Robinhood Introduces Checking and Savings Accounts With 3% Interest, No Fees – Droid Life

Robinhood, the investment app that has probably changed the trading industry some, thanks to no fee transactions and a super easy-to-use app, announced checking and savings services today. It sure sounds like a pretty big deal too.

Within the Robinhood app, you now have access to checking and savings (early access for now), both of which earn 3% interest yearly. There are no monthly fees, no overdraft fees, no replacement card fees, and no minimum balance requirements. And yes, they will hand you a MasterCard debit card and give you free cash withdrawals at 75,000 ATMs.

They are taking sign-ups for checking and savings now, with cards starting to arrive in January 2019.

If you have questions about how it all works, a good FAQ is here.

Google Play Link

Robinhood Checking Savings Card

// Robinhood

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Virgin Galactic Takes Off, and Space Tourism Draws Nearer – WIRED

For the first time since the US retired the Space Shuttle in 2011, humans have taken off from American soil and gone into space. This morning, Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic rocketed two test pilots beyond Earth’s boundaries and brought them back safely, in a giant leap toward finally making commercial space tourism a reality.

The mission was Virgin Galactic’s fourth powered test flight of VSS Unity, the craft it expects to use to haul wealthy sightseers into space. The two pilots started their journey at the Mojave Air and Space Port in the California desert, slung under the belly of Virgin’s twin-hulled, carbon fiber launch vehicle, the VMS Eve.

Once they were 43,000 feet up, Eve released Unity, and the pilots in the latter powered the rockets for 60 seconds—longer than ever before—to shoot upwards at Mach 2.9, nearly three times the speed of sound. Mark “Forger” Stucky and Frederick “CJ” Sturckow climbed to 51.4 miles, 1.4 miles beyond the line the US Air Force uses to demark the edge of the planet. That’s high enough to see the star-spotted black of space, as well as a pretty spectacular view of the Earth, as a video show from Unity shows:

To quote mission control: “Unity, welcome to space.”

Unity then reentered the thick atmosphere at supersonic speed, in what the team calls a “feathering” configuration, with the tail folded for better aerodynamics. It then glided back to the the spaceport for a smooth landing, like the Shuttle used to. The touchdown met with cheers from anxious teams on the ground, as well as their families and a bunch of media crews. Along with its congratulations and assurance that it’s down with space tourism, the FAA announced it will hold a ceremony in Washington to bestow Commercial Astronaut Wings on Stucky and Sturckow. (Stucky was also a Space Shuttle pilot; he’ll be the first person to get his wings from both NASA and the FAA.) The craft was also carrying four NASA research experiments and a passenger-mimicking mannequin named Annie, according to the BBC.

“We will now push on with the remaining portion of our flight test program, which will see the rocket motor burn for longer and VSS Unity fly still faster and higher,” Branson said in a statement after the landing.

When Virgin Galactic starts commercial operations, up to six passengers at a time will get three days of training and preparation at Spaceport America, in New Mexico, before take the trip, along with two pilots. Once at altitude, they’ll spend a few minutes in zero gravity, during which they’ll be allowed to unstrap and leave their seats. The company also plans to host (paid) space experiments, unbolting the seats and swapping in racks of kit.

Richard Branson companies are not creatively named, but they do cover a wide array of transportation schemes. Virgin Trains is the go-to rail service in the UK for trips from London northwards, Virgin Atlantic operates flights from the UK to the US and beyond. Now Virgin Galactic hopes to join the family as the go-to space ferry for paying customers who want a taste of the astronaut life.

Branson’s tourism idea is rather conservative compared to plans from his fellow space-going tycoons. Elon Musk’s SpaceX recently announced its first paying passengers would be a Japanese billionaire and a handful of artists of his choosing, who will slingshot around the moon, possibly by 2023. Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin is also planning short tourist flights, but in the long run wants to send rockets beyond Earth’s orbit.

Virgin had originally planned to get to this point years earlier, but delayed its program when Unity’s predecessor crashed in 2014, killing one pilot and injuring another. Now back in action and making real progress toward a commercial launch, it has a backlog of 600 people from 50 countries who have reserved places for a paid trip into space, and a look back at the Earth from a new perspective.


