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What's the Worst Technical Feature You've Used?

Cliff posted more than 6 years ago | from the if-they-were-fruit-they'd-be-lemons dept.

Quickies 1008

kooky45 asks: "In an effort to make our lives easier and more entertaining, technology designers pack more and more features into electronic devices, but often they're more nuisance than they're worth. An earlier article on LEDs discussed some of these. Another example is my Nokia 6320i mobile phone which has a back lit screen that drains the battery life at an alarming rate. When the phone is not in use the back light is off; if the battery starts to run low, it gives me regular warnings by beeping and turning the back light on! What other examples of designer stupidity have you seen?"

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It will come up sooner or later... (5, Funny)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 6 years ago | (#19259827)


Re:It will come up sooner or later... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19259981)

Wow, it came up! Would you look at that! You were right!

Hey, can I get your advice next time I buy lottery tickets?

Speaking of Microsoft... (4, Informative)

mollog (841386) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260055)

Speaking of Microsoft (Clippy), back in the days of DOS 6.something (6.2 ?), when upgrading from a previous version of OS, if the Mircosoft installation program detected something besides a DOS partition, it would blithely inform you that it had detected something non-Mircosoft and it would take care of it for you!

That was a disappointment.

I lost a lot of work until I found the work-around.

Re:It will come up sooner or later... (3, Funny)

Jhon (241832) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260387)

Clippy was bad... this predates it:

It may not be a "feature" I've intentionally used and it may not be the WORST, but it always gave me a chuckle WayBackWhen (tm) I'd turn on my PC without a keyboard plugged in:

Error: No keyboard present

Press F1 to continue, DEL to enter SETUP

Wonderful advice...

Re:It will come up sooner or later... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19260721)

My high school had a batch of computers that would regularly boot to some variant of "Error: No keyboard present. Press F1 to continue." In fact, it was so regular that all the students knew to just hit F1 on the darn-tooting-it-was-present keyboard. And it worked.

Re:It will come up sooner or later... (1, Insightful)

rrhal (88665) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260519)

Office 2007.

They ever so helpfully rearanged everything. "Now how do I ..."

I'm pretty sure that if they had an option to go back to the 1997 interface more than 90% of office users would select that.

ur mom's pussy (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19259847)

frost prost!

beeping and turning the back light on (5, Insightful)

Miguel de Icaza (660439) | more than 6 years ago | (#19259875)

if you're in a noisy enviroment or listening to headphones beeping and turning the back light on is a great idea. It is better to be alerted your battery is dying, than to discover you've missed hours of important calls.

Windows Genuine Advantage (2, Insightful)

Tatisimo (1061320) | more than 6 years ago | (#19259903)

The daily upgrades kept making the machine slower and the system was overly paranoid with too many unwanted pop ups.

Re:Windows Genuine Advantage (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19260597)

Have you ever used a legitimate copy of Windows with WGA installed?! I swear people just like to complain about Microsoft. I've never had ANY "pop ups" (they're called dialog boxes, and they actually do things...) from WGA, but that's probably because I purchased my copy of Windows. On top of that I've never seen WGA slow down a computer (and I fix/work on a lot of computers) unless the computer it was running on had an illegitimate copy of Windows installed. Geez... your machine is slow because of all the "toolbars" and "smiley faces" you download along with all of the crap you run in your taskbar.

Honda Stereo Security (4, Funny)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 6 years ago | (#19259907)

My honda, and I think many others - have a security feature for the entertainment system. If the power is ever out to the unit, the owner must punch in a 4 digit code to turn it back on, after power is restored. If you forget the code, and don't have it written down somewhere - you can get it. You just need to remove the unit from the dash and call a dealer with a number written on the outside of it. This is not an easy process - and dealers will do it for you but it costs around $200 last time I checked. In other words - the only person who can easily get at the information necessary to the code is someone who already has the stereo out- like say a thief.

Re:Honda Stereo Security (4, Informative)

dpaton.net (199423) | more than 6 years ago | (#19259955)

Or just call the dealer you bought the car from, give them the VIN, and they'll give you the code over the phone. I've been doing this off and on for a decade, and haven't had to give them anything else.

