September 25, 2001

Proctor Ology

Proctor & Gamble's recent forays into "smart packaging" and "the Code" may be the next best thing for inducing mass hysteria in the tech universe since the "paperless office". Embedding unique microchips in the product packaging will allow passive identification of that product anywhere in the P&G food chain. Refrigerators that can modify our TV viewing to target products we now consume and others we may be interested in according to the latest polls are possible, but why stop there?

THEY KNOW WHO YOU ARE
THEY KNOW WHAT YOU ARE
THEY KNOW WHERE YOU ARE
THEY'LL TELL YOU WHERE YOU'RE GOING ...

I can already imagine think tanks debating into the night the potential gains to be realized if the chips are incorporated into the product itself. Imagine, if you will, your doctor having a printout available showing exactly what it is you ate to cause your current indisposition, or your friendly neighborhood septic tank serviceman automatically scheduling service based on actual throughput. Insertion of a boichip at birth would allow associating each delicious spoonful with a unique individual - making this minor operation as commonplace as vaccinations and circumcision would provide more accurate statistical data for the manufacturers. Once again, why stop there, when you can make the implant mandatory, thereby eliminating potential skew and variation in their planning algorithyms?

Expanding the concept further, embedded microchips in ALL our worldly possessions would benefit providers of ANY product with accurate, realtime analysis. The only possible drawback I envision is the unavoidable struggle for bandwith as UPC codes clutter the microwaves. Instead of coupons, passing by a passive scanner mounted on a store shelf could immediately indicate the exact date the shorts we are wearing were manufactured and suggest it may be time to replace them. With a few minor tweaks of the chip technology that allow an internal counter to reset when exposed to phosphates and trackable biomass in sequence, it may be possible that walking by the scanner mounted on the laundry detergent shelf would suggest that at least it may be time to wash them . In the event of a catostrophic loss, insurance companies could have a complete inventory of everything damaged and in need of replacement before the embers are dead or the vehicles have been towed - the fact that the same information would be available for review by the local constabulary and tax auditor should be of no concern. Denial of your claim because the warranty had expired on your furnace or your brakes would only serve to point out the absolute need to review the daily printouts of exceptions and errors in your CODE universe sent daily via email to reduce your liability exposure.

Finally, the day is coming when our corporate benefactors WILL KNOW what's good for us, plus or minus 2-3 percentage points. Psssst ... anybody else heard the rumor that they're working on a chip that would, when consumed, induce a disposition towards purchasing certain products? Film at 11 ...

Posted by NIFAIRIOUS at 06:32 PM

December 03, 2000

IPO, You PO

Let's see, there was Groucho, and Harpo, and Zeppo, and ...

Actually, as defined by Webster, an IPO is an Initial Public Offering in the stock market. Please don't confuse this process with sacrificing a virgin under a full moon, regardless of any similarities that might occur to you. Of course, the chances that the product offered meets the advertising are slim to none in both cases, but don't let that minor detail sway your decision to jump in feet first. Remember always, greed is good, your stock broker is your friend, and the only way to go is up ...

(to borrow a line from Jacob's Ladder, "DREAM ON ..." )

Time for a little pop quiz. See how you score (YES or NO) on the following:

- I'm a day trader.

- More than half my portfolio is in internet stocks.

- I buy heavily on margins.

- I firmly believe this is not a bubble.

- 1929 wasn't a crash. It was an adjustment.

If you answered YES to more than zero of these questions, you're one of the motley fools the next generation will curse as they grub for protein in the landfills after the Great Collapse. For extra credit, go to the library and look up some photographs circa 1929 of people standing in food lines outside of soup kitchens, and count how many were wearing tophats and spats.

Stock valued at 700% of the initial price less than a year later is theoretically possible; whooda thunk educated professionals could allow this to be true for companies that have yet to show a profit. Even more, in what sane scenario could this happen where projections show losses for the next five years? It's happening now, folks, and it should scare the hell out of normal people everywhere.

OK, you play the lotto, too. So what's the difference? None, really. No matter what they say, behind every stock quote complete with graphs, ratings analysis, and historical performance record is some bozo with a dartboard hoping he's right long enough to take your money and still leave you happy. Keep in mind, even if you do strike it rich, dollar bills will scratch like hell and probably cause some sort of infection when you try wiping your ass with them after the bottom falls out (after all, you never know where they've been...)

The Japanese were also invincible. If you plan to visit Tokyo, don't walk by any corporate high rise towers unless you like to live dangerously. In the Yin-Yang nature of things, as the yen falls, the suicide rate rises. They say you could lose an eye if you're looking up and someone drops a penny out of a 20 story window - imagine taking some corporate executive on the chin who just read the bad news off the ticker and decided to go skydiving without a chute.

Posted by NIFAIRIOUS at 06:15 PM