Friday, November 09, 2007

Passwords as Speaker Wire

Update: the question of 'why should I quit using passwords' is the focus of the first half of this Bandit podcast involving Bob Blakely and Dale Olds.

A friend of mine was helping me install a new LCD TV and multi-media system. Two pieces of (unsolicited) advice he shared stuck with me:
  1. You don't need to shell out for the Monster cables.
  2. Set it up right from the start. Once you push the furniture back you'll get used to any inefficiencies and learn to live with a sub-optimal configuration.
Well, studies show that overpaying for cables adds to the enjoyment of new equipment but I do agree with his second tip.

People can get used to anything (e.g. having to open up the armoire doors in order to use the remote, surround-sound speaker wire taped down straight across the living room floor, a wife who goes to 'book club' meetings every second night but who never seems to buy books, etc) - the inertial resistance of "that's how its always been" should not be under-estimated in predicting the future.

When the "it's always been" is less than the ideal, whether or not it can be supplanted depends on people's willingness/ability to fight through the lethargy barrier (note to self: future quantum tunneling analogy) to see that brighter future.

Any invasive identity technology will fight against a similar resistance, the "it's always been" of passwords. As many issues as passwords present, and as 'better' are new alternatives, it can't be denied that users know how to use (and misuse) them.

1 comment:

Gerald Beuchelt said...

I like your comparison.

Another word on speaker wire: Monster (and more expensive scamsters like AudioQuest, NordOst, etc.) make their living off the consumer's lack of understanding of the most basic principles of electro-magnetism.

Forget *all* the marketing buzz phrases, flux capacitors, etc. It just not true: speaker (and all other A/V wire) is the biggest rip-off since snake-oil.

For myself, I always shop at sites like monoprice.com or similar, since they give you the same quality of wire for about 10% or less of what you would pay with the others. The money I save there, I invest in better active components (especially speakers... sigh!).

Enjoy your new equipment!