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Are These The Top 12 Tech Products Of The Last 22 Years?

Tyler Durden's picture


After 22 years of reviewing tech products for the Wall Street Journal, Walt Mossberg is leaving; but before he does, he unveils what he believes are the 12 products that were the most-influential during his tenure at the "paper" (remember that: paper?). Remember the Apple Newton? How about Netscape? Mossberg believes even if these products did not last until the present, they left their mark in the evolution of personal technology. Do readers agree or disagree? And if not, which product that did not make the list should be on it?


Via WSJ,

Some readers will complain that Apple is overrepresented. My answer: Apple introduced more influential, breakthrough products for average consumers than any other company over the years of this column.

1. Newton MessagePad (1993)

Newton MessagePad foreshadowed some of today's most cutting-edge technology.

This hand-held computer from Apple was a failure, even a joke, mainly because the company promised it could flawlessly recognize handwriting. It didn't. But it had one feature that foreshadowed some of today's most cutting-edge technology: an early form of artificial intelligence. You could scrawl "lunch with Linda Jones on Thursday" and it would create a calendar entry for the right time with the right person.

2. Netscape Navigator (1994)

The first successful consumer Web browser, it was later crushed by Microsoft's Internet Explorer. But it made the Web a reality for millions and its influence has been incalculable. Every time you go to a Web page, you are seeing the legacy of Netscape in action.

3. Windows 95 (1995)

Windows 95 made the mouse a mainstay for computer users.

This was the Microsoft operating system that cemented the graphical user interface and the mouse as the way to operate a computer. While Apple's Macintosh had been using the system for a decade and cruder versions of Windows had followed, Windows 95 was much more refined and spread to a vastly larger audience than the Mac did.

4. The Palm Pilot (1997)

The Palm Pilot led to one of the first smartphones, the Treo.

The first successful personal digital assistant, the Pilot was also the first hand-held computer to be widely adopted. It led to one of the first smartphones, the Treo, and attracted a library of third-party apps, foreshadowing today's giant app stores.

5. Google Search (1998)

From the start, Google was faster than its predecessors.

The minute I used Google, it was obvious it was much faster and more accurate than previous search engines. It's impossible to overstate its importance, even today. In many ways, Google search propelled the entire Web.

6. The iPod (2001)

Apple's iPod was the first mainstream digital media player.

Apple's iPod was the first mainstream digital media player, able to hold 1,000 songs in a device the size of a deck of playing cards. It lifted the struggling computer maker to a new level and led to the wildly successful iTunes store and a line of popular mobile devices. (Apple Brings Design Flair To Its Digital Music Player 11/1/2001)

7. Facebook (2004)

Just as Netscape opened the Web, Facebook made the Internet into a social medium. There were some earlier social networks. But Facebook became the social network of choice, a place where you could share everything from a photo of a sunset to the news of a birth or death with a few friends, or with hundreds of thousands. Today, over a billion people use it and it has changed the entire concept of the Internet.

8. Twitter (2006)

Like Facebook, Twitter changed the way people live digitally.

Often seen as Facebook's chief competitor, Twitter is really something different—a sort of global instant-messaging system. It is used every second to alert huge audiences to everything from revolutions to interesting Web posts, or just to offer opinions on almost anything—as long as they fit in 140 characters. Like Facebook, it has changed the way people live digitally.

9. The iPhone (2007)

The iPhone was the first truly smart smartphone.

Apple electrified the tech world with this device—the first truly smart smartphone. It is an iPod, an Internet device and a phone combined in one small gadget. Its revolutionary multi-touch user interface is gradually replacing the PC's graphical user interface on many devices.

A year after it was introduced, it was joined by the App Store, which allowed third-party developers to sell programs, or apps, for the phone. They now number about a million. It has spawned many competitors that have collectively moved the Internet from a PC-centric system to a mobile-centric one.

10. Android (2008)

Google quickly jumped into the mobile world the iPhone created with this operating system that has spread to hundreds of devices using the same type of multi-touch interface. Android is now the dominant smartphone platform, with its own huge selection of apps.

While iPhones have remained relatively pricey, Android is powering much less costly phones.

