“The law” is not divinely inspired!

A Dallas Morning News blog article says cops are running ticket mills in White Rock Lake park. The crime? Bicyclists running stop signs.

Even though I am frustrated by White Rock Lake bicyclists, I believe this enforcement is just revenge. Let me explain.

I think motorists are justifiably upset at arrogant bicyclists. Commenters on the DMN blog and my experience confirm many who:

  • Decline to yield when entering a roadway.
  • Decline to use a special bridge intended for them. Instead, they choose to endanger themselves and motorists by cycling amidst traffic running three times as fast. (I’ll give them medals for bravery! They don’t even have the visibility and protection of vehicles!)
  • Do things just to provoke motorists.
  • Have holier-than-thou attitudes againt cars.
  • Ride 3-4 abreast, making it difficult to safely pass them.
  • Decline to watch out for pedestrians.

What’s the stop sign’s point? Mitigate right of way issues. That’s it.

Compared to cars, cyclists travel slowly. They have plenty long to review intersections and make right of way judgments. They rarely need a full stop. Why force them?

Full and complete stops don’t address any of the above problems. That’s why I believe this is simply revenge.

Add the simpleton logic of “it’s the law so it should be enforced,” and it becomes sweet revenge.

I don’t subscribe to simpleton logic, so I don’t approve victimizing bicyclists with this revenge, profit-fueled ticket mill.

Prediction: Microsoft Money is dead

Microsoft Money Plus Deluxe
Microsoft Money Plus Deluxe

Last Wednesday, Microsoft announced the end of Microsoft Money’s annual release cycle.

I think Microsoft actually killed it. Here’s why:

  1. The announcement was routed through a fanboy, not an employee. Bob Peel is a “MVP,” which really means he is not an employee and donates a lot of time to Microsoft. (As much as I like Microsoft products, I think it’s absurd to donate time to a for profit corporation.)
  2. “Customer feedback” apparently convinced Microsoft that yearly upgrades weren’t helpful. I have no idea why they suddenly realized this. The microsoft.public.money news group has lambasted the annual upgrades’ minimal net value for years.
  3. The current version, released in mid 2007, is Money Plus. Normally it would be named Money 2008. By removing the date, the current product’s name won’t expire.
  4. Microsoft discontinued retail sales. Why would you abdicate retail sales channels to Quicken? Because your product is dead. All future sales will be over download channels.

I suspect Money was unprofitable. The frequency of and poor added value of upgrades suggests that Microsoft’s true goal was milking the revenue out of a dead product. Money Plus is so long in the tooth–it’s slow, its database is terribly inefficient, and it doesn’t work well with other products–that it needs a huge rewrite.

What’s in store for Microsoft Money? Probably nothing, at least not anything I can install on my computer. If it has any future, Money will probably morph into a web site. But knowing how poorly Microsoft does web products, don’t hold your breath.

My recommendation? The desktop version is dead, and Microsoft sucks at online services, so explore alternatives.

Quicken is more primitive than Money, but Intuit promised major enhancements for the upcoming Quicken 2009. Barring that, there’s online services like wesabe.com and mint.com.