Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The Casino

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  • Mark Harris,

    That was about kindles BTW, not Don...

    Waikanae • Since Jul 2008 • 1343 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    "voice recognition system that writes out audio books into text"
    sayeth the Don.
    Ye Gods! And (especially) Little Fishes!

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • StepDoh,

    Actually with that, a brief history of time would ring oddly resonant would it not?

    #lovethetron • Since Jan 2008 • 26 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Apologies Mark if I'm being obtuse: I've been having 'differences of opinion' with several people of several b. different sites, but my loathing of the Kindle-attempted audio coup has been quite consistent. I just dont see any point in relitigating it, as it were-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    StepDoh - yep!

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • StepDoh,

    I remember actually listening to an audiobook of a briefer history of time and the chaps voice was so unmodulated that It could have as well been computer generated.

    Great sleeping aid, but interesting nonetheless.

    #lovethetron • Since Jan 2008 • 26 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Apropos of nothing, Google has gone all Suess

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • StepDoh,

    Thinking about the kindle though, can you imaging nz's tight as duck's arse mobile operators offering free bandwidth in the mode of Sprint's whispernet in the US?

    They'd be sure to cap it or put a silly little 50c levy.

    #lovethetron • Since Jan 2008 • 26 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Nope. Tho' i understood Amazon was underwriting the wifi fee for ebooks?
    There is so *much* that needs to be done with the whole internet thang here-
    off to make myself eggs benedict for tea (that's homegrown spinach, familygrown chook eggs, and Burgen sunflower&barley bread rounds. With Food-by-Chefs hollandaise (because I cant be bothered: I've just made ten filo pastry pies, with homegrown silverbeet, goat feta, and kumara innards...)

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • StepDoh,

    *sigh*, kiwi food. I've just got a deep fried mars bar and chips for lunch, with a side of haggis and some irn bru.

    #lovethetron • Since Jan 2008 • 26 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    (sigh) A braw muckle haggis, made frae the forrrrrreskin ae a cu . . . . with any luck I'll make it through this life without encountering one.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    *shudder* irn bru - sorry, I tried it, once, in Edinburgh.
    But I'm pretty sure your pisstaking is enjoyed by us all! Cheers!

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    One thing about the casino you can't fault. You can always get a drink 24/7. Pretty sure they sell smokes, and I'm told the flash hookers can be found there too. There's an arcade of computer games, a net cafe if you just have to have a blog. You can usually get a reasonable meal, at a rip price. There's always sport on big TVs. The view is awesome. They've got all the major legal addictions covered, and you don't have to go far to find illegal ones.

    I'm pretty sure my dislike of the place is mostly on account of my puritanical upbringing. Which curiously, was not administered at the hands of any Christians, but rather the modern manifestation of those sympathies, earnest urban liberals. The irony!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10654 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    I don't know
    why does lunch
    do this to me?

    Poor kitchen hygeine?

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1716 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Harris,

    Islander - what forums? I am interested in your perspective? Point me in email if you want

    Waikanae • Since Jul 2008 • 1343 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Mark H -Bookman Beattie for a kickoff-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • jon_knox,

    How will they ever sell audiobooks if Stephen Hawking is prepared to read them all aloud for free?

    Odiogo can do this (free) for you....Mangles tech content particularly well.

    Heading in the other direction, turning audio content into text (ie a transcript) should improve efficency when searching audio content, enabling potential listeners to more accurately answer the question - Do I not want to consume this audio content? (at least from a subject domain perspective)....consider that "good tagging" should not only enable people to find content that they may want to consume, it should also enable the elimination of a false positive.

    The BBC has currently suspended use of microformats (a html fudge to tag content) because of problems caused for the blind in the interpretation of microformat (meta) data by reading software. Am unsure what progress (if any) should be expected, but suspect if someone gets it right (one way or another), the benefits of the semantic web suddenly start looking a bit more like low-hanging-fruit.

    Am not sure if the reader software currently available is capable of doing a good job? Anyone got any insight into reader software?

    Belgium • Since Nov 2006 • 464 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac,

    I think the MDMA-chugging cyclists with whatever suitable special effects and sounds are a fantastic idea for revitalising the tourism industry. I would quite like to be one of the cyclists myself.

