resell the disk on eBay despite restrictions in the software licensing agreement barring such resales. The court held that the First Sale doctrine applied and allowed the resale. There are other cases percolating through the court system involving the resale of tangible media contained copyrighted material despite contractual restrictions on resale, so this issue remains a hot one.

Trademark owners also try to prevent competition with their products that leak out of their official channels of distribution. eBay has been the site of a couple battles over the First Sale doctrine in trademark law. In Mary Kay v. Weber, the court held that the trademark First Sale doctrine may not permit the eBay resale of expired cosmetics by a Mary Kay independent beauty consultant. In Beltronics v. Midwest, a trademark owner shut down the eBay resale of radar detectors that had leaked out of the manufacturer's channel and were being sold (at a cheaper price) without the manufacturer's warranty.

Clearly, the First Sale doctrine matters a lot to eBay and other consumer-to-consumer e-commerce websites. With a possible pending Supreme Court case and lots of IP owners looking to stifle competition from goods they have already profited from, expect the First Sale doctrines to get lots of attention in 2010.

#3: 47 USC 230. In my opinion, 47 USC 230 is the most important Cyberlaw statute, so new 230 developments will make my top 10 list for the foreseeable future. This year, there were three federal appellate court rulings interpreting 47 USC 230(c)(1):

* in Barnes v. Yahoo, the Ninth Circuit held that 230 protected a website's negligent delay in removing user content. However, if the website had promised removal to the user, the user could have a viable claim for promissory estoppel that would not be preempted by 230.

* in FTC v. Accusearch, the Tenth Circuit held that a website's resale of pretexted phone records-even if those records were supplied by third party suppliers-did not qualify for 47 USC 230 protection because of their illegality.

* in Nemet Chevrolet v. ConsumerAffairs.com, the Fourth Circuit held that a consumer review website was not liable for user-supplied reviews, even when the website worked with the user to submit the review, and despite the plaintiff's unsubstantiated claims that the website had fabricated the reviews itself.

Really, the big 47 USC 230 news in 2009 is the absence of big news. Specifically, 2009 reinforced that the Ninth Circuit's 2008 Roommates.com decision-one of the most significant defense losses under 47 USC 230-did not rip open a major hole in the statutory protection of websites. Of the 13 cases that I have seen that have cited the Roommates.com en banc opinion, eleven have cited the case in favor of the defense. (See the list here). The two exceptions are the Accusearch case, mentioned above, and the New England Patriots' lawsuit against StubHub over season ticket resales, an odd opinion that may not have much influence. Therefore, despite our fears about Roommates.com, the 47 USC 230 immunity remained healthy and vibrant in 2009. For more on this topic, see my special recap of 47 USC 230's year-in-review for 2009.

#2: Keyword Advertising Battles. Keyword advertising battles are another perennial topic on these year-in-review lists. A multi-billion dollar a year industry has sprung up around the sale of keyword-triggered advertising, including some keywords that may be third party trademarks, and trademark owners don't like it at all. This has led to a multi-front battle between trademark owners, keyword advertising sellers (such as Google), and keyword advertising buyers.

One of the biggest Cyberlaw cases of the year was the Second Circuit's ruling in Rescuecom v. Google. In the district court in 2006, Google won an easy victory against a trademark owner because the court said that Google did not make the requisite "use in commerce" of the trademark. The Second Circuit reversed the district court, sending the case back for further proceedings. The reversal does not ensure Google's defeat; Google will now litigate other legal doctrines and might very well win on one of those. However, the Second Circuit's opinion largely spells the end of any "use in commerce" defense by either keyword advertising sellers or buyers.

Because of the "use in commerce" defense's demise, keyword advertising cases will now likely turn on whether the advertisements create a likelihood of consumer confusion. One case, Hearts on Fire v. Blue Nile, offered up a new and complicated test for gauging consumer confusion. If other courts adopt this test, keyword advertising cases will get even more expensive and complicated-highlighting how important it was that the Rescuecom case eliminated an easy way to end these lawsuits early.

