Tuesday, August 20, 2013

It's Dr Strabismus's world, we just live in it

Exhibit A
When Dmitry Argarkov was sent a letter offering him a credit card, he found the rates not to his liking.
But he didn't throw the contract away or shred it. Instead, the 42-year-old from Voronezh, Russia, scanned it into his computer, altered the terms and sent it back to Tinkoff Credit Systems.
Mr Argarkov's version of the contract contained a 0pc interest rate, no fees and no credit limit. Every time the bank failed to comply with the rules, he would fine them 3m rubles (£58,716). If Tinkoff tried to cancel the contract, it would have to pay him 6m rubles.
Tinkoff apparently failed to read the amendments, signed the contract and sent Mr Argakov a credit card.
"The Bank confirmed its agreement to the client's terms and sent him a credit card and a copy of the approved application form," his lawyer Dmitry Mikhalevich told Kommersant. "The opened credit line was unlimited. He could afford to buy an island somewhere in Malaysia, and the bank would have to pay for it by law."
A council has defended spending £12,000 for a hologram "virtual receptionist" to greet visitors, saying it is cheaper than employing a person to do the job.
The “virtual assistant”, which has been named Shanice, will appear to sit behind a desk and greet visitors, but is actually projected onto a see-through screen.
Brent council, which is believed to be the first to use the technology, says that having a virtual employee will save £17,000 compared to a human receptionist, adding that Shanice can also be reprogrammed.....Shanice will direct visitors at the £90million civic centre wanting to register a birth or death, apply for a marriage licence or arriving for their big day, or attending to apply for citizenship.
The council boasts that “unlike a real receptionist, she's also got a 'touch screen' function”, meaning people can key in the reason for visit and receive a tailor made presentation.
However, Alison Hopkins, budget and finance spokeswoman for the opposition Lib Dems, told the Evening Standard: "There have been complaints about signage in Brent’s new civic centre but this is a startlingly expensive way of solving the problem.

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