I've been reading Lincoln Spector's columns, Gigglebytes, for years-- and I laughed quite a few times. This week, Lincoln imagines what would happen if other industries behave like the software industry.
He illustrates his point by looking at television or cars, but the one I enjoyed the most is about breakfast cereals. Here we go.
Like millions of other people, you buy a box of Kealover's latest way to start the day, Mutant Process Rocket Fuel. You know that it must be tasty and healthy, because Kealover (a subsidiary of Industrial Food and Power) spent three months beta-testing the cereal.
But the cereal, when you get it home and try it, tastes like mud cakes cut with battery acid. You call Kealover tech support and wait 45 minutes before speaking to a "technician," who insists that you are the only eater who has called with such a complaint. The next day, you read in BreakfastWorld that 50,000 people have phoned Kealover about the poor taste of Mutant Process Rocket Fuel. You call again, wait another 45 minutes, and are told that you are the only eater who has called with such a complaint.
Three weeks later, Kealover admits to the problem, which only occurs when Mutant Process Rocket Fuel is interfaced with whole milk. Beta testers, it turned out, were all using skim milk or a soy-based imitation. They therefore experienced the intended taste: mud cakes cut with battery acid and heavily laced with sugar. Kealover promises a fix, which three weeks later you're able to download from the Internet via your cereal port.
Unfortunately, Mutant Process Rocket Fuel 1.02 contains a virus that tends to crash human beings, sometimes creating a fatal error. Fortunately for Kealover, however, no one can sue. Mutant Process Rocket Fuel is sold "as is," and there's no way to open a box without breaking-and therefore acknowledging that you accept-the eater's agreement.
Source: Lincoln Spector, ComputerUser.com, June 1, 2002
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