Technology peeves

access denied imageImage: Dreamstime

It used to be the Access denied was the most constant and regular annoyance you got with technology. Now we have a whole raft of annoyances to choose from. For some it’s the constant notification interruptions. For others it’s the constant spam and cold calls.

As soon as the New Year was rung in , I had non stop cold calls on my home phone and mobile phone. Over Christmas there had been a cease fire. I realised we still haven’t dealt  with this and it ought not be hard given most of the numbers are well documented on number look up sites as nuisance calls. The scams are getting worse, though and the people are becoming brazen. It’s a global problem which needs addressing as a matter of urgency.

Then there are the apps which suddenly won’t work wither because you have changed devices and the apps were not installed properly or they are no longer registered with the organisation for which the app has been created. So off you go re downloading things and then waiting in call queues.

Printers are probably the biggest annoyance. It is cheaper to buy a printer than the ink to fill one. You do not often need a printer these days but when you need one , you really need one. We need a better way of managing printers for those who might need one once or twice a year. The cost of printing a couple of sheets of paper is ridiculous and given ink dries up…not very clever of us.

Tech-Funnel has its top 10 pet peeves. Theirs includes so connections. Oh yes…watching the infinite wheel of death spin and spin and spin…MakeUseOf has its top technology annoyances and it includes passwords. Yes! Endless amounts of passwords and then you have to change them when you just mastered remembering them.

2019. I think we need to get onto these annoyances and make a real effort to a) make a very clear list of what annoyances we have with technology b) do something about it to make it a better technology world. We can all do this. We need to rectify  it because, truth is, we’d be lost without our technology.

 

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.

Josefine Grimm-Blenk

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