They envision this Utopian society where everyone is able to use a computer as well as somebody who spends every waking minute using a computer
An interesting point, and yes, I'd say this is overdone (more so in the past year or so than today, I'd say, but still... people think ubiquitous computing, computers in our bodies, computers for everyone! An interesting aside: recently at a conference, Bill Gates expressed his views on the issue: "Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, offering the closing remarks Wednesday at a three-day business conference, said itís more important to spread health than technology. ... he said itís too narrow-minded to focus only on computers. He lamented that 95 percent of health care spending is spent in the developed world, and called it criminal that so little money is being devoted to ending malaria."
It offends me that online stores such as Amazon.com and Yahoo, will store my preferences and present me with what they think I want, or present me with the choices others have made based on the fact that they purchased the same book as myself
Does it offend you if Bob the waiter knows that you like a Rum and Coke with your dinner? Does it offend you that Ronny the Butcher knows you always like to pick up lamb chops whenever you stop by? I find such knowledge useful and convenient... then again, I'm a (terrible) creature of habit. At school a couple friends and I went to this one restaurant about once a week, always had the same waitress. We always each had our "regular," and the waitress would bring us our drinks when we arrived (those were standard too), say, "The regulars?", we'd nod, and that was that. :-)
How much simplier can they make AOL and Yahoo for the common person? I think they are extremely simple as they are
Right, they are simple for people with little to no computer skills. You know so much about computers because you work on them for a living. Get off your high horse! :-) Have you ever thought just how damn easy it is to use and maintain a car? I guess auto mechanics may sit back at www.auto5hin.org, or wherever they all go, and say, "Man, could they make cars any easier to use? Stupid morons like to think they know how to drive a car and that they are good at it, but little do they realize how dumbed down these modern contraptions are."
Speaking of those dummies-level books, my favorite has to be: Sams Teach Yourself the Internet in 10 Minutes. Tee hee! Could you see one of these "gimmie" people sitting around saying, "Hey, I've heard 'bout the Internet. Guess I can afford 10 minutes to learn it all." :-) (They also have Sams Teach Yourself SQL in 10 Minutes! Granted, it has 29 5-star reviews on Amazon, but come on, SQL... in 10 minutes!? I spent many months on it before I felt I had a firm grasp, and there are some of the more complex query options still elude me...)
Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.