[Noisebridge-discuss] Soda Machine
jjuran at gmail.com
Tue Feb 21 02:19:18 PST 2012
On Feb 20, 2012, at 6:47 PM, Jeff Tchang wrote:
> Is it still working? Does it need to be stocked?
Early Sunday morning, I emptied and unplugged the soda machine, after
consulting with three other Noisebridgers.
Chris was opposed to selling sugared water (which as a side note I
find amusing because it reminds me of Steve Jobs), and stated a
preference for offering healthier fare like (plain) water and
something else I've forgotten already (probably juice). He also
waxed a little dramatic (or at least melodramatic), ranting slightly
about poisoning members of the community.
Lief rated the vending machine Off-Topic, since Noisebridge is not in
the business of selling soft drinks, although providing drinks on a
donation basis (as we've done with kombucha) is acceptable. Lief
also questioned the financial benefits of running the machine. On
January 16, Rob, Evan, and I spent $59 on 148 cans of soda, expecting
a profit of $89. Lief suggests that it costs about $100 per month in
electricity to run the vending machine. Even if we refill the
machine promptly and take advantage of sale prices, we're more or
less breaking even.
That's assuming, of course, that money doesn't go missing from the
On Feb 19, I counted the money in the machine and there was a
shortfall of about $90. Rob reports that about a week ago, he
noticed the vending machine key in the right area but the wrong spot,
and Amber informed me on Thursday that she was aware that someone had
taken money from the machine. After accounting for unsold cans and
purchases in quarters, that leaves 120 cans bought with dollar
bills. If $90 is missing, then the theft occurred about 3/4 of the
way through the time period, which is consistent with the timing of
I'm going to go out on a limb and speculate that the money was stolen
by one of the undesirables recently in the space (and even more
recently out of the space, thanks to the Rooster Brigade). In this
scenario, the perp observed someone close the vending machine, walk
into a small room, and immediately leave again -- thus revealing the
location of the key. Lief offered the theory that perhaps someone
hacked his/her way in without a key, and asserted that anyone who
successfully steals money from a hackerspace is by definition a
hacker and that such actions should be applauded. I stated that
Noisebridge is not DefCon and accused Lief of trolling.
Despite taking exception with Chris' and Lief's delivery, I agree
with their basic positions and (some of) their supporting reasons.
Rob, originally in favor of restocking the machine, also agreed with
taking the machine out of service. I moved the five remaining cans
(after consuming the last Sierra Mist) to the refrigerator, unplugged
the vending machine, and emptied it of all cash, amounting to $123.
I will either hand it over to Kelly or deposit it into Noisebridge's
I'll be at the Tuesday meeting, in case anybody wants to discuss
this. I for one would be in favor of stocking Hansen's canned
smoothies. Get them shipped from Amazon for $1/can, ask for a
donation of $2.
P.S.: If you want to talk about "poisoning" people or equate
stealing with hacking, please add a "[drama]" tag.
 Amounts are not exact because the machine keeps some coins
slotted in the change dispenser, and these weren't counted on Jan 16.
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