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Comment Demographic blocking next? (Score 1) 203

This is just capitalism in action. This is a variation of the "free rider" problem.

The logical extension of restricting entire countries because you can't derive revenue from them is to block *any* group of users that you can't derive revenue from if you can figure out how to do that.

The corollary is that you want to attract customers who you *are* likely to derive revenue from, so you create content to appeal to those groups.

If the marketing geniuses figure out that senior citizens are "unprofitable" as internet consumers, maybe that means blocking that group. Of course, that will probably anger people who realize that someday, they will be old and will therefore be blocked, so the strategy could backfire. It's a lot easier to block people from, say, Africa, because that affects someone else, a group that most consumers can't picture ever joining. It's also a group that can be blocked as a group without sacrificing valuable users.

Comment Condensation? (Score 3, Informative) 356

Condensation on windows is not a sign of a poorly ventilated house. Condensation forms when humid air comes in contact with a much cooler surface. So, for example, if you have no storm windows on your windows but you are running a humidifier you will get condensation in the winter.

Vinyl windows will actually reduce condensation because they are like built-in storm windows. The inner pane isn't as cold as a single pane of glass -- yet vinyl windows also reduce airflow, meaning that ventilation is reduced.

That part of the study just doesn't make sense.

Comment Re:micropayments (Score 1) 188

Micropayments don't mean 1 cent per page, or per day. They could mean 1 cent per month to visit a site. Or 25 cents per year.

I agree that people don't want to worry about racking up charges -- but that does not mean that they don't want to pay for things. I worked for a dollar store chain, and when things are $1, people don't take the time to think "is it worth it". But when we introduced $2-5 items, they balked -- even though the deals were very good -- because $1 was below their radar, but $2-5 was not.

If I had to pay 1-5 cents per month to each site to surf the web, the amount is so small that I wouldn't bother to meter myself.

The big question is, is the content worth it? The next big question is, if IMDB starts charging, is the difference in their price versus the value provided by the next free competitor worth the switch? For many, it will not be, and IMDB will profit.

Comment Re:One little problem ... (Score 1) 709

Yes and no. Items from the 1920's are still protected by copyright even though the parties creating this content were doing so under the understanding that maximum protection length was 28 years with a *possible* 28 year extension if renewed. Items created under that law could revert back to that length. Items created from 1976 forward were "life of the author + 50 years" (which seems insane -- copyright shouldn't reward an artist's descendants, the USA is supposed to be a meritocracy, not an aristocracy).

I agree with the premise; 15-20 years seems like a reasonable balance for copyright. It gives the creator a good period to profit from a work, and gives the public the right to use the work after this period has expired. The vast majority of published work is generally economically unviable, so this wouldn't adversely affect too many parties.

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