Tech that we want (but they never seem to give us)

This topic was created by Ossi .

  1. Ossi

    Tech that we want (but they never seem to give us)

    I was just reading the story about the phone manufacturers' squeezing ever more pixels into their screens, and I was thinking about what things you want but the industry never seems to give you. Here's my list:

    Phones that compromise their thinness to give you more battery life (OK, Motorola have tried this)

    Higher resolution laptop screens at affordable prices

    A new Psion 5 - pocketable, instant on, great keyboard, long battery life, well-designed software.

    1. JulianB

      Re: Tech that we want (but they never seem to give us)

      Phones that make and receive calls better (e.g. with a weak signal). It seems that everything about mobile phones has improved in leaps and bounds apart from their core function.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: everything about phones has improved leaps and bounds apart from

        ...

        and their battery life, which went down dramatically with this "smart" phone thingy (from something that lasts up to 2 weeks, down to 1 day)

        1. ratfox Silver badge

          Re: everything about phones has improved leaps and bounds apart from

          I am shocked, shocked, that a million-pixels color display uses more battery than a LCD…?

      2. Ken 16 Silver badge

        Re: Tech that we want (but they never seem to give us)

        The phone I use for work related functions is a Samsung Wave s8500 and it was the last attempt I've seen to make a smartphone that is also a good phone. I can turn it off at night and know the alarm will wake me, the battery lasts about 3 days, it gets good signal everywhere and voice call quality is excellent, as is the screen resolution, camera etc. The smart part is compromised by the Bada OS which was too isolated to attract developers but the hardware is excellent.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Tech that we want (but they never seem to give us)

      Debian “jessie” upstream on the Psion 5. It seems to be stuck with 3.0 and an etch hack. If rpi/raspbian can run, then so can this.

    3. Steven Roper

      Re: Tech that we want (but they never seem to give us)

      Never mind laptop screens, I want a bloody desktop monitor capable of more than the bog-stock 1920 x 1080 they've been stuck at for the past decade. Even the 1920 x 1200 ones are getting hard to find and the few that still exist cost the bloody earth. Meanwhile phone and tablet screens are pointlessly increasing resolutions to levels where a scanning electron microscope is required to see a single pixel, while desktop monitors remain as nothing more than ordinary HD TV sets.

      Where's my goddamn 4096 x 2560 desktop monitor!

      1. Steve Todd

        Re: Tech that we want (but they never seem to give us)

        I want a bloody desktop monitor capable of more than the bog-stock 1920 x 1080 they've been stuck at for the past decade.

        You can't have been looking too hard. 2560x1440 screens aren't hard to find starting at about £400. 4K screens start at a little over £500 (though these are currently in limited supply).

    4. therealmav

      3G service

      Bugger 4G, i'd be pretty happy if the mobe networks could just see their way clear to delivering 3G coverage in those godforsaken wildernesses like (say) the M4 corridor. And yes O2, I am talking to you.

      1. Dave Lawton
        Flame

        Re: 3G service

        3G coverage, huh, what about delivering enough signal everywhere in the UK, so that the phones don't flatten their batteries just trying to enable voice calls. All of the operators, I'm looking at you, don't ignore your customers when they tell you there's an issue, and don't LIE when responding.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Psion 5

    +1 for the new Psion 5.

    1. G R Goslin

      Re: Psion 5

      I disagree. I feel that the Psion PDA family peaked at the 3mx (and not the rubber covered one!). The 5 had a number of significant problems. The structure was weak and easily broken and the battery life was pants compared to that of the 3 series. For versatility, give me the 3. Iknow from where I speak. I introduced the psion into the company I worked for, and arranged the purchase of all the Psion's that came into it. One persistent complaint was that people went on holiday. When they came back, both batteries were flat and all data gone. But only with the 5

    2. Christian Berger Silver badge

      Re: Psion 5

      Of course a new "Psion" would need to be POSIX compatible so you can run your normal software on it. For example it could be running something close to Debian optimized so it'll "suspend to RAM" whenever you close it. That should certainly doable. Nokia has shown it to be possible with their Nokia N770

  3. Alan Bourke

    Non-reflective laptop screens.

    SHOOT the marketing department and GIVE US THEM.

    1. The BigYin

      Re: Non-reflective laptop screens.

      Some things are better in gloss. How about a material that can switch between matte/non-reflective and gloss? Press a button; boom.

    2. silent_count

      Re: Non-reflective laptop screens.

      Add to the list, 'higher vertical aspect ratio displays' - 16x9 may be fine for watching movies but it's bullocks for getting work done. I'd kill for a laptop with a 4x3 display with a decent resolution.

      1. Stumpy Pepys

        There is one

        Thing is, it's the Chromebook Pixel

        1. Steve Todd

          Re: There is one

          The Chromebook is a vast £49 cheaper than a 13" Retina MacBook Pro and gives you 96GB less storage, hardly a bargain.

          1. Spanners Silver badge

            Re: There is one

            You missed out the best reason for getting one. It's not from Apple.

            1. Sean Timarco Baggaley

              "You missed out the best reason for getting one. It's not from Apple."

              Because Google are such paragons of virtue: They'd never, ever, consider reselling your personal information to other companies, despite that being their core business!

              I sometimes wonder why Snowden bothered.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: There is one

              You missed out the best reason for not getting one. It's from Google.

        2. Paul Crawford Silver badge

          Re: There is one

          The problem with the likes of the Chromebook pixel and the Macbook retina is they are expensive largely due to the high resolution. For example, my el-chepo Acer chromebook is 1366 x 768 on an 11.6" screen - that is enough resolution for any viewing distance I can actually use, but the overall screen is just too small!

          The option for, say, 1366 x 1024 on a 15.4" screen (4:3 aspect ratio) would give me 33% more vertical space and should not cost much. Scaling to a 17" 4x3 monitor would be even better!

      2. bpfh Bronze badge

        Re: Non-reflective laptop screens.

        Non reflective 4x3 laptop screens... like wot everyone stopped making 12 years ago?

        Actually, my company has recieved some matt screened Dell's recently to my total surprise!

        1. P. Lee Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Non-reflective laptop screens.

          I have a dell E6510 quadcore i7 with a non-reflective screen with 16G RAM and an SSD.

          I love it right up to the point when I have to lift it - then I want an MBA.

      3. 0laf Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: Non-reflective laptop screens.

        +1 for the 4:3 screen.

        I've a rather ancient HP laptop that is much better than my newer Dell for actually working on.

        Also proper feckin keyboards.

        Send the Chiclet keyboard to hell

        1. frank ly Silver badge

          Re: Non-reflective laptop screens.

          Go to eBay (or similar) and get an Acer Travelmate 8000 (or similar). Also on eBay, get a replacement battery and an SSD PATA drive for it, 16GB or 32GB will be fine. Install LInux MInt (or similar). Enjoy using it. I already had the Acer so I just had to get the battery and PATA SSD :)

      4. poohbear

        Re: Non-reflective laptop screens.

        No, you need to go the other way.

        http://hexus.net/tech/reviews/displays/53885-philips-298p4qjeb-superwidescreen-monitor/

      5. P. Lee Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Non-reflective laptop screens.

        Haha!

        I have a Compaq/HP NC8000 with 4:3 screen! I suspect the other reason for 16:9 is the width it provides for the keyboard. It's quite good for web browsing as I can see more of the web page.

        I went into an apple shop the other day and asked for a laptop matt screen. The cult member just looked at me blankly. It was hilarious. I can no longer find that option on their website, which is less funny and more sad.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Non-reflective laptop screens.

      I'm looking at one now, but it's a Lenovo, so much $$$ and non-consumer model so it's Apple league $$$$.

      1. The BigYin

        Re: Non-reflective laptop screens.

        You get what you pay for, although Lenovo quality has slipped of late.

    4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Non-reflective laptop screens.

      Yes. Whatever happened to the HSE (or whoever) regulations on non-reflective screens?

      Anyone remember all those hang-on screen adapters? Cheap ones made from a mesh, better ones made with polarised glass that every office seemed to be festooned with until newer screens were purchased with non-reflective coatings. Part of the same regulations that mandates adjustable height seats and "screen breaks" away from computer screens for 5 minutes every hour or so (or whatever the rules are. I've forgotten now)

    5. proud2bgrumpy

      Re: Non-reflective laptop screens.

      So go buy an old IBM or new Lenovo Thinkpad - nice non-reflecting non-glossy screens. The 'shiny shiny' screens you buy from the high streets are designed solely to look attractive in a store with low ambient lighting - ie: they are designed to be sold, not to be used. Most Thinkpads are *given* to corporate users, so they aren't involved in the buying process.

  4. SpeakerToAliens
    Childcatcher

    Smart phones where *you* decide which Apps are on them.

    Smart phones where *you* decide which Apps are on them rather than your Service Provider and where *you* decide what information the Apps can send elsewhere rather than the phone or App provider.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Smart phones where *you* decide which Apps are on them.

      Sure, as long as you are ready to pay the full price for your smartphone.

      Seems most customers are cheapskates that want their cake, eat it and not pay the bill....

      When what you fork out for smart phone is about 1/3 of the devices' "real" price don't expect to have much of say about what goes in it....

      The real customers are those paying the remaining 2/3 of the price... service providers and other personal data "monetizers".....and they call the shots....

      1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Re: Smart phones where *you* decide which Apps are on them.

        "Sure, as long as you are ready to pay the full price for your smartphone."

        I did - and my Sony Experia still won't let me uninstall Facebook, Twitter, a load of silly games etc...and I really can't be arsed to go through the faff of tooting it.

        No more Sony for me.

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: Smart phones where *you* decide which Apps are on them.

          There's a world of difference between preinstalled "apps" and unremovable apps that are imposed on the device, demanding updates as available and just cluttering the dratted thing.

          I don't mind Twitter Book being on there. I do mind not being able to remove it, and I hate getting messages telling me there's an update waiting.

          1. Chairo
            Megaphone

            Re: Smart phones where *you* decide which Apps are on them.

            FWIW:

            Open "settings", select "Manage Apps", press the "All" button, search in the list for "facebook" (hint, it will be somewhere under "f"), select the app, press the "Disable" button - and there will be silence.

            Yes, the app will still be on your phone, but it will be removed from all menus, not start anymore and not ask for updates.

            A good part of Google's apps can be disabled in the same way. You might lose some functionality, but that's part of the deal, I suppose.

            Now, what I would like to have is in the same area, but slightly different. Most smartphone makers go with Google's decision to split the internal storage in two parts, to avoid adding an SD card. It's an ugly, messy workaround for Google's decision not to add an SD card slot on it's hardware and makes no sense whatsoever on a phone with such a slot. I would like them to stop this. Stop messing up the partitioning of 500$ hardware just to save some cents on a pre-installed SD card! You hear me SAMSUNG, SONY, HTC, HUAWEI, ...?

            No? - Well, it was worth a try.

      2. Eddy Ito Silver badge

        Re: Smart phones where *you* decide which Apps are on them.

        The real customers are those paying the remaining 2/3 of the price... service providers and other personal data "monetizers".....and they call the shots....

        So you're saying the monthly bill doesn't include the loan/rent for the hardware itself and the $200-500 fee for opting out of the contract early is really because it is such a hassle tweaking the network to account for the change. You must be a laugh riot at parties.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Smart phones where *you* decide which Apps are on them.

        My phone was subsidized and there are no AT&T or service provider installed apps on it. I think your argument is bunk.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Smart phones where *you* decide which Apps are on them.

        > Sure, as long as you are ready to pay the full price for your smartphone.

        I did. To the nastiest no-name Chinese manufacturer that a non-Chinese speaker could find.

        What I got in exchange is a remarkable copy of a top-of-the-line big-name manufacturer's job with vanilla Android installed. After rooting to remove most Googleness and signing up to the F-Droid market I have an eminently functional phone that actually does what I want it to.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Smart phones where *you* decide which Apps are on them.

          Same here, dude.

          A day or so getting up to speed with how to re-flash and configure the OS.

          Now got a phone that's smart on MY behalf plus the toolsets and knowledge necessary to do the same for anyone else who wants it.

          Fuckin' A!

    2. 0laf Silver badge

      Re: Smart phones where *you* decide which Apps are on them.

      Strangely my Nokia 920 Windows phone is the best I've had for this. I've been able to uninstall everything that I didn't want.

      The actual phone function is the best I've had for a long time too since...my Nokia 6630 classic which was a symbian feature phone .

      1. Pookietoo

        Re: uninstall everything that I didn't want

        Does it let you uninstall Windows? Because that's what I'd want.

      2. Tommy Pock

        Re: Smart phones where *you* decide which Apps are on them.

