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Examples of human behavior which shows a singular lack of intelligence
As pointed out in a message from
"The playing field is usually brightly illuminated for the benefit of television
cameras, which means that, given a suitable speed of film in the camera, it
can be photographed sucessfully by that field lighting alone."
Mark also points out that a number of people now use automatic cameras that flash in any situation other than full daylight.
Dell Computer Corporation hires Idiots tooLast year I bought over $50,000 worth of computers from Dell Computer Corporation. I buy them because they have a reputation for being well made and for good customer service. I pay extra for three year 2nd business day on site service because my customers handle lots of money and neither they nor I can afford computer downtime.
So far, I have had three monitors, two keyboards, one floppy disk drive, and two modems to fail. Dell shipped replacements for the monitors and keyboards and sent a guy to replace the floppy disk drive and the first modem. They did, indeed, give fine service although in some cases it actually took three business days to get the defective equipment replaced rather than two. But I have no problem with the small details.
Since our rural area is a three hour drive from the bigger towns the repair technician has a six hour round trip just to replace a floppy drive or modem.
The problem came when the second modem went out. It was being used in a pharmacy to transmit $4,000 to $6,000 in insurance claims every day. I called Dell on Tuesday afternoon and they said someone would be there to replace it by Friday. "Fine", says I. On Thursday someone called to say they would not be able to replace it on Friday after all because they did not have a modem available. "Then when will it be replaced?", I asked. They didn't know because they had to order the modem and they didn't know when it would arrive. I called them back Monday and they still had no idea. Tuesday I went to a local WalMart and bought a modem and replaced the defective one. It cost less than $100 and I'm not a big enough fool to let several thousand dollars in billing daily grind to a halt because of a $100 part.
I then called Dell to tell them what I had done. Customer Service referred me to technical support and said it was their problem. I told the guy at technical support that I had purchased a modem and solved the problem. I asked that they just pay for the modem and forget the service call. He says they can't do that because their service agreement says they must replace the equipment themselves not pay me for parts. I said, "But I purchased a 2nd business day repair agreement and its been a week." He informed me that the fine print in my agreement says "Subject to the availability of parts."
I said, "Do you mean to tell me that a company as large as Dell doesn't have a modem available even though you ship millions of them every day." He said that it had been almost 8 months since I had purchased that computer and in that time they had switched from 33.6k modems to the newer 56k, so they weren't shipping the same modem and my agreement required them to replace with the same part. He said that as soon as they received the modem, which they hoped to do within two to three weeks, they would send a guy on a six hour drive to replace it. I made some remark to the effect that I didn't understand how they could argue that the part was unavailable when I had just purchased one at the local WalMart which the repair guy would have to drive right by on his way to our location. He explained that they had purchasing procedures and they couldn't just go down to the local store and buy parts.
Now I realize that they can buy the modem $20 or $30 cheaper than I did. I also know that they subcontract their repair work for a set fee, so it actually doesn't cost them anything extra for that guy to make a six hour drive. But nevertheless, I doubt if the cost to them in customer relations by not getting this computer back in service in a reasonable amount of time is worth the money they will save on the modem. They seem to think that the important thing is replacing with an identical part that they purchased rather than getting computers operating as soon as possible.
At this point it has been over three weeks and they still have not replaced the modem. Of course, I did have a backup computer in place that we began using as soon as the modem crashed. But using that computer slowed down other functions of the business.
It also occurred to me that if my service agreement doesn't apply if parts are not available then I probably was a fool to pay for three year service. Parts become obsolete so fast that in three years it is doubtful if any of the original parts I purchased will still be available.
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A man in Toronto drove to the police station to ask for a test to determine if he was too drunk to drive. He was and was arrested for drunken driving.
An armed robber got $170 from the clerks at a convenience store near Cadiz, Kentucky, then ran outside to his waiting getaway car. "Whoops", he yelled when he discovered that he had locked the car with the keys inside. By the time he kicked out the back window and got into the car the police had arrived and arrested him.
"Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons." --Popular Mechanics, forecasting the relentless march of science, 1949 "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." --Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943 "I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won't last out the year." --The editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall, 1957 "But what ... is it good for?" --Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968, commenting on the microchip. "There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home." --Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977 "This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us." --Western Union internal memo, 1876. "The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?" --David Sarnoff's associates in response to his urgings for investment in the radio in the 1920s. "Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?" --H.M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927. "We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out." --Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962. "Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." --Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895. "If I had thought about it, I wouldn't have done the experiment. The literature was full of examples that said you can't do this." --Spencer Silver on the work that led to the unique adhesives for 3-M "Post-It" Notepads. "So we went to Atari and said, 'Hey, we've got this amazing thing, even built with some of your parts, and what do you think about funding us? Or we' ll give it to you. We just want to do it. Pay our salary, we'll come work for you.' And they said, 'No.' So then we went to Hewlett-Packard, and they said, 'Hey, we don't need you. You haven't got through college yet.'" --Apple Computer Inc. founder Steve Jobs on attempts to get Atari and H-P interested in his and Steve Wozniak's personal computer. "Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value." --Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre.
