Base64 encoding is actually Finnish?

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  • foo 2013-02-15 06:13
    Frist with frist dressing.
  • fjf 2013-02-15 06:16
    Mike Smithwick likes NASA's video as much as the next guy, but, you know, has some stuff coming up over the next 18 years.
    Hey, a space flight does take some time. And it's totally worth watching it in slow motion.
  • Adam 2013-02-15 07:16
    I wonder if there's anything interesting lurking on that base64-encoded text? I decoded the first few characters (PEJPRFkgc3R5bGU9) and it came out as "<BODY style=" -- who knows what goodies might be hidden away inside?
  • faoileag 2013-02-15 07:22
    Steven Mocking:
    Hold up GMail, you mean that Base64 encoding is actually Finnish?

    Well, GMail is a Google product and Google is extremely clever - of course it does not think that Base64 is Finnish!

    But I'm sure that deep in that Base64 encoded bit of HTML/XML (I didn't decode more than the first few bytes) there is some string literal that actually represents a finnish word. Like "on". Or "koko". Or "tavallisesti".
  • no laughing matter 2013-02-15 07:26
    So Nathan Hood wanted to read "What's happening on twitter".

    The error message suggests to mail service@webmailer.de and shows a URL rtnews.eu which turns out to be a Luxemburg news site in french language.

    My WTF-sense is tingling TRWTF is the belgian government!

    And the news was about the Luxemburg president's daughter.
  • Dell Hell 2013-02-15 07:34
    OMG that "laptop" picture hits a whole bunch of my triggers (never mind the not-a-laptop part):

    * Why do online marketers insist in having only a 10 by 12 pixel photo of the product they want you to buy? What would be wrong with letting the customer actually SEE it?

    * Why is said picture always of the awesome "curb appeal" and nothing you really need to know, like a shot of the back where all the hookups are?

    * Accompanied by only two bogo-specs. I especially (don't) love the "compare features" pages where you can pay $800 (excuse me, $799.83 -- those lower prices really fool people) for the "blazing" model, $1000 for the "awesome" model, or go all the way to $1200 for the "professional" one. I mean I actually might have the extra $400 to spend but if you won't tell me what I'm going to get why should I pay for it?

    I'm trying to give you money and I think you'd want to take it. So why can't you give me the tiniest bit of useful info if only in your own greedy interest to make the sale!!!?

    I mean really the theme seeping from every marketer's brain seems to be "don't ask any questions just buy our crap already".
  • fjf 2013-02-15 08:32
    Dell Hell:
    OMG that "laptop" picture hits a whole bunch of my triggers (never mind the not-a-laptop part):

    * Why do online marketers insist in having only a 10 by 12 pixel photo of the product they want you to buy? What would be wrong with letting the customer actually SEE it?
    Their competitors could STEAL the image!
    * Why is said picture always of the awesome "curb appeal" and nothing you really need to know, like a shot of the back where all the hookups are?
    That one's obvious, isn't it? You might as well ask why don't they give those technical specs that are actually meaningful. Oh wait, you did ...
    * Accompanied by only two bogo-specs. I especially (don't) love the "compare features" pages where you can pay $800 (excuse me, $799.83 -- those lower prices really fool people) for the "blazing" model, $1000 for the "awesome" model, or go all the way to $1200 for the "professional" one. I mean I actually might have the extra $400 to spend but if you won't tell me what I'm going to get why should I pay for it?
    If you're that kind of person that thinks about why they spend their money, they won't get much from you anyway. So make it short, buy the cheapo model and let them concentrate on their more valued customers.
    I mean really the theme seeping from every marketer's brain seems to be "don't ask any questions just buy our crap already".
    Works for the majority and that's what counts.
  • Bruce W 2013-02-15 08:32
    Mmmmm... Test dressing
  • foo 2013-02-15 08:36
    Bruce W:
    Mmmmm... Test dressing
    Yippee ki-yay, tester-tester!
  • Steenbergh 2013-02-15 08:40
    TRWTF is that Dell dares to charge over $800 for a laptop with an i3-processor.

    Captcha: esse, and then sessert with test dressing.
  • Steenbergh 2013-02-15 08:41
    By the way, is the sidebar broken? Or did the singularity happen and is all code now bug-free?
  • Ironside 2013-02-15 09:04
    Finnish Him
  • Krupuk 2013-02-15 09:40
    Luxembourg doesn't have a president, it's a monarchy.
    And rtnews.eu is apparently some fake news site (Albertoxic was a comedian some years ago) that only copies RSS feeds in a horrible design.

