Why do tech companies hate their customers so much?

Remember aspirational me? The one who had his iPad Pro on a boom arm. The premise of the iPad Pro is that it can handle pretty much anything. It almost can. Almost.

My desire to have the screen mounted on a boom depends on the ability to use the machine with a keyboard and/or other input accessories. Start prodding at a boom-mounted screen with a finger quickly gives you back-ache and the wobbling screen is not an elegant look.

Some apps, like this one, Ulysses, work perfectly with no touch. Microsoft Excel? Not so much. Google apps? Don’t get me started. Certain web applications, not quite. Of course, if one thing that you need doesn’t work – the whole setup doesn’t. Who wants to get angered every hour or two by an application not delivering on the touch-free option promise of iPad Pro?

Is it unreasonable to expect Apple, Google and Microsoft to work together to ensure the best possible customer experience?

On 1857, TJ made the mistake of asking about Smart Tech. There followed an hour plus of me shouting at the internet.

I’m sure that you have noticed that the world, pre-Covid 19 at least, had become a much smaller place. People are mobile, travel extensively, and even go live in different countries. Seriously. They do. I do.

Let’s take TV as an example.

Here’s what I’d like to do.

  1. Turn on my TV (big box, full of tech, connected to the internet, in the corner of my sitting room.)
  2. Be presented with a menu of the content that I have paid to have access to, and a menu of services or content that I might tempted to consume.
  3. Select some content, pay for it, and watch it.

For example, if I want to watch the Premier League football then in the UK, I would subscribe to Sky TV. As I don’t live in the UK, I can’t subscribe to Sky – because of complicated rights agreements and conventions. Effectively, a Cypriot broadcaster has purchased exclusive rights to the Premier League in Cyprus – so I should go and purchase a Cypriot system to watch English TV with graphics and commentary in Greek. In reality, I’m not a football fan, so I’m not bothered. However, I do enjoy cricket and golf. No Cypriot broadcaster is willing to pay for the rights to golf and cricket. Surely then, I should be able to pay Sky for access to those two sports?

“I’m afraid all Sports are bundled together, Sir.”
“That’s a pain, but never mind. I’ll pay the full fee, nobody here in Cyprus carries golf.”
“Cyprus? You can’t watch our TV in Cyprus, sir.”
“Why not?”
“Football rights.”
“But I don’t want to watch football.”

This type of story is repeated across multiple services. I’m not allowed to watch the BBC outside the UK. Even though I still pay the licence fee that funds the BBC.

There are ways around these restrictions. One can use a VPN to trick these companies into allowing you to pay them – or one can subscribe to third-party services who provide this content through means unspecified.

In effect, the content providers themselves have created the market for piracy of their own content.

The world’s gone mad.