Top 10 tech irritations

This stuff should work by now! TechRadar takes some common technology to task

And it's not just the ringtones themselves, it's the TV adverts for ringtones. Why would you want to sign up for a ringtone service that costs you £4.50 a week!? That's more than a basic Sky subscription.

9. Wires

At CES in January, an array of wireless technologies promised to banish the HDMI, SCART, composite, speaker and USB cables currently cluttering up our homes.

The 802.11 wireless standard is already pushing Ethernet to the cliff-edge, although it is making a fightback thanks to easy Powerline networking products that route data through your home's electric wiring. We're still waiting for a fully ratified 802.11n standard. And have been for some time.

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But what about short-range wireless? We've been promised Ultra Wideband (UWB) and Wireless USB, designed to squirt data wirelessly at 480Mbps at distances under 3 metres. Then there's Wireless HD and Wireless HDMI.

They sound similar to UWB, but operate in the 60GHz band and can achieve gigabit data speeds. Then there's NFC and TransferJet, and good ol' Bluetooth. The technology is impressive. But where is it? Why do I still have a tangle of wires behind my TV?

10. Blu-ray

Like VHS before it, Blu-ray won its format war despite being the lesser of the two competitors. That's right, the WORST product won. Blu-ray might have bested its rival in terms of storage capacity, but every HD DVD player boasted persistent memory and an Ethernet port as standard. So HD DVD decks could be upgraded over the Internet and ultimately access the Internet-only extras that came on some discs.

The first HD DVD discs were also of a better quality than Blu-ray's BD-ROMs; while HD DVD's interactive HDi software was more robust and easier to program for than Blu-ray's BD-Java. Crucially, because HD DVD shared some of the technologies present in DVD, players and discs could be cheaply mass-produced.

HD DVD had superior technology and pricing on its side, but it still lost the format war. It's almost unthinkable that a great technology could be rendered obsolete in this way. But then again, the tech landscape is littered with casualties that failed to inspire shoppers – TiVo, Psion PDAs, Laserdisc, MiniDisc, Sega's Dreamcast, the Acorn Archimedes to name but a few.

(Things that didn't make this list: why UFOs only appear to people with rubbish cameras; sneaky electric cars (you just can't hear them coming); international roaming charges; why the UK gets most of the good technology last and has to pay almost double for it; Top 10 lists; printer jams; why we ever believed there would be a paperless office; and the UK government's inability to keep our data safe and secure.)