Meanwhile, despite the fact that keyword advertising battles have been taking place for at least a decade, we have not heard what a jury thinks about the practice-until the November jury ruling in Fair Isaac v. Experian. In that case, the jury found for the defense that the keyword-triggered ads did not create the requisite likelihood of consumer confusion. It remains to be seen if other juries reach the same conclusion. If they do, keyword advertising lawsuits should slowly fade away over time because the trademark owners can't win in the end.

As for now, keyword litigation is going strong and hardly fading away. In Spring, Google made two changes to its trademark policies where it voluntarily agrees to take down certain types of ads at the trademark owner's request. In May, Google extended its more liberal US-based policy to nearly 200 other countries, replacing the more restrictive policies it had in place there. Shortly thereafter, Google modified its US policy to do less for trademark owners in situations involving product resales, review websites and sales of complementary/replacement parts. Trademark owners were none too pleased with these changes. In response to these changes and the door opened by the Second Circuit Rescuecom decision, Google got hit with about a dozen new lawsuits, including some class action lawsuits, of which I believe 10 are currently still active.

Finally, all of the wrangling in court and over voluntary trademark policies could be mooted by legislative action, and for the third time, the Utah state legislature considered resolving the keyword advertising issue itself. A law regulating keyword advertising passed the Utah house but died in the Utah senate. Expect the pro-regulatory forces to round up the troops for a fourth try in 2010.

#1: FTC Endorsement Guidelines for Bloggers. The Obama administration has breathed new life into a pro-regulatory FTC, and the FTC sure is interested in all things Internet. The FTC has been nosing around Internet privacy and Internet marketing practices pretty carefully, and I expect 2010 to bring more FTC pronouncements designed to tackle the Internet.

But nothing stirred up a hornet's nest of confusion and anger in 2009 like the FTC's Endorsement and Testimonials Guidelines. I think it's fair to say that the FTC's guidelines rollout was a complete failure. As usual, the FTC's guidelines were mealy-mouthed and filled with conditional statements (the FTC hates to lay out bright line rules that might constrain their future discretion). However, the FTC's general gist was clear: bloggers should disclose when they receive financial or other consideration for their blog posts.

Unfortunately, this general principle leaves open some fairly fundamental questions, like when is disclosure required in situations less clear than straight cash-for-posting, and where should disclosure be made, especially in space-constrained media like Twitter. Needless to say, unhappy bloggers can be very noisy, so blogger response to the FTC's announcement was loud and vituperative. The FTC tried to backpedal a little by saying that it did not intend to pursue individual bloggers, but this announcement only reinforced that bloggers do not understand what the FTC wants from them.

Meanwhile, the FTC's proposed guidelines also took an interesting position about an advertiser's liability for rogue blogger's posts. This position is generally consistent with government enforcement agencies' views that commercial players can be legally responsible for content they endorse or link to (see, e.g., my comments on the SEC's liability-for-linking policy), but this position runs directly contrary to 47 USC 230's provisions that say A isn't liable for B's online content. As a result, I believe that part of the FTC's proposed guidelines violate 47 USC 230 and would not survive a court challenge.

Overall, the firestorm over the FTC's Endorsement and Testimonials guidelines is a small part of a larger effort to regulatorily separate advertising from content. The Internet has collapsed those distinctions, perhaps irreparably, so regulators may be trying to accomplish the impossible. Nevertheless, the FTC seems determined to prop up the distinction, and I expect 2010 will bring more FTC efforts on this front.

Written by Eric Goldman, Associate Professor, Santa Clara University School of Law. Visit the blog maintained by Eric Goldman here.

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ADOBE HELPS KEEP FALCONS' NEST IN VIEW
01/13/2010
San Jose Mercury News

Evet Loewen, who's the lead Falcon Fan over at City Hall, got in touch last week with me about the need for funds to finish upgrading the FalconCam equipment that allows Silicon Valley to keep an eye on its favorite pair of Peregrine falcons, Clara and whoever is sharing her nest that particular season.

