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Comment Re:PayPal is not as good as other payment methods (Score 1) 141

Direct bank account to bank account transfers are cheaper than cards, and are getting cheaper and quicker.

In Australia these are free, but currently take 12-48 hours (only on business days). Later this year an instant (and still free?) system is coming in.

I don't know whether ACH in the US is developing along the same lines, but it has the potential to kill off debit cards, especially if the card companies can no longer hide their fees from customers by banning vendor surcharges.

Comment Re:PayPal is not as good as other payment methods (Score 1) 141

Are PayPal's fees well beyond your cost of handling checks or cash? Are you seeing an increased demand for card payments? I'd guess that card payments would be a much larger fraction of your business if your customers could just tap their card or phone rather than swipe/insert & enter-PIN/sign.

Comment Re:PayPal is not as good as other payment methods (Score 2) 141

With these new conditions, if you still dissuade your customers from using PayPal, you risk having PayPal cut you off.

In Australia, it's illegal for companies to ban reasonable surcharges, so PayPal can't stop vendors adding a surcharge to recoup the PayPal fees, to prevent PayPal cross-subsidising other payment methods. But elsewhere they can impose this sort of parity clause that Amazon is so famous for, using their muscle to gain immunity from fee hikes, and as a way to make all sellers pay for buyer protection.

Comment Re:This is apalling (Score 1) 168

They could at least zip up the archives and post them to the torrents for posterity.

IMDB could do that, because according to their Boards Terms and Conditions they own all submissions. Not an exclusive or non-exclusive licence — exclusively own:

You agree that any materials, including but not limited to questions, comments, suggestions, ideas, plans, notes, drawings, original or creative materials or other information, provided by you in the form of e-mail or submissions to IMDb are non-confidential and shall become the sole property of IMDb.

Comment Re:Seriously? (Score 1) 244

How do they find out about it? Sites like this? And when some start-up pitches a product like that on this site, what do people say? "Slashvertisement". A product placement or startup interview isn't an "ad" in the traditional sense; but it serves the same purpose.

There's a difference between product information published because of its independently-assessed editorial value, and material pushed to you only because they offered to pay the publishers (the most). It's here the form of advertising called "PR" tries to work its magic.

Comment Re:Once the majority of sites demand whitelisting (Score 1) 244

From whom will you "find out about them eventually"? And as for the product or service whose sales pay the wages that keep a roof over your head and pay for the streaming services to which you subscribe, how do people who bought that product or service "find out about them eventually"?

You're right that we're reliant on advertising to tell us about the market.

Even though advertising is spin, even if a time comes when we think advertising is obsolete because we have independent human or AI advisors researching for us, there will always be an incentive for a vendor to get an advantage through advertising (pushing something less than the whole truth), unless that too becomes widely-considered gauche and counter-productive.

However paid media placements are only one type of advertising — an intrusive type that is well over-used. There are better alternatives.

Comment Re:Common sense, at last! Thank-you! (Score 3, Informative) 284

From the first day the service was announced, a lot of us "long timers" in computers and I.T. were left scratching our heads, wondering what the point was in the entire thing? I mean, Twitter was essentially nothing more than yet *another* IM client of sorts, except with arbitrarily short limits on the length of messages.

Twitter is more than just another IM client. They invented, or at least brought to mainstream popularity, the concepts of the follow and the timeline, which were imitated by Facebook, Instagram, and a number of blogging platforms. Companies and users love the follow, because it realises the ancient mindshare goal of finely-controlled (voluntary) content push, without the clunkiness of channels and email notifications. Once you have permission to push, revenue options open up.

Twitter is not exploiting this power well. They could be earning a cut of the sales made, valuable insights gained, and joy discovered when the information channeled through their platform helps someone choose a product, make a decision, or find something entertaining. I'm not talking about ads and affiliate links.

Comment Use Web Annotation Tools (Score 4, Interesting) 270

There are tools like Genius that allow web pages to be annotated beyond the control of the publisher (attaching comments to highlighted text), allowing lies to be challenged in-situ, before their sharing reaches critical mass.

But for this to make a difference, you'd have to ensure that the annotations are widely seen. An annotation system should come with the default install of web browsers (including the Facebook internal one), and if not enabled by default, the user should be asked whether they want it enabled.

But this wouldn't fix the problem of fake articles being popular simply because they tell people something shocking that panders to what they want to hear. Readers sometimes don't care about the truth. They want the entertainment, smugness, and social bonding of an interesting and validating lie. The National Enquirer problem. So it's acceptable if annotations just damp the problem down, rather than eliminate it.

Comment Re:A welcome return... (Score 1) 153

Of course, the actual classic parts of the series was Series 2 to 5, and it lost a fair bit when Rob Grant left the series, so Seasons 6-9 were variable, what I've seen of Season 10 was good in the Season 6-9 scale.

I'd include Series 6 as part of the golden age. In fact, I'd rank it as the best overall. Rob Grant left after Series 6, so his contribution must have been key, likely including the ability to weave in interesting science fiction concepts.

Series 7 and 8 were dire, except for Cassandra in Season 8.

I watched Series 10. While not dire, I didn't find any to be a keeper. The first episode of Series 11 is getting good reviews, though I worry that this is due to deprived fans just thankful it isn't a total disaster.

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