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Comment: Re:Ah, America! (Score 2) 562

by Captain Chaos (#38525774) Attached to: Verizon Adds $2 Charge For Paying Your Bill Online

You are mistaken thinking that you are a not-for-profit customer. They make money on the fees charged to the merchant for each transaction. They also make more off that rewards card because the merchant gets charged much higher fees. You also pay more for everything because merchants factor that cost of accepting credit into their prices.

They don't make as much as someone carrying a large balance with a high APR, but it can still add up if your card gets enough use.

Comment: Re:I need more information (Score 4, Informative) 277

by Captain Chaos (#37013068) Attached to: Comcast Launching $9.95 Low Income Broadband Plan

This six month old story on Ars mentioned more details on the program and 2 of the other major concessions they had to make to get the merger approved. Hiring Meredith Attwell Baker away from the FCC was probably a big help also.

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/01/low-cost-broadband-key-to-comcastnbcu-merger-deal.ars

Comment: Re:Why is this news? (Score 2) 312

by Captain Chaos (#35231166) Attached to: Sony's Official Statement Regarding PS3 Hacking

I've used the browser and online Blu-ray features numerous times without ever being prompted to log in to PSN. I just tested the browser right now to see if anything has changed and it works fine. There is a news ticker at the bottom though that had a link to the circumvention statement as the first item displayed.

I've never used Netflix, so I can't comment on that. It appears that Vudu requires a PSN connection though as I just tried launching that.

Comment: Re:Midas Touch (Score 1) 175

by Captain Chaos (#32398540) Attached to: Reproducing an Ancient New World Beer

As a Wisconsin resident, I can't agree with your first statement. Most of the breweries here were started by German immigrants, who brought their knowledge and experience to their new home. I don't think a lack of history has anything to do with the quality of American beer. I think cost has the most to do with it, but it is also very unfair to lump all beer made here as sucky American beer. While I personally think the quality of the beers coming from the major breweries is lacking, there are plenty of smaller breweries and home brewers around the nation that produce excellent beers. There are many beers made here that rival and surpass any of the beers I had during the couple weeks I spent in Germany a couple years ago.

Quality beers cost more, so they don't sell as much because too many people would rather pound back a bunch of cheap beers instead of enjoying a smaller number of higher quality beers. A friend turned me on to a beer he really likes called Pranqster from North Coast Brewing in California. The first time I found it in a store, it cost me almost $10 for a 4 pack. I could have gotten a case of some lower quality beer for that price if my goal was just to pound back a bunch of beer. The bottle of Theobroma mentioned in the article cost me as much as a case of cheaper beer also. Cost also directly ties in with your second statement, higher quality ingredients are cost prohibitive if your goal is producting a more affordable beer.

Cost also has a lot to do with 2 other food products you mentioned. My best friend looked at me like I was nuts for grabbing a loaf of bread that cost almost 5x the price of the loaf of Wonder bread that he picked up when we were at the store once. The price was worth it though for the quality difference over that spongy Wonder bread. The same can be said for cheese. Yes, Wisconsin does make a lot of cheese, including a lot of the cheese you are calling bland and uninteresting and cost is the reason since the cheaper cheeses sell much more. We also have plenty of award winning artisanal cheeses, but they cost a lot more because they use higher quality ingredients and aren't made using the same industrial methods that churn out the lower quality cheeses.

Comment: Re:Flower? Really? (Score 1) 342

by Captain Chaos (#31315438) Attached to: Calendar Bug Disables Older PlayStation 3 Models

I'm checking titles right now, Flower doesn't work for me either. Bomberman Ultra reverted to the demo, but the copy of Flow I just got free just launched fine and that has trophies, so does Bomberman Ultra. Trophies wouldn't be the cause of Flower not working for you, because you can sync those manually or it can automatically sync when logged in. I recently got a platinum for Uncharted 2 and it doesn't show in my online profile because I haven't let it sync yet. The last few times I played I wasn't logged into PSN at all.

