Annoying online for fun and profit

“It’s the little things,” said Farmer Jones, as his cornfield was being eaten by a swarm of tiny beetles, “that can really tick you off.”

I know that feeling. Tiny obstacles standing in the way of my finding what I want on the computer really flame out my emotional circuitry these days. First you had pop-ups, the annoying little advertisements that sell products on the principle that if something is irritating enough you will certainly remember it. This computer I am using can block most pop-ups.

But plenty other fuel online exists to burn down the old dwelling your mental health calls home. For instance, some news I might want in an instant from some Web site will require registration. And even if I am registered on that Web site it is no guarantee that I will get to see what I am looking for before the next millennium. One set of newspapers and television stations I visit online sometimes supposedly have one login, or registration, that fits all. It must work on some other planet than ours.

I was trying to read a story on the main page of a little while ago and my vision was intruded upon by the site of giant laser printers dancing across the screen in an ad. Fortunately, it was a silent invasion and was not accompanied by some obnoxious exploding sounds or rumbling that may also attack your senses on some sites. You know, sometimes you just want to use the computer and not have a miniature audio earthquake from Surround Sound in your room.

Most likely some software either is developed or will soon be made to soothe these online wounds that rip my saneness into confeti. That is great, would be great, could be great and on and on. But instead of using the power of computing and the Internet to annoy and advertise, why can’t it be used for the good of mankind? For instance, why not have computer hardware and software that, when I click on it, will make me a sandwich right then and there? Click to choose whether you want French’s mustard, Grey Poupon, or horseradish. Rye, wheat, sourdough, white, Italian bread. Click. Pastrami, bologna, ham, turkey, chicken, roast beef, buffalo, veggie patty. Click. Cheeses. Yes, and cheeses too.

I know such technology would be for the good of this man-kind. It would right at this particular moment, at least. Oh no! I hear that rumbling going on again. What is that annoying sound? Is it some movie trailer? Oh, sorry. It’s just my stomach. Or is it my brain?

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