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Comment Re:Like suing McDonald's for hot coffee (Score 1) 102

I remember the facts of the case being something like this:

Woman gets coffee and additions (sweet stuff, white stuff) in a McDonald's drive-through. Woman parks. Woman holds cup in her lap and opens it to add sweet stuff and white stuff. Cup collapses when the lid is removed, and spills scalding hot coffee over a lot of her skin. Woman has something like $20K in medical bills, asks McDonald's to reimburse her, they refuse, case winds up in court.

What struck me was not so much the temperature of the coffee as the way the cup failed. If I were to get some sort of liquid in a cup, I'd expect the cup to be able to hold the liquid, and that was not true for McDonald's coffee cups. The coffee temperature may have weakened the cup, and it certainly caused a lot of damage, but if McDonald's had provided a halfway decent cup there would have been no injury and no lawsuit.

Now *that* is a reasonable point. And it doesn't even require a conspiracy theory. The problem seems to be, (and here we circle back to the battery "exploding") that when something like this happens, the real, true facts of the case are almost immediately replaced by something much more dramatic, and both the plantiff's lawyers and the media are usually complacent in this. Just on the face of it, I personally doubt that any of the phones are "exploding". Maybe getting really hot, enough perhaps for combustion to occur in some circumstances, but detonation seems really unlikely.

Comment Re:Like suing McDonald's for hot coffee (Score 1) 102

Testing for myself isn't going to tell me much. I'd get a measurement of what the current temperature is, at that particular store, on that particular day. It wouldn't tell me what the temperature was for the plaintiff.

The temperature range of the coffee at that particular McDonald's is mentioned in the court proceedings, so apparently someone had the data at some point. It was stated as being between 180 and 190 degrees. This is in the wiki for the lawsuit, and (if you want to be bored to death) is in the court proceedings, also online.

Shortly after the trial, I personally tested several local coffee houses (five, if I remember right -- I probably still have the spreadsheet somewhere), and every single one of them served, and (discounting the local that was bought out by Starbucks) still today serves coffee at between 180 and 190 degrees. I'd argue that this is relevant. I think a defense lawyer could argue in court that this is relevant, but indications are, the McDee suits were so confident of success that they didn't put up much of a defense.

Comment Re:Look carefully at the terms (Score 1) 113

The inside word is that this was largely botched on the government side, with too high expectations, too many changes, and huge feature creep. I would argue that Oracle's mistake was not getting out when they plainly saw that this was a dysfunctional working relationship.

So what you're saying is that Oracle didn't get out of a typical government contract... It was a contract involving government, insurance, medicine, and a very political situation highly likely to change multiple times.

"mistake" may have been too strong of a word. Indications are, Oracle made significant money on the deal. The project was not successful, but that was not Oracle's objective.

Comment Re:Look carefully at the terms (Score 2) 113

... this was a dysfunctional working relationship.

That would require Oracle to put limits on the level of service offered by the end-product, the change process, the requirements and design process. IOW, all the things Oracle can charge more money for, because it was done twice or thrice.

About half of ERP implementations fail, yet both vendor and (new) customer go through the same flawed process one more time; why? Because the vendor wants to screw the customer; as its first, second and third priority. Because, despite the endless horror stories about open-ended contracts, the customer still says "fix this" without implementing it own change review/control/analysis processes. Because the customer uses a management psychopath instead of its own IT department for project management. Because the customer is too busy saying "gimme, gimme" instead marching the project towards completion.

Absolutely true. But any customer with an ounce of experience goes into the process *knowing* that the vendor (especially ORACLE) intends to screw them. A savvy customer, realizing they really do need to do business with some collection of vendors to meet their objectives, puts checks and balances in place, and has an exit plan, to prevent something like this from happening. Oregon was not savvy.