But Loewen e-mailed me this week with some very good news: Adobe Systems, which has its headquarters just a few blocks away from the falcons' roost, donated the final $2,000 needed to complete the project.

"We had many individual donors and four corporate sponsors that each contributed at least that amount in order to provide the equipment," Loewen said.

The existing single camera will be replaced by two new Sony cameras, making it possible to have views of the birds in flight. That's great news for the San Jose Peregrine Falcon Alliance -- the nonprofit group that works with the city of San Jose and the University of California-Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group -- and for the huge FalconCam audience, which spans 45 states and 13 countries.

JAZZ GOES TO HOLLYWOOD: San Jose Jazz is putting on the glitz with its Hollywood-themed fundraiser Jan. 30 at the San Jose Athletic Club. The Hollywood factor is coming in the form of noted film composer John Altman, who'll be performing with the San Jose Jazz Orchestra. He's got plenty of movie credits to his name (he arranged "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life," for Monty Python's "The Life of Brian"), and Los Angeles Times critic Don Heckman called him "one of the few film composers with authentic jazz skills."

"We'll keep the night fun with light food so that you can enjoy meeting new friends, listening to great music, and perhaps picking up a trip, some wine, or musical memorabilia at the auction," San Jose Jazz CEO Geoff Roach said.

Tickets for the 6:30 p.m. event are $100 for members of San Jose Jazz, and $150 for everyone else. Contact Madelyn Crawford at 408-288-7557, extension 2335, for information. And be sure to mark your calendars for the 21st annual downtown jazz festival, which will be held Aug. 13-15.

MEMORIAL: It was sad to hear about the passing of well-known San Jose businessman Murphy Sabatino Jr., who died Friday at age 66. The Bellarmine College Prep and Santa Clara University grad was probably best known for owning the Italian Gardens restaurant. A funeral Mass is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. today at Bellarmine College Prep's Leontyne Chapel.

Copyright © 2010 San Jose Mercury News

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Prop. 8 on Trial | View Clip
01/12/2010
Forum - KQED-FM

SCU Constitional Law Professor Margaret Russell was on KQED's Forum discussing the civil rights and constitutional law issues at stake in the federal case Perry v. Schwarzenegger, challenging California's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriages, Proposition 8.

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Workers Behaving Badly | View Clip
01/12/2010
Conference Board Review, The

Winter 2010 By VADIM LIBERMAN | ILLUSTRATION BY BRIAN STAUFFER/THEISPOT.COM

Where do you draw the line?

VADIM LIBERMAN is senior editor of TCB Review. He has not taken home any paper clips...this week.

This article is written for workplace miscreants who steal from, lie to, bribe on behalf of, and deceive their bosses and businesses. Not you, of course. Not only is the angel on your left shoulder restraining Satan on the other side—page thirty-four in the company manual forbids such hijinks.

But ask yourself: Have you ever slipped a pencil from your desk into your purse? Ever surfed the Internet in the office to check the score of this afternoon's game? Dropped a holiday package in the mailroom outbox? If you answered no to all the above, congratulations! You'd be the ideal ethically pure executive—that is, if your no weren't an outright lie.

Oh, come on, you might be thinking—it's just a pencil. True, and no one's demanding that the SEC investigate Pencilgate. But you know that the issue isn't the pencil so much as the act of pocketing it. In the wake of Tyco and Enron, we've all heard CEOs, HR execs, consultants, and all sorts of alleged experts deliver ear­nest, zero-tolerance sermons upholding the sanctity of ethics, as if one small misstep by Bob in accounting represents a giant leap into the evils of corporate malfeasance. Indeed, the notion that to address a wrong is never wrong is hard to dispute—we've all seen what can happen to organizations and their leaders who elect to look the other way. Before you know it, there's rampant harassment, larceny, cover-ups, and Jeff Skil­ling. All Very Bad. But what about employee behavior that is simply bad with a lowercase b?

