Look, I’m not here to tell you you should go out to the woods and grow dreadlocks and try to make brain sex with a tree like in Avatar. I like modern conveniences. Just ask my Japanese Sex Robot, Katherine Heigl. Sadly, in our proud march toward a Wall E-like, eternal life of fatness and TV, there’ve been a few branches on the tree of invention that didn’t really lead anywhere. Inventors who, if Thomas Edison were to have stood on their shoulders, would’ve just gotten sh*t on his shoes. Here are 11 of the most recent.
Correct me if I’m wrong — this is just an iPhone that’s too big to fit in your pocket and doesn’t make calls, right? Well done, Steve Jobs. You’ve really cornered the market on fat-fingered guys who don’t wear pants or have friends. Wait, that actually describes half of all bloggers. Did I mention it costs as much as a laptop? Anyway, the only real question now is whether this will become the Laserdisc of tomorrow or the Minidisc of tomorrow.
This one always gets a pass like no one can bash it because it’s iPad’s intellectual sister, but let’s break this down: so it costs $260. It’s roughly the size of a book, it “reads like real paper, even in bright sunlight”, and you can read books on it? And you have to pay for each book separately like with regular books? Hey, grandpa, how long does the battery last on your book? Mine lasts four days! (*air guitar*)
Seriously though, how many damn books can you read at the same time? Go to the library, hippie, you’ll love it there.
Automatic Hand Dryers
If you ever used one of these and didn’t end up wiping your hands on your pants, either your hands weren’t wet to begin with or you weren’t wearing pants. Hence why in any part of the country, you can go into any bathroom with an automatic hand dryer and find, hand etched into the plate listing the instructions for use, “USE PANTS.” It’s the truest bathroom graffiti since “for a good time” and my mom’s phone number.
I think the guy who invented automatic hand dryers was a restaurant owner with no expertise whatsoever who just got tired of stocking the paper towel dispenser. The name of his restaurant? You guessed it, Pisshands McGee’s.
Hey, do you like comfy shoes? Crap, someone already invented those. Well, how about comfy shoes that look like orthopedic boots for a retarded kid? Hmm, I just have one question: do they come in glow-in-the-dark orange? Perfect. Full steam ahead, we’re going to make a mint.
“Hey, I got an idea.”
“It’s for a search engine that’s exactly like Google, but doesn’t work as well and no one uses it.”
Hmm, I don’t know if that’s…
“But wait! We’ll spend billions on commercials about how it combats ‘search overload syndrome.'”
Okaaay, but that still doesn’t answer…
“THEN, we’ll buy ad space on every website, that highlights random words like ‘beautiful’ and ‘coconut’, and turns them into huge, uncontrollable rollover ads for things like plastic surgery and Hawaiian vacations!”
Don’t ever call here again.
Websites with Music and Flash Intros
What the hell, did the same flash designer sell websites to every restaurant? I was just hoping to log on and see your menu, but this three minute video of a candle with piano music is very… uh… soothing. I see you’ve taken the speed of the web and added the commercial-y time wasters that drove everyone away from TV. Very innovative.
South Park and Maddox have both destroyed the Segway in ways I could only aspire to, but if I leave it off the list people will think I’m an idiot. It remains the gold standard in pointless uses of modern technology.
“So you’re telling me it goes half as fast as a bicycle, costs $6,000, and will make me look super-duper gay? Where do I sign up!”
Yet somehow, even in the years since the pop-culture world took a collective curry sh*t on this ridiculous idea, the Segway has still somehow managed to become ubiquitous in the novelty-cop and day-tours-of-the-city industries. Guess they figure that if you’re already wearing socks with sandals and a Fisherman’s Wharf t-shirt, not looking like Lord of the Dorks isn’t your primary concern. I think part of the problem with the Segway is that it barely goes faster than you can walk (12.5 mph top speed) and adds maybe six inches to your height, yet you’re still required to wear a helmet when you ride one (don’t even get me started on needing a helmet to ride a Segway yet being allowed to carry a gun). So by riding one, you’ve effectively admitted that you’re the kind of person who has to wear a helmet at all times, even if you’re just doodling in a coloring book or drinking apple juice from a sippy cup.
