Technology: No Place for Wimps

This is not the printer that arrived yesterday, but it's close.Yesterday, I went to my sister’s office to help her install a $900 multi-function printer. The thing came in a giant box about half the size of a refrigerator. Upon opening the box I discovered a small piece had cracked off one of the “paper jam” trays. Later, we called the seller. “Warren” answered the phone and told us Canon products are shipped “as is.” I said to him, “You shipped us a defective product. We ordered a new product.” He said we had to take it up with Fed Ex and was angry because we called him (the only man there according to him) right before he was to leave for home. (Poor Warren.) A call to Fed Ex revealed that we would have to box the printer back up, send it back to Fed Ex for inspection, and if inspection fails (i.e. if the damage was indeed there — why can’t they inspect it onsite?), they send it back to the shipper. I knew then what would ensue: Since we had boxed it the second time the seller would inform us that we in fact did not pack or unpack the equipment properly and the crack was our fault. We would a) have no printer or a printer stuck in shipper limbo with no one willing to pay for shipping and b) have still paid the $900 for a printer that was defective and non-extant and c) had much aggravation. So I told my sister to suck it up and just buy the replacement part from Canon. Next time, I told her, use a reputable seller.

(and for those of you curious as to which company “Warren” belongs to, ahem, you can figure it out.)

Devin J. Poore sends me a link that says Microsoft is offering a tool to remove Sony’s DRM rootkit in their new anti-spyware software. Of course, you have to use Microsoft’s tool instead of say Ad-aware, Spybot, etc. But it’s a sure sign that others won’t follow Sony with such “copy-protection” tools. Take that, Sony bitch!

Wired reports that with a few hacks, hybrid cars can get upwards of 100 miles per gallon. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of smelling the exhaust of millions of cars wafting over my home during rush hour (I live between two major tunnels to Manhattan and a juncture of several highways.) I sure would like to breathe cleaner air. It seems so obvious to me: a) oil is limited b) fossil fuels are bad for atmosphere and people c) wars are fought for oil. So — let’s stop using f’n oil already! (Sorry, Matt. Too much money in it. Come back in 50 years when the wells run dry and the atmosphere is permanently fouled up. Ta ta!)

Hybrid Cars shit less oftenMore good environmental news from Wired. Giant solar generator farms are springing up in the California deserts equal or greater than coal or gas fired plants in generating capacity. Also, truckers are using hydrogen fuel not to save the environment (though they do that in the process) but to save $ at the pump. Each truck saves $700 per month, according to the article.

BoingBoing reports on the sendoff of the soon to be closed (and much lauded) Sci Fiction website. Cory Doctorow says, “I guess three Hugos, four Nebulas and a World Fantasy Award don’t stack up against Mansquito.” Amen, brother. Alas, Ellen Datlow will find a new home in a place that better respects her work and the community at large.

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