Some products are made by engineers. They come up with a new tool, device, or bit of software to get stuff done. Other products are the creation of marketing, where some non-engineers identify some vulnerable demographic and work to serveIn this case “serve” is the word marketing people use instead of “exploit”. it. Engineer-designed things are not always great and marketing-designed things are not always horrible, but in my experience most of the really cringe-worthy inventions come from marketing types.
This image made the rounds on Reddit and Imgur a couple of weeks ago, and I just had to share. It’s a great example of a product designed by marketing:
If you had a photograph of Vanilla Ice drinking a New York seltzer and watching Clueless on a VCR he rented at Blockbuster, then:
- That photo would STILL not be as overwhelmingly 90’s as the 4D+ Mouse.
- You should destroy that picture and wash your hands.
Let’s go over this image:
Cruise the Net faster with 2 wheels
This is very much a product of the 90’s, which means that most people were still using dial-up. At that time, the major limiting factor to surfing the web was bandwidth. A distant second was processor speed. Far, far below that would be things like screen resolution and contrast. I’m not sure how far down the list you’d have to go before “Mouse wheel throughput” showed up, but you’d need some pretty fine measuring equipment before you could even begin to quantify how much slowdown the average user experienced due to mouse wheel problems.
So the #1 claim at the top of the box is basically horseshit. And not clever horseshit. Not “it’s technically true in some edge cases” kind of horseshit. This is just brazenly preposterous nonsense. This is the equivalent of selling the Brooklyn Bridge to fresh immigrants.
Bonus points for making the graphic depict the wheels as wagon wheels for maximum awkwardness.
520 dpi 30% faster than any others
First off, they’re talking about DPI in terms of making something faster. That’s not correct. DPI makes a device more precise. But this was a really common way for people to refer to thingsBecause getting a higher DPI mouse made your mouse pointer move around the screen faster until your turned down the sensitivity., so I’ll allow it. I might hope that a product wouldn’t perpetuate inaccurate or misleading language right on the front of the box, but this is so minor compared to everything else wrong with this that I feel bad for bringing it upI feel bad in the same way that a higher DPI mouse will speed up your web browsing. Which is to say, “Not in any amount that can be measured, but you can’t prove it’s zero.”.
In any case, this claim is only slightly less implausible than the preceding one. Saying the device is “30% faster than any other” is basically claiming that no other mouse on the market could possibly deliver more than 364 DPI. That is… very not true.
Enhanced Dual Wheel Scrolling Mouse
Laying aside the obvious nonsense of a mouse “speeding up” your net usage, how could 2 wheels possibly be useful? I’d love to know what the second wheel does. Are they both for vertical scrolling? Was moving down a page really that arduous a task that the user needed to put 2 fingers into it? Or is one wheel for “zooming”? Or maybe some sort of “back / next” type navigation? Just… WHAT?
The most pressing question on my mind is “What does the other button do?”, and this box does not answer that question. Which makes me suspect that the answer is really unimpressive, and perhaps even scary.
Dynamic 4D Scrollware Included
Oh man, I’ll bet THAT was a joy to use. I know nothing about this device aside from the image above, but I’m willing to bet that installing the scrollware involved an overly elaborate installation wizard. I’m also willing to bet you wound up with another stupid useless icon in the system tray.
I wonder how the middle mouse button worked. Are the scrollwheels click-able? Do we end up with a left-middle button, a right-middle button, and a middle-middle button? Or do I need to move one of my fingers off of the wheels to use the middle button? What’s the intended position of the user’s hand for this contraption?
Designed for Windows®
This was already covered in the dark circle that lists all the supported versions of Windows, so it kind of feels like we’re padding out the feature list here.
100% Microsoft® wheel functionality
Editing question: Why is “wheel functionality” the only phrase that isn’t capitalized in this list?
Anyway, this bullet point is clearly redundant, so what we’ve got here is a four-item bullet list that only tells us two things.
Advanced 4D+ Mouse
I can’t even imagine a use for a “3D” mouse, much less a “4D mouse”. So I have no idea what navigating more than 4 dimensions could possibly mean or how a mouse could help me do it. I guess if you add the 2-dimension mouse movement to the two scroll wheels we do indeed get 4 axis of input. But this is still balderdash. Adding another contrast knob to my television doesn’t make it a “3D” television.
This is obviously a product designed to sell to the newbies fresh off the boat in internet-land. The massive surge in growth of personal computers led to a cottage industry of crap products aimed at making ridiculous claims to the uninformed. That market still exists, but it’s very small now and no longer a tantalizing target for companies where the marketers outnumber the engineers.
 In this case “serve” is the word marketing people use instead of “exploit”.
 Because getting a higher DPI mouse made your mouse pointer move around the screen faster until your turned down the sensitivity.
 I feel bad in the same way that a higher DPI mouse will speed up your web browsing. Which is to say, “Not in any amount that can be measured, but you can’t prove it’s zero.”
Skylines of the Future
Cities: Skylines is bound to have a sequel sooner or later. Where can this series go next, and what changes would I like to see?
Are Lootboxes Gambling?
Obviously they are. Right? Actually, is this another one of those sneaky hard-to-define things?
Resident Evil 4
Who is this imbecile and why is he wandering around Europe unsupervised?
Skyrim Thieves Guild
The Thieves Guild quest in Skyrim is a vortex of disjointed plot-holes, contrivances, and nonsense.
Another PC Golden Age?
Is it real? Is PC gaming returning to its former glory? Sort of. It's complicated.