And how they are allegedly defying laws in various countries on data protection and privacy. Their 2012 changes to terms and conditions that allow them to combine information from 60 different sources to build master profiles of each user, are to be investigated by the UK, France, Italy, Germany, Spain and Holland together. Google ignored regulators’ demands to reverse the plans.
For defending their policy and claiming not to be breaking any laws. A spokesperson said; ‘we have engaged fully with authorities throughout the process and we’ll continue doing so going forward.’ The hate is the phrase ‘going forwards’. It’s meaningless.
3. Cold callers
All unsolicited callers and so-called courtesy callers who bother us at home are now in the firing range of regulators. Unwanted calls are a plague of modern life, it seems, but they can be frustrating, irritating and intrusive.
Various ideas are circulating on how to deal with them without just hanging up, such as:
- being excessively polite in replying,
- asking for cold caller’s home number and when not given it ask why they have abused your home number;
- entering into an academic debate about the meaning of ‘courtesy’ and
- quoting Section 179, subsection (c) of the Telecommunications (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act of 2009. There isn’t one.
I’m grateful for these suggestions from Max Davidson (Daily Telegraph, 3 April 13). What he didn’t take account of was cold callers’ new use of pre-recorded voice sales pitches which you can’t interact with, you can only hang up on.
Any unwanted sales pitch sent to you by whatever means is spam. Hard to get rid of, much like scum on dirty water. But what is really a pet hate is companies who spam you with the pathetic justification that you subscribed at some point in time past. If they do allow you to unsubscribe, they then send you another unwanted email to tell you.
And WHY are you ‘successfully’ unsubscribed?
And WHY does it take up to 28 days to get you out of their system?
And why do they get away with having you with different first part URLs, like sales@, fred@ or info@ on many different lists of theirs???
If you blog anywhere, they are grateful for comments from readers. Often you are pitifully glad. I have heard of people who go on somebody else’s device just to comment on their own stuff. It helps the ratings, of course and maybe some will click on a Google Ad or two while there. But the real hate is how bots or actual people plant comments on your site in their thousands.
They are praising you, your jokes, your knowledge or whatever. But they are from companies – taxihiretexas; seoenginesmubia; viagraphilippines or sex_in_moscow and so on. You know then they are just hoping you will approve and allow their links to stay on your site which helps their own Google rankings.
Apparently people are paid to plant these stupid, cluttering, sad adverts.
6. Device Pre-Hype
Don’t you get sick of all the build-up in the media and the internet before a new product is launched. This or that new gizmo which will save the world… and blah, blah, blah.
Latest culprit is Apple: ‘Apple’s long-awaited television will hit the shops later this year.’ It will sell at around £1650, boasts a 60-inch screen and will feature iRing, control by pointing. Wow, hold me down.
Is that this calendar year, fiscal year, academic year? No matter. Another story or two will come out before it does appear. Then when it does, the world will go, yeah, yeah, we knew all about it in advance anyway.
And how many times can you read about Facebook poised to enter the smartphone market? Many more times before it announces its ‘home on Android’ that will showcase mobile social networking features. Well, well, yawn, yawn.
7. Signing Devices
In an age when the finger or thumbprint has been all but replaced by biometrics, including voice, earlobes, eye scans and now we learn that everybody’s breath is unique so breathalysers are the next security hope… why do parcel couriers insist on handing you a faffy little remote screen?
That is reasonable, and signing is the state of their technology so far. BUT WHY THE STUPID TINY LITTLE BIT OF PLASTIC ON A STRING TO SCRAWL YOUR SIGNATURE?
Is that really the best they can do as you stand shivering on your doorstep fumbling with the awkward thing? Almost enough to persuade you to go to a shop and buy the goods in person? Steady on!
8. Online ordering
Don’t you hate it when you order online because the local store doesn’t have it in and then you wait in for an entire for them to deliver it…. like a laptop and software. We ordered one but when it came the software card hadn’t been activated so was useless. A phone call to Argos informed us we had to take the card to a store, for security!!!!
What a company. They send you a laptop you can plug in and after a few moments start using without any more security than they already have extracted from you but will not send you a functioning card to install software.
If they follow Jessops, MFI, Woolworths, Comet, Blockbuster will anybody be surprised?
Don’t you get fed up with how everything has to be constantly updated and the latest. Gadgets, systems and soap powders that work perfectly for you are suddenly ‘updated’ with an implication that they are ‘improved’ and you’re a dork if you weren’t crying out for it. Windows 8 is a classic example of a needlessly complex, unwanted system.
There can’t be many more irritating things to hear than, ‘could you just confirm your address, for me.’ Or your password, or name or whatever. It’s a pseudo security safeguard. Let’s ban it.
I still love the story of a little old lady some years ago when the banks started demanding confirmed identities, even if they knew you personally.
After queuing in the bank she had used for 40 years, she reached the counter was asked to confirm her identity. She whipped out her handbag mirror, looked at herself and yes, ‘Yes, that’s me.’
And as for, will you something ‘for me’, don’t get me started. Sit there, pop your number in, ‘for me’. No, they’re patronising and unnecessary words.
So, why not get in touch with your views, we wont ask you to confirm your ID, update your data or order from us online. Unless you want to.
Image: Emergency Brake