Re:Honda Stereo Security (3, Insightful)

Nos. (179609) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260037)

So, if I'm going to steal the stereo from a Honda, take the extra couple of seconds and grab the VIN while I'm there.

Re:Honda Stereo Security (3, Informative)

RealErmine (621439) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260179)

You can also use Honda's online Owner Link [ahm-ownerlink.com] to store your radio code, unless you're afraid someone will hack your account and then steal your stereo. There's a special field for it and everything.

Re:Honda Stereo Security (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260309)

I did this after the last episode of no code. I've also written it on various pieces of paper, written it to cd and emailed it to my gmail account.

Re:Honda Stereo Security (1)

qwijibo (101731) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260413)

You wrote a 4 digit code to a CD? I sure hope you put something else on that CD too. =)

Re:Honda Stereo Security (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260551)

Naw, he just wrote it literally to the CD. Like with a Sharpie.

Re:Honda Stereo Security (1)

russ1337 (938915) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260611)

>>> Naw, he just wrote it literally to the CD. Like with a Sharpie.

how do you get the CD out of the stereo without the code?

Re:Honda Stereo Security (1)

JohnnyGTO (102952) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260085)

Oh My Lord can this be a pain, my Dad just went through this. Turns out the dealer put a sticker in the glove box with the radio and nav units code. Before shelling out cash lock in the glove box, all the fuse boxes, under the coin/ash trays, and of course in the manuals. Also good dealers keep this info with your cars records and wont extort you for money if you go to the original dealership and ask for it.

Re:Honda Stereo Security (3, Interesting)

LordEd (840443) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260087)

In some newer GM vehicles, the door chimes and "possibly" some other features (some rumours have floated around about airbags, although I highly doubt it) are tied into the radio unit. If you want to upgrade to an aftermarket deck (such as an MP3 unit), you either need to have the radio unit installed in parallel in the trunk with a special wiring kit, or have a module installed that takes over that functionality. That module costs an extra $150, i think.

When I asked GM about the stupid design, they told me that they weren't sure if it was even technically possible to install an aftermarket deck, and that this is something that the majority of consumers want.

Re:Honda Stereo Security (2, Insightful)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260637)

When I asked GM about the stupid design, they told me that they weren't sure if it was even technically possible to install an aftermarket deck, and that this is something that the majority of consumers want.

No, not really. The majority of consumers buy the radio as part of the car, just like any other part of the electrical system.

On my Samsung LG-series phone (2, Interesting)

charlesbakerharris (623282) | more than 6 years ago | (#19259909)

Driving mode.

Ugh, the worst feature ever. It would turn on silently if you held down one of the outer buttons (which my pocket did, by itself, frequently.) Then, when a call came in, it would shout, over speakerphone, "Call from... <silence, because I hadn't entered any voice recognition names>"

Thankfully, they removed it from the more recent models. It was so damn disruptive...

Microwave (5, Interesting)

Wizworm (782799) | more than 6 years ago | (#19259915)

I have a microwave that refuses to start cooking until it scrolls a 30 second message on a 1 line display.

I SO want to get out my jtag programmer

Re:Microwave (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19260175)

I have a GE above-the-stove microwave that not only won't let you cook until you set the date and time, but you can't even use the damn light on it until it's set.

Re:Microwave (4, Insightful)

u8i9o0 (1057154) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260747)

I have a GE above-the-stove microwave that not only won't let you cook until you set the date and time, but you can't even use the damn light on it until it's set.
I was going to mention something similar.

There's been a few blackouts lately and each time power comes back on, the display side-scrolls some text prompting to reset the time.

I actually use the time display on the unit (and the scrolling text is distracting) so that gets done fairly quickly.

But, who the hell thought it was important for a microwave to store the date?
For one thing, it never displays the date.
For another, it has no scheduling function and, even if it did, who keeps food in the microwave for longer than half a day (worst case: defrosting a turkey) anyway?

