Author Topic: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread  (Read 1059293 times)

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magicdomino

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7035 on: March 12, 2013, 04:51:39 PM »
Also there some kind of basketball thing going on for a couple a weeks -- March Madness or something like that.   ;)  Basketball games will be popping up hither and yon, and some will be on prime time, especially as the weaker teams drop out of the competition.  Rather than worry about how the games will affect ratings ("Will Wattsamatta U versus Miskatonic Tech beat out a new Criminal Minds episode?"), they just show reruns.  New episodes will appear sporatically in April -- just enough that you can't count on everything being a rerun.  Then May brings the big florish of Season Finales (and a few Series Finales for shows that will not be reappearing in the fall.)

Carotte

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7036 on: March 12, 2013, 06:13:04 PM »

Now, shows start whenever, go on hiatus whenever. New shows start up randomly throughout the year. Repeats happen all the time. You never really know when there will be a new episode unless you pay close attention to related media. If you aren't constantly watching tv so as to see the ads for upcoming episodes, or on social media or fan sites, you never know when your favorite show will air an new episode.

That's why I use www.tvcountdown.com, you check the shows you are interested in and it shows you day by day (and in how many hours!) when the next one will be.
I catch them up on the internet but it must be usefull when you actually get the channels..

jpcher

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7037 on: March 12, 2013, 06:27:56 PM »
stitchygreyanonymouse wrote:

"Virgís a little off, because now that Macs are Intel-based, you get "hackintoshes" like my SOís where they build what is essentially a PC, but runs OSX natively. Itís just not manufactured by Apple. Although one could argue that itís not a Mac in that case, and I guess I agree."

That's it exactly.  A computer isn't a Macintosh just because it runs OSX, because that's a brand name for Apple's line of computers.  As for Frankentoshes, I figure anyone who's savvy enough to build a PC-based machine that can run OSX will know what they're running without resorting to looking over the keyboard or case.

Also, not every PC runs Windows.
  A Chromebook running Linux is based on the chipset and board architecture popularized by IBM for their "PC" brand, so even though it's not Windows it can reasonably be called a PC (although to be completely technically accurate it's a PC clone unless it's built by IBM/Lenovo).  A Macintosh these days is rather close to being a PC clone as well, but the difference in board architecture is enough that it's a stretch to call it a PC for now.

Now I agree that my rule isn't perfect, because there's no Apple logo on machines like Sun or SPARC stations that can't be called PCs, but again someone running such high-end hardware is unlikely to need a cheat to figure out what they're using so as a simple rule of thumb it works.

Virg

Getting nit-picky, here ;) because I'm really curious.

PC is an acronym for Personal Computer.

So, technically, a Mac that you have at home can rightfully be called a PC because it is your own personal computer.

It seems to me that the term PC has grown into a term akin to "Kleenex" where kleenex refers to facial tissue in general and not specifically the brand name anymore.

I'm guessing that Macintosh had some strong advertising management in order to keep their product from being lumped into the generalized home PC category. Am I completely off base here?

Sun and SPARC really can't be called PCs because they are like WOPR ;) . . . extremely high-end computers that aren't affordable for personal use.


Virg -- you mentioned the IBM "PC" brand . . . was "PC" ever an actual named brand of computers made by IBM?




(edited to fix spacing)
« Last Edit: March 12, 2013, 06:33:48 PM by jpcher »

Diane AKA Traska

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7038 on: March 12, 2013, 06:31:17 PM »
Actually, only IBM compatible computers are called PCs... IBM trademarked the term.
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LazyDaisy

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7039 on: March 12, 2013, 06:38:30 PM »
Actually, only IBM compatible computers are called PCs... IBM trademarked the term.
Learn something new...I've never heard that. How did Apple get away with using it in their "I'm a Mac...I'm a PC" commercials with Justin Long? And then Microsoft hit back with their "I'm a PC" campaign.
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artk2002

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7040 on: March 12, 2013, 06:50:40 PM »
Actually, only IBM compatible computers are called PCs... IBM trademarked the term.
Learn something new...I've never heard that. How did Apple get away with using it in their "I'm a Mac...I'm a PC" commercials with Justin Long? And then Microsoft hit back with their "I'm a PC" campaign.

