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Game Site Wonders 'What Next?' When 50% of Users Block Ads

Mithent Re:Subscription model (978 comments)

I entirely agree that they need revenue - I wasn't saying that I shouldn't give anything back. What I give back is advertising revenue, by being willing to accept advertisements in return for the content. It's been how the Web has generally worked for years, and also supports TV channels and free newspapers etc. My worry is that because blocking ads is becoming so prevalent, this model is becoming uneconomical, and so that option is being taken away.
 
If they can offer subscriptions that provide more value, then that's great, absolutely, and something which I might well look into at those sites which I value most. I still have a subscription to a print magazine despite most if its articles being posted online, for one, because sometimes it's nice to read a print magazine. I also pay my TV license for the BBC, which I could legitimately opt out of because I watch next to no live TV, but I don't begrudge that considering the BBC content I consume. My concern is that casual browsing in return for advertisements will become increasingly less possible.
 
I'd be happy if the choice was either to accept ads or pay a subscription (maybe with some extra incentives), certainly. I just don't want the latter to start becoming the only option, as has started to become the case on some sites.

about a year and a half ago
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Game Site Wonders 'What Next?' When 50% of Users Block Ads

Mithent Re:Subscription model (978 comments)

I hope that we won't see many more sites moving to a paywall model. There are few sites that I'm sufficiently interested in on a day-to-day basis that I'm going to pay a subscription fee to access them - I'll just turn away. Just yesterday I saw what might have been a vaguely interesting article on a pay site (a large American newspaper, though I forget which - no, not the NYT), but I only got the first couple of sentences unless I signed up with a view to paying monthly. I never normally read that site and I'm not likely to start, so I'd never subscribe. Nor would I have paid for the article itself, microtransaction-style: opinion articles on Apple's future direction aren't important enough to me that I'd open my wallet. I'd much rather have read the article and given them their ad revenue (as I don't block ads).
 
A lot of the value of the Web to me is being able to flit between sites, not being locked out of most unless I make a long-term commitment or having to make regular judgments about the monetary value of content I haven't read. That loss of freedom and immediacy would be a significant one, for me, and I'm more than willing to tolerate some ads to keep that.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Should We Have the Option of Treating Google Like a Utility?

Mithent Re:hah! (238 comments)

Aggregated, non-personally identifiable information would presumably be things like "we have 300,000 daily users in Chile" or "our data shows that 40% of our Californian audience are interested in technology", so that potential Chilean and Californian advertisers know what reach they might be getting, or "the Olympics was a popular search term in the UK last summer", as seen here. They're not going to share your personal search history, partly because it would be against their policies and would cause significant trouble for them, and partly because this is one of their main assets. Anyone can show you ads, but Google and Facebook can promise to target those ads based on the profiles they've build up of you, thus making them worth more to advertisers. It's wasteful to show ads to people who just aren't interested, but it's great if you can show them to the right people at the right time.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Using a Tablet As a Sole Computing Device?

Mithent Re:Chromebook (417 comments)

The problems that she complained about were primarily associated with using an online banking system, in which she wasn't able to access certain parts of the page because of how it rendered and scrolled on her iPad. As a consequence she expressed the desire to get some kind of laptop. I haven't verified the problems, though - I don't have one myself.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Using a Tablet As a Sole Computing Device?

Mithent Re:Chromebook (417 comments)

That might help, although the issues that she was complaining about were to do with rendering, and I believe that alternative browsers on iOS are required to be wrappers of Mobile Safari's version of WebKit (and aren't allowed to use JIT JavaScript compilation either, even using the engine that Safari has).

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Using a Tablet As a Sole Computing Device?

Mithent Re:Chromebook (417 comments)

I'm thinking of recommending one to my mother. She's generally happy with an iPad as her only computing device, but has encountered some limitations when using websites that aren't designed for mobile browsers. A Chromebook seems like a good option for her if the web browsing experience is essentially the same as a desktop version of Chrome.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Protection Plan For Your Phone?

Mithent Re:The best plan (225 comments)

Also my strategy. I got a new Galaxy S III recently, and as usual was offered insurance... at the prices the mobile phone operators are asking, you'd be paying around 50% of the cost of buying a new phone SIM-free over a 24-month contract. This means that the chances of me losing or breaking my phone in any 24-month period needs to be above 50% for it to be worthwhile. I've had three previous smartphones over 5 years and haven't lost or broken one yet, so insurance doesn't make any economic sense for me if I'm paying the cost of a new phone every 4 years to insure them but the interval between my insurance claims is >4 years (based on the trend to date). I'd have to need to claim twice in the next 3 years just to break even.

more than 2 years ago
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Chip and Pin "Weakness" Exposed By Cambridge Researchers

Mithent Re:Never trust security through obscurity (133 comments)

Cash works here, but I'd rather use a card if the store accepts one, because it's more convenient for me. Cash involves trips to the ATM, bulking out my wallet with coins, and hopefully having appropriate denominations for the purchase at hand (a £20 note seems a bit much for a 60p purchase, while a collection of 10p and 5p pieces is going to be annoying if it's £5). If it gets stolen, it's essentially guaranteed lost, which means I shouldn't carry a lot of it at once, whereas if my card gets stolen, I can hopefully cancel it before it's used by the thief, which Chip and PIN makes more difficult. There are also additional protections afforded for purchases on credit cards, and my credit card offers 1% cashback. Yes, it would be stupid to run up credit card debt, but that's easy to avoid by paying the full balance each month.