        True, that. My Lumia 1020 will even let me uninstall 'Nokia Camera'.

        So I did. I don't need three camera apps on one phone.

    3. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: Smart phones where *you* decide which Apps are on them.

      There are phones which ship with Cyanogenmod like the Oppo and OnePlus so it's possible to do. Some phones can also be root but it's definitely not for the squeamish.

      Cyanogenmod has a nice feature called Privacy Guard to be able to kill certain permissions whether the app says it needs them or not. There is no excuse the base Android doesn't provide this.

    4. Paul 77
      Linux

      Re: Smart phones where *you* decide which Apps are on them.

      The Jolla may be what you want - comes with almost nothing on. Runs Sailfish or Android apps.

  5. Kaltern

    Innovation before profit would be quite nice.

  6. bazza Silver badge

    New Psion 5

    Definitely. There must be a new one of these!

  7. chivo243 Silver badge
    Joke

    Can anything be on my Christmas list?

    Flying car

    site to site transporter

    beer through the water fountains at work

    and...

    universal charger, the only real request on my list!

    1. The BigYin

      Re: Can anything be on my Christmas list?

      > universal charger, the only real request on my list!

      Isn't that mico-USB and now mandatory in the EU?

      1. Slap

        Re: Can anything be on my Christmas list?

        Apple, for some reason, seem to be getting away with it. I can't remember a micro USB adapter being included with any of my recent devices.

        That said, I do live in Switzerland which is outside the EU, but which adopts certain EU practices - if it's to their advantage. So that may be the reason.

        However, I'm sure Apple will sell me one at a jackbooted price should I require one.

        1. Sean Timarco Baggaley

          Re: Can anything be on my Christmas list?

          "Apple, for some reason, seem to be getting away with it. I can't remember a micro USB adapter being included with any of my recent devices."

          Did your non-Apple device not come with a suitable USB-to-micro-USB cable?

          Apple's chargers all have a standard USB socket. There's nothing non-standard about them. You can plug any USB cable you want into the things and they'll charge it just fine.

          The Apple-specific component is the separate USB-to-Lightning cable, which is only a problem if you have multiple devices to charge including some non-Apple ones. Is having to unplug one cable and plug in another really such a painful ordeal, given that you'll be doing that at the other end of the cable anyway? Do your pretentious hipster neighbours keep you awake all night with their incessant pointing and laughing? Oh, the humanity! Heaven forfend! How will you survive?

          Of course, you could always just buy one of those third-party chargers with multiple USB sockets instead. There: problem solved.

          Now, if you'll all please stop interrupting me, I'd like to get back to work on world peace.

      2. Charles Manning

        Isn't that mico-USB and now mandatory in the EU?

        UKIP is mandating Good Old USB A/B.

        1. Michael Hawkes
          Joke

          Re: Isn't that mico-USB and now mandatory in the EU?

          If a 9-pin serial port is good enough for Nigel Farage, it's good enough for me.

  8. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Everything that 1960's SciFi "promised" us (and more)

    > what tech do you want that industry does not deliver?

    Natural language AI (that doesn't need a shopping trolley for the batteries)

    Screens that can be viewed in sunlight

    Electric vehicles that are as good as petrol for range and speed

    Cheap solar power

    TVs that "know" what programmes I like and will record them all for me

    Room temperature superconductors

    Fusion

    One remote that controls *everything* (no, not a Logitech Harmony)

    1. Dr. Ellen

      Re: Everything that 1960's SciFi "promised" us (and more)

      "TVs that "know" what programmes I like and will record them all for me"

      I've run into machines that "know what I want". And they've insisted on doing it, whether I tell them to or not. Even when I tell them not to. No fun. NOT getting one of those has been my Prime Directive of Tech ever since.

      1. MrT

        Machines that "know what I want"...

        ... resulting in something that tastes almost, but not entirely, unlike tea.

        The Sirius Cybernetics Corporation welcomes you to the future. Share and enjoy!

        Actually, we had one of those MaxPack dispensers at a former employer whose best effort at "leaf tea" tasted like they just picked random leaves fallen from roadside trees, lightly marinated in oily puddles and mixed by Goodyear, so maybe the future has already happened... sadly.

        1. Retired Spy

          Re: Machines that "know what I want"...

          I'm still waiting for my Intelligent Programming Assistant. A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, Byte magazine had an article on the perfect personal development environment. It consisted of functionality in the vertical direction (scroll up and down to go from feature to feature) and level of abstraction in the horizontal direction (tabs across the top, like Firefox, with Requirements on the left, then Design, Detailed Design, Pseudocode, and finally Code). Change a requirement and the design would change, all the way down to code. All you would then have to do is make decisions, from the choices laid out by your trusty Intelligent Programming Assistant, starting at the highest level of abstraction and working your way down to the code. It would let you pump out Elegant, Functional, Robust, and Correct code at unprecedented rates, just like Geordi La Forge on the Enterprise.

          Sadly, I'm still waiting ... :(

    2. Gerardo McFitzpatrick-O'Toole

      Re: Everything that 1960's SciFi "promised" us (and more)

      Oh, are we going to be playing that game, then?

      In which case... Strong AI.

      (Because nothing could ever go wrong with that: http://berglas.org/Articles/AIKillGrandchildren/AIKillGrandchildren.html)

  9. jglathe
    Thumb Up

    A KVM switch that follows the Eyes

    or better yet intention, regardles how many machines / OS types are involved. I often have two or more machines, several screens and remote sessions open. Finding out that you've typed on the wrong keyboard is annoying.

    1. The BigYin

      Re: A KVM switch that follows the Eyes

      Synergy. http://www.synergy-project.org/

      Doesn't follow the eyes, but does follow the mouse pointer. The eyes thing could probably be hacked in using a Kinect or similar.

    2. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: A KVM switch that follows the Eyes

      Holographic webcams which allow you to look at the screen (who you are talking to) but transmit a picture of you looking directly at the camera, so you don't always look as though you are watching something else.

  10. ElRegUser007

    We Were Promised Jetpacks

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/We_Were_Promised_Jetpacks

    1. Muscleguy Silver badge

      Re: We Were Promised Jetpacks

      It is here and has been for a while now http://www.martinjetpack.com/

      Technically it's a double cowled fan personal helicopter running off a hi-spec 2-stroke engine (for robust reliability) but it comes with a parachute installed and can run for much longer than an actual jetpack and you will not need asbestos trousers.

      Start saving now.

      Made in New Zealand.

    2. Midnight

      Re: We Were Promised Jetpacks

      http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/IWantMyJetPack

    3. Mike Flugennock

      Re: We Were Promised Jetpacks

      Jetpacks, for me, rank right up there with flying cars as far as things that look really cool in the movies but which would be positively hellish in real life.

      Remember all our discussions of how horrible air traffic would be if all those idiot drivers on the highways suddenly had flying cars?

      Now, imagine all those knucklenobs with their own personal jetpacks... if you dare.

  11. The BigYin

    Uplink module.

    Our phones make calls, take pictures, play music, play video, play games and, by and large, are a bit shit at them all bar the first one.

    What I'd like to see is a phone with a smaller screen and decent battery that can make calls. It also offers it's up-link connection to other devices. No need for multiple SIMs or crap like that. Your camera, laptop, whatever just links to you phone and uses that to get on the Internet.

    The phone itself becomes optimised to that job and lasts a lot longer on a single charge. A side effect would be that you could make calls from your tablet, laptop, watch as these could simply access the contact details your phone already store (using CardDAV, say).

    No need for proprietary bullshit. Do it all on open standards

    1. petur
      Coat

      Re: Uplink module.

      You mean a modem?

    2. Havin_it

      Re: Uplink module.

      I think this concept was in the Bluetooth standard from early on (Personal Area Network + Dial-Up Profile IIRC), but it's never been implemented worth a damn, let alone to the extent that you (and I) dream of. Shame, because if it hadn't been so fragmented and inconsistent it was a strong enough brand that it could have gotten us there. But the interests sponsoring and implementing it were just too abstruse.

      Current wifi kit in today's smartphones has probably got us closer to the sweet spot TBH, since most smartphones can share their data connection via tethering, as long as the mfr. or carrier hasn't nobbled the capability. I'd have killed for a phone that did that ten years ago.

      What would be really spesh would be if the phone could tether wifi-to-wifi, so I didn't need to duplicate the wifi credentials across all the secondary devices (nor indeed put possibly redundant extra load on the AP, nor increase the attack surface on what might be an untrusted network beyond a single device). I know the hardware can do it (it's pretty ubiquitous on white-label Atheros kit anyway) but it's not a feature I've seen in phone software. If anyone has, I'm interested.

      I would say, though, that it's arguably a bit of a "niche" use-case at the present time. Currently most people have, at most, one specialised net-ready device besides their phone/data-enabled-tablet that they'd actually carry around with them. For me it's my laptop, because I'm far too verbose/sausage-fingered to type all this drivel on my phone ;) For others, it might be a DSLR camera that's better than you can find in a phone (though I suspect that example's days are numbered). When you're at home, none of this matters as much - although if a single device could really smartly wrangle being my router for all the possible connections I might use both at home and everywhere else, in a sane manner or at least following policies I defined, I'd be into that.

      Be a bit of a bugger if I lost it down the pub though.

      1. chris 143

        Re: Uplink module.

        bluevpn + android tablet + reasonably basic 3G phone might work

  12. Ralph B

    My Three Cents

    1. Colour eInk display (for the new Psion 5, new Kindle, and/or new mobile phone)

    2. Unlimited flat-rate mobile data at £10/month

    3. An ad-hoc wireless-network/video-streaming broadcast app, so that people at the front of a concert can record and stream the performance to all those behind them who want to share the view. (Could also be used for "citizen news" coverage.)

    1. Craigie

      Re: My Three Cents

      £12.90, sim only, unlimited data on 3 (rolling 1 month contract).

      I think it's even under a tenner if you take a 12 month one.

  13. Yordan Georgiev

    FUSION

    NUCLEAR FUSION

    1. DropBear Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: FUSION

      ...you mean like this? http://bit.ly/focusfusionindiegogo

  14. Steven Raith

    ATX for Laptops

    I mean form factors - I know it's practically impossible as that's how manufacturers create product varaitions etc, but I'd love to be able to swap the guts out of a laptop I'm used to with the guts from a more modern counterpart (IE 2012 MBP guts into 2008 MB chassis) and have it relaibly work.

    Genuinely working DLNA/multiple different client streaming without the need for specific codecs (H264 decide will be useless once most media is H265) or additional hardware (Roku, Chromecast, etc); just have a standard <n> output and transcode capable FPGA in all tellys (where N = 720p, 1080p, 4k, etc) filled with FFMPEG stack running in hardware, how hard can it be? (Hint - probably far harder than I made is sound).

    The ability to get DSL without having to pay for fucking phone line rental at full whack.

    All pipe dreams I suspect.

  15. Christopher Reeve's Horse

    1. Shops that sell just sell unlocked sim free phones, with nice a range of OS's.

    2. Proper Android permissions manager, including blocking network access to individual apps.

    3. Ability in Google to search, edit or delete every bit of information or analysis regarding your account and data.

    4. As above for facebook, amazon etc...

    5. Windows (or your op of choice) to natively support Sequoia style square tree views of file systems.

    6. Tagging of files in Windows documents library (like gmail) rather than folder heirachy

    7. If failure of point 3, then an app (or something?) that constantly barrages Google with search terms and fake user behavior that makes it impossible for your user data to be in any way usefully personalised. (I'll admit this might not be possible...)

    8. If failure of point 7, a 'paid for' equivalent to Google services that does not collect or sell personal data. (How much money does Google make from my account alone? Is it more then I'd be prepared to pay for the services?)

    9. Music stores that sell a decent range of music in 24/96 resolution FLAC files, without overcharging for the privilage.

    10. An Excel VLOOKUP function that allows you to lookup against the n-th occurence of your matching reference.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      To answer #8, YES. For the money Google makes for rich contact information, you couldn't pay them enough to stop. Plus there are genuine benefits to their crowd-sourced data (traffic maps, et al). So it's basically a deal with the devil with no way around it.

      As for the permission, remember it's YOUR phone but it's THEIR app. And they wouldn't have published the app on Android without that level of control. The only way you're going to change the game is to basically make the Android app permission model toxic by either defecting from Android altogether or sticking to ONLY stock apps: not downloading anything. Are you prepared to go the long haul?

    2. theModge

      point 7 exists

      https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/googlesharing/

      sort of: it takes everyone's requests for anything that google doesn't need you to sign in for, aggregates them and gives you your results back. It's a firefox add on. Defeats analytics in particular (assuming you haven't used ghostery to get rid of it in the first place, which I'd commend)

    3. Piro

      #2 - XPrivacy

  16. Michael Neumann

    laptop battery life

    Greyscale laptop like the original Macbook pro which has kindle-level battery life.