    The belgian government though really is a WTF.
  • Rootbeer 2013-02-15 10:38
    Dell Hell:
    I'm trying to give you money and I think you'd want to take it. So why can't you give me the tiniest bit of useful info if only in your own greedy interest to make the sale!!!?


    In fairness, the call to action is "Shop Now", not "Buy Now" or "Click Here And We'll Charge Your Credit Card And Ship This Computer To You With No Additional Action On Your Part." The whole thing's designed to grab your attention just enough to get you to drill down into the pages with detailed product information, such as large images and full specifications.

    TLDR: it's an ad!
  • Dell Hell 2013-02-15 10:46
    Rootbeer:
    Dell Hell:
    I'm trying to give you money and I think you'd want to take it. So why can't you give me the tiniest bit of useful info if only in your own greedy interest to make the sale!!!?


    In fairness, the call to action is "Shop Now", not "Buy Now" or "Click Here And We'll Charge Your Credit Card And Ship This Computer To You With No Additional Action On Your Part." The whole thing's designed to grab your attention just enough to get you to drill down into the pages with detailed product information, such as large images and full specifications.

    TLDR: it's an ad!
    All right, since you're assuming I've never actually gone shopping online and was just bitching about that one ad on TDWTF, please go to the following page and let me know how long is the cable coming out of the back of the camera?

    http://www.amazon.com/Vivotek-IP8332-Outdoor-Bullet-Network/dp/B003TWIOHC/ref=sr_1_2?s=photo&ie=UTF8&qid=1360942972&sr=1-2

    Go ahead, drill down all you want. Let me know where you find the answer.

    It is an important spec. Too short and you can't get the cable through the walls of some older houses.

    No hurry. I'll wait...
  • Well 2013-02-15 11:06
    I agree that it is annoying not being able to find specs online - but in this case I would just google the product, find the spec pdf (http://download.vivotek.com/downloadfile/downloads/datasheets/ip8332-cdatasheets_en.pdf), verify that it runs on PoE and then get a PoE switch or injector. Then you have one cable less to worry about and ethernet cables are available in many lengths...
  • Nagesh 2013-02-15 11:42
    Vivek,
    stop doing all translation now.
  • chubertdev 2013-02-15 11:47
    This is what happens when Google and Nokia collaborate...
  • Doctor_of_Ineptitude 2013-02-15 12:05
    chubertdev:
    This is what happens when Google and Nokia collaborate...


    The question now is, will Bing also recognize it as finnish soon?
  • Nathan Hood 2013-02-15 12:09
    I didn't really, I was just going through e-mail when I spotted it :)
  • Zylon 2013-02-15 12:19
    Finnish? Please. Base64 is Welsh.
  • chubertdev 2013-02-15 12:21
    Zylon:
    Finnish? Please. Base64 is Welsh.


    I see too many vowels.
  • PiisAWheeL 2013-02-15 12:52
    Dell Hell:
    Rootbeer:
    Dell Hell:
    I'm trying to give you money and I think you'd want to take it. So why can't you give me the tiniest bit of useful info if only in your own greedy interest to make the sale!!!?


    In fairness, the call to action is "Shop Now", not "Buy Now" or "Click Here And We'll Charge Your Credit Card And Ship This Computer To You With No Additional Action On Your Part." The whole thing's designed to grab your attention just enough to get you to drill down into the pages with detailed product information, such as large images and full specifications.

    TLDR: it's an ad!
    All right, since you're assuming I've never actually gone shopping online and was just bitching about that one ad on TDWTF, please go to the following page and let me know how long is the cable coming out of the back of the camera?

    http://www.amazon.com/Vivotek-IP8332-Outdoor-Bullet-Network/dp/B003TWIOHC/ref=sr_1_2?s=photo&ie=UTF8&qid=1360942972&sr=1-2

    Go ahead, drill down all you want. Let me know where you find the answer.

    It is an important spec. Too short and you can't get the cable through the walls of some older houses.

    No hurry. I'll wait...
    Less than 5 minutes. Did a search for the product on google.
    http://www.ravenshoesecurity.com/pdf/Vivotek_8332_Setup.pdf?PHPSESSID=354307eb4bdedff2e800ed5d99c80dea

    Page 5 (and part of 6) of the product specs state
    The camera requires an RJ45 Ethernet connection that provides access to the Internet in the physical area where the camera is being deployed. This cable should run from the camera site to your router. Using a PoE (Power Over Ethernet) injector the Ethernet cable can also provide power, making for a single wire installation.
    The camera comes with a short Ethernet cable and a double female adapter.
    It is possible (see user manual) to remove this short cable and plug the Ethernet cable from the router directly into the motherboard.

