the price is (al)right

Price discrimination is not a new thing. There are anecdotes showing it has been applied in ancient times. “The King was charged an exorbitant price for an egg while on a visit to the countryside. “Oh, eggs must be rare around these parts!” the King exclaims. “Oh, no. The eggs are not rare, Kings are.” retorted the villager.

Or even some years back when I was visiting Albania I discovered that returning emigres living abroad like myself, were being charged double for a haircut compared to people living there.

The list goes on…

Who would have thought that western corporations would join the likes of medieval peasants and Albanian barbers in applying this time honored technique?

An article on ABC news today, pointed out that Mac users are more likely to be shown higher prices than PC users, while shopping for fares on Orbitz.com. Orbitz says its data show that Mac users spend as much as 30 percent more on hotels than PC users do. Great! Does this mean that Mac users are richer, or just that PC users are cheap? They should have included this in the “I am a mac, I am a pc” ad.

Even more intriguing is recent a patent application, which aims to present the invention of “guessing” a user’s purchasing power online, and using that information to display the highest price that the user can bear. Fantastic! Those who have more must pay more. It is the same with taxes.

Or is it?

the greedy the people

the greedy the people
(as if as can yes)
they steal and they buy
and they die for because
though the bell in the steeple
says Why

the chary the wary
(as all as can each)
they don’t and they do
and they turn to a which
though the moon in her glory
says Who

the busy the millions
(as you’re as can i’m)
they flock and they flee
through a thunder of seem
though the stars in their silence
say Be

the cunning the craven
(as think as can feel)
they when and they how
and they live for until
though the sun in his heaven
says Now

the timid the tender
(as doubt as can trust)
they work and they pray
and they bow to a must
though the earth in her splendor
say May

e.e. cummings

solve this

How can technology solve all our problems? Now, that is a real problem.

There must be a comic for this

Here is an interesting piece of comical news: Numerous Oatmeal comics were posted without permission to FunnyJunk; Oatmeal creator Matthew Inman lambasted FunnyJunk in the form of a blog post. FunnyJunk responded with a suit (or rather the threat of a suit) accusing Inman of willful defamation, unless he ponies up $20,000, which he doesn’t plan to do. Instead, Matthew is accepting donations [indiegogo.com], will take a picture of all his monies to send to the FunnyJunk attorneys, and will donate it all to charity.

“Funny as it might sound, FunnyJunk’s threat of litigation against The Oatmeal raises a very important issue: the extent to which artists can complain in public about perceived or actual infringement of their works by user-generated content websites. Does it matter if the content creator accused the website of condoning or participating in the infringement?”