Just about everywhere you look on the Internet, in newspapers and magazines, and even on TV, you'll see new and innovative products being showered with accolades and awards. As a former lab director at Ziff Davis, I was a part of the testing and reviews engine that hoisted great products onto the pedestal while raking the poorly done ones through the coals. But through it all, it was easy to lose sight of the bigger picture and where, overall, technology was not only failing us but doing so inexcusably.
How do I define "inexcusable?" Inexcusable failures are the ones where we continue to pay a severe penalty in productivity for everyday tasks while the end game (how it should work) is obvious but the path to it is obstructed for reasons that have nothing to do with science. In other words, when you look at all the problems that have so far been solved by technology, it's appalling that some of these simpler issues have yet to be ridden from our lives. I say this knowing that somewhere, these problems are being solved by some solutions provider. Invariably, in response to complaints about one problem or another, I'll get e-mails from vendors who say "We solve that problem" or from the Apple faithful who scream "Get a Mac!" But for one or two companies to have solved the problem isn't good enough. These problems are so blatantly killing the productivity of thousands of people that there's no excuse for them to not have been universally addressed.
When you see my list (which isn't yet up to