As a user, entering "010101" completes that step in the time reset. But as a programmer and engineer, this actually bothers me.

So, on the question of "What's the Worst Technical Feature You've Used?", I guess I 'use' the date feature to complete the reset protocol. But really, the date setting never actually gets used anywhere else so ... maybe I don't?

Anyway, I'm sure I've seen worse features but I just had to mention the microwave.

Re:Microwave (5, Funny)

daeg (828071) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260369)

A vending machine in my building does something similar. There are no "out of product" lights, there's only a single line display. If you select something that's out, it scrolls "NO PRODUCT TO DISPENSE - PLEASE TRY ANOTHER PRODUCT OR CALL 1-800-XXX-XXXX FOR REFILLS - NO PRODUCT TO DISPENSE" one letter at a time. During which time you cannot select another product, get your change back, or do anything at all. Pressing any buttons helpfully resets it to scroll from the start.


/. editors (0, Troll)

Nimey (114278) | more than 6 years ago | (#19259927)

Or lack thereof.

-1, troll, here I come.

Re:/. editors (5, Interesting)

Richard McBeef (1092673) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260249)

Speaking of Slashdot, you know when you browse at -1, nested mode in a story that has 400+ comments and it gets broken up into multiple pages? So you click on page 2, and there's the very same comment that started out page one. Then you click on page 3 and still the same damn comment starting the page? Same thing with page 4 or 5 or 6. Go to the HOF and click on a story with 4000 comments. You have to click to about page 25 before you see a comment that is not the first or second post from page 1.

That's been a Slashdot bug for years. I even reported it like 10 times at source forge. It just gets closed with some snide comment, like "stop submitting this bug" or "this is not a bug". It's a bug, they could at least leave it open or mark it unfixable.

Re:/. editors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19260775)

That's been a Slashdot bug for years. I even reported it like 10 times at source forge. It just gets closed with some snide comment
It's not an issue on the "new Discussion system", which just puts them all on one page anyway. Perhaps that's why they didn't bother fixing it recently (although it's been around since *long* before then).

The desktop (3, Funny)

D+iz+a+n+k+Meister (609493) | more than 6 years ago | (#19259941)

There's a computer on my desk. Doesn't that make a metaphorical stack-overflow?

Re:The desktop (5, Funny)

hey! (33014) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260383)

Well, the worst thing about most PCs is the way the cup holder automatically retracts during a reboot.

Re:The desktop (1)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260505)

Not ot mention having icons and windows on the desktop. Those should be hanging on or embedded in the wall (but wall(1) writes messages to logged in users' terminals, so that would be equally absurd).

LED (3, Funny)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 6 years ago | (#19259969)

I don't know about the LED thing.

I sometimes plug in my USB flash drive, which has a very bright blue LED on the end, just for the light.

Any cell phone (2, Insightful)

JohnnyGTO (102952) | more than 6 years ago | (#19259975)

that uses Windows CE or Palm OS to run. My wifes company keeps insisting these peices of crap will make them all more efficient. All I know is the interfaces make dialing a simple call a nightmare and who wants a phone that needs its battery pulled when it locks up?

Just last week here Verizone CE based phone continuously called me with the speaker phone on even though it was simply sitting on the cars center console! Government mandated spy feature hmmmmmm?

Re:Any cell phone (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260059)

All I know is the interfaces make dialing a simple call a nightmare and who wants a phone that needs its battery pulled when it locks up?

Given that that's basically all cellular telephones now (they're all little computers and always have been, but they're even moreso in some ways today, and it's true across the board) I'm not sure what you're trying to say here. I've had to do this with ordinary Motorola and Nokia phones.

Re:Any cell phone (1)

JohnnyGTO (102952) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260143)

Wait till you try one of these stupid Smartphones, an oxymoron if I've ever dealt with one.

Re:Any cell phone (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260497)

Wait till you try one of these stupid Smartphones, an oxymoron if I've ever dealt with one.

Well, I have a PDA, and a phone, even if I multiply one failure rate by the other it's still not all that bad.

