Roundup of doomed technologies

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Cracked counts MP3 players, DVDs and daily newspapers in its salon of technology’s walking dead. Click through for it’s top choice: it’s something readers of our recent feature, Perfectly Pure Gadgets, may well recall. They clearly adopted the same wide interpretation of “technology” that we did!

Zombie Technologies [Cracked]

About Rob Beschizza

Rob Beschizza is the Managing Editor of Boing Boing. He's @beschizza on Twitter and can be found on Facebook too. Email is dead, but you can try your luck at besc...@gmail.com
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9 Responses to Roundup of doomed technologies

  1. Tommy says:

    @IANM: “Old people (ie. 35ish +)”

    Hey, I’m 42! And I’m online all the damn time! I have CDs that I’ve never actually listened to directly. Just ripped them immediately. My car stereo even has a USB port.

    I do buy actual magazines mainly because the Eee is up on the bedstand and I don’t want to run upstairs to fetch it every time I head to the bathroom for some quality reading time.

    On the other hand, I find FaceBook utterly worthless to me.

    (And I hacked my first computer system before you were born, punk!)

  2. RedShirt77 says:

    OK so I was just cursing the phone books that rot on my steps every year for months before someone decides to haul the whole buildings worth back to the dumpster.

    But I find the death of physical medium sorta frightening. To never be able to loan someone a movie again, or to have to haul my xbox hard drive around like a mink vase that if I pack poorly enough will become the equivalent of scratching every video,memory card, game blueray, and dvd I own all at the same time.

    Once the future is here I can see hard drive failure related suicides going through the roof.

    And yes I imagine the day when all my personal possessions and most valued memories are safely on some redundant server somewhere, I just hope I never go broke and can’t pay my monthly rate and have my account deleted.

    It’s a brave new world where I can imagine I will go to more plays…

  3. Rob Beschizza says:

    Hard drive failure suicide — a great name for a punk pank!

  4. ROSSINDETROIT says:

    Hey, I’m 49. I use various online marketplaces to sell extremely obsolete technology like American made vacuum tubes to people in Southeast Asian technology centers. It’s so strange that I try not to think about it too much.

    DVDs exist because people like us don’t necessarily want to don an eyepatch and peg leg to acquire movies, but would rather stroll up to the library with the dog and borrow them.
    Also, most streamed and downloaded video formats are compressed. This is fine for you, the person poised to respond that “it doesn’t matter”, but there are things some of us would prefer to see with fidelity closer to the original source.

    Most old technology never really goes away. It finds a permanent marginal niche. Digital downloads will no more replace physical media than quartz watches replaced mechanical ones or CDs made vinyl records go away.

    The view that the newest gadget represents a revolutionary change instantly obsoleting preceding technologies is just narrow minded.

  5. RedShirt77 says:

    “Hard drive failure suicide — a great name for a punk pank!”

    Thx, I am still trying to figure out what a mink vase is.

  6. RedShirt77 says:

    “The view that the newest gadget represents a revolutionary change instantly obsoleting preceding technologies is just narrow minded.”

    Indeed, and the idea that corporations are developing tomorrows technology to make a better product is silly. They are creating tomorrows technology so they can increase their profits, and if they can convince you to enjoy lower quality that is convenient, then they will. And if they can better track everyone’s spending trends so they can sell you garbage, they will.

    I am only 30, but I am clinging to my cash until federal laws dictate who can and can’t track my purchasing.

  7. nprnncbl says:

    #4 ianm: life-griping

    I’ll say!

    And for any old geezer that doesn’t like a new technology, there’s probably a young whippersnapper who’s unwilling to consider why the old technology may in some way be superior.

    (And wow, I realize I’m no longer young, but now I’m old people.)

  8. ianm says:

    The answer to almost every item on that list to “Why are they still around?” is OLD PEOPLE.

    Old people (ie. 35ish +) do not think like the author of that article, or us; they see electronic media as a vast, unknown landscape that comes in handy to occasionally buy plane tickets and write the odd email but cannot fathom its life-griping hold it has on the rest of us. If a situation arises that the requires an address, phone number, plumber, restaurant etc. almost all of these elderly people will instinctively reach for a phone book – whereas all the rest of us will chuckle as they manually search for something google retrieved for us 30 seconds ago. (Being 30 myself I am not throwing stones without regard, I just happen to deal with the public seeking tech support and see their infuriating habits and incompetences reaffirmed hourly.)

    The ‘momentum’ described in the article is not strictly sales and marketing – its old, obsolete, stubborn persons who have no idea that other options exist. VCRs remain vital to a good segment of the population – ‘sorry, you’re VCR may just not work in this setup’, ‘then how can i possibly watch my shows if I can’t tape them?!’ – (in my head) ‘I don’t know, maybe the whole fucking internet!?!’

    Point being, people are incompetent and lazy – old technology will continue to stumble along until they literally die out like proverbial t-rex or cling to their paleolithic tech eschewing any alternate advances.

  9. ianm says:

    addendum (re: magazines)

    I go out of my way to acquire physical copies (at an outrageous cover price) of The Economist, even though I can pirate a digital copy at least 8 days earlier than a physical copy is delivered to my far flung city (recall The Economist is a weekly publication, so a minimum 8 day turn around on a new copy makes it instantly useless; way to go local retailers/international distributors).

    But I do choose to acquire the physical version because its physicality remains a feature that is not easily transmissible to a digital setting. Its a long (100+ pages, composed of many short/medium articles), quality, time-sensitive publication that is a joy to have in my bag to whip out for 5 minute reading sessions. Its like a DS for academic nerds.

    So I would certainly agree that magazines are a hugely wasteful and outdated phenomenon – quality publications are not. A timely home printout of the pirated PDF, for me, is still less value than the delayed colour print edition of The Economist because of its versatility of use and the value of its content. Few other publications fill that niche for too few people, but the industry continues to limp along due to ad revenue benefiting very only a small number of people in the process.

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