Saturday, July 31, 2010
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Friday, July 9, 2010
But if you know a girl-gamer, this is the crap she has to go through to play games on the Internet:
I don't play WoW at the moment. I played off and on (mostly on) for the first five years of the game, and I'll play again for a while once the expansion comes out, then probably quit again, etc. Anyway, especially a few years ago when I had the time and inclination to play more, I was fairly active on the forums. My husband still plays, and so do a ton of my friends. So I'm really familiar with how the forums work and what people are like there.
This is a terrible, terrible idea. Especially if the intent is to discourage trolling, there are much more effective solutions available. Some of the reasons why it's terrible have already been brought up, but a bunch of people who are obviously not familiar with the WoW forums have muddied things by making arguments based on incorrect assumptions, so for the sake of having an omnibus "this is why it's bad" post, here we go.
Incorrect Assumption #1: It's already easy to link WoW characters to their real life players.
That's just completely wrong. It's pretty difficult. It's impossible, in fact, unless someone outright tells you their real life name or e-mail address, none of which are available to fellow players. You have to ask someone for those things, and they have to willingly tell you. There are people I played with for years, even had their phone numbers, and I had no idea what their first names were, let alone their last names. For a while we had a guild leader who would delight in not telling us what his real first name was. I've also met nearly a dozen people from WoW in real life. People have different comfort levels about that sort of thing, but the point is it should be their choice.
When you see a character, either in-game or on the forums, you literally do not know anything related to real-life about that character, not even an IP address, unless they willingly supply that information. You don't even know what other characters are on the same account, much less what character belongs to what player. You'd have to work for Blizzard on the forums to see any of that information, and they're not allowed to disclose it. While it's true that an employee could just do it anyway, I think it's reasonable that people have some expectation of privacy in that regard. I'm not sure that I've ever heard of someone having their real life identity discovered without their willingly giving away obvious information, either their name or they're linked to their website and someone did a whois.
Keep in mind that few forums exist that display your full real-life name with your posts. You usually have some kind of username. Metafilter is like this. Maybe you can link that to an e-mail address and someone knows it's you that way -- and lots of forums will even keep that private if you want. But plenty of people -- for good reason -- keep their work and private e-mails separate. A lot of us cringe to think what others could dig up about us just using our e-mail address -- but let's be honest, it's because we either don't care that much or we've been sloppy. Both of those things are under our control.
The change Blizzard is making on the WoW forums isn't like that; it doesn't give you a choice except to stop using the WoW forums, or else lie about your name which isn't a great idea if you ever have a billing conflict or need to verify that you own the account. The latter happens whenever someone gets hacked, and people get hacked a lot, even smart computer-savvy people I'd think would never get hacked; once a few people I knew got hacked because someone inserted malicious code into a banner ad on a popular WoW website. The website fixed the problem, but still, everyone thought it was safe and it even took a while for anyone to figure out what had caused it. Point is: hacking is common and getting more sophisticated, you need your account info to be accurate.
So, right, the privacy-conscious people will stop using the forums. I just think it's ridiculous to force people's hand that way when it's not necessary.
Incorrect Assumption #2: People won't actually harass other people outside the game, come on.
This is just wrong. I don't know how else to put it. It's a lovely thought, but people go to great lengths simply to harass others in-game, and just handing the real name to them without their even having to do any work for it makes it easier to harass them outside the game. If you really, truly think it won't lead to harassment, you are underestimating both teenagers and angry, socially ill-adjusted people -- a ton of whom play WoW, alongside all the normal people. People already go to crazy lengths to e-stalk people and some of it already culminates in real life confrontations. I have trouble believing that anyone who says this has actually ever played an MMO, so if you haven't, please consider that you might not know what you're talking about and people aren't just paranoid and complaining about nothing.
And, more on this in a moment, but one really needs experience in the gaming community to comment on it. Particularly those in doubt of women being SEVERELY harassed in-game and, yes, on the forums. The gaming world is way more hostile to women than you think. I wish it weren't, I really, really do, and I know you mean well, but please do not say you doubt those things when I and other women have been through a lot in that regard. The WoW forums is not Metafilter by ANY stretch of the imagination. I would not mind my real name being on Metafilter and I've posted things here I wouldn't tell my mother, but I would probably cry if my real name was next to my WoW posts. It's not because I make a fool of myself on the WoW forums, either, but-- well, you'll see in a moment.
