Links for 2014-12-27

  • Why Airlines Want to Make You Suffer

    ‘The fee [airline pricing] model comes with systematic costs that are not immediately obvious. Here’s the thing: in order for fees to work, there needs be something worth paying to avoid. That necessitates, at some level, a strategy that can be described as “calculated misery.” Basic service, without fees, must be sufficiently degraded in order to make people want to pay to escape it. And that’s where the suffering begins.’

    (tags: travel airlines pricing fees economy consumer jetblue)

  • A Virtual Machine in Excel

    ‘Ádám was trying his hand at a problem in Excel, but the official rules prohibit the use of Excel macros. In a daze, he came up with one of the most clever uses of Excel: building an assembly interpreter with the most popular spreadsheet program. This is a virtual Harvard architecture machine without writable RAM; the stack is only lots and lots of IFs.’

    (tags: vms excel hacks spreadsheets coding)

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