40 essential technologies and gadgets
Photos and music and apps, oh my! There's nothing you can't accomplish with a smartphone in hand. Even the production designers behind Captain Kirk's _communicator back in 1966 didn't dare to dream as big as today's fully loaded cell phone.
-- By Linda Lowen
Finding your way with map and compass is becoming a lost art thanks to devices that never let us lose our way (unless we're in a big city and the screen continually flashes "searching for satellites.") Which helpful voice do you prefer: Male or female? American, Australian or British?
When computers moved off the desktop, work became portable. Wasn't it everybody's dream to compute in bed?
Bigger than a smartphone with a responsive touch screen, we have to hand it to the tablet for improving web browsing and making gaming irresistible.
Recording your favorite TV shows is the least of it. With a DVR you can pause live TV, fast forward, and start watching a program partway through and still go back to the beginning.
In the days of dial-up, uploading or downloading just one photo was agonizingly slow. By comparison, broadband enables web pages to load almost instantly, while downloading music and movies takes only minutes.
The ability to store over a thousand volumes in a single compact device made bookworms of us all.
Grandpa filled a milk crate with LPs while Dad had shoeboxes of eight-track and cassette tapes. Now that their entire music libraries (and ours, too) can fit into a device smaller than a deck of cards, why is it that we complain about not having enough storage?
VHS tapes made home movie libraries possible, but DVD players gave us special features, director commentaries, multiple language subtitles and endless blooper reels.
So long, board games. Today, family game night is all about DDR and Guitar Hero, while no man cave would be complete without an Xbox 360 and Kinect.