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Comment Re:I get this... (Score 1, Informative) 374

It's been 5-6 years, since I am currently in Europe, but last time it was $90/night to get a pyramid suite with jacuzzi at the Luxor. Turn off the lights, and relax in your jacuzzi under the starry sky - since, you know, you're in a huge glass pyramid (the largest one intended for the living) and so the glass "wall" in your jacuzzi room is also the ceiling... A year later I paid 500 euro/night in Rome for a seemingly well-rated hotel with jacuzzi suites (yes, I like my jacuzzis), and it was mediocre compared to the Luxor room.
For the buffets you have to find the good ones ;) In general, casinos make a most of their money from gamblers, so the rest of the folks can find some great deals.

Comment I get this... (Score 4, Insightful) 374

Ok, I get this particular instance, it is sort of "cheating", but I still cannot get over how you are somehow not allowed to USE YOUR BRAIN to count cards in order to win in a casino. Yes, I know it is not illegal to count cards (I mean how would someone go around proving it beyond reasonable doubt), but casinos (except in NJ) are allowed to ban players who can win, which is mostly the same thing.
Anyway, I try not to think about it too much (to avoid having my brain explode), and I just enjoy going to Las Vegas, with the inexpensive luxurious hotels, nice buffets, shows etc and before I leave I try to do my part sustaining the system by dropping a quarter in a slot machine ;)

Comment Re:I'm all for protecting the consumer (Score 0) 159

Huh, that seems to indicate that all MSRPs, at least the way they work currently all over the world, are in violation. Are you telling me that, in Canada, unlike any other country I've been to, there is no such thing as silly MSRPs slapped on items when you go to stores or when you shop online? If that is so, I guess should be penalized.

Comment I'm all for protecting the consumer (Score 1, Interesting) 159

I'm all for protecting the consumer, but this sounds like that Canadian agency had a $1m budget deficit and they wanted to cover it fast. Sure, MSRPs are stupid and it would be nice to get rid of them, but how is the retailer supposed to know the manufacturer/supplier has them "inflated". Are they supposed to go all-Sherlock for each item they sell?

Comment Ehh, so what are they offering? (Score 1) 94

Ehh, so what are they offering? For extra $$, I'd expect an integrator to cherry pick the CPU's they get to provide me with one that can do 5GHz (which is not that huge of an overclock anyway, I mean I was around during the Celeron 300A era!), otherwise they are offering nothing. There is no such thing as "professional overclocking" when we are talking about a simple air-cooled system that lets you control clock speed and voltage, you simply try to go higher and run a benchmark to check stability and it all depends on how lucky you were with the CPU you got. And people who'd overclock usually enjoy the actual process of figuring that out. The only service they should charge for is guaranteed overclock, to remove the luck-factor from the equation.

On another note, AMD'd better come up with something decent fast, otherwise Intel is going to stagnate some more (performance and price-wise).

Comment Here is the support ticket (Score 4, Interesting) 177

Here is the entire support ticket the guy opened:
It seems that they have in their TOS a line that says:

8. We reserve the right to refuse service and disable a customer’s key at any time for any reason

Also, they are lying in that it was just one employee that did this. From the ticket you can see an employee was answering the ticket at first, but then "Rick" took over, who appears to be "Rick Ruhl", a co-owner of HRD software, and throws gems like this to the stunned customer:

You are not buying software, you are buying your callsign's access to the software. ...
Again refer to section 8 of the TOS, which was written by our Attorney. ...
See you in court.


Comment It depends on the theater, and the price (Score 1) 341

At home I watch on a 55" plasma screen from about 2.5 meters distance, or at my other home a 120" screen (DLP projection) from about 3-3.5m away and always with a decent 5.1 channel home theater system. This means that going to about 80% of cinemas out there is actually a downgrade, either in terms of screen angular size, or audio (it is harder to make good audio on a huge room, and especially when targeting many seating positions - at least if you want to keep costs in check). The rest might be similar or a little better than the home setup, but I'd not really pay a premium for them, so I guess if I had the option of a similar price to watch it at home, I'd probably take it - I don't particularly prefer the movie theater as an experience, especially when it is crowded, there are other things I could do with a night out. However, $25-$50 seems a bit of a stretch since I'd go to the theater just with the wife, i.e. spending $15-$25 on tickets. I would not spend extra for that either, I'd probably wait and get it for either free with my streaming plan or at a low price.
Now, there is a cinema to which I still go, usually once or twice a month. That's the giant IMAX (not the "liemax" smallish screens popping out). The 26m wide screen experience (with amphitheatric seating) and great sound cannot be emulated at home. For example Dr. Strange was amazing watching there. So, I only go to the Imax regularly and for a movie that has a strong "visual" component I would not consider watching at home instead.