Incorrect Assumption #3: There's no good reason to keep your identity separate from the gaming community. If you're worried about someone from WoW finding you on Facebook, then why are you even on Facebook?
The answer to this is so long you'll just have to read my list of reasons why this is bad. The short version is: because the gaming community has a different culture than society in general, and it actually does make a big difference whether they know things that you don't try to keep hidden in real life. It's absolutely rational and sane to have 500 Facebook friends and not want anyone from WoW to know anything about you.
Reasons Why This Is Bad, Even If You're Not a Troll:
1. Girls are going to get harassed more than they already do. Just like in real life, while plenty of gamer guys are decent people -- gamer guys are the majority of my closest friends -- there are a ton of asshole gamer guys who make life hell for players who are openly female. Really, the gamer community is a much more hostile place for women than society in general. I never tried to hide my gender, so I have a ton of anecdotes I could tell you.
Here's the shit a female gamer has to deal with:
* People assume that you're not actually a girl, and you're just playing a girl character so you get "free stuff" from guys. This is actually the least bothersome thing. (For the record, I never got "free stuff." I think to get free stuff you actually have to cyber someone, or at least make them think you might, and I had no interest in any of those things.)
* constant requests -- some anonymous and some not, some crass and some just creepy -- asking for pictures, and these will not let up, EVER. In my case, the requests did not let up after five years.
* If you do post a picture (I never did) people either go nuts over how hot you are and won't leave you alone -- and the guys that perv on you treat you in a condescending way because hot=stupid; having to hear that shit addressed to other girls on Vent was really infuriating and uncomfortable -- OR they make a point of constantly telling you how ugly you are and won't leave you alone. There is no middle ground. They either want to fuck you or deride you. And it actually doesn't matter how hot or how ugly you are, either; the hottest girls will get called ugly (and FAT, ALWAYS FAT), and the ugliest girls still have to deal with lonely guys who aren't superficial. Any time the girl posts something thereafter, people will comment on her appearance, even though it has nothing to do with whatever is being discussed.
* if you don't post a picture they all sit around and speculate, and some people inevitably decide that you're not posting a picture because you're ugly, and therefore they don't like you. It does not occur to a great many people that a girl might not want guys bothering them for any reason. If you try to defend yourself, you're an attention whore.
Similar to pseudonymph, whenever someone asked me what I looked like I'd say something like, "I'm 350 pounds, all woman." Which always irritated me a bit: I said it because it was effective -- it made them less interested in asking, plus they usually thought it was funny and I didn't come across as prissy so it defused two concerns they'd have about female gamers -- but I didn't like perpetrating the idea that fat people are disgusting or something to be laughed at. I just never came up with another response that worked as well. :-/
* I got daily messages from people I didn't know because they liked my forum posts. This was bothersome for a few reasons. Some of whom were just normal people being nice and it was only bothersome as a distraction, but a fraction of them were lonely guys excited to be talking to a girl. The latter would bother me constantly. Other women I played with also dealt with these kinds of guys.
* If you ask someone to leave you alone, you're a stuck up bitch. That means you always have to be nice to everyone. This was both unfair and character-building, because now I'm really good at talking to and disengaging from socially ill-adjusted people without hurting their feelings.
* You are automatically a therapist and guys come to you for advice. This isn't so bad when friends do it, but you also have to patiently listen to a lot of emotionally-fragile guys you don't know very well. If this were infrequent it wouldn't be so bad. When it's constant and it's using up leisure time that you wanted to spend actually playing the game, it's really draining.
* People assume that you're bad at the game; they assume that any gear you got was given to you because you're a girl, and that your entire guild just started carrying you through raid instances because they were driven senseless by your siren song. It doesn't matter if you're in one of the top guilds in the US and doing content where you really can't carry bad players through. They can believe you're a good healer, sometimes. If you're a damage-dealing class they can't believe you could possibly be as good as a guy until they see raid reports. They will never believe you can tank.
* Some people think anything you do or say is attention-whoring, even if you never wanted the attention. If a guy makes a joke in a forum post, he's a funny guy. If a girl makes a joke in a forum post, she's an attention whore. If a guy makes a good argument in a forum post, he's a smart guy. If a girl makes a good argument in a forum post, she's doing it for attention. She's ESPECIALLY an attention whore if people like her or agree with her.
* Similarly, people assume that the only reason anyone likes you is because they're one of your fanboys. So people don't genuinely think women or funny or make good arguments, they're just fanboys. If other girls like you, then it's because women form cliques -- even if in the previous breath they were saying that women are all catty and hate each other.
