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Comment Building a huge-- and legal-- music collection. (Score 2) 382

I still need an optical drive because my latest obsession is buying used CDs for $0.25-2.00 and ripping them. I'm able to get all the albums I couldn't afford when I was a starving single person, and all the ones I missed during the '00s when my tastes were different.

I mostly still use WMP for this, because it has the one neat feature that allows it to start ripping as soon as a CD is inserted without even pressing a button. This allows you to save a minute or two if you have to rip a stack. I'm about to ditch it for Freerip, however, because WMP does occasionally fail to rip a track (which can be missed because the track listing disappears when the disc is ejected) and usually hangs on startup for no apparent reason until the system is rebooted. WMP is discontinued, so these issues will never be fixed.

Comment Re:Subsidizing Businesses.... (Score 1) 445

We don't even need a clever analogy. It's crony capitalism, and it's wrong.

The government is propping up the taxi companies, who paid inflated sums for their medallions due to the artificial scarcity created by the very government that issues them. For example, in Philadelphia, medallions that sold for half a million dollars a few years ago now appear to be selling for $50,000. This looks like a market crash, because it is. Allow the people to speak with their wallets, and it will resolve itself. I feel sorry for the folks who bought medallions at inflated prices, but that's the risk of doing business.

Comment My own test (Score 1) 618

I gave a family of four (two parents, two kids) a single payment of $2,700. They had SNAP and WIC available, so food was not an issue. That $2,700 was for a security deposit and the first month's rent. Parent A had a full time job, parent B worked at least 10-20 hours a week initially.

They paid their rent for the second month, then never paid again and were homeless again in four months. Might have had something to do with Parent A cheating on parent B, parent B cheating on parent A, and parent B buying stuff at the sporting goods store and getting fired from his job for insubordination. The lives and well being of their young children were held in the balance, and yet they couldn't be motivated to not bang other people, hold down a job or live frugally for a while.

Throwing money at ignorant people usually results in failure.

There's a lot more to this story, but this part is most on-topic.

Comment Re: O Rly? (Score 1) 158

Survivor bias. Cheap houses were made back in the day, too, but they've long fallen (or burned) down.

Do people take shortcuts now? Yes, but today's standards, whether set by the industry or governments, are far superior to those of the past. We don't run cotton-insulated wires across ceilings to bare bulbs with exposed brass terminals and no ground wires. We use advanced foam materials and fibreglass for insulation, instead of newspaper (or nothing). We don't use exposed wooden beams. We use double and triple-paned windows made of materials that don't rot. We use copper and PVC plumbing, not lead that poisons, clay that breaks and iron that rusts. We ventilate our roofs.

This is all coming from a guy who owns a 216 year old house. There are other stone houses that are only piles of rubble now because their beams rotted, the masonry work was poor, or they burned because of unsafe lighting. Wood houses? If they exist from over 200 years ago, it's because they were diligently maintained.

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