The times, they keep changing and evolving. When haven’t they been? But change isn’t always good. Good technologies and products usually survive; poor ones usually go extinct. But not all of the technologies and tech products that have swirled down the drain of the tech gene pool deserved their fate. Here are some such tech items we have missed or going to miss forever…
Sure, we’ll still have portable devices that can play MP3s, but a few years from now they’ll all be cell phones. Even the once-mighty iPod is no longer a growth product for Apple; in fact, iPod sales are now declining in double-digit percentages. It probably won’t be long before Apple gives up on the thing, what with the far fatter profit margin that the iPhone offers, but consumers will lose out in the bargain. After all, wouldn’t it be nice to listen to a song or two without having to pay 50 bucks a month?
This is the one that started it all: The peer-to-peer network let you share your music collection with anybody in the world, and more importantly, get all the world’s music tracks downloaded to your computer. The only problem: Sharing digital assets this way was decreed to be illegal, which was not helped by the fact that on the original Napster, you couldn’t pay for music even if you wanted to. Napster was summarily shut down by the authorities. The brand has since been resurrected as a paid music site. It’s not the same.
No I am not kidding Try to buy communications equipment today–it’s all wireless. Wireless networks, cellular phones, Bluetooth headsets. We say, bring back wires. Wired communications are faster, cheaper, and less prone to interference and don’t need batteries. Want to make a clear phone call? Pick up an ordinary telephone with a good old coiled handset cord. Want really fast networking? Use wired Ethernet for a gigabit a second. We like portability, but our lust for cord-free technology has gone too far.
Suppose that you need to install some software on several computers. You could download a copy from an FTP site, copy it to a thumb drive, and then carry that thumb drive from one computer to another, pausing at each waystation for drivers to install and for Windows to recognize the thing. Or you could grab a labeled, archivable application CD, pop it into each computer’s optical drive, and handle the task that way (assuming that they have such a drive). And don’t get us started on the agony of trying to watch a movie on your laptop without having a drive on your laptop.
Many of us thought that one day, when we were millionaires, we’d take a jaunt around the world on the supersonic jet. If you’re still waiting for fortune to knock on your door, you’re too late: the Concorde stopped flying in 2003, victim of economic factors and the aftermath of its only fatal crash. It’s ironic that as aeronautical technology has moved ever forward, the only supersonic aircraft the public could fly on has been retired. Now all of us, rich and poor alike, have to obey the pedestrian speed limit of sound.
Your phone has a camera, a GPS device, a compass, voice control, a stock market tracker, a weather center, a calculator, a music player, video game controls, an e-mail management system, a Web browser, an instant messaging client, a restaurant review navigator, a Twitter feed, Facebook, an e-book reader, a happy-hour locator, a virtual DJ, and a sushi identification system. That’s all great. But once in a while, we’d just like to make a phone call. Did you know Nokia has sold 600 millions of handsets, each good for nothing more than making phone calls.
From the over-the-top marketing campaigns to the soothing default backgrounds to the dulcet startup sounds, what’s not to like about Microsoft Windows? Again, don’t answer that. But mock it all you want, Windows has served lots of people reasonably well over the years. Now the twilight of the OS is approaching, as the cloud consumes more and more of what we used to need our computers to do (explainer: Cloud Computing). From Webmail to hosted apps, online conveniences have rendered full-fledged computers unnecessary for many former users, who can get by with a Linux netbook or a Mac. We’ll miss it one day most of all
We hasten to say: MySpace is horrible. We certainly won’t miss the gaudy wasteland that fills 99 percent of MySpace space. Rather, we’re going to miss the original idea underlying this social network–of a place where in theory you might go to find out where your favorite band is playing, listen to their latest tracks, hear a comic try out a few new jokes, and maybe keep in touch with your friends. Instead, MySpace has become a useless (and dying) magnet for spammers, clueless preteens, and attention addicts, none of whom seem to be in on the joke.
Every horror movie fan knows the drill: When things get dire, there’s no cell phone signal; or if there is, the battery dies within a couple of minutes or Cell Phone Battery Explodes in the Night. If only FBI could come up with a system of publicly accessible telephones that accepted pocket change and let citizens make calls from any street corner in any country. Alas, the telephone companies have largely dismantled the country’s pay-phone system, though you may still find a few phones in an airport or railway station. Worst of all, the remaining pay-phone stations sit idle and ignored. Whatever happened to turning old phone kiosks into Wi-Fi hotspots idea ?
Manned space exploration
It’s been 33 years since humans have set foot on the moon or journeyed beyond the close orbit of the Earth. In other words, we’ve stopped exploring. Sure, robotic spaceships and Mars rovers are adding to our knowledge of the universe, but the last people to explore the final frontier are past retirement age–and so are the engineers who put them there. In other words, next time we go into space, we’re going to have to retrain people from scratch. There may be no firsthand knowledge of what it’s like to be in space or to build a space vehicle. This is progress? Hahaha, I laugh all the times when scientists say we have 70% of our earth un-explored, than what the hell are these scientists wasting known earth resources in finding un-discovered planets, first find what’s un-discovered on earth…
So finally there you are, pouring your soul out to your best friend over a cocktail, and just when you hit the meat of your story, he reaches into his pocket, pulls out his cell phone, and starts looking through his text messages and e-mail. Sure, he’s nodding along while you relate your tragic tale…but is he really listening or just arranging a hook-up for later. Being connected by technology means never being out of touch with anyone else…and the rise of texting makes simultaneously carrying on multiple conversations less obvious than it would be via voice. That doesn’t make it right of course, but…hey, you can keep talking while I check this message. You see all these people on the road hanging to there mobile and gadgets all the time, everytime, I too love tech, but before that – there is more beautiful things to see and be heard, so the next time you hang out with your close friends and family give the technology some rest and have a Great Time !!