Man creates a snarky review of his office's janky $1K/yr water cooler


Originally published at:


The snark is strong with this one. Wow



Insert Owen Wilson WOW here
And repeat!


So is this indicative of the kind of acting gigs you get after working with Woody Allen?


There should be a new IOT version of this cooler that is only controllable by iOS and Android app.


And only dispenses water from DRMed podules,


I think his robotic, mindless “wows” are precisely the reaction companies who build these products are hoping for from consumers. Just bland, dull-witted amazement at the “magic” of shitty technology that hopefully never evolves into “whys”.

I think he nailed it.



I wish I could get mildly carbonated water from a slow computer.



I envision a company that sells things like this, only the buyer is unaware that the money will actually be spent on a re-education program for him/her designed to (hopefully) make him less stupid.


Meanwhile, over at Skin Horse, the intelligent water cooler is captain of a Pykrete aircraft carrier currently locked in battle with a sea monster.

Whoever is writing 2017 needs to take a few lessons from Shannon and Jeff.




Oh god. The printers are spreading.

Seriously, this reminds me so much of working on xeroxes that I’m getting flashbacks.

Remember kids, remember how frustrating it is to deal with your shitty fucking all-in-one printers? Well, the IOT is just going to be more of that.


Printers are the devil’s peripherals to begin with, and all-in-ones bear the mark of TWAIN; and are deservedly accursed. (Not generally to unusually long life, of course.)


It will, because for mass sales, the lowest cost of production will win. It’s a race to the bottom.

My oft-repeated mantra: do not buy junk, ppl! Favor the stuff you actually want to flourish! Create the environment in which your choice of fittest survives!

Now. Anyone want a slightly used Juicero?


That’s so depressing. I hope you’re wrong. But suspect you’ll be right.


I’ve studied this stuff and watched for [a number of] decades how it plays out in real life.

There is no profit incentive to sell good stuff at reasonable prices to the masses.

Good companies find a niche, however. And seek reasonable profit only. However, I’ve watched as self-professed marxists transform magically into ultra-greedy capitalists once the scent of a lot of money gets into their noses.

There aren’t many good people. We are the vanguard!

But newer manufacturing tech will drive change. We need to keep STEM going strong so that we keep reducing the cost of manufacture.

Also, let’s all agree not to buy junk, or consume any junk.

For starters - lusten only to The Beatles, as we celebrate their 50th anniversaries.


What is particularly unpleasant is the flavor of bad that seems to be favored. Cheap junk has its uses; it’s often the vanguard of availability to mere mortals or the only flavor for items that are just plain stubbornly expensive to do right(I know my access to computers has more to do with cheap and lousy toy systems that eventually grew up than it does with mainframes and classy workstations that grew down; and things like 3d printers that don’t cost more than cars are the Harbor Freight of the genre, possibly worse; but still far more useful than fine articles one cannot afford access to); but hostile junk, whether as collateral damage of some reoccurring-revenue model or by design, puts a spanner in the works when it comes to the process of junk leading to accessibility that is usually accompanied by improvement.

The hostility both makes it more likely for junk to invade niches that didn’t really need any ‘disruption’(as in this case, where a UI that would shame a burner handset has been added to a water cooler mostly because subscriptions are desired, not because it’s a remotely good idea); and throws up barriers to improvements based on the scale of the cheap and awful (as with the various dire Android widgets that offer astonishing capable hardware; but will never be redeemed because their horrific software is a binary blobfest, cryptographically enforced, or both. Lots of hardware in that category: astonishing cheap and capable; but the firmware is either actively adversarial, too insecure to live, or both; but also designed to resist attempts to fix it.)

This isn’t to say that “back in my day, lemon markets were a force for good, damn kids…”; they have always had their risks and drawbacks, some serious; but back when the lemon vendors had to surrender control in order to sell there were some genuinely valuable opportunities that certainly weren’t being encouraged by the upmarket vendors, in addition to the pure crap. I suspect that there will continue to be some; but the rise of ‘as a service’ this and tivoized that and litigation based on ever more tenuous theories of indirect infringement are not at all helping matters.


Oh, hell yes. My office made the mistake of getting an HP, and the sonofabitch won’t even let you SCAN if it decides to expire your printhead. That’s right, even the printheads expire. Needless to say, that idiotic piece of crap hasn’t been powered on in years now.

I hate that your choices these days are either user-hostile crap foisted on the masses, or DIY stuff hacked together with an Arduino, baling wire, and duct tape. No middle ground.


Sometimes there is. See this:

These guys deliver good product at an appropriate price for a good product. It’s not cheap per se, but the quality level is 100% with the best. Plus eco.

They don’t know it, but they’re a great template for niche filling.