On a more serious note, the phone in a smartphone should really be an entirely discrete component from the computer. They have single-chip quad-band GSM phone solutions with EDGE these days, it would be a quite logical decision and it could be used to keep your phone calls from terminating based on PDA errors.

Grab testicles and squeeze ring mode (2, Funny)

spun (1352) | more than 6 years ago | (#19259997)

The sales person made it sound like a great feature. Never miss another call he said. Alerts you no matter how distracted you might be or how noisy the environment, he said. That may be true, but let me tell you, it is not nearly as useful and convenient as the sales people would have you believe.

Grab "ring and pull" ring mode (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19260361)

"The sales person made it sound like a great feature."

Well at least it's better than the previous version. "Pull ring and explode" (the phone, not you).

PC Load Letter (5, Funny)

labalicious (844887) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260029)

PC Load Letter? What the fuck does that mean?

Re:PC Load Letter (5, Funny)

Nimey (114278) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260153)

Paper Cartridge Load Letter. You need to reload your Laserjet with letter-size paper, as opposed to PC LOAD A4, which would need A4 paper.

You must have a /fancy/ printer, since it can display lower-case on its status display. Mine just says PC LOAD LETTER or 00 POWERSAVE.

There, destroyed the joke for you.

Re:PC Load Letter (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260261)

Mine tends to say 13 PAPER JAM. (I've got an ooooold LaserJet 4+ that seems to jam once every few pages. I almost never use it.)

Re:PC Load Letter (2, Informative)

twilightzero (244291) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260381)

Most likely your rollers are bad, being that age. Also you probably have a screw or 2 loose inside that holds parts in the paper path together. They're actually relatively simple to repair, but the first thing I'd do is pull the rollers and clean them all with alcohol, then take the printer outside and blow it out with canned air/air compressor. That'll go a long way to making it reliable again. :)

Re:PC Load Letter (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260781)

Good thing they didn't pick a two letter abbreviation already in common use for a completely different part of the whole "desktop printing" universe.

Similar - beeping (3, Funny)

oyenstikker (536040) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260035)

My Motorola v260 beeps loudly ever few minutes when the battery is low. I know when it starts beeping I have another 12 hours. There is no way to shut off the beeping.

Re:Similar - beeping (1)

honkycat (249849) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260233)

Same with my samsung something or other. Except instead of a beep, its a sort of tricorder sound every 30 seconds. It'd actually be a great voice/txt msg alert because it grabs your attention without being too intrusive/unpleasant. That is, until it's repeated every 30 seconds for an hour. Then it begins to destroy your sanity. Of course, there's no option to change / disable (even when on mute), and the sound is not available for other uses.

The phone also ignores the mute setting for your alarms. That'd be a fine _option_, but 90% of the time, when I say mute, I really mean MUTE and don't want anything louder than the vibrate under any circumstances... oh well. It's still a huge step up from my previous Sony-Ericsson pos phone...

Re:Similar - beeping (1)

Sqweegee (968985) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260325)

That low battery thing annoyed the hell out of me on my 720 until I found a way to switch it off... why the stupid thing's battery always ran out at three in the morning is beyond me though.

Re:Similar - beeping (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19260627)

I'll second that - every Motorola phone in the last several years seems to have that "feature." Useful to let you know the first time, the next 50 times are a PITA.

The other awful Motorola feature is the side button ring mode change on the clamshell phones. Basically you press the side volume button when closed, and it changes the ringstyle (ring, vibrate etc), however when doing it, it emits a beep loud enough to hear several city blocks away, and the button is very easily pressed by accident (something else in your pocket, or even sitting down in some positions). A nice idea to have a discrete way to change it, but totally invalidated by the deafening beep and the accidental press problem.

Obviously (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19260111)

> What other examples of designer stupidity have you seen?"

Windows Vista!

Get this... (4, Interesting)

joto (134244) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260113)

Gore-Tex in running shoes. The water will get in at the top of the shoe (as it is only 3cm high), and never get out, since Gore-Tex is watertight. Besides, when running, my feet sweat, so water will end up inside the shoe even if it isn't wet outside.

