STOP HELPING ME (or My Computer is Killing Me with Helpfulness)
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I turned off the grammar check in Word sometime at the end of the last millennium. Yes, I know it's a fragment, but I don't want to consider revising the sentence and those squiggly green lines are really distracting while I try to proof-read (yeah, I actually read what I write). I don't want my words to be arranged by a 5th grade style sheet devised by an engineer in Redmond.
But a lot of, well, let's go ahead and call them features... a lot of features in the tools I use can't be turned off. I might want a map to help me help find my way somewhere new, but I can't get that woman to shut up. "Turn Right in 1/2 mile. Turn Right in 1/4 mile. Recalculating route. Turn around and Turn Left in 1/4 mile..." Doesn't matter that there was a fire truck blocking the right turn and I had to go around, she insists I go the route that her programming dictates.
I write a lot of emails with websites in them. I'll plop a made up name in my email like "somesite.com" and when I see my email later, I see that Gmail decided to make somesite.com into a clickable link. Then I have to explain to my client that they weren't supposed to click on it, and, yeah, sorry it turned out to be some kind of phishing site in Russia that put a virus on your computer... Gmail was just trying to be helpful.
Of course, I've found this other annoying thing that probably only annoys me. When I copy the "somesite.com" out of my browser, it magically pastes as http://somesite.com. I doubt anyone really cares that somesite.com can be accessed by hyper text transfer protocol, or that http even means that. But Chrome thinks it's very important to include that little bit of info in the clipboard.
As all these little devices slowly help me more and more they give me fewer and fewer choices. Sure, most people complain that they don't know how to work their TV remotes because there are too many buttons, but you eventually learn how to use the big Power button, the obvious volume and channel controls, and you ignore the Audio Boost settings, unless, like me, you know how to use them.
But they day they get rid of all those options and leave me with just a volume and channel control (you never really need to turn off your TV anyhow), is the day that I get one more shackle from Skynet.
You see, all these little helpers aren't really helping, they're limiting what I can do, and while each one is an innocuous little helper, they add up, until we're all using iPads and only using the tools our technical overlords believe are best for the human serfs.
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Be sure to see my blog over at Cloudenity. This week's topic:
Identity Isn't Just for Users Anymore