    As you can see, it comes with a short ethernet cable and a female to female coupler, and you can safely not give a fuck cause it uses generics and standards. If you are interested in a product you see in an ad, take just 2 minutes out of your day and google the product. You might learn things you never knew you didn't need to know about the product. THEN you can decide if you wanna buy it.

    Also, you referenced a listing, not an ad.
  • Joe 2013-02-15 13:14
    That 41263 days thing is referencing January 0, 1900. Apparently, the first login date was never init'ed so it subtracts it from today. Divide by 365 or 365.25 and you'll see.
    On a related note, smwcentral.net has this bug where users that have never logged in will be marked as inactive since 1970.
    This sentence is false.
  • Joe 2013-02-15 13:15
    Oops, wrong URL. http://smwcentral.net is the right one.
  • Paul Neumann 2013-02-15 14:02
    Joe:
    Oops, wrong URL. http://smwcentral.net is the right one.
    How does this get past akismet???
  • foo 2013-02-15 14:29
  • foo 2013-02-15 14:30
    foo:
    Interesting. Apparently you only need 1 char after the URL to make it no spam. Might be time to feature Akismet's algorithm on this site.
  • PiisAWheeL 2013-02-15 14:39
    foo:
    foo:
    Interesting. Apparently you only need 1 char after the URL to make it no spam. Might be time to feature Akismet's algorithm on this site.
    If you really have it out for this site, edited comments are not checked AFAIK.
  • Jazz 2013-02-15 14:51
    PiisAWheeL:
    Dell Hell:
    Rootbeer:
    Dell Hell:
    I'm trying to give you money and I think you'd want to take it. So why can't you give me the tiniest bit of useful info if only in your own greedy interest to make the sale!!!?

    The whole thing's designed to grab your attention just enough to get you to drill down into the pages with detailed product information, such as large images and full specifications.
    All right, since you're assuming I've never actually gone shopping online and was just bitching about that one ad on TDWTF, please go to the following page and let me know how long is the cable coming out of the back of the camera?

    http://www.amazon.com/Vivotek-IP8332-Outdoor-Bullet-Network/dp/B003TWIOHC/ref=sr_1_2?s=photo&ie=UTF8&qid=1360942972&sr=1-2

    Go ahead, drill down all you want. Let me know where you find the answer.
    Less than 5 minutes. Did a search for the product on google.

    Page 5 (and part of 6) of the product specs state
    ... The camera comes with a short Ethernet cable and a double female adapter. It is possible (see user manual) to remove this short cable and plug the Ethernet cable from the router directly into the motherboard.

    As you can see, it comes with a short ethernet cable and a female to female coupler, and you can safely not give a fuck cause it uses generics and standards.

    Also, you referenced a listing, not an ad.


    (1) You aren't Rootbeer, so we're still waiting for his response.
    (2) Rootbeer's claim was that one could drill down from the ad to find the specs, NOT that one could do a Google search for the specs. You didn't test that.
    (3) "Short" is not a length. You didn't actually find the specified length.
    (4) I'm not sure the line between "listing" and "ad" is as clear-cut as you think, but I do agree with you that an Amazon listing doesn't prove a point about sidebar ads or banner ads.
  • chubertdev 2013-02-15 15:00
    So I think that the moral of the story is that Dell doesn't care about people like Dell Hell, since they are by far in the minority, and if they did become customers, would probably be calling up Dell support ten times a day. Much better to not have those customers.
  • jay 2013-02-15 15:18
    Dell Hell:
    I especially (don't) love the "compare features" pages where you can pay $800 (excuse me, $799.83 -- those lower prices really fool people)


    Not your main point, I know, but I often wonder about this. I'm sure we'll seen products priced at "9.99" or "89.95". Presumably the sellers think that if they charged $10.00, people would say, "Oh no, that's too expensive," but at $9.99 they'll say, "Yes, that's a reasonable price". Personally, when I see a price of $9.99, I read that, "ten dollars". But every retailer in the U.S. (I don't know about other countries) apparently "knows" that this works, because they all do it. Is there any evidence that it actually works? Has anyone ever done a study on it? Or is this just one of those ideas that floats around with zero evidence, repeated so often that it becomes common knowledge.

    It would be easy enough to do an experiment. Get two different brands of the same basic product. Put them side by side on the shelf. For one charge $10, for the other charge $9.99. Compare sales of each. Then switch the prices. Do the relative sales change when the prices are switched?