Handsfree with short cords. I still haven't found one that allows me to have my phone in my side pocket in my pants. And I still haven't found a bluetooth handsfree with traditional lanyard design.

DVD-covers. They are larger than CDs for no good reason.

Flatscreen TVs with grounded powerchords. Apparently they cause fires because the antenna is grounded too, only not to the same "ground".

I think that's it for now

Re:Get this... (0, Offtopic)

Nimey (114278) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260243)


I first parsed that as "goatsex in running shoes". Please don't do that again.

Re:Get this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19260451)

Gore-Tex is designed to let evaporated water through, if you're sweating the sweat should still be able to evaporate and pass through the Gore-Tex. It's pretty much the entire point of Gore-Tex. I'm not saying that it actually works that way but Gore-Tex is still probably better than any other material for this purpose.

Re:Get this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19260635)

You've never run anywhere where the relative humidity is 100% most of the time. Even with goretex, your feet become soaked, promptly. That's why I wear Tiva's worldwide. In the fucking jungle, my feet don't rot, and in the desert, the sand gets out quickly.

Re:Get this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19260585)

And you know absolutely nothing about gore tex. Gore Tex isn't revolutionary because it's waterproof. It's revolutionary because it's waterproof AND breathable. What that means is that it will allow sweat vapor out and not let water in.

Flatscreen tv's don't normally have grounded antenna's unless you're talking about roof antenna's, which use an earth ground. But if that's the case, then it doesn't matter that it's a flatscreen.

Buttons will be pressed, you know... (4, Interesting)

Keith Russell (4440) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260115)

My first sub-brick-sized mobile phone was a Samsung flip phone. The "flip" section was designed to only cover the keypad, leaving the screen, menu nav keys, and send/end keys exposed at all times. It also had a key-guard that, by default, would automatically engage when the phone was closed. Clever, right? (Well, for its day, it was.)

There was only one problem: To disengage the key-guard, you had to hold down the always-exposed menu select button! Worse, if the key-guard was disengaged while the phone was closed, it wouldn't turn on again until you opened and re-closed the phone.

I don't know how many times I killed the key-guard as I leaned against a desk or something. Most of the time, I just ended up deep in some unexpected menu, but I recall at least two accidental phone calls initiated while the phone was in my pocket. Eventually, I got a case, and tucked some paper under the button area to make it harder to accidentally kill the key-guard.

Samsung must have gotten the hint, because my next phone didn't have any exposed keys when the flip was closed.

Re:Buttons will be pressed, you know... (2, Informative)

Verte (1053342) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260659)

Modern Nokias have the same feature- the unlock key is uncovered. Every time my father sits down, the mp3 player starts. That and phones where emergency dialing numbers are dialable when the phone is locked- I've heard "Police Fire Ambulance. Hello?" come from my pants while at work. Rather unnerving. This of course stems from a more common problem: phones don't use open source operating systems, because that'd make these stupid little things very easy to fix. Either give me that or give me a phone that doesn't need its own operating system, thankyou.

Digital vs. analog controls (4, Insightful)

dreddnott (555950) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260135)

Definitely digital controls for almost anything. I can't stand them.

If you're in your car and working the climate control, those controls are analog for a good reason. You can see what they're set to and change before you start the car. Stereo systems are another great example (quickly turning volume up/down, not having it reset all the time). Analog dials of all kinds also give you far better real-time feedback about a given signal (delta, etc.).

Re:Digital vs. analog controls (1)

Kroc (925275) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260299)

Guh, that one always gets me. Whoever decided that a fifteen button combo to change the display brightness was better than an analogue roller was obviously an IBM Engineer.

Re:Digital vs. analog controls (2, Insightful)

EvanED (569694) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260425)

Stereo systems are another great example (quickly turning volume up/down, not having it reset all the time)

Having it reset seems like a poor design decision, but it isn't an essential aspect of digital volume.

