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Research Suggests E-Readers Are "Too Easy" To Read 185

New research suggests that the clear screens and easily read fonts of e-readers makes your brain "lazy." According to Neuroscience blogger Jonah Lehrer, using electronic books like the Kindle and Sony Reader makes you less likely to remember what you have read because the devices are so easy on the eyes. From the article: "Rather than making things clearer, e-readers and computers prevent us from absorbing information because their crisp screens and fonts tell our subconscious that the words they convey are not important, it is claimed. In contrast, handwriting and fonts that are more challenging to read signal to the brain that the content of the message is important and worth remembering, experts say."

Woman Sues Google Over Street View Shots of Her Underwear 417

Kittenman writes "The Telegraph (and several US locals) are covering a story about a Japanese woman who had her underwear on the line while the Google car went past. She is now suing Google: 'I was overwhelmed with anxiety that I might be the target of a sex crime,' the woman told a district court. 'It caused me to lose my job and I had to change my residence.'"

Comment Economically Speaking... (Score 1) 425

I don't think this benefits Ticketmaster as described. Keep in mind scalpers are doing nothing but trying to take advantage of an arbitrage opportunity (buy cheap tickets, auction for a much higher value).

It's simply a question of who captures the "value" (economic surplus). Suppose consumers and scalpers pay $100 per ticket. Scalpers resell their tickets at an average cost of $200. In that case, consumers and scalpers captured $100 of "value". Those consumers that purchased from the scalpers captured $0 in value. And ticketmaster and the performers captured $100 in value (but lost an additional $100 they could have captured). I don't know if ticketmaster gets a flat fee, or a flat fee plus a percentage of the gross receipts, or what, but it would seem the primary loser in this instance is the performer (and ticketmaster potentially secondarily).

If scalpers can't resell their tickets, then *all* tickets sell for $100. Now consumers capture the same $100 in economic value (both the original consumers and now the ones who would've purchased from scalpers). The scalpers get $0 value. And the performers still miss out on the additional $100 in value. Ticketmaster is unaffected by this (assuming the show still sells out, which is would in this instance).

The "Grandma" argument is relevant, though it's likely a small percentage of Ticketmaster's sales. Airlines have the same policy - I've run into this where my father purchased a ticket in my name but United Airlines would not let me board the plane without having his credit card for validation (which as I pointed out to them is a retarded policy, since if I had *stolen* the card I would have it handy, and if I was a marginal criminal I would have his number embossed on a fake card). At the time I had to purchase a new ticket and he had to file for reimbursement (I'm not sure if this is still their policy).

It seems to be the biggest reason Ticketmaster would do this is the same reason the airlines went to e-tickets over paper tickets - it's *significantly* cheaper to handle. The airlines said that e-ticketing saved them $30 per ticket (even after accounting for all the automated ticket booths). Even if you don't believe that number, and you agree ticketmaster's costs are lower, if they save $1 per ticket that easily amounts to tens or hundreds of millions of dollars, with the added bonus of cutting down on credit card fraud (at least as well as the airline policy above describes)

Comment ScreenName Service (Score 1) 333

AOL has had this for years. If you have an AOL ID you can see if at It's essentially "kerberos for the web". Unfortunately (a) it's a bear to get working (on the apache side), (b) is only used by their partners, and (c) forces you to use your AOL login. But other than that it's pretty nifty - if only they would open source it.

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