* Even if people tend to assume you're male from your writing style, once they know your gender, some people tend to read everything in the shrillest way possible. You could literally copy and paste a guy's post and get an entirely different reaction.
* All of this applies to underage girls. I've played alongside 14, 15, 16 year old girls who would deal with all this horrible stuff every day. Often worse stuff really, since they didn't yet have the best handle on how to deal with it.
Want to hear some scary shit? One 14 year old girl whose father also played had to change her character's name and transfer her to another server because some guy was e-stalking her. If her real life name (or her father's name) were next to her character's name in forum posts she wouldn't be very safe right now, would she?
* For all of the above, it doesn't really matter much if you're married or in a long-term relationship. It doesn't stop anyone. The only real difference is that if you're married, people assume you're old and unattractive and probably controlling. (I stopped playing WoW when I was 24, and I'm about to turn 26.) Within my guild there was pretty much no fear that I was going to try to woo my way to anything at least, but outside the guild people keep thinking whatever they want.
I was really lucky to be in a guild with guys that AREN'T assholes, so I had a reason to keep playing even if random forum people would be assholes sometimes. For whatever reason, our guild was full of mostly rational, unprejudiced people; we would reject applicants that weren't those things. We were in a position where we could be that picky, but most guilds don't do well enough to get enough apps that they can afford to reject people for character flaws. Once our GM actually got on an app's case for creeping out the girls in the guild -- just basically warning him that he was not making us feel flattered -- and then he kicked him out of the guild a few days later when nothing changed; that GM had a pretty good understanding of what was skeezy and why we shouldn't have to put up with it. We were lucky for that, because the guy in question wasn't being crass or lewd, he was just kind of a stereotypical dorky guy who thought women liked to be treated like Renaissance maidens instead of people; he couldn't seem to understand we didn't want him to flirt with us even in a "harmless" complimentary way, that we just wanted to be left the fuck alone. One of the women in question wasn't even afraid to be really mean and condescending to him about it, and he STILL kept it up because he was too awkward to know how to do anything else. This is the sort of stuff we had to deal with.
Ours was an extraordinary guild, though; we've gone to great lengths to see each other IRL even since most of us quit WoW, and most guilds don't have that kind of protection and camaraderie. In most guilds no one would think there was anything wrong with that guy's behavior and we'd be too "sensitive" if we complained about it. For many girls, the solution is either to grit their teeth through it and say very little -- which isn't feasible if you want to raid, because any decent raiding guild requires you use a voice client. But if you don't want to raid, you can have male characters and just never disclose your gender. My primary character was female, but after seeing how that went, I made all my alts male just to get a goddamn break when I needed it. Several times when I quit the game it was because it had become too draining to deal with anymore; guys can just log in and have fun and log off, but girls have to log in and deal with everyone who wants to talk to them. After a while logging in meant I would spend all night typing while flying aimlessly around Shattrath instead of actually doing anything fun. I'm an introvert so I was especially worn down. You can't just not respond to people because they keep trying, or they think you're stuck-up, or they're seriously emotionally fragile and you really don't want to hurt their feelings, and they can always ask someone else in your guild to make sure you're not AFK. It sucks. I mean, you can do all that anyway, if you want to get harassed.
The only way to play it if you're not going to lay low is to have a pristine rep, and it's constant work. I accepted that as a sacrifice for not hiding my gender and wanting to actually be able to talk to my friends on the forums like guys get to do. I never thought it was fair but I was able to weigh the consequences and make a choice. But if you attach real life names to characters, a woman pretty much can't post on the forums anymore unless they're willing to deal with all of the above -- plus more, since everyone can look up her name on Facebook and pick apart her appearance! All the women that lie low for their own sanity aren't going to have that choice anymore, even if all they want to do is help someone out on the forums, or make a post looking for or selling something, or what-have-you.
2. Minorities will get harassed.
A sizable portion of gamers are racist. (Sexism, racism, and homophobia are what make me most uncomfortable about the gaming community; in a serious way I feel more connection to gamers than any other group, so this pains me. Plenty of gamers are none of these things and I love them to death, but I think those same gamers realize what a huge problem it is in the community in general.) An even bigger portion of gamers are just not very racially sensitive -- they'll use "nigger" or "Jew" a lot, for example, even if they don't think they actively feel anything against those groups, because they think it's funny. In the same way that saying stuff is "gay" is especially pronounced in the gamer community, even the people that say slurs ironically or by force of habit inadvertently make actual bigots in the gaming community feel empowered because they don't realize other people don't mean those things like they do. It is much more common and acceptable to express racist opinions in the gaming community than society at large.
