Young Adults, Student Debt and Economic Well-Being | Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project

Young Adults, Student Debt and Economic Well-Being | Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project. This is amazing to me. If you have a student debt you only have $8,700 in wealth. Doesn’t it seem crazy that we don’t invest in education as a nation and put people in a dangerous situation to get it? One accident and a person getting an education could be ruined for life.


Spotify vs Rdio vs Deezer vs Rhapsody vs Grooveshark vs BeatsMusic vs Slacker vs Google Play All Access vs Rara

I received an email yesterday saying that my online music service Mog was going away and going to be replaced with BeatsMusic.

The Pros – Most of my music was transferred within 24 hours. So that was nice. Two albums were not, one which was parental guidance and one which was not. I was able to find the album with PG, but the second one was not available from that artist. Not a big deal. I like the album but nothing is perfect. The app is more responsive on iPhone than Mog was when you interact with it.

Update: I sent an email to customer support for the missing album. Their advertising said that their library was “built on” the Mog library which doesn’t seem to be the case. To be fair, other music services haven’t had all the albums I’ve wished to listen to. If its not possible I will accept it, but the impression is misleading.

Update 2: It might take six weeks to get the missing album. More importantly is that I just realized I am missing a playlist that contains at least 50 individual songs. I sent an email to support about it. Waiting for the update.

The Cons – The interface is not intuitive. For example, I created a playlist but I can’t seem to delete it. Their FAQ didn’t solve it, and the first level support was useless. They said they would escalate the issue. I don’t think that they have updated their instructions because it isn’t matching what I am seeing in the iPhone app. The design is very web page centric, and I liked the design of the older mog service more. Also the webplayer is not as good as Mog, but the selections it is choosing are interesting. I had to comb through more music on Mog to find albums I liked, but there is still 90% that is filler. I have given it information on a couple dozen albums/artists so perhaps in time it will get smarter.

Update: It turns out that the instructions were not clear. It was not available on the webpage, but only through the app. This is something that Mog had. The way to do it on the iPhone is not intuitive and awkward but possible.

I’ll give this a month and see if it grows on me. If it doesn’t, I may just go back to evaluating online music services. I still like Grooveshark, but their lack of iPhone app is irritating. It is dangerous to try to adjust the iPhone in traffic when picking up my friend in his car and I can’t accept that risk. I’m not crazy about the backers of the project either, so I might disconnect just because of being forced to move off mog.

I have been researching and I found this very helpful article with a great chart. You should visit this page. It breaks down like this:

Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 1.47.25 PM

So I have to immediately throw out Spotify for its offline storage limit. I have to throw out Slacker/Rdio for its low audio quality. Google play gets the boot for its anti-competitive practices. I just tried listening to Slacker and it sounded terrible. How can people accept that?

Rara is another music streaming service like Slacker, Spotify, iTunes Radio in which you can’t select music to play on-demand. To me, that puts it in the not interested category. Rhapsody/Deezer I have already tested and found them to be lacking. Avoid.



Spotify vs Rdio vs Deezer vs Rhapsody vs Grooveshark vs MOG

- StumbleUpon. I use Grooveshark and enjoy it, but I have a friend who likes Spotify. I wonder if you can import your favorite songs into the

- StumbleUponcompetition? Nice summary of each service in the link above.

I tried Spotify and Rdio just now and they are great if you want Facebook integration. I do not want that, and I didn’t like how Spotify required a download. Isn’t the point that you can log into a webpage like gmail and not have to download a separate program?

I tried to signup for Deezer but it is a user unfriendly site. It appears that you need to have a facebook account or a private account already.

Rhapsody asked me to sign up for a 14 day trial period and also wanted my credit card. I don’t think so. Too many sites get broken into for me to feel comfortable giving a number out for a service I’m not sold on. So I am testing MOG now and I like it. It has a nice interface and I am seeing if the music I’ve found on Grooveshark is also available there.

