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Comment Price Elasticity is a GOOD thing! (Score 1) 466

This is a classic example of Price Elasticity, and it's actually GOOD for gamers. Managing the demand curve is how game companies stay in business.

Price Elasticity is simple: different people are willing to pay more/less for the same thing. Gamers are already familiar with this; it's why prices drop over time. At launch a new game sells to people who think it's worth $60. Over time, the price drops so they can sell the game to people who don't think it's worth $60 -- first to the $40 folks, then the $30 folks, and finally the $20 folks. DLC is just another way to recoup the investment of making a game (and hopefully turn a profit). You create additional content, and sell it to the people who are willing to pay for it.

Complaining about content on the disc is just idiotic--who cares where it is? Would it be better if Bioshock 2 padded the 24kb with an extra 20mb? The only valid complaint (and the only complaint developers and publishers will listen to), is that the base game was unsatisfying or felt incomplete without the DLC. And I haven't heard a single person say that.

Comment Re:"The" cause (Score 1) 690

"The" cause is that humans make mistakes.

The "flawed human" defense works great for lawyers and TV dramas, but I am always surprised and disappointed when I hear it from engineering types. The problem with that argument is that you can't do anything to fix it!

I suggest you read up on Human Factors Engineering. Take a systems approach and you will find that humans are a component like any other, with measurable tolerances and response ranges. One of the best human factors success stories is aviation safety. Most FAA incident reports still include "pilot error," but also instrument design, automation design, training, schedule-induced fatigue, and other things you can actually change to reduce the likelihood of that incident happening again.

Comment Re:Interesting graph! (Score 5, Insightful) 295

What I find most interesting is the way all changes are perfectly synchronized with the exception of entertainment related stuff. This is clear indication of the power of vendor lock-in and tying unrelated products together.

No. It's a clear indication that TFA used a Stacked Line Chart. If you were to move Office and Server to the bottom of the stack, you would see that they both account for relatively small sales bumps (~1 billion), with the real movement coming from the release of Windows Vista (Mar '07 bump) and Windows 7 (Dec '09 bump).

Normally you avoid data distortions like this by putting the least-variable data at the bottom of a stacked chart. I think "Chart of the Day" needs a better-trained Excel monkey.

Comment Re:Classical case of Arrogantitis Scientificus? (Score 1) 287

Has anyone even checked if a dead brain can still have flows of energy through its brain? I mean light patterns still reach the retinas, and can still trigger signals, depending on the state of the neurons there.

IANAN (neuroscientist), but I do know that fMRI measures the flow of blood, not energy. I don't know exactly what happens as the brain dies, but it's possible that they just discovered that dying fish brains still have blood flow.

This could also be why these results have not been published. I agree that fMRI methodology is generally sloppy, but scanning a dead salmon is not the best way to prove it. A more convincing argument would be made by replicating prior research and finding ambiguities in those results.

Comment Re:how do you test it? (Score 1) 329

Presumably this is a therapeutic vaccine intended to equip the immune system to fight HIV before it trashes your immune system irreparably.

No, it's a preventative vaccine. They are testing it on HIV positive volunteers to be sure that it doesn't have any serious side effects (like infecting you with real live HIV).

Comment Mis-set expectations (Score 2, Insightful) 789

2G cost $599 at launch because it did not require a contract.
3G cost $199 at launch because it required a contract.
3GS will cost $199 at launch because it requires a contract.

Existing iPhone 3G owners can't upgrade for free because they're still paying off their subsidized phone.

Apple didn't realize the bease they were creating when they asked AT&T to try a non-subsidized model for the initial launch. Now everyone remembers the "free" upgrade to the 3G, but somehow forgets paying $599 for a 2G on launch day.

Comment Re:Of course they're not all honest (Score 1) 253

Have you got any idea how difficult it is to refute an experimental outcome?

I think the GP's point was nicely summed up by Winston Churchill:

  "The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is."

If the research is junk, the best it can hope for is 15 minutes of fame. Great research (Skinner, Bandura, etc) will be around forever because it captured something TRUE.

Comment Re:Who used to run it. (Score 5, Insightful) 607

The IANA exists because to have an Internet, you need an Authority to Assign Numbers. Without that, the meaning of "slashdot.org" or "216.34.181.45" depends on the whim of your friendly neighborhood routing table.

Feel free to debate who the authority is, but acknowledge that we need some authority.

The internet is not some "thing" that needs to be administered. It is not a public resource! There are millions of private networks and we all agree to use TCP/IP and DNS to interoperate.

Comment Re:Media is overpriced, pay-per-unit model is dyin (Score 2, Insightful) 429

Mod parent up.

To think that filesize and price are correlated is absurd. It's the production cost and value of those bits that determines price.

Replace "MP3" with "software" and this becomes obvious. A bargain-bin game might cost you $5/GB, whereas a specialized 10 MB medical/industrial program could cost $10,000 per seat.

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