According to the US Patent and Trademark Office, IBM trademarked "IBM-PC" which they have since abandoned. There are lots of people who have trademarked just "PC".
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kherbert05

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7041 on: March 12, 2013, 07:56:52 PM »


I think it's the end of sweeps. They've all put on their best shows for the sweeps and many will now be in re-runs for awhile. Except Grimm, which just started up again after three months of no new shows. I think Bones was a re-run--the season opener episode, IIRC.

School vacation is more doubtful. Not every state has the same school vacation schedule. In New England and parts of New York, the kids get a week off in February and a week off in April, with no March break.

And honestly, in the past decade or two, tv schedules have become high erratic. When I was a kid, back in the 60s, the shows all started around the same time in September, ran their episodes and reruns were for the summer.

Now, shows start whenever, go on hiatus whenever. New shows start up randomly throughout the year. Repeats happen all the time. You never really know when there will be a new episode unless you pay close attention to related media. If you aren't constantly watching tv so as to see the ads for upcoming episodes, or on social media or fan sites, you never know when your favorite show will air an new episode.

I'm a cord cutter so ads don't really work for me. I use the app SideReel, plus subscribing on Hulu to let me know when new seasons start. I also get good recommendations from both Hulu and Amazon Instant.
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amandaelizabeth

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7042 on: March 12, 2013, 09:02:52 PM »
I get a daily listing of ebooks from Amazon.  One of the catergories I have noticed is "Christian/Amish"

I know who the Amish are, and consider them Christian, so I have the following questions

Is it just the style of Amazon to imply that Amish are not Christian, if it is not just their style do people in the USA consider them seperately.  Is it just a sub-listing and I have not noticed Christian/Baptist or Christian/Catholic?

The Amish are a very small percentage of the population so why are there so many  fiction books about them.  Is is curiousity or what?

violinp

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7043 on: March 12, 2013, 09:08:09 PM »
I get a daily listing of ebooks from Amazon.  One of the catergories I have noticed is "Christian/Amish"

I know who the Amish are, and consider them Christian, so I have the following questions

Is it just the style of Amazon to imply that Amish are not Christian, if it is not just their style do people in the USA consider them seperately.  Is it just a sub-listing and I have not noticed Christian/Baptist or Christian/Catholic?

The Amish are a very small percentage of the population so why are there so many  fiction books about them.  Is is curiousity or what?

Curiosity, most likely. Not many English (the term for non - Amish) people I know, myself included, know much about the Amish other than they "dress funny," don't use modern inventions, and the men have big beards. I know more than that, but I don't pretend that I really know a lot about them.
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LazyDaisy

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7044 on: March 12, 2013, 10:45:08 PM »
I get a daily listing of ebooks from Amazon.  One of the catergories I have noticed is "Christian/Amish"

I know who the Amish are, and consider them Christian, so I have the following questions

Is it just the style of Amazon to imply that Amish are not Christian, if it is not just their style do people in the USA consider them seperately.  Is it just a sub-listing and I have not noticed Christian/Baptist or Christian/Catholic?

The Amish are a very small percentage of the population so why are there so many  fiction books about them.  Is is curiousity or what?
I don't think Amazon is implying the Amish are not Christian, just, as you suspect, a subgroup of Christianity. I imagine with all of the new reality-TV shows about the Amish that they are a popular subject right now so Amazon is pushing that category. Their categories/recommendations might be based on how many people are searching for those terms.

Edited to add that the bolded is probably why there are so many fiction books about them. They are mysterious and exotic to the general population so a lot of curiosity about them. Also, I seem to remember reading about a new young adult books trend about "Amish romance"; similar to the explosion of vampire-themed books inspired by the success of the Twilight series.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2013, 10:48:21 PM by LazyDaisy »
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Elfmama

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7045 on: March 12, 2013, 10:50:08 PM »
Why do some book sellers on Amazon and eBay charge such outrageous prices for their books?  Is anyone really so stupid that they would pay $999 for exactly the same book that they could buy for $10?  I'm not talking signed first-edition leather-bound Dickens vs a mass-market 20th. c. paperback.  Look here at the top of the page and at the bottom.  (I have one I'm about to put up on Etsy, and I'm asking nowhere NEAR $1000 for it!)