It looks like games I downloaded from PSN that have a demo mode will launch, but will revert to the demo. Games like Flower with no demo will give this error: "An error occured during the start operation. (8001050F)" I stopped automatically logging into my PSN account and I thought I had played some of these games offline, but it looks like I will have to test once they fix the current problem. Which better me fast, this is a huge black eye for them. I'm hating DRM even more than I did before, thanks for helping the anti-DRM crusade yet again Sony. They are going to love bringing this one up.

Comment: Re:help in police chases? (Score 1) 471

by Captain Chaos (#30874652) Attached to: Electromagnetic Pulse Gun To Help In Police Chases

I haven't parallel parked a car with no power steering, but I did get to drive an aunt's old Chevette with manual steering around their huge driveway before I was old enough to drive. I didn't have the strength I do now, but I remember vowing then that when I got my license I would never want a car without power steering. I was puzzled as to why she would put up with driving that when he got to drive an anniversary model Corvette and custom conversion van.

"I'm a big fan of reliable, mechanically simple and uncomplicated cars."

Same here, while all the bells and whistles may seem nice, it is just more to go wrong and also makes repairs more expensive and harder to perform. I had thought about taking classes on auto repair just to be able to save money and make sure I wasn't being swindled by some crooked mechanic. With everything being so complicated now and getting worse, I figure it wouldn't be a very good use of my time or money since I'd need to keep sinking more in to stay up to date and having all the necessary tools would cost quite a bit also.

Comment: Re:help in police chases? (Score 2, Informative) 471

by Captain Chaos (#30867184) Attached to: Electromagnetic Pulse Gun To Help In Police Chases

I can second that, while it may not be the most pleasant driving experience, it is still possible to drive a vehicle after engine, power steering or computer failures. I luckily haven't had brakes fail, so I can't comment on that.

My last car kept getting problems with the computer after the dealer screwed it up while working on my car. I had to have it replaced 3 times before they finally got it right. The first failure I was doing probably 70mph on the interstate when it went. I don't think it completely failed that time, since I was able to safely drive the backroads home. I had an all electronic dash though and lost all my instruments, so thankfully there was an exit just up ahead that I used, stopped to made a call to have a ride ready to go if needed, then drove it safely home. After the first replacement, I was over halfway home and doing about 55 when everything went out. I was able to safely pull over to the side of the road and stop, the brakes were fine, but the steering sucks since you get spoiled by the lack of effort needed with power steering. After that "fix", the car died as soon as I pulled out onto the road from the dealer and I was able to safely coast it up to a break in the median, do a U-turn and leave it dead at the bottom of their driveway so they could push it back into the shop.

I also had an engine blow on the interstate while in a company van years ago and I think I probably safely made it close to a mile before stopping. I was able to safely change lanes, get to the exit ramp and get off, go across the overpass thanks to hitting the green light on the exit, turn onto a side street and pull over next to a gas station so I could call for a tow. The lane changes and turns really sucked with no power steering, but it isn't as bad when you know it is out. My dad had a belt break on an old Suburban in the middle of a right turn and he said that was quite a surprise when halfway through the turn he needed a lot more effort to turn the wheel.

Comment: Re:Bricked Consoles? (Score 2, Interesting) 438

by Captain Chaos (#29676535) Attached to: Sony Sued Over Bricked PS3s

Microsoft was also being hit with lawsuits over the hardware failures of the 360, so don't go thinking they extended the warranty because of their benevolent nature. Not everyone with a broken 360 got a free fix, many died before the warranty extension. I knew someone who made a nice little side job of repairing 360s that were out of warranty for less than Microsoft was charging.

Comment: Re:Live and learn (Score 1) 613

by Captain Chaos (#27634061) Attached to: How Piracy Affected the Launch of <em>Demigod</em>

I ordered the download + boxed copy from Stardock and received the collector's edition. From what I read, that will be the case as long as they last and is the only way to get the collector's edition. I haven't gotten a chance to even open the box yet, so I can't comment on the launch issues. I do wish them well though, DRM sucks and has stopped me from buying many games. I regret buying some games that use nasty DRM because I didn't wait to find out what they used or research them enough.

Aren't you glad you're not getting all the government you pay for now?

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