    1. Mike Flugennock
      Gimp

      Re: laptop battery life

      "MacBook Pro"? I don't recall there being an MBP with a grayscale screen.

      You may be thinking of the first-generation PowerBooks.

      1. P. Lee Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: laptop battery life

        First gen Mackintosh?

    2. Craigie

      Re: laptop battery life

      Kindle-level battery life would be good, but not super amazing. Their '8 weeks' figure is based on a whole 30 minutes of use per day, which makes it 28 hours.

  17. John Savard Silver badge

    UMPC

    Well, this is pretty much in the neighborhood of "A New Psion 5"; what I would like is to be able to buy a UMPC at a reasonable price in North America or Europe. This was a small form factor of laptop or netbook available in Japan and South Korea.

  18. EddieD

    Print dialogs

    To have a JFP* button.

    (just f***ing print)

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Print dialogs

      In addition...

      Printer drivers that don't use metric tonnes as the unit of measurement for the file size, can cope with something exotic like changing the connection between USB, cable, or Wifi without having to reconfigure/reinstall everything, and don't pop up useless information often to people who aren't even printing at the moment.

      Printer dialogs that use every print opportunity to decide that the user wants to go back to printing in colour unless they find where the checkbox is hidden.

      Printers that don't get through ink like a fish gets through water.

      1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

        Re: Print dialogs

        Or printers that do not refuse to print a black and white document just because the yellow ink has run out (again!). Funnily enough, some Linux printer drivers will allow B&W printing, whereas the windows version won't

        1. Slartybardfast

          Re: Print dialogs

          If run out of a colour or two in my Epson printer it allows me to print B&W, but only if you select "bordered" prints rather than "borderless". Why this should make any difference goodness only knows.

        2. DropBear Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: Print dialogs

          "printers that do not refuse to print a black and white document just because the yellow ink has run out (again!)"

          Ah, but we can't let you print without adding those invisible fingerprint dot-patterns identifying your printer. Why do you think the yellow ran out in the first place?!?

        3. Robert Sneddon

          Yellow ink

          The reason it won't print B/W if it's out of yellow ink is probably because of the forensic yellow dots code printed on each page, courtesy (we think) of the US Government. The pattern of yellow dots encrypts information like time and date and a serial number of the printer according to the EFF.

          https://www.eff.org/pages/list-printers-which-do-or-do-not-display-tracking-dots

          I wonder if printing a faint yellow background on each page would defeat this coding scheme?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Print dialogs

      The reason it doesn't work that way is because "JFP" is different things to different people, plus what if you have multiple printers available: which one does it default. If it's color, do you want it to default to B&W and so on? IOW, JFP has as much potential to tick people off as the full-fat dialog. Until your computer can understand, "Print to the main room printer, 5 copies, collated, duplex lengthwise, first and last pages in color, rest in black and white," AND the next request you make which can be completely different, this is the best we can come up with.

    3. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

      Re: Print dialogs

      "To have a JFP* button. (just f***ing print)"

      :hardcopy

      (OK, on MSWindows it only brings up the annoying dialogs. Just refuse MSWindows!)

    4. Mike Flugennock

      Re: Print dialogs

      I can't say for sure for other applications, but Photoshop has a simple "print one" menu choice. It doesn't throw up the standard print/setup dialog, it Just Fucking Prints One.

  19. anatak

    modern smartphone with physical keyboard

    shape of the sharp is14sh and sharp is15sh would be good

    clamshell would be even better.

    laptops with a mat screen and better vertical resolution or a laptop where you could put the screen in letter mode.

    1. Hollerith 1

      Re: modern smartphone with physical keyboard

      Or a touch screen that can, as it were, re-shape itself to 'press up' to give us the feel of the keys being displayed. I'd like the keys to rise up about .3mm so I can feel them. I wouldn't mind this along the edges of all icons. Having some visual difficulties and fat fingers, I could then know I'd hit it. When watching a movie or viewing photos or messages, the raised areas would melt away.

      1. Spassmonkey

        Re: modern smartphone with physical keyboard

        Its certainly possible. Check this: http://tactustechnology.com

  20. James Micallef Silver badge

    - Electric cars and motorcycles with comparable range to diesel ones that can be fully charged in <10 minutes

    - Smartphones that (a) last a full 2 days on one charge and (b) offer fine control of what data is being sent anywhere by each app individually

    - Self-driving cars

    - Baby translator

    - Solar panels with 30%+ efficiency

    - Fusion

    - Real 3D TV with a proper 360 degree "walk-all-the-way-around-it" viewing angle (possibly even walk inside it)

    I'm aware that a few of these items already exist in exclusive super-expensive versions, so in these cases I mean something affordable

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      A baby translator would be constantly saying this all day...

      "Something suboptimal has been detected, the assistance of a primary caregiver is requested to correct it."

    2. Spanners Silver badge

      @James Micallef

      - Baby translator

      Hasn't Paxo left the BBC? He was quite good at translating baby talk from politicians...

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

    4. Steve D

      If you think a baby translator is a good idea

      If you think a baby translator is a good idea, then see this comic:

      http://www.smbc-comics.com/?id=3326#comic

      Whoops, somebody already posted that!

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    5. Mike Flugennock

      Careful what you wish for...

      - Self-driving cars

      I'm sorry, but there isn't a single phrase in the English language these days that scares the living piss out of me quite like "self-driving cars".

      - Real 3D TV with a proper 360 degree "walk-all-the-way-around-it" viewing angle (possibly even walk inside it)

      Oh, hot damn. Just what I've dreamed of -- the ability to walk through a scene from Two And A Half Men.

  21. stucs201

    Just relating to screen tech

    Tactile touchscreens - configurable, pressable buttons.

    HDMI input on tablets, so I can use one as a screen for other smaller devices.

    Phone-screen pixel density on a 24+" desktop monitor.

    Higher dynamic range on displays. Not just stretching the current range to higher brightness - a proper standard for darker darks and brighter brights in new content without making existing content for today's displays overly garish.

    Totally flexible displays - flexible enough for a smartscreen size screen in a small flip phone.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Just relating to screen tech

      >Higher dynamic range on displays. Not just stretching the current range to higher brightness - a proper standard for darker darks and brighter brights in new content without making existing content for today's displays overly garish.

      Dolby are working on it. Obviously it it entails a standard for the whole camera to display workflow.

      1. stucs201

        Re: Just relating to screen tech

        Dolby? That could be good then. I'd much rather it be someone like them who'll get it implemented by a whole bunch of manufacturers than ending up with another format/patent war if it was developed by anyone a consumer would buy from directly.

  22. Google

    A mass market Nokia n950 or an E7 with something other than Symbian (Android/Sailfish/QNX)

    Hopefullly http://neo900.org/ will deliver but a E7 form factor with the same, solid feel is more desirable.

  23. AlexV

    Expanding/unrolling/otherwise variable size screens

    I want a phone that's small enough to go in the same pocket as a wallet, like the old feature phones, with a screen that's big enough for comfortable browsing and video watching.

    This means that the screen has to be much bigger than the phone is. Any technologies allowing this welcome, whether that be displays flexible enough to roll up tightly, laser projection directly into the eyeballs or whatever.

    Probably going to need better batteries too, now that I think of it...

  24. Tempest8008

    Subvocals

    1. Decent speech-to-text

    2. Subvocal technology that monitors the pops and sounds you make when you talk, but doesn't require the vocal cords. So you can give commands, write emails and otherwise communicate without making a sound. With practice you wouldn't even need to move your lips.

    2a. Something like Google Glass would work well with this as the device is already worn on the head and appropriate sensors wouldn't be hard to embed in the arms of the device.

  25. Christopher Reeve's Horse

    A sphere of room temperature air coupled non-reactive stable plasma, operating as the perfect fidelity loudspeaker.

    1. Daniel von Asmuth Bronze badge
      Gimp

      Plasma loudspeakers?

      I've seen plasma loudspeakers, but they were expensive. My wish list includes a law prohibiting mobile phones and:

      - railguns.

      - holographic TV

      - hovercraft

      - software without bugs

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Plasma loudspeakers?

        > My wish list includes

        Why would you want to prohibit software without bugs? :-P

    2. Mike Flugennock

      plasma loudspeaker?

      "A sphere of room temperature air coupled non-reactive stable plasma, operating as the perfect fidelity loudspeaker..."

      That all sounds really excellent until somebody puts on The Who Live At Leeds and your house collapses.

  26. Christopher Reeve's Horse

    A button on your TV remote that sends you an email or message identifying the music that's currently part of the program you're watching.

    1. Jim84

      "A button on your TV remote that sends you an email or message identifying the music that's currently part of the program you're watching."

      I just use Shazam on my mobile.

  27. dv

    Ok, some already mentioned the easy ones:

    +1 for longer mobile battery life

    +1 for 4:3 aspect ratio displays sporting higher resolutions (it's really sad when your 15-year-old "SXGA+" 1400x1024 HP laptop has a better screen than 90% of current production)

    - native 3D acceleration support in virtual machines

    And some also mentioned the sci-fi fantasy ones:

    +1 for Star Trek-style transporters

    +1 for antigravity space-lifts

    +1 for workable, "portable" fusion

    And of course my own "close to real" wishlist:

    - "rectenna" style solar cells and LEDs (not going to happen anytime soon)

    - photosynthesis-style methanol/ethanol/....ol backyard air fuel synthesis, in a self-contained commercial unit - there actually is at least one company which tried to generate funding / scam enough money from unsuspecting geezers to realize this

    - GMO algae/moss/plants for slow Mars terraforming

  28. Christopher Reeve's Horse

    Every home (or device) to get it's own proper IP address (IVP6?), or some other such improvement that makes it universally easier to contact and transfer data to and from any of my devices from anywhere else.

  29. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
    Coat

    Slood?

    sorry, I'll get me coat

  30. Andy 7

    Platforms

    Connecting social media together, I use google+ for pictures, my friends use snapfish, FB, and other services, why can we not pool across platforms, why do i have to download and upload,

    I have outlook for skype, google for android, whatsApp, lastFM etc etc why can i not manage my contacts in one place and have a single list of contacts with duplicates removed in all accounts.

    Defo want a laptop i can use indoors and out where the battery lasts a full working day.

    Defo want a phone with just an OS and let me decide what SW to install

    If i buy a VW and Apple have shoehorned in their media services, i want use my Android phone in said car not an iDevice and vicsa versa.

    Subscription models for media, TV, Film, Music, Games which care not for physical boarders and only cares if paid this months fee has been paid.

    Network operators not making money off of the backs of roamers, it does not cost that much more for a non domestic user to use the network than a domestic, the effort/cost involved is only in recovering the costs from either your sister legal entity from within the same group e.g Vodafone GmBH from Vodafone UK LTD or from 3rd parties e.g Vodafone GmBH from Three UK LTD.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Platforms

      Connecting social media together, I use google+ for pictures, my friends use snapfish, FB, and other services, why can we not pool across platforms, why do i have to download and upload,

      Because they're competing against each other. Collaborating as you describe is like giving information to "the enemy". Never gonna happen as it would be against each company's fiduciary duty.

      I have outlook for skype, google for android, whatsApp, lastFM etc etc why can i not manage my contacts in one place and have a single list of contacts with duplicates removed in all accounts.

      Again, because they're competing against each other. That includes Google who's in the best position to unite the contacts, but since some of the apps you list are competing against Google...

      Defo want a laptop i can use indoors and out where the battery lasts a full working day.

      Depends on what you want to do with it. If you want to play movies on it all day, you'd be talking a battery so big it feels like you're back in the days of the suitcase computer. It's physics dictating this; live with it.

      Defo want a phone with just an OS and let me decide what SW to install

      You can rule out Apple and Google, then. We can pray for Sailfish, but then again, while Linux has made ground in the backroom, there still isn't a consumer-level Linux distro that can penetrate the mass market. Thus why Microsoft is still in control. IOW, the only companies that can penetrate that market can't be trusted to keep it clean.

      If i buy a VW and Apple have shoehorned in their media services, i want use my Android phone in said car not an iPad and vicsa versa.

      Only way around that is to not buy a VW. If Apple and VW have a contract, you have to take that into consideration. The contract makes it a Hobson's Choice: Take It Or Leave It.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Platforms

      > Platforms

      > Connecting social media together,

      Otherwise known as email?

  31. Christopher Reeve's Horse

    Geoff Crammond to make GP5.

    And a very large budget with which to do so.

  32. Primus Secundus Tertius Silver badge

    Household gear

    A bed that makes itself.

