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Midweek links

  • In another triumph of automotive “security,” BMW’s new rental-car service manages to halt three Seattle ferries on a single evening.
  • Oh, such a relief. Apparently the cultural-appropriation pecksniffs are trying to find ways (however illogical) to “allow” writers to go on creating characters who aren’t exactly like their authors.
  • Looks as if Cleveland was looking for a reason to can the cop who murdered 12-year-old Tamir Rice. They found one, easily enough. Hardly a substitute for the prison sentence the creep deserved, though.
  • On that same subject: Here’s the last minute in the life of Philando Castile. And a cop who still has a chance of receiving real justice.
  • You really should take a gander at “my” F*c*b**k page if you haven’t lately. The anonymous non-me soul who maintains it always posts lots of quick, interesting, often funny memestuff.
  • Next time you’re feeling as if you can’t do anything right, as if the world’s conspiring to make you a failure, consider the life of Elon Musk (in one grand supergraphic of fails).
  • Seasteading is not dead. In fact, a new book about it is creating renewed interest. Apparently there’s also a working agreement with French Polynesia, which OMG has got to be the perfect place for it.
  • Place statue of Fearless Girl, angering creator of Charging Wall Street Bull? In sculptor solidarity, add Peeing Dog.
  • In one of those major “whew!” decisions, the Supremes it’s okay to refill printer cartridges.


  1. david
    david May 31, 2017 11:41 am

    I’m a bit confused about the SCOTUS decision. It seems to say that HP can no longer require that I purchase HP cartridges, and that I could save beaucoup yankee dollahs now by using generic cartridges made to fit HP printers like mine.

    BUT, then the article stated that the decision doesn’t affect contract law, which is the ‘Terms and Conditions’ we have to agree to on nearly everything but our groceries these days.

    So, if I’m essentially coerced into agreeing to a contract law situation because I have no real alternative, and that ‘T&C’ language states that I agree to only use HP cartridges, I’m still paying nosebleed prices for ink, right? So, where is the real benefit? Is it that I can now legally jailbreak any device? Perhaps I’m just not thinking in the right way about this?

  2. ExpatNJ
    ExpatNJ May 31, 2017 1:03 pm

    David, and all –

    1. Did you personally, physically (or your Power of Attorney) sign a written contract and receive a copy of it? If not, there is NO contract.

    2. Were you (or your Power of Attorney) any of the following:
    – unable to personally negotiate terms/conditions?
    – unable to personally examine terms/conditions prior to agreeing/entering into them?
    – coerced into terms/conditions without having received proper/fair advance notice?
    – coerced to terms/conditions under duress (meaning you had no other choice)?
    If so, there is NO VALID contract.

    3. Prior to terms/conditions, did you reserve your Rights under the Universal Commercial Code (search “UCC-1-308”). If so, there is NO VALID contract.

    For additional learning about contracts, visit the ‘Private Contract Association’:

    (NOTE: This is not – nor is it intended to be – legal advice. I have not been admitted to the Bar in any state, nor I am not an attorney-at-law. However, I may be considered an attorney-IN-FACT).

  3. jed
    jed May 31, 2017 1:11 pm

    @david: If you’re coerced into agreeing to a contract, it isn’t enforceable – see contract of adhesion. In practice, the likelihood of Espon, HP, or Lexmark going after individuals is, I think, exceedingly low.

    As far as DRM and DMCA barriers to refilling cartridges, I don’t know whether the Library of Congress has issued an exemption. I tried a quick search, but nothing like ‘here’s a listing of exemptions granted’ came up. If not, then technically yes, I think it’s a DMCA violation. I don’t know what the options are for defeating this stuff, as I’m still using my 20+ year-old laser-jet.

  4. larryarnold
    larryarnold May 31, 2017 1:24 pm

    The good news is, now that the weather’s warm my Jeep is no longer warning me about low tire pressure. The bad news is that it’s demanding an oil change.

    There is a black nurse in my novel. I have been assured that I am racist because:
    A black nurse is a stereotype because she’s subservient to doctors.
    A black nurse is not really a black character because she has a professional career.
    Because I have no black characters in my novel. (Failure of reading comprehension.)

