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Comment: Re:Profitable, if self-contradictory (Score 2) 373

by Wycliffe (#48037979) Attached to: Elon Musk: We Must Put a Million People On Mars To Safeguard Humanity

We can hedge our bets, though.

Hedging our bets would be sending high speed one-way generational ships out of this solar system.
Mars is not much of a hedge. Even if mars was fully self sufficient, many of the most likely killers
like nuclear war probably wouldn't spare a colony on mars. I'm not saying that we shouldn't do it though.
I think one of the greatest benefits would be learning to run a full blown biosphere so when we finally
damage our current biosphere beyond repair at least we know how to create glass cities to live in.

Comment: Re:Fristy Pawst! (Score 1) 423

by Wycliffe (#48032865) Attached to: Ebola Has Made It To the United States

When I graduated from college I had multiple credit cards, one of which had a limit of 24k. Total was probably close to 40k.
At the time, my annual income was about 12k. Not sure if it was the fact that I was a college student or that I used my credit
card to pay my school bills but it definitely wasn't from verified income.

Second example: I had a close friend who bought a 180k house with less than 15k of documented income (I know because I
wrote his paycheck). In his case, he was actually able to afford it because he was getting undocumented income from
overseas but the loan officer didn't know that. The only thing on paper was the 15k.

They've tightened down on both credit card limits and house loans since the last credit bust so these extremes and
things like "liars loans" might not exist anymore but I know of alot more crazy example like this before the bust.
Since the bust though they have even started reducing limits on already issued cards so it may not be possible anymore
but if I had to guess, the practice of lining the college streets with free tshirts if you signup for a credit card probably
still happens as they know that the college kids will likely eventually graduate and get a job and also have a parent that
will likely bail them out.

Comment: Re:Fristy Pawst! (Score 4, Informative) 423

by Wycliffe (#48031285) Attached to: Ebola Has Made It To the United States

India might barely make the cut of 3rd world but there's no comparison between India and the places where Ebola is currently rampant.
The per capita of liberia is $400 while india is over $1500 not to mention india's goverment and economy is infinitely more stable.
Even in places like guatemala (which I visited last year and is also infinitely more stable than liberia) a majority of cell phones are
prepaid. Less than 50% of the people in liberia even have cell phones. So yes, some of the "rising 3rd world countries" like
india and guatemala have some credit available but nothing close to the US where someone can buy a house on credit or get
credit cards with limits that grossly exceed their annual income.

Comment: Re:Fristy Pawst! (Score 1) 423

by Wycliffe (#48031127) Attached to: Ebola Has Made It To the United States

Then lets say your neighbor is full of complete fucktards that spend more money then they have, slack off doing nothing half the time, enact dumb counter productive laws, and generally make every mistake possible one after the other...

This sounds alot more like the USA. In most 3rd world countries, credit is almost non-existent so spending more than you have isn't even an option neither
is being a slacker.

Comment: Re:Fine. Legislate for externalities. (Score 1) 462

by Wycliffe (#48024735) Attached to: Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

You see, if you are a utility, sometimes you have to PAY if you want to send electricity to the grid.

I've heard of this but I don't understand it. Surely there is something you can do with it. Heat water, run a pump backwards, etc..
and if you still can't find anything to do with it, why not just create a pretty light show or melt some rock. Even if you do have
excess electricity because you can't slow down production, it makes no sense that you could figure out a free way to disipate it.

Comment: Re:I dunno about LEDs, but CFLs don't last (Score 1) 595

by Wycliffe (#48016397) Attached to: The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

"the reason is most likely because water is so cheap " that's the problem the world over in developed nations. Total wasters. Its an argument also used by the people who do not want to upgrade from fossil fuels - its cheaper to have the status quo (at the moment, they don't care about the long term)

There is a huge difference between wasting fossil fuels and "wasting" water. Water is a renewable resource. If you're not
somewhere where the water is being depleted then why does it matter how much water you use? The water you use on
your lawn gets recycled right back into the groundwater and evaporates right back into the clouds.

Places where there is limited water or they are depleting the water table are a completely different story but many places
in the USA (like where I like in Missouri), we have plenty of water and we have the same amount of water this year as we
did 50 years ago. The only thing "wasting" water does in Missouri is causes slightly more wasting of the resources needed
to purify the water but the water itself is a completely renewable resource with plenty of excess capacity which regenerates
considerably faster than we can possibly ever use it so who cares if someone "wastes" a little.

Comment: Re:Wiretapping laws still exist. (Score 1) 269

by Wycliffe (#48003369) Attached to: 2015 Corvette Valet Mode Recorder Illegal In Some States

You have no expectation of "privacy" on someone else's property (or in it, as the case may be.)

I disagree. If I borrow my friend's car (or weekend home), I know it's his property, but I have the basic assumption that
he will not be recording my conversations and/or what I do with my girlfriend in his bedroom. Just because you own
something and you let someone borrow or drive it doesn't mean they give up all rights to presumed privacy. If that was
the case then motels could install cameras in every room and shower and it would be legal.