    Self cleaning bathtubs, lavatories, etc.

    A noise-cancelling facility to remove passing audio-bomb cars, nearby pub discos, etc.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Household gear

      What makes the audio-bomb cars so annoying isn't the music but the bass. They're literally blasting the air around them, shaking everything around them (exactly the intention—gotta be loud to be proud). So I don't know how you can cancel out what's basically a miniature concussion blast without either (a) doing the same thing back to them as anti-noise or (b) having so much insulation you would be too bulky to move practically. Much easier to prevent their sale and use (of course, in the US, that goes into freedom of speech issues).

      1. Robert Sneddon

        EMP briefcase

        Walk up to the doofdoof-car stopped at the lights, press the conveniently-located button on your briefcase when adjacent to the boot of the car and blow out the amplifier. Walk a little further and you can get the idiot's fuel injection computer too.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: EMP briefcase

          I don't know if that's going to work. See, you forgot about the speakers, which emit EM as a matter of course (speakers rely on electromagnets to work), so it wouldn't be unheard of for the components in the boot to have EM shielding so they don't interfere with each other. Plus there's the matter of having an EMP device compact enough to fit into a briefcase.

      2. jcitron

        Re: Household gear

        Because sometimes they sound like big diesel locomotives instead of Hondas and Mazdas being driven by kids with loud speakers. This is worse at night or the wee hours in the morning when they make the closed windows vibrate as they drive by.

        This doesn't invade our freedom of speech because the loud car driver can make noise all he wants. The rest of us don't have to listen to him. :-)

        The same goes with the goofball that listens to tunes on his iPhone while wearing ear buds in a public place. I don't give a crap if he/she is listening to his music crap as long as I don't have to listen to it too. The good news is if they keep this up, there will no longer be any noise because they'll be completely deaf and won't hear a thing!

  33. Christopher Reeve's Horse

    A re-boot of the X-Wing games.

  34. Christopher Reeve's Horse

    Less forking in the linux world, more concentration on making one really really really good one.

    1. LaeMing Silver badge
      Devil

      Yes

      But only if it is /my/ definition of 'really really really good'!

  35. Christopher Reeve's Horse

    A paint colour fill that works with REAL PAINT.

  36. btrower

    Fix the broken stuff first

    Most of the failings of tech stuff are design and software failures. Design would be fixed by including users in the design process and *not* including accountants except perhaps at the end. Software could be fixed by including real programmers in the design of languages, APIs, etc.

    People who hard-code arbitrary limits should not be allowed to use a compiler.

    To the extent that things are not limited by the above, bandwidth is constantly a stumbling block. There can never, not ever, be enough bandwidth; not here, not there, not anywhere. Everything should be designed to maximize bandwidth and clear a pathway so that greater bandwidth can be made available as technology and funds permit. People who ask 'why would you need more bandwidth' do not understand the problem and should be excused from the design process before they can do any harm. Bandwidth from any point to any other point should be opened as wide as possible and standards should leave everything open ended. People who say things like "[insert any arbitrary limit here]-bits allows more than every particle in the universe so you can't need more" are idiots. They need to be removed from any decision making position.

    Secure and private everything. Everything should be doable with proxies. If my identity is going to be attached to something it should be my choice alone.

    Building block inter-operable devices. My phone should connect to my local system and allow me to edit files on it, compile programs -- whatever I tell it to do. I should not have to utter any strange incantations to do this. It should connect as long as it has permission.

    Software that requires daily updates is broken. It should be fixed.

    Operating systems that require reboots are broken. They should be fixed.

    Things like phone batteries and laptop batteries should be standardized to gain economies of scale, allow easy replacement on the fly, etc. Everything should be seamlessly inter-operable. Apple should have to replace every mutant plug type they have invented with something properly inter-operable at their own expense plus pay a fine for doing it in the first place.

    It should be illegal to have margins greater than five times cost. Any company guilty of such an offense should be obliged to pay back everything they stole plus treble damages. That would probably make things like long distance phone calls and certainly text messages too cheap to bill for.

    Let's finish convergence properly so that all our bandwidth is available for use all at once rather than chopped up into little bits. Unless I am on Mars, I should have access to Gbps speeds at all times and I am not even that sure about the Mars limitation . Companies in charge of things like 'right of ways' should be given a one year notice to 'use it or lose it'. Either they will lay massive amounts of fiber to every end-point or we will give somebody else the opportunity.

    Copyrights and patents are sub-optimal. They should be scrapped.

    Re-engineer things properly. Stupid arbitrary limits driven by the lack of imagination of old designers should be removed. Whoever said a system will only ever have one mouse, one keyboard, one monitor, one CPU core, one location for resources like disk, RAM and communications, etc was an idiot. They are the ones who gave us the limitations of IPv4 and they are the ones that are keeping us on it.

    IPv6 needs to be ditched and replaced with a protocol that is backward compatible with IPv4.

    Crapware loaded on to new equipment should be outlawed. I generally do not support the death penalty but in this case and the case of spamsters and free toolbar authors I think exceptions may be warranted.

    One programming language should be enough for scripting, compiling, data manipulation, procedural and object oriented programming, assembler, etc. Designers should start with C and avoid the ridiculous mistakes of Java and C++. If your language makes it hard or impossible to do something another language can do then there is something wrong with at least one of those languages. A 'language' should in fact be a 'tool-chain' that includes everything from the operating system kernel on up, including revision control and facilities for developing feature rich 3D GUIs. The language should allow a skilled programmer to write programs at least as small and fast as hand-coded assembler on up to a complete modern operating system.

    People who do not understand the need for a pre-processor should be legally barred from language design.

    I want my CPU cycles back. The bloat of current systems is appalling. My first program was less than 128 bytes long. I wrote, by myself, a multi-user system in less than 14K. Every second literally hundreds of billions of small decisions are made by CPU cores on my network here. Is it too much to ask if, say, ten percent is devoted to me, the owner? My old Atari 400 with less than a 2MHz single core CPU put me at a command prompt faster than my 32 cores pushing out nearly fifty thousand times as many cycles. If that machine ran at the efficiency of these ones it would take a week to boot up and on my Windows machines that would mean they would never boot without needing a reboot immediately.

    Before we start delivering the flying cars, we should be fairly certain they won't crash. Before we start delivering autonomous robots with much capability we should be fairly certain they won't turn on us.

    I honestly feel there is room for improvement here.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fix the broken stuff first

      To the extent that things are not limited by the above, bandwidth is constantly a stumbling block.

      And it's ALWAYS going to be a stumbling block because you have to do deal with a minimum quantum of data (the size of the electron, basically) and the maximum amount of room (the physical constrain of the transport medium, which can actually be calculated).

      People who say things like "[insert any arbitrary limit here]-bits allows more than every particle in the universe so you can't need more" are idiots.

      So you're saying the people behind ZFS are idiots? How do you plan to use more matter than the universe allows? We haven't been able to leave the PLANET, let alone the UNIVERSE.

      Secure and private everything. Everything should be doable with proxies. If my identity is going to be attached to something it should be my choice alone.

      There's a tradeoff for that privacy, and in fact true privacy is impossible. It's a "hard" problem in secrecy: how do Alice and Bob establish their identities securely to each other when they've never met before? As for proxies, that's a trust issue. Do you trust the proxy? That's why Trent isn't a reliable solution to the problem. There's also the matter of side-channel attacks. That's how TOR gets beaten: the plods take over an endpoint and watch where everything comes and goes from there. Just the source or destination is plenty of identifiable and indemnifying information. The only way around that is something like Freenet, which is by design hopelessly inefficient.

      Building block inter-operable devices. My phone should connect to my local system and allow me to edit files on it, compile programs -- whatever I tell it to do. I should not have to utter any strange incantations to do this. It should connect as long as it has permission.

      One problem: masqueraders. The hoop-jumping is to make sure you're connecting to YOUR system, NOT someone POSING as your system.

      Copyrights and patents are sub-optimal. They should be scrapped.

      If you don't recall, the alternative was the commission system, when only the rich and affluent could request the services of artists. Copyrights and patents may be sub-optimal, but they're (a) better than the alternative and (b) still fixable, such as by reducing their term lengths to reflect the faster pace of society.

      IPv6 needs to be ditched and replaced with a protocol that is backward compatible with IPv4.

      That defeats one of the purposes of IPv6 which is to improve routing efficiency. Then again, you also stated you didn't want your route to be traceable. In which case, why not ditch IP altogether and create a new protocol built on inefficiency instead?

      One programming language should be enough for scripting, compiling, data manipulation, procedural and object oriented programming, assembler, etc. Designers should start with C and avoid the ridiculous mistakes of Java and C++. If your language makes it hard or impossible to do something another language can do then there is something wrong with at least one of those languages. A 'language' should in fact be a 'tool-chain' that includes everything from the operating system kernel on up, including revision control and facilities for developing feature rich 3D GUIs. The language should allow a skilled programmer to write programs at least as small and fast as hand-coded assembler on up to a complete modern operating system.

      Sorry, but that's impossible. There's a reason we have two levels of programming languages (low-level and high-level): because each level requires extremely different ways of thinking to work (low-level means you're talking in the machine's way, high-level means in an abstracted way--they're mutually exclusive). Low-level can be more efficient but is harder to structure since you're dealing with the constraints of the processor, whereas high-level leaves the gritty work to the compiler and lets you structure the program more as you visualize it. It's the difference between swimming across a river and searching for a boat: each has its pros and cons.

      I want my CPU cycles back. The bloat of current systems is appalling. My first program was less than 128 bytes long. I wrote, by myself, a multi-user system in less than 14K. Every second literally hundreds of billions of small decisions are made by CPU cores on my network here. Is it too much to ask if, say, ten percent is devoted to me, the owner? My old Atari 400 with less than a 2MHz single core CPU put me at a command prompt faster than my 32 cores pushing out nearly fifty thousand times as many cycles. If that machine ran at the efficiency of these ones it would take a week to boot up and on my Windows machines that would mean they would never boot without needing a reboot immediately.

      Welcome to "necessary complexity". If an 80's computer powers up in two seconds, it's because it didn't have much to worry about on power-up. Heck, arcade machines from the period took longer to start up but were more thorough at it. Similarly, modern PCs have tons of memory and peripherals to inspect on startup to make sure things don't go splat (the C64, for example, never had to deal with a hard drive). They're also expected to do a lot more things than an 80s computer, like networking, background tasks, etc. All because we asked our computers to do more.

      Before we start delivering the flying cars, we should be fairly certain they won't crash.

      THAT'S why we don't have flying cars. As long as something is in the air, gravity guarantees there WILL be at least SOME risk of a crash, as we see from the occasional airliner incident. The public won't be confident with less than a perfect flying car. Since that is an impossible expectation, the demand can never be met. Ergo, no one tries.

  37. Longrod_von_Hugendong
    Coat

    The three sea shells....

    from demolition man.

  38. Gene

    Cups, bowls and plates that keep food and drink at the original temperature they were served at.

    1. Havin_it

      There's a limit to how well that's going to work out. Most cooked food and brewed (in the heat sense) beverages don't want to keep being cooked forever. If you've had either coffee or chip-shop chips that have been sitting on the hotplate for a while, you'll know what I mean.

      Besides, the most creative and enjoyable bits of cuisine are constructed of various items usually at the end of the process, and these won't be happy if you tide them over all at the same temperature (consider the humble hamburger, with the usual accoutrements).

      I think what I'm trying to say is JUST EAT IT! (While I tend to the wounds I sustained throwing it all together)

    2. cosymart
      Facepalm

      If cups kept the beverage at the served temperature when would you be able to drink it? Ditto the scalding hot cheese in the pizza. Idiot!

  39. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

    netbook reloaded

    I'd really like an updated 9-incher : a cheap robust, clamshell, no-touchy thing, SSD. A 9-inch chromebook, in short. That, and a WiFi Ben Nanonote -or a WiFi micro-SD for my existing one(s).

    If I can't have these, a cheap UMPC with 720p output support (for the occasional on-the-go presentation) would replace both, sort of.

    All of my other IT needs are covered (Raspberry Pi for media, everything else I need I can build from scratch).

  40. Fink-Nottle
    Happy

    A safe way to perform Quake style rocket jumps in real life.

  41. Pet Peeve

    I'll leave off the obviously sci-fi ones:

    - A retina display. No, I mean where the display is projected ONTO your retina.

    - Full color e-ink.

    - e-ink that is flexible enough to be bound in books of pages so you can actually turn them (say 200 pages at a time, so you could have a programmable paperback that doesn't need power except when loading up the next book or chapters)

    - Haptic surfaces that don't feel like you're getting a low-level shock and actually feel solid.

