Justices Technologically Out of Touch

Many of us have a hard time keeping up with today’s technology. But it seems that the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court may need a brief tutorial on current technology terminology and habits.

According to Reuters News Services, the high court’s justices are making a number of technology gaffs during oral arguments in cases brought before the court, including the recent case involving TV online startup company Aereo. One justice referred to online movie reseller Netflix as “Netflick,” while another was apparently unaware that HBO is a channel on cable television.

Supreme Court pundits and watchers reportedly give Justice Sonya Sotomayor high marks because of her familiarity with Roku. Justice Antonin Scalia was at the other end of the scale (he was the one who didn’t know HBO was a cable channel). But Justice Stephen Breyer apparently makes frequent references to “phonographic records,” and Chief Justice John Roberts has a hard time believing that many people carry more than one cellphone at a time.

Perhaps the most amusing comment was made by Justice Anthony Kennedy in a software patent case. According to Justice Kennedy, software code can be written “by any computer group of people sitting around a coffee shop.”