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Comment Re:Not to mention (Score 1) 190

I'm not sure it works that way. I don't think XBL points are like the gold standard. I mean, you pay $20USD for however many points-- say 500 (Totally made up numbers here, but $0.04 USD per point). The transaction is done at that point, and Microsoft banks the cash, even if you don't spend your points for six months. It's not like you buy your premium horse armor for 415 points, but Microsoft still has to keep $3.40 in escrow to cover the "value" of your unspent points.

In my opinion the number one reason to do this is to decouple the idea of physical value from points. You don't have $3.40 in your XBL wallet, you have 85 points, and when you spend those 85 points to buy some pretty pixels on your screen you're not thinking about the fact that it was once $3.40. The second reason is exactly so they DON'T have to do what you're saying-- have fractional portions of a customer's unspent money laying around. If you still have $3.40 in your account at some point and you stop playing XBL, you're going to try to finagle a refund. When you have 85 Points it's easier for you to let go, because you're already been separated from the idea of it having physical value. The third big reason is that it allows a microtransaction model without paying tons of credit car processing fees. They'd rather sell you 1000 points up front even if you only spend them 100 at a time, rather than pay 10 times the processing fees using credit cards up front for every purchase.

Comment Re:"Music Genre" nonsense (Score 1) 101

Then the execs would claim it was "a new genre that didn't stand the test of time," rather than saying, "it was a fragile new idea that we raped over and over until it could only sit in a corner; clutching its knees in catatonic horror and soiling itself. Next please." The fans didn't abandon music games. Companies like Activision took the fans for fools and pumped out overpriced garbage.

Comment Too Little Too Late (Score 1) 135

I'm in the market for an ereader right now. I've considered everything from the Kobo (I'm in Canada) to the iPad; weighing the pros and cons of LED screens versus eInk, etc. I've decided to buy an eInk device for a few reasons (I'm a heavy reader so I benefit more from the specific pros of those devices), and I'll do so in the next month. I mention this in case Jeff Bezos is trolling Slashdot, because I won't be buying a Kindle, and the reason is almost 100% because of the lack of ePub support. I don't want Amazon telling me that they will deign to allow me to borrow Kindle books from libraries. I want to be borrowing the ePub books that my library is already lending anyway.

I've pretty much ruled out the Kobo because of the difficulty of entering text (which I don't see myself doing very often, but it's plausible), and so I've decided I'm most likely going to be getting a Nook. I'm in Canada. There are no Barnes & Noble stores here, but the device works fine if you don't need 3G support. This means I'm willing to make a 6 hour round trip to buy a device from Amazon's competitor (to skip dealing with high shipping fees and Customs crap) because of one feature that could have easily been added in software updates by now, and which they seem to be totally obstinate in not adding. You don't need a partner program with 11,000 US libraries when you can just add ePub support and, poof, suddenly your device can work with what thousands of libraries are already doing.

I think Amazon is suffering from Not Invented Here syndrome, and if they're not careful they're going to get thrashed in the market they invented. They'll end up like Diamond and Creative, who were early to the MP3 player market right at the time when the demand had bubbled up to that magical point where a device can really take off, but got destroyed because another company did it better.

Comment Re:Status bar? (Score 1) 181

Artificially inflate version number? What the heck does that even mean? It's still going to be "Firefox 4" when it hits release. No one stupid enough to care about "it's version 12!" is smart enough to be downloading a beta. It's not like they're pulling a Slackware or something and going with Firefox 7, or worse, Firefox XP, or Firefox 2011.

Comment Re:Its not the speed that is the problem. (Score 1) 1026

The major advantages of Amtrak are lack of security and the space. Sadly, for high speed trains, I'm sure the first will be removed, and who knows about the second.

Do you know how much kinetic energy a train has moving at 250mph? What, do you want terrorists hijacking trains and driving them into skyscrapers? Why don't you love America? :(

Comment Re:Its not the speed that is the problem. (Score 1) 1026

force a radical shakeup of the frieght companies operating priorities

Do you like drinking orange juice while it's still fresh? Do you like being able to buy a mango in Boston in December? Then don't fuck with the railroads. I'm in Canada in February and I can get fresh pineapple, and if you fuck with that I WILL CUT YOU.

Comment Re:Yes! (Score 2) 104

they've required stations here to censor Dire Straits "Money for Nothing", despite that the song is written as a monologue describing the actual views of a real person of rock stars from the 80s.

You don't think the lyric "that little faggot's got his own jet airplane. that little faggot he's a millionaire" might be worthy of censoring? I'm a big Dire Straits fan, but I can see why they don't want that playing at drive time. At least that makes sense. I want to know who turned the radio version of Eminem's "Love the Way You Lie" from-- "I'm gonna tie her to the bed and set this house on fire" to "I'm gonna ___ her to the ___ and ___ this ___ on _____".

Comment Re:Right on! (Score 1) 364

And then add in that on top of your line speed limit AND your monthly cap, they also use DPI to do heavy throttling. A lot of us up here would have simply dealt with either caps OR speed limits OR throttling, but we starting seeing red when we're expected to tolerate all three. While prices keep going UP.

Comment Re:Right on! (Score 1) 364

Right, this is Canada. I was on Rogers before switching to Distributel back in November. 36 dollars a month gets your 3mbps cable with a 15GB monthly cap, and you'll pay 2.50 for every gigabyte you go over. When I lived in the US, I could get 6mbps uncapped DSL for 25 dollars a month. And not only are they capping data transfers here, but they're also using draconian DPI to throttle basically everything. At least with Distributel (a Bell wholesaler) I still have to deal with Bell's throttling, but I don't have to worry about a cap. This CRTC decision was going to mean the end of that for me. It would put wholesalers and resellers like Distributel and Teksavvy in an impossible position and most likely drive them out of business. All of this is happening with an infrastructure that was paid for by the Canadian taxpayers while Bell Canada was a government monopoly.

So I guess what I'm saying is that I've seen both sides of this (having lived in both the US and Canada), and that you can Comcast can kiss my ass. Internet service in Canada already makes the US look like some futuristic technological wonderland, and this was going to set Canadian internet service back by a decade or more. There's already a significant lack of ISP competition up here, and this is a decision that was blatantly aimed at making it impossible for companies like Netflix to compete with Bell and Rogers in-house offerings. For probably 95 percent of Canadians, your phone, your internet, and your television service all come from the same person, and it's very likely one of two or three companies.

I can't help but notice your sig. Guess what? Your dialup plan gets you basically the same thing as 36 dollars will get you from a Canadian *CABLE* provider.

Comment Re:When was the last time you picked.... (Score 1) 374

I'm in Ontario. My corner store has all of the scratch tickets loose in a sort of tray behind glass. You ask for one, and the slide out the tray and set it on the counter to let you pick which ticket you want. I wasn't aware that this conferred any sort of advantage, since your odds are the same no matter what... (unless you have the sort of tickets mentioned in TFA)

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