Technological/practical "backward steps" we all just accept now

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i recently had ceiling fans installed, and we got the ones with lights built in

too late i realised that to turn the lights on and off we now need to fumble around with a dinky battery powered remote

curse a society that no longer understands that light switches should be easy to find in the dark

(also every button press is accompanied by an annoying beeping sound that can't be muted)

umsworth (emsworth), Wednesday, 14 August 2019 01:00 (eleven months ago) link

that everything has a remote is ridiculous.

Yerac, Wednesday, 14 August 2019 01:02 (eleven months ago) link

Wait, I've never turned lights on or off with a battery-powered remote. That is not a backward step I accept!

Landlines, though. Still had one until 2011. I sometimes wonder if I'm the only person who finds it physically difficult to converse satisfyingly on a smartphone.

All along there is the sound of feedback (Sund4r), Wednesday, 14 August 2019 01:08 (eleven months ago) link

i hate talking on the phone now, it makes me antsy and eager to get off the phone. but i don't know if that is something abt the phone itself, or how my expectations and practices around phones have changed, esp thru texting taking the place of calls for almost all the things i used to make calls for. and the ppl on the other end feeling the same way and distracted and eager to get off the phone too.

Good morning, how are you, I'm (Doctor Casino), Wednesday, 14 August 2019 01:24 (eleven months ago) link

everyone hates talking on the phone now.
it's social anxiety and because we have so many job related activities where one is on the phone all the time.

Yerac, Wednesday, 14 August 2019 01:28 (eleven months ago) link

although my mom still chats away like she is teenager of the year.

Yerac, Wednesday, 14 August 2019 01:28 (eleven months ago) link

It used to be that after CRT and plasma declined, televisions were a forced compromise: backlit LCD or nothing, which suck for watching films (bad shadow levels, motion smoothing, etc etc). I white-knuckled the gap between plasma and OLED by self-repairing my plasma when the power supply failed, and then buying a used plasma which got me through (barely, with lines on the screen and driver failures) just until the OLEDs came down enough for me to consider an end-of-line clearance price.
Now of course I have the best TV of my life - it's kind of ironic because my film library is worth probably 5-10 times as much as the screen I watch them on.

an incoherent crustacean (MatthewK), Wednesday, 14 August 2019 02:05 (eleven months ago) link

Landlines were easier to have a conversation on because it was in real time. Cellphones have gotten better, but they're still bouncing audio off of metal towers like a pinball machine. Landlines were the technological final product of an evolution that began with two cans and a piece of string, and worked just fine.

I have the same tv remote problem with my microwave.

Are there really cars out there that combat drowsiness by not letting itself drift over any white or yellow line unless the blinker is on?] Because I will lose my shit, that's all there is to it.

pplains, Wednesday, 14 August 2019 02:45 (eleven months ago) link

things have gotten a bit better, but even as the early playstation era was happening i remember thinking "wow it sucks that i have to wait 15 seconds for every other screen to load". that was in stark contrast to the near-instant load times of the cartridge based systems at the time and of the recent past.

of course, we were all more than willing to wait as long as it took to gedda load of them polygams

https://i.imgur.com/KKf0O1X.jpg

Karl Malone, Wednesday, 14 August 2019 02:49 (eleven months ago) link

When you buy a new video game and it has to spend an assload of time downloading "updates" before you can play the fucking thing.

Also Denny's getting rid of the Breakfast Dagwood

i'd rather zing like a man, than FP like a coward (Neanderthal), Wednesday, 14 August 2019 04:00 (eleven months ago) link

like, just trying to see what the hourly weather forecast for tomorrow is involves a lot more clicking and waiting than it did a few years ago”

(since you’re not opposed to using google:) google “(city) weather” once, ctrl+h “wea” for every instance after

quelle sprocket damage (sic), Wednesday, 14 August 2019 04:04 (eleven months ago) link

P much any form of watching tv now.

i'd rather zing like a man, than FP like a coward (Neanderthal), Wednesday, 14 August 2019 04:23 (eleven months ago) link

Are you guys saying landlines don't sound as good as they used to, or that cellphones don't sound as good as landlines? I agree with the latter, but as for the former, my landline still sounds great. I would never have a conversation on my cellphone unless I was away from home.

