“Why Don’t You Want My Money?” or “Sorry, Artificial Scarcity Doesn’t Make Me Think It’s More Valuable and Worth Waiting For”

In the last six months, I have had nothing but disappointment when trying to purchase goods and services. Some of these things have price tags in the thousands, but… I have money budgeted, I have cash on hand, but no one seems to be interested in completing that transaction — retailers especially have made it more and more difficult to actually walk into a store and buy anything. Here are some examples from the recent past, there are many, many more frustrations like this.

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Jackass of the Week: Reuters

daringfireball.net/linked/2012/12/11/jackass-reuters

John Gruber points out the obvious idiocy in this article:

Taxes are mandatory payments to the government, enforced by law.
Remember, this is not something that consumers are being forced to pay.
Wait, I thought he was saying it was a “tax”?

The Amazing iOS 6 Maps

theamazingios6maps.tumblr.com/

Completely justified criticism. Google had the better part of a decade to refine its maps and data. Why Apple thought they could just, BOOM, compete with that, I’ll never know. Yes, it’ll get better over time — but being years late to the party makes it likely that they’ll never catch up.

Positively Negative

If you only read headlines, you think that killing Osama bin Laden was bad and that Apple is about to go bankrupt. But hey, bad news sells.

Big Ideas at Microsoft

At Microsoft, bigger is better. Why sell a small gadget to millions of customers, when you can sell one huge device to one customer?

Five Years Later

I can’t believe the hype being given to iPhone… I just have to wonder who will want one of these things (other than the religious faithful)… So please mark this post and come back in two years to see the results of my prediction: I predict they will not sell anywhere near the 10M Jobs predicts for 2008.

– Richard Sprague, Microsoft Senior Marketing Director, January 18, 2007

Place clever “shallow surface” pun here.

CNN has few details about the Microsoft Surface tablet other than a few marketing points, and hasn’t actually used one of these devices… or even touched one, probably. But they’ve written an article on how it will beat the iPad, based on creating a straw man and knocking him down.

Skype – The Big Blog – Skype Advertising Update

blogs.skype.com/en/2012/06/skype_advertising_update.html

Skype now puts big ridiculous ads on the screen when you are talking to someone. Perhaps the most ridiculous part of this is their hilarious marketer-speak explanation of how wonderful and useful this is:

“While on a 1:1 audio call, users will see content that could spark additional topics of conversation that are relevant to Skype users and highlight unique and local brand experiences. So, you should think of Conversation Ads as a way for Skype to generate fun interactivity between your circle of friends and family and the brands you care about. Ultimately, we believe this will help make Skype a more engaging and useful place to have your conversations each and every day.”

I know what additional topic it would spark during my call: “This sucks. Wanna switch to Facetime?”

Twist in the Cable

Pundits are looking at the wrong aspects of Apple’s successful products. It’s not about hardware or software — it’s about changing industries.

Walmart Adds “Pay With Cash” For Online Shoppers At Walmart.com

techcrunch.com/2012/04/26/walmart-adds-pay-with-cash-for-online-shoppers-at-walmart-com/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Techcrunch+%28TechCrunch%29

For the “unbanked” and “unintelligent” Wal-Mart shopper: Purchase online. Go to store and give them cash. Go home and wait for delivery a few days later. I leave it to the reader to detect the logical hilarity in this system.

The Great Verizon Annoyance of 2012

Enjoy the long, annoying story of my battles with Verizon to simply make my service work correctly. Trust me, this rambling recreation is exponentially shorter than the actual ordeal.