Archive for the 'Technology' Category

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Top 10 Technology What-The-Fucks

Sometimes, technology can really piss you off.

In no certain order, here are 10 things in modern technology that drive me nuts. Most importantly, these are all things that someone, somewhere, should have said, “This is a really bad idea and we should remedy this ASAP.”

Of course, they didn’t, so…

10. Car Alarms That Toot When You Arm Them

Jesus Christ, will you SHUT THE FUCK UP?

I want to find the asshole who invented this and kill him. As if we don’t have enough noise pollution in our lives, this evil little scumbag decided that simply blinking the parking lights wasn’t enough. No-o-o-o-o. Some gormless fuckwit of a soccer mom sometimes can’t see the lights and needs a re-assuring BEEP to remind her that her Dave Matthews CD’s are safe and sound.

Meanwhile, the rest of us have to put up with a startling BEEP just outside our window when we’re busy jerking off to midget porn. It ruins the mood, let me tell ya.

9. DVD’s That Won’t Let You Skip to the Main Menu

Menu menu menu menu menu MENU!!!

This one is the goddamn worst. You PAID MONEY to buy or rent this DVD. You have no interest in watching the previews of other shitty Hollywood movies and you have no patience for advertisements. You’re in your Barcolounger, Cheetos in your lap, ready to go, but NO.

You are forced to sit through two ads for the studio, a “funny” piracy warning video and umpteen fucking movie trailers. You grind your finger into the MENU button but all you get is the “illegal operation” display in the corner of the screen. Why?

Because some drooling fuckstain at the studio thought that buy-through would increase %0.000054 if everyone was FORCED to watch this shit. No matter that it drove 95% of their paying customers into paroxysms of hatred and disgust. After all, they ALREADY GOT YOUR MONEY. So fuck you, Mr. Customer. You have to watch our marketing crap. You fucked up. You trusted us.

8. Endless Software Updates


I don’t mean to pick on Steam. I love Steam, and I love Valve. But Jesus Christ, fellas: can we stagger the goddamn updates a bit? Not only does Steam update almost daily, but when it does, it  interrupts any full-screen process you might be doing!

(Yes, I know there’s a setting somewhere to stop this, but I shouldn’t have to find it!)

So, I’m sitting at home watching midget porn on my 42″ LCD, things are getting good because the girl midget just took off the pig costume, and all of a sudden this green box intrudes on my screen, pushes the midgets into the background and insists I pay attention because Steam just decided to upload a bug fix that affects 4% of everyone who plays Stalin vs The Martians. WTFingF?

And then there’s my Firefox plug-in’s. None of those plug-in’s can go four fucking days without delaying the execution of Firefox so they can update themselves and solve a problem that some nerd in Bayonne found when you run it on Windows 3.11 and a Cyrix processor.

Meanwhile, I’m champing at the bit to get online and find out if my monthly subscription to asianmidgets.com was renewed or not. But no. I gotta wait for Downloadhelper to add support for 720p Vimeo files of Justin Bieber. Dammit!

7. Member Cards

Screw you, Frankie!

Nowadays, every brick-and-mortar business in the country has to have a membership card. Without the card, you can’t get all the sale prices and flyer miles and gasoline credits and whatever else they think will lure you into adding yet another tracking device into your wallet.

Soon, your wallet is bursting at the seams with these things and it takes longer to fish it out at the checkout counter than it took you to rally all your purchases. So you swipe it in the machine and some secret database somewhere has fifteen more points of data that say you’re an easy mark and spend money like a American sailor in a Filipino whorehouse.

You’ll soon receive a 15% increase in monthly email spam and a slight alteration to the twice-weekly coupon books that are mailed to your house and end up right in the trash.

What I find most aggravating about this crap is the fact that market analysts no longer have to gather any data. We do it for them! There are no market analysts anymore. They’re all just database administrators. I hope they all get leprosy.

6. Long-Ass HTML Page Titles

Why? I mean, why?

When the hell did it become necessary to have a focus-group-approved marketing paragraph of text in the goddamn title of your webpage? Hello? Bueller?

Hey, Seattle PI: you’re a newspaper. An online-only newspaper after your historic failure in the dead trees market. But that’s what you are: the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, aka Seattle PI. When I visit your website, I don’t need an armful of text scrawled across my browser.

