Tag Archives: technology

Blue waffle

I cannot deny that the internet is a marvellous creation filled with many wondrous things. Stocked to the brim with joyful bundles of cute kittens, online shopping and naked celebrities aplenty. It is inarguable that the world is a better place for the instant access of information, film showing times and ‘free’ music.

None of these life-enhancing features change the fact that the internet is annoying as fuck.

Take Google, without doubt the single most-visited site on the internet. You pop along for a daily search, but unless you’re searching for something huge (Amazon, BBC News or midget-porn), or you have a very specific search term, then you’re likely to end up with a load of shit. Searching ‘holiday’ returns 85,300,000 results. In theory this means there’s a holiday-related website for every 85 people on the planet.

The reality is that the internet is getting too full. In fairness, not all of those millions of results will be relevant; in fact I’d argue 85,299,990 are irrelevant as the majority of people never look past the first page of results anyway. But stuff gets put on the internet every day, and rarely gets taken off. The whole thing needs cleaning up – not a job I’m volunteering for (unless it pays well) but it will have to be done at some point so why not get on top of it now?

Let’s have another little sideswipe at Google. Those fuckers play around in their ball pool meeting rooms and snooze away having wet dreams in their sleep pods, all the while representing a liberal and ‘for the greater good’ ethos, but behind the scenes they’re just as capitalist as your evil Microsofts and PC Worlds.

Case in point are the sponsored search results which appear at the top of your search in an eye-catching yellow box. Some company has paid for that, probably handsomely depending on how common the search term is. I can live with that, money makes the world go around, but most of the time it’s fucking useless and doesn’t take you where you want to be.

I recently found out that they often pay for these adverts per click, so now I click the shit out of one whenever I see it. What’s that? I’ve searched for pictures of the Eiffel Tower and Argos is the top link…CLICK CLICK FUCKING CLICK. I go back and forth a few times clicking away, laughing at myself maniacally in the knowledge I’m wasting their money like a bored evil villain in training.

And what’s the deal with cookie tailored advertising? Just because the wife did a search for the NSPCC six months ago on the same IP address doesn’t mean I need to see some sad kid’s face whilst I’m searching for the latest celebrity phone hack. It’s a serious buzzkill.

Great in theory, the internet. Fucked in practice. The next time you’re at a dinner party and some smug bastard called Gerald mentions what a testament to the achievements of modern man the internet is, just tell him to Google ‘blue waffle’.

A merry little journey through the air

Technology is the constant driving force of change in the modern world, and over the years you have to admit that it’s getting pretty good. Did you know you can watch porn on your phone? Don’t forget to finish reading this when you’re done.

Consider a fairly complex scenario, using online gaming as an example. You sit at home in your sweaty armchair and press a button on your Xbox controller. That depresses a microswitch, which then sends an electronic signal through the air by magic to your Xbox. The clever little machine then sends a big fat ‘reloading’ signal to the telly and you see your murderous avatar force a fresh clip into his gun

But that’s not all it does, because it also needs to tell the other people you’re playing with. So it sends a signal off on a merry little journey through the air to your wireless router, which then sends it along a long cable to the green box which sits in the street.

The signal then puts his travelling shoes on and hikes through underground cables to your internet service provider and then off onto a local server, and finally to a main server for whatever shitty excuse for escapism you’re playing this week. Then that signal travels all the way under the ocean towards some happy fucker sat in 35C of Miami heat. It goes to his internet service provider and then to his local green box. It magically flies through the air to his Xbox which send the the signal to his TV and finally he sees you reload just before he shoots you in the face.

This all happens in less then half a second. Impressive right?

So why the fuck can’t I get WiFi on my toilet? The signal just will not go through the wall.

There are countless examples of technology failure. Apple paid an eight-figure sum for SIRI…and it’s shit! Who uses it? Apart from the first week, “Hey Dave, watch…Siri, what’s above me now?”. Great so now I know exactly which Malaysian Airliner is about to fall onto my face. What’s the use of that?

And while I’m on Apple I might as well unleash another little broadside. Given a choice of SIRI, compass app, Apple Maps, Stocks, Game Centre and Passbook, or ditching all of these apps for 5 mins extra battery life the majority of people would ditch them, but can we? Can we fuck.

TVs, don’t get me fucking started on TVs. Why in the world do I want to sit and wave my hand in the air to change channel? The remote has been around since 1950 and has been working perfectly fine ever since so what makes anyone think I would rather sit and gesticulate like a madman? Chances are the bloody dog will turn the TV over every time he jumps on the sofa.