I will actually vote for digital volume controls because it means you can change the volume by remote, BUT only if they are the dial sort of volume control rather than vol up/down buttons. With a rotary encoder you get the benefits of digital (can control it in other ways besides moving the knob) with most of the benefit of analog (quick changes, better feel). About the only thing you don't get is absolute positioning, but the benefits compensate for that loss IMO.

Of course, this doesn't make much sense in a car where you're almost always next to the volume control anyway. (I say "almost" because I know when I was younger I would go on trips with my parents and I'd want to control the volume from the back seat. Instead, my parents acted as a remote control -- "turn it up" *turns it up* "thanks", "turn it down" *turns it down* "thanks" -- until they got fed up with that. Might also be able to come up with other situations auto volume control is useful.)

Re:Digital vs. analog controls (2, Insightful)

edbob (960004) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260633)

I actually rather like the digital controls for the climate control in my car. My old car had a knob that I would have to turn one way for "warmer" and the opposite way for "cooler". The problem was that on longer trips it was impossible to set it properly. I would have to fiddle with it every 10 to 15 minutes. On my current car, I hardly ever even have to touch the climate control.

Handspring World Clock (4, Informative)

njchick (611256) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260157)

In Handspring Treo 180, there was a "World Clock" program that could display time in any timezone. It allowed to change my current timezone, but it would not change the time! So I move between timezones, I would need to update the timezone AND the time. Perhaps the software was not tested on real word travelers.

. and .. in windows dir (1)

DLG (14172) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260187)

So a friend of mine (really) who was forced to use a Windows 2.0 based Video Editing program (back in 90?) probably with targa boards and all that jazz, wanted to clear out some files from a directory.
While he was looking he saw the . and .. files, and considering them as garbage (they are listed as directories in DOS even to this day) he managed to use DEL /S .. or it's equivalent to delete a filesystem.

So I would say, listing special symbols as actual files in a dir command, is and was a stupid feature.

Also, I love when I have to shutdown my Windows Machine by using the 'Start' button.
And ATM's that tell me to press Enter to Exit.

Re:. and .. in windows dir (1)

joto (134244) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260281)

My God, the stupidity!

But if you didn't have "..", how would you do "cd .."?

Re:. and .. in windows dir (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260465)

I think he's suggesting that dir hide them by default, like Unix hides dot-files.

I'm not sure if this is a good idea or not for the DOS philosophy.

Useless feature (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19260211)

Graphical user intrerface!!!!

The Right Mouse Button (4, Funny)

thesupermikey (220055) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260227)

Fuck Context Menus
thats right, i said: "fuck context menus" /mac user

Re:The Right Mouse Button (1)

Kroc (925275) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260401)

If you came across a RISC OS machine, you'd die. There are _only_ context menus, and the mouse has three buttons!

Photo (4, Funny)

Viking Coder (102287) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260317)

My cell phone has a Camera button on the outside edge. Every now and then, I hear the fake shutter sound that lets me know my cell phone just took a picture of the inside of my pocket.

I'm surprised no one else has mention the worst feature ever: DRM.

Re:Photo (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260703)

Every now and then, I hear the fake shutter sound that lets me know my cell phone just took a picture of the inside of my pocket.

Hey, with what's considered modern art these days, you could probably set up an exhibit of these.

It'd have a very strong theme.

Most modern crap... (0, Troll)

Usquebaugh (230216) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260353)

The phone with the crappy camera, oh yeah I really need that.

In fact most multi use items are crap.

Non open connections, if in doubt just use USB.

Battery life measured in minutes not weeks, totally useless.

California portable fuel cans, total crap.

American car designers, another ugly car with no style and they try and sell you it based on an engine with push rod tech. Give me a nice well engineered Japanese or German car thanks.

McMansions with 6 bathrooms and no space for a yard. No class at all.

In fact most anything with an American designer sucks. Or is it anything that needs a designer sucks.

Keyboards with ever more useless keys. Same for mice.

