Which Dumb Little Everyday Technology Do You Wish Was Better?

Two things about today practically guaranteed a bad day for me: it was raining and my nails were long. Why are these two things a harbinger of annoyance? Because I hate the little everyday 'technology' that's involved in solving their problems. Boo hoo, right?

But seriously! Are we happy with umbrellas? They flip inside out, their skeletons pop out and stab people, they love to break and hang out with other umbrellas in a rubbish bin on a rainy day, they take up an entire hand -- they're ineffective shields in solving the problem of rain. WHY CAN'T SOMEONE SMARTER THAN ME THINK THINK OF ANYTHING BETTER. Are we going to continue to use these weak umbrellas 50 years from now? I'm not happy with that.

Also. Nail clippers suck. Unlike umbrellas though, nail clippers are effective in doing their job. They almost never break, they make you feel cleaner and they're relatively easy to use (unless you chop too much of your nail off). But what's terrible about nail clippers is that nearly all of them need some sort of receptacle to hold the flying nails. That's annoying. Why can't we just zap them off with lasers or something. Are we going to still be using the same damn nail clippers a 100 years from now? I'm not happy with that.

What kind of silly, little, everyday tech do you have gripes with? Buttons on a remote control? Buttonless remote controls? Garage door openers? Hangers? The dryer? Hairdryer? Anything is fair game. Let me know because it rained today and my nails were long, I want to commiserate in misery.



    Umbrellas are dumb, I wear a waterproof jacket when it's wet. Yes, that means my legs still get wet but it's only water, it's unlikely to prove fatal (or inconvenient, for that matter).

      I would find it highly inconvenient if my legs and pants were soaking wet when I arrive at work.

        Why? It happens to me quite regularly. They dry in a few hours and continue to function normally when wet. Wet shoes and socks are another issue entirely, of course, but you need galoshes to prevent that and nobody owns galoshes any more, do they?

          "They dry in a few hours", you say that like it's perfectly okay to be wearing wet pants for most of the work day. Wet pants don't function normally because I see "normally" functioning pants as being comfortable to wear and also not leave big wet patches on anything I sit on. I also like to look neat and professional and wearing soaked pants for most of the day doesn't fit that.

            Why wouldn't be OK to wear wet pants? As I said, it has no effect on their utility and if it is raining absolutely everyone will understand why they are wet. That said, I'd be very surprised if anyone would even notice someone else wearing wet pants.

              Ok then how's this, I don't like wearing wet pants because I find them uncomfortable, and therefore would greatly prefer to keep them dry.

              Wow. Never worked in an office, huh?

                I work in an office every day.

                  Your home office doesn't count.

                  And you reckon that you can sit in the office for hours with your pants wringing wet from the bottom cuff to the knee and nobody notices? I'd say you're the guy everyone calls 'the pant wetter'

                  Of course nobody notices, we are all far too busy actually working. In a 6 hour shift I will spend 5 hours and 58 minutes sitting at my workstation with my pants completely hidden from view. I could probably take them off and no-one would notice (and there are 5 other workstations within our partitioned area).

      true story: in Uni I bought a very cheap brolly from a bargain chain. alighting from a bus in the CBD on a very cold windy winter day, I flicked out my brolly held it overhead and pressed the release. The umbrella unfolded, then the spring extended the shaft as per design. but the two parts of the shaft seperated and the top umbrella bit, set in motion by the internal spring and encouraged by swirling winds, leapt into the air and over the traffic like a lost baloon and was never seen again. i was left dumbfounded holding the handle and lower half of the shaft to the mirth of smug bystanders with their working umbrellas.

      you (mostly) get what you pay for.

    Why can't someone make an umbrella out of carbon fibre or something?

    phone numbers. Why do we still have to remember phone numbers!!

      There's an address book in all modern phones. You might as well declare, "Why do we have to remember IP addresses!!"

    Blinds for windows - venetians, vertical, roller.

    These are fantastic umbrellas:

      for the price, they'd want to be!

    I kind of wish doors were better. All doors. i wish car doors didn't slam into your leg when you parked on a hill. i wish fridge doors didn't stay open just a crack when you didnt slam it shut. i wish you could swing (not slam) an internal door and walk away know that it would fully close and lock instead of just being close to closed but still open.
    it would be awesome if doors were better.

      Same for Windows.
      Windows could be so much better.

    MILK BOTTLES.... how is it that soft drink has a bottle that seals in the pressure of carbonation and milk bottles leak when tipped on their sides

    STAPLERS! No matter what the price, they always suck!

    power outlets and/or power plugs. surely there is a better way rather than massive wall warts and an orientated plug? couldn't you do active/neutral/earth in a circular plug, like some kind of shortened headphone socket?

    The open and close door buttons in elevators. Every elevator make has them in a different location, and the symbols are almost indistinguishable at a casual glance. There's nothing worse than seeing your boss running for the elevator and accidentally hitting the open door button.

    But seriously, how about green for open and yellow for close (or some other such combo).

      I once read that the Open/Close door buttons were a placebo.

        I've heard similar about the close door buttons (and the pedestrian buttons at crossings, etc), but the close buttons do work in our office and in my apartment building.

    Buy a good quality umbrella and half of your problem is solved.

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