11. The MacBook Air (2008)

The late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs introduced this iconic slim, light laptop by pulling it out of a standard manila envelope. It was one of the first computers to ditch the hard disk for solid-state storage and now can be seen all over—on office desks, on campuses and at coffee shops. It spawned a raft of Windows-based light laptops called Ultrabooks. I consider it the best laptop ever made.

12. The iPad (2010)

With this 10-inch tablet, Apple finally cracked the code on the long-languishing tablet category. Along with other tablets, it is gradually replacing the laptop for many uses and is popular with everyone from kids to CEOs. Developers have created nearly 500,000 apps for the iPad, far more than for any other tablet.


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Thu, 12/19/2013 - 16:34 | 4261627 somecallmetimmah
somecallmetimmah's picture

That was dum.

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 16:40 | 4261639 ZerOhead
ZerOhead's picture

I didn't see ShamWows on the list... please explain

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 16:47 | 4261660 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

Distinct lack of Hello Kitty vibrator.

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 16:50 | 4261673 Gene Parmesan
Gene Parmesan's picture

I was hoping to see the HFT algos make the list.

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 16:55 | 4261690 Ham-bone
Ham-bone's picture

12 tricks to have those washboard abs you (and all the ladies) have always wanted...WTF...I can pick up my daughters magazines to get nice fluffy articles...

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 16:59 | 4261715 Joe Davola
Joe Davola's picture

Outside the Newton, I'm sure all of these have an official NSA backdoor.

Nothing like paying to lose you're privacy rights.

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 17:02 | 4261730 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

Good list, but I'd move the iphone up / twitter down. Iphone was an incredible leap when it first came out, the maps app alone made it invaluable. 

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 17:08 | 4261751 BigJim
BigJim's picture

 Are These The Top 12 Tech Products Of The Last 22 Years?

Wot?? No drones?

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 17:15 | 4261769 negative rates
negative rates's picture

These are conveniences people, you don't have to go insane learning how to use them only find out in the end that they were your demise.

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 17:28 | 4261820 Stackers
Stackers's picture

Actually MySpace should get the recognition for opening social media on the net.

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 20:06 | 4262257 Sokhmate
Sokhmate's picture

why not geocities?

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 20:41 | 4262351 Race Car Driver
Race Car Driver's picture

... or Friendster ... or UseNet, even?

Hell, the net itself is social media - the whole thing about the internet, besides the psyop, is communication.

This is a bullshit article written by a bullshit author for a bullshit propaganda rag.

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 08:36 | 4263340 kralizec
kralizec's picture

They didn't build that!

All reverse-engineered from captured alien technology.

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 04:05 | 4263144 daxtonbrown
daxtonbrown's picture

What's absent from his list is a lot of bottom line utility. There should be things like spreadsheets, word processors, Mysql database, etc.

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 17:29 | 4261825 zerozulu
zerozulu's picture

Now I feel like these 12 are probably funded by too.

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 20:20 | 4262290 PT
PT's picture

What a depressingly pedestrian list.  22 years and this is the best we can come up with?  I want to cry.  Would I have done better if I had not have dropped out of uni?  If not, then I didn't miss much... and I may as well hang myself now ...

The first depressing devolution of the last 22 years was when computer languages were no longer bundled with computers.  The computer lost its utility as a machine for creation and instead became dullware for the masses.  This coincided with the introduction of Windows, the operating system that, yes point and click is handy but at the expense of, decided that it was always right and knew what was good for you and don't you go asking any questions because you're just too dumb to understand anything so don't touch anything because you might make it bet- I mean fuck it up!

The next depressing devolution was the introduction of legalese.  As increasing computing power allowed us to copy music and screen resolution allowed us to copy movies, it was inevitable that hollywood and the music industry would try to find a "legal" way to protect themselves so that actors and musicians could continue to be viewed by society as having a million times greater utility than an office cleaner.  Okay, and action sequences don't come cheap, they need to make decent money to make decent movies.  The expense was much larger computer software, great losses to the utility of "copy" and "paste", and those industries lost a lot of pricing power anyway as TV execs competed for advertising dollars over a spread of 30 channels instead of 3.  Sorry, I drifted off point there.  Oh yeah, and it would be nice if software developers could get paid for their services too.

