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Comment Re: How? (Score 1) 333

The reason that companies like Logitech get cranky is that they assume the goods are probably grey market imports, which you're allowed to do, but you have to clearly advertise the fact that it has no U.S. warranty. But if you have receipts to prove that it was purchased in the U.S., they have no legal grounds to challenge you reselling it as new.

Last I checked, most (if not all) major retailers routinely take unopened returns and put them back on the shelves as new. So if the law considers those to not be new, then that is the most consistently ignored law in the history of the world. And I've dug through California's code, and I see nothing that defines "new" in any way other than "not used". And an unopened package clearly precludes use of the product, so at least in California, I'm about 99% sure that you're wrong. Obviously the answer may vary from state to state, but it seems unlikely that an unopened product could ever be considered anything but new by a reasonable person.

Again, as I said, for automobiles, the law is explicitly different. Once it is transferred to a non-dealer, it is considered used. But as far as I know, that is the only product for which this is the case, and only because there is a specific body of law that explicitly defines the transfer of an automobile to a consumer as "use".

Comment Re:How? (Score 1) 333

Yes, even to a toaster oven, there is a legal definition of "NEW" and if you buy it at Walmart and resell it on Amazon, it is actually no longer "NEW".

As far as I know, there's no commonly accepted legal definition of "new". That's why various companies like eBay and Amazon explicitly describe what is meant by "new". Through most of those channels, "new" does not mean "sold by a licensed dealer", but rather "unopened". Up until you open the packaging, something is generally considered "new", no matter how many times it changes hands, and no matter whose hands it goes through in the process, because there's no practical difference between purchasing a product directly from a store and purchasing it from someone who purchased it from a store, so long as no warranty registration occurred. (You should, of course, apply for a tax exemption if you resell new items frequently, because otherwise you're getting charged sales tax twice, but that's orthogonal.)

The only absolute exceptions I can think of are vehicle sales, where "new" means "never previously owned by anyone who isn't a car dealer licensed by the manufacturer," but that's more an artifact of the way cars are sold than anything else (no packaging, franchise dealerships, etc.), and doesn't really apply to consumer goods.

Comment Re:Yay for Open Standards! (Score 1) 51

Not sure how this changes the facts—that ASN.1 is a niche language used in a few narrow areas, that it doesn't get a lot of attention because only a tiny percentage of engineers understand or use it, and that we'd all be better off if everyone just used more sensible data formats, such as JSON, XML property lists, or any number of other similar formats that are well understood, broadly used, and thus thoroughly debugged. The same is true for all the usual binary formats that people define using ASN.1 (BER, DER, etc.), but doubly true for the ASN.1 format itself.

If they're really passing the actual ASN.1 syntax data around over an insecure channel and providing a compiler that compiles the abstract syntax into a new parser to parse a data stream... that's just a recipe for failure in every possible way. Such a design means taking ASN.1 compiler code that most people assume will be used only by software engineers in a controlled setting, and deploying it in such a way that communication equipment all around the world has to use it on the fly to create executable code and run it. Such a design precludes code signing, because the device has to be able to run unsigned, freshly generated parser code derived from the ASN.1. This means that the security of the device is weakened fundamentally, and any security holes in either the ASN.1 compiler or in the resulting parsers are likely to be easier to exploit as a result.

More importantly, it means that arbitrary third parties can create parsers and then provide incompatible data to feed to those parsers, maximizing the chances that there will be an exploitable bug in those parsers that can result in privilege escalation.

ASN.1 should die already, and so should all of the various binary encodings derived from it. IMO, they're fundamentally bad for security, they're hard to audit, and when used in dangerous ways like this, they represent a major security risk.

Comment Re:This Adds to my Nest Frustration (Score 1) 52

Wouldn't virtualization make this pretty trivial, concentrating your workloads on hosts served by a single zone?

Depends on what you mean. It makes reorganizing the machines pretty trivial, potentially, assuming they all have similar hardware capabilities (which may or may not be a safe assumption). But there is a cost (both in power and time) to moving large quantities of data from one machine to another, so you can't necessarily shift load around instantly, depending on what the machines are doing and how many other machines are configured to do the same job.

Comment Re:This Adds to my Nest Frustration (Score 1) 52

While this is awesome, it's light on details. I assume they loaded their datacenter with all kinds of sensors and have an advanced HVAC system that can mix external air when desired. So you look at current server load, predicted load based on past patterns, external temp, predicted external temp, along with internal temp, and then decide what air supply and cooling mix to use. So if you have CRAC units that are more advanced than on/off, and can use outside air with add/remove humidity, you can really draw down your cooling power usage.

I have no idea what they're actually doing with AI, but one other thing you could maybe do is improve the data center organization so that machines whose temperature spikes at the same time of day are all on the same air handler. Then again, there are limits to how far you can go in that direction without the equipment overheating, so that might not work too well. Hard to say.

