Morning Ed: Money {2016.09.26.M}

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Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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  1. Avatar Kazzy
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    When I used to live near a Wayback Burgers, we would often use their online order. We were allowed to specify a time (in 15 minute increments) or select “Make it now”. I usually picked a time slightly after I anticipated arriving as I’d rather wait a couple minutes and get it fresh than have it sitting cold… especially with something like French fries that go from delicious and crisp and hot to awful and soggy and cold rather quickly when sitting in a bag of their own steam. And if I was late and the food was sitting there… well, that was on me. Do the apps not employ a similar system? You’re still reliant on the people in the restaurant sticking to the schedule but I never had trouble and we probably did that a half dozen times.Report

    • Avatar Hoosegow Flask in reply to Kazzy
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      I’ve used the Chipotle app to order ahead of time for pickup. Unfortunately, the one near us doesn’t appear to be well run (we’ve had issues each of the few times we’ve been) and they hadn’t even started making the food yet.Report

    • Avatar dragonfrog in reply to Kazzy
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      If you’re on the highway and ordering food for your road-trip lunch stop, and the app is on a smartphone with GPS, it should be able to predict your arrival time very closely without having to ask you at all.

      This would be something I’d really like – if you can easily order ahead, it could mean a vastly increased range of road trip food, rather than being restricted to things that can be made within a few minutes of ordering – typically endless burgers and fries and not much else.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to dragonfrog
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        says:

        *yawn* there are gadzillion things that can be made “within a few minutes of ordering”
        Some need volume, some just require extra freezerspace.

        But, most importantly, a lot of them take a LONG time to eat. McD’s wants you out of there as quick as it can.

        Gyros, spanikopita, dolmathes, ramen, soups of all sorts, stirfries, takoyaki — the list goes on.
        Pretty much the only things that require warning are personal oven things (pizza, potpies). And on a conveyor belt it’s not too long for a pizza.Report

  2. Avatar Hoosegow Flask
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    says:

    I’m surprised the EU or somebody hasn’t adopted some sort of ink cartridge standard and forced manufacturers to conform to it.Report

  3. Avatar notme
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    Not hired because of dreadlocks? That’s ok, federal court rules. “The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals further found in its Sept. 15 ruling that hairstyles, while “culturally associated with race,” are not “immutable physical characteristics” tied to race.”

    http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2016/09/not_hired_because_of_dreadlock.htmlReport

  4. Avatar Kim
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    … seriously? Not a single link to Merkel? Not a single link to Italia?
    You outta call this Peanuts, not Money.Report

  5. Avatar Damon
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    “Nir Eyal wants to know if businesses have a responsibility to avoid consumer addiction. ”

    Are they adults? If yes, the answer is no. The manuf is not responsible for the stupid use of a product outside it’s intended mode.

    HP: bastards!Report

    • Avatar trizzlor in reply to Damon
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      Do businesses have a responsibility to disclose harmful side-effects of the product to their customers?Report

      • Avatar Murali in reply to trizzlor
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        says:

        The q-tip thing is something I struggle with some times. That said, there seems to be two sorts of cases. The first type is the q-tips one where q-tips seem just like the sort of thing you should stick in your ear. What else would you stick in your ear, a toothpick, a pencil? So, some sort of fair warning should be appropriate. After that, if people still stick them in their ears, its their fault.

        The second type is the hot coffee one. The contents of a cup of hot coffee will scald. McDonalds should not have to print a damn warning to tell people not to do that. There are some things which are obviously things you shouldn’t be doing. The manufacturer should not be liable for the uses of a product which common sense tells us is not its intended purpose. Darwin award level stupidity should be rewarded appropriately.Report

        • Avatar Hoosegow Flask in reply to Murali
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          The McDonald’s coffee was ridiculously hot, though. “Liebeck’s attorneys discovered that McDonald’s required franchisees to hold coffee at 180–190 °F (82–88 °C). At 190 °F (88 °C), the coffee would cause a third-degree burn in two to seven seconds. “

          She was hospitalized for 8 days to undergo skin grafting and initially tried to settle for only expenses.Report

          • Avatar Murali in reply to Hoosegow Flask
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            That’s not the case I’m thinking of. Maybe I’m mistaken, but I heard there was a prior case before McDonalds put warnings on its cup (and IIRC was the case which they lost badly and which got them to put said warnings) where a customer sued mcdonalds because the former was not warned that hot coffee was hot.Report

            • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Murali
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              There is one rather infamous McDonald’s case, which comes up as an anecdote every time “tort reform” is brought up and used exactly like you just used, which is “McDonald’s was sued for not telling someone hot coffee was hot! Can you believe it?”

