A. Fraud. The NHTSA calls this a “serious crime and consumer fraud issue.” Additionally, between 2002 and 2005 the NHTSA Office of Odometer Fraud says there was a “definite escalation in [odometer] fraud.”
Q. What do you call it when a woman falsely claims to have a tubal ligation?
A. Tom B. Taker, Jr. Or, as I like to call it, a 21-year donation to The Human Fund.
Today’s axiom is a simple one.
Tom’s Law #42
There’s no such thing as a free market.
You think I’ve gone too far this time? You say, “Open your eyes, Tom. Look around. You’ll see free markets everywhere you look.”
Bollocks! (If only those had been tied instead.)
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I hope y’all enjoyed the kid-friendly headline. It wasn’t my first choice. -Ed.
I’m looking at one of the 42,000 spinning animations that constitute the soundtrack of my life. In this particular instance it belongs to the Netflix app on my iPad. But really it could be any of them.
One question: Who is responsible for this outage outrage?
Yes, we have the technology to sell technology whether it is ready for prime time or not.
When I was a kid “sit and spin” was consider an insult. Now it’s a phrase that singularly defines an entire generation of tech-hungry consumers.
Who decided this shit was ready? Because I have a serious bone to pick with them.
The technology cycle works like this: Invent. Sell. Count your piles of gold. Then, and only then, stick your head up, look around and see how it works. (Just ask Apple about iOS 8.)
This thing, right here, right now, is not working. Since it takes about 42 pieces of tech just to make this go, how should I proceed? Is there a way for an average schmo like me to logically isolate the culprit? Is there anyone I can call who won’t say, “Nope. It’s not us,” and point the finger at one of the other 41 links in the chain, including me?
I think not.
Is it my ISP? The cable assholes of Satan? Is it the router? The modem? Any points of relay on the internet between me and them? Is it a problem in my iPad? Is it Netflix itself? Is it the Amazon Cloud where Netflix wisely decided to put their egg in a basket? Is it a fucking solar flare?
All I know is that I paid a lot of money for this shit and that money is long gone. And there’s no tech fairy who will make it right.
What a helpless feeling. It’s enough to make my head spin.
This post was written on an iPad using only one finger. Sheer torture.
Never underestimate the human desire to game systems. Why expend actual effort when you can “win” by cheating? Because, to the victor go the spoils. Today I’d like to explain one way that business owners go about gaming their reviews.
So there’s this thing called Yelp. They claim to be generally positive system but the dictionary definition of the word “yelp” is: “a short sharp cry, esp. of pain or alarm.” Yeah, baby. Those are my kind of reviews. Let’s go negative and keep it that way. Don’t believe me? Look it up in your own dictionary.
I went to the trendy meat cafe and they served me an elk burger that was oozing blood. That’s how I earned “connoisseur of raw elk meat” on my Twitter profile! And, oh yeah, you better believe I yelped it as soon as I got home.
My understanding is that Yelp frowns on business owners asking for reviews. That’s bad form in a reputation system that’s supposedly driven from a wellspring of organic experiences from normal people like you and me. Normal! Yeah, right.
Here’s how the gaming works:
You place an order on a website. A few days or weeks later you receive a survey request. “How did we do on your recent order?” and what not.
You’ll likely be given the ability to enter some comments and provide a rating. If you give them a good rating, they’ll say thanks and provide a clickable link to the Yelp website where you can enter a review. If you give a bad rating, they only say thanks. No linky for you.
Voila! It’s as simple as that. The system just got gamed. The preliminary survey is nothing more than a sieve to sort the good eggs from the bad. The good eggs are passed along to Yelp and the bad eggs go down the chute. You might think that businesses appreciate negative feedback most of all because that’s vital information to help them improve. You’d be wrong. Why waste time on that shit when you can be gaming the system instead?
This is just one small example of gaming. People in the world of business spend more time thinking about stuff like this than they do on actual products and services. And they’re really good at it. That’s ingenuity.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to nosh on some raw elk. RAWR!
I used to think any form of growth was unsustainable. Just like a perpetual motion machine it’s one of those things that’s impossible. (One of my favorite words.) Then, just now, sitting here, one of my brain cells did something. (It can happen.) For lack of any originality on my part let’s call it my latest theory, k?
Tom’s Theory #42 – Societal Asshole Leech Theory (SALT)
The percentage of leech-based humans is growing over time. Or, the more advanced a civilization the higher the amount of leechage.
As far as we know, there is no causal relationship with the number of pirates known to exist, but admittedly further testing is required. This is a work in progress. (I was on a break.)
98% of all email is spam. Of those messages, 98% attempt to deceive or infect. (The rest merely sell growth products like Viagra, the greatest achievement of our civilization and, dare I say, the entire universe and space-time continuum.) My web server is probed and attacked by cyber-terrorists (mostly from China and Russia) 36 hours a day. There’s an entire subset of humanity that does not have jobs and produces nothing of value yet still has food, shelter, cigarettes, pets, cars, smartphones and internet access.
Is this amount of leechage really on the rise or is it merely my touchy empirical perceptions?
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