I've been thinking about some of the things in IT that really annoy me, and as it is Christmas, I've compiled a (very brief) wish list of things I'd like to see fixed. What would be on your wish list?
Universal synchronisation standard for mobiles
There is an open standard for synchronisation called SyncML, maintained by the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA). However, Microsoft doesn't support this in either its Windows Mobile devices or its PC software, and any vendor that wants to support ActiveSync has to licence this from Microsoft.
The upshot of all this is that you often have little choice other than to use Outlook as your mail client in order to synchronise email, calendar and contact information with a mobile device. Alternatively, you could try and convince your firm to invest in a wireless mail server. Many companies already have these, of course, but only provide access to a select bunch of senior managers.
An 'Off' switch for Flash
Personally, I find Adobe's Flash to be a right royal pain in the posterior. The chief application for this software seems to be the creation of ever more intrusive adverts that pop up when you are surfing the web and obscure the very information you are trying to read.
I have deliberately refused to install the Flash plug-in for this reason, but a growing number of companies seem unable to build a web site unless it has an animated front-end written entirely in Flash, thus rendering it completely inaccessible to anyone without the plug-in.
Is it asking too much to expect Flash to have a control that lets users turn multimedia content on and off?
Microsoft has been promising users fewer reboots as far back as Windows 95, yet patches or updates almost always require a reboot. Not that this is all Microsoft's fault - one recent update to Adobe Reader downloaded four patches and required a reboot after every single one before it would proceed with the next. Will Windows Vista lead to fewer reboots? I wouldn’t bet on it.
Moon's dark side is mountainous, rugged and never visible from the Earth
The groundwater basins in some areas of Tehran have been damaged irreversibly
This is the first time that any spacecraft on Mars has recorded air vibrations on the planet
Arctic sea ice is thickening at a faster rate during winter, thus slowing down long-term decline: NASA
But, the seasonal ice growth could only delay the demise of the Arctic ice cap for a few more decades