Windows 95 might have been wonderful for the masses, but face it, Windows as a whole is pathetic.  Do we really need ten different ways to turn a computer off?  Or 16 different ways to refresh a web page?  How much time do you really have with shich to re-learn simple shit?  Do you really need a new version of Windows every one or two years.   N O ! ! !

Google, Facebook and Twitter (and Windows):  Who the fuck is dumb enough to get excited about any of this shit???  Okay, the invention of the road, or even the wheel, was probably a pedestrian thing too, but they are actually quite useful.  But GFT (and even W) are programs that should be written and continually tweaked by the masses.  The fact that we rely on these three (or 4) companies shows how dumb we are as a species and to put all three (4) on a list of top 12 tech products over the last 22 years is truly depressing.  None of GFT had to be written by geniuses.  It was ignored by geniuses because they had more important things to think about.  No offence Zuckerberg et al, I believe you are smart guys, it obviously solved a little problem you had at the time and you did well.  Good luck to yous.  But admit it, you were just fiddling around at the time to solve a little problem and then you were going to get on with the rest of your lives, until you realised that this thing was worthy of more time due to the "money rolling in" ( errr, does the money roll in?  I don't know, whatever ...)  Point being, I don't believe Zuck et al believed that what they were doing at the time was significant, it just ended up that way due to the ignorance of the masses.  Again, that ain't your fault Zuck et al, good luck to yas.  Just saying that GFT and even W taking 4 of our top 12 "achievements" is depressingly bland.  Surely they would agree.

ipod:  excellent idea that came when the technology allowed it.  Seamlessly combining ipod with stereo systems:  Any music player / stereo manufacturer who did not think of combining the two is a bloody idiot.  This marriage was so obvious that it should have been seen a mile a way.  Kudos to jobs for actually doing something about it.

Believe it or not, I am supposed to be in a hurry right now.  Would like to say more but gotta go.

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 20:28 | 4262315 PT
PT's picture

Flat screen TVs:  Anyone who doesn't understand the significance of the flat screen TV needs to ditch their 52 inch LCD and replace it with their 27 inch CRT ... if they still have enough space in their lounge room.

Now I'm really running late ... 

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 18:26 | 4262037 Lost Word
Lost Word's picture

The list is chronological.

Can you change history?

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 20:36 | 4262343 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

Lol I missed that, makes a lot more sense now..

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 17:06 | 4261732 Ham-bone
Ham-bone's picture

If ZH is in need of some's a potential story: 

Under what legitimate circumstance is it possible and/or probable (with a Fed course of tapering underway and finalized by 2014 YE) that Treasuries maintain existing'ish yields while equities continue to drive upward?  And while PM's dive to new multi year lows???  In other words, in what set of circumstances can we watch what we are watching now and not simply say FRAUD???

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 23:14 | 4262726 Redneck Hippy
Redneck Hippy's picture

Pure arrogance.

Do you really think YOU know what Treasuries or stocks or PMs SHOULD sell for?

Guess what--It ain't up to you. You don't get to decide.

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 17:17 | 4261773 MeBizarro
MeBizarro's picture

Much prefer Japanese sushi instead . . . . my favorite kind of Asian cuisine right after Vietnamese-French (one of the few benefits of French colonialism) fusion. 

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 17:07 | 4261739 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

The Nokia 6210 cheap mobile phone that made everybody buy a cell phone in 2000

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 17:57 | 4261940 _ConanTheLibert...
_ConanTheLibertarian_'s picture

Used my 6310 from 2001 until a few months ago, it still works (original battery). Now have a cheap Huawei.

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 16:54 | 4261695 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

Not to include Ferbie is a shame.


Thu, 12/19/2013 - 20:42 | 4262355 Exponere Mendaces
Exponere Mendaces's picture

Another thing Apple "pioneered" was their Digital Rights Management, which turns a device into a "captured computing" experience. The newer you are to computing in general, the better you'll typically think this is, until you actually want to do something.

Then, after shelling out $99 for the privilege, you'll discover the horror and foibles of XCode, Digital Certificates that must reside on the device at all times to run anything, and the vagaries of the iTunes Connect submission and review process.

