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Comment Re:It won't matter (Score 1) 211

After I switched out the cartridges, I shipped the empty cartridge back in the same box as I got the new cartridge, print out a shipping label and drop it off at the post office. Hence, I "rented" the cartridge and kept the ink.

You're not renting the cartridge; it belongs to you. You may or may not get a credit towards the purchase of a new cartridge if you return your old one for recycling, but there is no penalty for simply keeping it. If you were renting the cartridge you would be obligated to return it eventually, whether or not you wanted a new one.

There are cases where the container for a consumable really is rented; for example, if you need a small quantity of liquid nitrogen you'll generally want to rent a dewar to carry it rather than buying your own. (Liquid nitrogen is relatively cheap, on its own, but the dewars start at several hundred dollars.)

Comment Re:Liability (Score 1) 445

And then just at the moment BigCorp starts to loose [sic], they settle out of court.

Settlements are voluntary and must be accepted by both sides. If the plaintiff doesn't want to settle there isn't anything BigCorp can do about it.

To me, out of court settlements should not mean that the case should be dropped.

What else would it mean? A settlement is nothing more or less than an agreement to drop the case in exchange for some compensation. You could prohibit settlements entirely, but it makes no sense to have an out-of-court settlement where the court continues to hear the case. Even prohibiting settlement would be somewhat problematic since the court relies on the plaintiff to argue their side of the case convincingly—it doesn't really make sense to punish a plaintiff for withdrawing their claims in response to a better offer by the defendant, and the enforcement necessary to prevent the plaintiff from deliberately losing would be difficult at best. Ultimately the court is there to see to it that disagreements are resolved, not to create new ones. If the plaintiff and defendant can resolve their issues on their own with an out-of-court settlement, why should the court interfere?

Comment Re:This is bullcrap (Score 1) 507

The password (like a key to a safe) ...

I think you mean "like a combination to a safe". Passwords aren't like physical keys—they're something you know, not something you have. And unlike physical keys, which can be seized with a warrant, there is no precedent for requiring a suspect to divulge the code to a combination lock.

Comment Re:Destroy code? (Score 1) 507

I doubt that would work in this case as I'm sure LEO images the media and tries to decrypt the images.

You don't wipe the drive itself, you wipe the key stored in the TPM or equivalent (which is tamper-resistant and not easily cloneable). Even with the master password, no one can decrypt the contents of the drive without the active participation of the original TPM. An image of the encrypted drive will not help at all if the TPM can be persuaded to delete the sole copy of the decryption key, for example by providing it with a duress password.

Comment Re:A conundrum for small government (Score 1) 164

But: you are agreeing with me. The thing which is preventing local municipalities from proliferating regulations is state government telling the municipalities what they can and can't do.

But the state is not telling individuals what they can and cannot do. A higher level of government overruling a meddlesome lower level is not a problem for "small-governmenters" provided the net effect is that decision-making becomes more local—in this case, moving from municipalities down to the level of individual property owners. A government that does nothing but prevent all other levels of government (and non-government criminals—an arguably lesser threat) from interfering in the rightful actions of the individuals within their domain is pretty much the small-government ideal.

There is a big difference between regulating the free exercise of property rights by individuals and restricting the powers local governments hold over the individuals within their jurisdiction. The former interferes with the actions of individuals, the latter prevents interference.

Comment Re: sorry, no (Score 1) 447

To be fair the overall company is turning a profit on every one of those phones sold in NZ. They just aren't showing the profit in NZ by hiding it with high license fees.

If that is the problem then there is a very simple solution: just do away with IP. No more IP means no more writing off licensing of foreign IP on tax returns. As long as IP exists as a legal concept this scheme of transferring profits to a foreign IP-holding company will be impossible to eradicate. As far as the law is concerned, those licensing fees must be considered true costs of doing business, and they do indeed result in zero net taxable income to the licensee. The only sound way to prevent such profit-transfers would be to stop allowing IP licensing fees to be deducted as business expenses, but if you did that and failed to eliminate the requirement to license IP in the first place then every major business would instantly spiral into bankruptcy—their profit margins could not support the increased tax burden.

Comment Re:Careful what you wish for... (Score 1) 447

Apple does not pay VAT. It merely collects it. End users pay VAT.

A technicality. Either way, the VAT is coming out of Apple's profit margin. You don't think the end-user price would be any lower if there were no VAT, do you? In a competitive commodity market, perhaps, but Apple has a natural monopoly on Apple-branded products—given their customer's well-known brand loyalty, they aren't really competing on price against non-Apple devices. The end-user price will be set at whatever the market will bear, independent of VAT.

Comment Re:Preventing Ludited (Score 1) 164

In a Hotel the quality of the rooms, the safety of the Hotel, and the honesty of your hosts are all regulated so they are at least at a minimal level

That acceptable "minimal level" is for the guests to decide, not for the government to set by fiat.

Generally it will not lower property values but raise them, as people who cannot afford the house on their incoming supplement it with AirBnB pricing you out of the market ....

If having AirBnB available increases the property value, that just means that the residence would have been underutilized without AirBnB—an economic waste. The house is worth what buyers are willing to pay for it with that AirBnB supplement. If you payed less for the same property because AirBnB was prohibited then your profit came at someone else's expense.

Comment Re:I am curious if people think this is good or ba (Score 1) 164

Federal government -- enumerated rights. State government -- unenumerated rights. Local governments -- enumerated rights.

Two problems with this. First, the word is "powers", not "rights". People have rights; governments have powers. Second, state governments should have only enumerated powers, just like federal and local governments. Carefully delineated boundaries on the use of power are a good idea at all levels of government.

Comment Re:A conundrum for small government (Score 2) 164

On the other hand, small-governmenters want return of control to local governments. So a rule telling communities what laws they can't pass is bad.

That is really a mischaracterization. The "small-governmenters" are not trying to empower local governments. They simply hold that the damage of externally-imposed rules becomes greater with increasing distance from those affected (i.e. the property owners). So the federal government should not interfere in matters which can be handled by a state, states should not interfere in matters which can be handled by municipalities—and municipalities should not interfere in matters which can be handled by individual property owners. This prohibition on municipalities interfering with property owners' use of their property for AirBnB is merely a logical extension of that principle, in the absence of strong evidence that something about the situation (for example, property rights being violated) requires the municipality to get involved to minimize the overall harm, keeping in mind that the municipality's interference is itself a form of harm.

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