The point is that technology is focusing on the wrong things. The drive for change in technology used to be driven by necessity but now it’s just a farce. I’m not saying I want to invent a robotic Gandhi to go over to Russia or the Middle East and chill those fuckers out, but technology took a wrong turn some time ago and someone needs to get it back on the right road, though definitely not with a fucking SatNav.

Before having Amazon start to deliver packages by drone, how about trying to get a single fucking train to run on time?

We noble carousers

It’s a shame just how much we take technology for granted. It should never cease to amaze us that a tiny metal box that fits in a trouser pocket can communicate with just about anyone in the world with the flick of a few fingers. Computers can do dazzling things and we still moan when they don’t work, disregarding the wonderment of being able to type 140 characters in a single tiny box and witness the entire human race not giving a shit.

And a remote control can now, incredibly, pause ‘live’ TV, and even let me rewind it to check whether I really did just hear that news story more or less predicting that the end of civilisation is upon us.

It’s a little hazy now, because it was over 20 minutes ago and I’ve decapitated a bottle since then. But from what I can gather, the Mayor of London was on the TV saying something like this:

“We can attach this device to you, which records whether there’s alcohol entering your bloodstream, and if you drink even so much as a beer or a glass of wine you’ll have broken the terms of your agreement. We’ll have you back in front of the court before you can trip over a bar stool.”

I have a particular dislike of the idiot who nominally runs my city but I’m hardly alone in that. This, however, is new. London, as the principal city of the country with the ‘worst’ drinking ‘problem’ in the world, is the official capital of the drunkard and I am proud to be in the vanguard of its army of elbow lifters. And our intolerable Mayor just said he’s started tagging people to make sure they don’t drink.

Again: tagging people to stop them drinking.

I’m sure the people in question have committed some terrible crime to be tagged in this way. No doubt their crime was drink-related, as statistics will tell you is the case for a majority of crimes in Britain. Of course, as anyone who has worked for Opta will know statistics are made of little more than hangovers and regrets and have no serious place in an enlightened society.

More of us drink than don’t. The number of people in Wetherspoons pubs at any given moment is likely larger than the population of a medium-sized country – Israel, say, or the Central African Republic. Those nations’ current concerns matter less to me than the idea that many of my countrymen face an attack on their civil liberties akin to the commissioning of yet another series of Downton fucking Abbey.

You could argue that it’s no different from banning someone from driving for mowing down a squadron of Hare Krishnas on the pavement outside Sainsbury’s. You’d be wrong. Alcohol is the lifeblood of this nation. The equivalent would be banning the same driver but then not letting him drink himself to death with guilt.

We noble carousers are under constant attack from those who boldly claim they have our best interests at heart while at the same time refusing to open their fucking cobweb-riddled wallets at the bar.

Enough is enough. I drink a fucking hell of a lot and I’m not ashamed to say so. Everyone knows it’ll kill me, and not suddenly when I fall and bump my dome against a paving slab but slowly, cirrhotically and surrounded by an appalling bloody mess. But I’m an Englishman and that’s what we’ve been doing for centuries and yet there are still millions of us here.

And my alternative proposal is therefore this: tag the fuckers who don’t drink enough. Not the people who don’t drink at all – they don’t tend to be the people who squeal and fucking moan at the rest of us – but those people who can drink in moderation. The ones who can have ‘a nice glass of wine’ or one single beer when they get home from work, then a cup of tea an hour later. I know, it’s astounding that these people can even get out of bed in the morning but there they are, pointing and judging and dying about five years later than the rest of us of something just as painful and grim, but sober, and confused as to why their healthy masterplan has failed.

Tag these fucking people so we can all use our amazing pocket metal to track and avoid them. Technology will allow us to ban them from pubs, so any time one of them enters there’s a sudden high-pitched screech and they have 10 seconds to turn around and leg it before their head explodes like that bloke at the start of The Running Man.

With this magnificent technology in place the rest of us will be freed from these smug bastards who want nothing more than to drag us into their world of work and boring, intoxicant-free play. We’ll be left to drink and fight and be sick and do awful and brilliant things to each other just like the British have been doing for centuries. We can once again be great, restoring us to our proper place in the world.

We might even discover some previously unknown point to the fucking Commonwealth Games and there’s not a man or woman among us who wouldn’t drink to that.