The Cure Of Slightly Rubbish Technology (Part 2)

5/27/2013 2:59:47 PM

Rubbish free headphone

Far be it from me to look a gift horse in the mouth, but this particular beast should be put to sleep and used in a frozen lasagna. Having taken several hundred pounds from your wallet, some smartphone manufacturers think the best way to thank you is with a pair of poor-quality in-ear headphones. Not only are they usually uncomfortable, with an uncanny ability to fall out of your lugholes, they don’t exactly provide an impressive showcase for your new handset’s audio abilities. To the companies that bundle decent earphones, we salute you.

The pirate bay block

What people trying to access The Pirate Bay actually see

What people trying to access The Pirate Bay actually see

I’m not condoning piracy, but the court-ordered blocking of the Pirate Bay hasn’t benefitted anyone. If you’re a pro-piracy ‘freedom’ fighter, then you obviously disagree with it on a moral basis (and because you can’t illegally download the latest installment in the Twilight series). Meanwhile, rights holders and artists haven’t been served well by it either, because it simply hasn’t worked. The Pirate Bay is still very much accessible thanks to various proxy sites, and that doesn’t look likely to change. Even worse, it doesn’t encourage media companies to think about changing their business models, which they so badly need to do.

The single-button mouse

Remember when Mac users had to get by with a single mouse button and had to use the Ctrl key instead of a right-click? Oh, how we used to laugh. Although this is no longer the case since Apple came up with the revolutionary, world-changing idea of a two-button mouse (about 20 years after everyone else) and called it, amusingly enough, the Mighty Mouse, its legacy remains. Many a Mac user will still instinctively reach for the Ctrl key for right-clicks and will assign the second mouse button to something like revealing the desktop, making all the open windows dance a merry jig, which is apparently more useful than a context menu.

Captcha codes

Is that a zero or latter O? Should I type that space in or not? Welcome to the world of Captcha codes. Let’s be clear: website security is important. However, so is the sanity of your visitors. In spite of that, the many websites that require you to sign up will ask you to respond to a Captcha. Sometimes, you’ll be lucky and get it right first time, but other times you’ll spend five minutes refreshing the stupid thing, waiting for one that’s vaguely legible. As annoying as that is, it doesn’t compare to typing one and then finding it didn’t work because it’s case sensitive. The good news is that some websites have abandoned Captchas recently, so that at least provides a narrow slither of hope for the future.


The future of mouse technology, with two (yes, two!) buttons

The future of mouse technology, with two (yes, two!) buttons

As the proud owner of an iPad and a Macbook Pro (and a few Android gadgets as well – they’re all for work, of course), I’m not totally against Apple, but so many of its actions are annoying or counterproductive. It produces some great technology, but its products are often highly derivative, and yet it tries to enforce patents on just about everything, including, quite memorably, the idea of a rectangular tablet. On top of that, it has a habit of leaving prototype iPhones in public places and then trying to crush those who find them. As a consumer, I also find it annoying that it doesn’t offer refunds on apps like Google does, in spite of the fact that most of the ratings and reviews in the App Store appear to be fake.

In-app purchases

Nothing gin life is free. It’s a cliché, but it’s one that’s worth bearing in mind when it comes to free apps with in-app purchases, which are worryingly very common in children’s games. Downloaded a free app that lets your kid play with about if you want to buy it a new ball or a Spider Man mask? You’ll need ‘coins’ for that, which you have to buy with real money. That’s all well and good until you realize that to get all the extra bits you’ll have to buy $750-worth of virtual currency – all for a game that’s no bigger than a few megabytes. Based on this kind of logic, the first Sims game would have cost around 25 grand.

Comment sections

The unmistakable look of someone who’s finally succeeding in connecting to a Wi-Fi hotspot

The unmistakable look of someone who’s finally succeeding in connecting to a Wi-Fi hotspot

One of the great things about the internet is that it gives everyone a voice. Sadly, one of the worst things about it is that it gives everyone a voice. A lot of it’s just trolling, but unfortunately it’s likely that some of the idiotic, racist, homophobic and sexist vitriol that’s spouted in comment sections on sites like YouTube is real. Also, some readers of online journalism seem to think they have the right to personally insult the author of an article, just because they disagree with them. If they’re not attacking the writer, they’re arguing with each other, and not in a useful, constructive kind of way either. Clearly, lacking opposable thumbs doesn’t stop you operating a keyboard.