    Has anyone ever done that, or a similar experiment? I'm curious.

    BTW, I once saw a big sign in a store that said, "On sale: $99.95. Regular price: $109.95". My immediate response was: This is obviously a bogus sale. No American retailer charges $109.95 for anything.
  • jay 2013-02-15 15:23
    foo:
    foo:
    Interesting. Apparently you only need 1 char after the URL to make it no spam. Might be time to feature Akismet's algorithm on this site.


    Yeah, this is all we need: make Akismet's tests tighter so it rejects more posts.

    Next he goes to the IRS site and points out to them how he lied on his tax return and they didn't audit him.
  • dkf 2013-02-15 16:04
    jay:
    BTW, I once saw a big sign in a store that said, "On sale: $99.95. Regular price: $109.95". My immediate response was: This is obviously a bogus sale. No American retailer charges $109.95 for anything.
    Yes, they do! At one tiny store in the middle of nowhere and with the only item on sale at that price hidden behind a locked door in a basement (with a sign marked "beware of the leopard" of course). Then, after doing that for the legal minimum, it's time to roll out the "Sale" signs.

    What's more fascinating is when they put the price up and label it with "Sale". George Orwell was wrong only about one thing in "1984"; Big Brother isn't the government, Big Brother works in sales pushing cheap tat from China to idiots who can't read from one end of a sentence to the other.
  • I-D-10-T 2013-02-15 16:31
    dkf:
    read from one end of a sentence to the other.
    What is your point about reading?
  • Mr Minitel 2013-02-15 16:42
    jay:
    Dell Hell:
    I especially (don't) love the "compare features" pages where you can pay $800 (excuse me, $799.83 -- those lower prices really fool people)


    Not your main point, I know, but I often wonder about this. I'm sure we'll seen products priced at "9.99" or "89.95". Presumably the sellers think that if they charged $10.00, people would say, "Oh no, that's too expensive," but at $9.99 they'll say, "Yes, that's a reasonable price". Personally, when I see a price of $9.99, I read that, "ten dollars". But every retailer in the U.S. (I don't know about other countries) apparently "knows" that this works, because they all do it. Is there any evidence that it actually works? Has anyone ever done a study on it? Or is this just one of those ideas that floats around with zero evidence, repeated so often that it becomes common knowledge.

    It would be easy enough to do an experiment. Get two different brands of the same basic product. Put them side by side on the shelf. For one charge $10, for the other charge $9.99. Compare sales of each. Then switch the prices. Do the relative sales change when the prices are switched?

    Has anyone ever done that, or a similar experiment? I'm curious.

    BTW, I once saw a big sign in a store that said, "On sale: $99.95. Regular price: $109.95". My immediate response was: This is obviously a bogus sale. No American retailer charges $109.95 for anything.



    http://camden-sbc.rutgers.edu/facultystaff/research/schindler/Schindler%20%26%20Kibarian%20(1996).pdf

    There was apparently a catalog study done by real scientists in 1996 where one printing had $x.99 prices, one had $x.88 prices, and one had had even dollar prices, and the .99 printing had an 8% gain in total demand compared to the other two.
  • Roger 2013-02-15 17:29
    Mr Minitel:
    one printing had $x.99 prices, one had $x.88 prices, and one had had even dollar prices, and the .99 printing had an 8% gain in total demand compared to the other two.
    There you have it folks. Scientific proof that humans are TRWTF.

    Can I have my own planet now? Please??
  • Paul Neumann 2013-02-15 17:45
    Roger:
    There you have it folks. Scientific proof that humans are TRWTF.

    Can I have my own planet now? Please??
    Sure thing. Take that one right there to the left. No, not that one. Just to the left of that second star. No, no, back... That one. It's all yours. Go.
  • foo 2013-02-15 17:47
    jay:
    Not your main point, I know, but I often wonder about this. I'm sure we'll seen products priced at "9.99" or "89.95". Presumably the sellers think that if they charged $10.00, people would say, "Oh no, that's too expensive," but at $9.99 they'll say, "Yes, that's a reasonable price". Personally, when I see a price of $9.99, I read that, "ten dollars".
    Me too, but I sometimes get trapped when adding such prices. E.g. 6.99 and 3.99 by themselves I read as 7 and 4. But when I consider the total, I sometimes mistakenly think of 9.99, i.e. 10 instead of 11. Perhaps it's just me, but it might indicate such prices are more effective when you have to add them a lot, like in supermarkets.
  • o11c 2013-02-15 20:47
    TRWTF is using Microsoft Office to generate HTML ...
  • Anon 2013-02-16 01:28
    12/31/1899, actually. TRWTF is that in the past 40 years, not a single person has apparently ever thought that maybe - fucking MAYBE - we should stop using stupid-ass dates for magic numbers.

