Thursday, December 03, 2009

My Favorite New Technology of the 21st Century

This admittedly imprecise category covers technological advancements of a personal/consumer nature that developed or came of age since 2000. I use my faulty memory of my own awareness as the arbiter of whether something falls before or after the start of 21st century (see my disclaimer list after the real list). Websites are only included here if they introduced a new technology; My Favorite Websites will be a separate category.

1. Digital Cameras, particularly the Digital SLR - The original Digital Rebel, which I bought in early 2004, is still probably the best single piece of equipment I've ever owned.
2. iPod and mp3 Technology
3. Napster -> iTunes (and, not that I advocate it) - I'm in favor of artists getting paid for their music, but for me, Napster was like radio, allowing me to hear music before I decided to purchase it.
4. CD-R (computer-based CD burning) - The above 3 technologies have truly enabled me to discover, enjoy and share music in new ways
5. iPhone and its applications
6. Online Maps - How did I ever get anywhere before?
6a. Google Earth - An offshoot of online maps, but a whole lot of fun
7. HDTV - I can't say it's changed my life, but it sure is nice
8. YouTube - Willfully ignoring this violation of artists' rights, I love that Springsteen can play a show at night in London and the next morning I can see half the set online
9. Satellite Radio - Music with no commercials--including an all-Springsteen station that plays fan bootlegs--and Howard Stern with no censorship. My regular radios are virtually obsolete.
10. Wikipedia - Though cynics still poo-poo it, this user-created online reservoir of information has been proven to be largely accurate and has become my de facto source for learning more about just about anything.

Honorable Mention:
Tivo/DVR, TV on DVD, Guitar Hero, Text Messaging, Online Flight Check-in, Fotolia and other cheap stock photo sites, RedBox Video Rentals, Google Translate,, TV/Video On-Demand

I don't use these enough to make my list:
Twitter, NetFlix, Blu-Ray DVD

These precede the decade in origin and ubiquity but continue to be key technologies in my life:
Google (as a search engine), (hate the fees but buying tickets online has made life so much simpler), (and all online shopping), Ebay, Craigslist, Hotmail (and all web-based email), Travelocity/ (and all online travel planning although Orbitz, my favorite, didn't start until 2001)

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