Long before the topic raged on Twitter on was meme-ifyed in a million different ways on every remaining social media channel, I used to privately rage about the fact that a law-abiding American citizen had a very, VERY small chance of getting a McFlurry at an American McDonald’s restaurant after a certain time of night. I refused to believe that the McFlurry machine was “down” as the employees told me a good half of the time I went for one after sundown; I jumped to a sinister conspiracy that the employees were just lazy and didn’t want to clean it after a certain time (relying on my own experience as a fast-food worker who pulled the same tricks on many a customer at various burger and taco joints in the ’80s and ’90s).
Turns out, my conspiracy theory, while wrong, was far simpler than the convoluted truth. This story from Wired is spectacular; it digs into the fact that the machines seem to be designed to fail often and charge McDonald’s fat repair fees, and the pair of hackers who created a device to circumvent all that, leading to a David-vs-Goliath battle with the world’s largest fast-food chain. Fascinating stuff.