Was: Cookie lovers unite! but has Tech W

Subject: Was: Cookie lovers unite! but has Tech W
From: "Huber, Mike" <Mike -dot- Huber -at- SOFTWARE -dot- ROCKWELL -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 8 Aug 1996 11:19:44 -0400

> "Yes." I asked how much, and she responded, "Only two fifty, it's

> great
> deal!" I said with approval, just add it to my tab. Thirty days
> later, I received my VISA statement from Neiman-Marcus and it was
> $285.00. I looked again and I remembered I had only spent $9.95
> two salads and about $20.00 for a scarf. As I glanced at the
> of the statement, it said, "Cookie Recipe - $250.00." That's
> outrageous!!
This illustrates the importance of clear, unambiguous communication. "Two
fifty" is not a clear, unambiguous number. I've heard it used, in other
contexts, to mean $25,000.00. The people using it knew where the decimal
point belonged.

"Two fifty" sounds better than "$250.00" but, as another thread goes,
tech writing ain't literature.

> I just said, "Okay, you folks got my $250, and now I'm going to
> $250.00 worth of fun." I told her that I was going to see to it
> every cookie lover in the United States with an e-mail account has

> $250.00 cookie recipe from Neiman-Marcus... for free. She replied,
> "I wish you wouldn't do this." I said, "Well, you should have
> of that before you ripped me off, and slammed down the phone on

$250.00 is not a high price for a commercial recipe. Most places consider
them trade secrets and won't sell them at all.
And if they do sell them, they go with an enforceable non-disclosure
contract, rather than an "I wish you wouldn't do this."
Have to be very careful with intellectual property. For example, if this
story were true and the recipe happened to be on a screen-shot in a
manual, there could be serious trouble.

Which brings us to another "flow of information" problem: verifying
sources. This is a very old story, almost certainly false. For one thing,
the quantities are not appropriate for a commercial recipe.

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