Mark, Kelly and I decided on an impromptu war driving session tonight (this morning? Ah, the wonders of midnight) starting from Kelly's house. I had my laptop, Kelly had his (obviously, we were at his house); Mark didn't have his on hand since the war driving session was pretty much last minute. As Kelly was downloading yet another wireless monitoring package (for Windows) to try, we discussed who would drive. We settled on Mark driving this time, since there were only three of us, and this time I wanted to run a laptop.
Once Kelly finished installing the software, we arranged ourselves in Mark's car—Mark as driver, Kelly got shotgun, myself in the back. Mark plugged his inverter into the cigarette lighter; Kelly and I plugged our laptops into the inverter.
Which promptly died.
The fuse in the inverted was still good. After a few minutes of discussion about the situation, we came to the conclusion that we may have blown the fuse on the cigarette lighter. We then abandon Mark's Toyota Camry for my Chevy Lumina, which last time had no problem running two laptops off the cigarette lighter. Meant I wouldn't be able to run the laptop, but life is full of compromises.
We then arranged ourselves in my car—myself as driver, Mark got shotgun (and my laptop) and Kelly in the back. Mark plugged the inverter in the cigarette lighter, plugged in the laptops.
The inverter lasted maybe all of five seconds, then died.
More discussion. Since the fuse in the inverter is still good (it's rated at 30 amps) we must have blown the cigarette fuse in my car. Over to the Wal★Mart Supercenter. In the parking lot we check my car's fuse box and yup, the cigarette fuse is blown. In the store, fuses, out the store, replace fuse. Plug in inverter, plug in my laptop—
—and pop goes the car fuse.
Much discussion ensues. Do I want to risk replacing the 15 amp fuse with a 20 amp fuse? 30 amp fuse? We're pretty sure the battery and alternator can handle the current (later on back at Kelly's Mark checks—yes, the battery and alternator can handle it) but can the wiring? I decide to risk a 20 amp fuse—
—and pop goes the car fuse.
After that, I decide not to take any further risks, which pretty much killed the night's war driving effort. The power brick for my laptop is just pulling too much power. About the only thing I can think of next to to remove the battery since the laptop can run while recharging the battery; not sure if that will work or not.
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So the situation is that they are suing me to force me to remove graphics that are already offline and which I have told them will remain offline. And they are suing me to recover money that they know does not exist. Taubman is wasting not only their own time and money blindly pursuing this meaningless charge, this waste of resources has a ripple effect:
- I'm wasting my time having to defend myself.
- My attorney (a noted public-interest lawyer) is spending his limited time defending me from this charge, time which certainly could be better spent addressing more important issues instead of wrestling with Taubman over an issue that they've basically manufactured out of smoke and mirrors.
- And now, a United States Magistrate Judge has had to conduct a hearing and write a 12-page order just to get Taubman to produce information that they should have provided months ago!
In fact, oddly enough, the only people who appear to be benefiting from this absurd situation are the law firm of Gifford, Krass, Groh, Sprinkle, Anderson & Citkowski, P.C. – and, in particular, Ms. Julie A. Greenberg, the lead partner on this case, whose website bio proudly boasts of her “extensive experience in the field of pretrial injunctions involving infringement." (I had a comment prepared to insert here, but I'll let Ms. Greenberg's words speak for themselves … )
I used to wonder why law suits took so long to work their way through the court system. After reading this entire site (way over 120 pages of it, and it's still on-going!) I can see why they take as long as they do as each side jockeys to prove they're right and to prove the other side are incompetent to stand trial.
And this is a relatively small case over a fan site of a mall!
What, exactly, do the lawyers suing Hank Mishkoff, think they are going to accomplish? They first started off by threatening Mr. Mishkoff with legal action for making a fan site for the client's mall and saying it was doing irreprable harm (trademark dilution most likely). Mr. Mishkoff would have taken the site down if they actually responded kindly to him, but no, after some discussions he was sued. At first he made a valient effort to defend himself but the lawyers have the law so stacked against everybody that you need a lawyer just to make any headway (and now Mr. Mishkoff has a lawyer working pro bono on the case). And nearly a year later, was hit with copyright infringement.
Who exactly, besides the lawyers, is gaining from any of this?
Certainly not Taubman's client, who have to pay for what is fast looking like a lost cause on their part, and even if they do win, any financial retribution will not cover their lawyers' fees at all.
It's coming to the point where businesses are going to have to reign in their legal departments before they're bled dried trying to defend their businesses—some actions are just not worth the effort.