5 Tech Trends That Are Dying

It’s a shame the world might end in 2012, because technology is on its way down a lovely path of evolution; any day now, we’ll be flying around deep space nine and setting up alien interment camps.  In the nearer future, we foresee certain technologies fading out by next year as the latest batch of “wow-shiny-touchy-easy” technology sweeps the board.  Here are five tech trends you should hope you didn’t spend money on, because something better is coming out tomorrow:

1.  Netbooks. With products like Sony’s OQO already in existence, plus the incredible amount of versatility now common to all new cell phones, Netbooks will go the way of the Furby.  Why carry an entire book when you can carry just a page?  Touch-screen handhelds are, to a degree, replacing the casual computer user’s experience.  Website, email, Facebook, Photoshop, games:  all available on smaller, simpler devices.  For those who still require a fully-powered computing experience, be it for work or pleasure, the choice of a Netbook in comparison to a laptop or desktop would be silly given the specs on most Netbooks, which generally can’t handle resource or graphic intensive programs.

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2.  DVDs and players.  Tangible media in general, in fact, is quickly being anachronistic in this digital file world.  Collectors and geriatrics aside, most technology-savvy people have graduated to forms of media that don’t require buffing (just buffering) before use.  Netflix, iTunes, piracy, and a variety of other sources have rendered the need for physical media–let alone a player–one of the past.  This isn’t to say everyone will being throwing out their DVDs and players, but sales should see a decline as easier, faster methods of accessing one’s favorite title across any platform takes hold.  Bottom line:  your iPhone doesn’t have a DVD slot.

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3.  Gaming with controllers.  Okay, maybe not quite by 2011, especially with the trend of systems/titles/features getting pushed back for relase, but we’re on the way to virtual reality.  After the Kinect, who’s going to want to hold a controller to gun down zombies?  Or a balance board to exercise?  Or a real friend with which to interact when you’re having so much fun with Milo?  Immersing the player in the game, truly doing so without the use of any wires or harnesses, is a monumental step in video game design.  Holodecks and warp drives, kids.  Coming soon.

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4.  Petroleum fuels.  BP kind of ruined that one for everyone–really picked up where the war left off on our desire to break away from foreign-oil dependence.  Electric cars are looking awfully nice in comparison to the dead animals washing up on our Gulf shores.  Maybe this is just wishful thinking, but we hear hemp oil is a pretty nifty resource…

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5.  Calling cards.  Remember when your grandmother would send prepaid long distance cards to you in college so you would be forced to call and thank her?  Skype has eliminated the need for a way around your long distance charges.  If they weren’t dead already, the last of them should die off by the end of the year.  If not, please intercept anyone purchasing one to explain about the wonders of the internet.

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