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  • How to Gamble Like a Man
    or lose it s like a coin flip fifty fifty A fifty percent chance at 100 is worth 50 A fifty percent chance of losing 20 only costs 10 On an average hand it you expect to win 40 It may not happen every time but if you play enough it will average out in the end Do the math Know when you re on Some nights luck will be with you The roulette wheel will stop where you need it to stop The dice will fall how you need them to fall You are on Don t be afraid to take some risks the gods of luck are watching over you and nothing can go wrong Whatever you do don t cash out your chips You know you re on tonight but your luck could turn tomorrow Win while the winning is good Know when you re due Other nights things won t go as well from you Your chip stack dwindles then disappears Then your bank account dwindles and disappears You consider giving up crawling home in shame and telling your wife and kids that Santa got arrested for DUI so there won t be any Christmas this year This is your opportunity Remember luck favors the bold So long as you have a home you can mortgage you re not out yet Bet more aggressively Take a few risks you re guaranteed to win After so many losses you re due Use the hot dice Once in a while one set of dice will win more often than another because they are hot Make sure you use those dice Additionally blow on the dice and shake them a lot before you actually roll This might add a bit of warmth to them and make them even hotter

    Original URL path: http://articles.marco.org/242 (2016-04-30)
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  • Apple's repair service
    Concerns How long would it have taken if I hadn t called and complained Does Apple really believe that it s acceptable to keep people s relatively new computers for over a month during routine repairs I ve confidently recommended Apple s products to clients friends and family members By endorsing their products I m assuming a risk if someone has a bad experience with a product I recommend my reputation with them is diminished I can no longer say with certainty that I d recommend Apple s laptops to everyone My old Powerbook G4 was rock solid It was much slower than the Intel Macs but it worked flawlessly under very heavy use without any hardware problems or glitches I never had to send it in for repairs My experiences with the MacBook and MacBook Pro have been very different The Intel switch has brought much faster more versatile and cheaper computers to Apple s lineup But the hardware is still very buggy and the failure rate is unusually high As much as I like Apple s products when they work their support was awful I never thought I d say this but I d rather deal with Dell You won t understand a word of it and you can only communicate effectively via email but Dell s support will make absolutely sure that you have a working laptop back within a week Come on Apple Hold your repair centers to the Apple standard and fix this process You re having serious quality control issues And please never make me complement Dell s service again Overall I m very disappointed Update 8 45 AM I wrote this article last night and published it just after midnight My MacBook woke up this morning from sleep and promptly had a kernel panic the OS X equivalent of the Blue Screen Of Death except it s gray and translucent A few minutes into the next session it rebooted itself for no apparent reason And it s on external power so it s not a battery issue this time It s going back to Apple again After a month of waiting they gave me another faulty motherboard I feel sorry for the tech who takes my call in a few hours Final Update Case Closed I sent it back on May 9 and the tech told me I d be assigned a senior support agent to watch my case and call me with updates That never happened As soon as they received the computer it went straight to On hold Part on order status again On May 16 I called again The agent very nicely told me that there was absolutely nothing she could do to speed it up so I asked if anyone above her could help Yes I don t know why I didn t ask earlier and I imagine they aren t supposed to volunteer that information I was transferred to Matt Dunn a Product Specialist He looked at my

    Original URL path: http://articles.marco.org/241 (2016-04-30)
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  • How Nintendo can save the Wii
    by far according to almost all owners is Wii Sports And it s free with the system It s a great game for solo play and parties but it gets old quickly Wii Sports is mostly made to show off the system in a slightly more useful way than a tech demo and serve as a Wiimote tutorial It s not meant to solve the long term sports market It s intentionally very limited to keep gameplay simple and fast baseball only lasts 3 innings there are only 9 holes in golf and the tennis simulation is extremely oversimplified hint it doesn t matter how hard or in what direction you swing Nintendo s other launch titles were very weak with the single notable exception of Zelda But I don t like fantasy or RPGs Damn Unfortunately there have been very few other games worth playing more than once Third party support Nintendo decided to simplify the Wii s hardware so it could be small cool running and inexpensive There are many benefits to this strategy especially given how cheap quiet and portable the Wii is compared to the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 I comfortably carried the Wii and all of its accessories home from work in a messenger bag with a laptop and an SLR camera and their accessories But the game development market doesn t respect a system in 2007 that doesn t seem more graphically powerful than a GameCube which nobody has respected since 2001 When Electronic Arts publishes a new game from a franchise that they acquired and ruined years ago they want to make the same game for every major game console and PCs with few differences because targeting only one system forces them to miss out on most of the market This has two implications Side by side screens between systems make the Wii look awful and dated Wii gameplay is an afterthought so very little effort is spent optimizing the controls for the Wiimote As a result third party games on the Wii are bound to suck And so far they mostly have Nintendo cannot count on Electronic Arts or whoever else is left in the third party publishing wasteland to provide great games for the Wii By now you probably get the point the Wii has problems So I ll move on to how Nintendo can fix it It s a start Wii Pro Sports This is simple Wii Sports is the best game on the Wii by far but it s shallow and limited Nintendo should take advantage of what they ve started and finish it Take the best Wii Sports games and release a separate Pro version of each one possibly staggered throughout a year so there s big hype every few months Golf would be the best one and it would benefit most from having its own dedicated game Give it a ton of courses Tiger Woods 2007 has 21 and have some randomizing elements move the hole