    Because really, anyone who thinks we're *NOT* going to still be using Access in 9000 years has never worked with an Enterprise.
  • Bill C. 2013-02-16 01:33
    TRWTF is test dressing. Who wants it? All it does is prevent wardrobe malfunctions.
  • Bill C. 2013-02-16 01:36
    My laptop was better than Dell's too.
  • Jay911 2013-02-16 06:28
    I would have figured Base64 was closer to Welsh myself.
  • Kasper 2013-02-16 11:55
    faoileag:
    Well, GMail is a Google product and Google is extremely clever - of course it does not think that Base64 is Finnish!

    But I'm sure that deep in that Base64 encoded bit of HTML/XML (I didn't decode more than the first few bytes) there is some string literal that actually represents a finnish word. Like "on". Or "koko". Or "tavallisesti".
    And if you let it translate to English, it will give you a base64 encoding of an English version of the text.
  • no laughing matter 2013-02-16 15:47
    Paul Neumann:
    Roger:
    There you have it folks. Scientific proof that humans are TRWTF.

    Can I have my own planet now? Please??
    Sure thing. Take that one right there to the left. No, not that one. Just to the left of that second star. No, no, back... That one. It's all yours. Go.
    Of course it's only yours if you pay it first, and it might be a bit costly.

    But we have a special offer this week:

    Death Star on sale, only for $US15,602,022,489,829,821,422,840,226.99!
  • Matt Westwood 2013-02-17 02:33
    jay:
    Dell Hell:
    I especially (don't) love the "compare features" pages where you can pay $800 (excuse me, $799.83 -- those lower prices really fool people)


    Not your main point, I know, but I often wonder about this. I'm sure we'll seen products priced at "9.99" or "89.95". Presumably the sellers think that if they charged $10.00, people would say, "Oh no, that's too expensive," but at $9.99 they'll say, "Yes, that's a reasonable price". Personally, when I see a price of $9.99, I read that, "ten dollars". But every retailer in the U.S. (I don't know about other countries) apparently "knows" that this works, because they all do it. Is there any evidence that it actually works? Has anyone ever done a study on it? Or is this just one of those ideas that floats around with zero evidence, repeated so often that it becomes common knowledge.

    It would be easy enough to do an experiment. Get two different brands of the same basic product. Put them side by side on the shelf. For one charge $10, for the other charge $9.99. Compare sales of each. Then switch the prices. Do the relative sales change when the prices are switched?

    Has anyone ever done that, or a similar experiment? I'm curious.

    BTW, I once saw a big sign in a store that said, "On sale: $99.95. Regular price: $109.95". My immediate response was: This is obviously a bogus sale. No American retailer charges $109.95 for anything.


    The .99 technique is done so routinely in the UK that people no longer notice it. I's not only the big supermarkets, but also the small retailers.

    A friend of mine owned a new-age bookstore some years ago - lovely place it was. She also operated the same pricing policy. I asked her: you're always complaining about having to fiddle around with tiny coins - so why do you price this pack of tarot cards at £12.99? I believe the answer she finally came up with was that her superstitious customers would balk at having to pay £13, which I had to admit was a completely rational answer - selling her stock was more important than saving the hassle of making sure she had a trayful of pennies in her till.
  • Matt Westwood 2013-02-17 02:39
    jay:
    foo:
    foo:
    Interesting. Apparently you only need 1 char after the URL to make it no spam. Might be time to feature Akismet's algorithm on this site.


    Yeah, this is all we need: make Akismet's tests tighter so it rejects more posts.

    Next he goes to the IRS site and points out to them how he lied on his tax return and they didn't audit him.


    Maybe he's the man whose neck is underneath the guillotine blade who says, "Hang on, there's a knot in the rope."
  • Norman Diamond 2013-02-17 04:23
    jay:
    Next he goes to the IRS site and points out to them how he lied on his tax return and they didn't audit him.
    I wish. I testified in court that I lied on US tax returns after the US government told me it was required. Where the jurat says to the best of my knowledge and belief all attachments are true and correct, and I knew some were not true, the law requires signing it anyway. I did that too late. I had already made the mistake of telling the truth on earlier returns, which is automatically considered frivolous, and I had already been accused of fraud because withholding had been stolen, but I had not known the reason. I'll take audits any day. In an audit at least they say what lies have to be signed and it gets taken care of in a timely manner. In an audit you have appeal rights before deadlines expire.
  • Zog 2013-02-17 06:29
    I don't see enough vowels for it to be Welsh!!

