I’ve Got a Little List: Obsolete Technology, Left-Handed Problems, LA Drivers

userpic=fountain-penThe unifying theme for today’s lunchtime news chum is enumeration: these are all lists of things. Further, they are all lists of things with which I have some disagreement:

  • 12 Obsolete Technologies Americans Still Use. Andrew Ducker brought this list to my attention. I disagree with many of these items — both with the “obsolete” aspect, and the implication that there is no rationale for their use. For almost all of these, I’ll argue that there are still narrow use cases that justify their use. #2 Pagers, for example, have the advantage of being one-way, which make them ideally suited for environments where one is worried about information exfiltration. #3, Dot Matrix Printers, are needed in cases where multiple copies are required and printing multiple originals is burdensome (or when a real signature is required). #5, Pay Phones, are vital for emergencies and cases where people either cannot use or cannot afford cell service. #7, landline phones, are a vital backup communication medium when the power goes out (they have independent power, whereas VoIP depends on main power), and still have superior sound quality to cell lines. #9, film, has inherent artistic qualities that cannot be duplicated with digital (which is the same argument for #12, vinyl). #11, fax machines, can provide security advantages as it is not stored. Which do I use? #7, #8, #11 (some places still require it), #12.
  • 18 Worst Things for Left Handed People. Being left handed, I agree with many items on this list, although some I disagree with. For example, #5 — really now? Pushing the ball? If so, then how can I write with a fountain pen. Similarly, with #6, that’s only a problem if you are using ink that doesn’t dry fast enough. #7 is only a problem if you don’t take care where you sit (it’s now automatic for me to sit in the correct corner), and I’ve never had a problem with #10 or #15. Some of these still annoy me, such as #1, #2, and #12, and my personal pet peeve is #16 — those signature capture machines are never designed for left handers.
  • 30 Things Only Drivers in Los Angeles Will Understand. This, perhaps, is the list I have the greatest disagreement with, for much of these are things that native Los Angeles people have no problems with. For example, regarding #1 — I never scream on the freeway — I just turn on a podcast and go with the flow (or get off and get some tea and wait for the mess to subside). As for #4, Sigalert is so yesterday — real people use Quickmap from Caltrans. As for #3 — that sign isn’t even from Los Angeles, although the parking signs can be confusing (which I’ve written about before).  As for #11, real Angelenos know to visit the Auto Club for most DMV services. #17 is really only a excuse for those that live in the LA Basin — those in the valley will drive anywhere. However, #13 is most definitely true!



2 Replies to “I’ve Got a Little List: Obsolete Technology, Left-Handed Problems, LA Drivers”

  1. Fax machines are still very important in the legal field, where the laws haven’t caught up with technology. Service by fax is still legal in Oregon state courts below the appellate level; service by email is legal only by consent of all parties.

    What will we do for service when newspapers die off? Service by publication is still used when people are avoiding service or hard to find.

    1. Further, I believe there are cases where a faxed signature is accepted when a digital signature is not (and that would likely include a scanned signature as well, although I’m not sure).

      Odd question: If service by email is legal only with the consent of all parties, what does that do for a service like eFax, where you can have your fax automatically sent to you by email as a PDF attachment?

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