The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy – IEEE Spectrum


The Phoebus cartel engineered a shorter-lived lightbulb and gave birth to planned obsolescence. Phoebus expended considerable technical effort into engineering a shorter-lived lightbulb.

How exactly did the cartel pull off this engineering feat? It wasn’t just a matter of making an inferior or sloppy product; anybody could have done that. But to create one that reliably failed after an agreed-upon 1,000 hours took some doing over a number of years. The household lightbulb in 1924 was already technologically sophisticated: The light yield was considerable; the burning time was easily 2,500 hours or more. By striving for something less, the cartel would systematically reverse decades of progress.

via The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy – IEEE Spectrum.

Browser Beware: Wi-Fi Users Sign Over First-Born Children – IEEE Spectrum


The results of a social experiment in London suggest that on-the-go Internet users are not being as careful as they should be when connecting to unfamiliar networks. In order to connect to a rigged Wi-Fi network set up by mobile security firm F-Secure, six users agreed to sign over their first born children to the company. … “and during the experiment a lawyer supervised all our activities to avoid breaching any laws.”

Presumably, F-Secure does not intend to enforce the clause assigning them custody of users’ children, either.

via Browser Beware: Wi-Fi Users Sign Over First-Born Children – IEEE Spectrum.

 

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