Monday, 8 February 2010

My Epson printer seems to be monitoring my wallet instead of my ink

Not happy.  My Epson printer, an admirable consumer durable in almost every other respect, no longer seems to be monitoring my ink as it should.  It would, in fact, seem to be monitoring my wallet rather than its cartridges.  In fact, rather than usefully tell me it's time to change cartridges when it's actually time to change cartridges, it forces me to change cartridges whilst there still appears to be a ream of paper's worth of printing swilling around their insides.  Even though I've disabled the ink monitoring, it won't disable what the ink monitoring prevents you from doing - which is simply print until all the ink runs out.

It's truly amazing how these big companies make money out of us without us really realising it.  Truly amazing.  Adding value for shareholders was never so dishonest a pursuit.  (Unless, of course, I'm missing something here and there's a simple button simply buried deep inside the software, designed simply to save legal-type faces from legal-type challenges that consumers like myself would be only too pleased to have an opportunity to mount.)

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Ikea's new online magazine (II) (thekitchen.ikea.co.uk)

More from the interactive side of Ikea here as they launch a new online kitchen design site here.  For full public consumption from the 24th February onwards.

A good example of how to publish constructively - and interactively - on the web.  This takes advantage of the public appetite and dynamic for crowdsourcing - as indeed did places like Ikea even before the web took hold.  Outsourcing the building of furniture to customers satisfied the growing need for more democratic prices as well as - in a sense - empowering these selfsame customers and making them more important.

Flatpack is the real world equivalent of Facebook, I suppose.
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Update to this post: free kitchen planner software from Ikea available for PC here.  So the lines between real world and virtual blur evermore fiercely.  We even begin to outsource the designer side of things - the real added value stuff.  As with teaching and the trade of optician, as with self-medication, little by little the bastions of all these professional black arts fall to the tide of self-education that is the modern information gatherer's natural habitat.

So will there ever come a time when something as literal as plumbing becomes a simple matter of calling up the ether and sticking a virtual thumb in the leak?

I do wonder.

Friday, 5 February 2010

iPad haiku

Here's my entry for an iPad haiku competition that may still be open for entries (never was able to work out time differences):
Big money beckons:
"Save books" is the cry - but why
take tablets? Read more!