After running the gauntlet of that particular obstacle course, you'll realize that being fenced in and dictated to isn't the best thing ever, even if the design aesthetic draws you in. You'll then ditch it for an Android, and discover that you can write applications and programs for your device without jumping through a shitload of hoops, or having to pay for the ability.

Something liberating about compiling an .apk file and sending it to someone to try out, versus asking your friend for their device serial, provisioning it on the Developer Portal, and juggling certificates just to get them to try it out.

But the large shiny Apple stores pull 'em in, because most don't know any better...

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 22:01 | 4262537 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

Spot on. Buying into a secret guild is a bad sign of business. I would not want to develop an iSomething app. Android apps are a breeze to develop.

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 16:35 | 4261631 Wyatt Junker
Wyatt Junker's picture


You forgot Heroin.

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 16:40 | 4261646 agent default
agent default's picture

And CDOs.

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 18:18 | 4262004 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

Last 22 years.  And a tech product.  Otherwise it would have made the list, I'm sure.

May I direct you to Skateboarder's absolutely correct observation that the 'Hello Kitty Vibrator' had every right to appear on this list, however?  Perhaps that would suffice in place of heroin?  OK, probably not, but that's what you got.


Thu, 12/19/2013 - 16:39 | 4261637 Debeachesand Je...
Debeachesand Jerseyshores's picture

Strong lineup there Walt,strong.

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 16:38 | 4261638 zipit
zipit's picture

Missed the Blackberry and it's stock run (before the smartphone induced crash and burn).

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 17:32 | 4261845 zerozulu
zerozulu's picture

Terrorism should be on the top.

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 16:39 | 4261641 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

The last few years have been a shame. Engineers have been pigeonholed into nonexistence, slavery, or some combination of the both. Here's a classic example of saying fuck you, from the Netscape days:

"As I write this, it's just a bit over ten years since I started working at Mosaic Communications Corporation. In memory of that, here's a piece of history I managed to dig up.

When we created and released (most of) the source code to Netscape Confusicator 4.x, Netscape's lawyers made us go through a big "sanitization" process on the source code. Largely this consisted of making sure we had the legal rights to all the code we were releasing, and making sure every file had proper and accurate copyright statements; but they also made us take out all the dirty words. Specifically, "any text containing vulgar or offensive words or expressions; any text that might be slanderous or libelous to individuals and/or institutions."

At our release party on April 1, 1998 Pierre Saslawsky was handing out guerilla party favors consisting of a CD-ROM archive of the mcom.bad-attitude newsgroup, and a single sheet of paper with some choice source code obscenities on it from the pre-sanitization tree.

I found that piece of paper, and typed it in, below.

For comparison, a similar set of searches from the Netscape 3.02 source tree follows. (We didn't search for the exact same sets of words, and I suspect he edited his more heavily than I did, so don't assume that because the second list is longer, the number of obscenities in the 4.x series was lower...)

Enjoy it. By which I mean to say, fuck you"

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 18:18 | 4262010 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

I have to say I liked the 'Hello Kitty Vibrator' comment better.  But you get an up-arrow anyway.

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 16:41 | 4261642 CuttingEdge
CuttingEdge's picture

The General Atomics Obamadrone has to be up there, surely?

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 16:41 | 4261651 CuttingEdge
CuttingEdge's picture

And PRISM - the most influential tech out there by far...

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 16:58 | 4261704 mrdenis
mrdenis's picture

U mean PRISONS .....

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 16:58 | 4261705 mrdenis
mrdenis's picture

U mean PRISONS .....

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 17:11 | 4261760 BigJim
BigJim's picture

ha, beat me to it!

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 16:39 | 4261645 docmac324
docmac324's picture

What about those solid adult dolls vs. the blow-up kind.  Loved those flying around at the Marine Corps Ball....



Thu, 12/19/2013 - 17:44 | 4261895 Palladin
Palladin's picture

One thing I've always wanted to do with one of those blow up doll is to fasten a hose outlet to one of the feet, then poke a bunch of small holes and throw it out on the front lawn and turn on the water. It would make a very unique sprinkler.