    Grievances were filed on behalf of Loehmann and Garmback, Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association President Stephen Loomis told reporters.
    Loomis said they had been prepared in anticipation of disciplinary action against the two officers.
    “This is a politically motivated witch hunt,” Loomis said. He added that he thinks there is no proof that Loehmann lied on his application, and even if he did, he shouldn’t have been fired.
    “We had him prepared,” Loomis said. “There is no question in my mind that we’re going to get Tim Loehmann’s job back.”


    Peeing dog
    Mom is looking down and saying, “Two wrongs don’t make a right.”

    Two months ago my printer warned me it needed a new drum unit. I fumbled, and bought a 360 instead of a 630. I found the mistake on a weekend when the printer refused to print without the new drum, and I tried to change. The next Monday I discovered the local store no longer carries 630s, and I had to order one.
    In the meantime, because we had to print, I lied to the printer and told it I changed drums. Over a month later, it’s still happily printing good copies off the old drum.
    I think I’m on to something.

  5. david
    david May 31, 2017 3:10 pm

    Thank you. I’ll check out that URL.

  6. Claire
    Claire May 31, 2017 3:57 pm

    “I believe the actual shooter, through no fault of his own, was put in a terrible spot with terrible and tragic results.”

    If the actual shooter jumps out of a car and slaughters a 12-year-old kid within two seconds, the fault is very definitely his own. I absolutely agree that the dispatchers didn’t properly relay all the relevant information to the cops. But it’s part of the cops’ job to evaluate the situation. And the situation was a kid. Alone. Not threatening anybody. The cop car pulled up so fast and so close to him that they killers left themselves neither time nor space to do what it was their job to do.

    That cop was a trigger-happy jerk. That he is also one who lied to get his job seems incidental to me. But anything that gets a murderer off the street — or at least out from behind his state permission-to-kill badge — is an improvement.

  7. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty June 1, 2017 6:13 am

    Re: refilling inkjet cartridges… so nice to have their permission.

    I have tried and tried. Spent more on the refill stuff than I would have spent on the store cartridges. I finally gave up and bought a laser printer. No color – that costs SOOOO much more, but most things I print are simply text documents with no color required. The toner cartridges were refillable, very inexpensively. Until the scan head decided to die, of course. The laser printer scan head cartridge cost was to be $109. plus shipping. I found another laser printer (refurbished, guaranteed like new) for $145. The scanner is separate from the cartridge, and I bought a box of three cartridges for $25. Have not yet explored the possibility of doing toner refills on these, but it seems unlikely since I have gotten more than three years out of the first cartridge (that came in the machine). I probably won’t live long enough to use the three in the box I already have.

    But then, something else may go bad on this machine, of course. And I can double dog guarantee that if I have to buy another printer, the cartridges I have in the box will NOT fit it.

    Bottom line: You can’t win.

  8. Shel
    Shel June 4, 2017 2:27 am

    Again regarding the Tamir Rice shooting, driving the police car up to him (Tamir didn’t even appear to see them coming) as Garmback did forced a critical situation. To me, the great majority of the blame lies with him. That part of the video is alarming at best. He was supposedly guiding Loehmann in how to do things properly. As noted in the Breach Bang Clear article, Loehmann was faced with a situation where (1) a suspicious person with a gun was reported, (2) that person was located, (3) Tamir (who was 5’7″ and weighed 195 lbs) reached for what looked like a real weapon (the orange tip had been removed), (4) Loehmann believed his life was in imminent danger, and (5) he fired. Loehmann even stumbled going backwards so he could use the car for cover.

    Tamir looked to me to be within arm’s length of the cruiser. I don’t know what he was thinking – perhaps as a 12 year old he wasn’t – but he could even have been trying to show the police the gun wasn’t real, taking as reality the prolonged conversations people have when pointing firearms that he saw on TV and in the movies. But Loehmann didn’t have time to assess the barrel diameter or learn much of anything else. If Tamir wanted to kill him and had the means to do so, Loehmann was going to die if he didsn’t shoot first. Years of street experience might have given him the luxury of being able to trust his gut, but Loehmann didn’t have that. Garmback, with six years of experience, did act as if he believed the threat was real. I honestly don’t know what I would have done in Loehmann’s place. I do know I certainly wouldn’t have driven in like Garmback did, though.

    To additionally complicate situational assessment, some criminals have now added orange tips to real firearms, and others have painted real firearms in bright colors to make them look like toys.

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