Don’t Reward What You Don’t Want

Oh, the joys of getting old(er). I just received a sales call for an “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” system. Instead of being forthright, the caller was “just confirming delivery of the system.” When I tried to say I wasn’t interested, she talked over me, following her script.

I’m not sure what bothers me more: that some businesses consider deception and rudeness a viable business strategy, or that these business target seniors.

Please, read the Boulder Pledge1 and consider expanding its application from spam email to junk mail and junk phone calls:

“Under no circumstances will I ever purchase anything offered to me as the result of an unsolicited e-mail message. Nor will I forward chain letters, petitions, mass mailings, or virus warnings to large numbers of others. This is my contribution to the survival of the online community.”

  1. Yeah, I’ve written about the Boulder Pledge before

Cell Phone Service Pricing

I think I want to start an electrical utility. After researching pricing plans, I like the following:

  • Pre-paid, flat-rate pricing, say $199.95 per month for 1,500 kWh of home electricity usage. If you exceed the monthly allotment you pay an additional $0.99 per kWh.1
  • $0.30 to recharge a AA battery. If you recharge a lot of AA batteries you can pay $9.95 per month for unlimited AA battery charging. Other sizes of batteries will have different rates.
  • $9.95 per month to connect a work laptop to your home electricity service.
  • $9.95 per month to use an extension cord to “tether” other devices to your home electricity service.

You may wonder why I would propose such a complicated pricing plan.2 Clearly, you don’t understand these charges are necessary to cover the costs of maintaining and upgrading the electricity infrastructure.

It makes total sense to me.3 After all, I just paid my cell phone bill.

1Maybe those who sign up first will get unlimited electricity per month and will be able to keep their plan as long as they don’t move. How about carryover-kWh’s? Or neighborhood plans where neighbors share kWh’s?
2You might note that it (1) has many customers bearing the cost for the few who use the most electricity, (2) doesn’t encourage conservation, (3) charges differently for different uses of the same electricity, and (4) has outrageously different pricing with no relationship to how much electricity is used.
3Most important, let’s not just charge by the kWh.

Mark Cuban on Facebook

Doesn’t FB realize that is far easier for a user to opt-out of a feed by unliking a brand/person/page that has done a poor job of communication than it is to mess with all the account settings or for them to try to tweak their algorithm all the time to try to guess what people want?

Mark Cuban

Apparently not. :-(

Misguided Opinion or Brilliant Parody?

Obama is funding al quaida they are in the employ of the CIA benghazi was preplanned murderr in the first Obama is going to be in for atleast 3 more terms and will be another charismatic Hitler whom people will virtually worship as god all before he is wiped from the book of life and fed flames for he is worthy he is full throttle gay ,communist Muslim and devil possessed that’s why he is so greatly admired ‘ no greater deception can come upon human minds……..’

During election season we get to see the political opinions of our friends and our friends’ friends on Facebook. The quote above falls into the latter class.

I chose this rant because I can’t tell whether it is terribly misguided or brilliant parody.

And that’s sad…

Update. Upon further investigation, I’ve determined that it’s terribly misguided opinion. And that’s even more sad.

Yeah, I should have put [sic] all the way through the quote. Just realize that I just cut and pasted it from Facebook. All spellings, capitalizations, spacings, and punctuations are as originally posted (other than I changed the internal quote marks from double quotes to single to fit within the context).

CISPA Might Be What We Need

Netizens1 got upset about SOPA/PIPA. We rose up and defeated the terrible bills even though a technical workaround existed before the vote was called.

Now that CISPA is upon us2, we are getting upset again. “Please vote no! We don’t want the government reading our online files.” Yet we continue to send and store our personal information on the Internet equivalent of a postcard.3

A technical solution to CISPA could exist and should have been readily available years ago. Yet, strong encryption is not commonly used. Maybe after CISPA passes, we will finally demand the encryption we need to safely store our information in the cloud.

After all, the government isn’t alone in wanting to read our private information.

What do you think?

1Including me.
2Why do we elect representatives who will readily abandon liberty in the name of security?
3I don’t care that the Postmaster General can read my vacation postcard. Do you?