Sunday, December 20, 2009

Top “things” that became obsolete in the 'Noughties' decade

Everyone expects that new technologies and products replace old products, and can radically shift the way we do things. That’s why, as the decade ends, we should take a look at the ‘things’ that have become obsolete in the decade referred to as the ‘Noughties’.

Photo Film: Digital cameras stole the show. It made sense. No film cost, the ability to download or upload photos instantly, and possibility to print photos if needed (a diminishing need at the moment). Kodak re-invented itself as a digi-cam and battery production company.

Music CDs: The CD killed vinyl records in the 90s, and MP3 music players and Internet distribution has almost completely killed CDs in the second half of this decade. The drop is CD sales, year-on-year is alarming.

Music & video stores: Next up, and already becoming obsolete in Europe and the US, are music shops. Video stores have also suffered due to online services like Netflix, coupled with high-speed broadband. These outlets are not quite obsolete yet, but this decade wiped out the need to leave your home for music or movies.

Public phones, fax machines and land-lines: Clearly, 100% of the adult population carrying a phone in their pocket, nobody needs the public phone booth anymore. And, email has managed to almost completely kill the fax machine. Land-lines are suffering the double effect of mobile phone penetration, and voice-over-IP. Free international calling at home or the office probably means you can soon disconnect your phone!

Maps, phone books, dictionaries, encyclopedias: These ‘data sources’ were indispensable in year 2000. Do you actually still use any of them now? Never heard of Wikipedia, electronic directories or GPS? Have you been in a cave for ten years?

Postal services (mail): Only old-fashioned banks and government institutions still insist on printing and mailing your statements or bills. But, in reality. The post office box is already abandoned by almost everyone. In more advanced nations, you get these ‘documents’ by email. Maybe someone needs to remind people in our region that it’s the age of the Internet.

Lying just outside this list, and currently ‘almost obsolete’ are newspapers, magazines and print media in general.

If there’s one bet I am willing to make, it’s that a review of the decade in 2019 will put ‘paper’ on top of the list. If we’re all still here, we’ll see for ourselves!


At 11:40 PM , Anonymous Qwaider قويدر said...

Agree with almost everything you said, with the exception of post office. These places continue to be gold mines. Perhaps in the future they will evolve to an automated delivery clearing house. But I doubt anyone is going to download his newly purchased digital camera over his internet connection (at least not anytime soon)

At 10:48 AM , Blogger MommaBean said...

I'll take issue with dictionaries. While I most often use an on-line dictionary (and I do use the dictionary not one of the sites you mentioned), at least half a dozen times this year, I've consulted the old trusty paper version. Oh, and I don't particularly trust Wikipedia when it matters, only when it doesn't :). But that's just me.

Other than that, interesting list.

At 10:57 AM , Blogger Zeid Nasser said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 10:59 AM , Blogger Zeid Nasser said...

Thanks for your thoughtful comments. I probably missed the point of e-shopping products delivery through the post office. So, the Internet era may even create a new lease of life for post offices.
As for dictionaries, you are right about some info on Wikipedia being 'questionable' but there are well-known and rigorous encyclopedia's that are now online. They're not 'collaborative efforts' or 'real-time' in updates; they're the old school in an electronic format.

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