Comment: Re:I dunno about LEDs, but CFLs don't last (Score 1) 595

by Wycliffe (#48002953) Attached to: The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

the best way is to use grey water from the showers and hand basins to flush toilets, it should be a crime to use drinking water to flush a toilet

I agree completely with this but at least in the USA I've never seen a house designed to store the runoff from the shower or sinks for this use
and again, the reason is most likely because water is so cheap in the USA that it's not worth the extra cost to install the extra plumbing.

Comment: Re:Oh good (Score 1) 903

by Wycliffe (#48002379) Attached to: Miss a Payment? Your Car Stops Running

I strongly recommend you talk to a non-interested financial advisor about this (ie, NOT a bank official).

You're joking right? We're talking about someone making $400 a week and you want them to go talk to a neutral financial advisor.
How are they going to pay for this financial advisor because pretty much the only financial advisors that work for free are the ones
that are trying to sell you something. I know, it's hard to believe, but someone working at minimum wage probably doesn't have
access to a financial advisor, a friend with a second car to loan them, and to alot of them even the idea of having anything left
over to "save" is almost a foreign concept.

Comment: Re:I dunno about LEDs, but CFLs don't last (Score 4, Insightful) 595

by Wycliffe (#48002271) Attached to: The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

I don't know why Americans don't have a dual flush system on their toilets like all of Europe does.

Because most americans would always use the "big flush" anyways. Water is too cheap in the USA and water saving devices are
worthless in this context. If you need to save water, the best way to actually save water is to make the consumer actually want to
save water. Many places in the USA, water saving is a joke as there is plenty of water. In the places where there actually is a
water shortage problem then they need to ration it per person and charge higher and higher tiers for people that use more than the
average. Basically, there needs to be a luxury tax on excess water consumption. In most place toilets aren't the problem but
rather it's all the swimming pools, lawn sprinklers, and industrial uses.

Comment: Re:Oh good (Score 1) 903

by Wycliffe (#47999927) Attached to: Miss a Payment? Your Car Stops Running

Um, payday loans are the definition of predatory loans. Most states have regulated these loans, as they will with these vehicle devices. I't going to take a while, though.

There is nothing inherently predatory about payday loans. Many employers do paycheck advances which might have zero or nominal interest.
It's technically a payday loan. Also, just charging a reasonable interest rate for the risk isn't predatory. It's predatory practices like high interest
or setting terms so they get stuck in a cycle that make it predatory not the type of the loan. Loaning money to people who are high risk isn't
predatory, it's the taking advantage of them with rediculous terms because they have no other choice that is predatory.

Comment: Re:Pay cash (Score 1) 903

by Wycliffe (#47999893) Attached to: Miss a Payment? Your Car Stops Running

I have "poor" friends who eke an additional 8-10 years out of a $3000 minivan they saved up and paid cash for and don't just rush out and buy a new car because this one's old and might break down some time.

Your definition of poor is a little different than my definition. What you're describing is what I typically call "working class" or "lower middle class"
Your so called "poor" friends are not the people these type of devices are usually targetted at. These type of devices are generally not targetted
at people buying new cars. These type of devices are targetting at people who can't even afford a $3000 car but rather are trying to finance
a $700 car with payments of $50 per week.

Comment: Re:Oh good (Score 1) 903

by Wycliffe (#47997645) Attached to: Miss a Payment? Your Car Stops Running

Absolutely right, and in that situation you shouldnt even glance at a loan.

If you're making minimum wage and lucky enough to have a fulltime job then you're gross is still under $400 a week.
A loan is about the only way you're going to be able to buy a car without either not eating or not paying your rent.
Now, you could argue that someone on minimum wage shouldn't own a car but in many situations that's not realistic
as it severely limits the type of jobs you can get. Also, most people who are using payday cash loan places are
probably in a situation where either they don't have a support network or their friends are just as bad off as they
are so even "bumming a ride" isn't a legitimate option.

There are entire organizations dedicated to "microloans" for people in 3rd world countries. Loans aren't inherently bad
even at high interest if they are short-term and used for the right reason.

Comment: I've never thought of dell as low end but midgrade (Score 1) 167

by Wycliffe (#47997553) Attached to: Now That It's Private, Dell Targets High-End PCs, Tablets

After I stopped building computers for family members I started referring them all to dell.
The reason I did this is that dell seemed to have a minimum quality unlike other companies.
Until they started selling netbooks, the cheapest computers on dell were always midrange
computer at a decent price with decent reliability. Walmart on the other hand tended to sell
stuff that was 3 years old technology and practically obsolete before you unboxed it and
sometimes had horrible reliability issues and zero customer support.

Comment: Re:Oh good (Score 1) 903

by Wycliffe (#47996221) Attached to: Miss a Payment? Your Car Stops Running

For many, debt is a way of life. In that hypothetical situation you have no way out.

I disagree completely. The point of the hypothetical situation I described is that this so called "predatory lender", if used correctly, is a way out.
In my hypothetical situation, I just landed a job, all I need is a car. So finding a payday cash loan place or a car dealership to front me the $500
to buy a car is all I need to get to my first paycheck. Used correctly, payday cash loan places actually provide a valuable service by providing
a way for someone who has no other way of getting money to get a few hundred dollars to get back on their feet. The problem is that the
majority of the payday cash loan customers are not "once in a lifetime" or even "once every five year" type users but are people who are repeat

Many people are unenthusiastic about their work.