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Comment: Re:Groupon (Score 1) 245

by cjnichol (#35537694) Attached to: Groupon Could Challenge Google's Record IPO

I usually like xkcd but this one was really really stupid. The first panel presents a valid argument but I've never seen that before in my life and I've worked at both a grocery store and a clothing store. You are far more likely to see "Up to 50% off" and then have everything 10% off except for one item that no one would buy which is 50% off or "$19.99 and up" and have everything more expensive with a few things down at the $19.99 range.

The second panel is quite misleading as well. His argument, while true, is besides the point. Let's say you go to the store to buy a box of cereal and are deciding between two brands, which you both enjoy and cost the same. However, one has a coupon for a "free" movie ticket (with the purchase of a second ticket most likely). Let's also say that you occasionally enjoy going to the movies with your significant other/child/whatever. Now I have two options: 1) I could buy the box without the coupon and stick it to the company using the "mathematically annoying advertising" and buy two movie tickets later, or 2) I could buy the other box and get two movie tickets for the price of one later. While such offers may often be used to encourage the purchase of things you otherwise wouldn't buy, more often than not (in my experience) I do end up getting something for free out of the deal (ie. something that I otherwise would have spent money on).

The third panel tries to uses the word "save" with multiple meanings. While the phrase "the more you spend, the more you save" clearly implies that by spending more right now, you will receive a better price point per unit, the graph uses the word save as in "money not spent ever," which is kind of pointless. For example, I could buy 2 rolls of toilet paper for $4 or 24 rolls for $20. In this case (which is fairly realistic except for the exact numbers), I could resist the "spend more, save more" advertising and only get what I need right now, and then come back every week or two and repeat the process or I could simply buy the 24 rolls and put $28 in my savings account. It's not like toilet paper is going to go bad or out of style anytime soon...

Comment: Re:And it's fucking irritating (Score 1) 321

by cjnichol (#35334816) Attached to: Apple Deemed Top of Movie Product Placement Charts

Yeah, Bones has to have the most blatant advertising. Sometimes it's almost funny. I like how she incessantly talks about the amazing GPS, and adaptive cruise control, At which point they zoom out to a front view of the car so you can see the car maker's logo (Toyota, I think) right on the middle of your screen.

Really? I've never noticed... Can you name an episode for me that is particularly over the top? Ideally the GPS or iPhone episode. I want to go see how bad it is.

Comment: Re:Costco (Score 1) 464

by cjnichol (#34657672) Attached to: Scientifically, You Are Likely In the Slowest Line
It does, however, work wonderfully for Walmart. At least for their express checkouts. They have up to 12 registers (usually only 4-6 are staffed when I go) and the single queue works great. There is an automated system which directs you to the next available cashier (it displays a number on a sign and also tells you to go to the checkout verbally after a ding).

Comment: Re:Isn't this illegal under consumer protection la (Score 1) 210

by cjnichol (#34191414) Attached to: Amazon Patents Bad Gift Protection

Technically, you (the recipient) are authorizing Amazon (or whatever company) to act as your agent and accept purchases on your behalf. You would also authorize them to exchange that for you for an item of equivalent value (possibly the same item of different size, or whatever difference).

This in no way affects the contract between Aunt Milly and yourself as you have authorized Amazon to accept the gift for you.

Comment: Re:Isn't this illegal under consumer protection la (Score 1) 210

by cjnichol (#34191360) Attached to: Amazon Patents Bad Gift Protection

Without being a lawyer or an expert in this matter, I am just going to go out there and say you are wrong.

In this case, they are both the AGENT of Aunt Milly AND you. They are, in effect, receiving the gift purchased by Aunt Milly on your behalf (without wasting the time and resources required to actually deliver it to you) and then exchanging it for something which YOU have specified. All they are doing is automating the receive-exchange process.

Comment: Re:Every Major Gaming Site Reports Those Problems (Score 1) 280

by cjnichol (#34134926) Attached to: iFixit Tears Down Microsoft's Kinect For Xbox 360

You should believe ALL of them. Everyone is giving you their own personal, and probably biased, opinion.

My first, and only, experience with the Kinect was in a Kinect store in Toronto (an entire store dedicated to this thing!). I have to say the whole process was pretty much hassle free. I just stood there while it registered my body (pretty much the equivalent of registering a controller on the ps3/wii/xbox) which took a few seconds. I did notice that you had to be standing a fair distance from the setup meaning this will more likely have to go in a family room as opposed to someones bedroom.

I didn't notice any lag really while playing the game (I played a racing game) which was pretty fun. I didn't try out any of the voice commands (didn't even know it coud do that) so I can't comment. One of the employees was managing the menus so I can't comment on that either.

One thing that I did notice was that the employee seemed extremely relaxed while playing and had excellent control whereas I was a lot more rigid in my movements and had a bit more difficulty. The human mind is an amazing feedback controller and should be able to adapt to most things you throw at it (input lag and whatnot). I liken the experience to the first time I played the wii.

Will this be useful for high-end competitive gaming? I highly doubt it. Will this be amazingly fun to have in the home? Hell yes.

Comment: Re:Monitor which ads get the best reaction? (Score 1) 433

by cjnichol (#34113554) Attached to: Prepare To Be Watched While You Watch a Movie

Hint: We don't enjoy the adverts, especially after paying almost $12 for a ticket. Perhaps if the whole audience gives the camera the finger through all of the ads, they will get the message? :-)

I object to this. I fully enjoy the occasional ad in the theatres. Heck, I even pay to go watch the Cannes Lions any year that I can (basically an hour and a half of the best commercials from around the world). The biggest problem I have is that there is generally a very limited pool that they use at any given time so if I see several movies over the course of a week or two then I see the same ads all the time.

Executive ability is deciding quickly and getting somebody else to do the work. -- John G. Pollard

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