Chances?

CBC had their documentary ‘Winning for a Living’ on tonight, which featured people who are obsessed with filling out contest ballots. The Internet, of course, has been the Great Leap Forward for these kind of contests. Ironically, most contestors use regular mathematical skills to ensure their win:

Mike Smith of Toronto has been contesting for over 30 years, winning an estimated $250,000 in free stuff, including seven TVs! He spent all of one weekend filling out 2,000 ballots in hopes of winning TV #8

In a way, I guess, you also need to have a talent to read the fine print before you start stuffing 2000 ballots with your name in a ballet box. I need to mention that I rarely commit myself to enter contests or even lotteries: if you do the math, you’ll find out the chances to win are generally too small. I did have a couple of wins in my lifetime, most notably, a Playmobil pirateship, which I (looking at the circumstances and my young age) obviously didn’t deserve to win because, well: that’s probably a separate story for another day.

As mentioned, I made a couple of recordings of the Yo La Tengo show last Sunday. The complete setlist can be found at Blog.WMFU. I missed a couple of sets: Set 3 didn’t work out because my stream connection was more or less flaky causing Audacity to flunk out a couple of times. One of the sets was interrupted because the WMFU crew had to restart one of the servers which, from what I gather, was to make room for more online music listeners.

Snipping through the Audacity audio recordings, I noticed that the recorded setlists (unsurprisingly) take up quite some space. Audacity stores project files in AU format (see history).

You may have noticed that Microsoft released their first IE8 Beta, which has caused quite a stir (or acclaim) among standards proponents, web designers and developers (I briefly touched on this before). I highly doubt that IE8 will beat out Firefox, Opera or Safari (Or Konqueror) if you look at it from the standards perspective.