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A third of US adults hate mobile phones. Yet, despite their loathing of this "must have" gadget they also admit that they just can't live without them either.

So says the eighth annual Lemelson-MIT Invention Index study, which charts people's attitudes towards gadgets and gizmos.

According to the latest study, a quarter of people said they despised alarm clocks while two in ten were turned-of by TV.

Other essential - yet unloved - inventions included razors, microwaves, coffee pots, computers and vacuum cleaners.

Said Stefan Marti of MIT: "Most people dislike cell phones because they either feel tethered to them or they are annoyed by others who use them in inappropriate public places, such as restaurants or movie theatres."

That's why Marti and his colleagues are, as he puts it, "exploring ways to give these devices human-style social intelligence, which means that they would know what we as owners expect them to do, and especially what not to do, without our having to tell them explicitly every time."

If you say so. ®

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