The executive who expenses a few kinda-sorta-but-probably-not-really work-related dinners or cab rides, the colleague who comes in a bit late every morning, the employee who charges a hotel-room movie to the company, the worker who expenses a new stapler and takes it home, the manager who knows he needs a receipt for a reimbursement of $25 but since he doesn't have one decides to submit two requests for $12.50 . . . the question isn't whether these individuals are acting unethically. They probably are. The real question is: Should a company care? Should organizations concern themselves with all of their workers' ethical infractions? Or just specific bad behavior? Or just specific workers? Or just at specific times? Where do you draw the line?

One Pencil at a Time

To begin with, you better not draw it at home with a company pencil, says Victoria Sweeney, ethics and compliance principal at KPMG. “It's pretty basic,” she instructs: “Don't take things that don't belong to you.” Ignoring Sweeney, every year we swipe about a billion dollars' worth of things that don't belong to us, from paper clips to stationery to all sorts of items that disappear from supply closets right around the time that kids start school each September. Research suggests that about a third of employees pilfer occasionally, half do so regularly, and about one-fifth steal large volumes . . . which covers pretty much everyone. Additionally, for every workplace criminal who embezzles millions, there are surely millions more who—one pencil at time—are gradually erasing their companies' profits.

There's another way to look at this, of course: Some sociologists suggest that pilferage actually benefits an organization, citing a “hydraulic effect,” whereby it's better to allow employees to release frustrations by engaging in minor ethical wrongs rather than clamp down on such actions, which could ultimately drive workers to act out in more detrimental ways.

But even with a better-the-devil-you-know approach, there's still a devil. As such, Rand Corp. organizational psychologist Jerald Greenberg characterizes pilfering as “deviant workplace behavior.” But you have to wonder: When multiple studies suggest that the majority of employees engage in such conduct and see nothing wrong with it, do most of us qualify as deviants? Moreover, since these types of infractions have ingrained themselves so pervasively into our work lives, maybe it's about time all organizations accept them as a normal cost of doing business—much as the retail industry prices products to account for employee theft.

After all, for companies to dispatch an ethics Gestapo to storm hallways and micromanage workers is probably not just futile but counterproductive. “To become that ethically critical might have negative consequences on the work environment and make everyone in the office uncomfortable,” says Michael Hoffman, executive director of Bentley University's Center for Business Ethics. “There has to be rationality, where you're not trying to be an ethical fanatic.”

So why not let employees get away with the small stuff? The answer, of course, is because it's unclear when small becomes big. You know the argument: A pot smoker today is a coke addict tomorrow. (Granted, the slippery-slope argument is itself so slippery that it often slides into absurdity supported by anecdotes but little concrete evidence. If every pencil thief became an embezzler, the only labor you and most everyone else would be doing would be the forced kind, behind bars.)

Still, a corporate criminal's first violation will never be the one that makes The Wall Street Journal, so it's understandable that an organization might worry that turning a blind eye to any ethics abuse might later lead to a painfully pricey slap across its face. “If the goal is to create an ethical culture, you must enforce the rules,” says Linda Treviño, distinguished professor of organizational behavior and ethics at Penn State's Smeal College of Business. “If you let the little things go, it sends a message that the rules don't matter.”

But where is the rule that says that all rules must always matter? “Companies often misplace energy at easy gotchas,” complains Steve Priest, president of Wilmette, Ill.-based Ethical Leadership Group. “Rules don't always need to be top priorities.” For instance, each year, corporations of all sizes ignore legal regulations and their own ethics codes by allowing and even encouraging March Madness basketball pools.

“Every one of these companies has made a conscious decision to look the other way,” Priest says. “So even companies that say they draw the line at illegal behavior, which is the easiest bright line to draw, don't do that.” And that's OK, he adds: “I don't want to work for a company where there's an ethics cop on every corner.”

How about just the public corner, then, where your organization interacts with outside stakeholders? “Inside an organization, managers ought to be allowed a fair bit of discretion in how they deal with workers' ethical lapses,” suggests Chris MacDonald, who writes the Business Ethics Blog and teaches philosophy at St. Mary's University in Halifax, “but if employees are treating outsiders unethically, then the behavior becomes an unethical act of the organization. That should never be condoned.”

