Monday, April 11, 2011

What I Want

Technology is close to solving some of the pesky problems of daily life. The big issues? No way! But a number of minor annoyances could certainly be eliminated in the next year or so. So here's what I want:

More cell phone bar code apps

SnapTell is a mobile app that uses the device's camera to read bar codes on products, and then tell you where else to buy them, on- or offline. Very cool! But I'd also like to automatically look up the product in Consumer Reports or and see if it's even worth buying.

Better caller ID

When someone calls, I can see who it is and decide whether I want to answer. But if my wife's on the phone, I can't see who she's talking to.  Fix that. Yeah, yeah ... privacy. I'll bet Facebook knows who she's talking to.

Smarter remote controls

I have to go through about 47 levels of on-screen menus to browse through the video-on-demand movies or TV shows on my system. By the time I've found something tolerable, it's too late to watch it. I know the cable companies keep these ungodly search paths out of obligation to the content providers, but someone should make a touch-screen remote where I can add buttons that will just jump right to the set of choices I want. Click .. HBO HD movies; click again ... Showtime HD movies, etc. That simple.

For extra credit, just put all the movies in one freakin' list, and let me choose.  I really don't care which channel is so graciously agreeing to take my money.

And speaking of TV how about ...

Baysian commercial blocking

The most effective email spam blockers work by learning to recognize certain types of content as spam.  Why can't we do that for TV commercials? I could click the CRAP button on the remote when a commercial starts, and the system would learn what signals are just noise, and would blank the screen and mute the sound. Then I wouldn't have to sit through the animated boogers and the animated road kill and the animated whatever else six times in every half hour.

Better software upgrading

I have two PCs and a MacBook Pro, and I'm convinced they all spend most of their time upgrading their own software. I think they've got a little keeping-up-with-the-Joneses thing going amongst themselves.  "Oh, have you seen my new Thunderbird?" How about if they only upgrade when I'm not using the computer? How about if they learn how to upgrade without having to restart the whole machine? Better yet, how about if software companies TEST their products before delivering them?

Smarter GPS

Do I even have to explain this?

What else do I want? Well, I'd like a share of anyone's implementation of any of these ideas. After all ...

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