I think I'd call it a WaterBroad if the neighbors asked. Tell them I got it on late night TeeVee.



Thu, 12/19/2013 - 16:42 | 4261648 logicalman
logicalman's picture

No fancy financial instruments on the list - I think, in the long run, they may change the world more than all of the above. (not for the better, I'm thinking)

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 16:42 | 4261652 Seize Mars
Seize Mars's picture

The Fleshlight?

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 16:46 | 4261655 max2205
max2205's picture


Thu, 12/19/2013 - 16:46 | 4261658 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Newsflash:  The Flat-screen LCD TV is WAAAAY bigger than some of these items.

A lot of these devices created a whole new paradigm (Yahoo, not Google), but the LCD is here to stay.

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 17:09 | 4261749 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

LCDs predate his 22 years and are used in so many products it doesn't make a tonne of sense to single out the LCD TV (particularly in terms of evolutionary functionality). And then what about plasma tvs? Pretty similiar no?

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 16:48 | 4261662 rtalcott
rtalcott's picture

I guess Linux is not a product.

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 16:48 | 4261667 Blue Dog
Blue Dog's picture

That's right. It's pretty useless too.

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 17:32 | 4261842 Zero Point
Zero Point's picture

Whah? A free, lightweight OS, is useless?

My "Raspberry Pi built into a projector" project laughs at you. Try building Doze into a projector.

Especially 8. No touch screen ha!

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 18:42 | 4262072 post turtle saver
post turtle saver's picture

fuck you Blue Dog, you stupid slobbering son of a bitch

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 17:32 | 4261833 fonestar
fonestar's picture

If Google is considered a "product" than Linux definitely should be too.

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 16:48 | 4261663 max2205
max2205's picture

I had an HTC smartphone before there were smartphones...damn nice...put on the list

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 16:49 | 4261672 Blue Dog
Blue Dog's picture

Macbook Air, Facebook, and Twitter don't belong. Putting the Newton at #1 is a joke. There's the usual favoritism to overpriced aPPLE products, as usual.

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 17:52 | 4261919 Five8Charlie
Five8Charlie's picture

You do realize the list is sequential by year, yes?

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 10:53 | 4263666 Zymurguy
Zymurguy's picture

If you own a smartphone integrated with calendar, email, notepad, browser, handwriting recognition, voice memos, games, calculator etc. then you owe a great deal of thanks to the Newton.  Did you read the article or just look at the pictures?  The Newton paved the trail for the technology everyone takes for granted today - these incredible convergence devices that are so helpful in our lives today.

Agree, Macbook Air is just a logical next step in the development path of portable computing - an obvious solution and doesnt' belong up here.  Farcebook and Twitsters are stupid wastes of time.

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 16:54 | 4261682 AmericasCicero
AmericasCicero's picture


Thu, 12/19/2013 - 17:13 | 4261765 BigJim
BigJim's picture

Down around 45%?

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 17:29 | 4261819 fonestar
fonestar's picture

Bitcoin is clearly the greatest thing ever.

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 17:43 | 4261887 Zero Point
Zero Point's picture

Heh. Had to green that one.

Ya crackin me up now.

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 16:54 | 4261686 icanhasbailout
icanhasbailout's picture

22 years ago I'd have supposed this list would contain something that would help us colonize the solar system.

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 16:52 | 4261687 ParkAveFlasher
ParkAveFlasher's picture

Wendy's Dollar Menu!

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 16:54 | 4261696 MeBizarro
MeBizarro's picture

Seems way too heavy on consumer tech products but that is just my initial take.  Including the Newton is just foolish. 

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 17:00 | 4261722 insanelysane
insanelysane's picture

I would say the same for the Mac Book Air, it is just a slimmer design.  Smaller happens constantly in tech.

Might have put in Google Glass.

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 17:08 | 4261746 MeBizarro
MeBizarro's picture

Agreed. MacBook Air is just a glorified Netbook.  BFD.  It didn't change the market or shift market share in a notable way. 

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 17:00 | 4261711 all-priced-in
all-priced-in's picture

Isn't QE digital?


Thu, 12/19/2013 - 17:04 | 4261736 superflex
superflex's picture

No water cooled HID lights or LED grow lights.