    It certainly isn't Finnish, no -kokinhän ending!


  • Christian 2013-02-17 08:23
    good to know I was not the only one crazy enough to type the first characters from the image into b64decode -r.

    Too bad we cannot paste. Might as well be finnish text inside, in which case google would have been right ;)
  • fasas 2013-02-17 21:42
    jay:
    Dell Hell:
    I especially (don't) love the "compare features" pages where you can pay $800 (excuse me, $799.83 -- those lower prices really fool people)


    Not your main point, I know, but I often wonder about this. I'm sure we'll seen products priced at "9.99" or "89.95". Presumably the sellers think that if they charged $10.00, people would say, "Oh no, that's too expensive," but at $9.99 they'll say, "Yes, that's a reasonable price". Personally, when I see a price of $9.99, I read that, "ten dollars". But every retailer in the U.S. (I don't know about other countries) apparently "knows" that this works, because they all do it. Is there any evidence that it actually works? Has anyone ever done a study on it? Or is this just one of those ideas that floats around with zero evidence, repeated so often that it becomes common knowledge.

    It would be easy enough to do an experiment. Get two different brands of the same basic product. Put them side by side on the shelf. For one charge $10, for the other charge $9.99. Compare sales of each. Then switch the prices. Do the relative sales change when the prices are switched?

    Has anyone ever done that, or a similar experiment? I'm curious.

    BTW, I once saw a big sign in a store that said, "On sale: $99.95. Regular price: $109.95". My immediate response was: This is obviously a bogus sale. No American retailer charges $109.95 for anything.
    Pretty sure (can't find a reference to cite) it was well researched and really used to work - particularly with bigger figures say buying a car).

    Recently, I've seen 2 differing approaches - one is a store that now doesn't bother with cent amounts other than 50 (so everything is either a round dollar amount or x.50) and another which seems to be keen on :
    12,83 and 88 - especially 83 - eg $7.83 - I suspect this is a subtle way of doing the .99 that consumers notice less.....

    I've also noticed supermarkets now vary the last digit of products, but I assumed (given that we no longer have 1c and 2c cash, so cash payments are rounded) that this was to stop people counting items to always guarantee a 2c round-down.

    Sidenote: When the rounding was first implemented, there was at least 1 store that used to round-down regardless. They once advertised kiwi-fruit at 9c each, and my parents had a group of us going through 1 at a time (several times) to save a whopping 80c......
    (I'm not sure how much of that was "times were tougher" and how much was just an "on principle")
  • fasas 2013-02-17 21:49
    fasas:
    jay:
    Dell Hell:
    I especially (don't) love the "compare features" pages where you can pay $800 (excuse me, $799.83 -- those lower prices really fool people)


    Not your main point, I know, but I often wonder about this. I'm sure we'll seen products priced at "9.99" or "89.95". Presumably the sellers think that if they charged $10.00, people would say, "Oh no, that's too expensive," but at $9.99 they'll say, "Yes, that's a reasonable price". Personally, when I see a price of $9.99, I read that, "ten dollars". But every retailer in the U.S. (I don't know about other countries) apparently "knows" that this works, because they all do it. Is there any evidence that it actually works? Has anyone ever done a study on it? Or is this just one of those ideas that floats around with zero evidence, repeated so often that it becomes common knowledge.

    It would be easy enough to do an experiment. Get two different brands of the same basic product. Put them side by side on the shelf. For one charge $10, for the other charge $9.99. Compare sales of each. Then switch the prices. Do the relative sales change when the prices are switched?

    Has anyone ever done that, or a similar experiment? I'm curious.

    BTW, I once saw a big sign in a store that said, "On sale: $99.95. Regular price: $109.95". My immediate response was: This is obviously a bogus sale. No American retailer charges $109.95 for anything.
    Pretty sure (can't find a reference to cite) it was well researched and really used to work - particularly with bigger figures say buying a car).

    Recently, I've seen 2 differing approaches - one is a store that now doesn't bother with cent amounts other than 50 (so everything is either a round dollar amount or x.50) and another which seems to be keen on :
    12,83 and 88 - especially 83 - eg $7.83 - I suspect this is a subtle way of doing the .99 that consumers notice less.....

