Messages such as “HTTP 404 – File not found”, which appears when a web page is unavailable, and “invalid credit card number” on e-commerce sites, make people feel stupid when they have not done anything wrong. This scares them away from exploiting computers to their full potential, he says.
But Jonathan Klein, who builds robotic toys at iRobot in Sommerville, Massachusetts, warns that any apology will eventually cease to sound sincere if it is repeated too often. —Celeste Biever
Beware — annoying popups.