Uh, what was the question?

Damn, I'm hungry.

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 00:20 | 4262882 Cthonic
Cthonic's picture

Maybe they should run it in reverse.

'The unit, which has a capacity of two megawatts, can produce 360 cubic meters of hydrogen per hour.'

360m3/h * 35.3146667ft3/m3 * $2.66 / 1000ft3 = $34 per hour
2000kWh * $0.0712/kWh = $142 per hour

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 17:06 | 4261742 Toolshed
Toolshed's picture

3D printing technology has the potential to make all that crap on the list look positively silly.

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 17:08 | 4261745 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

QE : you just imagine the money you want and a bit more and there it is.

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 17:18 | 4261776 Byte Me
Byte Me's picture

No mention of Bitcoin.

No mention of Wikileaks

Or of ZH

All of these have shifted paradigms considerably.

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 03:04 | 4263106 Bear
Bear's picture

None to match 'ObamaCare' as game changer

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 17:22 | 4261794 Godisanhftbot
Godisanhftbot's picture

 Where are all the drooling gold lunatics that used to infest zh? 

 bread lines?


Thu, 12/19/2013 - 17:34 | 4261844 Toolshed
Toolshed's picture

Uh sorry what was that? I was busy backing up the truck asshole.

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 17:45 | 4261894 Godisanhftbot
Godisanhftbot's picture

 did you run over the dog again?

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 18:50 | 4262094 Toolshed
Toolshed's picture

Why do you ask? Can't locate your wife again?

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 18:25 | 4262027 supermaxedout
supermaxedout's picture

They are sitting there:

 Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory provides solutions to our nation's most important national security challenges through innovative science, engineering and technology.

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 17:39 | 4261869 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

We found a dedicated function PC at work today that was running Netscape 7.

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 18:13 | 4261994 smacker
smacker's picture

One important tech invention has been left out:  LED lightbulb technology.

They are the future. Already available for domestic use and already finding their way into cars and street furniture etc. Energy cost savings will become enormous.

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 23:05 | 4262687 Againstthelie
Againstthelie's picture

Each LED can reduce the energy of a bulb only once - but the exponential growth of a debt based interest slavery will increase energy use and waste of resources manifold over time.

All the great technological progress and the improved efficiency in the past 30 years has been eaten up by the force to exponentially growing debt because of compound interest.


Thu, 12/19/2013 - 18:16 | 4261998 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

The PC?  StarTac flip phone?  Nokia candy bar?  DVD players?  Digital cameras?  GPS?  wireless networking @ home?  Napster?  Obviously some of these pre-date 22 years, but some refined/idealized/representative peak happened in the last 22 years...

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 22:44 | 4262017 ToNYC
ToNYC's picture

No Tesla among the Apple demo toys? I don't want one, but it sure is a huge tech accomplishment worthy of any such 12 slots. Ask anyone at GM,MB,BMW,Audi VW,Nissan,Toyota,etc.

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 18:25 | 4262030 ncdirtdigger
ncdirtdigger's picture

Drones anyone?

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 18:27 | 4262034 GeezerGeek
GeezerGeek's picture

While not exactly a consumer tech item, I nominate Diebold voting machines. They've made the difference in countless elections and have affected our lives immensely.

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 18:42 | 4262070 TheFulishBastid
TheFulishBastid's picture

Newton?  Wasn't that the first electronic door prop?

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 18:43 | 4262071 malek
malek's picture

Actually he should compile a second list, on how many products ended by illegal means of the competition:

1. DR DOS: killed by Microsoft, purposefully with built-in "incompatibility" in Windows 3.1

2. Netscape: killed by Microsoft by dumping IE into the market, plus IIS with built-in small incompatibilities with Netscape browsers

3. Napster: killed by the MAFIA on grounds of very spurious legal claims

4. Megaupload: killed by minions of the MAFIA, on likely completely unfounded legal claims


... please add to the list...


Note to all the capitalist haters: these are not signs of too much competition, but of too little basic rule enforcement!

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 20:44 | 4262098 ThisIsBob
ThisIsBob's picture

Oh, I'd have to consider the laptops which allow the NSA, FBI, actually anybody, to remotely activate the microphone and camera without the user's knowledge.

