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Comment: Re:Not wiretapping: There was no wire! (Score 1) 790

Are you serious? The relevant PA law is referred to in the code as "WIRETAPPING AND ELECTRONIC SURVEILLANCE," and it explicitly covers this scenario. There doesn't need to be a wire involved.

"Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, a person is guilty of a felony of the third degree if he: (1) intentionally intercepts, endeavors to intercept, or procures any other person to intercept or endeavor to intercept any wire, electronic or oral communication;"

Comment: Re:Lobbying aside (Score 1) 416

by jratcliffe (#46761117) Attached to: Intuit, Maker of Turbotax, Lobbies Against Simplified Tax Filings

Who would mod this nonsense up? Inflation was 1.8% or so in 2013.

Where have you been? Food prices are up more than 10% since January...

In what country? Certainly not this one. They're up 3.3% since December, and only 1.7% since March of 2013. Meat's up a lot (11.5% since December, 5.1% since March of 2013), but that's only part of the story.

See table 2:

Anyway, food's less than 15% of the average household's spending.

Comment: For the first time ever... (Score 2) 385

by jratcliffe (#46756887) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

I needed an extension this year. Some tardy 1099s, an erroneous 1099-R, a K-1 (that MLP just wasn't worth the hassle), a bunch of self-employment income, and it all just snowballed. Last couple of years I've used an accountant, but done them myself as a check, and to make sure I understand what's going on. Our results have never differed by more than a couple hundred $.

Comment: Re:Paper and US Postal Service (Score 5, Insightful) 385

by jratcliffe (#46756865) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

"Tax returns and their computations are merely a simple mathematical puzzle, which I easily solve."

None of the operations are very complex (add, subtract, multiply, divide), but knowing which numbers to perform those computations on, is sometimes far from simple. Get some K-1 income at some point, and see if you think taxes are still a "simple" puzzle.

Comment: Not Odd At All (Score 4, Insightful) 148

by jratcliffe (#46727137) Attached to: 'weev' Conviction Vacated

"Oddly, the reason for the ruling was not based on the merits of the case, but on the venue in which he was tried (PDF)."

This isn't odd at all. If the venue was incorrect, then all the issues raised in the trial become irrelevant.

Think of it this way: if he'd been charged with "being a Mets fan," and the appeal was based on (a) there's no law against being a Mets fan, and (b) the evidence that he was a Mets fan (a cap) was obtained through an illegal search, then whether or not the search was illegal would be irrelevant - he had broken no law, so the "conviction" would be tossed out.

Comment: Horse hockey (Score 4, Insightful) 319

by jratcliffe (#46687727) Attached to: SF Evictions Surging From Crackdown On Airbnb Rentals

"'Unfortunately, we can't provide individual legal assistance or review lease agreements for our 500,000 hosts, but we do try to help inform people about these issues,'

Bullcrap. If they wanted to actually ensure that their rentals were legal, they could do vastly more to ensure that. In NYC, for example, any whole unit rental (where the lessor isn't going to be there as well) of 30 days is illegal if the unit isn't a licensed hotel. If you try to post a property for a non-roommate rental in NYC, they could have the site simply say "Is this unit a licensed hotel? If not, then the rental would violate NYC law. Please confirm that the unit is a licensed hotel unit. Yes/No"

They don't even bother with this level of fig leaf.

Comment: Re:another great example... (Score 2) 66

If NYC turns around and deregulates the taxi turfs then they are facing a ~$30 billion dollar class action law suit from those owners. It would be great to transition to a less regulated market; but the current stakeholders (a lot of them individual drivers with medallions that can't be rented out to others and who have all of their savings plus a monster loan tied into their cab) will not be going quietly into bankruptcy.

While I agree that any attempt to deregulate would result in the current medallion owners screaming bloody murder, they wouldn't have a leg to stand on, legally. The city has never made any commitments as to the number of medallions it will issue. It could have another auction tomorrow with a minimum bid of $0.01 and 1 billion medallions up for sale. Of course, it's not going to, particularly since the Mayor De Blasio is 100% in the pocket of the taxi companies, who have been major campaign contributors.

You are in a maze of little twisting passages, all alike.