by Robert Arvay, Contributing Writer
Every businessman understands that over-reliance on just one supplier puts one at risk that the supplier may threaten to withdraw, leaving dependent companies, even nations, in the lurch.
Now it has happened. Communist China announced today that effective at the end of this year, they will no longer be providing technical support for the world’s most widely used calculating device, the abacus.
This device is low cost and compact. It provides rapid calculations of numerical operations to billions of people worldwide. It is energy efficient, requiring no batteries of any sort, and is easily transportable.
All that is now threatened, and just at a time when more advanced computing devices are becoming more vulnerable to an assortment of threats, including hackers, malware, and weaponized electro-magnetic pulses (EMP) from both criminals and hostile nations.
Abacus calculators are so cleverly designed that they have built-in defenses against all of those threats, even those of the most advanced technologies known to man.
The impact in the United States is expected to drastically disrupt operations in Chinese restaurants, which rely almost exclusively on the abacus to detect errors in electronic cash registers. You have no doubt noticed that adjacent to every cash register in such restaurants, an abacus is always placed within quick access, so as to rapidly and accurately correct any errors before the customer pays the wrong amount.
Last year, Texas Instruments, the American giant of hand-held calculators, attempted to market its electronic abacus to compete with the Chinese. It failed, leaving the entire abacus market with no competition.
Next, the US government agency known as the NSA, built its own electronic abacus. It proved unwieldy, however, requiring a ten storey tall building and massive amounts of air conditioning, and was able to spy on only ten Americans, none of whom posed any threat to national security, although all ten of them were, by pure coincidence, members of the TEA Party.
Finally, the Internal Revenue Service attempted to purchase ten billion abacuses for audit purposes, but instead bought ten billion rounds of ammunition for its fifty-caliber machine guns. Actually, that was not a mistake, as the abacuses were introductory gifts from the ammunition factory, which knew in advance that the abacus will be going obsolete.
Barack Obama claimed that he had negotiated an extension for abacus technical support beyond the end of this year. However, it turned out that when the Chinese said that technical support for the abacus will terminate at the end of this year, they meant at the end of the Chinese lunar year, which ends after the Julian year, making Obama think he had gotten an extension. It was like what happens every time Obama fires a corrupt government administrator, only to discover that the administrator was already scheduled to retire anyway.
When Obama protested, the Chinese replied that they have been granting extensions to the support contracts for abacus for over four thousand years, and they had finally said, “enough is enough. No more four-thousand-year extensions.”
When abacus-geddon strikes at the end of this lunar year, abacuses worldwide will become useless, or at best, vulnerable to identity theft.
Chinese restaurants will have to raise their prices or go out of business. Order your box lunches now, to beat the last minute rush.