    As for casinos, I visit with my mum. It's once a year we can do something together that we both kind of enjoy. She likes the pokies - I think they're vile, but really not that much viler (in the normal run of things) than arcade gaming machines (which I frequent more, er, frequently, it must be said). How often do you see the young dudes playing those games crack a smile? DDR is something else, of course. At the casino, I play Texas Hold-Em or blackjack. I might lose $50 or so, but it's not bad for a few hours of entertainment.

    The one advantage about using casinos to trap the kinds of people who gamble pathologically is that the support services are more available to them. ...I'm somewhat reminding myself of the gay bath-houses in the US during the 80s that remained open despite the onslaught of the AIDS epidemic, with the excuse that it was easier to "supervise" safe sex practices. But still. Casinos do advertise the helplines, they pay some of their proceeds to the appropriate organisations, and they get taxed.

    None of these things are true of the backroom poker games that my stepfather attended religiously in throughout the 70s, and where the odds were even as to whether he'd actually come home with enough of a paycheck to pay for the weekly groceries. There were games with thousand-dollar pots, which were not too shabby at that time for a man who made a "living" driving rubbish trucks and digging roads. So perhaps if casinos had been around, they would have enabled his addiction more. But perhaps there would have been more avenues of addressing it as well.

    But I completely agree that the hypocrisy surrounding legal addictions is ridiculous. I tend to put compulsive gambling in the crack cocaine/P realm myself, due to the impact they have on others. But for the milder drugs? Waste of time and money.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 701 posts Report Reply

  • jon_knox,

    Apologies Mark if I'm being obtuse: I've been having 'differences of opinion' with several people of several b. different sites, but my loathing of the Kindle-attempted audio coup has been quite consistent. I just dont see any point in relitigating it, as it were-

    Islander I'm very interested too. Happy if it is an email.

    Belgium • Since Nov 2006 • 464 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    but I do think that pokies are, pure and simple, designed to be a way to harvest as much money from the addicted over as long a term as possible.

    There's something more sinister about being harvested by a machine than by another human. Whether or not the outcome is the same as it has been for thousands of years. Perhaps it's the slow rate the machines do it, because they don't have to feed themselves. At least in the old days, gamblers would get ripped hard by a crook in minutes, and could end up a slave, or dead, off a stupid bet. Somehow that seems more honorable than dripping your week's money away to a large box for a few hours of extremely low grade entertainment. Or something. I don't get it either way, lucky me.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10654 posts Report Reply

  • Amy Gale,

    Now, now, I won't hear a word against the casino. What could possibly be wrong with a place that has free drinks, the Cirque du Soleil, and a Payard?

    I mean, it does, right? Otherwise, why would anyone go?

    tha Ith • Since May 2007 • 471 posts Report Reply

  • jon_knox,

    Whether we like it or not, it just so happens that the (variable) reward patterns of gambling are perfect for creating addiction.

    Nothing against a harmless flutter, other that gambling addicts all start the same way....but it's the same for addicts of all kinds.

    Thankfully gambling isn't as deregulated in NZ as it seems to be in the UK. If you don't have at least 3 different betting shops within a stone's throw, you're probably living in too upmarket a surburb and may as well be living back on the Shore.

    I bet those on-line casinos are soo proactive in dealing with addicts too. (see Louis Theroux intro Gambling in Las Vegas)

    I'd like to know how much of the iceberg the casino's & betting shops represent.

    Belgium • Since Nov 2006 • 464 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Harris,

    Mark H -Bookman Beattie for a kickoff-

    None the wiser, I'm afraid. I can't see any comments on his blog or a link to a forum. Got a URL?

    Waikanae • Since Jul 2008 • 1343 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Islander, grinning, that Amazon took the sesible withdrawal route-

    Well, I'm sorry but I think this is one time the evil corporate should have grown a pair (and a spine) and told the Author's Guild to fuck off and come back when it had something approximately in the vicinity of a reality based argument. I eagerly awaiting the Roy Blount op-ed arguing that the photocopier must be banned because it's stealing the food out of the mouths of poor writers...

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Well, I'm sorry but I think this is one time the evil corporate should have grown a pair (and a spine) and told the Author's Guild to fuck off and come back when it had something approximately in the vicinity of a reality based argument.

    Well, yes. At least authors and publishers still have to make a choice to break the thing, and deprive their readers of a harmless piece of functionality.

    As Gaiman notes, there is no foreseeable future in which machine text-to-speech will approximate a human audiobook reader. Breaking T2S will reap authors exactly zero extra dollars. Visually-impaired readers can presumably go hang.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22839 posts Report Reply

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