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Comment Going about it the wrong way (Score 1) 435

Seems to me that the DOJ is going about this the wrong way. As the Affordable Care act has shown the government can't compel a private actor to do something. But it can tax the hell out of their refusal to do so.

I'm rather surprised they haven't schemed to let Apple continue to refuse but impose a tax of a billion dollars a day for doing so.

Comment Re:Not Progress (Score 1) 567

When we were test driving new cars for my wife we noticed that the turn signals on 2015 Fords were different. The switch had the typical lane change feature (push down half way and it will return to neutral and flash the indicator three times), but even on a full actuation the switch returned to neutral. The signal kept flashing until you turned or canceled the signal by actuating it again. I remarked on that to the salesman and he said yeah Ford was getting a lot of complaints on it.

We otherwise liked the car so a few weeks later we wound up ordering a new one, but by then Ford had switched over to the 2016 model. When our 2016 came in the first thing I noticed is that the turn signals now functioned more traditionally. Lane change is still there but when you push it all the way down it will stay in that position.

Comment Re:Weight (Score 1) 533

Furthermore, if it doesn't cross state lines, how the hell does the federal government have a right to step in anyway?
Because I guarantee you that the little toy has crossed state lines at least once in its lifetime, if for no other reason than to have its major components imported from China.

That's enough to trigger the federal government's authority to regulate something under the interstate commerce clause. With a few exceptions, it's a federal offense to possess a firearm within 1000' feet of a school if that firearm has ever traveled in interstate commerce. It could be the rifle my grandfather bought from Sears and Roebuck back in the 40s that hasn't left the state since then but that's irrelevant. The feds were able to assert federal jurisdiction against the Amish beard cutters in Ohio because the shears they used to commit the deed had been made in New York.

The idea that one must cross state lines in the course of committing an offense as a prerequisite for federal jurisdiction is sadly not even a trifle.

Comment Re:Here is how dealers make money. (Score 1) 439

Maybe I'm just a rarity but I've found a local dealer that deals very fairly with me. Due to a family connection I get A plan pricing on all Ford/Lincoln vehicles. There's no haggling involved and the dealer is going to make a set amount of profit (actually paid to them by Ford not me). I walked in one day and said I'm A-plan and willing to wait for however long it takes for my order to be built and I'm 99% sure I'll just write you a check. To the national/regional dealers you basically get fuck you treatment from that point out.

Not this place - they pulled a half dozen different models out for us to test drive to see how we liked the various options and let us take over a half day of their time. One official dealer fitted option of interest was a particular cargo area cover and they actually told us not to buy it because people weren't happy with how it worked and the durability wasn't great. There went an easy $150 for them but the owner said he couldn't ethically sell it to someone without warning that others have been dissatisfied.

On our second car we had a trade in that needed a lot of work (CEL was lit and would require a $800 repair and the airbag light was on which needed almost $1200 in work). There were a good number of dings and dents. Despite that they still offered us $500 below the Good condition.

Do we take our cars there for service? You bet - basic oil changes are only $5-10 above that of a Jiffy Lube and include a tire rotation. Out of warranty repairs are charged at the lesser of book rate or actual time, whichever is in my favor.

One other thing I've noticed is that the owner is not hurting for every asshole's dollar either. I was waiting for an oil change one time and a guy came in playing the tactics others have espoused here, to the point of being belligerent. The owner came over, offered his hand and calmly told the guy that he was sorry that his dealership would not be able to give him the experience he was looking for, but he would fire any salesman that used 10% of the language he [the customer] had used. He wished him nothing but the best in his car buying adventure and showed him the door.

Comment Re:I interviewed for a job they not paying mileage (Score 2) 241

The part about not paying for your commuting miles (miles that you would spend from the office to your house) is correct. In the US anyway tax rules require commuting miles to be deducted from any amount paid to or claimed by the employee. It makes sense - if you normally drive 10 miles each way to work, why should you be paid to drive 9 miles to a client site if you never went into the office that day?

It can get tricky if you go into the office and then to a client site and then home (or vice versa) but where I work they've got a pretty good system for figuring that all out.

