Podcast - This Is Only a Test

Episode 105 – The Fast and the Fourier – 01/26/2012

On this week’s episode, Loyd talks board games, Brad makes a joke, and Norm brings in late-breaking news. All that, plus Apple has a good quarter, Xbox video problems, the issues with ultrabooks, Makerbot breakthroughs, a 6x speed next Xbox, and another episode of fake outtakes.

Comments (22)

22 thoughts on “Episode 105 – The Fast and the Fourier – 01/26/2012

  1. It’s pretty hard to have good knowledgeable staff when you sell extremely low margin products. Plain and simple. You attract good help with competitive pay. How can you pay somebody well when the product you’re selling gains you little or no money (and in some cases loses you money)? You can’t, unless you supplement that product with higher margin products (Loss Leader). So you run into the predicament of modern retail.

    Store fronts with no-knowledgeable staff selling low margin items – Cost Leader – They supplement the low margin items by paying employees less. Example: Costco, Walmart.

    Store fronts with semi knowledgeable to high knowledgeable sales staff that sell low margin products and high margin supplemental products – Loss Leaders (see above link) – They supplement the low margin items with higher margin add ons – warranties, accessories, services. Example: Best Buy.

    Online store front with no sales staff that sell low margin products and make up the cost by having extremely low cost of operation and with supplemental products or fees (Amazon Kindle services, Amazon Prime, eBay posting fees for sellers). Examples: Amazon, eBay.

    Store front with generally high knowledgeable sales staff that sell high margin products – They don’t have to supplement anything they already sell high margin products. – Only example in electronics retailing would be apple.

    You have to decide, you trade off large selection of products and generally knowledgeable sales staff by going to costco, but you forego having to talk about warranties. You can go to best buy, and they’re generally knowledgeable but you’re going to talk about other things besides the product.

  2. Brad was wrong about the savegames. There’s a bunch of games that retroactively unlock achievements based on savegames. Psychnonauts is one of them, at least for the collection stuff.

    And there’s a ton of Mass Effects 1 and 2 saves online. Enough that you’ll be able to find one that was basically identical to your own even in the smaller decision.

  3. somehow Brad seem more fitted on tested 
    love all the spec question he brought to the show in the past, hope there’s some of it here as well.

  4. I am disappointed that this episode is not 103 as well. Each episode having different numbers is confusing and I though Will was on to something by calling the last 2 episodes 103.

  5. Ah Loyd, master of the old art of listening to people’s questions and giving exact, concise answers (he also says I don’t know when he doesn’t) 🙂

  6. Downton Abbey is not a BBC show, it is broadcast on ITV here in the UK, ITV being the main commercial terrestrial (“broadcast”) channel. Sharpe, which is great fun I have to add, was also an ITV show. I also think if it wasn’t for Sharpe then Sean Bean would have never got the Lord of the Rings gig and wouldn’t the the star of a million internet memes. One does not simply go directly to Hollywood from Sheffield.

  7. oftware algorithms can get patented. Happens all the time in my department. I wouldn’t say because it’s academia, the patenting issue is moot. In fact, universities want you to patent as much as possible because they get the majority cut of any royalties AND it may even be preferable as a software engineer to get to patent under a university. At a company I imagine you get very little to nothing in terms of royalties; universities tend to be more generous to the inventors.

  8. Lots of self-checkout hereabouts (metro Detroit). They’ve gotten pretty good — most have a “skip bagging” option (which avoids the overly sensitive weight matching thing which is a total pain). In my experience, self-checkout is also almost always faster than traditional. Too frequently, I get stuck behind some person at the grocery who is having some issue that requires long conversations with managers — in self-checkout there are four or six registers, if one is tied up that way, there are a few more that I’ll have access to momentarily. I can understand Norm wanting the “service” of having someone else do the checking out for him, but personally, I more often prefer to keep my headphones in and limit that personal interaction.

  9. I have one of those kreurig… while obviously its not going to be as good as actually steaming the milk, it gets the job done

  10. Why when I hit forward on my windows phone does it repeat the beginning of the podcast until I hit like two minutes, it is so odd, and it happens with every tested podcast but no others…

  11. Get your facts right if you are going to rant will smith. The xenos gpu in the 360 uses a modified X1900 with some features from the HD2900 or R600 like unified shaders. And the PS3 RSX GPU is based on the GF7800 which is worse not better than the Xenos because it doesn’t use unified shaders.

    Also it is not early DX9. It is 2.5 generations from the first DX9 cards. 9700 then 9800 then X1800 came before.

  12. and

    There’s a Mass Effect 2 save editor that lets you set flags for like every decision the game tracks. I used it to import my ME1 Shepard from 360 (sans facial modifications, but who cares since there’s only one true Shepard face) into ME2 on PC by pulling up my save on my TV and setting each flag on my computer while scrolling through my quest log. There will probably be something like this for Mass Effect 3. However The Mass Effect games on PC so far haven’t supported controllers at all. So unless Bioware does it right this time, you won’t be able to enjoy it from the couch on PC.

  13. Really love having Lloyd here. I feel like he brings alot of balance to discussions as a primarily PC user/has a different/more balanced perspective than the usual set. No offense to Will/Norm/Gary but as people who admit to only use PCs for gaming, use iphones exclusively (outside of reviewing android phones), etc. it’s refreshing to have someone who comes from a different kind of personal tech background.

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