Shit, your title doesn’t even reveal who the hell you are till the very end! I guess some douchebag in your web marketing division decided that forcing everyone to  read spiffy marketing text is a great way to “gain eyespace”. Well, guess what, a-hole? When I bookmark your stupid website it ends up reading like “Totally amazing and fully comprehensive solutions for all your-“

Why the hell should I click on that? Who or what the hell are you? Who knows? DELETE.

Hey, SeattlePI: You want a proper title tag? Here it is. Free, no charge.

Seattle PI: News from Seattle, Washington.

Enjoy. Assholes.

5. CD Packaging

Want over-priced music? Then work for it, bitch!

Now, I know that CD’s are swirling down the toilet of forgotten technology, but I wanted to show one more instance of marketing scum making technology unnecessarily awful.

CD’s – especially those from Sony Music – cannot be opened by a naked ape. They make damn sure you’ll never scratch that polyethylene wrapper off without gouging the jewel case, and if you should somehow thread the needle, you now have two nuclear-bonded stickers clamping the shell closed.

Why? To discourage theft, of course.

Let that sink in for a minute.

Then, go to BitTorrent or Usenet and pirate as much music as your monthly bandwidth allowance can handle. Fuck these guys. Fuck them with a stick.

4. Battery Meters That Dive In Two Seconds

Hey baby, how YOU doin'?

Finally, something I’m expert on. I understand the difficulty in making a battery meter accurate. It’s especially hard when the battery isn’t manufactured by the device manufacturer. Different batteries have different power curves and different “cutoff” or “final voltage” points.

Guesstimating how much juice is left in a battery is a sketchy business. But if the device manufacturer has engineered for a specific battery, it should be very accurate. I’m looking at you, laptops, iPods and cell phones.

But, no. My fully-charged cell phone will have three battery bars. I’ll have a two-minute conversation with my midget porn supplier, and BAM! One battery bar left. WTF?

Is it really out of juice? Or was it never really fully charged? Who knows? The manufacturer sure as hell doesn’t.

3. Wall Warts

Satan's dominion on Earth.

Evil. Pure, preternatural evil.

They hog up receptacles, get hot as hell, fall out of the socket and serve no purpose whatsoever. If your stupid gadget must have DC input, give us an in-line brick. And while you’re at it, let’s winnow down to one goddamn DC jack to rule them all, OK? And let’s all agree that every device should have internal regulators that handle 12VDC input. OK?

Let’s all share one style 2A 12VDC in-line brick. That should be enough to run just about everything, save laptops. We’ll make an 18VDC brick for the laptops.

OK? Now just STOP IT. You’re filling the Earth with this shit, and we just don’t need it.

2. Ginormous Files and Drivers

Do we really need this shit?

When did it become necessary for a device driver to be over 1GB? All I want is the core driver. I don’t want your “Command Center Interface”. I don’t want your “Inline Automatic Update Alert System”. I don’t want your 54MB marketing PDF and I don’t want 10 free MP3’s from Goopy Blowhole and the Fuckstains.

And I sure as hell don’t want your stupid toolbar installed in my browser.

Just install my driver, shut up and go away. Is that asking too much?

I guess so. Because every time I update a device driver or software application, I’m swarmed by piles of shit that are larger than the entire hard drive of my first PC.

You can’t tell me it takes more than 200MB of data to update my fucking Ethernet driver. Do us a favor: re-compile the new driver, then grab your marketing manager by the lapels and headbutt him till blood pours out of his mouth. Thanks.

1. Shitty Keyboards

Behold the majesty of the Model M!

Before this entire thing becomes one long bitch-fest, let me give a well-deserved technology accolade: The IBM Model M keyboard is the finest bit of peripheral gear ever built by any company for any product, ever.

Just look at it. Big, clear buttons that click happily as you type. Each button is spring-loaded for hours of comfortable typing. And bomb-proof? This thing is a 1989 model and many of them are still in business. Neither sandwich crumbs nor spilled beer will affect your Model M. People who own a Model M will never part with them. Never!

Contrast and compare with the cheap, crappy keyboards that litter the market nowadays. If they aren’t woefully crappy and disposable embarrassments, they’re curved, split weird things that fail to improve on the IBM standard bearer.