Plus -- I hate to say this -- I've found that a lot of people in that latter category who don't feel like they're actively prejudiced against minorities actually do think black and Mexican people in particular are stupid. I've realized that about some gamers I'm friends with and it's not a great feeling; you have to hang around them a while before something comes up that makes you notice it, like how they interpret a comment they overheard from a black person, that sort of thing. It's usually people that grew up around only other white people; gamers that grew up around minorities tend to use the slurs because they're using to trading friendly jabs with minority friends, and they aren't actually racist and know when not to use the slurs. Unfortunately, the obliviously racist gamers especially tend not to understand why you wouldn't want to say those things even jokingly to a minority you don't know; they don't think they're racist, so their reasoning is that people shouldn't take offense. But it can get really uncomfortable when it's clear to everyone else that they actually are a little racist and don't realize it, and it's just as hurtful as a real racist remark when they're trying to be funny and the assumption shines through anyway.
Putting people's real life name on their posts just encourages people to drag their race into the discussion, whether they're being hateful or just think they're being funny. I've seen Black and Hispanic gamers in particular get a whole lot of crap already and they're often not forthcoming about their ethnicity. It doesn't even necessarily come through on voice clients so it's easier than hiding gender. Just like I don't blame women who chose to lay low so they can have fun playing the game instead of being drained by dealing with people, I don't blame minorities who do the same thing. They shouldn't have to deal with people's bullshit because their last name is Rodriguez or Goldstein.
And if anyone wants to say, "Well real life is like that," fantastic. WoW is a game. It's not supposed to be serious business. People play games as long as they're fun, and being harassed isn't fun. It's no one's moral obligation to be the banner-carrier for justice 24/7. If someone wants to make their gender or race (or sexual orientation) known in WoW so they can chip away at the problems in the gaming community, that's certainly praiseworthy. My guild was great so I and the other women and minorities and gays in the guild could feel a little more comfortable being open about that stuff. But it shouldn't be thrust on anyone.
3. You don't have to be a troll to not want your name attached to your posts. There is still a bit of a gaming stigma, and there is an especially strong WoW stigma.
I have friends that keep their WoW-playing secret. A lot of friends, actually. I think it's kind of silly but I understand the impetus because just like the gaming community has a different culture, they spend their real lives in cultures that stigmatize gaming. Some people deal with constant bullshit in MMOs because they're female or a minority or gay; some people deal with constant bullshit IRL because everyone they know thinks only losers or people with mental problems play MMOs. Several people in our guild were in the armed services and kept WoW a secret because the attitude toward MMOs was so negative there. Other people have relatives who literally think things like WoW are demonic.
Hell, even within WoW there is a stigma against playing it too much. I was in the top raiding guild on our server and we were constantly having to deal with people saying, "You're only doing so well because you play so much!" We were constantly struggling to finish everything for the week in two evenings just so we could say, "NUH UH, we play less than you do, you're just bad!" And then guildies would gossip about the few people in the guild that really did play constantly -- there were always a couple. If someone had some awesome item on their alt that you wanted for your main, well: at least you weren't a loser that played everyday like they did -- I mean you get laid at least, goddamn, you're too busy being cool IRL to have a good alt. Playing WoW is considered waaaay less cool than playing anything else.
Outside of WoW it's worse: for non-gamers, WoW may as well be the only MMO anyone has ever heard of, and they haven't heard good things; finding out someone plays WoW isn't like finding out they played Uncharted. Employers who don't know any better might feel apprehensive about hiring someone who plays WoW since the stereotype is that WoW players are irresponsible and end up losing their jobs. Sure, every now and then it might work in someone's favor -- I've had bosses who play WoW, and some of my husband's NASA colleagues do too -- but it should be someone's choice whether they reveal that sort of thing.
Again, I'm all for being open about things in order to change attitudes, but it shouldn't be forced on anyone. You don't have to actually feel shame for playing WoW to want to avoid dealing with bullshit from judgmental people; I'd argue that anyone who doesn't feel shame would be making a rational decision to avoid engaging with small-minded people on the topic. I mean, how many of us avoid talking about politics or religion? Most of us aren't ashamed, we just know it would be a contentious waste of time if our granny knew we we didn't hate gay people. And for the smaller subset that actually do feel shame -- and yes, I know some of those too -- "you shouldn't be such a wuss" doesn't outweigh privacy anyway. People should be able to be wusses if they want.
