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Comment "Quiet title action" (Score 4, Interesting) 44

The previous story about Zuckerberg's lawsuit caused me to do a little research. I have never thought much of the man, but there's really nothing wrong with the court action he's taken in Hawaii. What he's doing is a an "action to quiet title". Basically, he has already purchased the plots of land in question, from the majority owners. The problem is that the title to this land is unclear, because there are also many minority owners, most of whom really have no idea they own anything.

An action to quiet title is a court proceeding used to deal with such fuzzy ownership situations, to clarify them so that clear and unambiguous ownership can be established. It involves a process to find and identify owners so they can be negotiated with, or in the event they can't be found to legally remove their ownership to clear up the title. That last bit is unfortunate, but there's really no other way in cases where the ownership in question goes back many generations and has never been documented. The alternative is to leave the legal ownership of the property in limbo. I guess Zuck could do that, but if I were in his shoes I wouldn't want that... and I know because I am more or less in his shoes.

My wife inherited some property from her father. We have a "quit claim" deed that legally transfers the property to us, and my father-in-law had a quit claim deed from the previous owner, and so on back several steps. In our case, all of this was documented and recorded with the county (which is *not* the case with Zuckerberg's land -- so we have a much better position). Our problem is twofold: First, quit claim deeds are not warranty deeds, which means that while they're legal, they are only evidence of ownership, not a guarantee of ownership. Second, the legal description of the property boundaries was changed a few decades ago, and it's not completely clear if the new description actually matches the old one.

In our case, odds are very good that a title company can simply research the past sequence of titles, verify that everything is good, and issue us a warranty deed which guarantees our ownership. BUT there is a possibility that the research may find that there is additional cloudiness in the ownership, in which case we'll have to file an action to quiet title to flush out any other claims to the land and, if they can't be found within a certain time period (a year, I think?), to get a court ruling that we unambiguously hold title to the land.

This is a pretty common thing, and it's really not at all abusive.

Comment Re:Sad (Score 1) 288

3D shot/rendered correctly does add to the enjoyment of a film for many people.

Not me. I've seen a fair number of 3D movies in theaters, but I really prefer 2D. 3D doesn't add anything for me. I can appreciate the work and effort it takes to do it well, and to make it "natural", and on good equipment that outputs enough light it doesn't do any harm to the visuals... but it doesn't add to the story, and doesn't really improve the visuals. Beautiful cinematography is good either way, and nearly a century of practice has taught cinematographers (and photographers) how to depict great depth on a flat screen. Not that the human eye has any parallax-derived depth perception beyond a few dozen feet anyway.

So, what does 3D do? It requires me to wear glasses over my glasses, and it costs more. I suppose some people must like it or theaters wouldn't be able to charge a premium for it, but I pick the 2D showing unless there isn't one available at a convenient time.

Comment Re:Um, duh? (Score 3) 290

The applications are easier, the financial aid applications are ridiculous. After doing FAFSA, many of these top-tier schools are asking for more intrusive information than you can imagine, including what savings we have for other children and having to estimate what our income and taxes will be for the next year and the year after. I was getting infuriated with my son's forms, had to dig out old tax records, my wife is self-employed, but doesn't technically own a company (freelance), but they wouldn't accept that as an answer... the financial aid forms take 10x longer to fill out. This might be a great reason why so few poor people are doing them. One of the forms even wanted my voter registration number and date I applied for it. WTF?

Comment Re:WHat I said on ars: (Score 3, Informative) 518

There is a difference between a pardon and commutation.

...which doesn't matter, of course, because the Wikipedia specifically said "clemency" (which is explicitly defined as including commutation). There is also a difference between jeans and grapefruit, but that's also irrelevant to the topic at hand.

Comment Re:How much for a phone without Google's services? (Score 1) 91

I meant Android phones in general. Google is the OS maker and forces phone makers to install a lot of Google apps in Android phones. I'd like a Samsung or LG made phone with a "stripped down" Android

Okay, that's not what you wrote. Your question should be directed to Samsung or LG, then, not Google.

I'd also point out that the Nexus 5X is an LG-made phone. Personally, I'd prefer the Huawei-made 6P, or one of the HTC-made Pixels.

Comment Re:How much for a phone without Google's services? (Score 2) 91

Hey Google? How much would you charge for a phone without your services? They can be installed on purchase as long as I'm able to uninstall them.

All devices Google sells come with an unlockable bootloader, so you can unlock and flash a different system that doesn't have the Google stuff. Be sure you re-lock after flashing, otherwise your device can be reflashed with malicious software by anyone who gets hold of it.

So, the price is the cost of buying the device from the Play store, plus a few minutes to unlock and reflash.

Comment Drunk at 2:00AM in Tokyo no longer be hazardous? (Score 2) 185

I've not spent a lot of time in Japan but on future trips I will have a little nostalgia remembering coming in after a long night of Karaoke and trying to figure out how to relieve myself without flooding the bathroom.

Of course, that option is a lot better than the ubiquitous hole in the floor with a shell that you squat over that my wife always wondered why I took pictures of.

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