Friday, November 05, 2004


New Uses for AOL disks

Unwanted AOL registration disks have been a bane for Americans for some time. It turns out that some people think they must be important after all. In a recent Economist article, an AOL executive confesses that a high portion of calls to the AOL help desk are from prospective AOL customers who don't have computers. These would-be customers are inserting the disks in their stereo and hoping to connect to the Internet. AOL considers these people technology laggards, but perhaps they are actually techno pioneers, expecting Internet enabled entertainment appliances.

Another humorous anecdote from Genevieve Bell, Intel's resident anthropologist. Seems connecting to a WiFi in a cafe in Australia is considered pretentious, just not laid back.

This article was part of a very good Economist IT survey: So good that some usability practitioners have started sending it out to their clients.
What's worse than the disks is the insane packaging they come in. From full-size DVD keep-boxes, to now thin metal tins. I guess they are trying to shift the perception away from "throwaway" but in fact it IS throwaway, and now I've got to take responsibility for creating even more awful trash. Or reuse the packaging to protect and store my own CDs and DVDs...
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