Guayaquil (eephus!), Wednesday, 14 August 2019 04:30 (eleven months ago) link

We have a landline so we can put the number on paperwork, and for “just in case.” I think we turned the ringer off two years ago. It sits behind the dehumidifier in our master bedroom.

El Tomboto, Wednesday, 14 August 2019 04:55 (eleven months ago) link

xp saying that cellphones don't sound as good as landlines.

visiting, Wednesday, 14 August 2019 04:56 (eleven months ago) link

Coca Cola Freestyle machines. Ok...i love em. But...

Soda fountains in the past, usually your biggest problem was the soda came out flat because the bag needed to be changed. So maybe your number one choice isn't available, but other stuff is. Also, multiple people can fill their shit at the same time.

But with these fuckin machines, if you are unlucky enough to go to a store with only one machine, you gotta wait behind the dummy who can't figure it out.

Then when you get there, sometimes they're out of like every diet product, but you don't find out until you click on it and try to pour it, it stops, and greys out.

And then sometimes the shit just malfunctions and nobody in the restaurant knows how to fix it because they gotta call some help line. And if none of the machines work, you gotta wait in kine and get someone at the counter to pour you a drink

i'd rather zing like a man, than FP like a coward (Neanderthal), Wednesday, 14 August 2019 05:23 (eleven months ago) link

iPod clickwheel RIP

iPod classic RIP, I am just never going to be one of those people who wants to listen to music on their phone (it doesn’t sound as good and I can’t anticipate what I want go listen to at any one time enough to have stuff downloaded on Spotify. Maybe I like the misery of separate devices.)

Not to say it didn’t happen before, because it did, but I have to browse online through various plugins and stuff to block all the shitty little trackers so I don’t have to be followed around online by anything I looked at. Facebook login pages on everything are definitely a step backwards.

On that note, the continuing erosion of anonymous/pseudonymous space online. This is bad and people will realise how bad when it’s eventually gone.

And the reduction in diversity of websites/content in general - seems like most people hang out on the same spaces/apps and that’s a big reduction in choice and handing over control to a few large companies.

gyac, Wednesday, 14 August 2019 05:26 (eleven months ago) link

Oh and inspired by Neanderthal’s post just now! Automated airport bag drops - just an awful scourge and take far more time than having someone check the suitcase and slap the sticker on it for you. Goes double if you’re stuck behind people who are confused by this (naturally). Waited fifteen minutes behind a family checking in three suitcases the other day - there should have been staff to help them.

gyac, Wednesday, 14 August 2019 05:29 (eleven months ago) link

I am terrible at affixing the tag that prints out to my own bag. They always have to redo it.

i'd rather zing like a man, than FP like a coward (Neanderthal), Wednesday, 14 August 2019 05:31 (eleven months ago) link

Neanderthal otm re soda machines. I hate those things to the point where I won’t eat at places that use them. Or if I do then def pass on a drink. I think they change the flavor of the drinks too.

big city slam (Spottie), Wednesday, 14 August 2019 05:55 (eleven months ago) link

I will never forget the day I dropped a newly fully loaded 256gb ipod classic between a Montreal subway car and platform, instantly assuring its doom

Simon H., Wednesday, 14 August 2019 06:09 (eleven months ago) link

Flat screen TVs all sound terrible and require a sound bar or audio system

𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Wednesday, 14 August 2019 06:30 (eleven months ago) link

The smartphone/battery issue annoys me so much (especially as an IPhone user).
If you’re out for meetings/conferences etc a half day, you’re basically done.
I like their design and all (although I don’t like the big ass big screens, circa iPhone 5 it was fine for me) but it requires to also carry a power plug/alt battery at all time so not really an improvement ...

AlXTC from Paris, Wednesday, 14 August 2019 06:48 (eleven months ago) link

I really miss those trackballs that bolted onto the side of a laptop and which you controlled with your thumb. I am hopeless at pointing and clicking with a trackpad.

Also, trains with doors that can only be opened when the driver releases them and windows that can't be opened at all.

van dyke parks generator (anagram), Wednesday, 14 August 2019 07:08 (eleven months ago) link

Flat screen TVs all sound terrible and require a sound bar or audio system

not mine - Sony A1E uses actuators so that the screen is a speaker and there is a small subwoofer in the stand, it sounds pretty excellent (and I am fussy)

an incoherent crustacean (MatthewK), Wednesday, 14 August 2019 07:25 (eleven months ago) link

Also, trains with doors that can only be opened when the driver releases them and windows that can't be opened at all.

