George Ou takes a nice well-deserved jab at the wireless LAN industry and several companies in general in his article Why is no one suing the Wireless LAN industry?
You can read the article for yourself, and I whole-heartedly agree. I've avoided a lot of the wireless gadgets simply because the range and speeds they claim to be possible are near impossible to achieve.
But this issue goes even further, if you ask me. I almost began a rant about 2 months ago entitled, "Why do some companies get away with fraud?" ... but ultimately I ditched the effort as it became too much of a bitch session. So maybe my laziness of deciding NOT to bitch about it is why these companies get away with fraud: people let them get away with it. To be fair, what are people supposed to do? Find enough people, band together, and hire an attorney to file a class action suit?
Life is only so long. After going through all the effort, people took on Apple and ultimately won, claiming the battery life of their iPods was substantially less than what Apple claimed. Apple still only reimbursed iPod owners $50 in cases where the consumer had sent in their iPod for repair, which cost them $100. (Read that story here: Apple to offer $50 credit in iPod suit
So what about hard drives? I love how all companies out there use base-10 when advertising the capacity on their drives, while most operating systems use a base-2 formula. I'll dispense with the 8 bits to a byte, 1KB= 1024 bytes, not 1000 bytes, etc. The simple fact is, if I buy an 80GB hard drive, it should contain not 80,000,000 bytes, but closer to 85,900,000 bytes. But no, format that drive and you'll see a capacity of 74 GB.
It's just assumed in today's world that actual storage capacity will differ (err, be lower) than the advertised number. I understand why companies would do this: you want to keep up with what the competition is doing. I love their stance, though: "We're adhering to industry-set NIST standards." Convenient.
How about computer monitors? How many times have we seen something like: 19" CRT (17.9" viewable)? Wouldn't all I care about is the viewable area? Fortunately LCDs have improved on this scam.
Anyway, that's it for this rant. :)