Comment Re:tax the rich (Score 1) 1124

You're making the erroneous assumption that the capital gains tax is the tax on the return on an investment, but that's wrong. The tax on the return on an investment is the sum of the capital gains tax and the taxes on corporate profits, which are already higher than income tax rates in the US.

I'm not making any assumption. You're making the erroneous assumption that the sum of those numbers is somehow relevant. All the statistics prove that it isn't. The people who invest the money into corporations don't pay the business's taxes. The business does. The value of a stock is not based on how much money a company makes, but rather based on people's predictions of how much they think the business might make in the future....

Also, even if the value were strictly based on the current year's profits, you still can't add percentages that way. You have to multiply them. If the business pays 12.6% of its income to the government (that's the average U.S. corporate tax rate paid by large corporations, FYI), that leaves 87.4% of the original remaining. If you pay 39.6% in capital gains tax (the highest U.S. marginal tax rate), you have 60.4% of 87.4%, or 52.79% left. That's quite a bit more than if you added 39.6% to 12.6% (though not a lot, because most corporations don't actually pay nearly as much in taxes as you seem to think they do).

If you do that same math with 15%, it is 85% of 87.4%, which is 74%, or 26% tax rate. That's way less than anyone making over about $100k pays on earned income, and that's not even considering the fact that earned income also requires spending time, which is a tax in and of itself in a way.

But it gets worse, since capital gains taxes also tax inflation. Therefore, taxes on returns on investment ("unearned income") are already higher than taxes on labor ("earned income") in the US.

Yes, you can have capital gains resulting purely from inflation, but if you're only keeping up with inflation, you're doing very badly. The big flaw in your concept here is that the U.S. typically has low single-digit inflation, and even if you add that to the capital gains tax rate (which is flawed math, but it isn't worth bothering to do it right when you're only dealing with 2–3%), the capital gains tax rate is still nowhere near the rate on earned income.

(What I also find disturbing about the whole discussion about "unearned income" is that this was a key part of Nazi ideology and the Nazi party program; it was the association of Jews with banking and investments that was a key part of the genocidal antisemitism of the Nazis. And people like Piketty, Clinton, and Sanders are right in that tradition.)

Not everything the Nazis did was wrong or bad. For example, the Nazis created a road system that was the inspiration for our interstate highway system. That entire paragraph is basically nothing more than an ad hominem.

That's simply not correct. Every study that has ever evaluated the economic impact of changes to capital gains tax rates has found that raising or lowering the capital gains tax rate has had essentially zero impact on the actual rate of investment. Now I know that's going to sound shocking to a lot of people, but that's pure, hard, fact based on real-world numbers evaluated on both sides of various capital gains tax rate changes.

That argument doesn't work because we are not dealing with independent variables. For example, you could interpret the same data to mean that government simply keeps adjusting the capital gains rates in order to maintain a constant level of investment. There are many other interpretations. Your "facts" are naive fictions.

No, such an interpretation is just not plausible. They are, in fact, largely independent variables, but even if they weren't, the changes in tax rates would still occur as a stepwise change, rather than being a continuous function of investment. And because the government adjusts the capital gains tax rate fairly infrequently, and because some of the changes (particularly under certain Republican presidents) were fairly large, if your theory were correct, you'd see the investment rate falling off leading up to that point, and then coming back up after the change. That did not occur. Instead, the rate of investment remained relatively unchanged.

That argument doesn't work for multiple reasons, and I'm not going to list all of them. The simplest, though, is that return and risk are related, so going from a 10% to an 8% ROI may make an investment completely infeasible.

Maybe, but by doing so, that means that the person will invest in some other investment that now looks better by comparison, so the money is still going to be invested, just in things that are less risky (and if you ask me, we could stand to have a little less high-risk speculation in the market).

Wrong again. When I buy something for consumption, it produces no value to society, it merely produces enjoyment ...

Wrong. When you buy something, you pay money to the company that sold it. That company pays the workers who work at that business and also pays another company that made it. That company, in turn, pays its workers and also pays for the cost of raw materials to dozens of other companies. Every purchase you make produces a significant and far-reaching economic impact. All of those workers have jobs because you (and others) bought that product. Any belief that consumption doesn't create jobs would require an almost complete disconnect from reality.

Any economist worth his weight in dung will tell you that the best way to stimulate growth in the economy is to give it to the poor. They spend every penny they earn, and that money trickles up throughout all tiers of the economy.

Any economist who says such things is a big, fat fool.

It has worked every time anyone has tried it, from Roosevelt to Obama. If that's not enough proof that my economic theories are correct, then you'll never be convinced, which is shame, because you'll still be wrong.

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