@ATF : Ahhhh, what a great story. You're awesome. @Stina : Right? Who in their right mind divides Halloween into "giving out candy to the good kids" and "being forced to distribute candy to the other kids"? Just turn off your porch light and go to sleep if you don't want to participate. They're kids, it's Halloween, you're awful.
@SaraHinkley : I'm right there with you. The worst part is that terrible people are apparently unaware of the fact that they are, y'know, terrible. WE MIGHT BE TERRIBLE AND NOT EVEN KNOW IT. ... nah. As long as we can recognize it in other people, I think we're OK.
... I’d need to book 20 nights’ worth of dogs (or 10 nights’ worth of two dogs). I suggest the eventual movie be titled "20 Nights of Dogs".
@Katni : Frighteningly, I suspected who she was because of ... I'm sorry, but it's true ... her husband. (He made his money by founding a multi-level marketing company and enjoys spending it on Mitt Romney and anti-LGBT causes.) Use that name in good health, is all I'm saying.
@garli : Oh, agreed, the speaker-as-microphone trick isn't practical (actually, it's only really ever used for recording kick drums), but when has that ever stopped a good secret agent? Maybe we can start Ms. Smith with two cans and a string. She could end up as the Robert Hooke of pop music!
@garli : Also, I don't believe one can turn on a phone remotely, but a targeted attack can make it appear that the phone is turned off while it remains on, to allow geolocation or recording through the microphone. This has been reported as a technique that the NSA does use, so it looks like Ms. Swift is 2 for 2 (maybe 1.5 for 2?) : http://money.cnn.com/2014/06/06/technology/security/nsa-turn-on-phone/
@garli : Well, considering that a speaker is basically a microphone in reverse, she's basically correct. Plug the cable from your speaker into a mic in, and voila, it's a microphone. A very crappy microphone without auxiliary power, but still.
@Trilby : Perhaps it's time to look into a discount brokerage. Unless you have a ton of money (and even then), I'm of the opinion that active money management is just going to cost you. Those annual fees and commissions can be absolutely brutal.
@ThatJenn, @Meaghano : Being able to check your investments every day is the devil. Don't do it; your caveman-brain response will drive you nuts and distract you from the fact that you're in this for the long term, not for day-to-day gains or losses. Of course, easier said than done. Perhaps it's time to develop an investment portal that only reports quarterly earnings.
@Aequorea Victoria, @ccq : Yes! Scrape together a little extra cash that you won't miss for the next 10 or 15 years, and stick it in an index ETF. "Sell when the trumpets are sounding and buy when there's blood in the streets" is still good advice.