What Price Ethics?

Suppose you discover your top salesman padding his expense account or charging a few too many dinners at the Four Seasons? Should you question him about his questionable activities?

Certainly, you'd be justified in asking him to right his wrongs, but he's your key rainmaker, and in this economy, you can't afford a drought by initiating a conversation that risks demoralizing him. So which is more vital to your enterprise—financial success or ensuring that one employee is following rules?

To answer that question, think back to the example of pilfering office supplies. It's easy to condemn stealing items ranging from copy paper to toilet paper (yes, it happens!) because it hacks into a company's operating budget. However, given that you risk a greater net loss by taking to task your top talent, playing dumb to his self-appointed “perks” might be not only your smartest move but also your most ethical if it means making enough money to keep other workers employed.

Unless, that is, the ethics of pocketing Post-Its, creative expensing of accounts, and other misdeeds hinges on something other than the immediate impact on your firm's financial health. By winking at your star performer's exploits, you're valuing his morale over that of the rest of your workforce, who will stare back at you in anger over what they'll surely perceive as unfair, preferential treatment. “Managers have to at least recognize,” MacDonald says, “that by taking these risks, there might be some kind of corrosive effect on morale,” which can cause productivity and corporate earnings to plummet in the long term. In which case, you're not really weighing egalitarianism against profit-making. By maintaining your eye on the bottom line, your actual conundrum is this: Whose motivation and productivity is more important when it comes to bringing in the cash—your high performer's or everyone else's?

Cost-benefit calculations are nothing new to business, but we don't like to think we're squinting through goggles with dollar signs when deliberating about ethics. Nonetheless, the capitalist within us is always battling our inner ethical Marxist. Consequently, “companies sweep stuff under the rug all the time,” says David Callahan, author of The Cheating Culture: Why More Americans Are Doing Wrong to Get Ahead. “They do it for their own self-interest, because they don't want to lose a good employee, or because they don't want to risk public embarrassment.”

Nevertheless, explanations for why organizations look the other way are not justifications—but they could be. How's this for a straightforward reply to an employee who whines about feeling demoralized by the injustice of double standards: “Hey, when you haul ass and get to the top of the sales chart, then we'll look the other way with you, too.” OK, you might not use those words, but at least they would clarify that the company draws its line based on performance. What's so unfair about that? After all, haven't elite employees earned the right to special consideration? Isn't the prospect of privileged treatment partly what drives us to excel?

“If the rules don't apply to high performers,” cautions Linda Treviño, “the rest of your employees will dismiss them as irrelevant. Perceived fairness is one of the most important aspects of an ethical culture.” And here's where slippery-slope thinking offers a legitimate warning: While someone who gets away with exaggerating an expense report by $5 probably won't ever misappropriate $5,000, his action nonetheless sends a message to other workers that the company makes some exceptions for minor theft. Consequently, more employees are likelier to model such behavior. Which isn't to imply that unethical employees can't compose a financially successful company. Take a hard look around your own workplace!

However, “if the top people are behaving with integrity, others will too, and you'll stand a better chance at having a financially stronger company in the long run,” counsels Andrew Singer, editor of the business-ethics journal Ethikos.

I

ntuitively, this all makes sense—except when it doesn't. Quite often, the only person aware of an employee's misdeeds is his manager. Since others can't mimic behavior they can't see, since this is a star performer reeling in astronomical profits, since there's no reason to think he'll become the next Bernie Ebbers, what does a manager stand to gain by confronting his subordinate, given a potential decrease in the worker's motivation, engagement, performance, productivity, and company profits?

“Look, when unethical behavior persists in the long run, it's a chronic disease that poisons relationships,” Singer says. “If the employee is very productive but doesn't live up to the company's values, then get rid of him,” adds Libby Sartain, who formerly headed up HR at Yahoo! and Southwest Airlines. “You can find somebody else who will produce and live up to the values”—especially if he's a senior leader.

