My six biggest gripes

A twitter user refered to an article, 10 obsolete technologies to kill in 2010. This inspired me to come up with my own, albeit shorter, list.

Six gripes for 2010:

Consumer packaging is one of the most poorly designed items around — especially the horrible plastic clamshells that take at least a chainsaw and a saber to open. I wouldn't be surprised if people don't actually get injured trying to extract that new wrench from its package. Why does everything need packaging anyway? What a waste!

Junk mail — No one reads all the so-called specials and junk stuffed daily in your mailbox. Why do companies bother to keep sending the crap? It wastes postage, bloats landfills, and uses unnecessary amounts of trees. It is just plain irritating.

Too much choice — Have you ever walked into a Wal-Mart or a Kmart and instantly gone brain dead from the insane amount of sheer choice? Why is it necessary to have 16 zillion kinds of underarm deodorant or 50 billion kinds of hair conditioner? Wouldn't a few kinds of each be enough? And the massive amounts of sheer STUFF is actually frightening. Where do all the unsold items go?

Needlessly complex software — A lot of people have harped on this one, but I feel the need to add my two cents. For example, the previous version of Word was overkill, but at least once you got used to it, you could pretty quickly do what you want. The new version is a nightmare. You constantly have to search different tabs to find simple commands that were once obvious. And actions such as SAVE, which used to take one click, now take hitting the stupid icon, looking for the save command, and then picking what kind of save you want to do. Over the course of, say, one year, I bet this wastes at least five hours per user.

Tiny street signs — Why are street signs usually so tiny and poorly placed you can't even read them? This is a big annoyance, especially when you are in a strange city at night trying to find your way. Or when a too-small sign you didn't see makes you miss that freeway exit and you have to circle back around for hours through the worst parts of town.

Big trucks — I just drove to Florida and back, and one state seemed to have the convention that big trucks should stay in the middle lane. This actually helped the flow of traffic considerably because cars could easily shoot by either side of a truck, while the lumbering trucks were not forced to keep jamming their brakes to avoid hitting merging traffic. "Merging" traffic is actually a misnomer. Have you noticed how many vehicles seem to just say a Hail Mary and whiz onto the freeway at about 90 mph without looking? Damn the torpedoes, they seem to say!

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