Tyromaniac : Truth will triumph in the end... after everybody has left
Updated: 7/16/05; 6:56:52 PM.

 

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Friday, June 3, 2005



Nobody cares what your credit card signature looks like. Mark Frauenfelder:  Daily Journal Graphics 050702 Cfreceipt This prankster started signing his credit card receipts in all sorts of unusual ways (scribbles, heiroglyphics, grids, etc.). The employees handling the transactions didn't care one whit. They didn't even look at the signatures.
Link [Boing Boing]
While technically it is the vendor responsibility to verify the signature it is very rare that a credit card operator would charge-back a card-present transaction unless the customer claims the card was stolen. Even then it is easier to collect an insurance claim than fight it out with the store that is, after all, a paying customer. So, this really isn't a big deal.
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I am nerdier than 99% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!
[Thanks Bruni]
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No more digital divide...not!. Paul Lamb asks whether technology is actually increasing inequalities between different groups of people. [CNET News.com]

Paul Graham has pointed out that

... variation in wealth might not be as big a problem as we think.

I didn't say in the book that variation in wealth was in itself a good thing. I said in some situations it might be a sign of good things. A throbbing headache is not a good thing, but it can be a sign of a good thing-- for example, that you're recovering consciousness after being hit on the head.

Variation in wealth can be a sign of variation in productivity. (In a society of one, they're identical.) And that is almost certainly a good thing: if your society has no variation in productivity, it's probably not because everyone is Thomas Edison. It's probably because you have no Thomas Edisons.

In a low-tech society you don't see much variation in productivity. If you have a tribe of nomads collecting sticks for a fire, how much more productive is the best stick gatherer going to be than the worst? A factor of two? Whereas when you hand people a complex tool like a computer, the variation in what they can do with it is enormous.

These increasing inequalities may also be a sign of a good thing. Fast change doesn't have to be universal change. We need to let a dialectic process work itself out and see what it produces. But, and this is essential, both sides try to suppress the other. The Technology-haves will try to diminish the importance of the difference, while the have-nots will try to diminish the importance of advancing technology. Make it faster will say the former, make it slower will say the latter.
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Deconstructing Scoble's reasons for using Windows

Not surprisingly the Scobleizer doesn't believe people are forced to use Windows. Here is what he says:

I totally disagree with Dori's point that all those Windows users in the airport are only using Windows because their boss tells them to. That's a common theme that Mac users repeat often, but it simply isn't true if you do your homework and ask people.

Have you ever gone up to people and asked them why? I have. And the reasons people give are quite varied. Yes, "my boss gave me this" +is+ a common answer, but it's only one I hear maybe one out of four times.

Other common answers I've heard: 1) I already own the software that runs on Windows, switching to new platform would be very expensive. 2) I needed a feature that only Windows has (there are more than a million Tablet PC users, for instance, and more than a million Windows Media Center users). 3) My friends have Windows and I know I can get support and software from them. 4) You get more machine for the dollar. 5) There's a lot more choice of machines and configurations. 6) More of the software I want to run is on Windows. 7) It's easier to use my machine for both home and work tasks on Windows. 8) It's what I've used for years and don't see any reason to switch.

Lets take those 8 reasons one by one:

1) I already own the software that runs on Windows, switching to new platform would be very expensive.
Where did they get that software? At work! They bought what they used at work out of ignorance and they are staying there out of price. That's not their own choice, even if they fail to realize it.

2) I needed a feature that only Windows has (there are more than a million Tablet PC users, for instance, and more than a million Windows Media Center users).
And why is that feature Windows only? Despite your talk about Tablets PC, most of the real world uses Windows because of some software that isn't available on other plattforms. From MS Project, to Metastock, to WMA, there is a lot of software (and some hardware) that only works on Windows. Who made that choice? The software manufacturer, starting with Microsoift, who is so afraid that people will choose something else that it is incapable of competing in other plattforms even in markets like music. This is pure consequence of a lock in strategy by Microsoft. Once again, these people are not choosing Windows, it's being imposed on them. The Tablet argument is empty, because you could get rid of all the Tablets and no significant change would occur in this picture.

3) My friends have Windows and I know I can get support and software from them.
This is an idea that Microsoft has exploited. These people are choosing Windows out of fear and ignorance not choice. First of all, there is support for other OSs. Linux shines in this. Microsoft users either do not know squat or are tired of solving problems. It is easier to get help for Mac (through a user group or a mailing list) or Linux (forums, mailing list and friends) than Windows. That is why there are so many "unsolved" Windows issues. You hear it all the time someone had a problem and couldn't solve it and have resigned themselves to living with it. Choice? Hardly.

4) You get more machine for the dollar.
Ignorance. Total Cost of ownership is lower on the Mac. The machines are more expensive because they have more features, better quality and a brand (which is nothing to sneeze at). Comparing to Linux the machines are the same and the cost is cheaper because you avoid the Microsoft Tax. This ain't choice either is not knowing the truth.

5) There's a lot more choice of machines and configurations.
This is the same as 4, I guess you had a quota. Again the machines are the same with Linux. Unless you are brining Tablets again...

6) More of the software I want to run is on Windows.
This is the same as 2.

7) It's easier to use my machine for both home and work tasks on Windows.
Which is exactly what Dori (and me and others) are saying. They are not choosing Windows, it is imposed on them at work and then they take the (presumably) easier path of using the same at home.

8) It's what I've used for years and don't see any reason to switch.
They see no reason because they are ignorant about the alternatives. This is not choosing is conformity with the status quo. It is impressive when you think what they have to go through (the CEO of Intel spends and hour a week cleaning spy-wear from his daughter computer), but it is explained by the brain washing moves of the monopoly.

None of the common answers to Why do you use Windows? includes the logical one ("I look at the options and thought it was the best"). Until Microsoft decides to even the field out and compete without trying to hold and extend their illegal monopoly there will be two consequences. One, that Microsoft will be hated (as dictators are hated), two that Microsoft will find itself more and more a monolithic company unable to respond to market because they are responding to threats to its monopoly. The clear example of this is what is happening in music. Microsoft needs the music services to be Windows only. Why? Because they are not thinking of serving a need in the music market, they are just trying to lock consumers into their OS. Windows by choice? Only for the dumb masochist...
7:52:26 AM Google It! What do you think? ( Thoughts) Who linked? []   

© Copyleft 2005 Alfredo Octavio.



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