ETA: it occurs to  me that someone may have meant $9.99 in this instance, but this isn't the first time I've seen an enormous difference between prices, and in most cases it's clear that it isn't a slip of the fingers.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2013, 11:00:22 PM by Elfmama »
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Onyx_TKD

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7046 on: March 12, 2013, 11:11:02 PM »
Why do some book sellers on Amazon and eBay charge such outrageous prices for their books?  Is anyone really so stupid that they would pay $999 for exactly the same book that they could buy for $10?  I'm not talking signed first-edition leather-bound Dickens vs a mass-market 20th. c. paperback.  Look here at the top of the page and at the bottom.  (I have one I'm about to put up on Etsy, and I'm asking nowhere NEAR $1000 for it!)

I've wondered the same thing. I ran across a textbook listing that was so expensive that I could have ordered brand-new books for my entire class for less.

My brother's hypothesis is that the sellers are using automatic pricing algorithms to adjust their prices based on various factors. Then when something goes awry, the price ends up skyrocketing without any actual person looking at it to realize how absurd it is.

Slartibartfast

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7047 on: March 13, 2013, 01:04:01 AM »
Why do some book sellers on Amazon and eBay charge such outrageous prices for their books?  Is anyone really so stupid that they would pay $999 for exactly the same book that they could buy for $10?  I'm not talking signed first-edition leather-bound Dickens vs a mass-market 20th. c. paperback.  Look here at the top of the page and at the bottom.  (I have one I'm about to put up on Etsy, and I'm asking nowhere NEAR $1000 for it!)

I've wondered the same thing. I ran across a textbook listing that was so expensive that I could have ordered brand-new books for my entire class for less.

My brother's hypothesis is that the sellers are using automatic pricing algorithms to adjust their prices based on various factors. Then when something goes awry, the price ends up skyrocketing without any actual person looking at it to realize how absurd it is.

This plus drop-shipping is it exactly.

Drop-shipping is a practice where the seller of an item doesn't actually own that item yet.  Say I'm looking for a copy of a particular DVD, and I see a hundred different choices ranging from $6 up to $50.  The professional sellers with feedback in the tens of thousands all have theirs priced around $7.99, and anyone cheaper than that seems to be an individual person with almost no selling history.  I decide I'm willing to pay a few extra bucks to work with a seller who will most likely ship quickly and have good customer service if the DVD ends up being scratched or broken, so I go ahead and pay the $7.99.

In that situation, I assume the seller has a warehouse full of DVDs somewhere and pulls mine out for me.  A drop-shipper, though, just turns around and automatically purchases the DVD from that $6 seller and has it sent to me directly.  The cheaper seller may or may not be professional, quick to ship, telling the truth about the quality, etc. (so basically, the same risks I would have taken on if I had paid the $6 myself).  The professional seller I bought from, though, ends up taking the risks - if there's a problem, they're on the hook for it.  The downside is that if I pay them $7.99 and suddenly all the $6 sellers yank their listings, the drop-shipper has no product to send me.  He won't pay more and take a loss, he'll just send me a note saying "Sorry, I can't complete your transaction!" and he'll get a slap on the wrist from Amazon/eBay/whatever and he'll keep on selling things he doesn't own yet.

Here's where the brain-hurting part comes in: the drop-shipper's computer algorithm is usually based on the prices of other sellers.  It might be set to sell for $1.99 higher than the cheapest other seller, for instance.  If the cheapest seller rises to $9, the drop-shipper will automatically raise their price to $10.99.  There have been some fantastic cases where there are only two copies of a rare book (self-published textbook or somesuch) and both sellers are drop-shippers - the result is the price rising incrementally at a predictable rate until someone realizes what's going on.  I saw a blog where a professor was jokingly excited that his out-of-print book was available for the low, low price of $10 million dollars!