              The actual facts are that the coffee wasn’t merely hot — it was scalding and generated third degree burns requiring skin grafts, that the plaintiff originally just wanted her medical costs covered, and that the award the jury gave (about three million) her was later pared down to something far more sensible on appeal.

              The case is Liebeck v. McDonald’s Restaurants. I’m not aware of any other well known liability case against McDonald’s.

              And yes, after this case, McDonald’s changed the warnings and switched to a cup that was less likely to overfill or leak, because “third degree burns” and “skin grafts” on someone’s crotch is not good marketing.Report

              • Avatar notme in reply to Morat20
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                That’s why I use common sense and don’t put a coffee cup in my crotch.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to notme
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                If the coffee is so hot that spilling it on myself causes severe burns, then why the hell am I drinking it?

                Seems to me that a reasonable person would expect that when they were handed food, it was ready for immediate consumption, and that if they were supposed to wait and eat it later they’d be told that.Report

            • Avatar PD Shaw in reply to Murali
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              McDonalds was hit with a large punitive damage award because (a) their coffee was kept much hotter than industry standards; (b) their coffee could cause third degree burns within seconds when spilled or drunk; (c) McDonalds had 700 previous burn complaints but decided to do nothing about it because this was a relatively small number; (d) the warning that coffee was hot was inadequate because the coffee was much hotter than a reasonable consumer would expect; and (e) McDonalds defense was that it saw its ultimate consumer as drinking their coffee at work, but did not warn vehicular consumers that they were not selling to them.

              This was pretty classic punitive damage case, defendant was not going to change its behavior because it was making too much money with the status quo, and the cost to pay for people’s injuries was pretty small.Report

      • Avatar Damon in reply to trizzlor
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        Side effect?

        Please describe a “side effect” of using this product as “intended”Report

    • Avatar Joe Sal in reply to Damon
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      HP has been behaving badly on many levels for years. Personally I have discontinued using their hardware over their ‘programmed obsolescense’ of their product.

      When I looked at 3D printers, I passed up the da Vinci printer on the basis it was using proprietry filament catridges. Probably just a matter of time before they start pulling HP shenanigans.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Joe Sal
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        “Give away the razor. Sell the blades!”

        “Someone else just started selling blades for about half of what we were planning selling our blades for.”

        (insert punchline here)Report

        • Avatar Joe Sal in reply to Jaybird
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          (project #2148 print razor and blade sharpening fixture)Report

        • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird
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          Well, as we see, the punchline is to design your razors so that they don’t work unless they have the proper sort of blades.

          One thing that’s interesting to me is that we’ve reached the point where a computer with enough sophistication that it can handle an encryption key is small enough to fit into an ink cartridge, and cheap enough that it can be put into something disposable.Report

          • Avatar dragonfrog in reply to DensityDuck
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            If it doesn’t have to do the cryptographic operations *fast* I guess it’s not too surprising. A chip-and-pin bank card costs only a couple of dollars to manufacture, for example, and does similar sorts of on-card crypto.

            Makes you wonder if the calisthenics ink jets do when you turn them on are actually about getting ready to print, or if they’re just stalling for time while they decide whether to refuse to print.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to DensityDuck
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            When the Keurig machines started checking whether the cup was an Authentic Keurig Cup, that’s when I started yelling at clouds.Report

        • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Jaybird
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          Someone else just started selling blades for about half of what we were planning selling our blades for.

