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Monday, July 2, 2007

Why stop here?

Market economics is a fine economic theory until you have a business dependent on what is euphemistically called "an orderly marketplace". The printer companies have been presented with the opportunity to hook their printers up with technology that mates with encoded ink cartridges from the manufacturer with the same maker's printers. No third party ink cartridges need apply.
Read all about it: http://news.com.com/Can+cryptography+prevent+printer-ink+piracy/2100-1041_3-6193424.html?tag=news.1
I couldn't help but note that the printer companies consider using third party inks to be "piracy". Arrrrr! Ye USB port be unrecognized!

Anyone who has ever bought a $99.00 printer knows that they make their profit on the replacement cartridges, those little plastic ink filled boxes that cost like gold. This idea shouldn't stop at printers. The horizon is unlimited.

Tires. Your Toyota or Chevy will only operate with encoded OEM wheels. Mated to third party rims or rubber the tires would deflate or fall off. Ford gasoline anyone? Starbucks could develop special cups that would only work with Mazda cupholders. There would be credit cards that only work with one store. Wait! there have been those for years.

There is a group of folk out there who want fewer choices, not more. We call them old farts, a group with which I am becoming more and more at home. But even we don't want to spend money unnecessarily. Orderly markets means we are all screwed.

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