We’re over a decade into the third Millennium*. I’m beginning to notice that some people are horrendously unaware of where they should be technology wise.
Let’s start with the telephone.
The word alone is archaic. We use phones. They should not, in casual conversation, be referred to as ‘telephones’ anymore than we call our cars ‘horseless carriages’. Anything more than the monosyllabic identifier will do nothing but make the speaker nigh Victorian in their anachronism. Phones come in two varieties: Smart Phones and those phones that aren’t smart phones. To think that a phone is for voice communication only is so 2nd millennium. The only time a phone should be wired to anything is when the battery is charging and even that is optional. A proper phone can make a call, take a photograph, and send text messages. Smart phones can do just about anything. Yes, I know there are remote places in the world where cell phones do not work. Just like there is a solution for folks who have to dig wells because they’re too far from the utility lines, there are people who must step up to satellite phones. Land lines should be about as common as outhouses.
Most commonly part of HDTV. This is not digital television. That’s something we all switched to two years ago. HDTV is high-definition television. I could describe this in so many overly technical ways, but let’s simplify it to: Modern Televisions have a wider height to width ratio than their 2nd Millennium counterparts. You’re horribly out of date if any of the following are true: Your TV screen has any curve to it. Your television has a knob. Your television weighs more than you do but your height is more than its diagonal size. Blu-ray is a side-note to HDTV. It’s a worthwhile addition to a High Definition entertainment set-up. Television is actually an optional part of the HD experience. High Definition content is also available online…
So many things stream these days. You should be getting part of your entertainment from streaming sources. Ideally, you’d have your antennae or cable for basic programming, streaming on-demand channels, Netflix or a similar service streaming through any of several devices and some other form of network attached streaming to connect your computer’s media library, all viewable on your HDTV.
A home computer.
It’s so terribly sad to find someone who doesn’t have a home computer. With fully functional laptops starting around $329, anyone who wants a computer could have one. Everyone should want one. I know there are a subset of people who view 21st century technology the way the Amish view 20th century technology, only without the reasoning of religion or culture. These people see computers as the downfall of man and refuse to step into the digital era and are far more than 11 years out of date. I look at these people the way Homo sapiens viewed Homo neanderthalensis when the later refused to accept that new technology called ‘Fire’.**
Wireless Home Network.
To the technologically naïve, this might seem like a corollary to the home computer, but it’s used by so many more things today than PCs. I have more than 10 devices connected to my home network, less than half of them wired. It’s also possible to connect things like coffee makers and laundry machines and just about anything else to a home network.
Particularly savvy folks can have all of the above in a single device. For particularly insane savvy folks, that device is their car.
But If I had to narrow it down to one question I could ask that would define which millennium someone lives it, the question would be “Do you have a land-line at home?” People who answer yes, are still living in the last millennium.
Some technologies to watch:
Basically instead of storing data on your device (computer, phone, etc) It’s stored remotely and (ideally) securely and you can access it at anytime over the internet. This technology also includes running applications remotely, so you don’t even need to own the programs you are using. Expect, as we’ve done since we turned on the radio, to pay subscription fees or be bombarded with advertising.
We keep hoping that it will someday become affordable to get all of our power from the wind and sun. Fossil Fuels are not going to last forever if we keep using them at the current rate. We’re still 39 years away from when the government expects more than half of us to be using alternative energy vehicles. All I can say, if I’m still driving in 39 years (and may the gods help all the pedestrians out there if I am) my car better fly, or at least hover.
Some technologies to skip:
It’s a nice distraction, but until they can do it without the glasses, it can’t be taken seriously. For now, just enjoy the fact that 3D-ready televisions are the premium price-point, making anything not 3D-ready much cheaper.
*I know the calendar year is entirely arbitrary and that technological development started long before the biblical era. Lacking any better or more widely used initial annum, we’ll use the one most commonly used in the parts of the world where this paragraph doesn’t require translation. “We’re now over a decade past universal year 13,697,796,332” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.
**This statement is historically inaccurate and purely whimsical.