    - VR that doesn't make you barf and doesn't require wearing a combat-boot sized rig on your face.

    - 3d modeling software that doesn't make you want to track down the designers and smack them in the face for making counterintuitive interfaces. Blender, I'm staring at YOU.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      I'd be for the first, if they can keep the power under control.

      They're working on the E-Ink thing. Problem is that ink is the current state of the art has too low a resolution and too low a bit depth to make for a convincing image. Mirasol technology relies on a clever interferometry trick, but IINM can't readily do "half-on" color depth (the same problem e-Ink has). This hasn't been delivered simply because the tech isn't ready for prime-time yet.

      Why would you want multiple e-ink pages? Doesn't that kinda defeat the purpose of an e-ink display? The flexible display I can go for, though.

      I think true haptics suffer from a hard problem: reliably conveying an arbitrary sense of depth along the entire 2D plane. It's slightly similar to the volumetric display problem of projecting something seemingly solid into empty space.

      VR will unavoidably cause Simulation Sickness at times because it's caused by the fact it's a simulation. If your eyes say you're moving but your ears (which hold your internal gyroscope) say you're not...well, get the barf bag ready.

      I'll agree on Blender. I've been curious about 3D modeling, but have been turned off by Blender's complex interface. Why not take a cue from 3D map editors on how to better manipulate a 3D environment?

  42. arrbee

    It would be nice if at least 2 of the computer systems I use at work used the same key for delete.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      What kinds of systems do you use that don't agree on the Delete key above the left arrow (MacOS may use different nomenclature, but the key above the backslash/pipe generally acts the same as its PC counterpart, and both in turn mimic typewriters, so it's not that hard to acclimatize)?

  43. Wade Burchette

    I want a GPS system that links to my calendar on my phone for daily events. It would go through the list of appointments and cycle to the next appointment only when I arrive at the destination. Pretending I have a 9:00 a.m. stop, a 9:30, and a 10:00 also but my 9:00 appointment ran long and I did not leave until 10:00, then the GPS calendar would go to my 9:30 appointment, not the 10:00. Of course, there would be a system in place to add appointments as needed or skip some. Really, the GPS would treat calendar events like a queue.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      That can get complicated, because the 9:30 stop may be time-sensitive, meaning if you miss the 9:30 stop, you may want to skip it instead of go to it next. Google Now is heading somewhere in that direction, though it raises privacy issues.

  44. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    2 Simple Requests

    A universal redirect attached to my phone line that will do all of the following:

    Divert nuisance callers to their own incoming phone lines.

    Send spam back to the address of the real sender.

    Reflect malware back to the original programmers computer(s).

    And

    A home entrance with the following properties:

    Doorbell silences and knocker freezes if a cold-caller is at the door.

    Letter box won't open for junk mail.

    Bonus if door turns brown and emmits a suspicious smell if any con-men or politicians are there.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 2 Simple Requests

      Given how well cold-callers and spammers can disguise themselves, how do you propose we penetrate their disguises?

      1. LaeMing Silver badge
        Go

        Re: 2 Simple Requests

        "how do you propose we penetrate their disguises?"

        With something sharp but serated. And a bit rusty!

  45. Jim84

    Voicemail sent to my mailbox as an MP3 attachment

    Back in 2005 I was working for a Hedge fund and all voicemails turned up in your inbox as an MP3 attached to an email (we did have a ninja IT department).

    "Oh this is really useful, hope it is on my mobile by Vodafone soon" I thought at the time. 9 years later and I still have to call up a number and navigate around a stupid menu using touchtones, even though my Note 3 is probably more powerful than the PC from '05.

    1. Ed Marden

      Re: Voicemail sent to my mailbox as an MP3 attachment

      Use Hullomail.

      I probably ought to have done a referral link, but can't remember how. Just use Hullomail, voicemail done how it should be.

    2. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Voicemail sent to my mailbox as an MP3 attachment

      Office 2010 and newer already do this if your IT dept is savvy enough to connect the phone system.

      A few years ago, a few phone companies would do this as well with your mobile/cell. Dunno if it's still offered or by who.

    3. Vic

      Re: Voicemail sent to my mailbox as an MP3 attachment

      Back in 2005 I was working for a Hedge fund and all voicemails turned up in your inbox as an MP3 attached to an email (we did have a ninja IT department).

      Asterisk SIP systems do that. It's really handy.

      Vic.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Voicemail sent to my mailbox as an MP3 attachment

        I found Asterisk a bit overkill for my needs. A voice modem, vgetty, a simple Upstart script, and a follow-up shell script seem to do the job for me. I even route the voice messages to my e-mail.

        And my service does have a Visual Voicemail. Whoever doesn't have it may wanna look into switching providers, though it should be noted this tends to be a premium feature, meaning cheap prepaid services usually won't offer or allow it via call forwarding.

    4. jcitron

      Re: Voicemail sent to my mailbox as an MP3 attachment

      AVAYA had that kind of system back in 2000. My old company had the software package and I put the client part on all the user PCs.

      Fast forward to 2010 and to another company that used CISCO and Beehive email. The CISCO system integrated easily with Oracle's Beehive. (Other than this feature, the software was a horrid mess to deal with). A voicemail would come in and be directly stored in the email system which would then be sent to the client's inbox. The client can be anything from the user's smart phone, PC running Thunderbird, Outlook, or Zimbra mail client.

      I agree with you on the touchtone phone thing and voicemail. It's as though one has to enter in a bank vault combination just to access a voicemail. I think it's worse on some mobile devices where you click on get voicemail then they proceed to ask again if you want to access your voicemail. Well Doh! I wouldn't have clicked that in the first place!

  46. b166er

    All IVR systems tell you what position you are in the queue.

    Stronger banking regulations. Proof of WMD (or an apology and honesty).

    A cure for cancer

  47. malle-herbert Silver badge

    Solid State Disks...

    With unlimited write-cycles like Magneto Resistive RAM.

    (and a decent storage capacity... > 32Gb would be nice...)

    And computers with MRAM memory so we can do away with all that stupid

    suspend/resume crap...

  48. Jim Lewis

    Smart beer

    1. Actually does me as clever and attractive as I think I am

    2. Actually does make the girl I'm chatting up as attractive as I think she is

    3. No loss of, ahem, 'performance'

    4. No hangover

    5. No beer belly

    Come on boffins, pull your fingers out.

    1. Pete 2 Silver badge

      Not forgetting ...

      that whoever is sitting across the table from you will need a beverage with many of the same properties - but not necessarily beer flavoured ;)

  49. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Fridge freezer....

    .....with a decent sized freezer section. Since we got our last one about 15 years back the freezer sections have got proportionately smaller - probably so that they can get below the A* energy efficiency boundary.

  50. Lostintranslation

    What tech do you want that industry does not deliver?

    An operating system that never needs updating.

    1. cosymart
      Mushroom

      Re: What tech do you want that industry does not deliver?

      Add to that software that does not need patches to make it function as it should.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What tech do you want that industry does not deliver?

        So we expect our software developers to be perfect, is that what you're saying? Recall the days when software came on physical media and people didn't have online access? Meaning software pretty much NEVER got updated? Seems we still had some problems then.

        1. jcitron

          Re: What tech do you want that industry does not deliver?

          It's not that...

          Sadly today software development is driven by the bean counters, upper management and the marketing departments. The bean counters and upper management have salivated over the great new product based on sales figures supplied by marketing. Then the dev manager is called in and given a zero-day development cycle and told to produce even with many, many protests. So now the developer is doing their part but corners are cut to meet unrealistic shipping deadlines that the marketing department dreamt up without consulting the developers first but put the screws on the line with the help of the salivating bean counters and CEO.

          Then when it comes time to produce, the poor devs are stuck working triple overtime to meet the deadline with hopes that things don't go too wrong. Then when it comes to testing, Alpha and Beta testing is done on cursory basis to show that the product works and doesn't crash horribly.

          Since the program didn't crash completely, it's shipped to the unwitting customer who now has to deal with odd behavior in the software. He/she reports this as a bug, and this bug like all other bugs is added to a list to be fixed at some unknown date.

          Then this is the big crux. Version 2.0 comes out. This is really a patch that has taken care of most (note the word *most*) of the bugs reported with the first version. The thing is this Version 2.0 isn't given away free as a patch, instead it's sold as an upgrade for a measly $199.99 compare to the $299.99 full price.

          This Version 2.0, however, now has its own bugs, coupled by those that were never fixed with the upgrade/ I mean patch we paid for. These bugs now cause the supposedly fixed bugs to now appear again, and so the cycle goes until the code gets so bogged down with patches and upgrades that the program needs to be rewritten.

          If I recall from my ancient days in computing, that software was never this bad. Programmers took their time, or were at least allowed to take their time, because they weren't pressured by the bean counters and upper management who have no clue in the first place what it takes to produce a decent software product. Instead they are driven by the stake holders and other outside interests.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: What tech do you want that industry does not deliver?

            Under such an environment, until things were just right, I would probably sabotage my own software during that testing phase. Make it so it DOES crash completely within about a minute or so so that they're FORCED to send the program back into development. I would also make such that only I know how the darn thing works. This prevents the threat of replacement since doing so would almost certainly mean back to square one (with its associated extra costs).

            1. jcitron

              Re: What tech do you want that industry does not deliver?

              I would do the same. :-)

              What's bad about the tech industry, like everything it seems, is driven by pure sales margins regardless of quality. Management, as I said is clueless because they don't usually come from the industry in the first place. In a few places I worked at, they came from the food industry, but worked in the printing industry. They had no clue about making pre-press proofing equipment or product development cycles.

              But sadly, we see this mess mostly in big-named consumer-ware which we pay an awful lot for in the first place.

  51. JLV Silver badge
    Boffin

    an affordable, clever, home amplifier that "gets" the internet and Hifi

    been looking at some of the Yamaha and they are _kinda_ there:

    - built-in WIFI (add-on except on the more expensive Yamahas). wired ports.

    - either a basic built-in screen and touch keypad or hassle-free RC from your phone

    - support for free internet radios, just like you get from a $0 app on your phone

    - firmware-based support for Pandora, LastFM, whatever, if that's your thing

    -text entry, esp for searching, should use the full cleverness of your phone's keyboard and should not involve you chasing around fixed letters with a cursor (looking at you Samsung Smart TV, PS3, Wii)

    - complicated setup procedures, if needed, should be via web app (one thing that stupid Logitech Harmony of mine _almost_ got right).

    - front facing docking for your phone - iPhone, Samsung, Nokia... at least the biggies. sound and charging. cables are acceptable for those companies with "special needs" - looking at you Apple. matching apps for free for those phones

    - regular connectivity for the rest of your stereo equipment if you have archeological stuff like CDs

    - support for major formats like FLAC, AAC, Ogg. not just mp3.

    - <5 W power use when turned on but not blasting music out (looking at you 60W to be on & silent Denon amp). Much lower on standby.

    - hassle free firmware a la PS3, Samsung Smart TV

    - streaming from your server and/or PC, but it should most definitely NOT require a running server/PC to be useful, which is why I put it last (directly related to my <5W requirement above)

    preferably <= $500, but a good feature set and good sound quality is worth my $ so don't Lada it. And don't Beats it either.

    extra bonus: Vimeo/Youtube support with streaming to a TV.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: an affordable, clever, home amplifier that "gets" the internet and Hifi

      I would think an easier solution for you would be to get a cheap Android tablet with WiFi and Bluetooth. The Bluetooth handles the music retrieval and playback, which you can then route via Bluetooth A2DP to the receiver.

      OK, so it can't do more than two channels ATM, so an alternative would be an SFF PC (lower power) with XBMC installed on it to act as an HTPC unit, which you can then route to the receiver. I've tried using a Pi but XBMC on it still seems a bit sluggish.

      Perhaps a decent Android device (tablet, set-top box) with an HDMI connection...

      Point is, don't put everything in the receiver since things change. That's why most people stop using the "smart" part of their smart TVs.

      1. JLV Silver badge

        Re: an affordable, clever, home amplifier that "gets" the internet and Hifi

        You're missing the point - I just want to be able to buy it, not fuss with it. And I don't really really believe the sound quality of a cheap tablet is gonna be that great, especially not if it's being pushed out of the headphone jack.

        Why not add $100-200 of networking/Android-type tech to a mid-range amp chassis and have a wifi component that does the same things our phones already do, but with decent, home stereo level, sound quality? Even the Yamaha series, which is the closest I've seen this come to, are still not totally getting the internet, what with needing add-on wifi modules and having finicky controls.