Ah, the tone-at-the-top maxim preached about literally every facet of business. “The real culture is set not in value and mission statements but in how the boss behaves,” says James O'Toole, the University of Denver's Daniels Distinguished Professor of Business Ethics. “That is why the people at the very top have to hold themselves to the very highest standards of behavior. The leader has to be the most virtuous person in the organization.”

That a company's top people must be its most upright, however, automatically implies a hierarchical approach to ethics, in which a worker's ethical bar is only as high as his ladder rung. “The moral example leaders give is a fundamental and legitimate aspect of their overall leadership,” explains Kirk Hanson, executive director of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University. “If they fail, it is a more serious flaw in their performance.” As a result, Hanson argues, corporations should apply the same ethical expectations regardless of a person's title, but those at the top should be subject to harsher punishments for similar ethical lapses. If a senior executive won't lead by good example, then the company should make an example out of him.

And here's an example: Rick Shreve, a business-ethics professor at Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business, tells a story from some years back about an employee who decided for himself to spy on a competitor. Rummaging through a Dumpster outside the ballroom where the competing company was holding a meeting, the worker unearthed a detailed product-introduction plan. He took the information back to his own organization, where he and his team spent a lot of time and money developing a competing product—until their chief executive got wind of the project.

The CEO gathered all the team's work on its new product and sent it to the competitor. He also hired a consultant and presented him with his firm's long-range plan as it appeared the day before his company snatched the information from the trash.

The CEO then instructed the consultant to determine whether his organization had departed in any way from its pre-existing plan that would indicate taking advantage of the dubiously acquired information. “That's a great story and a part of the company's culture now,” Shreve says. “It shows that, regardless of any impact on finances, the company won't look away from unethical conduct.”

Blurring the Lines

“When it comes to ethics, drawing a line is more art than science,” says Andrew Singer, but even so, you want to use the right brushstrokes in painting an ethical workplace. It's understandable if after performing the above mental acrobatics, with one what-if somersault spun into another, you're left too dizzy to dismount on an ethical line that isn't arbitrary. Having contemplated the severity of the act, an individual's job performance and title, group morale, and corporate profits, you're probably still wondering: When is it OK for your company to look away?

“You

can draw a line at a pencil, but does that really make sense?” asks business-ethics consultant Lauren Bloom. “You have to be reasonable, because if you become too draconian, you're not going to have an employee left in your office. Every situation will depend on its own merits. You need to have rules, but they need to be flexible. Unless you're talking about illegal things, ethics are always to some degree a bit of a judgment call.” This may be the worst advice you'll hear, since it continues to leave you staggering through a gray fog . . . but wait—it may also be the best advice, because it does offer a way out of the haze.

Where do you draw the line? The best answer is:

You don't. Acknowledging that you can't wholly separate black from white to account for reason and common sense doesn't necessarily trap you in an ethical maze. It's not only possible to work within the gray—it may even be preferable.

The reality is that that you can't codify everything. If you try, you'll end up with a thick corporate manual that your employees will bury in their file cabinets right under a folder labeled “1996 Invoices,” with HR's inevitable photocopied updates and additions recycled before reading. (Just ask Enron's bad boys at what point they consulted the company's sixty-four-page code of ethics.) Even if you could devise regulations to cover every possible scenario, chances are that your company is unlikely to follow all of them—since it probably doesn't even uniformly follow the rules it sets now. (Rest un-assured that your employees will discover ingenious ways to get around them, anyway.) Policies enforced randomly, unfairly, or not at all are useless. And yet no one would blame you for confusing some corporations' code of ethics with the IRS manual. Why this continued obsession with rules?

Blame it on lawyers. “Companies are writing forty-page codes to cover their backsides rather than writing rules employees can really live with,” Lauren Bloom complains. “Being compliant is the price of entry, a threshold,” insists Kathleen Edmond, Best Buy's chief ethics officer. “Ethics extends beyond legalities.” Putting aside that no culture in the world is 100 percent compliant anyway, according to Steve Priest, without rules to guide behavior, how can your company cultivate an ethical culture? By focusing instead on values and principles. Think of Google's now-familiar edict, “Don't be evil.” Yes, Google's and other firms' dos and don'ts are more aspirational than prescriptive. But vagueness is precisely their advantage. By offering guides rather than rules, they allow managers the freedom to use discretion. They permit managers to . . . manage.

