Every once in a while I get a check for some miscellaneous activity of life. It's usually a rebate or refund, or a friend paying up for some group activity I organized. And every time it makes me angry because I have to take that stupid check to the bank and deposit it. It feels so 1990s.

I am frankly amazed that checks still exist. And you know how happy you are when standing in line and the person in front of you whips out a check.

I will have limited time to blog for a few weeks, so today I'm just wondering what else you encounter in your daily life that seems like it should have gone the way of buggy whips ten years ago.

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0 Rank Up Rank Down
Feb 27, 2009
But even in Finland where cheques have been almost nonexistent for decades and bank transfers are done completely electronically, it takes three days for money to go from one bank to another unless you pay the extra fee for an expedited transfer.
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Feb 27, 2009
We haven't used checks here in Finland since the seventies. I lived in USA for a while in early nineties. When I was opening a bank account the clerk asked me if I write a lot of checks. He didn't believe me when I said I have never written a check in my life.
-3 Rank Up Rank Down
Feb 26, 2009
I'll bet every strokeoff that post d a comment about more technological advances holds some strokeoff job in the company like font designer or cartoonist and has no idea how to engineer anything. Or they claimed they were an engineer when they were popping cards into a computer bus 25 years ago. Hmmmm. Should have an electronic ass wiper.
Feb 26, 2009
and I forge war and violence, stupidtiy and econonmic crisis, someone with your grand parents age dying alone....
Feb 26, 2009
First come to my mind fax machines and ground communication lines, the new generations look at you as at dinosaur when you talk a bout telex machines.

But the point that bother me much is to have to set different computers to my profile every time so my tools bars and general preferences are the same. Saving profiles and reloading is painful. I think wherever you go your profile and documents should follow you with of course all sort of keyboard and languages preferences whatever the terminal you use, an airport or hotel facility or a cell phone, hey, after all the world is not limited to the US and some of us use different characters and keyboards...
Feb 26, 2009
I will have limited time to blog for a few weeks, ..
Feb 26, 2009

Gosh, yes!

I can't see for the life of me why a cheque should take any time at all to clear. After all, the bank has all the necessary details on computer to cancel payments if a cheque bounces.

There was a time when they used to claim the three day process was necessary for the processes to work, but since computers became the main tool of the bank it was impossible to keep that fiction going. So instead of giggling themselves silly when you ask why, they come up with this !$%*!$%*!$%*! story of "limiting exposure to bounced cheques.

What a RORT!

Back on topic, anyway . . .

What is obsolete?
* Paper forms at government departments. Why not a row of computers? Faster, cheaper, eliminates a person to type stuff and the details are immediately on your file.

* Timber fences

* (This one is for all you teachers out there) Handwritten assignments! Geeze, people, you have a computer for your MSN, how about using it for your work?

* (Another one for teachers) Paper notes from parents when a kid is away.

* Signature [1] "security" on your credit card.

* Houses which burn in any way, shape or form.
[1] Insert "Laughably called" . . .
0 Rank Up Rank Down
Feb 26, 2009
On the subject of cheques (or "checks" to .......... some people.) I hate the three day cheque clearance period that exists in my country (NZ), and presumably elsewhere. When I deposit a cheque into my bank account the bank takes three days to actually put the money into my account. They justify this in the name of limiting their own exposure to bounced cheques... But that's a huge cop out. It's all about them getting three days worth of interest from the reserve bank from my money! Very uncool.

Also outdated are "confirm email" and "confirm password" fields.
Feb 26, 2009
I still hope for my flying car. Or at least a self-driving car.
Feb 26, 2009
Phone books, newspapers, and paper junk mail.
Feb 26, 2009

I agree wholeheartedly. I have a cow-orker who insists on printing out almost every email she receives, even if it's just a one-liner. Why, why, why can't she just read it on-screen? What does she have against trees?

+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Feb 26, 2009

If possible please could you arrange to make a rating undoable because I just negatived a comment by mistake and feel a bit bad about that, but I can't plus it back to a neutral or a plus. My bad of course.

+9 Rank Up Rank Down
Feb 26, 2009

I would like to come to the vigourous defence of buggy whips, Mr. Adams.

Historical buggy whip manufacturing facilities (Michigan?) should be restored to their former glory and buggy whips of all sizes and colours should be made available at a store near you (and me, of course).

Mr. Adams, please consider the utility of a buggy whip in the modern era:

Frustrated by the decrepit senior in front of you at the 7-11 counter, the one who insists on paying for a package of Freedent gum by cheque? Take out the buggy whip!

