Category Archives: technology

Pointless technology


Every so often, some tech company comes up with something which is best described ‘we did it because we could even though there was no point!’ and last weeks announcement by Apple was no exception.

Wireless charging for your phone is not new. The picture above shows a cheapo Belkin charging pad that been around for a while. It’s actually not a ridiculous idea in itself, but it’s the ‘wireless’ bit that gets me. What’s that thing sticking out the back of the charging pad? Oh, let me think… Looks like a mains lead to me.

So, before the wireless charger came along we plugged one end of our lead into the phone and the other into a USB socket/charger in the wall socket. Now we plug the charging pad into the wall socket and have a charging pad on the table top to rest our phone on to charge.

Excuse me if I missed something, but instead of having a dangling lead to plug the phone into we now have a bloody great lump of hardware taking up usable space instead. This is, according to Apple, a giant leap forward.

Well, no actually. It isn’t. It’s just a pointless gimmick to persuade idiots to spend over £1,000 on a phone which, in my book, makes the idiots just a pointless.

“A fool and his money are soon parted”

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Better ageing through technology

Once in a while you come across something that just makes you question what sort of world we’re living in. Just such a program was ‘A Granny’s Guide to the Modern World’ on Channel 4.

Apart from being just plain bloody funny it’s also thought provoking – not least of all when they come out with an outrageously spoofed peice of technology and stick it in front of a focus group of the me generation.

Under the banner of a fictitious company called Grey Corp they introduced a product called the ‘Geriatric hypnosys chair’ which produces hypnotic patterns that incapacitate the old codger for up to 7 hours giving you the time to go out and do a days work while keeping your loved one perfectly safe.

Amazingly they all swallowed it hook line and sinker but a couple did think it should be limited to two hours otherwise it might be classed as abuse. Shurely not? Sadly, of course, its just a natural extension of sticking people in front of a TV set all day in a care home.

Then we come up with an app and chip system which enables your family to avoid all those hassles about who inherits what by allowing you to tag items you want while the soon to be dearly departed is still alive. You then upload the tag data via your mobile phone to a central database which logs and values it for you. Well they loved that because anything that uses an app has to be good, yeh?

And to complete our trio there’s another app called ‘Greydar’. You load it on you phone and if you come in range of another wrinkley with the same app it alerts you both. Swipe right for a shag or left to refuse. The main objection to this seemed to be that anyone over 55 shouldn’t be having sex. I was forced to ask myself why young people should be allowed casual sex organised over the internet but when old people do the same it was seen as distasteful?

And the piece de resistance? ‘A hotel group have shown interest in a tie-in allowing users to rent rooms by the hour’. Our group thought that was really disgusting.

Sadly all these spoofs were accepted without question by our focus group which leads me to believe that the current generation will accept anything if you stick a technology tag on it no how outrageous or ridiculous it obviously is. In every case they concluded there would be a market for the product.

If you haven’t watched this program then you really ought to get hold of it and give yourself a thought provokingly funny experience. It’s a little oasis in the desert of the media – and definitely better than watching the bloody Olympics…

Pointless technology: Bluetooth coffee machines

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Just once in a while, technology comes up with something completely pointless and impractical. Such a case is the new Nespresso Prodigio coffee maker.

The Prodigio is a bluetooth enabled coffee making machine, a must have gadget that can be yours for a mere £159. So what exactly do you get for your dosh? Well, by using a special app, you can now make coffee using your smartphone.

Apparently you can schedule a cup of coffee and track your Nespresso capsule stocks. Marvellous. But I have a question or two…

For example, how does this marvellous piece of technology take the capsule put of the cupboard and out it in the machine? How does it top up the water container? How does it put the milk in the frother? How does it put the cup under the nozzle? How does it put sugar in the coffee? He does it sprinkle those sexy chocolate bits on the top?

The point is that if I have to insert a capsule and place the cup then I’m stood next to the machine and there’s a button to push at arms length, so why would I use my phone to turn it on? And even if I accept that I could preload it all, then what if the better half wants a cup too? Then I’m back to square one aren’t I?

No, there is absolutely no point whatsoever in connecting your coffee machine to your phone. They’re doing it just because they can and until they invent a robot barista it’s totally impractical.

But it doesn’t matter, because the gadget geeks will be queuing up to buy it…

Thought of the day….

1984 and all that…

For some reason, this week’s launch of the Apple iWatch is eagerly awaited – presumably by the same load of brain dead nerds that queued for hours in the pouring rain to be the first to own a new iPhone?

Well, I won’t be buying one and wouldn’t have one if you gave it to me for free and I’ll tell you why.

Let me ask you a simple question. Would you pay money to wear a tag on your ankle like the ones that prisoners on licence are required to wear? Would you wear one for free if offered? Well, no, of course you wouldn’t. And that’s because it tells the powers that be exactly where you are 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.

And this isn’t some kind of looney conspiracy theory. You stick an iWatch on your wrist and you are allowing constant monitoring of your movements.

Now given the ‘War on Terror’ and the strains on our security services, this might actually be a good think from one point of view. But not from mine. It’s an infringement of my personal freedom. It’s undemocratic. It’s Big Brother by the back door.

And that’s why I’m not paying Apple £249 to provide me with an Orwellian tagging device…