23 Things I Wish Would Just Go Away

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Illustration: John Cuneo
It's list season here at PC World, so I may as well join in--with something that resembles the "little list" made famous by Ko-Ko, Lord High Executioner in Gilbert and Sullivan's classic The Mikado. He sings of "offenders who might well be underground, and who never would be missed." Me, too.

Seven Wonders of Microsoft 'Innovation'

7. Microsoft Live Search: Isn't it wonderful that they have to pay you to use it?

5 (tie). Windows Genuine Advantage and Microsoft Product Activation: Isn't it wonderful that Microsoft makes sure you have the quality that only its official products can bring?

3 (tie). Microsoft Service Packs and Patch Tuesday: Isn't it wonderful that Microsoft is so assiduous about fixing the defects that its official products actually do bring you?

2. Security updates that won't install despite many attempts: Isn't it wonderful that Microsoft seems to possess such passion for my potential?

1. Untimely abandonment of support for slightly aged products: Isn't it wonderful that cars that can rust will last longer than Microsoft products that can't?

Five Insanely Great Things About Apple's Approach to 'Customer Service'

5. PR people and tech support mailboxes whose cynical motto is "No comment" or "We'll get back to you": We're still waiting. Kind of like early 3G iPhone customers with connection problems.

4. Genius Bars with smug fanboys instead of geniuses: Attitude? You got a problem with that?

3. Steve Jobs's clever cultivation of sycophantic reporters: Ever see a negative review of a new Apple product the day it comes out? Unfailing cheerleaders get the products first.

2. Nonremovable batteries: Why should you have to bother with the arduous task of replacing a battery when Apple employees are happy to do it for you for a sizable fee?

1. "One more thing": Nope, it's not just another overpriced, overhyped product. It's a way of life!

Five Things That Need Ad Blocking

5. Cell phones: Spam? Call it business-to-customer texting.

4. ATMs: Could I just have my money?

3. Airplane entertainment: I'm already flying your lousy airline!

2. Public restrooms: Go in peace...

1. Junkware-laden PCs: No, I don't need ten free subscriptions to cancel next month.

Three Products That Need New Interfaces

3. GPS products: Who really believes that message telling you not to fiddle with the device while dri...[CRASH!]...ving...?

2. Office 2007: Menus! We need the steenking menus!

1. Universal remote controls: Just a couple more days, and I'll have this thing programmed exactly the way I want it.

Three Cloud-Computing Unmentionables

3. Dear user: We're sorry for the three-month service outage.

2. Dear user: We apologize if your confidential information was exposed during our 27-week maintenance period.

1. Uh-oh--the network's down again!

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