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Comment Re:Who Lu? (Score 1) 111

I actually really liked Hulu, having used it from its first year until April of this year. It had a lot of "day after" showings of series I liked, and once they finally got a No Commercials plan I started giving them actual money. Even though it cost more than Netflix and the original content was subpar, I was quite happy.

But, this past April, they forced a new "Watchlist" format on all users. The move was basically an amalgam of every complaint /. has whenever UI is fucked with: control is removed, interaction is made confusing, and the system starts making decisions for you. You could no longer manage your own queue (where I had shows sitting for years as "to watch if I get bored" fare), the UI was a convoluted mess and would include listings for series long-since finished/cancelled that I had also long-since seen, and their "BFF" (as they put it) would add videos to the watchlist if you made the mistake of clicking the wrong area (and these were a pain to remove entirely.) This is made worse because they've long had a bad UI of "six episodes at a time" for series' pages, where you can only see six episodes, then have to click a button to load the next six, etc. If you were lucky you could at least jump to a season, but heaven help you if you wanted to queue up all episodes of one long-running show. They took this and put it on the "Watchlist", meaning that I was forced to look at a list of 1000 items six-at-a-time.

I not only cancelled my subscription but closed my account entirely. My understanding is that the "Watchlist" (who watches the watchlist?) reflects how Netflix does things (having never used the service myself), so this move of content to Yahoo! is just one more step by a company trying to live up to another company's ideals. It's too bad, because most of the reasons I liked Hulu were reasons I didn't have much interest in Netflix.

Comment Re:The Yahoo name makes me avoid a service entirel (Score 1) 111

Fans of Community were well aware--after NBC cancelled it a second (third?) time after the fifth season, Yahoo! picked up for the sixth and final season. (A recurring joke/plea was #SixSeasonsAndAMovie) That and Other Space were probably the only somewhat-known content it had.

Comment Re:What's the big problem? (Score 1) 675

there doesn't seem to be a clear limit

There wouldn't be because (AFAIK) the limit is set by the merchant. Merchants set the limit depending on what kind of risk they are willing to undertake in exchange for a faster/smoother transaction. For example, a fast food joint might accept $10 without signature to get people through the line. A grocery store might do $25 (I think this is King Sooper's limit). A thrift store like Goodwill might have $0, so you always have to sign because they don't have much room for risk.

Comment Re:Irrational fear of numbers again (Score 1) 1145

You can now hire people for a dollar per hour so long as that's the best money they can get at the moment.

A lot of people (particularly those in the "everyone will be a sloth if they get free money" camp) only focus on this as a negative. The flip side, however, is that people are no longer tied to their employer. (I work under the assumption that we wouldn't get UBI until after we get public healthcare.) Because they have that safety net, they have a relatively extreme amount of mobility and no longer have to work for crappy companies and/or under crappy people. The employer-employee balance tips dramatically in favor of the employee, and overall happiness will improve greatly because either people leave their miserable jobs or the companies are forced to improve management and practices in order to retain people. In addition, a lot of people will take jobs that only require 10-20 hours a week so that they can get some extra money for stuff beyond the basics, but not lose much of their life to a job.

So, yeah, a lot of people will work for a dollar an hour, but no one will put up with Mandatory Fun Day anymore.

Comment Re:Dumbest idea ever (Score 1) 202

Why not? These are connected to the electrical system; why can't they pull electricity and convert it to heat to avoid ice in the first place? It doesn't solve the other potential issues with these things, but as plausibility goes it seems more likely than others to this layman.

Or they can incorporate something like this.

Comment Re:Hillary will say anything to get elected (Score 1) 355

I was discussing with someone online about her changing what she supports based on popular support. The person I was discussing with said that this showed someone who was "politically savvy".

I responded that someone who is that "politically savvy" would support interment camps if the public was scared enough. While I want my President or Representative to at listen to my concerns and, ideally, act on them, I don't want someone who outright kowtows to public opinion because, unfortunately, public opinion is too often wrong. Pretty much every bad policy or action this country has taken had public support at some point.

Comment Re:Frivilous Law Suit (Score 1) 242

Same thing is happening in Boulder, CO. Any land put up for sale that is close to downtown and/or university is quickly sold, whatever is on it demolished, and apartments built in its place.

I just wish more of it was mixed use (e.g. bottom floor for stores, 2nd/3rd floor offices, then residential above that.)

Comment Re:No take backs!! (Score 1) 634

I already suspected regarding Trump voters' "we're voting for him to punish the establishment" mentality.

I know for certain that this is the view of at least one person. An old acquaintance of mine plans to vote for Trump now that Sanders is essentially out of the race, precisely to spit in the eye of the establishment. He even thinks it's a positive thing if Trump completely burns down the country, that we'll somehow rebuild from the ashes.

I can get behind "fuck the establishment", but I'm not going to make a deal with the devil to do so.

Comment Re:How ages voted (Score 1) 1592

It makes me wonder how much more damage they can do before they die off.

Their damage is done; they might do more, yet, but short of WWIII I doubt they can dig much deeper (he says, knocking on wood.) Instead, I'm more concerned about how we keep the younger generations from filling the gap they leave behind.

"Kids these days" has been a meme for almost as long as written history. "Old people ruin everything" appears to have a stronger historical backing. Unless we make some heavy inroads into... honestly, I'm not even sure what would need to be changed, but something must be or the younger generation of today will, in 30-40 years, be the old codgers who vote selfishly based on empty promises and fear-mongering.

