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Comment: Re:Chess (Score 1) 273

by Space cowboy (#47675743) Attached to: Of the following, I'd rather play ...

When you play a bridge tournament, you play as part of a 4-person team. All the cards are dealt and placed in boards such that once they're played, they're replaced back as the North, South, East, or West hand.

Now your team of 4 is split into two partnerships, one playing all the N/S hands, one playing all the E/W hands. For any given hand of N,S,E,W, what counts isn't what your partnership does on your cards (either N/S or E/W), it's the delta between what your other partnership scored and what you scored. So, if you and X are playing North/South, and your other team members are playing E/W, then for every hand its your score - their score becomes your team score for that deck of cards.

In this way, there is no element of luck. Every team plays the same cards, every team plays both pairings (N/S and E/W), and only the difference matters. It's pure skill, both in bidding what you will make, and then playing the cards to actually make your bid. You can "win" the deck by causing someone who bid a grand-slam to lose a trick, and get the maximum points for that deck to your team.

Bridge is a truly excellent game. Simple rules, but incredibly challenging to execute correctly every time.


Comment: This isn't 'nam! (Score 5, Insightful) 327

by (#47666619) Attached to: California May Waive Environmental Rules For Tesla

There are rules. Either you have environmental protection laws or you don't. If you have them, don't start making exceptions to them because anyone who didn't get an exception and lost money as a result can (and should!) sue the everlasting shit out of you. If there's a problem with your laws, repeal them and replace them with more sensible ones.

Comment: Re:This is going to end so well for them! (Score 1, Troll) 147

bittorrent is used for lots of legitimate distribution outside of WoW, too. Just another case of a carrier selling a level of service they had no intention of supporting. "We'll advertise 'unlimited' [chuckle] data and leave the floodgates open for a few months so people think we're serious about service. We'll get a ton of new customers, then bring down the hammer as soon as we hit our subscriber target."

Comment: In my 25 years of professional computing... (Score 4, Informative) 101

by Shaman (#47618107) Attached to: Microsoft's Olivier Bloch Explains Microsoft Open Source (Video)

...any time Microsoft has tried to pass itself off as reasonable and interoperational, it was a springboard attempt to find out who in the industry wants that from them, and then apply thumbscrews, handcuffs, hookers and blow as required to get those companies to see the world its way. That is, the Microsoft-centric, homogenous and locked-in up to their eyeballs, way.

Never. Ever. Ever. Ever.


NEVER EVER trust Microsoft. They are the most self-interested company in the history of companies. Even Oracle looks shiny compared to Microsoft.

Comment: Loony as a tune (Score 5, Informative) 316

by (#47611571) Attached to: Verizon Throttles Data To "Provide Incentive To Limit Usage"

Verizon is just plain psychotic. When they were advertising the upcoming 4G LTE service years ago, their advertising copy said users would be able to stream video and download HD movies. All kinds of wonderful things that weren't possible with the new caps they'd put on 3G. Then they rolled out LTE with the same caps as 3G. So, sure you could download Air Bud in HD but that'd be your data for the month.

Now they're all excited about XLTE doubling (or more) the speed available thru Verizon's network. I've seen those speeds and they're amazing. Absolutely freaking amazing. And totally useless to anyone without an unlimited account. WTF is a new customer supposed to do with 80 Mb/s down and 40 Mb/s up? That's the kind of speed I saw near Atlanta. Holy Hell, that's fast. Faster than any wired service I've had. And totally useless if you can only move 2 gigs a month. Why are they spending all this money speeding up their network when it's wasted on their customers. It's crazy.

And the numbers Verizon is throwing around don't make a lick of sense. (Of course, I can't find the exact numbers now so I'll guestimate.) They say around 20% of their customer base still has unlimited data. They say 95% of those people use less than 5 gigs of data per billing cycle. If those two statements are true, why is Verizon upset? They should be ecstatic. They cut off unlimited data in 2010 so they're claiming an amazing retention rate. And the vast, vast, vast majority of those people are overpaying for what they use. And they're paying full MSRP for unsubsidized equipment. Why on earth would Verizon want to rock that boat?

Comment: Re:That kinda sucks (Score 1) 172

by (#47604981) Attached to: Sony Tosses the Sony Reader On the Scrap Heap

Yeah, because Apple didn't use an uncommon, DRM-enabled format. Nope.

Oh, wait. I'm being told that's exactly what they did. They sold their music in a format unsupported by any other portable player. And the first ipods only worked with Macs which, at the time, had a tiny percentage of the personal computer market.

So I'm going to go out on a limb and say Sony's choice of format had nothing to do with their inability to corner the new portable audio market.

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