It’s not time to make a change, just relax… unless you have a telephone

Telephones are the appendix of electronic gizmos.

Why do we continue to invest time, money, and resources into this cul-de-sac of technology?  It makes no sense.  It’s almost as if nobody has looked at a telephone and asked themselves: ‘What is this?  Why do I continue to mangle otherwise useful technology into conforming with past designs?  Why would I want to push this computer up against my face?’

For the past few weeks, I’ve been trying unsuccessfully to work out what modifications would need to be done to a touch screen telephone in order to turn it into a touch screen watch capable of communicating with other people’s telephones.  In time, other people would realise the folly of telephones and convert to touch screen watches.

It’s damn hard.  The puzzling part is the position of the camera lens.  Most ‘smart phones’ have a camera which is on the ‘back’ of the phone.  When strapped to a wrist, the camera can take nothing but pictures of the wrist.

And that’s lame.

The other part is to allow airflow beneath the device.  Smart phones produce a surprising amount of heat.

But while fiddling around with all of this (to no great output), it’s becoming more shocking that we care at all about telephone signals.  Three years ago, I bought a phone thinking that I would use it most for making calls and sending text messages.  Now, I spend most of my time on my phone accessing the internet.  From my rather non-representative sample of friends, it seems the same thing is happening with them as well.  Hell, I even use Facesbook to find out where somebody is before messaging them (yay for compulsive updaters).

So why do we put increasing effort into using radio signals for telephony when we could be diverting those resources into improving data services?

Also — and this is a really, really petty gripe — but why can’t my glorious touch screen watch communicate with other ‘smart’ devices in the area without bouncing off a relay tower first?  Device-to-device communication is the other thing we should improve.

One pill makes you larger… but doesn’t make me like self-serve checkouts

I really don’t trust self-serve checkouts.  Everything about them is wrong.

I hate things which remind me that, fundamentally, all labour is able to be replaced by robots.  Sure, there’s no love lost between me and our ‘droid nemeses but I don’t like to be reminded about this struggle when I’m trying to get my groceries.

More specifically, I hate the blinding, confusing lights.  I hate how cramped the areas are.  I hate how it makes demands in its cold, ‘I will kill you while you sleep’ voice.  I hate how nothing makes sense.  I tried to buy a nashi fruit the other day and had to scroll through all of the fruits before I found it under ‘pear – nashi – white’.  I hate how you have to pack your shopping bag in a certain way in order to use the system properly.

But most of all, I hate how it still needs a supervisor to hover about the machines in case you need to pay by card.  Given that I live in the future and rarely use cash, this is basically all of the time.  It is faster for me to use the old system and, quite frankly, I prefer to speak to a real person.

It’s a haunting glimpse into our future: machines doing things for us and forcing us into incapacity.  First, it was the bank clerks.  The last time I went into the bank was in 2002.  Now, it’s the check-out chicks that have been made redundant by technology.  It’s only a matter of time before the more routine work of lawyers and doctors are outsourced to machines.