The Wire about design issues
Watching "The Wire - The Complete Second Season" (Ernest Dickerson), there is this interesting moment in Episode 5 (around minutes 47:00 to 47.56) where the dockers are explaining how technologies often fail. It deals with both radio-wave signals and handheld computers:
"That's cans, containers, coming off the ship, and others going back on. Now, look at the screen. Every time a can goes on or off, the computer creates a record and puts it in the permanent database.
He was saying the computer makes it hard to steal off the docks. Did our port manager tell you that right now we got 160 boxes missing off the Patapsco terminal alone? Or that last time, we inventoried the truck chassis... We came up 300 light?
No, I suppose not.
That's management for you.
Not that all of them are stolen.
You can lose a can by accident, no problem. For one thing, these hand-helds use radio waves. With all the equipment and container stacks out there... sometimes waves get knocked down. That happens, a can don't get entered.
Or, just as easy,
A checker makes the wrong entry. Either 'cause he's lazy, he's sloppy, or he's still shitfaced from the night before. Or, simpler than that, you got fat fingers. So imagine February on the docks. You're wearing Gortex gloves, trying to punch numbers on that thing."
Why do I blog this? always intrigued to find examples of such issues.