Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Technology Issues

I found an interesting article about technology from Reuters. The key point of the article is as follows:

Half of all malfunctioning products returned to stores by consumers are in full working order, but customers can't figure out how to operate the devices, a scientist said on Monday......The average consumer in the United States will struggle for 20 minutes to get a device working, before giving up, the study found.

I can't say that I was particularly surprised by this information. As technology progresses, devices are becoming more compact in both size and functionality. The rate at which technology advances has also increased over that of past generations. For instance, if one learned the operation of a manual typewriter in 1920, they could still probably use an electric model in 1980. However, in 1990 it is doubtful they would find a word processor very useful. Clearly, being a technophile requires much more effort than in days past.

I have to admit that I've had my fair share of disappointments with new products that I've purchased. Although, I never surrendered after 20 minutes, there are some products that I haven't been able to get the desired results from. I've never had the nerve to return these items, so I stash them in a closet and pretend that I never bought them. Here are a couple of the devices that I haven't had any luck with.

The first time I saw a Flowbee on TV, I was sold. It looked so easy to use and it even cleaned up the mess. It came with an assortment of clever attachments that allowed numerous types of haircuts to be given. I figured that for only $60, it would pay for itself in a matter of months. No matter how much I practiced with the Flowbee, I never could quite get the hang of it. As you can imagine, I was kind of unpopular with my former girlfriend and her dog for several weeks.

When I saw this product, I thought I'd found a winner. As you can see from the ad, this product is supposed to accelerate the drying process. I can tell you that this is a blatant falsehood. When I received the product, I followed the directions explicitly. The results were disappointing to say the least, particularly during the humid Baltimore summer.

I seriously considered filing a false advertising complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. It is clearly fraudulent for the manufacturer to claim that this product provides any assistance with embarrassing crotch-based perspiration issues. Maybe they could market this product as a fabric softener for clothing, instead.

This was another device that looked so simple to use on TV. In fact, the actor that demonstrated it on the commercial was an elderly woman. Clap on -- clap off, I figured that I'd found the answer to many of my problems. And at $17.95, their offer seemed too good to be true. It turns out that it was. When I received my Clapper, I plugged it into the receptacle, just like I'd seen on the commercial. Then I'd walk around my apartment, clapping my hands with no discernible effect. I tried it at various distances and angles and observed no improvement. I even tried clapping while repeating "Clap off -- Clap off", just like the actor did and it still didn't work. To be honest, I'm going to have to say that this was the most ineffective syphilis cure that I've run across.

I like new technologies and their potential to make my life easier. Even though I found these devices disappointing, I haven't let it discourage me. I think that my problem is simply that I am too bashful to ask for help. Thus, I'd like to take this opportunity to ask for advice with my newest purchase, as I'm certain that many of you are intimately familiar with it.


At 9:59 AM, Blogger eebmore said...

idiot. you're supposed to slice the dryer balls open and cup them over each ball. trust me, they work!

At 10:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The CLapper almost made me crap my pants.

At 12:43 PM, Blogger Jen said...

I can't say I have experience with these items...(Flobee? Seriously?) but I do get sucked into kitchen gadgets. Like the Perfect Pancake. It worked ok, but I realized I just don't like pancakes. The Magic Bullet blender thing looks awesome on tv, but it's more of a hassle in real life. I'll just chop stuff myself, thanks.

At 4:08 PM, Blogger TheIdleReceptionist said... for the Wang Pump, you're on your own. The Clap, however...just a shot of penicillin!

At 4:15 PM, Blogger AnonymousCoworker said...

Just make sure to release the pressure BEFORE the urethra starts bleeding. I won't make that mistake a fifth time.

At 7:11 PM, Blogger tfg said...

eebmore- The dryer balls are a bit small for all of that.

anon- Excellent. I like to think that this blog is the literary equivalent of Dulcolax.

jen- I love pancakes, so I'll have to investigate the PP.

theidlereceptionist- Real men don't use penicillin. They use potato peelers.

ACW- Urethra? I'm definitely on the wrong track. Here are the only results I've obtained so far.

At 10:52 PM, Blogger John said...

I think you might have to be lactating to use that thing.

At 11:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The clapper didn't work in your case because you were treating the wrong disease- if you had gonorrhea instead of syphilis, it would have worked.


At 4:54 PM, Blogger tfg said...

Damn, I did type syphilis. Back to VD 101.

At 9:56 PM, Blogger John said...

nothing better than getting called out for using the wrong VD in your blog.... awesome.... that's comic effing gold.

At 11:10 PM, Blogger Mighty Dyckerson said...

The first time I hooked up my Clapper, I tried to watch The Price is Right. Every time they brought out a car, the audience started applauding and my lights would flash on and off.

True story.


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