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Thread: Trivial or non-trivial technology that is just horrible

  1. #1
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    Trivial or non-trivial technology that is just horrible

    We have the amazing technology thread for all to participate in. So let's have a thread for technology that is lamentable.

    I would offer the aforementioned coffee pot that brews an amazing cup of joe, but has a spout that causes you to dribble that dark magic all over the counter, no matter how careful you are.

    Another frustrating pieces of technology are security screws on consumer products. Pointless because a drill bit is a screwdriver if you are brave enough.

    What do you have?
    Solfe

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    Another frustrating pieces of technology are security screws on consumer products.
    Thankfully there are IFixIt kits. Right to repair yo. Don't participate in that "no user servicable parts" nonsense, show them who's the boss.

    To give you an idea about how sick the corporate world is: the big companies tried to forbit IFixIt from making those bits.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

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    The current bugbear for me is plastic cup like things that go into plasterboard, gyproc, to hold sockets and switches. They are flimsy, so often break near the end game of fastening the socket, but worse, the sliding plastic wedges that are supposed to hold the thing in place, are not up to it. So the socket pulls out of the hole, messes up the neat hole making a difficult repair and again, lets you down just after the job is done. Thicker walls or metal equivalents would work but not available.
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    Installing sockets is one of the tasks I hate anyway. As you say, if it isn't perfect first time, good luck ever getting that socket flush and firm.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  5. #5
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    Cheap thermometers that don't read correctly. I had one that told me my temp was 86.9 on a daily basis. It makes me wonder if there programing error where it reads that instead of 98.6.
    Solfe

  6. #6
    Clamshell packaging.
    From the wilderness into the cosmos.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Backroad Astronomer View Post
    Clamshell packaging.
    Once upon a time I felt guilty for being the engineer on a shrink-wrap machine. But clamshell packaging made me feel better.
    Actual clamshells are, of course, easier to open.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

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    In the last several months our cellular service has been abysmal inside our house, and for two different phones. Which had been working perfectly well for several years. Now if a call comes in it’s a litany of “can you hear me now?”

    Its great when the tech works, but when it fails….oh brother.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    Cheap thermometers that don't read correctly. I had one that told me my temp was 86.9 on a daily basis. It makes me wonder if there programing error where it reads that instead of 98.6.
    That would be a difficult error to make. My guess would be a poor sensor: low sensitivity, bad linearity...

    Or, in case of a body thermometer: those tend to detect when the temperature rise stabilises, and show you that result. If the detection is off (again, possibly because of a poor sensor) it will show you the "end" result too soon, so too low.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

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    The human spine. What a terrible design. Especially mine right now.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

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    Tell me about it. In the past I've had serious issues with it. The root cause is my hips not being level. If I do too much back intensive work, I'd have problems the day after. One wrong move and I'd get pain levels to 11 (no kidding) combined with paralyzed legs.

    I've now found one exercise I can do in the morning to seriously reduce the chances of that happening. But especially in the morning, sometimes I still get this split second of extreme pain and legs cutting out.

    I know which side I should sleep on to optimize the situation, which of course is NOT my preferred side to sleep on. Also a firm mattress helps. But ours got a bit saggy after a year already and I don't really have budget to buy another one already. Also my wife prefers something not too firm, so we might have to go to two single mattresses in one double bed.

    Anyway, yes, the spine is a beautiful thing when it works but the reliability level could be improved upon.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

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    Phone batteries that drain too quickly and can’t be easily replaced because the manufacturers want you to buy an entirely new one.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    The human spine. What a terrible design. Especially mine right now.
    Oh, man, I had to lift Sandy out of a swing yesterday. (The park we went to only had baby swings, which she is still just barely small enough for.) I don't know why those swings were as high as they were; presumably to make pushing easier on the parents. But then you have to lift the kid in and out.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    Phone batteries that drain too quickly and can’t be easily replaced because the manufacturers want you to buy an entirely new one.
    Off topic but also helpful commentary follows

    Lithium ion batteries have a limit to discharge/charge cycles.

    https://www.newark.com/pdfs/techarti...onix/LIBMG.pdf

    The following advice is not trivial, but experience has shown it is always ignored. Every time your battery discharges below 50% you have used a cycle, and the battery will now not hold a charge as long. If the battery ever gets to like 18% (or whenever the device switches to low power mode), you used a cycle, and also the battery will not charge as fast, or last as long.

    Every time you actually use the battery, especially if it goes below 50%, it shortens the lifetime of it, and it lasts a shorter time. Every time.

    The only way to not have a battery that starts to not work well, is to not let it get low. Ever. Even one time causes damage, and the next time it will happen sooner. A wicked cycle.