I'll pay by cash if I have to, but I'd much rather pay by card, which means I always have the right amount to hand and I get nothing back but a receipt.

more than 2 years ago
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Chip and Pin "Weakness" Exposed By Cambridge Researchers

Mithent Re:The problem is shifting liability (133 comments)

If this story is to be believed, you can get away with signing pretty much anything and it's highly unlikely that anyone will even look at your signature.

Chip and PIN might not be perfect, but at least it makes it more than entirely trivial to use a card that you've just found somewhere in a store.

more than 2 years ago
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Apple Announces iPhone 5

Mithent Re:Math fail (1052 comments)

It's close, but 640 isn't actually divisible by 9, so by sticking to that width they can't get a true 16:9 ratio.

more than 2 years ago
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Election Tech: In Canada, They Actually Count the Votes

Mithent Re:Hand ballets contain mistakes (500 comments)

I would have thought that anything that has more than the single required mark would be discarded as a spoiled ballot paper, as it becomes ambiguous as you say?

more than 2 years ago
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Election Tech: In Canada, They Actually Count the Votes

Mithent Also hand-counted on paper in the UK (500 comments)

The system is similar in the UK. You go to your assigned polling station (of which there are many - probably no more than a few thousand voters per station, at least those I have known). You hand in the polling card that was posted to you in advance, or provide ID, and your details are checked, marked off, and you get a paper card. You walk to a booth enclosed on two sides, place an X next to the candidate you want to vote for, fold it and place it in the box. When the polls close, the boxes are sealed, and then that night or the next day the votes are counted by hand. I don't know exactly how the scrutineering is performed, but the low numbers of voters per polling station makes this feasible.

more than 2 years ago
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Promiscuity Alters DNA and Boosts Immunity In Mice

Mithent Alters DNA? (91 comments)

"Promiscuity Alters DNA" makes it sound like promiscuity directly causes mutations. It seems, rather, that it results in greater variation in vaginal bacteria, a state which creates selective pressure favouring increased diversity in genes involved in the functioning of the immune system... which isn't quite the same thing.

more than 2 years ago
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Kindle Fire Is Sold Out Forever

Mithent Re:get a real car (309 comments)

I believe that torque converters are generally less efficient than the use of a mechanical clutch, due to the inherent losses involved in having a heavy additional piece of machinery that transmits torque through a fluid bearing compared to the relatively simple and direct clutch mechanism. No matter how intelligently the car shifts, the simpler transmission in a manual is inherently more efficient. CVT might be better than manual, though.

more than 2 years ago
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UKNova TV Torrent Tracker Shut Down After FACT Issues C&D

Mithent Re:So much for playing nice (195 comments)

Yeah, I had an account on UKNova several years ago, and I was always impressed with their principles - okay, not exactly abiding by the letter of the law, but doing it in a way that always seemed like nobody was losing out. It did nothing that you couldn't personally have done with a TV card/VCR/appropriate set-top box, if only you'd had it set up at the right time. It's a pity.

more than 2 years ago
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Victory For Apple In "Patent Trial of the Century," To the Tune of $1 Billion

Mithent Re:Only 22 hours of deliberations (1184 comments)

It's Apple's right to ask for one, then. Thanks!

more than 2 years ago
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Victory For Apple In "Patent Trial of the Century," To the Tune of $1 Billion

Mithent Re:Only 22 hours of deliberations (1184 comments)

One iPhone, no Samsung smartphones (but two Samsung feature phones), and three LG phones, apparently. Overall, two had Android smartphones, and one didn't have a phone at all.

more than 2 years ago
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Victory For Apple In "Patent Trial of the Century," To the Tune of $1 Billion

Mithent Re:Only 22 hours of deliberations (1184 comments)

I admit that I'm no expert on US trial law, but it seems strange to me that this would be a matter for a jury. Could someone explain to me why this was assessed by a jury rather than by judges, as previous cases have been?

more than 2 years ago
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Australian Consumer Group Wants Geo-IP Blocking Banned

Mithent Re:Frustration (233 comments)

I was recently linked to a page on the BBC website which was blocked to visitors from the UK. We're not even allowed to look at anything that BBC Worldwide has made, apparently.

more than 2 years ago
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Apple Gets the Importance of Packaging; Why Doesn't Google?

Mithent Re:Wrap rage...? (639 comments)

I've seen that - a relative of mine refused to take any of the film off her new laptop. And some people use that plastic film on touchscreen devices as a "screen protector" (here, for example). Utility of protecting a toughened glass screen with less-scratch-resistant plastic aside (I guess it works as long as you replace the protector sometimes, but I haven't found the need for one since we moved away from resistive touchscreens), it's designed to come off easily, not to be optically clear, an appropriate texture or to be permanently attached.

more than 2 years ago

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