    I've also noticed supermarkets now vary the last digit of products, but I assumed (given that we no longer have 1c and 2c cash, so cash payments are rounded) that this was to stop people counting items to always guarantee a 2c round-down.

    Sidenote: When the rounding was first implemented, there was at least 1 store that used to round-down regardless. They once advertised kiwi-fruit at 9c each, and my parents had a group of us going through 1 at a time (several times) to save a whopping 80c......
    (I'm not sure how much of that was "times were tougher" and how much was just an "on principle")

    if AKISMET will let me....
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_pricing
    http://forum.johnson.cornell.edu/faculty/mthomas/LeftDigitEffect.pdf

    Basically, no matter how much people claim they're unaffected by it, many are
  • o11c 2013-02-17 22:19
    Fine, if everyone else is so lazy ...

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    9tYW4nLCdzZXJpZiciPjxvOnA+Jm5ic3A7
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    (== added because the message in the image is truncated)
  • spaceman 2013-02-18 00:25
    well clearly time dilation is affecting that rocket footage. If it were filmed from on the rocket it would have taken mere second...
  • JimFin 2013-02-18 06:45
    faoileag:
    Steven Mocking:
    Hold up GMail, you mean that Base64 encoding is actually Finnish?

    Well, GMail is a Google product and Google is extremely clever - of course it does not think that Base64 is Finnish!

    But I'm sure that deep in that Base64 encoded bit of HTML/XML (I didn't decode more than the first few bytes) there is some string literal that actually represents a finnish word. Like "on". Or "koko". Or "tavallisesti".

    I scanned the text and, being a native Finnish, I could not find any distinctively Finnish words.

    I suspect that Google has deduced the language based on theoretical word length and some profound heuristics. Some languages can have words of theoretically unlimited length, and of those, Finnish was deemed the best candidate just because we Finnish people are somewhat crazy.

    Eg. kolmivaihevaihtovirtakilowattituntimittari is a common device found in several Finnish homes and buildings, and training program for person who has extensively specialized in installing them could be kolmivaihevaihtovirtakilowattituntimittariasentajakoulutusohjelma and representative the program could be kolmivaihevaihtovirtakilowattituntimittariasentajakoulutusohjelmavastaava and so on ad absurdum.
  • Kasper 2013-02-18 07:39
    JimFin:
    and representative the program could be kolmivaihevaihtovirtakilowattituntimittariasentajakoulutusohjelmavastaava
    This is awesome. I plugged that word into Google translate. It automatically detected that it was Finish, but was still unable to translate the word. How useful is it for Google translate to identify the language of a text, if it is not able to translate a single word of the text?
  • suomalainen 2013-02-18 08:58
    It's not Finnish - there are not enough vovels.
  • Spewin Coffee 2013-02-18 12:13
    "Not sure how big your lap is but I certainly wouldn't want this 'laptop'."

    Actually, this is just a component to be used in your next lapdancing robot project.

    Oh my how your i3 turns me on!
  • Marko 2013-02-19 07:02
    It automatically detected that it was Finish, but was still unable to translate the word.


    There's nothing magical about compound words like that. English has them, too, but chooses to embed whitespace between the parts.

    kolmi- = three-
    vaihe = phase
    vaihto = alternating
    virta = current
    kilo- = kilo-
    watti = watt
    tunti = hour
    mittari = gauge
    asentaja = installer
    koulutus = training
    ohjelma = program
    vastaava = person in charge
  • keigezellig 2013-02-19 08:25
    Hah! You can do the same in Dutch:

    Rioolwaterzuiveringsinstallatiebedrijfsmanagersassistent

    (=Manager assistant of a sewage treatment installation company)
  • Neil 2013-02-19 10:56
    I always thought that German was the canonical language for ridiculously long constructed words, such as Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz, or if you include specifically constructed words, there's always Vierwaldstätterseedampfshiffsfahrtsgeselschaftskapitänsmützensternlein which apparently appeared in a novel.
  • Steven Mocking 2013-02-19 14:21
    I am the OP of that screen shot and there is actually a very ironic epilogue to this submission: I interviewed with Google a few days later and had a Finnish interviewer who asked me about language detection. :-)

    Also, to satisfy your curiosity, here's the full text of the email when run through base64 -d -i | lynx -dump (somewhat edited to protect the innocent):


    Hello,


    We are contacting you about a new job opportunity in $CITY for an SE
    doing Technical Support, Software Configuration Management and Sys
    Admin. You primary responsibility will be Application Support and
    Server Set-up.