There is a positive side to that second one...

https://metro.co.uk/2016/08/07/man-decapitated-after-sticking-head-out-of-train-window-6053666/

The Pingularity (ledge), Wednesday, 14 August 2019 07:41 (eleven months ago) link

do landlines really not work during power outages now? because that's the main reason I still pay for one.

☮ (peace, man), Wednesday, 14 August 2019 07:44 (eleven months ago) link

We drove to Cardiff to buy the last decent plasma TV before they all went LED. don't ask me but my husband Knows About These Things. So yeah, no idea what we'll do when it goes kaput.

kinder, Wednesday, 14 August 2019 07:45 (eleven months ago) link

* also in general, laptops replacing desktops for a computer that remains at a desk at all times --- massively worse ergonomically and less computer for your money
yes! about 8 years ago I got a brand new desktop pc and my friend thought I was very weird for not having a laptop.

kinder, Wednesday, 14 August 2019 07:56 (eleven months ago) link

(xpost to self: lcd not LED; don't emit the crystals)

kinder, Wednesday, 14 August 2019 07:59 (eleven months ago) link

and yes the classic ipod was great. had one of the first editions - so sleek! so futuristic! it lasted ages although perhaps not 18 years later.

kinder, Wednesday, 14 August 2019 08:04 (eleven months ago) link

Automated airport bag drops - just an awful scourge and take far more time than having someone check the suitcase and slap the sticker on it for you.

It's also crappy for the staff who have to work these now. They used to sit behind a desk, close to their other colleagues, where they could keep a glass of water or tissues or whatever they needed. Now they have to stand in the middle of the machines and only speak to people who are already annoyed. It is a major inconvenience, and one of the many reasons I cba to fly very much anymore.

Also, maybe it's just the televisions my family buys, but you can no longer see the screen properly unless you are sitting right in front of it.

trishyb, Wednesday, 14 August 2019 08:15 (eleven months ago) link

I will never forget the day I dropped a newly fully loaded 256gb ipod classic between a Montreal subway car and platform, instantly assuring its doom


this post made me break into a cold sweat

(Appears only as a corpse) (bizarro gazzara), Wednesday, 14 August 2019 09:03 (eleven months ago) link

On that note, the continuing erosion of anonymous/pseudonymous space online. This is bad and people will realise how bad when it’s eventually gone.

― gyac

i mean this was doomed when the internet got taken over by nazis, right? i find a great deal of value in having places to talk about personal stuff that doesn't instantly notify every single person i have ever met, but a large percentage of people who also find a great deal of value in it are nazis and pedophiles. i can't think of any way to protect me without also protecting them.

Abigail, Wife of Preserved Fish (rushomancy), Wednesday, 14 August 2019 11:17 (eleven months ago) link

thru texting taking the place of calls for almost all the things i used to make calls for

I don't find texting comfortable either! It wasn't as bad when my phone's keyboard looked like this: https://www.lg.com/ca_en/images/cell-phones/lg260/gallery/medium02.jpg . (Admittedly, switching languages is easier now.)

All along there is the sound of feedback (Sund4r), Wednesday, 14 August 2019 11:58 (eleven months ago) link

those touchscreen menu-based coke machines suuuuuuck and are increasingly common at multiplex theaters, places where you are usually there trying to make a specific time of something and really don't want to wait behind someone figuring out a machine

re: weather: my issue is that any given page I bookmark for weather is filled with all kinds of junked-up shit, OR is way too basic. the absent functional midlde may be a running theme for this thread idk.

agreed about most low-end flatscreen TVs and their built-in speakers - every apartment i've been to to watch a movie in the last couple years, it's been constant "too quiet during dialogue, too loud during explosions" volume adjustment. you can turn on some kind of curve-flattening normalize function on some of them. couldn't say how they compare versus the days of big clunky cabinet TVs with *basically* functional speakers built in, it's been too long and i don't remember how they really sounded.