More Great WIRED Stories

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The worst passwords of 2018 are just as dumb as you’d expect – CNET

Password entry

Getty Images

It doesn’t look like we’re getting any smarter about our passwords. 

On Thursday, software company SplashData released its annual list of the Top 100 worst passwords, and it includes some pretty obvious blunders. Coming in at No. 1 is, you guessed it, “123456,” and in second place is, yup, “password.” This is the fifth year in a row these passwords have held the top two spots. 

Newcomers to the list include “666666” (No. 14), “princess” (No. 11) and “donald” (No. 23).

“Sorry, Mr. President, but this is not fake news — using your name or any common name as a password is a dangerous decision,” SplashData CEO Morgan Slain said in a release. “Hackers have great success using celebrity names, terms from pop culture and sports, and simple keyboard patterns to break into accounts online, because they know so many people are using those easy-to-remember combinations.”

To compile its list, SplashData evaluated more than 5 million leaked passwords, mostly from users in North America and Western Europe. The company estimates that about 10 percent of people have used at least one of the Top 25 worst passwords, and about 3 percent have used “123456.”

“It’s a real head-scratcher that with all the risks known, and with so many highly publicized hacks, such as Marriott and the National Republican Congressional Committee, that people continue putting themselves at such risk year after year,” Slain said.

Celebrities and government officials aren’t immune to choosing terrible passwords, a Wednesday report from Dashlane made plain. The top offender on that list was Kanye West, who revealed at an October meeting with President Donald Trump that his iPhone passcode is “000000.”

Here are the 25 worst passwords of 2018, according to SplashData:

1) 123456
2) password
3) 123456789
4) 12345678
5) 12345
6) 111111
7) 1234567
8) sunshine
9) qwerty
10) iloveyou
11) princess
12) admin
13) welcome
14) 666666
15) abc123
16) football
17) 123123
18) monkey
19) 654321
20) !@#$%^&*
21) charlie
22) aa123456
23) donald
24) password1
25) qwerty123

CNET’s Holiday Gift Guide: The place to find the best tech gifts for 2018.

Security:  Stay up-to-date on the latest in breaches, hacks, fixes and all those cybersecurity issues that keep you up at night.

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United Airlines flight attendants protest staff and service cuts at Honolulu airport – Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Video by Craig T. Kojima / ckojima@staradvertiser.com

  • CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM

    The flight attendants are asking management to increase staffing and stop planned staffing and service cuts.

  • CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM

    United Airlines flight attendants are asking management to increase staffing and stop planned staffing and service cuts.

  • United Airlines flight attendants picketed and passed out leaflets today at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport today as part of a system-wide day of action.

    The action, conducted by members of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO, took place from 11 a.m to noon in front of the United check-in lobby.

    The flight attendants are asking management to increase staffing and stop planned staffing and service cuts. They also want management to fix payroll issues and ensure flight attendants have access to hotels in the event of severe weather and irregular operations.

    Honolulu was just one of the 16 major airports across the globe, including Hong Kong and Frankfurt to San Francisco, Chicago, Houston and Newark, where the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA conducted picketing and leafleting.

    The labor action is in response to United’s announcement last month that it planned to cut a flight attendant position from most international flights.

    United did not immediately respond to a request for comment. However, the carrier previously has said that pre-plating meals for business-class passengers on the ground have made the cut possible.

    United, which has been flying to Hawaii for 70 years, added 11 new routes and 363,522 seats to the neighbor islands between 2017 and 2018. With the increase in service, United’s Hawaii business this year will include roughly 11,985 flights with 2.63 million seats.

    Kevin Batey, Kailua-based LEC President of United Airlines Council 14, said the decision means that there will be fewer trained crew members to respond to emergencies on flights and that boarding will get slower and customer service will decline.

    “It was the last straw,” Batey said while participating in the Honolulu action. “We’re hoping United Airlines will come to their senses. Now is not the time to cut service. The company has taken some service hits and we want our company to succeed.”

    Batey said the Honolulu labor action is the first since the local union and the company reached agreement on a new contract in September 2016. Eight months of monthly informational picketing preceded ratification of that agreement, which Batey said will expire in 2021.