    If you are not qualified or interested in this position, please
    continue to check our website for all our opportunities; we receive new
    positions on a regular basis.


    To view all our open positions please visit:

    [1]http://some.url


    NOTE: Due to client policy, US Citizens and Green Card Holders ONLY
    may apply (F1, EAD and H1B Visas are not accepted with this client). We
    do have other clients where we may place you, so please do not hesitate
    to check our website for all our opportunities.

    References

    1. http://some.other.url


    And the raw output of base64 -d -i:

    <BODY style="CURSOR: text" id=j$_DAVQ4 contentEditable=false><P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class=MsoNormal><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 11pt; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold">Hello,</SPAN></P>
    <P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class=MsoNormal><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 11pt; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold"></SPAN>&nbsp;</P>
    <P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class=MsoNormal><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 11pt; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold">We are contacting you about a new job opportunity in $CITY for an SE doing Technical Support, Software Configuration Management and Sys Admin.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </SPAN>You primary responsibility will be </SPAN><SPAN style="COLOR: black; FONT-SIZE: 11pt">Application Support and Server Set-up.</SPAN><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 11pt; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold"><?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
    <P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class=MsoNormal><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 11pt; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></SPAN></P>
    <P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class=MsoNormal><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 11pt; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold">If you are not qualified or interested in this position, please continue to check our website for all our opportunities;<B> we receive new positions on a regular basis</B>.<B><o:p></o:p></B></SPAN></P>
    <P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class=MsoNormal><B><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 11pt"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></SPAN></B></P>
    <P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class=MsoNormal><B><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 11pt">To view all our open positions please visit:<o:p></o:p></SPAN></B></P>
    <P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class=MsoNormal><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><SPAN style="COLOR: red"><A href="http://some.url"><FONT color=#0000ff>http://some.url</FONT></A><o:p></o:p></SPAN></B></P>
    <P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><B><SPAN style="FONT-FAMILY: 'Calibri','sans-serif'; COLOR: red; FONT-SIZE: 11pt; mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></SPAN></B></P>
    <P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class=MsoNormal><STRONG><SPAN style="COLOR: black">NOTE:</SPAN></STRONG><SPAN style="COLOR: black"><SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </SPAN></SPAN>Due to client policy, US Citizens and Green Card Holders <B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">ONLY</B> may apply (<B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">F1, EAD and H1B Visas </B>are <B>not</B> accepted with this client). <SPAN style="COLOR: black">We do have other clients where we may place you, so please do not hesitate to check our website for all our opportunities.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></P>
    <P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class=MsoNormal><B><o:p>&nbsp;</o%


    Does that resemble Finnish in any way?
  • keigezellig 2013-02-20 08:47

    ..snip..

    Does that resemble Finnish in any way?


    ... Microsoft Office HTML Finnish that is :)
  • jay 2013-02-20 15:41
    Marko:
    It automatically detected that it was Finish, but was still unable to translate the word.


    There's nothing magical about compound words like that. English has them, too, but chooses to embed whitespace between the parts.

    kolmi- = three-
    vaihe = phase
    vaihto = alternating
    virta = current
    kilo- = kilo-
    watti = watt
    tunti = hour
    mittari = gauge
    asentaja = installer
    koulutus = training
    ohjelma = program
    vastaava = person in charge


    It occurs to me that languages like this must be murder on word-processing software that tries to word-wrap and fully justify text without hyphenating.
  • jay 2013-02-20 16:02
    Anon:
    12/31/1899, actually. TRWTF is that in the past 40 years, not a single person has apparently ever thought that maybe - fucking MAYBE - we should stop using stupid-ass dates for magic numbers.

    Because really, anyone who thinks we're *NOT* going to still be using Access in 9000 years has never worked with an Enterprise.


    I'm pretty sure that *I* am not going to be using Access in 9000 years.
  • jay 2013-02-20 16:05
    Anon:
    12/31/1899, actually. TRWTF is that in the past 40 years, not a single person has apparently ever thought that maybe - fucking MAYBE - we should stop using stupid-ass dates for magic numbers.


    I'm presently working with a system where we send credit card purchases through a clearing house. And the system used by the clearing house for testing use magic dollar amounts to trigger error conditions. There are hundreds of these magic dollar amounts for all sorts of different error conditions. So if you are trying to test something that has nothing to do with error conditions, and the transaction fails, now you have to figure out whether it failed because of an error in your code, or whether you just happenned to pick items for the order that totalled one of the magic dollar amounts.
  • akTed 2013-04-28 21:34
    That software hasn't been updated since the turn of the century...the 20th Century!