Sure, most people would point the finger at the nuclear bomb or the first automatic weapon, or something else that made wonton killing oh so easy, but these simpletons would be missing the point when trying to identify technological achievements that should have been DOA. It’s not about the human carnage, the long-term, indelible ripples that changed the course of humanity, it’s about the things that cause minor inconveniences, things that gave us a proverbial paper cut that we thought we’d never recover from. Think about how annoying it is to get a pebble in your shoe. Now here are some technological pebbles that humanity could (and should have) done without.
Referred to lovingly as beta by the five guys who thought this was the greatest thing to come around since the high-top fade, it was first out of the gate in the infamous videocassette format wars of the late 70s and early 80s. VHS, the eventual winning format, flooded the market and drubbedBeta into a corner of the video store – leaving the defeated Sony-fathered product format cowering behind the beaded curtain that was a staple of the mom and pop video stores of the 1980s. Die hard beta fans will still talk your ear off about the superior experience.
Microsoft stepped into the iPod’s ring with what many thought would be the ultimate iPod killer. Even though Microsoft has been evasive about just declaring the damn thing dead once and for all, when’s the last time you heard someone say “Check out what’s on my Zune.” El Guapo has yet to meet an owner of a Zune. For shame Microsoft for producing a product so poorly received that now an endeavor falling flat on its face will forever be called “a zune” (also to be used as a verb…as in “Man, it was all going great until you showed up and zuned it.”)
Spy Video Pens
The idea sounds cool if you’re James Bond, but el Guapo suspects that most such products are used for nefarious acts. Creeps everywhere cheered when they were given another way to spy on women in the Macy’s restroom.
It seemed like a great idea at the time.Pump a huge balloon with 7,063,000 cu. feet of flammable gas. At the time, airplanes could only make short flights and were limited by major weight restrictions. The Hindenburg disaster killed any chance of the Zepplin revolution – along with 36 people.
It’s never a good sign when the owner of a company dies on the product, but that’s what happened at Segway. The Segway was touted as a revolution in transportation but just ended up making police officers look less threatening and gave tourists an excuse to move while burning no calories.
Your handsome and humble servant-
El Guapo is the unanimously elected, official Latino spokesperson (succeeding Edward James Olmos after the Great Chimichanga Fiasco of 2009) and is a reader of several (yes, several) New York Times Bestsellers. He is, without question, the foremost authority on all things sinverguenza.
This was originally published on Guanabee.