I personally think it's a kind of questionable practice, because there's no repercussions for having promised to ship an item and then not actually having it  :-\  You can usually tell the drop-shippers because they're the ones who don't give shipping discounts for multiple items.  They're also more likely to have a super-low item price and a super-high shipping price - $2 for a DVD and $18 for shipping, for example.  They justify it by saying they really do have a higher shipping and handling cost, since the handling is outsourced to the person who was trying to sell the item in the first place  ::)

Onyx_TKD

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7048 on: March 13, 2013, 02:57:48 AM »
Why do some book sellers on Amazon and eBay charge such outrageous prices for their books?  Is anyone really so stupid that they would pay $999 for exactly the same book that they could buy for $10?  I'm not talking signed first-edition leather-bound Dickens vs a mass-market 20th. c. paperback.  Look here at the top of the page and at the bottom.  (I have one I'm about to put up on Etsy, and I'm asking nowhere NEAR $1000 for it!)

I've wondered the same thing. I ran across a textbook listing that was so expensive that I could have ordered brand-new books for my entire class for less.

My brother's hypothesis is that the sellers are using automatic pricing algorithms to adjust their prices based on various factors. Then when something goes awry, the price ends up skyrocketing without any actual person looking at it to realize how absurd it is.

This plus drop-shipping is it exactly.

Drop-shipping is a practice where the seller of an item doesn't actually own that item yet.  Say I'm looking for a copy of a particular DVD, and I see a hundred different choices ranging from $6 up to $50.  The professional sellers with feedback in the tens of thousands all have theirs priced around $7.99, and anyone cheaper than that seems to be an individual person with almost no selling history.  I decide I'm willing to pay a few extra bucks to work with a seller who will most likely ship quickly and have good customer service if the DVD ends up being scratched or broken, so I go ahead and pay the $7.99.

In that situation, I assume the seller has a warehouse full of DVDs somewhere and pulls mine out for me.  A drop-shipper, though, just turns around and automatically purchases the DVD from that $6 seller and has it sent to me directly.  The cheaper seller may or may not be professional, quick to ship, telling the truth about the quality, etc. (so basically, the same risks I would have taken on if I had paid the $6 myself).  The professional seller I bought from, though, ends up taking the risks - if there's a problem, they're on the hook for it.  The downside is that if I pay them $7.99 and suddenly all the $6 sellers yank their listings, the drop-shipper has no product to send me.  He won't pay more and take a loss, he'll just send me a note saying "Sorry, I can't complete your transaction!" and he'll get a slap on the wrist from Amazon/eBay/whatever and he'll keep on selling things he doesn't own yet.

Here's where the brain-hurting part comes in: the drop-shipper's computer algorithm is usually based on the prices of other sellers.  It might be set to sell for $1.99 higher than the cheapest other seller, for instance.  If the cheapest seller rises to $9, the drop-shipper will automatically raise their price to $10.99.  There have been some fantastic cases where there are only two copies of a rare book (self-published textbook or somesuch) and both sellers are drop-shippers - the result is the price rising incrementally at a predictable rate until someone realizes what's going on.  I saw a blog where a professor was jokingly excited that his out-of-print book was available for the low, low price of $10 million dollars!

I personally think it's a kind of questionable practice, because there's no repercussions for having promised to ship an item and then not actually having it  :-\  You can usually tell the drop-shippers because they're the ones who don't give shipping discounts for multiple items.  They're also more likely to have a super-low item price and a super-high shipping price - $2 for a DVD and $18 for shipping, for example.  They justify it by saying they really do have a higher shipping and handling cost, since the handling is outsourced to the person who was trying to sell the item in the first place  ::)

That wouldn't really account for the situation I saw, though. In that case, there were plenty of other listings, all in a normal price range for similar textbooks, including the brand-new copies in Amazon's main listing. Only one of the listings had the outrageously-high price (i.e., something like 20-30 times Amazon's price). I got the impression that Elfmama was asking about a similar scenario. Since all the other listings had normal prices, any algorithm as simple as pricing a small fixed amount or percentage above the cheapest price from other sellers (or the average of other sellers' prices, etc) should have produced something in a reasonable range.

Slartibartfast

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7049 on: March 13, 2013, 03:06:00 AM »
Two possible scenarios, then:

1) someone mistyped the price and missed a decimal point

2) There were two poorly-written algorithms keyed off each other and they both ran up their prices to something unrealistic, but one person noticed and fixed the problem while the other one didn't  :)  I figure if drop-shippers fall on a bell curve like everyone else does for intelligence, then we're probably just seeing the stupidest/least competent/worst programmers of the bunch.