Of course, slapping your corporate logo onto the Ten Commandments and calling it your ethics handbook is only the beginning, after which you'll realize that the real line to draw is between ambiguity and specificity. In sketching that fuzzy line, “companies will have lawyers in one room developing codes of conduct based on laws, and HR in another room working on values,” says Ron James, president and CEO of the Center for Ethical Business Cultures at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, “but this is an area where everyone, including the leaders, has to be involved.” People are more apt to follow rules when they've had a say in how they were developed. “It's Social Contract 101,” adds David Callahan. Additionally, because every ethical culture is unique, no consultant can possibly understand an organization's ethical landscape like the employees already working inside a company. “I've been asked to write a code of ethics for an organization, and I told them no,” Chris MacDonald says. “I can write it with them, but not for them. Companies need to have some ownership of their codes. And you definitely don't buy a code of ethics off the rack.”

Nonetheless, regardless of how you balance values with rules, the risk remains that different managers will deal with different employees unevenly. Bear in mind, though: Unequal is not the same as unfair treatment.

Forget about treating all your workers equally. You already don't. “We give people raises, bonuses, and promotions based on merit,” MacDonald explains. Your goal, then, is not equality but equal consideration, which entails addressing everyone with respect. “I don't want to come off as an HR weenie,” says Steve Priest, “but roughly two-thirds of incidents that come into ethics hotlines could have been eliminated if only the manager and the employee talked things through respectfully.”

The more transparent you are in explaining your ethics assessments, the less likely you'll give an impression that you're making decisions arbitrarily. For instance, if you intend to make merit-based exceptions when it comes to general policies regarding expense accounts or company time and property, you might want to put that in writing. For example, to address theft of office supplies, a company may choose to allow employees “reasonable use of company property for personal purposes” or “the occasional taking home of supplies of a nominal value.” Though some might argue that this would increase unethical acts, in actuality it only codifies existing behavior. “Mainly, managers need only to make sure that their decisions are defensible, reasonable, and do not take workers by surprise,” says Lauren Bloom.

T

o a certain extent, all this is simply good management rather than terribly sophisticated ethical focusing,” MacDonald says. Of course, you still want to do what's right, but most ethical quandaries don't offer clear win-win outcomes. But that doesn't mean there needs to be a loser. As long as you concentrate not on drawing a line but on always pushing it in the right direction, you're more likely to create a worthy ethical culture.

“It's all like raising children,” suggests Rand's Jerald Greenberg. “There's a general set of values and norms to guide their behavior. If you bring kids up right and they know what's expected, they will make the right decisions.” Most of the time, anyway.

When the Apples Aren't the Problem

People who do bad things aren't necessarily bad people. Most don't wake up and think, Today is the day I'm going to screw my company. But when they do, your company—by wagging a finger solely at such offenders—may be inadvertently giving itself the finger by ignoring a larger problem.

Now, no one's arguing against personal accountability, but sometimes it's the system, stupid. “When people misbehave, they're responding to perverse incentives,” explains James O'Toole, co-author of Transparency: How Leaders Create a Culture of Candor. “When a salesman plays with numbers and moves sales forward or back into quarters, it is because he is rewarded for doing so.

“The problem is that we're spending a fortune on ethics training,” O'Toole continues. “When ethics trainers come in, they are exhorting and preaching to people down the line to be good. If that money were spent creating systems in which people are incentivized to do good, then you'd have a truly ethical culture.”

Rather than discourage your workers from being bad, encourage them to be good. Negative reinforcement reinforces nothing but negative feelings within your employees. “The problem is not with bad apples but with the barrel makers who create the system,” claims O'Toole, who recommends profit-sharing and stock ownership to increase positive peer pressure to do good. Workers who have a greater stake in a company are less prone to tolerate unethical behavior by others. Likewise, an open-book management approach, which shares financial numbers and greater decision-making among all employees, makes it that much harder to game the system.