        If I wanted to plug something in, well, then I'd plug my phone in and have done so in the past. This is about having an amp where that functionality is built-in.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: an affordable, clever, home amplifier that "gets" the internet and Hifi

          The problem with having stuff built-in is that tech moves on, leaving the amp behind. Keeping the music source separated from the amp gives you amp more life. It's like with the TVs. One of the request is a "dumb" TV with a lot of inputs. That way, if tech moves on, it should be able to keep up as long as the connections do.

          BTW, I was thinking along the lines of digital uplinks to the amp. It may depend on the setup, but I think it's possible to send music from an Android through the A2DP profile to a receiver with minimal loss of quality because the music should be transmitted all-digital. The idea is let something else receive the music off the net or whatever and feed it to the amp in a nice clean format.

  52. Mr Handle

    Emotion detecting jewlery

    Something pretty the wife would want to wear that updates an iPhone app with the emotion she is experiencing. It has to be expensive as my wife is allergic to cheap jewelry. This has to include some of the more "specialised" emotions with explanations and a list of valid things to say.

  53. apepper

    Square monitors, square projectors

    Photographers take images in landscape and portrait, but as it's impossible to get a square format monitor or projector, portrait format images lose out.

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Robot to take out the trash.

    How many family arguments have started over that.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Robot to take out the trash.

      Re-programmed to toss it out the window of your 6th floor flat if you're in Naples.

      Who said the localisation team had an easy job?

    2. Charles 9 Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Emotion detecting jewlery

      An iRing Mood, IOW?

    3. LaeMing Silver badge

      Re: Emotion detecting jewlery

      HTTP error 444: if you don't know what's wrong, I'm not telling you.

  55. mrfill

    Hover boots

    We need hover boots. Been waiting far too long for them

  56. akeane

    I would like...

    ... a GPU so advanced that it can play Doom 3 with more than two monsters...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I would like...

      Ever been to the end? Gets pretty hectic, and I'm sure there were plenty of monsters there.

      Also, we know today's tech can handle a lot of stuff, since we've already seen the likes of Left 4 Dead. Doom 3 had to deal with the tech of the day which was considerably more limited (it's also why there was a lot of dark areas--less stuff to render).

  57. ecofeco Silver badge

    The list is long.

    The list for me would be far longer than there is space here.

    • How about simple to use audio and video software.
    • For that matter, better interfaces on ALL consumer software and electronics. Companies really are shooting themselves in the foot by making things more complicated and intuitive only for someone with aspergers. (no insult intended to anyone except the companies)
    • Flying cars? Easy but not cheap or practical. A rich person with a pilot's license will be the only owners. But it can done and a real VTOL at that, not these poor cousin hybrid things that are currently being offered.
    • Home appliances? See interface problem above.
    • Self powered houses? Why is this NOT the law of the land? And why are they still made of wood frames instead of steel and concrete? Or made like Facit Homes.
    • Stupid road signage. I swear they asked professional graphics designers and psychologists for suggestions and recommendations and made damn sure they did exactly the opposite.
    • All signage in general for that matter. Where's the effing "Push/Pull" sign on glass doors these days?

    ...and that's just for openers in the low hanging fruit category.

    1. Terry Cloth

      Proper design

      Where's the effing "Push/Pull" sign on glass doors these days?

      May I introduce you to Dr. Donald Norman, author of The Design of Everyday Things, which contains one of my favorite comments of all time; paraphrasing: ``Any door that needs written instructions is an abject failure of design.''

      Put an obvious handle on the side and edge of the door that needs pulling. Put an obvious flat plate on the other side. Voilà, no instructions needed. If you're dealing with a ``stylist'' who thinks it's beautiful to have a row of doors consisting of undifferentiated slabs of glass with hidden hinges, take him out back and shoot him.

      Likewise for creators of any electronic device with a row of ten small buttons labelled in charcoal on ebony.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Devil

        Re: Proper design

        Product designers' DNA to be recorded, and linked to all their products. With a design equivalent of an activist regulator.

        Thus the architect who designed my flat with rooms that are ever so slightly just the wrong shape to work, even though there's plenty of space overall, if only the corridor wasn't so huge.

        Thus with a camera and report I can justify to the global design committee why this designer is an idiot. Then they willl punish him in some appropriate manner. From enforced re-training, being struck off, up to being shot, for being a waste of atoms.

        So the architect/engineering team who specified an expensive solar hot water system on a student hall of residence in order to get brownie points for being green. But then only connected the hot water to one tap - because they are total and utter arseholes. Should be publicly executed, as a warning to numbskulls. This was the perfect application for solar-thermal, as students don't use their hot water all at once, and most don't get up early, so the sun can actually do its job.

        On the other hand, people who put inadequate solar installations on unsuitable British houses, just to get tax-breaks, would only receive a lesser punishment. As it's understandable - just a horrible waste. So they would be force-fed recycled turkey twizzlers, to teach them that not all green schemes are a sensible idea. Only re-cycled toilet paper would be available for their extremely frequent, and urgent, use.

        The person who designed my teasmade (what a way to wake up!) with a seemingly 1,000,000W bulb behind the clock, so that I have to put 2 books in front of it to sleep, would also be punished. In their case, I think locking them in a room with Kylie records played at 150 db for say a week, should allow them to see the error of their ways.

        Those designers who choose to etch serial numbers and socket descriptions onto inaccessible areas of their electronic equipment in black on a black background, to be blindfolded for a few weeks, and then forcibly re-trained in usability.

        The designer of the SCART socket to have their thumbs chopped off.

        Punishment for the people who design kettles, usually the expensive "pretty" ones, such that it's impossible to pour them without the handle being vertically above the spout! My Mum keeps buying these for some reason. Have these people never heard of steam? Or the idea that heat rises? Has no-one done any product testing at all?

        Hmm, I'm starting to think about writing my manifesto and standing at the next general election now. How would the European Court react to the government office for corporal punishment driving nails into the eyeballs of any graphic designer who chooses to use mid-brown writing on a light brown background?

        You've heard of sharia law, well this is shoddy-a law. And the shoddier your design, the harsher will be your punishment! Obviously we'd have to use the SAS to capture foreign designers, so as to make this a truly global system.

        Any votes in this?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Proper design

        I take it you've never seen the Far Side panel where a "gifted" kid constantly tries to push on a "pull" door. Without some kind of bar, some people mistake the door for a wall. It's as Douglas Adams once wrote, "A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools."Heck, isn't it a running gag that the TARDIS's door swings opposite to the instructions on the outside (I know it was finally lampshaded in "The Doctor's Wife")?

  58. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

    A dumb (but well-connected) TV

    A dumb TV with an excellent screen and audio, with half a dozen HDMI, SCART, VGA, DVI and composite inputs and an easy way to switch between them, and as someone pointed out the other day, a way to memorise the volume settings on each input port.

  59. Robert E A Harvey

    The end of the typewriter.

    Some non-19thCentury way of interfacing with computers. Either Voice or direct neural will do.

    1. Terry Cloth

      Babel time

      Do you really want to work in an office where every person is talking to his/her computer? What about people dealing with sensitive material people in the vicinity are not allowed to know?

      There's too much noise pollution already.

  60. Robert E A Harvey

    Keys.

    On my car I have one key that opens every door, and even includes a thing to remote lock/unlock by wireless. On some cars that could open the boot or start the engine.

    My house needs 5 separate lumps of metal, and can't open the door for me when my hands are full.

    I know who I am. I could wear a posh thing round my neck, that combined with CCTV would let the house recognise me and open doors for me with out doing anything except walk towards it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Keys.

      RFID.

    2. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Keys.

      Every major house lock maker offers this already.

      Why aren't they installed? Well they aren't cheap, for starters.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Keys.

        For another, they all rely on electricity. Better hope they still work mechanically in case the batteries fail or the mains goes out.

  61. Evil Graham

    Unbundled video

    Not really a technical problem, but how about being to rent or buy any movie, TV show or sporting event without being shackled to a monthly contract - or excluded because you are in the wrong country?

  62. Robert E A Harvey

    Personal numbers

    Why is my landline number different from my mobile number?

    Why can't I have one number - and one contract - that will ring my house phone, mobile, and car dashboard etc. all at the same time, letting me answer with whatever is handy?

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Personal numbers

      Because you probably don't want your wife to pick up the land line at home when your girlfriend calls you on your mobile

      1. Robert E A Harvey

        Re: Personal numbers

        Surely anyone having an affair has a 30quid 'burner' from tescos?

  63. Robert E A Harvey

    Standard batteries

    A standard battery pack for battery drills, saws, etc. so I don't have to buy the whole scmozle again when a battery fails. Sell the tool, charger, battery separately.

    The EU intervened for phone chargers. Now do it for tools.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Standard batteries

      They've been doing that for some time (the Ryobi One+ series, for example). Thing is, for competition reasons, the battery packs aren't compatible between manufacturers. Plus, as power demands increase, battery packs get redesigned, creating planned obsolescence for the older devices.

  64. Robert E A Harvey

    Solar power

    What happened to that idea of solar film on windows?

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Solar power

      It exists and can be bought by anyone.

      Nothing happened to it except people are out-of-sight-out-of-mind creatures.

  65. Robert E A Harvey

    Grass cutting

    I always fancied one of those robot mowers -but they don't collect the clippings so they get traipsed into the house. A robot. Mower that deals with the clippings please.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Grass cutting

      ... and for winter, a snowblower attachment.

      1. Robert E A Harvey

        Re: Snowblower

        In this domestic regime it would have to collect the snow, too.

  66. Robert E A Harvey

    Paintbot.

    You remember all that guff about hoe Gecko's feet work?

    Put it to work on a little wall creeper that paints just the flat surface it is on, ignoring skirting boards and architraves.

  67. the spectacularly refined chap

    In a perfect world...

    I want a warp drive, light saber and Karen Gillan sexbot humanoid cleaning robot.

    In the real world I'd settle for more mundane stuff:

    • three button mice
    • personal (or even small workgroup) printers with ream-at-a-time paper trays
    • more laptops with real serial ports
    • small, cheap, fanless switches with VLAN and STP support

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: In a perfect world...

      Most mice have a wheel these days. That wheel acts as the third button when you push it in.

      I recall that larger paper trays raise the risk of jamming because of the tolerances involved. If the feeder tray has no spring, then the pickup mechanism has to be able to reach lower while a spring-loaded tray needs to have a wider range of motion. Both of these raise the chances of the pickup going wrong, resulting in the dreaded paper jam. Enterprise printers are built for the higher work loads, yes, but they're correspondingly more expensive.

      Is there reason you MUST use a genuine serial port. Is the timing or something else that tight that a common USB-to-serial adapter doesn't work?

      I won't comment on network bridges at this time, but consider that negotiating the protocols you mentioned may involve necessary complexity that could be precluding the use of low-energy hardware.

  68. Nigel Campbell

    Where do I start?

    A decent semi-rugged workstation laptop with a 16:10 screen and 32GB+ of RAM. Put the battery in the side and the connectors on the back of the machine; some of us are left-handed. Bonus points (looking at you Lenovo) for bluetooth drivers that actually work on a bare-metal O/S install.

    A smart phone that lets you hold the phone by its sides without triggering sh*t on the touch screen (looking at you Samsung).

    A SAN and consolidation platform that is even slightly performant on data warehouse workloads. Slower than a 10 year old 32 bit server with U160 disks - srsly?

  69. Robert E A Harvey

    Anti-spam

    Replacing all those arpanet email protocols with something secure and traceable, so that spam, phishing, 419, fraud, and cyber bullying could be easily traced and contain enough evidence to prosecute.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Anti-spam

      But if you require stateful e-mail, you remove the ability to post anonymously, don't you? It's a tradeoff. Allow anonymous e-mail and you allow for spam. Don't, and you remove the ability to conceal one's identity when the need actually arises.

  70. Robert E A Harvey

    Passwords consigned to history.

    Some method of identifying myself to a computer (door, car, checkin desk) just by being there, instead of having to type the name of my first girlfriend and her telephone number.

    An end to passwords, please.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Passwords consigned to history.

      Considering how prevalent physical identity theft is (get mugged, your IDs stolen), I don't think you'd want any kind of fob. And biometrics can't be altered in case someone manages to duplicate your bio-signature.

  71. Robert E A Harvey

    Subtitles

    Subtitles for people, for when I go abroad.

    This is something that google glass ought to make possible.

  72. Robert E A Harvey

    Face and name

    Another app for google glass. Remind me of people's names when I am looking at them. (Additionally, their wife, children, job title.....)

  73. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    1) Bl**dy iTunes Match to store my audiobooks in the cloud for me. I've paid for those Ricky Gervais Guides To..., dammit.

    2) A neural lace, Culture-style, incorporating a personal, portable AI.

    But I'd settle for (1), in all honesty.