Someone sent this to me. I don’t know what the sh*t it is, but it looks pretty stupid. At first I thought it was a thing where you could use the radio to dial your phone, which might be helpful if you’re like me and you’re always misplacing your phone underneath one of your cats. But oh no, that’s too logical. What it will do, is if you already have your phone handy, you can hold it up to the radio and the radio will dial the number for you. To save you valuable button-pressing energy. If you can think of any reason a person would need or want to do this, I’m going to hit you in the nuts for being a know it all.
Remember a few years ago when every cell phone company thought this was going to be the coolest thing since sliced p-ssy?
And then… no one actually used it. Turns out, pressing “one” and “send” to speed dial someone you know is actually a lot easier, and doesn’t make you feel like an assh*le for talking to an inanimate object. Voice-activated dialing is essentially like changing your TV’s power button into a speaker into which you have to say “TV, power on.”
And that’s assuming the thing will actually work. Meanwhile, there’s a special place in hell reserved for the guy who thought it’d be a good idea to take those automated, corporate answering mazes that everyone hates already and add voice recognition to them. First of all, this high-tech software system can’t be cheaper than paying a roomful of ex-cons on house arrest to just ANSWER YOUR GODD*AMNED PHONE. Secondly, do you know how many people in this country can actually speak proper English? It has to be less than 20%. But no, instead we find ourselves enunciating like an Oxford production of Shakespeare in the vain hope that the cable company’s software will be able to separate our voice from the police sirens and crying baby in the background (don’t ask). The most important phrase any voice-activated automated menu should be taught to understand is “GIVE ME AN OPERATOR, YOU C*CKSUCKING PIECE OF MONKEY SH*T!”
This one’s new, so let me explain:
“When running Auto Smiley, your computer senses when you’re smiling and automatically inserts a happy face into whatever program or app you’re using. There’s no typing required; you don’t even have to press send. The smile is immediate! Your happiness is real! Your relationships will be as strong as a bear!“
Dude. Can I call you “dude”? We use smiley emoticons (hopefully very, very sparingly) to fake emotions with people who can’t see us. Let me give you a scenario: Your annoying co-worker sends you a video of his stupid kid learning to drool or whatever. You can’t just ignore him, because that will make you look like a d*ck. So instead you say, “OMG, your baby’s so cute LOL! ;-)”
While you do this, you’re not thinking, “Boy, I wish my computer could more easily transmit my emotions without all this finger-pressin’!”
You’re thinking, “Boy, I sure am glad I can use these dumb abbreviations and sideways faces to humor people instead of them knowing how I really feel, which is more like:”
If someone invents Auto-Wankey, I’m f*cked.
Roadside Speed Indicators
I can’t say for certain whether this is pointless on the whole because there are a lot of half-bright pussies out there, but I can tell you that as soon as I figured out these things didn’t give tickets and were just trying to shame me into driving the speed limit by nagging me like my Kindergarten teacher, I started going faster out of spite. Woohoo, let’s see if we can take this f*cker up to 90! Screw you, radar machine. You ain’t my f*ckin’ dad.
Now, let’s just assume for the sake of argument that these things always worked perfectly and you never spent ten minutes flailing your hand around under faucets like an idiot without getting water to come out and leaving the bathroom with a bulging vein in your forehead and possible fecal residue on your hands.
Let’s assume it worked perfectly every time. Here’s the question no one seemed to ask: What’s the upside? That you could look like Poseidon’s less talented, down-on-his-luck grandson who’s stooped to performing novelty water tricks in an airport bathroom? And what was this replacing?
The knob! Only one of the simplest, most effective mechanisms ever devised. It’s fool proof! It works every time with just a subtle twist of the hand! That’s why it’s been around for a thousand years! Did you think I’d throw all that away for the opportunity to command water with an invisible magic wand? What am I, five? Did you see me come in here in a princess outfit? (don’t answer that). Seriously, what was the reasoning behind this, I’m dying to know. In the meantime, I’ll just wipe these farts and d*ck dribble off on your shirt.
So gang, which ones did I miss? And be sure to phrase your answer in the form of a personal attack.
I want more like this!
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