All posts filed under “Bad profits

Swoopo: Irrational escalation of commitment

Swoopo: Irrational escalation of commitment

Swoopo, a new kind of “entertainment shopping” auction site, takes Martin Shubik’s classic Dollar Auction game to a whole new, automated, mass participation level. It’s an example of the escalation of commitment, or a sunk cost fallacy, where we increase our commitment (in this case […]

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Freudian slip in BBC iTunes story

Freudian slip in BBC iTunes story

From this BBC story, as of 6.43 pm. P.S. I love the way it’s claimed “everyone will benefit” from the royalty rise. As a consumer, I can’t wait to be paying more! Perhaps a price increase will help limit the consumption of this precious rivalrous […]

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Persuasion & control round-up

Persuasion & control round-up

New Scientist: Recruiting Smell for the Hard Sell Samsung’s coercive atmospherics strategy involves the smell of honeydew melon: THE AIR in Samsung’s flagship electronics store on the upper west side of Manhattan smells like honeydew melon. It is barely perceptible but, together with the soft, […]

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Biting Apple

Biting Apple

Interesting to see the BBC’s summary of the current iPhone update story: “Apple issues an update which damages iPhones that have been hacked by users”. I’m not sure that’s quite how Apple’s PR people would have put it, but it’s interesting to see that whoever […]

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In default, defiance

In default, defiance

‘Choice of default’ is a theme which has come up a few times on the blog: in general, many people accept the options/settings presented to them, and do not question or attempt to alter them. The possibilities for controlling or shaping users’ behaviour in this […]

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Dishonourable discharge?

Dishonourable discharge?

Long overdue, I’m currently reading Bruce Schneier‘s excellent Beyond Fear, and realising that in many ways, security thinking overlaps with architectures of control: the goal of so many systems is to control users’ behaviour or to deny the user the ability to perform certain actions. […]

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Pier pressure

Pier pressure

   Deliberately routing users via a longer or more circuitous route is found in many forms (with a variety of intentions) from misleading road signs, to endless click-through screens, splitting up articles, periodic rearrangement of supermarket shelves, and so on. This kind of forcing function […]

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Another charging opportunity?

Another charging opportunity?

Last month, an Apple patent application was published describing a method of “Protecting electronic devices from extended unauthorized use” – effectively a ‘charging rights management’ system. New Scientist and OhGizmo have stories explaining the system; while the stated intention is to make stolen devices less […]

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The Terminal Bench

The Terminal Bench

Mags L Halliday – author of the Doctor Who novel History 101 – let me know about an ‘interesting’ design tactic being used at Heathrow’s Terminal 5. From the Guardian, by Julia Finch: Flying from the new Heathrow Terminal 5 and facing a lengthy delay? […]

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Bad profits

Bad profits

The Gillette Sensor Excel not only comes with a dummy blade, it also only comes with two out of five possible blade slots filled. Images from Sevenblock on Flickr. The razor-blade model in general is something of an old chestnut as far as architectures of […]

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