Signs of Triviality

Opinions, mostly my own, on the importance of being and other things.
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Kabelsalat Be Gone!

I moved recently. I know, fun. I ended up with hundreds of boxes in varying sizes, 2 tons of packing paper, a kilometer of bubble wrap (that's 1000 meter, which, unlike 5280 feet/mile is an entirely reasonable way to describe length or distance), and the need to set up my "entertainment center" once again.

I put the string "entertainment center" in quotes, because my setup is rather simple. As you know, I'm a man with a simple mind and simple needs. All I want is to watch some TV every now and then, listen to Howard Stern and NPR and pretend to work while I dick around on the intertubes.

This is what my setup looks like:

TV, DVR, Stereo

Setting this up should take... what? 10 minutes? Certainly not more than that. And adding components lateron or moving things around really shouldn't require me to redo everything from scratch. But that's not how things work. Every single component in this simple setup needs to be connected with one or more other things, which means I have a frustratingly entangled mess of cables crammed behind the TV.

The amount of cabling required for this simple setup is completely ridicolous. Here, I'm a geek, let me draw you a graph:

Graph of cables
connecting my TV setup

Now please tell me that this doesn't strike you as ridicolous. For starters, consider the satellite radio. We've figured out how to beam content from the earth to a freaking satellite in the earth's orbit zipping around at Spaceballs ludicrous speed and send it back down to us, but then we need an antenna with a 50' long cable which I have to place outside my window and point into a specific direction! Seriously, wtf?

But eliminating antennas is only the first thing. Every stupid piece of technology requires cables, several of them. Why do we put up with this? Why don't consumers demand wireless everything? I shouldn't have to physically connect anything with anything.

Here's how to fix this. We have the technology. Just have a standard by which all of these gadgets need to be able to pair via bluetooth -- all of these things already have a display or connect to one in some way. Or use a pair of USB fobs to do the initial pairing. Or do something else. You're a smart engineer, you figure it out. I just want to have no more cables to deal with.

Power cables are even worse. Have you ever been in an apartment, house, hotel room or other living quarters (ie non-office space) that had enough power outlets? Of course not - there'd have to be outlets every two feet, which looks like ass. Which means you end up daisy chaining power strips to accomodate the many Wall Warts you have (this is not a solution, by the way) and just live with the fact that you can't have a lamp where you want it and instead you move the couch over so it's closer to the nearest outlet.

Oh, and as far as power goes... don't you dare suggest batteries. Batteries are a work-around, not a solution. What I want is wireless power, the kind we should have had since, oh, I don't know, the 18 fucking 90s.

That's all. Wireless everything. Pretty please with a cherry on top.

May 22, 2012


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