Postcards from the Bleeding Edge
Distributing order takers in time and space
I disgustedly notice that I've had a lot of brands in my blogs lately. But:
McDonalds is using voip to distribute order taking out of the restaurant into a call center
The move leverages efficiencies in the ordering process, even factoring in the rush-hour delay between one order being completed and the time it takes for the next car to pull up and roll down the window.
"When we had two stores, we had to have two people. At six stores, even at the busiest times, five people could handle it," said Doug King, president of Bronco Communications Inc., who is managing the McDonald's experiment. "At nine stores, the efficiencies get greater and greater. At nine stores, we can manage it with six, assuming a manager is nearby to handle the periodic overflow."
Brilliant, so I thought - now someone can work as a burger flipper - from home (cool!)... or overseas (far less cool). Programmers in China and Bulgaria make less than a senior burger flipper does in the US. As pleased as I was originally with this innovative use of voip technology - I wonder what a burger flipper earns in these countries?
What the hell is a modern day American teenager to do when his/her job, too - is outsourced? What happens when this sort of outsourcing is critical to the day to day functioning basic services like fast food?
Fast food riot, circa 2020: Multiple riots took place throughout the southern U.S. today when several major fast food restaurant chains suffered an internet outage, disabling order taking and resulted in hour-long delays in the delivery of "fast" food. Available local cooking staff were unable to compensate as none had been trained on the complex order taking functions, and few spoke English. Workers at many of the remaining American institutions, notably the few still working in the legal and garbage collecting professions, were late to work this morning after fighting through angry crowds at the drive thrus.
In other news, deaths due to heart disease and obesity took a small spike downwards today.
AOL announces it's going to drop USENET... finally
From: ...[somewhere out of time]!brad!farber!bmc
Via: Brad Tempelton
, via Dave Farber
, via Brian Clapper
and Evan Hunt
AOL announces it's going to drop USENET... Imminent death of USENET predicted
The AP wire story on the subject claimed that fewer than 1000 of its 23 million subscribers even used the service.
Cynically, I snorted: "All of them, spammers"
. I well remember AOL's entrance to USENET in throughout 95 - I stopped
reading USENET because of AOL's clueless luserbase polluting it... and the alt.binaries.* newsgroups taking out every server and T1 I had
that could service it.
and I also thought - what a wonderful april 1 joke if it's true. I'll go back to using USENET if AOLHell gets off it. F*ck blogs and bloggers and all their broadcast natterings about conversations - USENET is where real conversations took place until it became too difficult to hear one another over the shouting...
It's no surprise, though they picked an ironic time for the move -- this month is the 25th anniversary of when we announced Usenet at the January Usenix conference. And of course, AOL is by no means the entire Internet.
USENET is still the best place where the asyncronous Net stays alive. LONG LIVE USENET. Think I'm gonna start reading comp.arch again
The LizardWrangler's Restaurant
21 million downloads of firefox
... With apologies to Arlo Guthrie:
Can you imagine 250,000 people a day, walking into Micro$, singing a bar about free software, and walking out? Why, you might think it's a movement. And that, friend, is what it is, the anti-m IE ass-a-cree movement, and all ya gotta do to join in is download a copy of mozilla or firefox and logout.
Sun's open letter to IBM - too little, too late
SUN's donations to open source are appriciated, but your hardware is overbuilt and overpriced, and your developer base castrated by age and neglect, and I doubt that pleading for support in public with IBM
is going to save you.
Although I applaud your company's upcoming release of Solaris 10 as open source, I think the advantages of releasing an OS as free software - GPL'ed - has been graphically demonstrated by the marketplace, and you'll make little headway against Linux unless you GPL it, and worse, by making your license incompatible with the GPL neither Solaris or Linux will be able to benefit as much from either in the ongoing battle against Microsoft. (remember them?)
From Open Source Foes
For OpenSolaris, Sun worked up its own open-source license, the Common Development and Distribution License. (Actually, the CDDL is modeled on the open-source license for the Firefox and Mozilla Web browsers.) A key feature of the CDDL is that it lets CDDL-licensed code be stitched together with non-CDDL code -- even proprietary code.
Sun's CDDL also explicitly licenses patents, and Sun says it will include 1,670 patents that go along with OpenSolaris code. But those patents can only be used with Sun's code. Changing the code means losing the patent protection. That's a much more limited deal than IBM's recent contribution of 500 patents for use with any open-source code.
Those CDDL features are heresy to Linux-style open-source advocates. And in practice, they mean it will be nearly impossible for anyone to distribute software that intermixes Linux and OpenSolaris code. The GPL and CDDL terms simply aren't compatible.
I do think that SUN die-hards will leap in and massively improve your OS beyond what any can now envision, and unlock the true powers of your multi-core hardware. I have great hopes for that.
But: I think you'd better get used to being a much smaller company.
I wish I could help you, I have fond memories of SUN gear, especially in the pre-solaris days, and your company has been an integral part of the internet revolution.
Eagles are superbowl bound
I can hardly believe it!
Not since I was 16 did the eagles make it this far.
Now I have a reason to watch the superbowl other than the commercials.
Embracing the pain of being a long suffering Eagles fan
I have watched, on average, one Eagles game a year for the last 16 years.
The score: Eagles wins: 3. Losses 13.
In other words, my eyeballs on a game is a more potent force than the best coaching or quarterbacking or defense.
For the last few years I've toyed with the idea of adopting a more local team, the 49ers. Result... well, SFians know the result... I'm really, really sorry, ok?
The power of my mere intent to watch an Eagles game is equally impressive - I intended, for the last 3 championship games, to go to a bar and watch them. In fact I did get to a bar in time once, but they were showing something of more interest to californians at the time - the sewing channel.
Still, the score was: Wins: 0. Losses 3. Cross-stitches: 8.
This year, I'm hoping that by Tivoing the game and thus breaking the bounds of time and space - whatever cosmological quasi-mystical link between my eyeballs and the Eagle's performance will be broken.
I've thought seriously about just not paying attention, at all, until after the superbowl, as sort of a shrodinger's cat sort of way of coping with the situation.
In fact, in way of pre-apology to fellow suffering Eagles fans everywhere, I swear to never watch them again if they lose today... but:
Conditions are just right, with a foot of snow and 18 degree temp - for some impossible screwup of enormous magnitude - something bigger than the infamous Fog Bowl - and I can't help myself - it's in my genes - that endless hope born from not knowing the ending of all the Rocky movies I grew up on - I gotta watch it because I'll always, damn it, have (an admittedly confused) soft place in my heart for the Eagles and though I've moved 3000 miles away I can't ever give up hope for them and I can't ever lose my perverse curiousity as to how they might miss the mark again...
Doctor, it hurts when they do this
"Do you, Mayor Franklin, take the Atlanta Falcons as your team of choice for the rest of your life?" a city council member asked during a mock wedding ceremony.
"Yes!" she yelled. "Falcons all the way. I have lived in Atlanta for 32 years. That [her Philly roots] is yesterday's news."
And Mayor, we have no doubt all 53 members of your favorite team will be gentle on your wedding night.
- Go IGGLES!