TunaFish#5, ha ha. I totally agree. It's the financial services companies and utilities' IVR systems that annoy me the most. Some of them have gotten worse in their ability to recognize what you're saying. But I think a lot of the issue is how they're being deployed, in automated systems to deal with the non-exception cases. For some reason, my problems are usually the exception case that require a human.
On the other hand, when IVR (interactive voice recognition) (phone answering & call directing) systems get to a point where they maintain (or even lower) a caller's blood pressure, instead of raising it, I'll be happy to continue this conversation.
(1) I run into these most often with my health insurance company.
(2) these things seem to have gotten worse, not better, in recent years.
That's not being "Curmudgeon" at all... That's is plain old simple common sense.
People is being mesmerized by stupid non-sense "technology" and ends up buying cars that are much more difficult to repair, maintain and operate, and that become disposable soon.
It is absurd that inside this overzealous storm of "green" pretentions, the market is heading towards even stupider designs to satisfy stupider consumers.
Here in Mexico, recent models of almost new Ford midsize cars, infested with so called "electronic wizardry" have been filling dealers shops for under warranty repairs, that most dealerships are not able to fix easily or timely.
A sane measure would be to actually measure distraction time when people look away from the road, and proceed against manufacturers that are infesting vehicles with distraction causing devices. One friend of mine, that happens to work at a large manufacturer of automotive goods (Goodyear hoses and belts), suffered an ugly accident when a distracted driver invaded his lane heading in opposite direction when the driver was "adjusting" the vehicle's touchscreen entertainment system.
Fortunately, the collision was at a very low speed, but enough to deploy the airbag in the Nissan March of my friend, Interestingly, that caused him MORE damage than otherwise (he suffered cervical injuries, serious skin burns on his face and a broken nose. Apparently, the airbag deployment was excessively powerful for his body weight and size.
The surgeon that treated him declared the injuries were definitely caused by the airbag and not the crash itself. So much for "too advanced car technology".
I'm with you, as my Mazda 5 has both hard-to-fathom HVAC controls *and* driver-side-only key lock.
Mazda, However, acheived their HVAC control opacity through oblique logic of knob+button interaction. They didn't need the additional investment of a whizbang LCD touchscreen interface.
If, though, you want to complain about technology introducing safety risk, let's discuss power windows. How is one to get out of a car wreck with a "down" electrical system and accessible doors sufficiently undamaged yet held shut by debris?
Slightly obscure? Yeah, I guess.
Safety reduction? Clearly.
Who seeks, accepts & buys cars like this? um,.... me, you, everybody.
The trend you're describing, rickgtoc, sounds like it might have something to do with entry-level cars versuis premium cars. Ironically, the premium cars end up having more bells and whistles, and are more difficult to use as a result.
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