          Forgot the important step 0: obtain necessary patents on blade technology. Gillette’s Mach3 patents have started expiring, so there should relatively soon be generic clones with the same open back and extended pivot.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Damon
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      In the face of competition like this, I doubt this will be sustainable.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Oscar Gordon
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        Must have been a breakthrough in nozzle longevity. No more than we print at our house, I always figured that part of what I was paying for with a new set of cartridges was new nozzles.Report

        • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Michael Cain
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          Nope, most likely just a return to fixed heads, instead of disposable heads. Fixed heads were always intended to last the life of the printer, although if the head can not be replaced, then the whole printer has to be sent in for depot repairs, so one should verify that before one drops money for a tank printer.Report

      • Avatar PD Shaw in reply to Oscar Gordon
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        Just bought a printer from that company, but didn’t feel like messing with tanks. The existence of that product though made me feel that their claims about cartridge life might not be totally fraudulent.Report

  6. Avatar DensityDuck
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    says:

    It occurs to me that shenanigans like HP is pulling with the ink cartridges is the kind of thing that gets laws passed, and then people fall all over themselves to explain how Congress is sooo dumb mandating these incorrect technical solutions to problems they don’t know anything about and why don’t they just keep their stupid nose out of the business.Report

    • Avatar Morat20 in reply to DensityDuck
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      I think it was noted in another thread, but someone was talking about contracts and noting all the weird, absurd clauses in it — only to be told “Each of those is there because some company tried to pull that exact stupid thing”.

      I’ve personally seen my company have to explicitly state safety rules that seem obvious, like “Stop removing the protective gear on equipment” and “We’re going to fire anyone not wearing their PPE in the shops” because people keep getting hurt because they, you know, remove the safety guards on power tools and decide not to bother with gloves when reaching into a space filled with shards of metal, or decide that properly rigging an 1800 pound load isn’t really important, they can make do with the pully system designed to move 500 pound loads because why get out the lift when they’ve got rope?

      I’m sure there are plenty of dumb rules that exist because stupid people wrote them. But there are plenty of dumb rules that exist because people kept doing stupid things. 🙂Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Morat20
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        The Great Molasses Flood, for example. (and yes, there is a rulegeek occasionally writing for Parks and Recreation. Hence the parody).

        You should read the reason we have fire escapes.Report

        • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Kim
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          We’ve discussed the fire escape thing here before. It usually gets brought up as “HUR HUR LOOK WAT LIBURTARIANS DO”.

          And, y’know, libertarians are pretty much OK with regulations to deal with actual reprehensible behavior. The issue is when people who’ve been given a hammer figure that nailing is the solution to every problem.Report

          • Avatar Kim in reply to DensityDuck
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            “libertarians are pretty much OK with regulations to deal with actual reprehensible behavior”

            you’re okay with decent regulations to deal with actual reprehensible behavior. Plenty of “socalled libertarians” think they’re above the law, and don’t really think they need to justify or explain their own reprehensible behavior.

            … which is entirely beside the point. I was bringing it up simply because I liked the architecture of the building in Georgia that burned to the ground and got fire escapes made mandatory.Report

      • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Morat20
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        I think it’s not so much that they’ve tried it, but that they’ve tried it and then tried to claim it wasn’t their fault. I mean, you can say “it’s obvious that reaching into the enclosure around an operating lathe is a bad idea”, but if the regulations state that Employers Shall Provide A Safe Working Environment And Warn Employees Of All Hazards, then technically if there wasn’t a sign then I wasn’t warned and could reasonably expect that there was no hazard and that’s why my workers’-comp claim and light-duty-at-full-pay requests are justified.

        And, thing is, it’s not like this is obviously wrong. It doesn’t seem unreasonable for someone to think “this cover is probably just here to keep dust and gunk from getting into things, and the chips fly around but they must not be dangerous because otherwise it would say so, and it’s probably totally OK to lift the cover out of the way AAAGH METAL IN MY EYES”Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to DensityDuck
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          This is one of the arguments I got into a million years ago over the issue of drug testing and corporations providing a “Drug-Free Workplace”.

          Ought there be a requirement that the guy running the hydraulic press machine be tested for impairment?

          You’d be amazed what rabbit holes you can fall down wandering around this particular question.Report

    • Avatar dragonfrog in reply to DensityDuck
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      says:

      In this case, shenanigans like HP is pulling are possible only because of the DMCA, the law the manufacturers fought to get passed promising they’d never ever abuse it to pull shenanigans like this.Report

    • Avatar David Smith in reply to DensityDuck
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      The law is already on the books. The Clayton Anti-Trust Act prohibits “tying arrangements” that lessen competition.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to DensityDuck
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      See my link to Epson above.Report

  7. Avatar DensityDuck
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    says:

    RE: jackless iPhone.

