2003 July 24 AM [9:39 am]
(entry last updated: 2003-07-24 13:39:13)
Derek’s got another Stan Leibowitz pointer: Will MP3 downloads Annihilate the Record Industry? The Evidence so Far
The story of my life <G>: Techies by Necessity, Not by Choice [pdf]
As consumer electronics proliferate and consumers grow increasingly disenchanted with technical support operations (which routinely charge for calls), many people are discovering that whether they want to or not, they are developing more than a little technical proficiency. Some, like Mr. Marcuse, become virtual experts. But many of these accidental techies learn only as much as they absolutely must.
“People are getting more proficient because they have to, not because they want to,” said Steve Cousins, manager of the Advanced Systems Development Laboratory at the Palo Alto Research Center, known as PARC, a subsidiary of Xerox.
For Ms. Kilhoffer-Reichert and others, such expertise derives from economic necessity, as their livelihoods depend on the technical tools they use. “If my computer isn’t working, I equate it directly to lost income,” she said.
Yet Mr. Marcuse says he has learned just the amount he must, perhaps slightly less. “I can get my computer to operate most of the time, and frequently there are things wrong with it that I just tolerate,” he said. “I don’t want to deal with some company’s tech support bureaucracy. I’d rather just suffer with the imperfection.”
The NYTimes on the House vote: F.C.C. Media Rule Blocked in House in a 400-to-21 Vote [pdf]; the accompanying news analysis: F.C.C. Chairman Endures Rebuke, Despite Putting Law Above Politics [pdf]
Slashdot on yesterday’s House vote: House Overturns FCC Media Consolidation Plan