Tired of waiting behind the snivelling cowards who take forever to screw up the courage to step into a revolving door? Take out the buggy whip!

Fed up with having to straddle the bus driver's right leg because the people standing in the aisle are too stupid and selfish to move toward the back of the bus? Take out the buggy whip!

Had it up to here with not being able to negotiate grocery store aisles because some half-wit is parked in the middle of the aile, casually sprawled over the cart handle, taking what seems like an eternity to make a decison on whether to select smooth or crunchy peanut butter? Take out the buggy whip!

Hoping you will have the good fortune of encountering Lou Dobbs in the flesh one day? Carry your buggy whip!

I could go on, but I'm sure others posters will contribute a lot of good uses for the venerable buggy whip, that most useful instrument that you so thoughtlessly disparage, Mr. Adams.

Feb 26, 2009
Let me adress this theme of getting rid of wires. While wireless is becoming steadily better and easier, and I fully support anything that can reasonbly be wireless being so, there are still two main reasons wires are necesary. a) power b) data rate.

a. This is the biggest issue. We still don't have wireless power. If and when we do, it will be much more restricted than wireless information. Think about how many things this applies to: printer, speekers, iPod, etc. They all need power.

b. While it is possible to get pretty high transfer rates wirelesly, they still can't match what you can get with a wire. Also, high speed wireless connections are still not nearly as cheap as wires.

Feb 26, 2009
A lot of the posters seem to be writing things that they WISH would go away ( viz. posts by Warren L, rags, Nolte919, cparkburke, &c.), rather than things that are clearly outdated and should be replaced with a better, existing technology.

Also, Trawlerguy2002, I do not understand how synchronizing traffic lights saves a significant amount of energy, or what you would synchronize them to. Are you referring to energy consumed by the traffic lights themselves, or by cars waiting in front of them? Please explain.
Feb 26, 2009
What SHOULD still be here? Damn near everything should be obsolete by now.

-anything with wires
-qwerty keyboards
-manual input devices (not voice-activated)
-water that takes time to get hot/cold
-non closed-loop water systems (residential, commercial, industrial, you name it)
-hard copy records and forms of any type
-coal power
-non-GSM phones/different chargers/etc.
-19th century laws
-non-organic food
-pesticides and other carcinogens that surround us and are not controlled
-commuting to work
-the university system
-writing instruments
-garbage (it should all be recycled/used for fuel)
-cameras (they invented something 100 years ago - it's called video and it's really cool)
-passports and ID cards of any type (use retinal scans for all ID)
-credit cards, watches (it's called a cellphone)
-ridiculous cellphone fees (they will get screwed by the internet like satellite screwed cable, but not yet...)
-motor vehicle deaths and collisions
-tariffs and other trade barriers (what year is this, 1830?)
-more than two kids in a western country
I could go on all day. Of course there are always entrenched interests that profit from old technology. But they will be dragged kicking and screaming into the future.
+3 Rank Up Rank Down
Feb 26, 2009
Anyone who doesn't trust anything but paper. I've had more resistance to going paperless than anything else. How does paper help, honestly? Especially with all the disaster recovery nonsense backing up entire drives every night and saving indefinitely! This circles back to the fax machine. Let's drop the blankie of the physical piece of paper and embrace the 21st century.
0 Rank Up Rank Down
Feb 26, 2009
OK Scott, it's time to get with a bank that is with the times. My bank (USAA) allows me to deposit checks via their secured web browser. All you need is a scanner. You scan both sides of the check via their Java app and it's immediately available in your account. Now if they would only let me do that with cash. :-)
+3 Rank Up Rank Down
Feb 26, 2009
Here in the Great state of Western Australia (which for all you induhviduals north of Mexico and South of Canada is bigger than Alaska AND Texas combined! - And you still couldn't find it on a map!) they still have archaric retail opening hours - by law!!!!. Yes, mummy government decides that your shop has to be closed after 5.30 pm and not open on Sundays. This state catters very well to the unemplyed!

BTW Whats a "Fax"?????
Feb 26, 2009
QWERTY keyboards.
Merchant accounts and other banking transactions that take 4-7 days to clear.
Transferring medical and dental records. Or any records.
Address books and calendars that don't sync without duplicates and data loss.
Passwords and profiles on every web site.
Health products with no or negative health value.
Bad science, pyramid schemes, and misleading sales tactics to sell aforementioned health products.
Anyone who needs a signature faxed to them.
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