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Slideshow: 15 Modern Inventions That Didn’t Live Up to the Hype

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Elizabeth M
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Re: Lessons to be Learned.
Elizabeth M   4/8/2014 4:16:39 AM
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You're welcome, Debera, I enjoyed doing this slideshow. Yes, DAT was one that just was at the mercy of technology moving too fast, I agree. I remember I used DAT once when I was recording music with a band I was in, but it was obsolete so fast I never had anything to listen to the tape on later! It had to be mastered to a CD for me to have a copy.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Segway
Elizabeth M   4/8/2014 4:28:27 AM
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Thanks, Chuck! Yes, the Segway was the first thing that popped to mind when I was compiling this list. I used to see people on Segway tours near the Marina when I lived in SF and just thought people looked so silly. It's sort of become an invention of ridicule, with people parodying cops on Segways in movies. Yes, it has its uses, but in my opinion it was a somewhat unnecessary invention.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Lessons to be Learned.
Elizabeth M   4/8/2014 4:48:05 AM
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You make a very good point, 78RPM. Proprietary may have worked very early on with technology, but indeed, opening things up is the way to go now. I think Apple and Microsoft have been two companies that managed to stay proprietary, but there seem to be cracks in that strategy now for both companies.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Lessons to be Learned.
Elizabeth M   4/8/2014 4:53:39 AM
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Thanks for the comment, tekochip. I am not sure if I ever heard about JAZ but it sounds like it would fit well on this list!

Elizabeth M
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Re: Fun Stuff
Elizabeth M   4/8/2014 4:55:22 AM
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Yes, the Newton almost made it to the list, but I thought there were maybe bigger flops than that.

And you are indeed very right about the Pinto. I actually almost included on the list the Pinto model that exploded if hit from behind, but didn't. So I think it's quite ironic that someone would use that particular car model to make a hybrid car/plane. I am sure there had to be better options out there at the time!

Alan Metzel
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Re: Very interesting list 1 correction though
Alan Metzel   4/8/2014 8:39:41 AM
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The first known electric car was built in 1837 by Robert Davidson of Aberdeen. It was powered by galvanic cells (batteries). Davidson later built a larger locomotive named Galvani, exhibited at the Royal Scottish Society of Arts Exhibition in 1841.

jhankwitz
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Collective
jhankwitz   4/8/2014 9:01:28 AM
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Great collection Liz.  Whenever I see someone walking around wearing a JawBone type headset, I think of the Star Trek Borg, a civilization that is unable to think or act on their own and a need to be connected with the Collective to function.  I feel sorry when I see someone needing to be constantly connected with their decision makers.  I think somewhat the same when I see photos of people wearing a Google Glass, but with an added fear of George Orwell.  Borg and Orwell, what a combination.

garysxt
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15 Modern Inventiosn
garysxt   4/8/2014 9:18:14 AM
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Interesting article. I forgot about some of them. A good follow up article would be the flip side, i.e. technologies that have been declared dead only to live on and on. Hard drives and 8 bit micros come to mind.

fm
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Good list!
fm   4/8/2014 9:20:10 AM
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This is a good list, but i must have slept through the hype on a few of these things! Yes, i still have a BetaMax machine, but CueCat?! What? Never heard of it; it looks hilarious, tho. I guess if you're computer has a mouse, it needs a cat! :-D

A fairly tragic invention that didn't live up to the hype was the Duckboat. This is a small military truck that you could drive out onto water, & was used a little in WWII, i think. It was the worst of both truck and boat, tho - really ponderous on land and almost stationary on water. You could swim faster, & the transition from land to water & back again was not seamless. And it was LOUD. Troops on water in these things were easy targets; it's where we got the term "sitting ducks."

Thanks for the list; brought back some memories!

William K.
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Re: Lessons to be Learned.
William K.   4/8/2014 9:27:06 AM
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Elizabeth, the failure of DAT was, as I see it, also caused by the recording industry delaying the relaese and forcing it to be incompatrible with the CD recording mode. In fact, the DAT system would have probably been a better choice simply because it would have allowed anybody to easily make perfect recordings. but the recording industry demanded, and got, all kinds of limits put on the DAT system, which, aside from delaying it a year or more also reduced the usefulness a whole lot. So in reality DAT was murdered by the RIAA and the other groups. 

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