October 7th, 2013

Ars Technica coverage of the Dread Pirate Roberts arrest

You've probably already read it, but if you haven't, or you saw someone else's shorter coverage, the Ars article is great. And it has pictures (looking dorky, shirtless at his 21st bday party, with ridiculous facial hair: Just Another Geek Boy exploring White Male Privilege, basically)!

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/10/how-the-feds-took-down-the-dread-pirate-roberts/

I think my favorite line is on page 2: ""I'm pissed I had to kill him... but what's done is done," Roberts replied. "I just can't believe he was so stupid... I just wish more people had some integrity.""

Honestly, _cannot_ stop giggling. Because it shows _so much integrity_ to first fetishize an end of violence and coercion, and then as soon as someone commits a minor property crime, pay to have him tortured and killed (not really, but DPR _thought_ he had).

It's like a bildungsroman for this generation's version of the people I used to read on the cypherpunks list, Back In the Day.

Odd commentary on pricing

I'm wandering around sampling commentary on the shutdown. I have a theory, that goes something like this. We've been through enough of these crises by now that "Wall Street"/"the markets" are not strongly and immediately affected by nutjobbery. Which is good. However, if it requires a scared reaction from "the markets" to get the nutjobs to back down, then the crisis will have to continue until panic occurs. This is NOT good, because there are some technical problems associated with payment prioritization that a lot of pro-shutdown people seem to not want to believe in. That is, the amount of time between, markets deciding it's no longer All Good and End of the World might be too short for the House to actually pass the (extremely simple) CR and debt ceiling stuff that would resolve the present crisis. Some people agree with some variation on this thesis, but a lot of people are arguing simpler versions that are kind of Who Is Winning horse race style analysis. In all likelihood, however, the House will be able to pass the two things (if I counted correctly) that it needs to pass to get things restarted and avoid economic meltdown _after_ they've finished the regular business day on Friday of this week, but before the constituent week actually starts).

Anyway. While I was at Bloomberg Businessweek, I got sucked into this:

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-10-07/are-you-too-rich-to-wait-in-line

which is a _great_ title. Sort of a duh thing: you should raise prices if you have a lot of business (I keep trying to convince people of this, and people act like I'm saying something shocking -- and remember, I'm the person who schedules vacations to avoid crowds). It's sort of a duh article, right up until this line:

"If Apple (AAPL) is really serious about winning affluent customers, it will split up its checkout lines the next time it has a hot product."

That is a head scratcher. No one thinks AAPL needs to work at winning affluent customers; the open question is how much of the low end/total share is going to be carved off below them by Droid and Microsoft. More to the point, the Apple Store doesn't have checkout lines. Whoever is helping you will also take your payment. There is no, okay, you have the product you want now go wait in another line. One suspects this person has never been in an Apple Store. All very strange.

At some point, I should probably blog about where new products are successfully introduced these days, vs. the mid 20th century (new products are typically entering in the luxury market and working their way down, versus entering in the middle and moving in both directions). Maybe later.