The Null Device
In the UK, there are fruit machines everywhere (in pubs, arcades, even kiosks at railway stations); the machines are basically embedded PCs. Now an activist group has obtained the ROMs from one such machine, run them through an emulator and found out that they're rigged. (via MeFi)
The answer, of course, is "It makes no difference". The machine has already determined whether you're going to win or lose. If the machine has decided you're going to lose and you choose "Higher", the machine will spin in a number lower than a 10. If you choose "Lower", it'll spin in a higher number. There's absolutely nothing you can do about it. It's not a "gamble" at all. It's fraud, and it's illegal.
In other news, those penis enlargement pills those nice young ladies keep hawking in email don't work. And neither do the breast enlargement pills, hair restoration pills, or golf-skills-enhancement pills (which, in fact, contain identical ingredients). (via TechDirt)
The case also has opened a window on just how lucrative the painless body enhancement business can be, especially if youre willing to ignore regulatory niceties and consumer-protection statutes.
That's one way of putting it.