Web Culture

4 Things That Really Annoy Me In Tech Today [Opinion]

James Bruce 04-12-2011

I’ll admit, I get a little cranky sometimes. I guess we all can, and sometimes it’s a good thing to vent. So here’s a list of the top 5 things in tech that are really getting on my nerves today – see how many you agree with.


And whatever you do, please don’t take this 100% seriously, because I’m not really half as cranky as I sound. In fact, I’m quite a happy guy that likes nothing more than lazing around in the garden 3 iPad Apps For Growing a Vegetable Garden As a gardener, I wanted to explore some iPad apps for growing vegetables and the self-sufficient lifestyle I strive for. Specifically, I wanted something that would help me figure out exactly what I could grow,... Read More watching his chickens scratch.

Saying Twitter Killed RSS

It seems like it’s become fashionable to valiantly proclaim that RSS is dead, and that ‘people get all their news through Twitter’. If that’s true, then I hope your BS-filtering skills are highly tweaked, because the signal to noise ratio on Twitter is immense How The London Riots Showed The Dark Side Of Social Media [Opinion] As I sit here wondering how things will pan out for London after the riots, I can’t help but turn towards Twitter for relevant information about my local area. The media is repeating the same... Read More . After you’ve finished wading through the spam and endless re-tweets, you then have to work out which tweets are just outright lies told by foolish trolls. I’m betting most of those few great links you find through Twitter are actually posted via an RSS->Twitter auto-tweet system anyway.

The fact is that RSS still powers a large portion of the open web through sites such as If This Then That If This Then That: Connect & Automate Any Two Of Your Favorite Web Apps Connect any two of your favorite web apps in creative ways. A sort of "digital duct tape" according to Linden Tibbets, the app's creator, If This Then That (ifttt) lets you find new uses for... Read More . If anything, I’d say that bookmarks are dead. What’s the first thing I do when I come across a site with great articles? I certainly don’t bookmark it, or look for their Twitter username. Instead, I subscribe to their RSS feed so I don’t have to type in the URL ever again. I then get full articles from that site delivered to me to read at my leisure.

4 Things That Really Annoy Me In Tech Today [Opinion] rss is dead

But Twitter is CURATED” you cry, “Human-chosen results!” Great. If I wanted that kind of curation, I’d watch Fox News so my world view could be completely distorted. “It’s a great way to promote your business” you say? So you’re basically spamming Twitter? Keep up the good work, sir!


Fanboy Labelling

I’ve been called this a lot, and I’ll admit it really does get on my nerves like nothing else can. Not on a personal level, because I’ve never taken much notice of anyone who labels me anything really – but more on a logical argument basis.

Since when did liking a product to the extent that you’re willing to recommend it to others mean your opinions are worthless? As if the very act of being passionate about something is shameful. To have a worthy opinion on the Internet, you must be either 100% “meh” about everything, or take a Wikipedia-like non-biased opinion, refusing to admit evidence related to user experience and focusing on pure hardware stats instead.

Do we really need to add a disclaimer at the beginning of every article that says “I like this product and recommend it, so please go ahead and disregard everything we say because we’re obviously fanboys”?

It’s a stupid word, and a pathetic attempt to invalidate an opinion because you don’t have a good argument yourself. Please, stop labelling people fanboys just because you haven’t found something yourself to be a fan of yet. If someone is making an illogical argument, it will be plainly obvious enough and won’t require you to scream fanboy.


Angry Birds

I’m so sick of this un-original, non-addictive, over-marketed steaming pile – but when the media has shouted it in your face enough, suddenly it becomes the pinnacle of mobile gaming. Oh, and that real life Angry Birds video that did the rounds? That really wasn’t funny at all by the way, so you can stop posting it to Facebook now. What’s that – you haven’t seen it yet?


But is all this hate justified? Not according to GameFront. It’s only when I read the comments that I came across this gem though:

The success of Angry Birds is that it can be what people want it to be. Someone can just flail birds for a few levels and watch stuff fall over. Others can try to work through all the levels and get a sense of accomplishment that way (because as I said some levels do require some skill to complete at all). Others still can really examine the levels in detail to come up with their idea of an optimal solution.

Wow – you’d think Angry Birds is the height of gaming after reading that.


Honestly though, what can I expect from a game labelled by Fox News as one of the “Top 10 Apps Of 2010”?

Augmented Reality & StarBucks In Particular

Augmented Reality began years ago in Japan with a simple Flash plus webcam tech demo, and quickly became the next best thing since sliced bread, which wasn’t that cool to begin with anyway. Now while I admit that some augmented reality apps 6 Free Apps To Try Out Augmented Reality On Your iPhone Augmented reality is way cool. Using your camera, location and the right apps, it is possible to overlay useful, relevant information on top of live camera images to provide an enhanced view of the world... Read More for mobile have found a use for many people – those who can’t read maps, for example – it’s this kind of stuff from StarBucks and Nintendo that really does my head in!