Good morning, how are you, I'm (Doctor Casino), Wednesday, 14 August 2019 12:00 (eleven months ago) link

yeah i bought a blackberry two years ago because my last, clinging-to-life slider phone from like 2011 finally gave up the ghost and thank god, someone extended this slim hope for the physical keyboard.

Good morning, how are you, I'm (Doctor Casino), Wednesday, 14 August 2019 12:01 (eleven months ago) link

DC a lot of it is down to how these shows get mixed. a lot of times they're sitting in million dollar rooms and mixing for 5.1 and in that setting it sounds amazing.

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Wednesday, 14 August 2019 12:06 (eleven months ago) link

sure but the point is everyone else has accepted it sounding like crap

Good morning, how are you, I'm (Doctor Casino), Wednesday, 14 August 2019 12:10 (eleven months ago) link

I had to use a cable between my seemingly good LG TV and the router just a few metres away because the...preload(?) compression would get so bad streaming Netflix. Even with the cable it was a problem watching shows on NOW TV for the first few seconds (particularly annoying with e.g. old Futuramas where you would literally not be able to read the joke message at the start. NOW 'solved' the problem by just removing the old Futuramas from their service...).

nashwan, Wednesday, 14 August 2019 12:19 (eleven months ago) link

I will never forget the day I dropped a newly fully loaded 256gb ipod classic between a Montreal subway car and platform, instantly assuring its doom

this post made me break into a cold sweat

― (Appears only as a corpse) (bizarro gazzara), Wednesday, August 14, 2019 4:03 AM (three hours ago) bookmarkflaglink

Yes, I cling stubbornly to mine and freak every time my grip slips in the slightest (particularly since that one ridiculous time when I was getting out of a cab and my phone somehow fell out of my pocket and 'nothing but net'-ed directly into a storm drain). It's like walking around with a priceless relic I borrowed from a museum except that my life will basically be over once it's gone from my life.

Come and Rock Me, Hot Potatoes (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 14 August 2019 12:19 (eleven months ago) link

I finally switched over to listening to podcasts on my phone, instead of taking my ipod classic with me every day.

It's great, except for when I want to listen to music. I was basically using my ipod as a repository for New Orleans music (much of which is not on Spotify), which is usually what I feel like listening to in the car.

change display name (Jordan), Wednesday, 14 August 2019 12:24 (eleven months ago) link

This may not count but:

Passport scanning at airports where people can't figure out which way to place them on the glass so it ends up taking the same or more time than a human person looking at it.

Boarding public transport by scanning/beeping your card at a reader taking the same or more time than having to show your ticket to a driver because your card is too close in your wallet to your debit card so the reader gets confused.

Also:

RACIST hand-driers etc.

nashwan, Wednesday, 14 August 2019 12:50 (eleven months ago) link

There is an automatic paper towel dispenser at my daughter's gymnastics gym that will only give me one towel. And I mean I will stand there for up to a minute afterward trying to get a second towel to no avail.

☮ (peace, man), Wednesday, 14 August 2019 13:02 (eleven months ago) link

Shaving. Took me years of picking out the minuscule gaps in wilkinson sword 6-bladed monstrosities with a pin before I realised that safety razors were still available, about 10 times cheaper, and never clogged.

mfktz (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Wednesday, 14 August 2019 13:03 (eleven months ago) link

Are there really cars out there that combat drowsiness by not letting itself drift over any white or yellow line unless the blinker is on?] Because I will lose my shit, that's all there is to it.

― pplains, Wednesday, August 14, 2019 2:45 AM (ten hours ago) bookmarkflaglink

BRING THIS ON. I will stan for forcing EACH AND EVERY DRIVER to use turn signals EVERY TIME.

There's more Italy than necessary. (in orbit), Wednesday, 14 August 2019 13:10 (eleven months ago) link

xp

I've never liked the trend toward the giant, flat Mach 3 style razors. There's a total lack of precision with those.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Wednesday, 14 August 2019 13:14 (eleven months ago) link

the really annoying thing abt shaving is that switching over to a safety razor + soap + brush model, which overall is saving me a fortune and giving me a better and less irritating shave, requires wading through sites and instructional videos all completely steeped in obnoxious "culture of old-fashioned masculinity" stuff.