    Original URL path: http://articles.marco.org/240 (2016-04-30)
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  • Don't run CPA ads
    because HardOCP is a reputable site that probably won t cheat to inflate its pageviews and Newegg can be reasonably sure that a large percentage of their ad s purchased pageviews will be seen by people likely to buy Newegg s products Therefore Newegg is willing to take the risk on a CPM campaign This only works when publishers can be trusted and audited by humans which limits the scale to smaller ad networks and larger publishers CPC CPC ads such as Google AdSense are more useful in a market in which the publishers can t be trusted to be truthful or provide a consistent demographic Excluding clickfraud advertisers don t pay for wasted impressions so it s a great deal for them there s a reasonable chance that each time they pay a possible customer has found their site It s not a guarantee but it s a lot better than a CPM ad impression If the ad isn t very interesting or if it s poorly targeted a Newegg ad being shown on a cat sweater knitting site the advertiser just gets a free impression and nobody clicks the ad This denies the publisher of revenue they fulfilled their end of the agreement showing these ads to their audience but got nothing for it CPC risk to publisher most CPC risk to advertiser some The advantage is that almost anyone can run CPC ads almost anywhere because the publisher takes most of the risk advertisers are willing to let almost anyone show their ads without a formal human managed publisher review This is why even an awful blog with 3 readers can show Google ads CPA A CPA ad is an incredibly good deal for advertisers if an ad campaign doesn t work or is poorly targeted they

    Original URL path: http://articles.marco.org/239 (2016-04-30)
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  • Greylisting: The worst thing to happen to email since spam
    anyone think they won t be able to figure this out We don t need it Modern spam filtering is highly sophisticated and extremely accurate Greylisting does nothing to detect spam it only slightly delays spam delivery But that s not the worst part If it didn t affect my life as an email user I wouldn t care enough to write this article The worst part is that email is no longer instant In some cases it s not even close The email delivery protocol SMTP doesn t have a standard way for greylisting servers to tell sending servers when to try again Some wait 15 minutes some wait an hour and some wait a day This means that if your email provider uses greylisting there s no guarantee that a message will get to you in a reasonable amount of time So what happens You can t email someone a link or text blob for their immediate use like if they re in the same office You can t email something to someone as you re on the phone with them for collaboration Websites can t use email activation to reduce spam or verify correct contact information I ve frequently seen 24 hour delivery delays on greylisted emails On the internet that s an eternity You might as well use paper Greylisting destroys email as an instant communication medium Spam reduces the efficiency of reading email but greylisting removes much of its legitimate use completely At least spam filters only prevent me from talking to my friends about taking viagra while refinancing my mortgage with the cash I made at home by investing in diet pill stocks I d rather get more spam More information A list of large greylisting service providers Wikipedia on greylisting Spread the word to prevent greylisting Digg this story Update Response to comments It tells me a lot that the huge influx of comment authors trolls from Reddit who argue for greylisting are predominantly server administrators who have enabled it for their users Their users have been suspiciously absent from this discussion probably because they have no idea why it takes forever to get their email They chalk it up to another random disappointment with computers or the network being slow or various other mythical computer problems In the case of account activation emails from websites they email the website operator to find out why their activation email hasn t yet arrived after 10 minutes How do I know this Because I administer some big sites that have this problem and I get the bug reports when users complain that the emails aren t being sent Every time I find the section of the mail log for their email address and 75 of the time it s the recipient s greylisting that s delaying mail from a very legitimate fully compliant Postfix server hosted in a major datacenter Most of the remaining 25 are email address typos They don t know that the

