* Posts by Glyn Thomas

3 publicly visible posts • joined 3 Sep 2007

Microsoft reveals Xbox One, the console that can read your heartbeat

Glyn Thomas

A quick run-down

Top 2-minute summary of the launch event I've seen so far: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbWgUO-Rqcw

I suppose in the quest to be the one must-have device sitting under the telly, no games machine is going to market itself as 'just' a games machine. But for an increasing demographic with with 40-inch-plus TVs (which you can pick up at the supermarket for pennies these days), there's actually rather a lot of space under the telly.

The "me too!" drive to make sure any device *could* be used as the primary device in a living room simply means unnecessary duplication. So you get a BBC iPlayer app on the TV itself (or the digibox if you have an ageing telly) and the blu-ray player and the Sky box and xbox and wii and PS. You get a Facebox widget on most of them too, and they all want an internet connection so you can get network radio and video-on-demand and skype. Your xbox now has an hdmi input so you can mash the source together with overlays or watch a footy match while gaming in half the screen (although many TVs support picture-in-picture anyway). You can use DLNA to stream music from somewhere else in your house to one of your consoles, or the bluray player, or the TV itself...

Having an AV receiver for my surround sound with 5+ HDMI inputs makes it really easy to switch sources for the TV - I'd not be averse to having dedicated devices that were really good at doing just one thing exceptionally well. But I suppose we all got used to having our phones do a billion things, and managing 6 different remotes (or teaching the Significant Other to use a multi-function remote) is more trouble than it's worth...

UK online gambling regs go live tomorrow

Glyn Thomas

you *can* win at roulette but don't bank on it

Of course you can win, you can also lose. Try Hayden's method with a £10 bet. Lose 9 in a row (if you are playing a lot, this is not unheard of):

"Ok I just need to win this 10th bet, for £5,120 to pay off the £5,110 I'm down so far and go £10 up..."

"Sorry sir we can't accept an even money bet for more than £5,000."

"OK 5 grand it is...............Dammit I can't believe it was an odd number, it was an odd number last time... Right, try again... DAMMIT!!!"

So now you're down £15,120 trying your foolproof way to win £10 and even if you can borrow another £5k from a loan shark, the outcome of the next bet is still going to leave you £20k or £10k in debt. Of course if there is no house limit and you have infinite funds you will get there in the end, but if you have infinite funds why are you trying to win another tenner...

A progression of increasing or decreasing your bet after every win or every loss can't actually change the underlying odds in your favour. The only way to win is to play something where you have an edge (poker against poor opponents or find a blackjack game where the rules are incredibly player-friendly and you can card count for a positive edge). And even then there's still a lot of luck so you need to play forever to overcome the standard deviations and get your 'expected' win.

Glyn Thomas

casinos throwing you out

-> another point for Hayden: If I owned a casino and my floor manager threw out a customer who wanted to bet more and more money each time he lost, I'd probably fire that floor manager. Unless I wanted to demonstrate the casino's outstanding corporate responsibility in protecting idiot punters from themselves, I'd tell them to keep playing!

If someone loses £250 on my game and they want to bet £500, why would I tell them "no, we don't want you to bet £500 in case you leave here in profit". Would I turn down a £500 bet from someone else who had just walked in off the street ? No because the house edge says I make £15 from every £500 wagered which is what pays for the drinks and dancing girls and my retirement fund.