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The 8 worst things about the web

There's plenty in Web 2.0 that's archaic and annoying

The web has evolved but we still see sites pulling the same obnoxious stunts that annoyed us in 1994. Here are our 8 biggest annoyances about the net.

Technology advances at break-neck speed. So you'd think that any annoyances we had with the web in its early days would be long-gone now.

While many have been removed, there's still plenty in Web 2.0 that's archaic - and annoying. Here's the 8 things about the net that annoy us most.

1. Misleading links in downloads sites

If I visit a downloads site, it's safe to say I'm there because I want to download something. I understand that bandwidth isn't free, so I'm more than happy to indulge whatever obnoxious full-screen Flash ads the site throws at me. Where I draw the line is at serving ads that consist of nothing but a big 'Download Here' button. That's just cheating.

A typical trip through MegaUpload looks like this: I click the download link, and it takes me to a splash page with a screen-shattering ad. I hover over the blue 'Download' button in the middle for second. "Aha," I say to myself, "That's an ad. No click for you." I proceed to click the orange 'Download File' button.

Oops - I forgot to enter the CAPTCHA code. Let's try that again. Hey, that's the name of the file I want. I'll click the big 'Download' button, and...no...that said 'Premium download', didn't it? I'm not gonna pay £8.80 for your stupid monthly subscription, MegaUpload. I'll just click 'Back'. Now where's that download link? Ah, there - it says 'Download link' right above the 'Premium download' button. Click.

Now I'm back at the first page, because I was foolish enough to think that the 'Download link' was actually a download link. CAPTCHA, 'Download File', click. Oh, right: I have to wait 45 seconds to download this stupid file. I don't even remember what I'm downloading now.

2. Embedded-video headaches

At time of writing, YouTube is a little more than five years old. That's half a decade we've had to make embedding YouTube videos less of a pain. For starters, let's make it so that whenever I put a YouTube URL in a forum post, email, tweet, or any other text box, it shows up as a video, just as it does in Gmail Chat.

No all-encompassing rules govern how different sites and services handle the full embed codes. Some sites convert a URL to an embedded video, other sites render the embed codes correctly, some sites display the code as text, and other sites don't let you post any code at all. You're unlikely to know what the rules of the game are until after you try to post a clip.

If I absolutely have to copy and paste the embed code, don't make me guess which tags I need to keep and which tags I need to leave for the video to show up correctly.

  1. Archaic and annoying
  2. Third-party cookies
  3. Suggested friends/Twitter accounts to follow
  4. Autoplay audio and video

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