    Original URL path: http://articles.marco.org/238 (2016-04-30)
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  • YouTube's Legal Woes (Succinctly)
    150 000 and there s no guarantee that the guy would be able to pay much anyway So going after individual uploaders would be a serious hassle not to mention the bad press Everything gets a whole lot easier for Viacom if it just sues YouTube It did Viacom could sue YouTube as a direct infringer which means that YouTube is doing the copying and displaying itself Technically every time YouTube backs up a server it is making a copy It is also clearly distributing whatever people are watching Most of the copyright law was written before the Internet came around so what should actually count as copying gets a little hazy in some of these cases Fortunately for YouTube the law has a provision giving limited protections to ISPs and traditional web hosts YouTube in this case is not a traditional web host but it will certainly try to argue that it is close enough to fall into this protection Additionally YouTube itself is very careful not to post infringing videos or even to feature them A court will probably hesitate to hold YouTube liable for direct infringement because doing so would open the door to all kinds of litigation against any site that allowed any kind of user generated content Viacom is also suing YouTube for a few indirect theories of infringement One is inducement of copyright infringement This is a relatively new concept that comes out of the Grokster case The best definition of inducement is essentially to be like Napster Grokster unsurprisingly was like Napster YouTube on the other hand has made a very deliberate effort to dissociate itself from rampant copyright infringement Grokster deliberately tried to make itself the new Napster YouTube on the other hand has deliberately made itself the internet s choice place for home videos that perhaps should have remained at home Unless YouTube changes its name to Tubester it s probably safe on the inducement front Viacom is also claiming vicarious infringement This basically means that if YouTube did not do all the infringing itself it got somebody else to do it and directly profited Increased traffic and some amount of ad revenue is probably not enough for a direct profit Finally Viacom is suing for contributory infringement This was the big issue in the Sony case involving VCRs Viacom essentially says that YouTube s main purpose is copyright infringement YouTube needs to show substantial non infringing use It isn t clear what counts as substantial Napster didn t have it VCRs did have it YouTube might have it Many videos like the cat and the baby video are entirely user produced and 100 legitimate Many videos are clearly illegitimate Most however fall somewhere in between Somebody may be lip syncing to a copyrighted song Somebody might have spliced together a number of copyrighted works to create something wholly different Many of these things would be considered fair uses In the interest of brevity a full fair use analysis one of

    Original URL path: http://articles.marco.org/235 (2016-04-30)
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  • Passover Coke blind taste test: HFCS vs. sugar
    Jews are prohibited from consuming corn during this period during the holiday Here s a more detailed explanation of Passover Coke HFCS like most corn products is very cheap in the U S because of corn farming subsidies and very high supply Most packaged foods and drinks in the U S use HFCS instead of sucrose regular sugar only because it s significantly cheaper despite some preliminary research that may indicate that it s unhealthy and leads to obesity and diabetes I think this is ignoring the obvious overconsumption of any sugar leads to obesity and diabetes Many die hard Coke fans are convinced that its reformulation with HFCS damaged the taste claiming that the sucrose version was less sticky or had a better aftertaste To test this assertion I purchased Passover Coke and did a blind test good idea Tiff and thanks for conducting it to determine which tasted better My verdict I could tell there was a difference when I was looking for one It s pretty obvious once you pin down exactly what the difference is But that s not easy But it s not such an extreme difference that I d notice which one I was

    Original URL path: http://articles.marco.org/237 (2016-04-30)
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  • How to Forward Email to Your Children
    the jokes that weren t funny Alternatively you could not forward the email and tell the funny jokes next time Susie is at home Is Your Email in Any Way About Computers or the Internet Often emails you consider forwarding to your children are about viruses or other dangers that come from the internet There you may have heard that your children are using MySpace or The YouTube and this email might protect them TROLLS CAMPERS and all sorts of CYBERBULLIES And even if you re not sure what all these words mean you wouldn t want your child to be CYBERFRAGGED in the N00B The Internets are a scary place Perhaps you shouldn t worry Your kid might know more about computers than you do and if that is the case your advice will really get in the way To determine whether your kid knows more than you do about computers ask these two simple questions Can your kid read Does your kid have access to things like electricity If you answer yes to EITHER of these questions your kid probably knows more about computers than you do In this case your child does not need to know about these things Most likely the virus your email warns about is a hoax See above Also SULFNBK EXE is a Windows system file for handling long file names even if it has a sinister looking icon You can determine whether a virus warning is a hoax by visiting Symantec Is Your Letter a Chain Letter You are probably familiar with traditional chain letters You know there are currently no documented letter transmitted curses You also know that just because a letter says to forward it to everybody you love does not mean you should listen to it Since you are old enough to have children you are old enough to know better than to pass these on The Internet has spawned a variety of new types of chain letters For example one might say that as part of a grand experiment on the speed of information you should forward this email to everybody you know The email is not part of a grand experiment it is part of a STUPID experiment So you know the speed of information is VERY FAST A variation on this email might say that Bill Gates will give a puppy to everybody who forwards the email Bill Gates however does not know who forwarded the email and does not care Similarly the email petition is worthless How exactly will it get to the person being petitioned Will every 50th or hundredth person send it in to a specific email address There will be hundreds of 50th persons though The address will be clogged and the petition will be useless If you care about the issue just write a letter Generally speaking if an email asks you to forward it you should not forward it A final type of chain letter is the type that claims

    Original URL path: http://articles.marco.org/236 (2016-04-30)
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