With below-market rent (massive bonus if it just stays what I agreed to at first), I never bother the landlord at all. I have handled maintaining houses for most of my life and doing repairs/upkeep are no problem. I've paid to have doors replaced, locks replaced (keyed to the original key(s)), replaced plumbing fixtures, replaced light fixtures, replaced a CO detector that broke, installed a CO detector when it became a government requirement for rentals (My landlady thought she'd need to hire someone to do it, but I told her it would only take me 5 minutes and I'm happy to do it. She did insist on buying it and bringing it over.), etc. I once went 4 years without talking to my landlord.
The only place I left with no reluctance was a house that I really didn't want to live in where the landlady was a busybody that bothered me regularly. She sent me a notice of a rent increase (because she obsessively followed the rental market asking prices) and I sent her back a notice that I was moving out. It was a terrible house, at that, but I guess I never had to do any upkeep because they were constantly there bothering me...
This doesn't always work out, though. Back during the last boom there were a number of very nice condo towers built in downtown San Diego that after the bust could not be sold for anything near what they were expecting. Some of these buildings sat almost completely vacant for years. I should know, I checked them out when I moved to a new place (because I was one of few there with a decent-paying job at the time) and couldn't believe what was available. I decided to go a little cheaper in a neighborhood where my neighbors lived in houses, not cardboard boxes.
My parents have one with DIP switches from when the house was built, which was around the time I was born. No pressure plates.
My girlfriend's grandfather has three of them, one for each of his three garage doors. I don't think any are newer than the mid-1980s, if that. One doesn't even have an optical sensor, none have the pressure plates.
Most really don't do much work (that big spring up there is what is doing the work) and they're pretty simple, so I don't see any reason they shouldn't make it many decades. The problem is that the technology is laughably archaic and there has never been any incentive to make them better.
Trust me, I understand their plight, but children don't answer, "telemarketer" when someone asks them what they want to be when they grow up. If these jobs were gone, some other low-paying exploitative industry looking for unskilled labor would fill the gap.
I'm not proud to admit it, but about two decades ago I worked for a couple companies involved in telemarketing, so I met many telemarketers and worked with them fairly closely. They don't love their jobs, most barely endure them. They did it because it didn't involve a hot fryer and paid a dollar or two more. Some were just working their way through school. Nobody planned to keep doing it long-term. The big one that did a lot of outsourced telemarketing was shifting toward being a more general-purpose call center, followed by a tech support center after they moved the lower-paying and less-skilled jobs to poorer locales (MO and GA, were major targets at the time.) where desperate people were easier to find and had fewer options.
Not to take away from the argument that people depend on this income, which I fully understand, I'm surprised that you (or anyone) would defend the industry at all. It is exceptional in the way it races for the bottom, exploits vulnerable people (both employees and "customers"), exploits infrastructure (government- and ILEC-subsidized, often using tricks to get huge kickbacks), and aims to exploit various state laws (ex: right-to-work, low minimum wages, "training" loopholes, etc). Short of MLM, high-interest unsecured loans, and tobacco, I can't think of another industry that is more harmful to poor people.
This is already, to some extent, happening. A fair fraction of front-line medical care is now carried out in essentially exactly this way, except it is not yet an app. The proliferation of in-store healthcare facilities in drug stores, the extensive use of RNs as GPs.
Beyond this, with all the money pouring into the industry, even the smallest advances in automation will yield enormous profits for those that bother to implement them. The only thing holding it back is that the medical profession currently employs a lot of people that make far more than their knowledge and skills are worth, all of whom realize this and are afraid of this very thing. It's not like the telemarketers that make minimum wage care if their jobs exist tomorrow, aside from being able to buy beer for the party this weekend, but they also have little to lose and zero prestige. If large swaths of the medical industry were to be automated, this would eliminate the need for people with sought-after, stable, high-paying jobs with a high degree of repetitiveness, which in any other case would be the easiest to automate.
Only very small programs have less time invested in development than maintenance. Most code has at least 10 times more invested in maintenance than the initial development.
There was an idiom the escapes me that one of my professors used to use (this was almost 20 years ago) that succinctly explained this. It has been well documented for at least 40 years now. Write programs with the realization that they will need to be maintained for perhaps decades on end, because if the code and company are successful, it will be.
The simple fact is that there are times to talk really slow with small words for a large audiences and times to use expressiveness to get thing done fast in a professionally erudite environment. Often, complex software design is a case of the latter, not the former. Management would like it to be the former, because H1B, of course, but that is a short sighted strategy destined to leave the company in the dirt.
I always believed this, combined with the fact that schools kept churning out zombies that had never touched another language, was the main reason for the popularity of Java. It's an excellent language for teaching OO concepts as it is an exceptionally complete and verbose implementation, but it is an absolutely awful language to use in a business setting. This is why people kept coming up with more and more elaborate ways to work around all of the shortcomings involved in using it for anything more than a school project.
I'd add that Python tends to be easier to maintain, while Perl can be written faster in many cases and has more obvious operation.
Combine this with a long-stagnant minimum wage and societal factors (we're slowly going the way of countries in Europe and the Middle East with high youth unemployment and ever-extending quasi-adult periods), it should keep going down in younger drivers. Outside of North America it isn't uncommon to encounter people well into their 30s or beyond that never learned to drive.
When and where I started driving, gas was often below $1 in the late 90s. With today's average prices they'd need to make $15 an hour and get their cars for half the price (the inflation in used car prices is absolutely staggering, many don't even lose a quarter of their value in 5 years, whereas at the time you could get them for less than half their new price, and it went down even more for older cars). There is no denying that the barrier to entry is far higher today.
Personally, I drive less than I did from my teens through my mid-20s because I can now control where I live, refuse to live far from work, and hate traffic. However, I drive more now than I did last year because I moved to a more isolated semi-rural area that allows me to endure less traffic outside of commuting. In all, the miles traveled in my household are down in spite of this, simply because we no longer do the extreme commutes that were necessary in SoCal.
While they may not have a steel plate, they never place the fuel tank that low. In the vast majority of cars the tank is surrounded in steel and in a position where a collision with a road hazard will not touch it.
To expand on my original point with your thought: Lithium polymer battery use in surface R/C vehicles is already in the second generation. They had distinctly more fires when everyone first started using them because the only ones available were soft-case aircraft batteries. The sanctioning body quickly codified a hard case rule and now even casual bashers use hard-case batteries. This doesn't negate any of my observations, though. I'm not knocking the Model S (I'd love to have one), but the battery position is clearly primarily for performance and not safety.
If you work for J Random Megacorp with iron-clad IT policies, why are you using GIMP for image manipulation? It doesn't sound like this would be to the exclusion of other methods.