August 18, 2009

Gadgets that make you look like a tool

MSNBC.com has an interesting feature today. A side article from the main "40 Big Losers -- Obsolete Technology" is the "Seven Gadgets That Make You Look Like a Jerk." Here's my take on a few of them:

The Blackberry. I agree with writer Daniel Harrison-- if you absolutely don't need it outside of work, put the damn thing away. There's rarely a bigger tool at the bar, restaurant or golf course than the friend/acquaintance/newly introduced someone that spends every passing second on his/her BB surfing the 'net for ... whatever.

iPod accessories. I always get a chuckle out of folks that scoff at the fact that I have one of the first model iPods (the Nano), that it's a hand-me-down (I "inherited" it from my daughter when we "upgraded" hers to the latest model a Christmas or so ago), and that I don't have a "neat" case for it or some fancy headphones. Well let's see -- gee, I'm in my mid-40s so I could care freakin' less what my iPod LOOKS like! As long as it holds and plays the music I like, I am golden, hear? Hell, some of my best friends don't even own an iPod yet, so at least I'm ahead of that curve! Oh, and speaking of headphones, I'm with Harrison -- WTF is the deal with having one hang uselessly all over one's self? Isn't the idea to listen to music in stereo?

Linux. I saw the story about these dudes on "60 Minutes" a while back and was intrigued. But Harrison has it right: "... a lot of Linux users out there give the whole thing a poor name. They forget that most people don't know as much as they do about computers. Some people garden, write poetry, fall in love or ... er, bloviate about gadgetry." Indeed. What layman wants to bother to learn/use a system that reminds one of the pre-Windows DOS days? These tools remind me of the folks that derided AOL users back in the '90s. I mean, God forbid that a company make [new] Internet technology a piece of cake for the everyman! Harrison continues:

Please don't confuse your fanaticism with superiority and, for the love of Jobs, stop telling us we're sheep under the sway of Microsoft. No one likes Comcast either, but until it's convenient to string our own fiber optic cable we're sticking with it. (Msnbc.com is a Microsoft-NBC Universal joint venture.)

Cool if: You're not heaping disdain on the rest of us, or maybe if you're in charge of a server farm.

Not cool if: You feel your mastery of computers excuses your inability to control a neck-beard.

Such putzes are in line with those who, for instance, wanted to boycott the revamped Star Wars films (y'know, the "special editions" that made use of new CGI effects). I mean ... why?? Get an F'ing grip.

The Bluetooth. This is by FAR the gadget that makes you look like biggest tool imaginable. The ONLY place this piece of equipment is necessary is in the car, where it actually makes sense. But at the grocery store? The mall? Going for a walk? At the MOVIES?? (Yes, I've been totally miffed at morons who wear their BTs in the movies -- that freakin' annoying blinking blue light in the ear-piece distracting the hell out of me as I try to keep my eyes on what I'm supposed to -- the movie screen. Unreal.) Then there's the parents who come to school for a parent conference (usually because their "angel" has been suspended or gotten detention) with their BTs mounted; you try to ask them "Can I help you?" but they're clueless. You're ignored while they continue their convo -- oblivious as to why they're at the school in the first place. And they wonder why their kid misbehaves?

Posted by Hube at August 18, 2009 06:16 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

It's amusing to me that you mention Linux, because I'm just about to set up a Linux installation at home. It's for learning and career growth, though so I don't think it makes a tool, or a bigger one anyway.

Posted by: Paul Smith at August 18, 2009 08:21 PM

I remember a comedian saying one time "no one ever got laid with a cell phone attached to their belt,"

Posted by: arthur at August 18, 2009 08:46 PM

Paul: You can use Linux b/c you're well-versed in the tech. As the article says, a lot of Linux users out there give the whole thing a poor name.

I doubt you fall into that category of users. :-)

Posted by: Hube at August 18, 2009 08:49 PM

Art: When I first got my cell about 5 yrs. ago, I wore it on a belt clip for a couple weeks. Then I heard a similar comedic statement and stopped. Immediately. ;-)

Posted by: Hube at August 18, 2009 08:51 PM

what the ell is an ipod!? Why does anyone want to listen to poor quality sound and download single songs?! Albums are an artistic body of work, not a 99 cent hit single...one of the reasons we have such crap out there now in the music industry is the ill health of cd sales......

Posted by: cardinals fan at August 18, 2009 10:46 PM

I used to wear my cell phone on my belt, but it kept hitting walls and falling off. When I almost lost it a Phillies game, I started keeping it in my pocket.

I think Linux gets a backlash for the same reason that Derek Jeter, Star Trek and Barack Obama do: nothing is as good as their fanboys say they are.

Posted by: Paul Smith at August 19, 2009 06:16 PM

I mean ... why?? Get an F'ing grip.

This coming from the man who, a few years back, hosted a whole multi part discussion about the relative morality of Admiral whats-her-name's crew versus the Battlestar Galactica crew.

I'm just sayin'

Posted by: JR at August 19, 2009 08:10 PM

FTR, I have a pink iPod - my wife got the super-cool new one when we bought a MacBook, so I got it as a hand-me-down. So I bought pink Skull Candy headphones to match. Wanna make something of it?

Posted by: G Rex at August 19, 2009 11:33 PM

OK JR -- which of those do you make use of above? The bluetooth?

Are you really making an issue out of a tongue-in-cheek blog post about toolish gadgets vs. a blog post that actually discussed various philosophical aspects of morality? Sheesh. YOU get an F'ing grip, pal.

Posted by: Hube at August 21, 2009 12:59 PM

Oh, just sayin'.

Posted by: Hube at August 21, 2009 01:00 PM

Rex: Nuthin' wrong w/a good hand-me-down, my friend!

Paul: Interesting point about the fanboys. And I always carry my cell in pocket now, too.

Posted by: Hube at August 21, 2009 01:03 PM

I'm a fan of high-tech gadgets. I love having the newest cell phone or ipod, even though I don't use most of their features. Besides, what really counts for me is design .

Posted by: Mandy kredyty at August 25, 2009 09:03 AM