Why fruit tattoos won't catch on

Someone on the PICList was complaining about how hard it was to get the stickers off their fruits and vegetables. Frankly I’ve never had a problem and if I did I’d stop buying that brand and choose one of the many other brands.

Someone else pointed out this old story about a super duper technical solution. That’s right laser tattoos on the produce. It seems pretty clear to me why this hasn’t gone anywhere since it’s introduction in 2005. IT RUINS THE BEAUTIFUL LOOK OF GREAT PRODUCE IN A WAY THAT WOULD STILL SHOW WHEN SERVED. I guess this inventor and his investors don’t enjoy good food because as anyone serious about food knows the presentation is very important.

Not only won’t a food lover want to see a defiled tomato staring back at you at home but what about restaurants. Does anyone seriously think that a good chef is going to put up with ruining the presentation of his creation so that his customers can see an advertisement for a produce company. I can picture Gordon Ramsay throwing the tomato back in the face of his green grocer and verbally ripping him a new one for ruining fine produce.

Why we need better math and science education for everyone

Listen to this excerpt from a customer service call to Verizon: ” .002 dollars = .002 cents” at VideoSift.com. It saddens me that these Verizon people don’t understand what I feel everyone should have learned before graduating 6th grade.

I’m amazed at how patient this customer is, by the time of this recording he had already been talking to them for quite a while, I would be going ballistic. Verizon and it’s representatives are making an extremely basic error, they change the units of measurement in a calculation without applying the conversion factor. The customer George Vaccaro has a blog of the whole experience here.

According to the California State Board of Education these concepts are part of the 3rd grade curriculum. I suspect that some of those Verizon people have college degrees. If they do, they should return the degrees and re-enroll in elementary school.

Thanks to Harold on the PICList for pointing me to this story.

Baby gender prediction scam

Rebecca at the Memoirs of a Skepchick blog posted this great entry So you want to be a con artist!.

It refers to a new internet scam of baby gender prediction. Rebecca points out the clever first FAQ but I also noticed a very clever third question and answer.

“Question: How does the 100 % Money-Back-Guaranty work?
Answer: Should our results be not conform to the actual gender of your child, you will only need to send us the original birth certificate and the invoice and you will receive your money back immediately.”

They require “the original birth certificate” to get your refund. Assuming they are good to their word and don’t want a copy, then they can greatly enhance how much they keep. Normally the parents get one copy of the birth certificate when the child is born. Depending on where you live, getting an extra official birth certificate can cost more than the refund from the con artists. Even if you can get a cheap birth certificate where you live, it is likely more time consuming than the refund is worth. So, probably very few victims ever get their money back, letting the scammer’s keep closer to 100% of what they take in. Boy, con artists are so clever, it is really too bad that this kind of activity is legal in the U.S.A.

Lithium Ion Battery saftey being evaluated by the CPSC

This article in Conformity Magazine summarizes recent safety testing of Lithium Ion batteries, it also has a link to the full report.

As embedded systems designers we have a responsibility to pay careful attention when we use newer technologies like LI batteries in our products. There have been many very safe designs with LI batteries but due to their nature a totally safe design is not an easy task. So please resist the temptation to cut corners when you design a potentially dangerous device into your latest gadget.

A great laugh

Had a great laugh last night while catching up on blog reading. Rebecca of the Memoirs of a Skepchick blog started a little contest in response to A Correspondence she received. She challenges everyone to say what she has hidden in a lunch box in her apartment. The ensuing comments are entertaining but what made me nearly fall over laughing was a comment by Toolbox in Rebecca’s post So, what IS in my lunch box?.