    “We start contract negotiations again next year,” he said. “If this issue isn’t resolved, we could see more informational picketing.”

    Ken Diaz, President of AFA’s United Master Executive Council, said in a statement, “Instead of leading U.S. carriers and distinguishing United Airlines with superior safety and enhanced customer service, the airline is lowering its standards to follow American and Delta. This is not the way to say we love our passengers.”

    “Catering on the ground is not a substitute for first responders in the sky,” said Diaz, who represents 24,000 Flight Attendants of the 50,000 AFA members at 20 airlines, including United.

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    Apple’s spending $1 billion to add jobs in Texas. It’s giving far more to shareholders – CNN

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    Evidence of Apple switch ruled inadmissible in Qualcomm antitrust case – Reuters

    (Reuters) – A federal judge on Thursday ruled that evidence provided by chip supplier Qualcomm Inc (QCOM.O) that major phone makers like Apple Inc (AAPL.O) have moved to competing suppliers like Intel Corp (INTC.O) cannot be used to fight allegations Qualcomm acted to preserve a monopoly on some mobile phone chips.

    FILE PHOTO: A building on the Qualcomm campus is seen in San Diego, California, U.S. November 6, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake

    The Federal Trade Commission’s lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California alleges that Qualcomm’s patent licensing and chip sale practices were anticompetitive and sought to preserve a monopoly on so-called premium LTE modem chips, which help mobile phones connect to wireless data network.

    At the hearing in San Jose, California, an attorney for the FTC said there are “still discussions going on” with Qualcomm about settling the case, but a Qualcomm attorney said there was “no news” about the status of the talks. The two sides disclosed they were in talks in October.

    The case, which began in 2017, is headed to trial in January, but the cutoff for the two sides to gather evidence ended in March.

    Since March, Qualcomm has disclosed that Apple completely stopped using its modems in its newest iPhones and switched to chips from Intel Corp. Qualcomm has also broadened its use of a lower-cost licensing model for technology for the next generation of mobile data networks, with several phone makers already signing the deals.

    Qualcomm argued in court papers that the new market conditions would likely show that it does not have the monopoly on modem chips that the FTC alleges.

    But Judge Lucy Koh rejected the request in a pre-trial decision, saying that the case was about Qualcomm’s business conduct and not its market power.

    “Qualcomm does not argue that any post-discovery evidence shows a change in Qualcomm’s own business conduct. All of the proposed evidence relates to alleged shifts in Qualcomm’s market power,” Koh wrote in her decision.

    The decision is the second pre-trial blow Judge Koh has dealt to Qualcomm. Last month, she ruled that Qualcomm must grant patent licenses to its technology to rival chipmakers if they request it.

    If the FTC wins its case against Qualcomm, regulators could impose fines and force the company to change some of its business practices around patent licensing, which drive more of the chip supplier’s profits than chip sales.

    Regulators in South Korea, Taiwan and elsewhere have reached decisions against Qualcomm and imposed billions of dollars in fines.

    However, Qualcomm has appealed many of the decisions and settled some of them, for example by agreeing with Taiwanese regulators to invest $700 million in that country’s technology sector.

    Reporting by Stephen Nellis; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall

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    After its worst year ever, Facebook hands out free hot chocolate and security tips – CNN

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CNN’s Laurie Segall explains.”,”descriptionText”:”Cutting ties with Facebook is more complicated than just deleting your account. 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    Some Kotex tampons recalled after unraveling inside bodies, leaving pieces inside – AOL

    Kimberly-Clark has issued a voluntary product recall of some of its tampons after reports that the feminine hygiene product unraveled or broke apart in consumers’ bodies.

    On Tuesday, the company issued a press release advising retailers in the United States and Canada to pull its product U by Kotex Sleek tampons, regular absorbency, off shelves due to a “quality-related defect.” Kimberly-Clark also says it has received “a small number of reports of infections, vaginal irritation, localized vaginal injury, and other symptoms” and that in some cases consumers had to seek medical attention “to remove tampon pieces left in the body.”

    The company urges any customers who have experienced any of these symptoms after using this particular product to seek immediate medical attention.

