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  • Ballot-selfies are now legal in New Hampshire
     A polling station in Nashua, New Hampshire. Photo by Mark Buckawicki via Wikimedia Commons

    A law prohibiting New Hampshire voters from taking self-portraits with their ballots has been deemed unfair. Taking self-portraits with your ballot markings in a voting booth has been illegal in that state since 2014 and punishable by a fine of up to $1,000. The law was put in place to avoid potential vote-buying schemes. Politicians feared that the ballots in the images could be used for tracking and verifying influenced votes. 

    This law has now deemed to be unfair and in violation of the First Amendment by the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston, which has upheld a lower court ruling. The court acknowledged the reasons for implementing the legislation but said in the ruling it felt there was a 'substantial mismatch between New Hampshire's objectives and ballot-selfie prohibition,' and that 'the restrictions on speech' were 'antithetical to democratic values.'

    Ballot selfies are regulated in different ways across the US. A total of 26 states prohibit them explicitly through various laws, such as bans on cameras in polling places. In 9 states, now including New Hampshire and Oregon they are allowed and in the remaining states the law is unclear. The court ruling in Boston only has an impact in New Hampshire but hopefully other states will follow, as harmonized laws across the nation would provide some much-needed clarity on the subject.

  • Narrative will stop selling its life-logging cameras

    Narrative, the company behind the Narrative Clip, has stopped selling its life-logging cameras. The Narrative Clip, first unveiled four years ago, is designed to clip to the owner’s shirt, where it snaps photos of their day in 30 second intervals. The camera has been updated since, but failed to appeal to consumers in any large way, and now the company behind it has stopped both sales and support of the devices.

    Narrative announced the end of its sales and support in a message sent to customers. It isn’t clear what the company plans for the future, though TechCrunch suggests Narrative may continue to exist as a ‘support group’ of some sort for Clip owners; this will apparently involve a tool that enables the cameras to keep functioning, though to what degree isn't clear.

    Because of the nature of Narrative Clip, a single day's worth of usage could result in thousands of photos. When used with Narrative's software, the best moments are automatically selected from those photos, trimming down the mass of content to a more easily managed collection. Without software that provides that functionality, the cameras won't be nearly as useful due to most people not having time to sort through thousands of images every day.

    Via: TechCrunch