Something that I just realized is that Grooveshark doesn’t have a native iOS app. If you have jailbroken your device, or wish to use a webpage then it can work with problems. This is really only an issue if you are driving and need hands free control. MOG does have a highly regarded iOS app that is native. Perhaps its time to change to MOG. I like the fact that it had a Saint-Saens album that Grooveshark did not.

There are curious gaps in the music catalog of MOG that Grooveshark has. Still there seems to be more music at MOG than Grooveshark. Also Grooveshark has ongoing legal problems so that is something else to consider. Grooveshark has more obscure music, but MOG has a better interface and the sounds sound better and clearer.

Bottom line: MOG or Grooveshark seem to be the best for selection, privacy, cost.

P.S. The below songs are not on MOG but Grooveshark has. Like I said above, MOG has songs that Grooveshark does not, so for now MOG seems to be the best choice.

Album Nahoo by Paul Mousey one example of that is the song Passing away
Song Tinseltown to Boogiedown by Mos Def
Song And you and I by Yes (group)
Album Open Sky by Iona
Album Oxapello by The Blenders
Song Ode to the Brain & Children of Africa by Symphony of Science (They
have an album by the same name)
Song 99 Somma im Kiez by Nena (yes the 99 luftballons remix)
Song Someday & Cry for Love by Michael W. Smith
Song Run this town in D minor by Mashup (various artists)
Somebody Rock me by the Clash & the Killers mashup
Song Fat Cat Sat Hat Sesame Street (classic)
Song Every car you chase Snow Patrol vs. the Police mashup
Song Thriller by Jamiraquoi and Micheal Jackson mashup
Silent Running by Mike and the Mechanics (you do have a cover band of this
though yuk)
Song Let it by me by Beatles and Shaggy mashup


Is using Safari slowing your computer down?

Safari Web Content abusing my resources…: Apple Support Communities. I noticed this as well in the past. Safari doesn’t seem to be at the level of polish that Google Chrome is. Chrome has issues occasionally like last year it caused crashes, but generally it works well.

Things change. I am now using Safari since Chrome seems to have problems with a music streaming service called MOG. MOG is clearly superior to its competitors for me, so moving to Safari makes it stable. I have already informed them, and they are working on fixing the problem.




Brands to avoid and Brands to use

The purpose of this post is to share that some brands fail in their experience of how they treat the customer, employee or earth. I have a list of companies that I will no longer do business with due to their poor business practices. I wanted to share to see if I could help others avoid the cost and frustration I faced. I will never buy any of the brands below again or recommend them to others.

In Alphabetical order.

Belkin – Same as Netgear. Problems and poor quality control. Buy anything else but this.

Cell phones – Problems with Sprint Kyocera, Sony-Erricson, Motorola phones. No problems with Nokia, and some problems with iPhone which Apple fixed.

Chocolate companies: Cargill, Archer Daniels Midland Mars, Hershey’s, Nestlé, Barry Callebaut, Saf-Cacao. You can read more in this post but they use or have used child labor. That is not acceptable. So Hershey’s is doing something about this. I can support a company that recognizes its part in the problem.

Computer companies: Compaq/Gateway/Dell/HP/MSI – Lots of problems with these brands. Much more reliable are IBM/Lenovo/Apple/Toshiba. MSI doesn’t offer rebates as promised.

Cordless phones – Terrible experience with anything from Radio Shack, Bearcat phones. Great experience with Uniden phones.

Disney – For creating unrealistic expectations for children, for treatment of its workers, for killing lemmings during a film to make it more dramatic, for hiding greed behind “family values”.

Epson/Lexmark/Brother – Poor equipment. It works for a while, but not a good long-term value. HP/Canon I have had great experiences with and very good values.

Farberware – I bought a kitchen tool at the store that cost $5 and it didn’t work at all. Normally I like to buy Oxo, I just didn’t want to go to BBB. Avoid.

GM – 13 deaths due to a cover up for a part that cost 57 cents to replace. This is worse than Ford with the Pinto.

Hallmark – How silly it is to take the word gay out of christmas gear and put in “fun”. For catering to people who care too much about others private business.

