Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:$100+ for a family (Score 1) 360

A $0.15 bag of popcorn isn't costing me $5, nor is a $0.08 cup of Coke running me another $4, because I'd never pay that. It always amazes me that everyone except the movie theater industry seems to understand supply and demand. You're never going to make more money by charging insane prices for popcorn and drinks because those insane prices will stop the majority of people from buying those things at all. If they charged reasonable prices for those items they'd move more volume on those items. You're not making more money by selling those items for that much if you're selling way less volume. Let's look at two cases, one with those prices you mentioned, and one where they sell the stuff for a buck. Say they only sell 100 pairs at the high price.

100*0.15=$15 popcorn cost
100*0.08=$8 Coke cost
$23 cost, $900 gross, so $877 profit.

It is pretty reasonable that if those items sold for a buck a piece instead that you would have many more people buying them. How many would need to buy at that price to equal the same amount of profit? (Yeah, we're ignoring the overhead of labour and all that stuff.)

1-0.15=0.85 profit per popcorn
1-0.08=0.92 profit per popcorn
0.85+0.92=$1.77 profit per item pair

So they'd have to sell 496 pairs of those items to make the same money. So roughly 5 times more people would have to buy a popcorn and Coke. But at $2 versus $9 for that combo how many more people are going to buy? I'd never buy at $9, personally. I wouldn't even think about it. It is too much money. But at $2 I'd buy every single time without a second thought. How much cheaper would it have to be than $9 to get me to bite? Well, I don't know, exactly. Would $4.50 be enough? Meh. $4? Or $3? Perhaps. But $9 is nuts. And that's why nobody is buying it. The fact that you've got a monopoly in your venue isn't enough to make those prices acceptable. It still has to be good value, or overall you won't have people biting.

As far as I'm concerned, movie theaters should be practically giving away popcorn and soft drinks. A buck a piece and they'd have practically everyone buying, I would wager. Obviously with other items, candy, and who knows what else (I've seen burgers and nachos, among other things now! wtf?) there are going to be differing costs and profit margins. You could probably get away with better margins on items other than popcorn and soft drinks. But if you charged a buck a piece on a reasonable amount of popcorn and drink (i.e. not a freakin' garbage pail) I'm sure you'd be making a lot more money than you are with the gouger prices. Those two items are cheap as hell, and everybody knows it, so when you charge out the ass for them you usually just get a thumbed nose instead. Why theaters aren't actually playing with those prices to find the supply/demand teetering point is beyond me. Seems like business 101, no? The whole "We aren't making enough money, jack up the prices!" idea makes absolutely no business sense. You'd have to be a fool to think it did make sense.

And it isn't our fault that they don't know how to deal with movie studios concerning the pricing they get for screening their movies. Studios should want to have their movies shown. But it seems whoever has been running them ever since they started whining about nobody going to movies anymore has no clue how to do their job. Making it harder and harder for theaters is just another bonehead example of what not to do in business. But obviously it will be harder for theater owners to organize and finally start getting better business deals with the studios.

I seriously believe theaters would make way more money if they started charging reasonable prices, based on reasonable profit margins, for popcorn and soft drinks alone. Don't change your prices for candy and all the other crap you guys are selling now. But make the popcorn and soft drinks super cheap, because your cost is super cheap, and make a big stink about dropping those prices with really obvious signage in the place. Guarantee you'll start moving crazy volume compared to what you're doing now. That stuff is cheap. Sell it cheap.

Comment Re:The are cashes FOR hard drives (Score 1) 109

If it actually worked very well you wouldn't have noticed it pausing while it waited after a cache miss. Any cache can only help by so much. In the case of hybrid drives, I never understood why drive manufacturers used such a small amount of NAND, besides cost. Sure, it is expensive to use. But if you put more on there I'll pay more, because it will perform better more often.

Comment Care to buy ad time on a platform based on random (Score 4, Insightful) 301

YT: Care to buy ad time on a platform based on random people uploading videos based on whatever randomness they're into?

Companies: Yes!

YT: OK, thanks!

Companies: Hey! How come these random videos we're advertising over contain all manner of random stuff?!

YT: Um, duh?

Comment We don't need to know. (Score 1) 418

We don't need to know how stuff works in order for it to be simulated in a simulator not written by us. She seems to be saying that it can't be a simulation because we don't know how it works. Saying that makes no sense. It's like saying I can't possibly play a video game because I don't know how to program a video game. Or I can't have eaten lasagna because I don't know how to make lasagna. For crying out loud, she says you can't simulate quantum mechanics because our computers use 1s and 0s. Does she even understand computers or computer programming in the least? She's a physicist. Some of that should be elementary to her. But is it? She seems pretty clueless in that arena.

"If you try to build the universe from classical bits, you won’t get quantum effects, so forget about this – it doesn’t work." Yeah, because it would be impossible to write an algorithm that simulates quantum effects. *eyeroll* Never mind that this statement of hers also assumes any potential simulation would have to be running on computers like we're using right now. Because other kinds of computers couldn't possibly exist. Because otherwise we'd have them, too. Heh. How this is over her head is beyond me, and yet, somehow, it is.

Comment never understood removing features (Score 5, Insightful) 266

Removing features simply because they're not used by everyone every single day never made sense to me. Even if it is something only a very small percentage of users use, so what? It's not like you have to write that code again every time you compile. It just sits there minding its own business. Leave it alone and mind your own business. It doesn't affect any other work, so why remove it? To save a few bytes of memory? We all have nine zillion memories now. Who cares? Some people use it. And if more people knew about it they'd probably use it, too.

Most people power on their machine, use the web browser, and office apps. That doesn't mean it would be beneficial to stop making all other programs just because most people don't use them. Same thing.

Comment Re:Ditch time zones altogether. (Score 1) 228

"But that means going to work on Monday and going home on Tuesday, with the work day something like 1700-0200."

Yeah, so? It's all arbitrary anyway. The point is if you can agree that it is Sunday, March 12th for everyone then you should be able to agree that it is 1700 for everyone, too. The fact that it will seem odd to you at first given your current point of view does not mean it will always be odd. Just like January being summer in Australia should not seem odd to you.

Everyone uses the same calendar. Everyone should use the same time. It is, after all, the same moment in time for everyone anyway. The fact that the sun rises for you at a different moment in time because of the longitude of where you are on the planet shouldn't be relevant, especially since you don't think the latitude of where you're at is relevant to the date. That's the point you need to get through your head. Saying east and west matters but north and south doesn't is odd. And it should be clear which one should be thrown out.

Comment Ditch time zones altogether. (Score 1) 228

Time zones are ridiculous. If it is 1500 hours in Vancouver, it should be 1500 hours anywhere and everywhere else on the planet. It's not like this would be difficult to adapt to. After all, you don't hear of anyone trying to get everyone to convert to date zones by latitude, so that January in Australia is winter, too.

DudeA: Happy Birthday!

DudeB: It's not my birthday.

DudeA: What? It's July 17th today. I could swear your birthday was July 17th!

DudeB: It is. But I'm not from this date zone. So it isn't for another 6 months when it is July in Australia.

DudeA: Sorry! I forgot!

I don't see time zones being any different than that. Get rid of them. People are more than capable of figuring out that morning for them is at 1900 hours even if it is at 0500 hours for someone somewhere else on the planet. Just like they can figure out that August 1st in Las Vegas is in the summer but in New Zealand it is winter. No more mistakes because you got a time zone conversion wrong. It's the same time everywhere, just like it should be the same date everywhere.

Slashdot Top Deals

Frankly, Scarlett, I don't have a fix. -- Rhett Buggler