the hypothetical maximum data transmission rate of a telecommunications medium

Posts Tagged ‘usa’

Posted by dlandgren on 2012-01-25

Reading an article today in the New York Times regarding the end of semi-skilled jobs, I came across the following gem:

[…] Annie Lowrey of Slate wrote about a start-up called “E la Carte” that is out to shrink the need for waiters and waitresses: The company “has produced a kind of souped-up iPad that lets you order and pay right at your table. The brainchild of a bunch of M.I.T. engineers, the nifty invention, known as the Presto, might be found at a restaurant near you soon. … You select what you want to eat and add items to a cart. Depending on the restaurant’s preferences, the console could show you nutritional information, ingredients lists and photographs. You can make special requests, like ‘dressing on the side’ or ‘quintuple bacon.’ When you’re done, the order zings over to the kitchen, and the Presto tells you how long it will take for your items to come out. … Bored with your companions? Play games on the machine. When you’re through with your meal, you pay on the console, splitting the bill item by item if you wish and paying however you want. And you can have your receipt e-mailed to you. […]

That is so wrong, in so many ways. Who gives a flying fuck about nutritional information? If you had doubts, you shouldn’t have been here in the first place. And “bored with your companion”? What on earth possessed you to go to a restaurant with someone if you didn’t want to spend any time talking to them.? Being an autist playing on your console and ignoring them, I’m sure they will really appreciate your company. On the up side, I doubt you’ll dine with them ever again.

Then I went back to find out who wrote this drivel. Thomas Friedman. I might have known.



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John Sakowicz on the US economy

Posted by dlandgren on 2008-11-15

I’ve stumbled over two installments in this series over the past three or four months, and surprisingly there are no inter-article navigation links to get from one to the next. Which makes it difficult to read at one sitting. And that’s a pity, because it’s a good yarn. It’s as good an introduction as any to understanding how the US economy got into the situation it finds itself in today.

I managed to track most of the pages down by poking around on the website that publishes them.

I never found the first one though, since even more curiously, it’s hosted on another website altogether. Fortunately, the author’s name, John Sakowicz, is sufficiently uncommon to make web searches easy.

Now I have the links to all five eight, I’m creating a table of contents to the pages for myself, and in the hope that someone else finds it useful. I promise to update it if and when additional installments are published.

  1. Hello, Alternative Universe – Junk and chumps, pump and dump, barbarians and brokers, smoke and mirrors and other assets of our risk-positive fiscal mess
  2. Secrets and Lies – On swaps, derivatives and why the Bear Stearns bailout was one big pump-and-dump scheme
  3. Shadow Economy – How prime brokers paved the way for the biggest bank heist in history
  4. To America, with Shame – Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the free fall of the U.S. economy
  5. The Fannie and Freddie Flip – More bad news from the Orwellian Office of Invisible Money
  6. America for Sale – Hank Greenberg and the dismantling of the American dream
  7. Dancing with the Bear – Investing for these times (and possibly the next Great Depression)
  8. Too Big to Bailout – A modest proposal to restructure our financial system so that the big dogs topple when they need to

This lack of attention to navigation in multi-part installments on the web is one of my pet peeves. If one web designer reads this page and pays attention to this issue then I’ll be a happy man. Oh, and ISO date formats are the only way to go for an international readership.

Happy reading.

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