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Comment: Re:Trust but verify (Score 1) 211

by m.ducharme (#47229619) Attached to: Tesla Releases Electric Car Patents To the Public

Yeah, I'm not familiar with the distinction you're drawing. Verbal and oral are basically the same thing, both terms mean a contract spoken but not written down (at least, that was the case when I went to law school, and I've never encountered anything in practice that says otherwise), and Musk's blog post is not verbal or oral. It's written, but it's not a contract. There is only one party, it's not a meeting of the minds. Essentially it's a gift.

Comment: Re:Trust but verify (Score 1) 211

by m.ducharme (#47229603) Attached to: Tesla Releases Electric Car Patents To the Public

For what it's worth, I've never heard that definition of "verbal" contract at all, either in law school or in my practice. As far as I'm concerned, a verbal and an oral contract are the same thing. You might be able to quibble and say that a contract made in American Sign Language is verbal but not oral, I guess.

Comment: Re:Tax filing (Score 1) 50

by m.ducharme (#46719169) Attached to: Canada Halts Online Tax Returns In Wake of Heartbleed

I'll concede the point on personal taxes, for the most simple solutions, but once you start adding in business income, corporate taxes, and the like, the complexity level goes way up. And if you happen to run a business in an HST jurisdiction? Forget about it. Many tax lawyers haven't yet figured that shit out.

Comment: Re:Tax filing (Score 1) 50

by m.ducharme (#46714561) Attached to: Canada Halts Online Tax Returns In Wake of Heartbleed

Actually, governments federal and provincial have streamlined a lot of the services they provide. In fact, in at least one case I can think of, major inefficiencies are starting to crop up because they've trimmed too much fat. Employment Insurance (including sick leave and parental leave), for example, takes a month or more to get not because of the process, but because they don't have enough operators answering the phones.

Comment: Re:Tax filing (Score 1) 50

by m.ducharme (#46714469) Attached to: Canada Halts Online Tax Returns In Wake of Heartbleed

Once you Efile they stop sending forms to you.

I think now they've stopped sending them entirely.

Realistically there is free tax software, and Canadian taxes are pretty straightforward.

Ahahahahahah! I have an annotated 2010 Canadian Tax Act book weighing down my bookshelf that would beg to differ.

Comment: Re:That's only part of the story. (Score 1) 60

by m.ducharme (#46312181) Attached to: Canadian Court Tries to Dampen Copyright Trolls In P2P Lawsuits

Not per infringer, per lawsuit. Only way to get $5k per infringer is to sue each infringer separately.

38.1 (1) Subject to this section, a copyright owner may elect, at any time before final judgment is rendered, to recover, instead of damages and profits referred to in subsection 35(1), an award of statutory damages for which any one infringer is liable individually, or for which any two or more infringers are liable jointly and severally, ...
(b) in a sum of not less than $100 and not more than $5,000 that the court considers just, with respect to all infringements involved in the proceedings for all works or other subject-matter, if the infringements are for non-commercial purposes.

Comment: Re:That's only part of the story. (Score 1) 60

by m.ducharme (#46312149) Attached to: Canadian Court Tries to Dampen Copyright Trolls In P2P Lawsuits

It's not $5k per person, it's $5k per lawsuit. If they go after all 2000 infringers in Voltage v Does, they will be limited to $5000 statutory damages, if they choose statutory damages; they can still try to prove actual damages on a per plaintiff basis. Since actual damages is (lost profit of one copy of "jarhead")*infringer, and they actually have to prove those damages on a balance of the probabilities (i.e. everyone with open wifi routers walks), they're not going to make much money.

Comment: Re:I'm sure they're grateful for COBRA (Score 2) 287

by m.ducharme (#46150859) Attached to: Layoffs At Now-Private Dell May Hit Over 15,000 Staffers

Sorry no, you've entirely neglected the fact that private healthcare leads to higher per-capita costs as insurers fleece their clients.Insurance companies aren't taking a little profit off the top, they're taking massive profits compared to their costs.

  The idea behind a universal health care system is that in such a system, you get the same or better health care for a lower price. It's not a matter of the government subsidizing your health care, it's a matter of giving increased power to the consumer, to prevent them from being fleeced in a transaction where otherwise they would have no bargaining power. And it works. In 2008 (the last figures I've seen, care of the WHO I believe), US health care cost per person was I think $6000/person, while the next-closest was Switzerland (which has a semi private system somewhat like the ACA) where health care costs were half of what they are in the US (I may have the figures wrong, but the proportion is correct, the Swiss pay half per person what Americans pay).

The long and the short of it is that the free market doesn't work as intended where one party has the choice of paying or dying. Government regulation is supposed to (and in most of the world, does) equalize the playing field so that the consumer doesn't get hosed by the insurance company or the service providers.

Comment: Re:I hide my data in big wheels of cheese (Score 4, Insightful) 622

by m.ducharme (#43988453) Attached to: Keeping Your Data Private From the NSA (And Everyone Else)

"And while 'big' providers like Google provide some degree of encryption, they WILL give up user data in response to a court order"

I believe the correct statement would be:

"And while 'big' providers like Google provide some degree of encryption, they HAVE GIVEN up user data in response to a court order"

Suggest you just sit there and wait till life gets easier.

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