(This is my 100th post on this blog!)
My friend Sare occasionally does "Thursday Thirteen" on her blog. So I thought I'd do "Thirteen things that would make life easier and better" in no particular order (or the order I think of them).
1) When I'm using the stopwatch on my iPhone, I don't want it to autolock after three minutes because often I'm timing things that last longer than three minutes.
2) There ought to be a way to wirelessly recharge your cell phone automatically. You walk into your house and even though the phone is still in your pocket, it recharges. Radio waves are energy so this energy could be used. I think Tesla had something like that for transmitting electricity. Of course you'd want to have it so it only recharged the phones in the house, not some random visitor (or a guy sitting at the curb in his car). So it could be secure like WiFi.
3) All cars should have solar panels on the roof to run a fan/cooling device so when you get in the car in the summer it's not a million degrees inside. A thermostat can make sure this doesn't happen when temps are below, say 45 degrees F. (Although my old Camaro heats up even in cool weather if the sun is shining.)
4) Police cars engaged in speed/traffic enforcement should all be that ugly green color some fire departments paint their trucks. Oh, and have a big flag on the top with a flashing light at the end. This is, of course, for their own safety.
5) All speed limits should be about 10 mph faster than they are now, except residential streets and school zones and maybe that road in Texas that's now at 80 mph.
6) DVRs should have a "catch up" feature where they play back the program at about 1.25 times normal speed, with sound, so you can catch up to live TV. This would be helpful if you come in late to a sporting event.
7) Movie theaters should offer a "trailer-less" showing at least once a day. Charge an extra buck for it. (Last movie I went to they had 20 minutes of trailers and ads!)
8) Movie theaters should charge more for opening nights of big films. This would reduce the number of people who want to see it on opening night and mean you don't have to wait in line for two hours to see a two hour movie. (That two hour wait in is a cost the buyer pays but the seller doesn't recover. It is an inefficiency in the economy.)
9) Amusement Parks should sell "Golden" passes that allow you to take a shorter line for the popular rides. They can charge more for this than regular admission. Some people would pay for this (I probably would). (Disney's free "Fast Pass" system is pretty good, maybe they could sell a "Always Fast Pass" admission.)
10) Restaurants that are popular yet don't take reservations (like many casual dining restaurants) should institute a policy that if the waiting time is more than 10 minutes, customers have to pay $1 per minute of wait time. This would increase the costs of waiting, perhaps making some people go somewhere else and thus reducing wait times ( doubt many people would shell out $40 to eat at Outback). It would also make a little money for the restaurant (see #8).
11) Airlines should auction off empty first-class seats to coach customers. They could set the minimum bid at the extra cost of serving a first-class customer. An empty first-class seat is revenue lost and selling it for even $20 (on top of the price of a coach ticket) might be better than having it empty. (Do you notice most of these are economic?)
12) We desperately need diet and exercise in a pill. The wealth the inventor would earn would make Bill Gates look poor.
13) Speaking of pills, why can't our pills come in liquid form, so they are easily swallowed. Might takes awful, but you could at least get them down without them dissolving on your tongue (and tasking awful in the process).
UPDATE: And 14) because I just thought of this: take a picture with your cell phone's camera of a written down or printed number (like on a business card) and then be able dial it, put it in contacts, etc. And addresses, be able to put in contacts or map/get directions to.
UPDATE 2: And emails on #14!
UPDATE 3: (I'm full of good ideas) The state should sell the right to park in handicap parking for, oh, $1,000 a year. Some people would pay it and it would be revenue for the state. The downside is, they might then require more handicap spaces to be empty in parking lots (because, usually most of them are).