I’m sure it’ll be a hit with the kind of people that go to Starbucks, but to me this is just a huge waste of money that could otherwise be spent bettering the world in some way. If Starbucks has so much profit that they can spend it on stuff like this, how about a little more philanthropy, or even lowering the price of coffee so it costs less than liquid gold?

4 Things That Really Annoy Me In Tech Today [Opinion] starbucks cup magic sucks


That’s it, I’m all out of rage now. Feel the need to call me an RSS fanboy? Disgusted by the fact I think a corporation should be told what to do with their vast profits? Ready to defend Angry Birds as the best game, ever? Or how about you – what really annoys you in the world of tech and the Internet today? Let us know in the comments!

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  1. British slut
    May 13, 2012 at 11:36 am

    My brother recommended I may like this blog. He was once entirely right. This put up truly made my day. You cann't consider simply how much time I had spent for this info! Thanks!

  2. Andrew Jones
    January 3, 2012 at 4:33 am

    It annoys me when a site doesn't have an RSS feed.  Come to think about it, if I didn't have this site's RSS feed, I wouldn't have read this article.

  3. Scutterman
    December 6, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    I only ever use the term "fanboy" regarding people who are friends, or at least people I know well. When I use it, it applies to someone denying any merits of other hardware / software while refusing to see obvious weaknesses in their own. It's more of a joke than anything else, but it's useful for ending a pointless discussion.

    In regards to RSS being dead, Mozilla seemed to think so when they removed the rss icon from the toolbar in FF4. A shame, since the one I had to go into the "customize" menu to put back there is way too big and doesn't indicate clearly if the site actually has a feed. Funnily enough, the only site I need it on these days is generally youtube, which doesn't seem to link to channel feeds anywhere I can see.

    • muotechguy
      December 7, 2011 at 7:37 am

      Yeh, it looks like Youtube is trying to keep people on-site. I can understand that, though I cant say I'm happy about it either. Oh well, at least they dont have any bloody tweet buttons either. 

  4. Chris Wyld
    December 5, 2011 at 8:14 am

    Wow, what really came through to me was your hatred for Fox News. Take a pill, you're obviously a liberal mass media fan-boy!

  5. Custom Software Development
    December 5, 2011 at 4:38 am

    Woot, thanks for the nice suggestions. The comments are really enjoyable, no opinions but I follow you.

  6. Anonymous
    December 5, 2011 at 12:59 am

    RSS will never die, it is way more productive than twitter.
    Since you can read the articles without clicking it.
    And those shortened links just looks so suspicious.

  7. Journcy
    December 4, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    Actually, I have like a million bookmarks.
    But, whatever.
    And I really don't read that many article-websites.

    • muotechguy
      December 5, 2011 at 3:00 am

      Fair enough. Thats was kind of a tangent to the point of twitter not killing RSS though. 

      Do you use an online bookmarking service like delicious? Or strictly in your browser?

  8. Don
    December 4, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    "If I wanted that kind of curation [sic], I’d watch Fox News so my world view could be completely distorted."

    It's fascinating how some people drop gratuitous remarks and opinions outside the thrust of the main theme without presenting evidence of their statements.

    Then again, I suppose mindless repetition of platitudes regardless of appropriateness or fact is the lifeblood of some political persuasions.

    • muotechguy
      December 5, 2011 at 3:02 am

      It's even more shocking when you realise that I'm not even American...

      Sorry, Don. Please don't take it too seriously, like I said. I am not attempting to make serious political statements here. 

  9. Kevin
    December 4, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    You mad bro?
    Hating on Angry Birds?

    • muotechguy
      December 5, 2011 at 3:03 am

      It just sucks so much, I cant help it!!!! ARGGGH!

  10. Dallen
    December 4, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    I still teach RSS to my Outlook and Windows students.  And yes, I also make sure they nkow about Thunderbird, Linux, Open Office and Libre Office.  I have Apple products, WinTel products and cheap copycats.  I don't call anyone who is recomends a product or company a fanboy, no matter how passionate; a fanboy goes beyond that, looking down at others not using their prefered product.

  11. JerryB
    December 4, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    Which, BTW, proves his point that by using it as your only source your perspective is sorely  distorted, natch.

  12. JerryB
    December 4, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    So you knobs admit that FOXNews is nothing but politics ~ GENIUSES!

  13. Kelly Faulkner
    December 4, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    granted, twitter may be "curated," as i am picky about whom i follow so i don't get a lot of unrelated crap; however, isn't my rss feed somewhat curated as well, by the person who knows what interests me the most? between the two, it's the one i depend on.

    the constant blogosphere cry of "(blank) is killing (blank)" (and clearly, there can only be ONE type of [blank]) is like listening to a very narrow-minded chicken little. 

    • muotechguy
      December 5, 2011 at 3:05 am

      Good point Kelly. My opinion on twitter should be clarified though - mainly I'm referring to following a particular hashtag as opposed to specific users. For instance, when I was looking for information on the london riots near me (linked to that article above). 

  14. Dave
    December 4, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    I love the fanboy comment, Hope you like the fact that? and I hope its ok too? I want to use your disclaimer as a sig on some forums when posting, I think its spot on. Oh and yes I couldn't come up with something as original and as brilliantly put as that

    • James Bruce
      December 5, 2011 at 3:23 am

      Lol, go ahead. But please make sure your arguments are always logical!

