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Thrice: Shoes, Packaging, Information

Thursday 30 October 2003 at 12:32 pm Uno: On Monday, I woke up, showered, got dressed, grabbed some breakfast (granola bar, mmm), threw on my shoes, and walked out the door. The drive to work was pretty uneventful, 25 minute commute, no issues. Parked the car in a sweet spot, got out, looked down. Oh man, it's gonna be one of those days.

I had put on two completely different shoes.

Luckily, they were both brown, and most people didn't notice. I went to lunch, and still, nobody noticed. Sweet! I get back from lunch, and Jarvia was at the front desk, and looked at me funny. I said "What?"

"Why are you wearing two different shoes?"


Duo: Why do electronics manufacturers make their packaging so damn hard to open? Do they think that all people manage to get their plastic molded packages open easily? You need a power drill and a cable cutter to just get into the package. What if you want to return it?

"I'm sorry sir, but you've mangled the original packaging so badly that we cannot accept this as a return."

Or even worse, how the hell do you get it all back into the package once you do get it open? The packagers must be some sort of highly trained individuals, or they use some sort of high-pressure packaging facility, where everyone works in 2 atmosphere pressure, so that the final product can be stuffed into every last square millimeter of that packaging. Then when you open it, it swells to enormous proportions and reduces the likelyhood that you'll get it back in without bulges in the box to nearly zero.

Is there some kind of super-duper task-specific opener for those packages? Or do I have to invest in an industrial blade saw?

Trio: Will somebody write a public-domain method of requesting and receiving information? Michael Powell of FCC fame wants a device that has all of his family's information -- social security numbers, phone numbers, insurance company, health records, etc -- in a relational database, which he can just whip out and give to whomever. I think the methodolgy should be that the requesting party sends a request (via Wifi, IrDA, Bluetooth, whatever) and the device would, based on previously set rules, send the information with no user interaction, or prompt the user to approve the sending of the information, or prompt the user for a password to approve sending of the information. All the data should be encrypted both on the device and during transmission, especially since some of the information can be very sensitive.

A little palm-like application could be built around it, using PKI or other key-passing encryption... I like the idea, but it needs to be all sorts of secure.


Wednesday 15 October 2003 at 6:21 pm Oh sure, Change is good. Unless you don't want to put it all in your wallet, along with the receipt.

Why do people who are making change for you put the change on top of the receipt on top of the bills? It makes things very difficult to put in your wallet, especially if you don't keep change in it.

Here's what I want -- Bills, Change, Receipt, 3 separate hand-to-hand transactions, so I can delay each one if I need the time to do so. In fact, I can open my wallet, hand a bill to the cashier, wait for the bills that I'm getting in change, place them into my wallet (still with no change or receipts encumbering this process), then receive the change, which I put in my pocket (or for some, in a different pocket in your wallet), and then the receipt, which I can either fold and stuff in my pocket, discard, or whatever. If I wanna put it in my wallet, I can do it at the register or later, since I've already taken care of the bills and the change, and I'm not trying to do some gymnastics to hold them all. Or drop it all over the car at the drive-thru.

So can we all please get aboard and use this standard? Bills, Change, Receipt. Bills, Change Receipt. For $2.15, I give you a $20, you give me $17 in bills, 85 cents in change, then the receipt. I don't want you to pile it all in one hand, making you work more by balancing it all, and making me work more to process it all without holding up the person behind me.

Damnit people! GET IT TOGETHER!

Thank you to the nice cashier at McDonald's in Old Town Alexandria, VA who taught me the joys of being handed all of the stuff separately.