Ink prices

If printer manufacturers are to be believed, putting non-official ink in your printer is akin to filling up a Ferrari with strawberry yoghurt, but I’ve been using refillable cartridges and bottled ink for well over a year without any problems. Maybe the official stuff if slightly better in the long run, but there’s no way it’s worth the exorbitant prices that printer companies charge for it. Of course, they often price their printers extremely low but, like in-app purchases, the cost of the ink soon outweighs the initial saving.


There’s nothing worse than turning on a new laptop or smartphone and then watching the poor thing struggle to start up, thanks to an overabundance of preloaded applications and manufacturer-designed widgets dragging it down like an obese albatross around its delicate neck. To make matters once, with mobile phones, the network enforced Bloatware is usually resistant to any attempt to uninstall it.

You’ll never use the rubbish maps app, the proprietary app store or any of the other bloat, but you absolutely must keep all this crap on your phone (unless you root it and possible void your warranty – yay!).

Most View
Spring Is Here (Part 2)
Is 802.11ac Worth Adopting?
BlackBerry Z10 - A Touchscreen-Based Smartphone (Part 1)
LG Intuition Review - Skirts The Line Between Smartphone And Tablet (Part 5)
Fujifilm X-E1 - A Retro Camera That Inspires (Part 4)
My SQL : Replication for High Availability - Procedures (part 6) - Slave Promotion - A revised method for promoting a slave
10 Contenders For The 'Ultimate Protector' Crown (Part 3) : Eset Smart Security 6, Kaspersky Internet Security 2013, Zonealarm Internet Security 2013
HTC Desire C - Does It Have Anything Good?
Windows Phone 7 : Understanding Matrix Transformations (part 2) - Applying Multiple Transformations
How To Lock Windows By Image Password
- First look: Apple Watch

- 10 Amazing Tools You Should Be Using with Dropbox
- How to create your first Swimlane Diagram or Cross-Functional Flowchart Diagram by using Microsoft Visio 2010 (Part 1)

- How to create your first Swimlane Diagram or Cross-Functional Flowchart Diagram by using Microsoft Visio 2010 (Part 2)

- How to create your first Swimlane Diagram or Cross-Functional Flowchart Diagram by using Microsoft Visio 2010 (Part 3)
Popular Tags
Microsoft Access Microsoft Excel Microsoft OneNote Microsoft PowerPoint Microsoft Project Microsoft Visio Microsoft Word Active Directory Biztalk Exchange Server Microsoft LynC Server Microsoft Dynamic Sharepoint Sql Server Windows Server 2008 Windows Server 2012 Windows 7 Windows 8 Adobe Indesign Adobe Flash Professional Dreamweaver Adobe Illustrator Adobe After Effects Adobe Photoshop Adobe Fireworks Adobe Flash Catalyst Corel Painter X CorelDRAW X5 CorelDraw 10 QuarkXPress 8 windows Phone 7 windows Phone 8 BlackBerry Android Ipad Iphone iOS
Top 10
OPEL MERIVA : Making a grand entrance
FORD MONDEO 2.0 ECOBOOST : Modern Mondeo
BMW 650i COUPE : Sexy retooling of BMW's 6-series
BMW 120d; M135i - Finely tuned
PHP Tutorials : Storing Images in MySQL with PHP (part 2) - Creating the HTML, Inserting the Image into MySQL
PHP Tutorials : Storing Images in MySQL with PHP (part 1) - Why store binary files in MySQL using PHP?
Java Tutorials : Nested For Loop (part 2) - Program to create a Two-Dimensional Array
Java Tutorials : Nested For Loop (part 1)
C# Tutorial: Reading and Writing XML Files (part 2) - Reading XML Files
C# Tutorial: Reading and Writing XML Files (part 1) - Writing XML Files