It seems more and more like we're the real leaders in North America now.
The US is just making an effort to be leading from the rear. 'Merica!
Before 1979 it was illegal to make beer in small batches (no joke)
Interesting side-note: It was President Jimmy Carter that changed this law. Carter, himself, was a teetotaler.
The only reason that I've been anticipating VLC on Android is for SMB streaming on my Xoom. The 10.1" screen is perfect for watching a flick in bed, so the tiny screen concern kind of evaporates. I have no interest, whatsoever, in configuring transcoding: I just want my device to be able to play videos natively, and across my existing network.
Can someone who's tried the Beta comment on whether it has SMB support? Bonus points if you can tell me whether Tegra 2 seems to be able to play an average 720p H.264 reasonably well.
Couldn't agree more. Amnesia is the only game that I've ever played where I had to stop playing it too late at night because it creeped me out. I highly recommend playing the game in a dark room with headphones.
But your argument is exactly what my comment about Twilight was meant to prove. Most of us, especially on Slashdot, probably consider the Twilight movies to be neither special or unique. It still made a (relative) killing at the box office.
You're absolutely right: There's a market for just about any kind of movie, even if most of us think it's shit. Which is exactly the point I was trying to get across by highlighting Twilight, and contradicts the GP's point about "Unique + Special = Profit". A movie doesn't need to be either to be considered a success. A success, as far as Hollywood is concerned, is a profitable movie.
It's no coincidence that all of those God awful parody movies made by Friedberg/Seltzer (Epic Movie, Date Movie, Scary Movies) kept being made. They were universally panned by critics, and were the exact opposite of unique and special. They only kept churning them out because there's an audience for them... at least a large enough one to make them profitable.
That logic falls apart when you consider that the last Twilight movie made $300.5M at the box office.
One of the primary reasons that Best Buy tries to push their extended warranties so hard is because the margin on PC sales are extremely slim. The stores barely make a profit at all off of the sale of a computer, now more than ever. The only decent profit margins are on the higher end gaming computers, or Apple.
When I worked at Best Buy ('99), it was during the emergence of the "e-Machine". If you don't remember those, they were ultra cheap computers ($300 - $700 at a time when the average desktop price was still around $1k). They packed the computers with adware and useless garbage in order to sell at a low price. They also usually had an underpowered processor (usually a Pentium Celeron). We, employees, were told that the store didn't make any money on these computers, so selling add-ons (warranties, MSN subscriptions) were vital. I actually believe them on this point. The problem is, nobody wants to pay a few hundred dollars for a warranty on a $300 computer.
To compound problems, a good slice of our customer base was parents and grandmothers who only want to casually browse the Internet and occasionally e-mail their children/grandchildren. It's nearly impossible to tell these people that they should spend $900 instead of the $300 and be able to sleep at night with a good conscience. So, we found ourselves in a position where we'd sell the cheaper computers with a near impossible warranty attachment rate.
It's even worse these days. You can easily find a great computer for under $500 (without the adware) that will satisfy nearly all consumers needs. The PC gamer enthusiast already builds his own PC's or knows where to buy them online, and does. As the profit margins on computers shrinks even more, the need to attach add-ons increases. Balancing that with customer satisfaction quickly becomes an impossible task. I do agree, though, that it would be smart for Best Buy to offer premium brand computers though it's simply not what most retail consumers are looking for (I think they mostly do "built to order" kiosks for those... at least, they used to).