Most importantly, de-emphasize the dollar, says Timothy Keane, director of the Emerson Ethics Center at Saint Louis University; he claims that “the focus on pure profitability puts undue stress on individuals.” Look back to 2002, when the state of New Jersey charged Sears, Roebuck and Co. with running auto-repair shops that charged customers for unnecessary work. The company responded by immediately scrapping its commission-based pay system. “You could say the Sears workers were bad apples without any morals,” says Working Ethics consultancy founder Marvin Brown, “but it was really an incentive system based on commissions that led to this. Once Sears changed its incentive system, that kind of behavior stopped.” —V.L.

Is Bad the New Good?

You can pretty much guess how a tough economy impacts ethics in the office: Nervous, unsure, and jittery employees act in all sorts of ways they otherwise wouldn't during better times. And that's great news! It's the silver lining to a blackened economy.

It is true that workers' ethical behavior changes during economic downturns, but not in the ways that you were probably thinking. According to recent research by the Ethics Resource Center, ethical behavior has improved since 2007. A bad economy, it seems, is good for workplace ethics.

The Center's 2009 National Business Ethics Survey shows that observed misconduct, willingness to report misdeeds, and pressure to cut corners all improved over the past two years, despite the recession. “The anxieties of a shrinking economy did not translate, in general, into a free fall in ethical behavior. Far from it,” said ERC president Patricia Harned.

The finding is no anomaly: The ERC survey detected a similar pattern between 2000 and 2003, when the dotcom bubble, 9/11, and numerous corporate scandals stunned the market.

Today's ethical silver lining, however, can easily tarnish. “I believe there's a bit of lag time when it comes to reporting misconduct,” explains KPMG ethics and compliance chief Victoria Sweeney. “It isn't always a bank robbery, where you see it right away. You may discover misconduct that happened during the recession when there's an uptick in the economy.” Indeed, right after 2003, as the economy picked up, ethical conduct went the opposite route. The explanation is obvious: No one wants to play a game of Catch Me If You Can with an employer if getting caught means getting fired.

Regardless, even though workers are behaving better these days, don't delude yourself into thinking that a recession has produced some ethical utopia. Though the ERC research indicates that the number of employees who observed workplace misconduct is down 7 points from 56 percent two years ago, that still means nearly half of all workers have witnessed lying, privacy breaches, expense- and timesheet falsifications, improper hiring practices, and company-resource abuse. So get ready, because when the economy recovers, who knows what a bursting ethics bubble will release? —V.L.

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Tom Campbell to announce he's dropping out of California's gubernatorial race | View Clip
01/12/2010
KPCC-FM - Online

Tuesday Jan. 12th | Home » CA/Local » Tom Campbell to announce he's dropping out of California's gubernatorial race

FILE - In this Sept. 16, 2009 file photo, California Finance Director Tom Campbell speaks during a panel discussion at Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, Calif. Former U.S. Rep. Campbell is skipping a forum for Republican gubernatorial candidates this week amid mounting speculation that he intends to quit the race.

Political bloggers hinted at it – but political reporters for the “San Jose Mercury News” have said it straight out: Former Congressman Tom Campbell plans to announce on Thursday in Los Angeles that he's dropping out of the race for governor.

Campbell's exit cuts the Republican field to two high-profile hopefuls: Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner and former eBay boss Meg Whitman.

His decision to quit the race seemed likely last week when the University of California, Berkeley, business professor issued not a word in response to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposed state budget.

That's not the way a candidate for governor acts.

But it might be appropriate behavior for a United States Senate candidate.

When he announces he's quitting the race for governor, Campbell is expected to say he'll run to be the GOP candidate for Barbara Boxer's Senate seat.

Among the Republicans running, Campbell will be a moderate alternative to conservative Irvine Assemblyman Chuck Devore – with Washington experience to boot.

He's from the Silicon Valley like former Hewlett Packard chief Carly Fiorina, but with a lot more political experience. Campbell will find out soon if that's what California's Republican voters want in the US Senate.

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