Nowadays, “chiclet” keyboards, popularized by Apple, are all the rage. I admit they’re better than the awful one-piece  laptop keyboards or the metatarsal-mashing cheap desktop keyboards. But they’re so damn wussy and limp. Keyboards for emo-fags.

You can’t improve on “best”. So give up. Or watch as every person on Earth looks at you and says, “What the FUCK?”

 

 

Phwned

Can you fucking hear me now?

Put the goddamn phone away. Seriously.

Day and night, you’re cramped over the thing, neurotically hammering out  yet another worthless text message or just futzing with the goddamn thing. You’ve just GOT to have your fingers wrapped around it, like a four-year-old boy who grips his penis incessantly.

God forbid you find yourself with more than 25 straight seconds of inactivity. You’ll have to reach for that phone. Is there a new text? Maybe it chimed and you didn’t hear it. No message? Hmm. Maybe you can go in and change one of the 8,000 possible parameters, like the one that lets you set your wallpaper to sequentially display the last 10 photos you took. Oh, look! You can even add some cool wipe transitions. Alright!

This is what you look like.

No message, no incoming calls, no cell phone activity at all? No problem! Just fire up any number of tiny-screen games or “apps” that help make your 3-inch life so much better. Why don’t you fire up Happy Dangy Diggy and blow someone a virtual kiss. How cool would that be?

Better yet: let’s get on the 3G network (the one’s that setting you back $110 a month) and try to look at some website that requires endless zooming and scrolling and paging and futzing. Anything to keep your face buried in that goddamn phone.

"Hey! Guess what I'm doing? What? Can you hear me now?"

Most of all, it’s critically important that you are talking to somebody about whatever, whenever. Solitude is for losers who don’t have a crystal-clear network, right? Nowadays, the concept of rudely ignoring those in your presence is known as “get over it”.

Making a purchase? The cashier can go fuck herself because you are within your rights to yap on the phone to your bestest friend about how much it cost to get your car fixed last week.

On a date at a nice restaurant? Whatever. That will.i.am ringtone means it’s Kayden and she just got botox! OMG! Touch touch TOUCH THE PHONE! That guy will get over it. Fuck him anyway. As long as he pays the bill and and settles for a blow job later on, he’ll be fine.

Speeding down the highway? That’s the best time to pick up a call from Jared. It’s really important: Jared just got home and he was wondering what you were up to. Like, not right now now, but, like, what you’re up to later. Yeah, so you weaved a little. Nobody got hurt, right?

Concentrating on what's important.

I’ve fucking had it. You people are crazy. Yeah, I have a cell phone. But its most powerful feature is the “ignore call” button that shuttles people to voice mail when I’m doing things like – you know – interacting with my fellow human beings, driving a car or just enjoying a bit of quiet time.

Texting? Fuck that. Not in a million years. I can understand why children like it; they can send each other messages like “Ur a FAG LOL!” and nobody’s the wiser. But if you’re an adult and you have something to tell me, you can call me if its urgent or email me if it’s not. Texting me is like saying “I can’t be bothered to talk to you, and your precious few hours away from a computer screen don’t deserve freedom from interruptions, so here’s a goddamn text message.”

At this point, I’m probably losing friends, but I don’t care. I refuse to become one of the dual-thumb craned-neck masses. Instead, I like to use my mobile phone as if it were (get this!) a telephone. I like to talk to my friends and family on it. I like to confirm times and dates and just chat about our lives. I love all of you. I really do. When we’re apart, it’s important to me that we can talk.

0110 1000 0010 0001!...............1101 0011 0010 1110!

What I won’t do, however, is join you in this mobile phone madness. When I’m out and about, I want to see, hear, smell and experience that hi-resolution interactive experience known as “outside”. No iPod, no ear buds, no tiny screens, no ads. We can talk, though. Just don’t be surprised and hurt if you go to voice mail. It’s not that I hate you; I’m just busy with real life at the moment and I’ll get back to you later, I swear.

Remember before cell phones? When we had a telephone in the house and if you weren’t home, people left messages? Was that life really so bad? Did thousands of horrible deaths occur because you couldn’t get a hold of Lori to tell her that “Pretty in Pink” sucked and Kathy Jenkins puked up buttered popcorn in the lobby?