Nuclear reactors that aren't pebble based.

one size fits all

etc etc

Re:Most modern crap... (1)

Kroc (925275) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260537)

I beg to differ. I recently got a new phone with 2.0mp camera, whilst still not the highest quality on the market, it has a flash/light, night mode, burst mode and a macro mode which I used to capture this [deviantart.com] . Not bad for a phone at all.

Voicemail (5, Insightful)

rantingkitten (938138) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260511)

In my day (I'm in my late 20s) we had answering machines, and you know what? They were good enough. If I left the house and came home a few hours later, I could see if there was a message, and I knew it was left sometime within the past few hours. Barring a few really specific and improbable scenarios, I don't need to know the exact damn time it was left, nor do I need the other BS like mailboxes, saved messages folders, varying greetings, and all the other claptrap.

Today? If you're the caller, you have to listen to the person's personal greeting, then suffer through another 20 seconds of "At the tone, please record your message. When finished, hang up, or press the star key for more options. To page this person, press nine. To listen to your personal horoscope..." Just shut the hell up and let me leave the message so I can get on with it, please?

If you're receiving voicemail it's even worse. "You have...two...new messages and one...saved message. To listen to...new messages...press one. To listen--" One. "First...message...received...at...ten...fifty eight...AM." SHUT UP. JUST PLAY THE GORRAM MESSAGE WITHOUT THE PREAMBLE. Christ. Why the hell do I need to know the exact freaking minute someone called?

Re:Voicemail (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260647)

You think that's bad, how about when the person who leaves the message then starts off by saying the date and time they're calling (so you have to hear it twice before they tell you why they called). My grandma does this.

Still, date and time is useful when you go on a trip for a week or something. But of course now we have cellphones so people can reach us anyway...

Re:Voicemail (1)

Verteiron (224042) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260711)

On many corporate VM systems, you can skip the "X is not here. To leave a message, wait for the tone. Press 0 for the operator. Press *473 to use our automated directory, which not only won't work, but is pointless since you already direct-dialed the extension of the person you're trying to reach." message by hitting *.

Unless, of course, it's a system that disconnects you when you hit *.

Motorola Phone (1)

DaleGlass (1068434) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260541)

Not sure which model, it doesn't even say on the case. I think it's somewhere under the battery.

Stupid feature #1: Lock sequence is middle button under the screen, *. The chance of it unlocking randomly in my pocket turns out to be pretty high, possibly due to the shape and positioning of the buttons, as well as the very light pressure required to trigger them.

Stupid feature #2: Under the screen there are two buttons. Left is configurable and usually displays the latest message, right is FIXED on WAP.

Stupid features #1 and #2 combined result in that sometimes the phone gets unlocked in my pocket, then with 75% probability, connects to WAP.

Stupid feature #3: Even though I don't use it, and don't plan to, not only the WAP button can't be changed to something else, WAP can't be easily disabled either. I finally managed to break it by specifying incorrect settings so that it won't connect.

I swear it must be intentional to get some extra cash from accidental connections. The only time I tried WAP 5 euro vanished in a few minutes, and all I managed to get before I ran out of cash was a crappy background picture.

Windows security upgrade (1)

coyote-san (38515) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260545)

(or at least I think it's them.) I work late on my home system, planning to come back to the task first thing the next morning. Only it's gone because Windows has received a Very Important Update and rather than wait for me to say 'reboot', it apparently decided that it's okay to proceed on its own.

It's not like anyone ever walks away from their system without saving everything first.

(Okay, maybe people don't in the Windows world. But I've used Linux exclusively for many years and have only had the WinXP system for a few months. Yet this has already happened at least three times.)

Re:Windows security upgrade (1)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260615)

Tell me about it.

I especially love it how it pops up while you're working on something, can't be killed permanently, and gets focus.

So I'm doing something on my box, the darn thing pops up right when I'm about to press enter or click in the place where the reboot button appears, and the box reboots.

It's annoying enough with a personal computer, with a server it could be outright nasty.

Clock 2.8.1 in Gnome (1)

Richard McBeef (1092673) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260573)

The damn calendar skips a month when you hit the next month arrow. Come on, this is the default clock/calendar. I just want to know what day June 14th is. Being May, I hit the next month arrow and it quickly displays June, then goes to July. I have to resort to a paper calendar sitting next my desk. I know I could probably update it, but this is pretty stupid bug to let slip through.