    Even if you are not using a device, if it's not plugged in, the battery will go down. The key to not having your battery stop working, or starting to work very badly, is to not use it much. Always carry a brick charger or have it plugged in to the car or house. The battery will last for 5 years and still work reasonably well.


    Which is exactly what the corporations don't want you to do.

    Because then you won't have to spend money on a new device, or a new battery.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gigabyte View Post
    Off topic but also helpful commentary follows

    Lithium ion batteries have a limit to discharge/charge cycles.

    https://www.newark.com/pdfs/techarti...onix/LIBMG.pdf

    The following advice is not trivial, but experience has shown it is always ignored. Every time your battery discharges below 50% you have used a cycle, and the battery will now not hold a charge as long. If the battery ever gets to like 18% (or whenever the device switches to low power mode), you used a cycle, and also the battery will not charge as fast, or last as long.

    Every time you actually use the battery, especially if it goes below 50%, it shortens the lifetime of it, and it lasts a shorter time. Every time.

    The only way to not have a battery that starts to not work well, is to not let it get low. Ever. Even one time causes damage, and the next time it will happen sooner. A wicked cycle.

    Even if you are not using a device, if it's not plugged in, the battery will go down. The key to not having your battery stop working, or starting to work very badly, is to not use it much. Always carry a brick charger or have it plugged in to the car or house. The battery will last for 5 years and still work reasonably well.


    Which is exactly what the corporations don't want you to do.

    Because then you won't have to spend money on a new device, or a new battery.
    Thank you for the advice, I will avoid letting it get below 50% again.
    The greatest journey of all time, for all to see
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    I find the idea of a jetpack appealing, until I think about my lack of hand-eye coordination. <splat!>
    Solfe

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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    I find the idea of a jetpack appealing, until I think about my lack of hand-eye coordination. <splat!>
    Some days you're the windshield and some days you're the King Of The Rocket Men.
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    I realized maybe twenty years ago how terrible an idea flying cars are.
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    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    I realized maybe twenty years ago how terrible an idea flying cars are.
    Seeing how people drive on roads, I wouldn't want them to have a third dimension to screw up in. Especially if they're over my house.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    I realized maybe twenty years ago how terrible an idea flying cars are.
    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Seeing how people drive on roads, I wouldn't want them to have a third dimension to screw up in. Especially if they're over my house.
    Flying cars, when they happen, will be more like flying taxis; and autonomously controlled.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Flying cars, when they happen, will be more like flying taxis; and autonomously controlled.
    Hopefully, the windows and doors will automatically lock in flight, and the exterior of the vehicle will scan for unwanted outdoor passengers before takeoff.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Hopefully, the windows and doors will automatically lock in flight, and the exterior of the vehicle will scan for unwanted outdoor passengers before takeoff.
    Ha!
    Seriously, scarcely an issue of Aviation Week goes by without an article on a company developing this technology, which is, of course, based on the popular drones. Most of these companies will fail, of course, but some may succeed. "Urban Air Mobility" is a name for it, I think.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Ha!
    Seriously,
    I wish it was a joke, but IMO it's a real safety concern, akin to seat belts.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    Motorcycles fall under the same category of awesome but impractical as flying cars. Rapid acceleration and deceleration, high speed, alternative paths (if you are a brave outlaw), and personal convenience. One bad trip on a motorcycle shows all of the failings a flying car would have. Bad weather, good luck! You'll get there but you'll hate every second of it. Abrupt departure from "the planned path?" You don't even have to get hurt to realize how harsh physics is.

    What do you do when a flying car lands so hard it can't take off again? Leave it? Call a tow truck and hope they know or care about your needs? It's hard enough to get a tow truck for a disabled motorcycle. A flying car would be worse.
    Solfe

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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    What do you do when a flying car lands so hard it can't take off again? Leave it? Call a tow truck and hope they know or care about your needs?
    A flying vehicle to carry a flying vehicle is the only recourse that sounds workable. You might very well land far from a road.

    Flying ambulances sound like a good idea, especially in some of the less accessible places with people, or during rush hour traffic jams.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    Flying ambulances are called helicopters.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas View Post
    Flying ambulances are called helicopters.
    Butbutbut we've had those for decades! They aren't CARS!!!

    Unless we can call them cars it doesn't count!
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    I find the idea of a jetpack appealing, until I think about my lack of hand-eye coordination. <splat!>
    I would still try the Gravity Industries jet suit if I got the chance, though. It would make a better obituary than slipping in the shower.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    It would make a better obituary than slipping in the shower.
    Mine will probably read "Choked on saliva laughing at his own joke."
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Mine will probably read "Choked on saliva laughing at his own joke."
    Ever since my uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP or U3P) surgery, I'm far more prone to swallowing down the wrong pipe. So it's no joke. That could actually be in my obit...which would be kind of funny...thus making it a joke again.
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