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not a Luddite. Having a portable personal telephone was a futuristic dream that has come true. It’s easier to coordinate with people and share information. But do we really have to be buried in the things all day and night?

Hot or twat?

I was biking home a few weeks ago. Some assmunch with one of those kiddie trailers got in the bike lane in front of me. He reached into his pocket and started fiddling with his phone, swerving into the road a bit. He corrected himself and slipped the phone back into his pocket. Then, not 30 seconds later, he pulled the phone back out and started futzing with it again. He swerved once more, this time causing traffic to avoid him. Rather than put the phone away for good, he simply darted his gaze between the phone and the road more frequently. For safety.

It has gotten to the point where attending to our cell phones is more important than the health and safety of our children. Furthermore, we’re willing to pay hundreds of dollars a month for the sheer joy of being an oblivious asshole.

You’ll never hear me say this on any other subject, but in this case I believe innovation should be halted. Mobile phones should be re-purposed to be…telephones.

You may now commence with the hateful denunciations. I can hear you now.

Trollin’ on the River

troll

Have you seen this man?

I’ve been making snide, snarky comments on public Internet forums for about 17 years. I even garnered some notoriety (nay, infamy) in the 1990’s for my posts to the Usenet group alt.tasteless. Oh, those were heady days full of sardonic barbs, razor-sharp quips and anecdotes about drinking dry the contents of a dead whore’s anal boil.

I also posted to sci.skeptic and a few other sundry newsgroups. This was back when your conversational skills meant everything and your cool avatar meant nothing. We didn’t even have avatars or icons. If you couldn’t express yourself in simple ASCII, you were road kill.

It was in this cauldron of writers, biters, raconteurs and saboteurs that I discovered the trolls.

troll_forums

A troll in the wild.

Even though I wrote some outlandish things, I always meant them to be genuinely sarcastic or humorous – I wanted everyone to laugh with me. I never broke into forums specifically to upset the locals and goad them into responding to a bunch of hyperbolic nastiness.

That’s what trolls do. They’ll go into a web forum for cancer survivors and extol the virtues of smoking cigarettes and eating lead paint chips and tell everyone to “stop whining”. Their goal is to see how many outraged cancer survivors they can get to rise to the bait.

Trolling is as old as the Internet – maybe older. And I hate it.

I worked pretty hard to get a reputation for being outrageous and funny. I don’t like it when some illiterate punk comes waltzing in with a kit bag of insults and no eloquence to back it up. They simply stir up the natives, have a laugh and move on. Lame.

They even had their own newsgroup where they could discuss the finer points of trolling a discussion board. Then out they would spread like a disease, infecting reasonable conversations worldwide – even reasonable discussions about drinking dead whore pus!

whore_pus

This is what you get from a GIS for "dead whore pus".

Well, the trolls may think they’re clever, but they’re not. On fark.com, they can sniff a  troll a mile away and even offer ratings for troll quality. A lousy troll (“Why don’t you go marry your Fartbama savior, libtard?”) will earn a 0/10 points while a good troll (“Just because I think Obama may not be a citizen doesn’t mean I’m wrong about global warming”) may earn a 8/10 points if it’s really, really subtle.

Sometimes, on very rare occasions, someone with true grit and a lexicon of steel can commit an act of trolling that resounds through the ages. This is so difficult that only true masters of this arcane art can pull it off.

Today, I would like to honor one of those über-trolls. If you have some time, I encourage you to read the saga of the Mall Ninja.

His name is gecko45, and to this day he maintains his cover as a bumbling, brash and hysterically funny fabulist. He infected a forum dedicated to guns and proceeded to introduce himself as a heavily armed martial artist who needed some assistance selecting assault rifles for his life-and-death vocation in  mall security.

InternetCommando

His shtick was so good, so outrageous and so cloyingly sincere that the forum admins let him go for far too long, ending it only when the Mall Ninja (and his sock puppet supporters) started to interfere with the orderly conduct of the forum.

I really hate trolls. But sometimes from the mists comes a man so compelling, so wonderfully bizarre, that I must remove my hat and bow to his greatness. The Mall Ninja is that man.

Job well done, sir. You may return to your leaky bridge in the knowledge that you succeeded where thousands have failed.

I salute you.