    HuffPost reached out to Kimberly-Clark for further comment, but the company did not offer any new or additional information. It’s unclear what caused the defect.

    The company says that the defective tampons were manufactured between Oct. 7, 2016 and Oct. 16, 2018, and distributed between Oct. 17, 2016, and Oct. 23, 2018.

    One can identify if they have a defective box based on the lot number located on the bottom of the package. A full list of those lot numbers are listed here on the company’s website. You can also search a lot number to see if a box is defective here.

    In an online FAQ, Kimberly-Clark said it was taking steps to prevent similar issues from occurring in the future, though its plan is worded vaguely.

    “The safety of our consumers is our top priority,” it stated. “We are putting systems in place to prevent the occurrence of similar issues in the future.”

    • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

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    Stocks – Dow Closes Higher Despite Giving up Gains in Roller-Coaster Trade – Investing.com

    © Reuters.  © Reuters.

    Investing.com – The Dow closed higher Thursday, despite giving up most of its gains, as optimism over U.S.-China trade faded and weakness in financials weighed.

    The rose 0.29% to 24,597, below its session high of 24,740. The fell 0.02%, while the fell 0.39%.

    Positive sentiment on trade faded, pressuring the broader market, even as a Chinese ministry spokesman touted progress on U.S.-China talks and reportedly said any U.S. trade delegation would be welcome.

    The positive sound bite from Beijing on trade comes a day after reports that China could revamp its economic plans to give foreign companies more access to its domestic market.

    Defensive corners of the market like consumer staples, and utilities, were in favor, underscoring the weaker sentiment on risk.

    Procter & Gamble (NYSE:) led consumer staples higher, rising more than 2% after being upgraded to buy from neutral at Merrill Lynch.

    Beyond trade, the broader market was hurt by ongoing weakness in financials as bank stocks continued to fall ahead of the Federal Reserve meeting next week, when the central bank is expected to rein in its outlook on rate hikes.

    Goldman Sachs (NYSE:), Morgan Stanley (NYSE:) and Citigroup (NYSE:) ended the day in the red.

    Energy, meanwhile, supported the broader market on the back of rise in oil prices on signs tightening crude supply following reports of falling stockpiles at a key delivery hub in Oklahoma.

    Losses in industrials, meanwhile, were limited by a rally in General Electric (NYSE:) after a long-time critic JPMorgan (NYSE:) upgraded its outlook on the conglomerate, citing an improved balance sheet.

    General Electric also announced it will launch a new Industrial Internet of Things software company, which would operate as a wholly-owned and independently-run GE business with $1.2 billion in annual software revenue.

    In corporate earnings, Adobe Systems (NASDAQ:), after the close Thursday, reported that missed on both the top and bottom lines.

    Starbucks (NASDAQ:) shares fell in after-hours as the coffee chain’s subdued outlook on longer-term growth offset above-forecast earnings.

    In political news, meanwhile, federal prosecutors reportedly launched a probe into whether President Donald Trump’s 2017 inauguration misspent funds it raised and also whether donors funded the campaign in exchanged for access to the incoming Trump administration as well as “policy concessions or to influence official administration positions,” The Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources.

    Top S&P 500 Gainers and Losers Today:

    General Electric (NYSE:), Aflac (NYSE:) and Kimberly-Clark (NYSE:) were among the top S&P 500 gainers for the session.

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    Letting off St(r)eam: How Do Musicians Really Feel About Spotify? – TheStranger.com

    Pezzner: Im certainly not counting on Spotify financially, but they are an unavoidable piece of the machine that makes up my music career.

    Pezzner: “I’m certainly not counting on Spotify financially, but they are an unavoidable piece of the machine that makes up my music career.” Brit Hansen

    Inspired by the tweet embedded below, I wondered how musicians on
    Spotify actually feel about the streaming service, which has been sending artists year-end stats, seemingly as if to rub salt in wounds. Most of the musicians who responded to my query grumble about the poor pay rate, although a few—all electronic musicians, for what it’s worth—have accrued some decent money in 2018.