Comment Re:Very sad - but let's get legislation in place N (Score 1) 706

Good points, but one thing I'll caution on. You can outsource the responsibility but you can't outsource the ultimate accountability. Recognizing that you're not able to handle a particular task is a fine reason to outsource it and this is a perfect example. But at the end of the day, you hired them.

Even with the best indemnification agreement your wife's business will suffer to some degree if there's a breach. It is, after all, your wife's brand first and foremost. If she accidentally sells subpar yarn due to a screwup at her supplier she can't completely wash her hands of the affair when customers complain. Same thing if your PCI vendor lets you down.

Comment Re:Glad to hear it but... (Score 1) 1083

Actually if you'd read my subject instead of just the comment you would have seen that I said I was glad to hear the news (implied: because it's good news for somebody else) but it was not terribly relevant to me. Sorry if I'm not out actively celebrating this ruling any more than I am that raisin farmer in Oregon who doesn't have to give the government his raisins, or the family in Ohio who now gets to sit through a third murder trial.

But I suppose it's just easier to shoot from the hip at someone who's not cheering with the expected level of enthusiasm.

Comment Re:I wonder why... (Score 1) 193

But I find it rather amazing how every municipality around the world is rushing to the defense of existing taxicab services.

That is because every municipality went through the time when there was no taxi regulations.

Bingo. Obviously in the larger cities there is going to be somewhat of a profit incentive because they have the benefit of scale. The county I live in is relatively rural but it neighbors a big metropolitian county. There are taxi regulations for all the reasons you listed. From a financial perspective the cost of the licenses barely covers the cost of administering the program. Time was they thought about doing away with the program because it was costing more than it was taking in. The county commissioners had residents packed to the rafters demanding that the program stay in place because many had memories of the unregulated world just 15 years prior. In years that the program doesn't self fund the county makes up the difference.


Clarificiation on the IP Address Security in Dropbox Case 152

Bennett Haselton writes A judge rules that a county has to turn over the IP addresses that were used to access a county mayor's Dropbox account, stating that there is no valid security-related reason why the IP addresses should be exempt from a public records request. I think the judge's conclusion about IP addresses was right, but the reasoning was flawed; here is a technically more correct argument that would have led to the same answer. Keep Reading to see what Bennett has to say about the case.

Comment Re:Insane (Score 1) 191

The good news is that once the Ohio politicians rightly realized that the prosecutor in that case was using a law they passed in ways it wasn't intended (no kidding!) they quickly closed that loophole. And upgraded the charges to being a felony. Unfortunately for the victim in the case you cite you can't criminalize past conduct so no charges were brought but that investigation quickly came to a halt.

The trouble here is that federal employees are exempt from all state laws while carrying out their duties. So even when the states see a problem and quickly close it federal agents remain free to do whatever they want. Then it falls on the federal agent's employer to decide if any crime occurred. Funny how often no crime is found when federal employees are involved no matter how outrageous the situation but that same agency will be quick to bring charges when local law enforcement do something that's close to the line.

Comment Re:Avoiding credit card breaches? (Score 1) 146

I can and do pay cash for a lot of things. But I use my credit card whenever it's convenient to me. It's a question of utility. My credit card was among those swept up in the Target breach. My hassle consisted of two days without said credit card and having to sign a form and mail it back.

No liability, no problems. If I lose cash that's on me baby.

Other than for some altruistic "for the greater good because merchants just pass down the cost of fraud to their customers" why should I care? I mean, seriously, why should I care? Debit card interchange fees were statutorily capped a few years ago and all of the merchants stoically supported the idea because it would be great for consumer's bottom lines. A study conducted by the Wall Street Journal six months later found that despite merchants generating substantial savings from the interchange fees being cut virtually none of it made its way back to the consumers. In fact some merchants even boasted in their earnings statements about how the savings went straight to the corporate bottom line. If credit card fraud went "poof" tomorrow, where do you think those savings would go?

So I ask again, if I bust my ass and Initech saves a few units, I don't see another dime, so what's in it for me?

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