Duane, Interesting webpage. I found it while searching for "bullets falling" as I attempted to find info about the real story behind so-called "bullets falling from the sky." I have been interested in this since reading a LA Times article a few years ago that claims 118 deaths over a 5-year (or so) period in the 1990s. Anyway, your short discussion of this appears on your "idiots" page. While I think it unwise that people discharge firearms into the air, I must correct the comment that appears on your page. You say, "bullets come down with the same force with which they are shot upward ..." This is actually not true. They fall at a much slower rate than their muzzle velocity because of drag from air friction. It is estimated that they come back down, base first, at around 200-500 feet per second. Not their 2755 feet per second muzzle velocity. Here is one excerpt that I found on the net that might interest you. >From http://www.newscientist.com/lastword/answers/lwa146physical.html Firing handguns into the air is commonplace in some parts of the world and causes injuries with a disproportionate number of fatalities. For a typical modern 7.62 millimetre calibre bullet fired vertically from a rifle, the bullet will have a velocity of about 840 metres per second as it leaves the muzzle and will reach a height of about 2400 metres in some 17 seconds. It will then take another 40 seconds or so to return to the ground, usually at a relatively low speed which approximates to the terminal velocity. This part of the bulletÓs trajectory will normally be flown base first since the bullet is actually more stable in rearward than in forward flight. Even with a truly vertical launch, the bullet can move some distance sideways. It will spend about 8 seconds at between 2300 and 2400 metres and at a vertical velocity of less than 40 metres per second. In this time it is particularly susceptible to lateral movement by the wind. It will return to the ground at a speed of some 70 metres per second. This sounds quite low but, because of the predominance of cranial injuries, the proportion of deaths and serious injury as a proportion of the number of gunshot wounds is surprisingly high. It is typically some five times more than is observed in normal firing. As might be expected, measurements are rather difficult and the above values come from a computer model of the flight. SAM ELLIS AND GERRY MOSS Royal Military College of Science Swindon Wiltshire a. Different bullet types behave in different ways. A .22LR bullet reaches a maximum altitude of 1179 metres and a terminal velocity of either 60 metres per second or 43 metres per second depending upon whether the bullet falls base first or tumbles. A .44 magnum bullet will reach an altitude of 1377 metres and a terminal velocity of 76 metres per second falling base first. A .30-06 bullet will reach an altitude of 3080 metres with a terminal velocity of 99 metres per second. The total flight time for the .22LR is between 30 and 36 seconds, while for the .30-06, it is about 58 seconds. The velocities of the bullets as they leave the rifle muzzle are much higher than their falling velocities. A .22LR has a muzzle velocity of 383 metres per second and the .30-06 has a muzzle velocity of 823 metres per second. According to tests undertaken by Browning at the beginning of the century and recently by L .C. Haag, the bullet velocity required for skin penetration is between 45 and 60 metres per second which is within the velocity range of falling bullets. Of course, skin penetration is not required in order to cause serious or fatal injury and any responsible person will never fire bullets into the air in this manner. The questioner may like to read "Falling bullets: terminal velocities and penetration studies", by L. C. Haag, Wound Ballistics Conference, April 1994, Sacramento, California. DAVID MADDISON Melbourne Australia a. John W. Hicks in his book The Theory of the Rifle and Rifle Shooting describes experiments made in 1909 by a Major Hardcastle who fired .303 rifle rounds vertically into the air on the River Stour at Manningtree. His boatman, probably a theorist unaware of the winds aloft, insisted on wearing a copy of Kelly's Directory on his head. However, no bullets landed within 100 yards, some up to a quarter of a mile away and others were lost altogether. Julian S. Hatcher records a similar experiment in Florida immediately after the First World War. A 0.30 calibre machine gun was set up on a 10 feet square stage in a sea inlet where the water was very calm so that the returning bullets could be seen to splash down. A sheet of armour above the stage protected the experimenters. The gun was then adjusted to centre the groups of returning bullets onto the stage. Of over 500 bullets fired into the air, only 4 hit the stage at the end of their return journey. The bullets fired in each burst fell in groups of about 25 yards across. The bullets rose to approximately 9000 feet before falling back. With a total flight time of about a minute, the wind has a noticeable effect on the return point. DICK FILLERY London a. In my youth, I used to collect brass cartridge cases ejected from aircraft machine guns during the Battle of Britain for salvage. They drifted down slowly from the sky because, I guess, their mass to surface volume ratio was low. However, they were still warm when I picked them up. Accordingly, if the projectile is small, like a .303 bullet, it does nobody much harm when it lands. Like a mouse in a mine shaft, its terminal velocity is negligible. However, if because of its mass the projectile has enough terminal velocity, it could kill you. M W EVANS Inzievar Fife
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Last revised March 18, 2001.
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