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    According to Investor’s Business Daily, Spotify ended the September 2018 quarter with 87 million premium subscribers globally, up 40 percent year over year. The Swedish company’s “earnings showed an operating loss of $7 million on sales of $1.57 billion in the third quarter. Its revenue rose 31% year over year in local currency. Spotify earnings are reported in euros.” Spotify pays around $0.006 to $0.0084 per stream to music rights’ holders.

    Way back in 2012, Damon Krukowski (Galaxie 500, Damon & Naomi) wrote a damning article on Pitchfork about Spotify’s miserly pay-outs; shortly after, David Macias, president of Nashville-based label services company Thirty Tigers, rebutted him on Hypebot. Six years later, we’re still having the same arguments. Read the musicians’ responses below and perhaps gain some clarity on the issue.

    Pezzner
    The service doesn’t amount for a lot, but occasionally a song will get put into a Spotify curated playlist and I’ll get some money paid back in royalties. I’m certainly not counting on Spotify financially, but they are an unavoidable piece of the machine that makes up my music career. (The link to his stats show 48,243 fans, 1,760 followers, 11k hours, 65 countries,123k streams.)

    [Anonymous]
    I’m one of those [artists] that actually thinks Spotify has been a good thing, for the most part. For me, at least..

    My total streams are 5 million for 2018. So, it’s about $20K total and about $10K after I split with my label. That is about average for a modestly successful musician like me, I think. Obviously, that is not a “salary.” But, I do think it’s important to point out that Spotify is just a fraction of a working artist’s total income. The label doesn’t only put our music on Spotify. I get a statement that shows streams from a lot of different streaming services, as well as downloads and physical sales. This doesn’t count track licenses and touring income, either.

    My main issue, I guess, is that it’s a hell of a lot better than it used to be when people just downloaded our music for free. And I sometimes worry that all the smack talk about Spotify just makes people not feel so bad about downloading free copies of music. But, for the most part, I think fans have gravitated towards streaming services, because it’s so convenient!

    Andrew Rohrmann (scntfc)

    I suppose I’m one of those artists who is theoretically doing okay from Spotify. my year-end “wrapped” deal is telling me I’ve had one million streams over the last year. Specific numbers are difficult to grab, since my distro’s accounting access is a shitshow, but I can say without a doubt that the income is nowhere near minimum wage.

    Kirk Huffman (Real Don Music)
    First, I have a whole outlook for my music/art that I’ve developed based on three things:

    1. That I will likely be a poor musician/artist.
    2. My successes are defined solely by me.
    3. Lower expectations and expect rejection.

    The Spotify data is a more fascinating experience than it is a validating one. There are two arguments for Spotify:

    PRO: It’s instant, free, and fairly democratic access for both ordinary music listeners and audiophiles alike.

    CON: Notoriously low royalty rates which superficially benefit the consumer over the artist, and the resulting data point playlist passivity and echo chamber effect.

    I see valid points in both arguments.

    I have always had to navigate the gray area between both while using all the things I learned in the time before streaming services to develop a personal philosophy that is feasible for what I’m doing. I’ve been fortunate with the bands/musicians I’ve played and worked with to have a solid base of 200-300 supporters who consistently purchase my limited runs of physical vinyl and merchandise, which have a far greater financial return than does streaming.

    That all said, what makes me nervous are the mirrored ripple effects of the music industry being a microcosm of our “winner take all” economy as a whole.

    Ten percent of Spotify artists dominate 99 percent of the plays on a platform that pays $0.00037 per stream in an industry that pays artists 12 percent of its $43 billion annual revenue in a world where 1 percent of the globe’s population owns over 50 percent of its wealth.

    Spotify has never posted a profit in its 10 years of existence and is founded on an unsustainable business model which relies on a monopolized music industry to provide the very goods for their “product,” and yet, Spotify’s CEO is worth around $800 million.

    What happens beyond the homogenizing of sonic aesthetics is similar to what happened recently with FilmStruck, which despite its successes and fandom, was discontinued by Warner Bros, largely seen as too niche a service to continue…

    Boots Riley recently tweeted that he owns physical copies of all his favorite films, records, etc. because he fears the collapse of streaming services will leave us all unable to enjoy the intended listening/viewing experiences, and furthermore that capital will be the definitive decider in why art or artists get exposed and will discourage accessible opportunity to creating and experience new and exciting works.

