HIGHTOWER: Coke's "Intelligent" Vending Machine"
They say if you build a better mousetrap, the world will beat a path to your door.But what if you build a consumer trap?Coca-Cola has come up with just such a diabolical contraption -- a vending machine that will automatically raise the price on a can of Coke as the weather gets hotter. Douglas Ivestor, the chief Coke-head at Coca-Cola, says that the summer heat can increase one's desire for a cold drink, so, he says, "it is fair that it should be more expensive."Fair? Remember the Biblical story of Jesus telling his followers, "I was thirsty and ye gave me drink"? No such ethic of generosity for Ivestor and Coca Cola. Instead it's, "I was thirsty and ye raised the price on me."The company says it's doing this because it can, thanks to new computer-chip technology that links your input of quarters to a temperature sensor, which in turn is connected to the release mechanism that dispenses the thirst-quenching can of liquid to you. Who's name can we put on this invention that allows Mr. Ivestor to stick it to us on hot days for a soothing sip of his cola? No one comes forward to claim credit, and to be properly heralded for implementing Ivestor's odd concept of "fairness."According to The New York Times, not everyone in the industry is thrilled with this "intelligent vending." One beverage executive asked: "What's next? A machine that x-rays people's pockets to find out how much change they have and raise the price accordingly?"Shhhh. Don't be giving Ivestor and company ideas! As Lily Tomlin has said, "I worry that the person who invented Muzak might be thinking of inventing something else." And she didn't even know about this money-grubbing Coke machine when she said that.This is Jim Hightower saying...Surely there's a mighty hot place in hell reserved for Mr. Ivestor...and if there's any justice he'll be a quarter short when he stumbles upon one of his "intelligent" vending machines.