Mercury completes an orbit every 88 days, and passes between the Earth and the Sun every 116 days, according to the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS).
But its orbit is tilted in relation to Earth’s, which means it usually appears — from our perspective — to pass above or below the Sun.
Ending Apple’s legal feud with state and federal antitrust regulators, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected the Silicon Valley power’s last-ditch appeal of an order requiring the company to establish a $450 million compensation fund because it colluded with publishers in the electronic book market to jack up prices.
In a one-line order, the justices without comment let stand a federal appeals court ruling last year that backed a lower court decision against Apple, accused by the U.S. Justice Department and dozens of states of violating antitrust laws when the company entered the e-books market in 2010. The gist of the government’s case was that Apple tried to rig the e-books market in an effort to cut into Amazon’s grip on the industry.
Of course, the DOJ ran to the appeals court, claiming (among other things) that their system couldn’t stop collecting the metadata of those individual entities without shutting down the whole program and putting us all at risk of TEH TERRRORISTS!!!!!. Of course, in the alternative, it argued that J.J. Little still shouldn’t have standing because there’s no proof that Verizon Business Network Services (VBNS) is still a part of the bulk collection program. As Marcy Wheeler pointed out, these arguments are nonsensical. First, the system clearly has the capability to remove certain indicators, as the government has previously admitted it had to leave out things like pizza parlors that mucked up the connection data. Second, it’s bizarre to argue that taking this one number out would let the terrorists win… while at the same time arguing that maybe the entire VBNS no longer participates in the program.
The panel ruled (pdf) unanimously that the plaintiffs, led by conservative activist Larry Klayman, couldn’t prove their calls had been swept up because their calls were handled by Verizon Wireless, not Verizon Business, which had previously been found to have turned over calling data to the National Security Agency (NSA). This ruling came despite government documents released earlier this month that showed the NSA had also swept up Verizon Wireless data.
The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled (pdf) Wednesday in a 2-1 decision that just because a third party holds information, it does not mean that it can be made freely available to police.