    “One major downside? The phone can’t be charged and plugged into headphones without an accessory. You’ll need to shell out extra moola for Apple’s Lightning dock ($49) or Belkin’s new “RockStar” ($40)…”

    ahhhahahaha that’s awesome, remember how we used to be able to just use headphones with the thing where “listen to music” was like a major feature, and now we have to pay $40 extra for that feature (or pay $200-odd to get a decent set of Bluetooth headphones)

    “on the other hand, a fairly insignificant problem, especially when you’re already paying upwards of $600 for a phone.”

    I’m not paying $600 for the phone and neither is anyone else, we’re getting it for $20 a month through the installment plan, so the adapter costs twice as much as the phone does per month.

    Also, it’s obvious that the writer has no clue that anything else uses the headphone jack.Report

    • Avatar Joe Sal in reply to DensityDuck
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      fools and their moneyReport

      • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Joe Sal
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        To bring it back around, though, Apple usually designs for the most-recent hardware, and anything older can just Deal With It.Report

        • Avatar Will Truman in reply to DensityDuck
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          Don’t people with the older hardware still have headphones jacks?Report

          • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Will Truman
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            Apple is notorious for issuing software updates that make older hardware unusable. Not actually deactivated, but very very slow and greatly reduced battery life, and they don’t seem to care all that much about it.

            So, no, hanging onto older iPhones which still have the headphone jacks will only work for a year or two.Report

            • Avatar Will Truman in reply to DensityDuck
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              Hope they all switch to Android, then!Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Will Truman
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                I’m really not sure why you’re being such a snot about this. You seem to have this idea that there are no legitimate concerns about losing the headphone jack; like the only reason anyone complains is that they’re a whiny nerdy complainer who likes to whine about nerdy stuff. Is that really what you think about all this?Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to DensityDuck
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                It mostly just comes across as weird to me, the complaints about this. It’s not that I think the complaints are completely illegitimate. Some seem overwrought to me, but that’s a matter of perspective.

                Rather, it seems like the complaints are about something very much baked in to the vaunted Apple model and approach to thing. Apple decides what you need and what you don’t. There’s only one model available, so you gotta go with what they do. Sometimes, obviously, they’re going to go in a direction you don’t like. In this case, in favor of a thinner device, which I think is dumb (Android devices are doing the same, but Apple is leading the cart)… but which at least up until now was something bragworthy.

                Anyway, to me a lot of these complaints read as though I were complaining about compatibility problems in Android and vague instability. Those complaints aren’t completely illegitimate either, but they’re part of a choice I made when I went with Android.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Will Truman
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                The whole thing sounds like a conversation in 2019 about President Hillary.

                “I hate everything she’s done!”
                “But this was the choice you made. This was what you signed up for! You knew that she’d be like this!”Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to DensityDuck
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                Who doesn’t want to buy an additional accessory that can’t be used while charging the phone, but drains additional battery life? Seems win-win-win!

                Heck, I’m shocked they didn’t update the charging ports again! Who wants to use those old, ugly, stone-age adapters from the last generation? Surely they could have made new ones that were twice as expensive?Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Morat20
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                I actually used to sort of defend Apple on this front. I’ve always been happy that my phones have used standard charge ports, and one of the main advantage of Apple’s chargers (thinness!) is lost on me, but it did seem important that they had a faster charge.

                But Samsung devices (at least, maybe others) now have great charge times, and I get to use standard cables and they’re still compatible with standard charges if I’m not in a hurry (like to plug in when I go to sleep at night).Report

    • Avatar Mo in reply to DensityDuck
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      The Square chip reader is wireless.Report

      • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Mo
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        The new ones, yeah, but not the older ones (which, up until this generation of the iPhone, worked just fine).

        And–as the article writer does point out, to her credit–the older headphone-jack readers don’t have to be charged up, which means that they can’t run out of charge.Report

  8. Avatar Christopher Carr
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    Credit card companies actually care less about collecting fees from consumers than they do from merchants. From their perspective, it is not a negative if you pay on time and never pay interest. In fact, it is a small price for them to pay for significantly reduced risk. Meanwhile, low risk consumers tend to put more money on cards.Report

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