4. A lot of parents are going to have their teenager's posts linked to their name because their name is on the account.
Best case scenario is that the teenager is a perfect angel on the WoW forums, and everyone still sees a ton of WoW posts attached to the parent's name in Google searches. Bad for all the reasons above.
Less-than-best case scenario is the teenager engages in some colorful gamer humor, which, even if it isn't racist, is probably mildly sexual and insulting. Not really something you want appearing in an employer's Google search, or that you want your friends and family finding.
Worst case scenario is the child says some crazy shit and the parent looks crazy.
5. People who don't play WoW will get harassed or have WoW associated with them if someone else with the same name posts on the WoW forums.
6. If you're able to easily lie about your name in the forums to get out of privacy concerns, that just opens another can of worms.
7. It probably won't do that much to stop trolling.
If you're able to change what name is displayed, it won't stop trolling at all. But even if you can't change what name shows up, plenty of people already get a second account to post from and will keep doing that; this, of course, is also an option for privacy-conscious people, but they shouldn't have to pay more money when they're not doing anything wrong.
Plus there are people who don't care if you know their real name as long as you don't know what character they play; they're worried about in-game ramifications if people don't like them -- i.e. people won't let them into their group, or their guild, or they won't be able to sell anything. So while real life privacy is important to a lot of people, in-game privacy is just as important to others. (I think someone already noted upthread that some people prefer to keep all their forum activity separate from their main character, even when they're not trolling.)
Some people happily troll from their main already and just don't care that other people don't like them. When people troll on their main they're usually pretty polarizing and end up with as many friends as enemies, and some people are comfortable with that. My server had a guy that would be a troll on his main and I actually thought he was pretty funny, in a guilty pleasure sort of way; he would mostly bait people that were already raging about something stupid so it was hard to feel bad for them.
Will it stop some trolling, though? Probably. So would better moderation. So would a lot of things. Speaking of which...
8. There is a better solution.
Just let people see what characters are on the same account as the character that's posting. It doesn't violate their privacy nearly as much as the current solution and it would be enough to deter most people from trolling because they don't want their trolling associated with their main. All that'd be left is people trolling from dummy accounts, which it sounds like they can do under the new system anyway, so Blizzard would just make some extra money off crazy cowards.
Why in this world they thought this would be more appropriate is beyond me. I can't think of a single forum that I use that requires you to display you first and last name with your posts, and WoW sure as hell isn't important enough to warrant that.
posted by Nattie at 8:15 PM on July 6 [342 favorites]
Monday, July 5, 2010
Ask the EconomistI really love the sarcasm over there...
DEAR ECONOMIST: Due to a recent series of events, my wife and I have been granted access to a long-term line of credit, allowing us to borrow $500,000 at 2.97 percent. I'd like your advice about how best to invest this money.
We plan, first of all, to pay off our mortgage -- a 30-year loan on which we're now paying 5 percent. After that we plan to pay off the auto loans on both of our cars.
Our home, like every home, has some long-deferred maintenance issues -- aging plumbing, several dying trees threatening to drop heavy branches or to fall onto the house, the early signs of what could one day be very expensive water damage to a part of the foundation. We figure it's cheaper in the long run to deal with all of that now, rather than risking the inevitability of future calamity, and this inexpensive line of credit will allow us to do that.
Our home was built in the 1960s, so it's also badly in need of upgrades to higher standards of insulation and energy use. An energy audit tells us that investing in such improvements will yield savings that outpace the 2.97-percent cost of the line of credit. Along the same lines, this money will allow us to invest in solar panels for our roof -- a step that will over time more than pay for itself and bring us closer to energy independence.
What other advice do you have for us for investing this windfall?
-- T. BILL, NEW DEAL, PA.
DEAR SPENDTHRIFT: Let me get this straight -- you've already got a 30-year mortgage and two auto loans and you're thinking about taking on even more debt? Are you insane? Your household debt level is obviously already too high -- that's why you haven't been able to attend to the basic maintenance of the infrastructure of your home.
With massive debt like yours, the last thing you should be considering is taking on more, so Just Say No to the lure of that line of credit.