  74. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    Flying car. http://dilbert.com/2014-05-24/

    For a while, it looked like no one was going to make a Windows tablet with respectable processing power and memory - enough for speech recognition, which is power hungry but a necessity for input to a PC with no input deive, and which has been an option since XP and included standard since Vista.

    Now, finally, there are some power tablets... and they run Windows 8. Goddamnit!

    Can you install Windows 7 on a Microsoft Surface Pro?

  75. Uncle_Sam

    A suggestion

    TV content that is cross networks and incorporates some of the new Pay as You view services like netflix etc.. but with all the good content. For reasons of politics that are similar to music industry we will never get this. so people have to rely on their own ingenuity to end up with a good media entertainment system or a lot of manual effort or pay a fortune. Especially for pay tv channels abroad of their broadcast countries . also Hoverboards ..

  76. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One box

    One box that's connected to my TV and surround sound. It's got all the functionality of a Sky box HD PVr plus it has Netflix and lovefilm/amazon and nowtv and whatever other streaming services are available and I can stream whatever is on my ipad/other tablet/laptop to my tv by just clicking on stream to box option without faffing about with setting up special software/media servers on my device I can also use it to play games and browse the web.

  77. Denarius Silver badge
    Mushroom

    how about

    Phones: Screens that can be seen in sunlight. Original Dell Streak achieved this, nothing since. A Samsung I saw recently came close. Autocorrect that gets out of the way or an easy permanent go away. Firefox works fine with this, flagging possible issues but does not stop input, unlike every B* phone I have used. Better battery life. If it needs a recharge more than once a week its not enough. A belt clip that does not require a car crash jaws of life team to get off. Every one I used would slide off any time under any circumstances, until I wanted to remove it.

    Laptops: Less OS crap and a matte screen as others have typed so it can be seen in daylight.

    Software: bring back UI designers who are not devotees of touch, scratch and smash in frustration.

    Cars: Auto-arresting functions for morons who tailgate. Car locks door and calls cops if vehicle is travelling over 75kmh within 3 car lengths of vehicle in front. Self-driving cars might reduce the need, right up to the time some fad of day software writer puts in a new feature that makes them uncontrollable but have a really cool useless feature.

    TV: built in lie detectors., mandated volume down as soon as ads crank up modulation.

  78. southen bastard

    you've got to be kidding, 4pages of windging about phones.

    you windge about phones YOU bought, willingly, with your money.

    Take responcability for your actions.

    Tech we want is the question,

    TV that the shows and the adds are at the same volume(loudness)

    A recorder that cuts the adds out.

    A good AI on my phone that will fix bad connections and compansate for low telco service( quality)

    Politicians that dont lie, smart ammo that when i shoot one of the low lifes on the telly the bullit seeks out the worthless basterd.

    Sex bots (been promiced)

    Holograms ( cheap and commercialy avalible)

    One opperating system to rule them all (compatability between all opp sys)

    Peace on earth, oh fukk that there are so many bastards that need sorting

    1. dogged

      Re: you've got to be kidding, 4pages of windging about phones.

      Working spellcheck - oh wait...

  79. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    Free WiFi

    No, really, FREE WiFi. If a retail outlet or hotel advertises FREE WiFi then make fucking sure it's free. I don't want to hand over my personal details and get spammed forever more. Yes, taken as a standalone item, the accountant thinks it's a cost centre. In reality, it's not even a customer benefit if I have to jump through hoops to sign-up at each different outlet, or have to get through a special "home page" before using it.

    Make it simple and easy, with no hoop-jumping and the customers will love you for it. They might even spend more money and be repeat customers instead of pissed off and simply not bother using your WiFi.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Free WiFi

      It's not worth the cost when the police later come to investigate you because some malcontent wardrove you and used your "free" connection to commit some wire fraud or whatever.

  80. Long John Brass Silver badge

    Would you like to upsize your future for only 50c more?

    Hmmm, If were going to go large, then ...

    Holodeck, Replicator, Cure for death & Antimatter energy pack

    Cybernetically enhanced monkey butler

    Personal Battle Mech

    I'd much prefer the future to be Culture rather than Star Trek

    Where's my cherry2000 damnit

  81. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

    Things I wish I had

    1) Healthy fast food. That doesn't taste like shit. How about a drive through that serves Shiratake noodles in a low-cal tomato+veggie+lean meat sauce. Maybe with a side fruit and spinach chaser. You can get a truly stomach-filling meal out of that for like 200 calories. Enough to leave you feeling full for 6-8 hours.

    2) A button/pill/hypnotic MP3 file/etc that I could purchase over-the-counter that would put me to sleep like flipping a switch. No more lying awake at night with a racing mind.

    3) An actual properly working monitoring system for all IT needs. Something that integrated with every piece of hardware and software, provided sane defaults for alerts and came with it's own 3G connection to alert you of problems (as well as possible causes and probably solutions). Near zero or zero setup of the system, and it should be adaptive so that every new bit of software/hardware installed is detected automatically and added to the alerts pool.

    The reporting system should be able to produce a nice report to send to the boss that says "these things are failing on a regular basis, replace them; these things are at end of life, replace them," etc. I also want it to not cost a substantial fraction of the hardware it is supposed to monitor!

    4) Windows with programmable tinting. Preferably a film I could apply to my existing ones. Screw blinds and shades, why can I just put an LCD film on my windows and tell it "be black" or "be transparent?"

    5) A big button that you press whenever the phone call for you is a scam/telemarketer/intrusive "survey"/political party begging for donations/newspaper begging for subscribers/etc that automatically logs that call as a scam and send the info to an orbiting satellite. If enough people press the button that identifies the blackguard as the kind of twat that likes to ruin evenings then an ion cannon blast will erase them from existence.

    6) Roadside .50cal automated sniper rifles that immediately and violently murder any asshole with an audiobomb car. No exceptions. No mercy.

    7) Backup LTE data plans that are charged at a reasonable per use rate /GB ($0.5/GB absolute fucking TOPS). These would not be used as primary connections; they would be emergency backup connections for those "idiot with a backhoe" movements and/or for getting into server room after some putz pushed reset on the edge router.

    8) A Lenovo X230 made out of aluminium. The Lenovo X230 is pretty much my ideal netbook, but the cheap plastic construction lets me down.

    9) An autoloader for my dishwasher. (Put dishes into the sink, let the robot arms load the dishwasher, then when things are done, pile them up nicely on the counter.) Mostly because by the time we remember that dishes are a thing to do it's stupid o'clock at night and all we want to do is sleep.

    10) A self-cleaning cat litter box that is actually of a decent (read: 2' x 3') size. My cats want a litter box bigger than they are, or they won't use it.

    11) A storage robot. You have an iPad app with everything in your house inventory. You select the item, and the robot fetches it from storage. When you are done with an item, the robot places the item back in storage. The robot knows exactly what bin the item was placed in and logs it with the system. The robot ideally would be able to climb and descend stairs, but I'm willing to wait for version 5 or 6 to get there, so long as I can tromp down the stairs and have the robot hand the appropriate item to me, or I can give it something to put away. Bounce points if I can hand it a box of things and it will identify them, and put away everything in the box. Yes, I'm willing to tag everything.

    12) A device that makes the people manning US customers and border protection less douchey.

    13) A telepresence device certified for use with government institutions. Need to get something from the DMV but don't want to wait in lines? Send the robot. It will go through all the motions, then beep at you when it's your turn to interface with an actual human. It should be able to display all relevant documents for the people in question, switch to your live face for comparison, and allow you to sign documents via a pair of arms. Too many hours of our lives are spent in government lines for something or other. A crime, given that it's the future.

    14) Every piece of content every created available a-la-carte for a reasonable price when I want, how I want, on any device I want and I only pay for the content once, no matter how many times I personally choose to view/listen/read it. (If I really like it, I should be able to keep a copy on my own file storage, maybe for a modest additional fee over streaming.)

    15) Going to have to also go "self driving car." I have too many things to do to enjoy driving around. Time spend driving is time I could be doing something useful, preferably something profitable. Why the hell are we still driving ourselves around in this day and age?

    16) "No frills" bulk naval transport for those who don't like to fly. I hate flying. Loathe it so much I cannot describe. I just want to be able to take a boat from Vancouver to San Francisco that has a 100x100 space for my part and our junk, hallways that are twice as wide as those on trains and with better toilets than found on passenger trains (my biggest complaint.)

    I would alternately settle for revamped passenger trains or the option of "luxury" bus travel that costs about the same as a plane ticket, but has seats that are fat people friendly. (For inter-city travel here in Alberta we have "luxury" motorcoaches by a company called Red Arrow. Greyhound, by contrast, is absolutely not an option for me.)

    The ideal would be a self-driving car that could take me all the way to SF and back. My own little personal bubble. No people. No driving. I could just sit and work, preferably at an upright table and not curled into a ball like a savage.

    17) Something that kills mosquitoes. Preferably without a great deal of noise. A vicious hunter-killer drone, or a roost of daylight-friendly potty-trained bats are just fine.

    18) Upstream bandwidth that is higher than 5Mbit that costs less than $100/month

    19) Proper, working, appetite suppression pills. For the love of $deity, why do these not exist?

    20) And finally, a device that creates a bubble of time that occurs only for you. This would allow you to get way more done in a day, by fitting weeks of work (and sleep!) into a single day, allowing you to actually meet the level of expectation of present-day employers and be competitive with those annoying cheerful people who seem able to work 26 hours a day without ever sleeping.

    Mostly, really, I just want the ability to earn a comfortable living by only working 8 hours a day and know that my friends and family have the same ability. I want us all to be able to sleep, not have to worry about jobs, or food, housing and clothing. I want us all to be able to do what we love for a living, to enjoy time to ourselves and to get a healthy 8 hours of sleep every day.

    I don't care what changes need to occur to society, or what devices need to be invented, but at the end of the day, the goal is a sense of personal and financial security combined with a desire to not be anxious about things ever again.

    The rest is just entertainment…and I can entertain myself making paper airplanes, if need be.

    1. James Micallef Silver badge

      Re: Things I wish I had

      @Trevor Pott

      1 - Healthy fast food - I've seen a lot of Asian fast food that's healthy AND tasty. No drive through, though

      2 - Hypnotic MP3 tracks exist, you won't go out like a light but gradually in a few minutes.

      11 - warehouse systems already do this, hopefully domestic versions on the way

      agree on pretty much everything else especially 4, 9, 17

    2. dogged

      Re: Things I wish I had

      19 exists, it's just not legal - alpha‑methylphenethylamine.

      Presumably it's illegal because it works.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Things I wish I had

        "α-Methylphenethylamine" is better known as amphetamine. As I recall, appetite loss is mostly a side effect to what is a pretty potent stimulant. To be fair, the stuff is a little unpredictable and has a notable dependency risk that can't be denied. Ask yourself why the related phenylpropanolamine isn't much talked about anymore (for the same reason--some people who took it reacted badly, even at the recommended dosage).

  82. John X Public

    Phone + Hotspot

    For me current gen smartphones are too big to be carried as phones and too small to be comfortably usable for much else. Also their battery life is awful. A crap compromise all round.

    What I want is a smallish mobile phone with huge battery life and very limited cleverness. Just phone calls, messages and maybe email. *But* can also hotspot its data connection so that I can do big-screen things on big-screen devices, when I chose to.

  83. Barry Rueger Silver badge

    Palm Sync

    One of the great things about Palm Pilots was that at the end of the day you'd sit it in its cradle, press one button, and the thing would sync everything on it with your desktop.

    I would pay real money to have the same thing with my smartphone instead of relying on Google or Apple to save stuff to the cloud.

    (Then again I'm using a Blackberry and a Linux desktop, which is complete waste of time.)

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Palm Sync

      It got better with WiFi-enabled Palms since you didn't even need to cradle them to sync them. You can call a sync right from the program.

      I think some analogut to HotSync is available for download on Android, but much like with different collaboration programs on Windows, there isn't one format to rule them all, and they're competing so will never agree to a standard.

  84. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    rugged everything

    and a mini fusion reactor.

  85. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Laptop with Pixel Qi Display

    We put these on netbooks for use in the sun. Awesome, readable in direct sunlight with no backlight, and only half the power normally with the backlight.

    Laptops should have either a proper IPS screen with great color and viewing angle, or Pixel Qi with sunlight readable and great battery life. Not the wishy washy shit on this HP Elitebook in front of me

  86. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dual SIM phones

    How the F**K can they actually sell a top end phone that doesn't have dual sim as standard?

    Anyone who has to travel, gets a company calls only phone, or has a mistress**, needs one.

    How come Samsung only sell these things in China? I mean - Hullo - we have mistresses here in the West too.