Comment Re:Labor Participation Rate, the Unmentionable... (Score 2) 533

Well, Labor Participation Rate vs Unemployment is not just about people who stopped looking for a job, it is also about people who don't need a job, so it is not a particularly better metric.
Unemployment rate has always been "underreporting" by a margin that is open to debate. If this margin is relatively stable throughout the years, then unemployment rate is a good *comparative* tool. Do you have any sources that say that the current unemployment rate is more severely underreporting unemployment and thus not comparable to historic rates? If yes, then you have a point, otherwise.. no.

Comment Re:Only allow reviews from people who purchased. (Score 1) 106

No, this won't work. Sellers have groups (on FB or dedicated sites) where they organize people to buy their product for free or almost free (they provide a discount code) in exchange for a review. They don't usually tell you directly to give them a 4/5 star review (although I've seen that too), but tell you to contact them first if you are not happy and if you leave a 3 star or less review they simply don't give you any more free stuff... or worse!

When I say worse, this is an example recent experience of mine. I have a thing about exposing scams like that, so I joined a group to get a "Best Seller" pair of binoculars that was receiving suspiciously raving reviews, without paying full price. I reviewed it and, sure enough, it was really poor quality for the price (even magnification and effective aperture where nowhere near the specs), so I wrote a (rather generous in hindsight - probably because I had reviewed really horrible binoculars recently) very detailed and technical 3-star review that basically said these are worth less than half the price. I did get a message from the seller "thanking me for not posting the review", which is an interesting way of requesting I remove it, but that's it. Anyway, this review started to slowly get up-voted (about 1 vote per day) so it was on the front page after a few days. But one day, I see a dozen sudden downvotes, and the seller claiming I am a competitor in the comments (they actually claimed I own Agena Astro!) - they even messaged me to tell me I was reported for malicious slander to Amazon etc. So the review got buried. If you are wondering about the down-votes, I got emails from people whom the seller had asked to down-vote me (members of their review group), so that's how that works.

I don't think it is hard for Amazon to fix these issues. First of all, they should remove (or not "count") reviews that have used a promo code. That's the primary method these review groups work. Then completely ignore reviewers who drop-ship (another method) or work exclusively on promo codes - there are Top-100 or even Top-50 reviewers that are "serial reviewers", get everything for free with a promo code and always give 5* reviews (e.g. Top-50 on Lastly, run an analysis to identify downvoting/upvoting "rings", i.e. users that are asked to mass downvote legitimate reviews.

Up until a few years ago, I thought Amazon reviews were great at helping me figure out what to buy. Now, I only read reviews from items that are sold by Amazon directly, so that no seller has messed with them, the rest are not helpful at all.

Comment What? How is this possible? (Score 1) 29

I don't get it, this is the first time Apple does something like that. I have paid twice out of pocket to have my iPhone 4 and 4s replaced (there was one more replacement but within warranty), because of a well known issue (search about iphone 4 / 4s wifi grayed out) that Apple refused to acknowledge - their website instructions said "reset network settings" like that could do something about what we knew was a malfunctioning heat-sensor that disabled the wireless module (and was only actually enabled in firmware from a specific iOS version and on - you were fine if you never upgraded the original iPhone 4!). They have even voided the warranty of a 6 month Mac Mini with a failed motherboard, because the found "dust" (no cat hair or smoke, as it was a smoke/pet free home), and the owner of the Mac Mini just accepted that it was his fault!
So how come it is their fault for the first time? Are we not holding the battery wrong? Do we not have our central heating set too high? Are Apple sales slowing and they actually have to start behaving like other companies instead of treating their customers like they are lucky for the privilege of owning Apple products? After having seen the $300 "Designed by Apple" book come out just last week, I wouldn't have thought so...

Comment Not only that... (Score 3, Insightful) 2837

Not only that, but they pushed hard (with dubious means as we found out) to have Clinton win the nomination, when she is probably the "Democrat" that Democrat voters themselves like the least. And "like the least" is a euphemism when many outright hate her. ALMOST ANYONE else would have had an easy time against Donald Trump, but no, they didn't want people like Bernie etc, Clinton was the DNC's favorite gal...

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