  15. Rowan
    December 4, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    Nice post. Although I'm easily impressed by any American who doesn't think Starbucks is God's gift to coffee junkies.  Maybe they could use some of those vast profits to pay third-world farmers what their product is worth, rather than keeping them in poverty just to increase profit margins.

    • muotechguy
      December 6, 2011 at 1:16 am

      Non-American. I'm UK born and bred. 

  16. Anonymous
    December 4, 2011 at 11:47 am

    The fanboy label is completely overplayed, I agree, but it sometimes has uses. When people make arguments that flatly contradict existing evidence and experience, in order to promote a product. The label is sometimes necessary, as not everyone is completely informed on the articles they read, and so might believe some of the drivel these fanboys spout without evidence to support them.

  17. Anonymous
    December 4, 2011 at 10:42 am

    I like how you matched my feelings over the "Fanboy labeling", "Angry birds" and especially Twitter killing RSS, which I think is ridiculous (probably for the mainstream, not very techie people it's acceptable, but still...).

  18. cruva
    December 4, 2011 at 10:40 am

    MisterSparkle is right.  Misplaced complaints about Fox News, in an article about tech annoyances, is itself annoying.

  19. James Barnes
    December 4, 2011 at 10:35 am

    My tippity toppity thing in tech that annoys me? Blogs that re-post from Reddit.

    • James Bruce
      December 5, 2011 at 3:14 am

      Was that aimed at me!!?? I can assure you sir, this is 100% original!!!

      Otherwise, yes, I can see how that would be totally annoying, but I can't say I ever look at Reddit myself. I wasnt much of a digg fan either actually, never much trusted the hive mind!

      • James Barnes
        December 5, 2011 at 4:24 am

        No, don't worry, the x-post comment was not aimed at you, just a general observation.

  20. Dkdevnll
    December 4, 2011 at 10:19 am

    I'd submit that this is the best characterization of how I see Twitter:  http://current.com/shows/supernews/89891774_twouble-with-twitters.htm

    • James Bruce
      December 5, 2011 at 3:19 am

      LOL, that was awesome. "I dont care what everyone else is doing, but I want them to know what I'M doing!"

      Yeh, that video pretty sums up twitter. 

  21. Anonymous
    December 4, 2011 at 10:15 am

    Gratuitous political remarks?  Where?

    • James Bruce
      December 5, 2011 at 3:13 am

      I think he meant my comment about fox news and people who go to starbucks ;)

    • James Bruce
      December 5, 2011 at 3:20 am

      Oh, wait, that was *sarcasm*! I see what you did there.  

      • Anonymous
        December 5, 2011 at 5:25 am

        Actually, it wasn't sarcasm.  I just missed your quip the first time through.

        It was a gratuitous low blow.  But, I'm no fan of the Faux News, so I can forgive you this one time.

        • muotechguy
          December 6, 2011 at 1:17 am

          You must have missed the swipe at StarBucks patrons too then...

  22. Anonymous
    December 4, 2011 at 10:13 am

    RSS is far superior to Twitter when it comes to sources that you follow regularly, particularly those that are not of immediate concern.  Twitter requires near constant monitoring, otherwise something useful and interesting will get lost in the tsunami of crap.  RSS allows me to accumulate posts for weeks or months and then go through them quickly, reading just headlines or finding the articles I want to read more in depth.  I agree completely that bookmarking has been displaced.

  23. Joemac1
    December 4, 2011 at 10:13 am

    I just unsubscribed your RSS feed and will stop following makeuseof on GooglePlus due to your gratuitous political remarks in this post.

    • James Bruce
      December 5, 2011 at 3:12 am

      I'm sorry you feel that way Joe. You should know that clearly marked [OPINION] pieces represent the sole opinion of the writer in question, and not MakeUseOf as a whole. I also mentioned not to take this too seriously, but I see you have taken offence to something, so I'm sorry for that. 

    • Greg
      January 19, 2012 at 4:20 am

      Wow. So serious 

  24. Drew Perreault
    December 4, 2011 at 10:13 am

    starbucks is horrible... price is outrageous! and one of the few times I went, my girlfriend got an "eggnogg latte", literally tasted like HOT DOGS!! I almost threw up when I tried it. luckily there was a dunkin nearby so we threw that out real quick. worst 5 bucks ever spent (on one coffee too!)

    • James Bruce
      December 5, 2011 at 3:08 am

      ROFL comment of the day goes to you!

  25. Dkdevnll
    December 4, 2011 at 10:06 am

    I don't have a twitter account.  I don't foresee myself getting a twitter account, ever.  I agree with your assessment on Signal to Noise.  I see twitter as 97% noise, and 3% value.  In saying that, I'm saying there's probably 1% of value, but the number of retweets helps me find the 1% by increasing their number in the haystack. 

  26. Kamil
    December 4, 2011 at 10:01 am

    I still turn to RSS as my #1 online news source & Twitter just for gossip.