We techies have to stick together. After all, we have so much in common. We’re geeks that are most comfortable doing what geeks do: learning about, tinkering with and fixing things. We live for that stuff. How else do you explain the success of Windows PCs? They never work right.
With complexity on the rise, things are getting harder to fix all the time. So I have a new motto: If you can’t fix it, whine about it. And let me tell you, I am one of the great whiners of the world. Whining and me go way back. When I was a little kid my dad used to call me a chronic complainer. No, I’m not making that up.
As if that isn’t enough, I’m neurotic, too. When things don’t work right it drives me nuts. No, I’m not a lot of fun to be around when things break. And yes, it is ironic that I ended up in the tech industry where nothing works right and every product is more or less broken right out of the box, especially software.
My one saving grace is that I’ve got this column and a MacBook so, when I don’t like what Silicon Valley does, I can whine about it. It’s a great outlet; you should try it sometime. Actually, you can. This is what annoys me about the tech world. Your job is to tell me what I missed.
Social media. Read my lips: It is not social. Drinking cocktails and shooting pool is social. Hanging out with friends at the beach is social. Romantic dinners are social. Utopian personas, vitriolic hatred, and mindless content are so not social.
Accelerometers. They never seem to work right for me … or maybe I’m just disoriented.
Home automation. Paranoid control freaks don’t want all-knowing sensors and all-seeing lenses everywhere. And why does the camera on my MacBook keep staring at me?
Delivery drones. What, not enough instant gratification in your life?
Virtual reality. Where is it? If you happen to find it, look and see if the fiber to my home is there too, will you?
Printers and scanners. I get why HP can’t get the drivers and settings to work right. The whole company’s a dysfunctional mess. What’s Epson’s excuse? Do they even do anything else?
Web 2.0. Talk about sequels never being as good as the original. User-generated content sucks. Don’t tell me I’m the only one who misses the static Web.
FaceTime. Bad enough we have to live with each other and talk to each other. I don’t like anyone that much to want to see them when they’re not around … and vice versa. Except my dogs, of course.
Apps. Too. Many. Apps. Argh.
Notifications. Just when you think you’ve turned them all off you start getting them again. How does that happen?
The living room. Remember when the living room was a place to relax? A little music, Tivo, some munchies, that was nice. Now it’s an unsettling battleground between old world programming and new Internet content. Apple save us.
Passwords. One word: biometrics. Now.
Google. The very thought that Google scans my searches, emails and locations and sends me contextual ads is terrifying. Just wait. Once we have virtual reality they’ll beam that stuff straight to your eyeballs … or your brain!
Battery life. It’s not long enough. It’s never long enough.
Spam. Let’s not overlook the obvious. I don’t even think the name is gross enough to do it justice. I would actually eat it daily if that would block it.
Word. All I want is a typewriter I can edit.
Apple stores. Wait, what? That’s right, there aren’t enough of them. Apple should buy all the Radio Shack stores. Then 7-11. That’s what we need, a genius bar on every street.
LCD displays and polarizing sunglasses. Some turn purple in portrait and green in landscape, or is it vice versa?
Hackers. What did I ever do to you?
Reed Hastings. I may be a whiner but I’m not the whiner who brought us net neutrality and rained unholy Internet regulations down upon our naïve little heads. Just saying.
Now it’s your turn.