    That gate-keeping perpetuates inequality.

    There’s already real speculation that streaming services will inevitably consolidate and morph into record labels to “manufacture stars.” And this just goes back to the larger question of, are these economic gains worth what we lose culturally? And it exposes the larger migration away from the ’90s/Nirvana austerity, that you couldn’t get pleasure from being involved with a “sell out” corporation and the catch-22 that artists face today in not being able to afford to exist, be heard, or even complain in the face of companies/services who have cornered communications and averted anti-trust lawsuits to an extent that their brand consequently becomes a part of yours and you complicit in all the negative effects that they produce.

    I don’t lean toward either side of those listed pros and cons regarding Spotify as a whole, but I do know I am neck-deep and navigating these waters, good or bad.

    Chris Pollina (Eldridge Gravy & the Court Supreme)
    Eldridge Gravy made $127.83 off of Spotify in 2018. That’s $10 a head and another $7.83 for the bank. Start adding these figures up and tell me this isn’t the business to be in!

    Anders Covert (Quantum Eraser)
    I’ve usually withheld my releases from them, but this year I put one song on Spotify for the first time. I made 7 pennies from 26 plays. I’m probably not going to release anything else with them, because why bother?

    Kylmyys
    Obviously we are not the most popular music act, but I find it pretty crazy that we had about six streams per day in 2018 and made about enough money to get lunch at Dick’s Drive-In. I have no idea what it costs to run Spotify, as I think someone mentioned they have been talking losses, but this is just another example of how music has more and more become a disposable commodity.

    I understand that some see musicians as bohemian slackers, although this is plainly not true, as making music can be one of the most emotionally taxing and cerebral things a person can do. It can also be exhilarating , as you know, but it is pretty discouraging at times to think that all that time and effort that you put into making something that takes time, effort, and guts to do barely equates to any monetary value. This includes playing shows.

    We are currently getting into music licensing for TV/film and radio, and there is actually a huge potential to make money from your music in that route. We are cool with this, but some artists might see it as jeopardizing their authenticity and genuineness. However, we believe that you can have both pots on the stove and still be happy as an artist.

    Total Minutes: 13,000
    Total Streams: 2,000
    if your rate is correct that is $0.0037 (2000) = $7.40

    I researched this and found a rate of $0.0038 which would still be under $10 (about $7.60) for all that listening. Ah, music is so cheap to enjoy on Spotify.

    Total Fans: increase 45%
    Total Fans: 142 (yay! We want more lol)
    Total Followers: 14
    Total Countries: 26

    Pat Thomas (A&R rep for Light in the Attic, Omnivore, and Real Gone Music; drummer in Mushroom)
    In the old days, you wake up and realize, hey, I don’t have Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust on CD. So you stroll down to a record store and while you’re walking around, you see a cool Light in the Attic reissue or here’s a new album on Bloodshot. You walk out with anywhere from two to five things. On Spotify, you wake up, you realize you don’t have Bowie, or you feel like hearing Bowie, you go to Spotify and they have Ziggy Stardust, and you’re done. Who made money? Bowie, maybe, made a few pennies. The record store made nothing. The three or four random purchases you might’ve made in the store don’t exist.

    That’s my beef with Spotify—maybe a bigger beef than the crummy royalties they’re paying. The physical product element is gone and the random, impulse buying is gone that benefits two or three or four other record companies, a record store, and two or three or four bands. You multiply that by thousands or millions of people and all of a sudden it’s why labels and record stores are really struggling. That’s a lot of impulse buying that just vanished. Let’s face it: Very few of us go into a record store and buy just this one thing. Most of us pitter around and walk out with a handful of things.

    I tell this to people and some of them look at me like I’m crazy. Why? It can’t keep going the way it’s going.

    Spotify doesn’t provide liner notes or musician credits. Going to Spotify, you want a nice piece of prime rib, but instead [it feels like you’re going to] McDonald’s and [getting] a Big Mac. Empty calories, dude. I know you’re a vegan, but you get my point.

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