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!



Everything Old is New Again

Sometimes the lunchtime news review just aligns with a theme:

Some other news links of interest, but not falling within the theme:


Sunday is Left Handers Day. Do Something Sinister.

Did you know that Sunday, August 13th is Left Hander’s Day 2006. Just the right time to do something sinister.

Did you know:

  • According to a just-released survey, left-handed men with at least some college education earned 15% more than similarly educated right-handers, while those who finished college earned about 26% more.
  • A new survey shows that left-handed children have problems at school and get very little help from their teachers. This must make us independent go-getters, leading to the better salaries!
  • That stuttering and dyslexia occur more often in left-handers. This is why I believe there is only one dog.
  • That left-handers are generally more intelligent, better looking, imaginative and multi-talented than right handers. Just ask my wife. She’ll vouch for me.

But you poor right-handers needn’t suffer. There might be something sinister in you after all. And just remember, as six_gun_samurai said: “We may not be right, but we are what’s left.”