April 28, 2016, 2:23 p.m.

The New Siri Remote...

...sucks so hard I could have mistaken it for a celestial black hole. I am not sure who designed it; this is clearly an example of form follows function, but with no regard for real life "function". In theory - be that on a piece of paper, white board, CAD application - whatever they used to design it, it clearly was the end of the road for the design assessment process. I cannot fathom how a company that has more money than <replace with any deity you fancy> can make a blunder as big as this hateful remote.

I ran out as quickly as my gingerbread legs could carry me to purchase one when it was first released, as I loved the concept of a trackpad to swipe as that is what you tend to do most with the Apple remote. I loved it unconditionally like those overeager designers back in Cupertino. The first few minutes of use was glorious - I loved it.

Unfortunately the remote became an anagram for "spouse" (don't think too hard about the technical accuracy of that statement): You don't have one. Then one day you see it in front of you, beautiful, elegant, throbbing with potential. You fall madly in love with its picture. You spend lots of money to get it, concluding the marriage, and throwing out the old one (that worked well mind you). The first night together is unforgettable. You caress the smooth surface, swiping up and down with excitement. You smile and she smiles back at you.

But the morning after is when things start to change. See, the previous night you had such a good time together that some things were left in a moderately unordered state. So that night when you decide you have a headache and do not want to play the caressing game again, but still want to touch it, you find that you are holding it upside down. And the caressing continues against your best efforts not to. Suddenly you have unintentionally moved things around and lost your place. The synergy is lost. Why did this happen? Because of poor use of symmetry. Usually symmetry is a beautiful concept to use in design. Except when it interferes with the function of the device. For me it is next to impossible in a dimly lit area such as my living room at night, to see which way I am holding the remote. The trackpad and bottom area are very close to identical. The buttons are symmetrical. I have no way by fondling it or glancing at it to know whether my palm is pressing against the trackpad or whether it is right side up. I cannot express how many times I have done this. It is the law of probability with Murphy mixed in - I'd hazard a guess that 80% of the time I grab it the wrong way round and made my Apple TV go temporarily insane.

If that was the only issue I would not have had written this post. What pushed me over the edge was the trackpad. Do not get me started on that alluring mousetrap. No, I do not have Alzheimer's. I have a looooooooooong list of movies on my computer. So to watch Terminator the only way I can get to it, is to scroll down. And down and down and down.... On the previous remote I could press the down arrow button and while holding it down, it would scroll faster and faster. No room for error - it scrolls down and quickly too. With the new remote I have to swipe. And swipe. Problem is, after the tenth swipe it is so easy to swipe slightly to the left or right, causing the UI to switch to one of the other tabs and resetting your cursor to A. So you have to start over... Just to get to R before it flicks to the side and you lose your place again. Just like a spouse... What worked that first night suddenly gets you nowhere.

Sure - with the latest update you can speak the name of a movie and it will jump to it, but that is not resolving the problem, it is a workaround at best. And Siri has a knack for not knowing wtf I am talking about.

I would have felt better knowing that some of those hundreds of billions of USD were used for something other than tax evasion.