20 tiny tech advances that would make 2014 awesome

13. Microwave boil over alerts

When stuff starts bubbling over and making a mess of the special dish thing, have a sensor lower the power. It can't be hard for a sensor to detect the hard outline of the brim of a plate or bowl (or mug if you're a single man), then detect cheese/custard or any other soft, organic matter coming over the top of it? A Raspberry Pi and a webcam could do that.

14. OK Google, stop second guessing


Actually, it was Grandad - screw you!

Very rarely, Google's auto-complete search works. But even then, it feels like an insult. It's like Google is saying: "Predictable old you, eh? I knew you were searching for the 12-inch extended remix of the Grandstand theme music as soon as you typed 'Grandst' so here you go! Try to think of something original next time you open me up, you boring idiot, or I'll uninstall myself and you'll be back to using Internet Explorer."

It probably isn't saying that and we're getting a bit paranoid and manic from all the coffee again, but it could be. The computer might be laughing at us.

15. Phoning people while browsing contacts

There ought to be an "are you sure?" confirmation dialogue box that pops up before making a voice call to people, as the main way we've initiated contact with old friends, colleagues, parents etc over the years is by pressing their name to read their contact information, only to find this automatically triggers a voice call dial in most Android models. Panic then ensues, especially when using some Android skins, where the quickest and most reliable way to hang up is pull the battery out.

16. Remote browser close and history wipe


We need our web use to be wipe clean

For those moments when you start to wonder if you left your home PC browser open with the last thing you were looking at last night. Some sort of "Text ACTIVATE PANIC MODE to 55689 to definitely close the browser and delete all history" sort of thing should be easy for Google to do via its clouds.

17. Rebooting when swapping SIM

We don't have to switch the telly off and on again when going from BBC2 to BBC4, so why are phones so stressed about us swapping SIM cards? It's so you can send everything to GCHQ, isn't it? We know. We read the forums.

18. Networks stopping you going over data limits


Thanks for nothing, network

Oh, thanks. We hit my 500mb data download limit this month, but you let our phone carry on automatically caching loads of music anyway and now we have a massive bill? How about the mobile networks instantly stop data connections when limits are hit? Send us a text about it, let us choose to go on if it's a data emergency, otherwise chop it off. Tell us, don't be so grabbing. We shouldn't have to constantly watch our phone's data consumption out of terror of being charged.

19. Fix passwords and captchas

We wouldn't be so slack about security if it wasn't such a monumental pain logging in to things. And signing up for new things is enough to put you off registering with the site or service in the first place. Surely there's a way we can sign in by simply waving our uniquely identifiable genitals at a webcam? They all look different, we've seen lots of photos on the internet.

20. Eight plug sockets per room, please

You won't believe this, but in some houses there are rooms that have just ONE plug socket in them. Imagine living like that. Imagine the hell and the misery, not to mention the mess of dangerously overloaded and daisy-chained extension leads. Should you want a telly, two games consoles and a set-top box in one corner, that's four sockets gone already, so what gets sacrificed when the wife wants to plug a new lamp in? Your marriage, that's what. Sort it out, builders. All new homes must have six to eight plug sockets in every corner.