Headphones – Problems with Apple earbuds, Monster iCar Play FM modulators to connect an iPhone to an FM station, Sony/Phillips headphones. Good experience with wireless Dr. Dre Beats/Bose headphones.

Lenscrafters – I bought a six dollar glass cleaning cloth and it fell apart and didn’t clean. Great experience with Pearl Vision who not only gave me a cleaning cloth for free but also adjusted my glasses.

LG - LG crossed the line when its smart tvs collected private information and sold it to advertisers and scanned and transmitted the file names of connected usb devices.

Logitech - I bought a Logitech Harmony remote for $80 and it never worked right. I followed their instructions and reprogrammed it three times but it never was reliable. I finally had to go back to using the regular tv remote and game remote. Logitech used to be reliable. What happened?

Micheal Kors - I bought a cleaning mop/bucket and it broke from MK. Also a brush that broke as well. Everything I have ever bought from this brand has broken. Avoid.

Music/Apps purchasing – I avoid the iTunes/Apps store because of their terrible practice of handling Apple ID’s and when you switch email names, it causes lots of issues. In addition when i closed my old @mac email name, I closed my account and I could not download any of the thousands of dollars that I had spent on music. A month later they allowed you to download music. Unfortunately since I had closed my account, I could not take advantage of that. I buy music/apps at Amazon which is often cheaper. Now I use MOG and love it.

Nathan Water Bottles – I bought one and so did a friend and they both broke within a month of very light usage. They were the most expensive water bottle in the store. The store took it back and refunded the money but its silly. How hard is is to made a reliable water bottle?

NECIncompatibilities with Mac OS 10.8, and high failure rate in the past.

Netgear – All of their networking equipment I have bought have had issues and failures. I like Apple and Cisco instead.

Otterbox - I had a friend who bought this and it broke in the first month. She bought another one and that broke. She bought it from the Apple store so it probably wasn’t a counterfeit.

Radio Shack – I used to shop there because there wasn’t any other place to get the stuff where I used to live. I don’t shop there anymore. I will not do business with a company that forces you to give personal information when you don’t wish to.

Rent-to-own /payday loan places – I will never do business with any of these places. First, they were found to spy on their users. But even more fundamentally, if you can’t afford to get something through conventional means, it might mean that you need to change your life. I have been poor, and probably many people still might consider me poor, but I have never had to do that. I understand that things happen, but you also have to make hard choices in your life. If that means that you skip the Lexus this year to have a better financial future, then so be it.

Samsung – They were found using child labor in their factories. No cheap products are worth that price.

TellTale Games – I bought The Walking Dead game and it ran terribly and didn’t function correctly on the mac. They didn’t have a fix for it, and I couldn’t get a refund. I will never buy anything from this company again.

The Salvation Army – Their anti-LGBT position is historic. Use Goodwill instead. Here is a list of companies that you should boycott.

Quaker Oats – I don’t like their racist advertising and I wrote a letter to them and received a canned response. I don’t support any company that promotes stereotypes.

Verizon - Really? You have to spy on your customers in order to squeeze the last penny from them?

Volvo/Mercedes/Ford/Lincoln/Hyundai/Kia – Bought an 850 which was just one problem after another. I couldn’t afford to keep the car running. Turned it in and bought a Camry. Excellent experience with Toyota vehicles. Mercedes also has arrogant dealers and turn people away with great credit. Avoiding luxury brands in general has been a helpful financial decision. I liked the MKZ but now it can catch on fire with a ton of other Ford cars. Didn’t learn from the Pinto lawsuit did you? Hyundai/Kia were found guilty of lying about mpg just like Ford was.

Whirlpool – Bought an Air Conditioner that you put in a window. It broke just out of warranty and the repair cost as much as a new unit. Are you crazy? Who would do that? I bought an LG that worked perfectly. Avoid LG see entry above.

WordPress hosting – Problems with Fatcow, Bluehost, Godaddy, 1and1, iPage. Excellent service and reliability with inMotion hosting(great value), Rackspace(great service).

Ultimately, what brands you do business with shape the marketplace for goods and services. I want to exercise the only power that a consumer has, and that is in how I spend my money.