Instead, concentrate on reducing your overall debt first by getting rid of one of those cars and the car payments that come with it. Many readers claim they need such debt-financed transportation to "get to work," but that only shows the lack of discipline that comes from an addiction to debt-driven spending. If your household cannot afford two auto loans then clearly your household cannot afford two jobs.
One of you will have to quit working until you demonstrate the financial discipline to pay off the first auto loan. Then and only then should you contemplate purchasing a second car or taking on the expense of a second commute.
And frankly until you grow up and demonstrate that kind of fiscal discipline, all this talk of energy efficiency and solar power is just a pipe dream you can't afford. For goodness' sake, think of your grandchildren.
-- THE ECONOMIST
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Friday, July 2, 2010
After the math department at the University of Texas noticed some of its Dell computers failing, Dell examined the machines. The company came up with an unusual reason for the computers’ demise: the school had overtaxed the machines by making them perform difficult math calculations.Just like Dell, bullshit right out of the box. I gave up on them when my last Dell, purchased in the mid-1990s had a bad Zip drive. It took me a year to get them to send me a replacement drive for the under-warranty computer. And, only then, because I bought a replacement drive to prove to them that their drive was bad.
Dell, however, had actually sent the university, in Austin, desktop PCs riddled with faulty electrical components that were leaking chemicals and causing the malfunctions. Dell sold millions of these computers from 2003 to 2005 to major companies like Wal-Mart and Wells Fargo, institutions like the Mayo Clinic and small businesses.And it gets worse, even when confronted by massive failures
:“The funny thing was that every one of them went bad at the same time,” said Greg Barry, the president of PointSolve, a technology services company near Philadelphia that had bought dozens. “It’s unheard-of, but Dell didn’t seem to recognize this as a problem at the time.”Dell's solution has been, of course, to not make it good. That'd cost money.
Documents recently unsealed in a three-year-old lawsuit against Dell show that the company’s employees were actually aware that the computers were likely to break. Still, the employees tried to play down the problem to customers and allowed customers to rely on trouble-prone machines, putting their businesses at risk. Even the firm defending Dell in the lawsuit was affected when Dell balked at fixing 1,000 suspect computers, according to e-mail messages revealed in the dispute.
SO the victims have to go to the Courts. The taxpayer-funded Courts. The ones so many lib-nuts would rather us not use, but instead have us trust to the "wisdom of the market."
Considering it's taken YEARS to hear of this massive, fraudulent problem (known to Dell management) I wonder where the "the wisdom of the market" people come up with the idea that people will know. And it gets worse:
The documents chronicling the failure of the PCs also help explain the decline of one of America’s most celebrated and admired companies. Perhaps more than any other company, Dell fought to lower the price of computers.So he shipped bad computers, cooked the books (with the help of the auditors who were, according to "market wisdom" are supposed to prevent book cooking) and the Dell Model, so beloved of the laissez-faire class has been shown to be a load of crap.
Its “Dell model” became synonymous with efficiency, outsourcing and tight inventories, and was taught at the Harvard Business School and other top-notch management schools as a paragon of business smarts and outthinking the competition.
“Dell, as a company, was the model everyone focused on 10 years ago,” said David B. Yoffie, a professor of international business administration at Harvard. “But when you combine missing a variety of shifts in the industry with management turmoil, it’s hard not to have the shine come off your reputation.”
For the last seven years, the company has been plagued by serious problems, including misreading the desires of its customers, poor customer service, suspect product quality and improper accounting.
Dell has tried to put those problems behind it. In 2005, it announced it was taking a $300 million charge related, in part, to fixing and replacing the troubled computers. Dell set aside $100 million this month to handle a potential settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission over a five-year-old investigation into its books, which will most likely result in federal accusations of fraud and misconduct against the company’s founder, Michael S. Dell.
You know, when I was in college they used different models... All of which, btw, fell out of favor when it was found those models also didn't work or were based on externalities not considered by the professors...
In fact, Toyota was one of those models. As was Sony and many, many other Japanese firms... All of whom have had at least one major crash-burn-and-die since they were "the best Company ever."
Oh, btw, if you own an Apple iPhone and you've wondered why it's reception sucked. It was Apple, not ATT. Not that ATT hasn't sucked in general. But, apparently, the antenna in the iPhone's antenna isn't great shakes and Apple had a software glitch that added two bars to the reception strength. This gave people the impression they were getting good service, even when they weren't.
I love The Onion...