The only major difference for this (our?) generation is that they began life already able to reach the furthest corners of the world thanks to the Internet. Could that be enough to break the cycle and allow them to continue voting with educated empathy? Is there even such a possibility?

Comment Re:I wonder (Score 1) 180

OH BOY I HAVE MORE STORIES TO ADD

Personal:
I had Comcast at a short-term apartment, three months. (It was known to be short term, there was no contract.) I accidentally paid for a fourth month. When I realized it, I called them up and asked if I could get a refund ($40 was a lot for me at the time). The helpful customer service person said that they could pro-rate me until my service was terminated (it was a few days over three months) and cut a check to me for the remainder. I gave them my new address and the call ended on a high note. I quickly forgot about the refund.

Six months later, living at a third address (my university was weird), I received a package from a friend at the second address of the mail I had received there. Included in this package was a Notice of Collections: Comcast had sent me to collections over the pro-rated amount they owed me . To Comcast's credit, I was able to get someone on the phone on Christmas Day and get the debt removed, but that was when I decided to never use Comcast again (I would use dial-up, I would try two tin cans and a string for internet before I signed up for Comcast). I never did get my pro-rated refund.

Related to me:
My office mate recently dropped Comcast for CenturyLink*. He wanted to get a refund on something (I think an extra modem rental fee? Can't quite remember) and Comcast said they would be happy to refund him but could not do so unless the line was hooked back up first. He would have to pay a sum of $300 in fees to have the line re-connected, the refund given (all of like $30), and then the line disconnected. Needless to say, but he wrote off the amount he was trying to get back.

* CenturyLink is also really bad with customer service, but not as bad as Comcast and still cheaper

Comment Re:Money from people who want to sell? (Score 1) 241

Checks still have valid, limited uses:
1) Private transfers of money over almost every electronic method are either cumbersome, incur a fee, or both
2) Even ignoring 1, transactions are not always concluded (money changes hands) where electricity or cell phone reception is available (if your bank even has a deposit-by-phone option)
3) Checks are useful where currency would be cumbersome (e.g. much easier to hand my landlord a check than $X in cash)
4) Checks can be used to pay for something when funds won't be available for a day or two[1][2]

But paying for (say) groceries with a check, especially if you don't pull out the checkbook until after all items are scanned? There's a special circle of hell for those people.

[1] Not as useful these days because a lot of places will use their POS to scan the check, use it as an ACH debit, and hand the check right back; in these case the system can sometimes tell when funds aren't available
[2] I've done this once or twice (needed groceries over the weekend, but paycheck wasn't be "available" until Monday) but it's something I heavily discourage because it's so easy to be screwed over by the act, even if you're doing so "smartly"

Comment Re:Stahp (Score 1) 299

due to people sharing, etc.

My layman prediction is that what are currently auto insurance firms will become auto membership clubs. It works like this:

1) Most people don't need to actually own a car, they just have their daily commute, shopping, and incidentals
2) If someone doesn't need to use their car while they're working or sleeping, they can rent it out for others to use (Uber => UberMech, which matches need to capacity minus the driver)
3) If someone is satisfied renting the cars of others, they likely won't own one at all (all but guaranteed for those who live in large cities, many of whom just rely on taxis for the moment)

Insurance companies will want to get in on renting out the vehicle, one part extra cash and one part liability concerns. They offer to manage renting out a member's car to other members needing extra capacity (eg. a larger family who only has one or two vehicles) to get the member some extra cash (the company's cut covers profit+extra liability). Eventually, most of their customers will only use them for the car-usage service, and as private ownership drops away the insurance companies start buying and maintaining their own fleet, perhaps outright purchasing existing car rental companies (who have been undergoing similar transformations during this time). "Micro-term" auto rentals (that is, use of a vehicle for under an hour at a time, likely 20 minutes a time) become the mainstay of the company and insurance is a minor product they offer for the minority of people who desire personal vehicles.

As automatic buses become standard, bus routes will increase because smaller, driver-less buses will have better access to residential areas. (They could act as track-less trollies, perhaps not even stopping completely in some areas and just having a long on/off zone at 5 MPH.) This will further drive down private ownership, but people will still like the idea of having a vehicle available for their convenience.

Comment Re:Well, that sounded extremely patronizing. (Score 1) 317

Agreed. The book Mountains Beyond Mountains, about Dr. Paul Farmer and his work (primarily concerning Haiti, but also tuberculosis and infectious diseases in general) makes mention of construction/farming equipment that was provided to some of the Haitian people as economic boon... and most of them are abandoned now. Without also providing continuous fuel or other materials, the machines were worthless.

(It's been a while since I've read it, so the account may be incorrect. Regardless, it was one of the few assigned-reading books I ever truly enjoyed during any time in my education and recommend it to everyone.)

Comment Re:Apples-Oranges (Score 1) 760

I question if you've ever actually met any of these people.

Well, I haven't met many, but I was one. I graduated, with a Bachelor's in Computer Science, in 2008 right as the recession kicked off and had no money or job. Spent ~10 months and 2 states trying to find a job but, with student loans coming due, I got desperate and entered the military.

And Knightman is right.

Higher education is viewed negatively and if followed, will make you "not one of them any more."

"Them"? Do away with the tiptoeing and just directly say what you mean: "black people are poor and lazy". (Which is wrong.)

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