How cool is that?

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 19:06 | 4262118 Kina
Kina's picture


Thu, 12/19/2013 - 19:08 | 4262131 highwaytoserfdom
highwaytoserfdom's picture

hey they forgot the Irish IP from all of the above and the

Dutch sandwich - Double Irish With a Dutch Sandwichty

Xerox PARC  dynabook  swiped by Jobs

Allta Vista (remember Google built by NSA $$ for no adds)

Dennis Richie Ken Thompson C language Unix

DEC and PDP VAX  Os's ntworking, clusters

Blythe Master and the dark side of corruption

osama bin laden kidney doctor

Donald Knuth and his work and objection to patent offices

Liinus Torvalds for everything

The BBN Butterfly was a massively parallel computer 

digital intel Xerox    eithernet

Motorola cellular networks

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 22:04 | 4262548 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

Alta Vista was fucking leagues ahead of its competitors in its age.

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 10:49 | 4263643 Zymurguy
Zymurguy's picture

Motorola took it upon themselves to battle in court and prove to the world that cellular band frequencies should remain public domain.  Had they not brought it upon themselves Matsushita/Panasonic would have taken control of this range and monopolized cellular communications.  I met some of the original engineers/designers for Motorola who rigged up a makeshift cellular phone tower outside the court and allowed the judge to make what was essentially the first public cellular phone call to his wife from the bench.  It was enough to convince the judge that one company shouldn't be allowed to hold control over that spectrum.

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 22:58 | 4262655 Againstthelie
Againstthelie's picture

This list not containing a single word about the total surveillance and the destruction of privacy of people using some of these tools, sheds light on the author's horizon and the state of such a society.

First the brilliant lie of "free press", then the progress in mind control since the 1950s and now the technological tools that remove the privacy of the sheeple while they are gladly using the worst tools among several choices.

IMO Democracy always has been a fake and in fact never existed anywhere - but today with these tools any rationale person can no longer deny how incrediblly stupid the masses are, that they either don't even recognize what is going on or that they don't care as long as they can feed their fat bodies with plenty of calories and their brain with colorful pictures and how incredibly clever (and diabolic) the forces are, that have been whispering into their ears, how intelligent and clever people were.

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 00:01 | 4262852 Platinum
Platinum's picture

Broadband consumer Internet connections.




Fri, 12/20/2013 - 00:02 | 4262856 Goatboy
Goatboy's picture

Electronic cigarette.

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 10:45 | 4263627 Zymurguy
Zymurguy's picture

In terms of economics and business, Apple will go down in history for bringing the "micro purchase" to credit cards/bank cards.  Jobs convinced the major banking organizations to team up with iTunes to allow a convenient means to make the $1 purchase economical/profitable.  Today, billions of these transactions occur every year worldwide in many different realms of business where previously these sort of transactions were prohibited.

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 10:50 | 4263645 Zymurguy
Zymurguy's picture

AOL for the fucking win, brah!

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 11:03 | 4263696 theprofromdover
theprofromdover's picture

You could probably fill most of the places with Apple Products -but their pricing ideas were ridiculous -and still are.

Steve Jobs held back the world for probably the equivalent of a decade on technology. Most of the excellent stuff coming out of Korea could have been done 20 years ago if he had opened up his technology to licensing. I refused to buy Apple and still do. They should have been a design shop, selling ideas to everyone.

Windows for Workgroups was the first decent Windows. Stolen of course from Apple who stole it from Xerox Parc.

Palm, great products. Why did they trip over their bootlaces -must've been run by accountants.

Netscape. Great stuff, killed by the lawyers.

Google. World-changing, and tonnes of stuff for free. Pity the Mob own the keys to the building.

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 13:52 | 4264386 Trestle Rider
Trestle Rider's picture

Perhaps some honorable mentions: Convergent Technlogies introduced a tablet 9 years before the Newton called the Workslate.   Convergent Technologies also offered gel based touch screen workstations around the same time 1984-1986 as a demonstration product for AT&T called Safari S4.  Of course, history gets rewritten daily, so these historical reviews are often a tad silly.

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