The 404 1,075: Where we had a crush on you in high school (podcast)

Today's 404 pits Vizio vs. Apple, South Korea vs. gaming addiction, Billy Corgan vs. iTunes, and Apple vs. the World


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Today we're cracking open the Apple Store Employee Guidelines book to reveal some of the tactics that the company uses to implant themselves in the minds of shoppers. A clear example of this psychological influence is the precision angle of every MacBook Pro notebook on display in the store. Take a look next time you're in an Apple store and you'll notice that they're all measured to a very specific incline degree.

At first glance, you might think that it's placed at the optimum viewing angle for passersby, but it's actually angled poorly to encourage customers to adjust the screen to their preferred position! The company hopes that the physical interaction with the device will show the generous viewing options and even encourage customers to explore further.

On today's episode of The 404 show, we'll also get our stamp of approval to Vizio's latest line of Mac-ish PCs that include both desktops and laptops. The new systems flaunt a slim, sexy design with components that rival Mac's latest offerings, including HDMI inputs and outputs for the display, a remote control, separate trackpad inputs for Windows 8 , and solid-state drives to complement the platters that go along with it. If you're shopping for a new computer, I wouldn't discount Vizio's line as a viable alternative to that $3k+ MacBook Pro.

Next in the rundown is a story about the South Korean government looking to ban virtual item trading within large-scale multiplayer video games. The gaming culture in South Korea is hitting a fever pitch with televised gaming tournaments pushing the eSport harder than ever. Unfortunately, there's a big issue of gaming addiction that also gets added the conversation.

We've highlighted extreme stories in past 404 episodes about infants starving to death while their parents played MMORPGs, folks collapsing from organ failure after playing 50 hours straight, and governments passing so-called "Cinderella Laws" to prohibit younger gamers from playing in public arcades after midnight, and now the government is proposing a law that would outlaw virtual item trading and farming countrywide. The problem is newer games like Diablo 3 that actually require online trading of virtual goods if you want to be successful, or auction houses that let you trade virtual currency for real money. We'll spend some time exploring the symptoms, and imagining the outcome of this kind of legislature.


Video voice mail: Dan from Colorado climbs Mt. Elbert, second tallest mountain in the country.


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