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Posted by Philip on 29 July 2013, 2:03 pm in , , ,

10 Everyday Things That Could Do With A Damn Good Creative Rethink

Technology being what it is today, I'm often amazed at how far we've come in some areas of design and functionality, yet some things have hardly moved at all or — even worse — gone backwards. Here are ten things we use everyday that, I think, could use a damn good rethink and upgrade to 21st century existence. 

1. Petrol pumps

How long has petrol been around? Wikipedia says since the late 1800s though, in its more modern form, since the 1920s.  Yet how long since the design of petrol pump nozzles was updated. They're heavy, clunky, they leak and they're unsightly. Surely by now they'd be a neat little fitting that clicks in, clicks out and starts with the touch of an electronic button. Even better they'd robotically connect, fill, disconnect and allow you to pay by mobile EFTPOS. Don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating for increased use of fossil fuels; I just want it to be easier to use until I can choose electricity — or solar power for that matter.

2. Tissue boxes

They're fine until they get to about a third full and then all hell breaks loose. More than one comes out, they fall to the bottom of the box, you put your hand in to pull them out again, you rip the box and then it's all over. All you'd need is a false bottom with a little spring to hold the tissues up at the top of the box until they're finished. Easy.

3. Packaging

Plastic packaging is bad enough as it is — don't get me started on recycling — but why, when we can flick a text across the world in nano-seconds, has it never been so difficult to open a packet of nuts or a candy bar, without breaking your teeth? Seems you just about need a vice and a circular saw (or a pair of plyers to get into some electronics). Let's bring back paper bags, I say — they were easy! And milk bottles, by the way, while we're at it.

4. Keyrings

The good old split key ring — who invented that? Nice idea but, impractical much? Once again, impossible to use without causing permanent nail damage and acute outrage. Surely you should be able to talk to them by now? "Open, key in, close. Good ring."

5. Phones

Can anyone remember a time when phones didn't exist? No. Does anyone not use one? No again. So why are we still picking picking them up and holding them to our ears? Implants at birth, with Siri included, is the modern solution. Also with GPS trackers so you never need to ask anyone but Siri, "Where's my toddler?" again. (Would also remove any need for the GCSB.)

6. Cameras

Optical implants with Bluetooth at birth. Blink, snap, upload to Dropbox.

7. Computer keyboards

Come on, we'd been texting using nine keys for years, then Apple brings back one character per key on the iPhone? Ridiculous. Hexidecimal keypads take up a quarter of the space and energy of a QWERTY. And with word prediction no-one would ever need to actually know how to spell a word again — just recognise the right one out of a list of six.

8. Steering wheels

Wheels are good for driving on, but for steering? Obsolete. A simple joystick in the middle would mean the person in either front seat could drive and remove the need for reverse. Come on society, keep up.

9. Power cords

I know we're working on cordless electricity but I want it NOW! It's invisible, like sound and the internet. They're wireless already. What's taking so long? 

10. Politicians

Tell me one thing politicians do that enables progress and I'll take them off this list. They slow things down, they do things badly and they're ugly. There is no decision that a politician makes that a computer couldn't come to quicker, more efficiently and with more logic (watch the 2011 Zeitgeist movie if you disagree). Politicians cost too much, talk shit and take up far too much of the news hour. They are boring, narrow minded and have no sense of humour. Ban them and watch the future get brighter — and probably a few of these other outdated things would change too.

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