Comment Re:Like suing McDonald's for hot coffee (Score 1) 102

But I would submit that this is entirely different from tinfoil-hat arguments that McDonald's was somehow saving buttloads of money by serving their coffee litigiously hot, which would be more fitting as an item in the Evil Overlord manual.

They were saving a little bit of money at the risk of giving customers serious burns. It's from the Stupid Overlord manual.

Again, what I'm saying is that if you can set aside for a moment your obvious...

That's why they're running only two things, Jack and Shit, and Jack has left town: McDonalds "restaurants" are closing left and right as former customers increasingly opt to eat something else.

...intense dislike for McDonald's, (which I don't necessarily fault) and actually look objectively at what you've written, you could see that it doesn't pass the bullshit test. It reads just exactly like those memes that exist solely because people who dislike the target *want* to believe them.

If you've worked for food service (I don't really want to think about that part of my life -- Pre-IT-career, I rose to manager of a fast food joint during a time I would soon forget.) you'd know that considering end-to-end cost, coffee is the third cheapest beverage to serve, right behind (2) iced tea, and (1) non-bottled water. Serving an inexpensive (most of the cost is labor, and most of *that* is borne by employees who'd otherwise be standing around waiting for customers) beverage at an unwantedly-high, (which I dispute, more in a moment) accident prone and ultimately litiguous temperature merely to reduce the cost of refills is *pragmatically* idiotic. Never mind the moral implications, it just doesn't make sense from a business standpoint to risk litigation just to save on COFFEE REFILLS.

And again, regarding the temperature, check by: Observe that shops that are in the *business* of selling coffee serve that beverage in *demonstrably* the same temperature range as was claimed in the litigation. (Feel free to measure it yourself. I have.)

The other guy had a point about the cheapness of the cups. I had not considered that. But the mere temperature and tinfoil-hat legal arguments just don't fly.

Comment Re:Like suing McDonald's for hot coffee (Score 1) 102

Ok, look. I remember you, and respect your opinion for other things you've written. You may have a good point about the crappiness of the cups -- I had not considered that. Peets or Dutch Brothers use thick(er), undeniably sturdier paper cups and always (in my experience) include one of those brown insulator rings.

180 - 190 vs 160 - 185 is, I would submit, somewhat of a quibble. I was going by the tests I did myself, where in every case regular coffee was in the mid-180's, (which is the top of your range) and an Americano (expresso plus hot water) could often be over 190 degrees. (Which in my opinion *is* too hot.) If you have some information that 160 - 185 is the proper range, one could argue that this matches my own tests (albeit at the high end). The fact remains that hot beverages, for any reasonable definition of "hot" have the potential to injure. But so do a lot of things in life, if not handled carefully. Like putting gas in your car.

I guess one could make the reasonable argument that if the cups (being of cheap construction) were not up to the job of containing a hot beverage the establishment was serving, this would indicate an issue with the establishment. And having been in jobs that require site visits at odd hours when McDogFood is practically the only damned place open, I do remember the flimsy, styrofoam cups. But I would submit that this is entirely different from tinfoil-hat arguments that McDonald's was somehow saving buttloads of money by serving their coffee litigiously hot, which would be more fitting as an item in the Evil Overlord manual.

Comment Look carefully at the terms (Score 5, Interesting) 113

Caveat: I'm no friend of Oracle, and as much as both sides in this were odious, I was actually voting for the state.

I live here, and have connections in government IT. The inside word is that this was largely botched on the government side, with too high expectations, too many changes, and huge feature creep. I would argue that Oracle's mistake was not getting out when they plainly saw that this was a dysfunctional working relationship.

But look what Oracle offered -- a paltry (by their standards) sum, amounting to a roughly 15% discount on the original price tag, plus licenses that lock Oregon into more dependence on Oracle, which are guaranteed to make money for Oracle down the road.

One can paint this as a victory for Oregon with inflammatory headlines, but it looks to me like Oracle won in the end. (And since this is Oracle, "the end" is exactly what you imagine it to be.)

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