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Examiner
  • Gadgets that defined the last decade

  • It is hard to believe that only 10 years ago, the world was worrying about the Y2K virus as the clock struck midnight, and we entered a new century.But since the dawning of a new decade, technology has come a long way and changed the way everyone has done simple tasks from listening to music to watching televisio...
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  • It is hard to believe that only 10 years ago, the world was worrying about the Y2K virus as the clock struck midnight, and we entered a new century.
    But since the dawning of a new decade, technology has come a long way and changed the way everyone has done simple tasks from listening to music to watching television.
    “We have gone digital,” said George Wilson, home audio buyer for Independence Audio. “Everything has switched to digital. It is really a whole new way of doing things.”
    With the help of Wilson, The Examiner has compiled a top 10 list of advancements in technology in the last 10 years.
    10 Satellite Radio/HD Radio –
    How many times have we listened to the radio and wished there were fewer commercials? Well satellite and HD radio not only offers that, but many more listening options. “I think it caused the way regular radio stations operate in order to compete,” Wilson said. “Between iPods and satellite (radio), they were losing listeners. They did that to improve what they were doing.”
    9 TiVo/DVR –
    Gone is setting the VCR to record your favorite show. With one button, a whole series can be recorded and then watched again later without any of the video tape hassle. A subscription service, the benefit to TiVo or DVR is the ability to stop, pause or fast-forward through shows as the viewer wants.
    8 Cameras/video cameras –
    Film is no longer needed. Point and shoot as well as video cameras are digital, and many also have HD options. In addition, Flip cameras are available, which offers consumers an inexpensive, convenient way to shoot video.
    7  Cellular telephones applications –
    The iPhone might have brought these new applications to life, but now, many cellular telephones offer applications to help you find the best restaurant to helping check a Facebook page. Users have Internet search engines at the tips of their fingers and can play games anywhere they want.
    6 Blu-Ray/DVD –
    Blu-Ray is the next-generation optical disc that is changing the way people view movies. DVDs in general have become a staple in households. Not only can you purchase almost anything on DVD, but there are now various ways to rent and watch movies and television shows from home. “It really wasn’t all that long ago when VHS was around,” Wilson said. “It has really been in the last few years that DVD has become the dominant format. Then you throw Blu-Ray technology into the mix, and it has changed the way we watch our favorite movies and programs.”
    5 Global Positioning Systems –
    Invented in the 1970s, GPS systems became available for civilian use in the mid to late 1990s. But it was not until 2000 when users were able to receive a GPS signal that was not “degraded” by government interference. Since that time, the devices have become more reasonable in price and therefore, are in greater use. “It really has been in just the last few years that the price for a GPS has lowered significantly,” Wilson said. “The satellite-based technology can give someone turn by turn directions instantly. It wasn’t that long ago when we could not even access those satellites for this kind of technology.”
    Page 2 of 2 - 4 Flash drives –
    Remember how it used to be when in order to transport documents, research papers or projects from one computer to another, a floppy disk or CD was needed? Well in 2000, Trek technology and IBM came out with the first USB flash drive. Now, the tiny portable drives can store as much as 256 GB and can be carried around on a key chain.
    3 Video game industry –
    Video games have been around for decades, but in 2007 alone, the industry took in $9.5 billion just in the United States. From the Xbox 360 to the Wii to Playstation 3, technology in video games and video game consoles continues to improve and make waves in the market.
    2 High-definition television –
    The technology is a digital television broadcasting system with higher resolution that standard-definition televisions. Though the first HD television were introduced in the United States in late 1990s, their rise and popularity have gained momentum in the last few years with the increase of HD television channels and the conversion from analog to digital signals.
    1 iPod/MP3 players –
    Since the first iPod hit store shelves in 2001, portable music devices have never been the same. Now, from the Microsoft Zune to the latest incarnation of the iPod to other, cheaper versions, MP3 players have revolutionized the way we listen to music. “The iPod would definitely have to be one of the top innovations,” Wilson said. “It has changed the way people listen and transport music. It is such a universal format that it owns the market, and basically controls it.”
     
     

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