USA TODAY recently came out with their top 25 “Life Changing” gadgets, services, and inventions since 1982. Here is their list in their order of importance.
4. Debit cards
5. Caller ID
7. Lithium rechargeable batteries
9. Pay at the pump
10. Lettuce in a bag
11. Digital cameras
12. Doppler radar
13. Flat-panel TV’s
14. Electronic tolls
16. Microwave popcorn
17. High tech footwear
18. Online stock trading
19. Big Bertha golf clubs
20. Disposable contact lenses
24. Home satellite TV
Now this list and the order of importance is insane. How could Lettuce in a bag POSSIBLY finish behind laptops?? And yes, Tivo has revolutionized the way we watch television, changing the structure of network television which has a rippling effect on the entire entertainment industry but hey, Microwave popcorn can be prepared in minutes!
Personally, I’d move Caller ID way up, especially now that my relatives have my phone number. I’d move BlackBerrys down. They make life easy for agents, not the general population. Online stock trading usually results in users going bankrupt so I’d move that below Home satellite TV, which offers porno to the most rural parts of this great nation.
StairMasters are evil. High tech footwear is ingenious in that manufacturers found a way to sell the same Keds for hundreds of dollars more. Pay at the pump allows oil companies to operate with fewer personnel thus more profit for them and more unemployment for us (although it is kinda fun to see a coiffed Beverly Hills princess having to pump her own gas into the family Hummer).
How could YouTube be left off the list? Or those armrests with holes in them for your drinks in movie theaters? GoogleMaps? That first-down yellow stripe on televised football games? The Clapper? Jolt Cola? Viagra? GPS systems? DNA testing? The Lego toilet paper folder? E-Mail? The high-tensile external window shade for Godsakes? MRI’s? Portrait enhancement modes in photo shop computer programs? The anti-spill water bowl for dogs? HyperSonic Sound? And I’m sure you have a few more.
Oh, and don’t forget blogs…or, as I like to call them, “Bullshit in a Bag”.