Good morning, how are you, I'm (Doctor Casino), Wednesday, 14 August 2019 13:18 (eleven months ago) link

i mean this was doomed when the internet got taken over by nazis, right? i find a great deal of value in having places to talk about personal stuff that doesn't instantly notify every single person i have ever met, but a large percentage of people who also find a great deal of value in it are nazis and pedophiles. i can't think of any way to protect me without also protecting them.


What about protecting you from them? See: loads of people cool about Obama expanding the surveillance state and being all hand wavey about implications finally making the connection that the Trump admin now has all that data. Particularly when you consider the government tried to identify people who looked at a Trump protest site.

gyac, Wednesday, 14 August 2019 13:19 (eleven months ago) link

Honestly 90% of my time online is pseudonymous and I generally keep to myself for much this reason because it’s often...not great?...being female online (esp when you’re opinionated like I am.)

gyac, Wednesday, 14 August 2019 13:21 (eleven months ago) link

Tom Walker now - Heartbeats apparently. This is vile.

Fizzles, Saturday, 1 February 2020 09:53 (six months ago) link

give me vivaldi any day tbh.

Fizzles, Saturday, 1 February 2020 09:54 (six months ago) link

ooh, they're going to transfer me again. he can do some of what i need but doesn't have the right cost code for the rest of it. hopefully more tom walker coming up.

Fizzles, Saturday, 1 February 2020 09:58 (six months ago) link

virgin media are not my favourite people to phone

Wuhan!! Got You All in Check (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Saturday, 1 February 2020 10:00 (six months ago) link

on hold. not sure what this music is.

Fizzles, Saturday, 1 February 2020 10:03 (six months ago) link

it's sort of nondescript electronic. not too bad for hold music actually.

Fizzles, Saturday, 1 February 2020 10:03 (six months ago) link

it would be quite good if more hold music was vaporwave, to close the circle a bit.

Fizzles, Saturday, 1 February 2020 10:04 (six months ago) link

he's going to send an engineer round! direct action! 35 minutes and counting on the actual call.

Fizzles, Saturday, 1 February 2020 10:05 (six months ago) link

i've got fucking Heartbeats by Tom Walker in my head now. They will pay for this.

Fizzles, Saturday, 1 February 2020 10:06 (six months ago) link

I'LL BE THERE IN A HEARTBEEEAAAAT.

Fizzles, Saturday, 1 February 2020 10:06 (six months ago) link

and finished. time for a cup of tea. shout out to the last guy who I spoke to who was lovely and very helpful. i said so, and he said he was very grateful to me letting him know that and he appreciated it. little tear in my eye now. we had some good times.

Fizzles, Saturday, 1 February 2020 10:10 (six months ago) link

John Lanchester picked up his bespoke mobile phone device and dialled the number for Virgin Customer Services...

Ngolo Cantwell (Chinaski), Saturday, 1 February 2020 10:28 (six months ago) link

... using the electronic keypad the digital display of the phone provided.

Fizzles, Saturday, 1 February 2020 10:54 (six months ago) link

fizzles calling VM CS easily merited being the 200k thread tbh

BSC Joan Baez (darraghmac), Saturday, 1 February 2020 10:55 (six months ago) link

one month passes...

“ I feel like there isn’t enough attention given to the fact that all these high tech, self driving transportation options are ultimately going to translate into restriction of movement. “Firewalls” that can’t be crossed and “regions. Seems like it should be a bigger concern.

― Manitobiloba (Kim), Wednesday, September 4, 2019 3:27 PM (six months ago)”

When I wrote that six months ago, I wasn’t exactly sure what the triggers for such a thing might be, but I sure have been thinking about it again in the past week or so.

Manitobiloba (Kim), Wednesday, 25 March 2020 01:56 (four months ago) link

I was gonna comment on the audio issues of Zoom conference calls -- but damn, that sounds super prescient, Kim!

sarahell, Saturday, 28 March 2020 17:38 (four months ago) link

I’m half waiting for the call in coming months that my car needs a software update. Actually heck, I’m not sure the car even needs to physically go in for these things anymore.

Manitobiloba (Kim), Sunday, 29 March 2020 02:44 (four months ago) link

My car can access the home WiFi from the driveway. Oh brave new world etc

I met a strange baby, she made me nervous (Ye Mad Puffin), Sunday, 29 March 2020 14:06 (four months ago) link


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