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Comment Re:Some real info (Score 1) 468

Clickfraud is a massive problem for advertisers in China - I have personal experience with this. Basically the numbers you get from sites about clicks, page views and CTR are worthless garbage - and they wouldn't let us use a third-party like DoubleClick. YMMV from site to site, but the Chinese web industry is a pretty wild place. But what are you going to do - not bother selling in China?

Feed Techdirt: Class Action Lawsuit Filed By People Who Want A La Carte TV (

For many years, there's been a pretty big debate over whether or not cable and satellite TV providers should offer "a la carte" options, where subscribers could just pick and choose the channels they want to subscribe to. At a first pass, many people think this would be great -- believing that it would save them money because they wouldn't be paying for all those channels they get but don't watch. However, this is short sighted. Studies have actually shown that in most cases a la carte offerings would end up costing more.

There are a variety of reasons for this. First, the pay TV providers would need to revamp their systems to support this, including their marketing and customer service setup, which would almost definitely raise costs. Second, what the current bundles do is allow certain popular channels to subsidize other channels. When you switch to an a la carte system, many of those subsidies are lost, and it would likely drive up the prices for many channels, rather than the other way around. So, while some people think it sounds like a good idea, it probably would likely result in a higher cable bill for many people.

However, that won't stop the class action lawyers from getting in on the action. A new class action lawsuit has been filed against the major cable and satellite providers, claiming that it's a violation of antitrust law that they don't offer a la carte channel selection. You can certainly see why some people would want it -- but it's unclear why pay TV providers should be forced to offer it. Either way, with the pace of change, it won't be all that long before this doesn't matter anyway -- and the entire concept of the channel is dead. We're reaching a time when people will simply subscribe to shows, and no one will worry about channels any more.

Interview With Spreadsheet Creator 135

Gammu writes "Dan Bricklin helped create one of the most successful computer metaphors of all time, and he never got rich. He, and another engineer, started Personal Software to create the computer spreadsheet VisiCalc, which established the Apple II as the standard microcomputer for small businesses and attracted the attention of IBM to the market. Josh Coventry recently interviewed Bricklin about VisiCalc and his newer projects, including a Wiki-style spreadsheet." WikiCalc was discussed back in February on Slashdot and reviewed by NewsForge in March. NewsForge and Slashdot are both owned by OSTG.

Managing Money With Linux Apps 142

lisah writes, "As part of a series of special reports this week, is reviewing several ways to manage your money using Linux apps. First up is a review of GnuCash 2.0, a personal and small business accounting package. Though it has a bit of a learning curve, the reviewer says the application is 'stable and robust' and an upgrade from previous versions is well worth it for the program's new features and improved online banking support." and Slashdot are both part of OSTG.

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