Ruminations

Opinions, thoughts, & recommendations.

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Name: Dave Leigh
Location: Union, South Carolina, United States

I was born too young. And when I die, I'll still be too young.

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Saturday, April 15, 2006

Stupid Tech

I'm a technologist by trade. That doesn't mean I believe that high-tech is appropriate in all circumstances. Sometimes, tech is just stupid. For example:

Dada Footware is offering $200 pair of sneakers that play MP3s. Now that's just plain stupid.

White Lake is offering a 14-carat gold memory stick. It costs €2,950.00 (with five diamonds) or €2,400.00 (without the diamonds). This thing is very poorly designed: it's way too wide for direct use on many laptops or ATX boards... you'd have to use a USB extension cable (which is what they get for having a jeweler rather than an engineer design it). Not only does memory capacity change too rapidly to justify such an ephemeral purchase, but it's just plain stupid.

Don't get me wrong... USB sticks in themselves are damned useful. I love mine. But they've got to be actually useful. Here's one idea that zips right past usefulness and back into nutville: the Swiss Army memory stick. Yep. You, too can have a Swiss army knife jammed into your computer. I actually use my tools, so I couldn't buy this: it's stupid.

The Sony VN-CX1 is a computer mouse that doubles as a Skype phone. Cool, huh? Not really. Remember, you just picked up the mouse to talk on it, so you can't use the phone and your computer at the same time. That's just plain stupid.

The advent of the USB port has given us more stupid tech devices than anything else. Take this for example: USB gloves. You're supposed to plug them into your USB port so they can keep your hands warm. As if gloves didn't do that anyway. Much better is the expediency we used in the USAF: you take a pair of knit gloves and cut off the fingertips for dexterity. They work wonderfully, and aren't bulky with a USB cord. (imagine, if you will, having to get up and answer the door quickly, and dragging your frackin' laptop off the desk because you're tethered to it by the USB gloves. Yeah, now that's a smart buy.) Like the USB coffee warmers, USB fans, USB lava-lamp, and innumerable similar examples of engineering by retardation, these gloves are just plain stupid.

Cellphone Ringtones. I know they're astoundingly popular. I know they're a billion-dollar business. If you're dumb enough to be a fan of them, please don't embarrass yourself by commenting on this. They're just plain stupid.

There are plenty more. I haven't listed things that are obviously toys (toys are exempt from stupidity). But when an item pretends to fill a need it's fair game, and often as not it's stupid.

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