Technology peeves

These are Don MacMillan’s pet peeves with technology. I identify with them all. I hate putting the USB in the wrong way, it annoys me phones and laptops don’t have the same sort of charger for each device. Each mobile phone has a different charger. Each laptop has a different charger. I certainly relate to the washroom sensors. I am the one standing there waving my hands uselessly under the dryer. Then he talks about printers. For me that is not an issue. I rarely print but it is insanity itself that a new printer is cheaper than buying new ink. E-waste.

That is my first pet peeve. The amount of e-waste we generate because we cannot be bothered going back through the system and streamlining it for optimum use. We have cords, adapters, monitors, keyboards, batteries, CDs now. Nothing is easy to recycle and nothing is easily adapted. Nothing ever matches so I have a whole box full of cables and wires and know in there somewhere is the right cord or connector for what I want to do. Tablets are not the answer. We have worked that out now. They are good and useful but they are limited in what they can do. It’s their portability which is the real advantage and the fact they suit some people perfectly. There is then the problem of battery life. We have all these cool devices and forever running to charge them or going out to buy another pack of batteries. I can remember how liberating it was to be able to run a calculator off solar power. Suddenly we were finally free just to get on and calculate. No credibility in the technology age if you are held up because of battery life or a connecting cable.

Don MacMillan talks about passwords. One of my pet peeves, too. We have so many of them. We seem to need so many of them. You do get told your password is weak. That’s another annoyance – patronising computer messages. I don’t like the alternatives being suggested – voice passwords, iris passwords or fingerprint passwords. You just know that is not going to go well.

Then there are the games which want you to play them the way they want you to play them. You are herded like beef into certain ways of doing things or going about things. If the game does not stop doing that to me, I never play it again. It’s a game. My game.

My current peeve is apps which manage to lose the in purchase component. Apps like that should be taken off the range of choices. There needs to be an effort now to divest the world of unreliable apps, software and websites. I know people can fake reviews and ratings. It is time to deal with this properly. There have to be trials, beta testing and then an easy way of reporting unreliable software and sites. People are encouraged to design apps, in particular,and software but we are missing the quality control and ongoing durability of the product. If a leg fell off your chair 6 months after you bought it , you would have something to say and a way of addressing it. Technology doesn’t provide that sort of protection really. It can lose things, corrupt things, stop working, make things vanish, make things unopenable, make redress very hard and still we engage with it. We have had it on the world stage long enough to be better at what is offered and how we solve the problems. Caveat emptor is the way a lot of technology difficulties are dealt with but we need real solutions and that is the challenge we should take up.

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