Useless LED's (1)

thejakebrain (1106821) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260649)

It's hard to get headshots in Battlefield, when a blue light from my speakers illuminate the room and invade my eyespace. Useless extra lights suck.

PTT button on SonyEricsson Z525a (1)

grommit (97148) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260651)

The PTT button on the SonyEricsson Z525a is raised almost a 1/4 of an inch off of the side of the phone and is very sensitive. You brush your hand against it and your screen displays "PTT feature is disabled! blah blah blah" There's no way to disable it other than tearing the button off the side.

Horribly annoying.

The DVD (and cd) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19260665)

what kind of an idiot designs an optical disk with exposed data surfaces, they should be like the mini-disk in a protective jacket at all times

Aftermarket car electronics (1)

TheNicestGuy (1035854) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260677)

I've got three things that annoy me every time I get in my car. First is the Jensen stereo I installed because it had a Bluetooth receiver. It's got a big, round, silver knob on the left side. It controls the volume. Great! Turn a knob instead of pushing a button! I love that! But... It doesn't turn. It's actually a four-way rocker: up-down for volume and left-right for station or track select. But it gets worse. The thing is cheap and flimsy, so it's infuriatingly easy to click the wrong direction and get a different song just when you had one you wanted to turn up. It also has an alarming tendency to stick when you click up, sending your volume skyrocketing to max after a second or two delay.

Speaking of alarming, the previous owners had an alarm installed, and it's got a bug or two. It's one of those nice ones that cuts power to the ignition until the alarm is disarmed. Fine, but unfortunately it also cuts power to the ignition if the alarm is never armed in the first place, every time the car is turned off! If I just get out to pump some gas, I still have to "disarm" the alarm to start the car.

Finally, I'm not sure who to blame for this one. It's either Jensen or palmOne. Every time I turn the car on, the Bluetooth receiver in the stereo pairs with my Treo. It almost always does this silently and without a problem, and that's great. What's not great is that the process of pairing somehow activates the Treo's screen and disables the keyguard. I tend to wear the thing on my hip, but I've had to get in the constant habit of taking it off every time I get in the car because it sits right where the seatbelt is almost guaranteed to push some button eventually, usually the redial.

LG VX8300 (1)

scruff323 (840369) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260699)

The VX8300 is one of the most common phones because it is so damn good. It gets service everywhere and has a pretty good battery life. It even has VCast capability for Verizon and can take SD cards and stuff.

One problem - if you ever load any music onto it, beware if it in your pocket. When the flip is down, there are "easily accessible" VCast control buttons on the front, and if you hold down the play button the music will start playing. I have had the music go off during class like 2 or 3 times before i just took off all the music. It even will turn on when you are in manner mode (which is supposed to turn everything to silent). The only way to disable it is to lock your phone.

Hmmm... (1)

Leroy Brown (71070) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260723)

Cell phones with flip covers -- the keyguard feature worked great for me on non-flip Nokias which were damn near indestructible. Every flip phone I've ever owned eventually met its demise due to wear and tear from the flip feature.

My Sanyo Katana flip phone that likes to dial the last called number from my pocket on speaker-phone, because even when it's flipped closed, the right combination of button presses on the side of the phone can still manage to dial.

Cisco IOS -- Maintenance software releases are for replacing old bugs with new bugs, Technology releases are for introducing new features with new bugs.

Windows Vista -- no explanation required.

Invulnerable Plastic Packaging (5, Interesting)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 6 years ago | (#19260733)

You know the single molecular layer stuff with infinite strength that is used to encapsulate CDs, or the thicker and even stronger stuff that small electronic devices like CF drives come in. I once broke a pair of scissors trying to cut one of those open. I am surprised some smart lawyer doesn't do a class action lawsuit against the manufacturers of that sort of packaging - there must be lost of people who have injured themselves trying open these packages.

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