    ** my chinese dual sim feature phone has what the manual calls mistress mode with secret address book and sms messaging. For those not au fait with managing mistresses, you buy a new sim when you change mistress. Apparently.

  87. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    NSAMail, NSABack, and NSABox

    Now the NSA is recording everything and collecting all my mail, why don't they setup a backup site so I can get it back when my system crashes.

    Oh and TaxBank while we are at it. Banks are even bigger scum than the tax department. I'd rather just give them ALL my money to look after in the first place.

  88. OzBob

    Cherry 2000

    The blonde, not Melanie Griffiths

  89. wowfood

    Where to begin

    Everything I could think of is on its way in some form or another... Perhaps a device which could give me PK?

    1. CatW

      Re: Where to begin

      PK Nuts are available in all good food stores since about 1965

  90. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    terabyte ram chips

    Or affordable TB solid state disks so my bloody laptop starts up almost instantly.

    Then doesnt take hours to copy a blu-ray image from one drive to another...

    And FAST wifi...

  91. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So...

    hibernation

    accelerated reflexes

    extended senses

    flight

    mental augmentation

    more than "lucky" with ladies

  92. Siskris

    I'd appreciate

    A washing machine that I can control and customise the washing programme from my smartphone and which will let me know what it's doing and, most importantly, will give an audible notification when it has landed.

    A Bluetooth speaker which also has a USB socket to charge a phone.

    Traffic lights which are phased for pedestrians, cyclists and buses.

    1. James Micallef Silver badge

      Re: I'd appreciate

      "Traffic lights which are phased for pedestrians, cyclists and buses."

      Traffic lights (and general road infrastructure) in Amsterdam are phased to prioritise trams, bicycles and pedestrians. Tough luck if you have a car.

      I'm sure that's the case in a few other cities as well

  93. Bead

    Braille tablet

    tactile screen + Google Books = braille reader

    Create something that can take any digital text and convert it to braille.

    http://tactustechnology.com/ has the tactile screen.

  94. Pete Maclean

    I am hearing-impaired and find it hard to use a mobile phone. I also happen to only rarely have any need for a mobile. So I do not have one. I would however like very much to have a mobile device just for sending and receiving SMSes. There once was such a thing, called a Peek, but it seems to have disappeared and I can find nothing else like it.

    1. John H Woods Silver badge

      SMS Mobile phone for the hearing impaired.

      Buy mobile phone; permanently divert all voice calls to answering service; switch answering service into 'holiday mode' (i.e. doesn't take messages) and change message to "thanks for calling me, but please send me a text instead".

  95. Greg D

    Higher res laptop and desktop displays. MUCH higher.

    More 4x3 aspect options (WITH higher-res than 1280x1024). Seriously we dont ALL watch movies/TV on our monitors. Some of us actually do work.

    Also, the abolishment of Captcha.

    Bigger batteries in phones. Or just better out-of-box settings, like turning off ALL auto-update bollocks by default.

  96. sanity hazard

    Half Life 2 Episode 3.

  97. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Never Mind Flying Cars...

    ...What about Gallium Arsenide processors?!?

    These have been in development since 1984 to my knowledge with all the big problems solved 7 or 8 years ago. They are commercially available for mobile phone exchanges with speeds of 300Ghz and a record of 555Ghz in the lab. They use copper on GA rather than highly capacitant aluminium. You might need to use silicon as a buffer to the outside world (much like using a VAX between a PC and a Cray1) thats a minuscule price to pay with no tech needing development.

    Just imagine it, no more polar bear killing render farms, so screw the spooks and military, there is no market there, sell it to us nice creative people!

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: Never Mind Flying Cars...

      From what I remember the chief current problem with Gallium Arsenide chips is that they are currently very expensive compared to Silicon chips, the manufacturing processes are not up to scratch yet, and then there's the marketing "problem" with the word "Arsenide". From the technical point I seem to remember that there were some chemical / thermal stability issues to overcome as well.

  98. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Non-Polarised Optical Connector

    Yes, exactly why is the TOS Link optical connector only attachable one way? I know laser light is polarised but its only firing onto a photo diode that reacts to the presence of photons.

    Whoever designed that I hope spends eternity with his arm round the back of a darkened and deafening fibre channel array in 45 degree heat, accurately plugging in all 12,000 cables before he can be released.

  99. John Tserkezis

    The females in the house have this request:

    A self-lowering toilet seat.

    1. John H Woods Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: The females in the house have this request:

      "self lowering toilet seat"

      How about a device which detects when some barbarian is going to cover your entire bathroom with a fine mist of urine and reads them this message: "Do you think you're outdoors, seriously? Why are you lifting the seat, do you think it's ok to piss on the rim of the porcelain? If you're confident you won't, you won't need to lift the seat, will you?"

      Honestly, if you think it's ok to piss standing up when you are in someone else's house, just try it in your own, turn off the lights, and go in there with a blacklight. Still feel happy about it? Toilet seats lift so you can clean them; that's all.

      1. Adam Nealis

        Re: The females in the house have this request:

        Boys should sit to pee just like girls.

        My wife trained me to do it when she had a hyper-sensitive nose while pregnant. It's much less messy.

        1. dogged

          Re: The females in the house have this request:

          > Boys should sit to pee just like girls.

          Nonsense, that's just a colossal faff.

          The correct solution is to kneel before the throne. Everything's at the perfect height.

          1. Robert E A Harvey

            Re: The females in the house have this request:

            Most seamen refer to the washbasin in the cabin as the 'night heads'

  100. RyokuMas Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Piracy protection by default in Android...

    ... nuff said.

  101. feanor

    I'd like broadband internet access. Of course it's just a CRAZY dream, but there you go you did ask.

  102. Nick Ryan Silver badge

    Hmmm... where to begin?

    * Super capacitors - on the power infrastructure side a big problem we have is the mismatch between the generation of electricity and demand, particularly for renewables. Smaller super capacitors would also help massively when it comes to electric cars and mobile devices.

    * Efficient Operating Systems / Software. You know, ones that don't spend 99% of their time not doing anything useful and instead getting in the way. It's frustrating when you know that the sheer increase of processing power and capacity over the recent years hasn't resulted in systems that respond consistently and efficiently, instead we get massive hang ups and freezes and systems where it's considered "acceptable" that they take 2-5 minutes to be fully ready to use. That's use, not just at a login prompt or showing a desktop while another 10 applications slowly load. Couple this with common software that at every release is somehow 50% larger and 200% slower than the one before. Optimisation <> Newer, faster hardware.

    * Sealed keyboards that are still good to type on. Tip your keyboard upside down, tap a few times, admire the pile of dirt that has accumulated and the amount that is still left in the keyboard...

    * The complete removal of EA from the face of the planet. This way there may be some "new" games that aren't sequels of existing games that were sequels of the ones before... and, more hopefully, the severe culling of piss-taking in-app purchases.

    * Fast refresh / state change (as necessary), high tonal range, full colour reflective displays.

    * Vertical stacked camera sensors (current camera sensors waste a majority of the available photons, killing low light performance). I know these are on their way, but can't remember the search term...

  103. Britt Johnston

    pipe dreams (most likely first)

    - An app that melds a TV zapper and a mobile phone

    - A luxury mobile with a built-in scalable LED beamer

    - A phone with a usb or thunderbolt cable that does fast charging from PC and bidirectional data load

    - An electric car with a built-in phone - I won't drive it anywhere, but might get 2 weeks of battery life

    - More of the same cars for the family, to plug into our wind generator and act as a storage buffer for the household

    - A small solar-driven desalination plant for that uninhabited rock in the mediterranean

  104. JLV Silver badge

    Dev stuff

    A 3D virtual reality neural linked IDE that w plugins to visualize everything.

    Think D3 visualization has love child with command line & your fave text editor and 3D web browser. Do NOT think Eclipse or Visual Studio.

    Database browser/profiler too.

    For sysadmins, sure you can think of something similar.

    Built-in neural disrupter that allows you to zap the privates of the registered designer of paid software if buggy. Those and clueless tech support too. The more people turn thumb down, the more painful.

    (Ouch, Mr Sinovsky)

  105. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    And another thing

    Just one GM product.

    Lawn grass that grows to about 2 inches (51mm) then stops growing unless it is damaged or worn down.

  106. dogged

    Neural interface.

  107. The elephant in the room

    Without needing any new technological development

    Central locking for your house

    Phones & tablets with full-size standard ports & slots (easily accomadated in the extra thickness already agreed for a decent battery)

    Desk phones that don't require a forgettable training a course to use despite having a millionth of the functionality of a smartphone requiring no training

    A standard size or range of sizes for digital camera batteries

    DAB radios that aren't f*****g ugly

    Cars with scratch and dent-resistant self-coloured plastic bodywork

    Ability to have a dark background in Outlook

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: Without needing any new technological development

      Desk phones that don't require a forgettable training a course to use despite having a millionth of the functionality of a smartphone requiring no training

      Hahaha.. so very true. I'm looking at one now and I'm in IT so ought to be able to figure out how to use it but between button icons that are largely meaningless even when you know what they do, side of screen buttons that don't line up with the screen and an interface menu scheme that just makes no sense at all I just don't bother.

  108. dgc03052

    CoGeneration

    Move heat in a reasonable way, and generate electricity from it in the end. I can't stand paying for air conditioning dumping heat to the hot outside, while at the same time paying to heat cold water coming in the water line. Or if I have to pay to heat the home, at least generate electricity first. Nothing for the consumer is compatible with anything else, and efficiency standards are always for standalone operation.

  109. The Grump
    Black Helicopters

    All I want...

    is a TV interface that would cause the voice of every politican on TV to change to a high, squeaky chipmunk type voice EVERY TIME THEY LIE.

    Jay Carney would always sound like Alvin. Obama would actually be fun to listen to. OTOH, it wouldn't work for Al Queda - they actually BELIEVE the stuff they say.

    Come to think of it, how about a space based Muslim toaster? Allah is gre...[ZAP]. Allah be pra...[ZAP]. Die Infid...[ZAP]. Fun for all ages.

  110. Doogs

    Not asking for much

    Bring back the Microsoft Trackball Explorer. My ancient one is now on its last legs and I don't know what I'm gonna do without it.

  111. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Useful digital TV guide

    My digital set-top box used to have an option to show only subscribed channels. Since this feature was logical, useful and enhances the cable television experience, it was removed in the next release. I want it back.

    On top of that, I want to be able to "unsubscribe" individual shows. I want to be able to select a show from the guide and, with the same types of options as the recorder, say "never show me listings for this show again for all repeats and channels." If the next, let's say 4 hours of a channels programming are blacklisted, don't show me the channel at all unless I page forward 4 hrs.

    I figure that would get my guide down to 5 or 6 channels in primetime (before unsubscribing home shopping network and pay-per-view preview).

  112. Mummy's 'ickle soldier

    A phone that detects when you're smashed and prevents you calling any numbers except 999 and taxi companies.

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      And add a contextual language filter to messaging on the device as well. That way certain words, phrases or message meanings could be avoided being sent to friends, colleague, boss, wife, mistress, mother-in-law and so on.

  113. Adam Nealis

    Better FAX machines.

    Why not a FAX machine that knows how to connect to the outside world, instead of trying to guess whether you have to dial a leading zero (or whatever) first?

  114. Sebring

    The ultimate TV companion

    I'd want a single box under my telly that had:

    * multi-region DVD recorder

    * twin DTV tuner

    * is quiet

    * can be a photo/video/music server

    * that I can access from the outside world

    * and is a plug-in-and-go consumer item that doesn't require complex configuration

    Yes, I know that it's possible to kludge something together using XBMC but I can't believe that someone doesn't want to sell me a shrink-wrapped appliance for a reasonable price and doesn't want to tie me to their proprietary software.

  115. jcitron

    What would I like to see:

    ** An antivirus/anti-malware product that absolutely does not cause any kind of drag on system performance. We think they don't have a performance impact until we disable our current products.

    ** Application menus that are easily scaled and can be seen no matter what resolution the display is set at. The displays have gotten higher-rez but the menu text has remained the same size so everything is the size of ant footprints on the screen.

    ** LCD/LED displays that have the same clear image as the old CRT. I miss my old NEC 22-inch display. When I replaced it with a Samsung 23-inch equivalent, I found myself constantly adjusting it just to see it.

    ** Keyboards that don't lose their characters because I have a broken fingernail and scratched them lightly. In the old days keyboards lasted forever; now they're crap.

    ** Dido with mice too.

    ** TV remotes that don't require a degree in computer science to operate.

    ** TV remotes which just operate a TV and have simple controls.

    (The last two are meant for old folks because I usually get calls to rescue them because they've messed up the programming).

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