Thanksgiving - What technologies are you thankful for?

By Dan Berthiaume, ITworld |  Tech & society, gadgets, Tech & society

Vahe Katros, President, Vahe Katros Consulting: "I'm thankful for the Internet. Way back when, we would keep reference books and obscure directories, and be on top of the world when we could find a special report [that] a colleague wrote on a subject. These days, all that information is available through Google, blogs and the other online resources out there. It took the entire progress of technology, from how do you send signals and have them encoded to what do you use to send them over. Standards allow signals to go to multiple machines and work on all of them. Every problem we needed to solve to make information accessible and free is encompassed in what happened with the Internet. It's a mechanism by which everyone can be their own TV station, radio station, movie producer, or book publisher. We built a platform that really puts together the major pieces of how we advanced as a culture in the last 100 years and handed it off to regular people. It's a triumph for human beings."

Steve Rowen, Partner, RSR Research: "As we near the holidays, the technology that I'm probably most thankful for is rapidly becoming online video product reviews. This year, I'm breaking tradition from my usual last-minute shopping ways, and have already given some thought to Christmas gifts I'll be purchasing for loved ones. This means a diminishing amount of time spent visiting stores, and an increasing amount of research conducted on the Web. I'm hoping it goes like it did when shopping for myself earlier this summer. A motorcycle enthusiast, I needed to outfit myself earlier this year with the works: helmet, jacket, pants, spine protector, gloves and boots. For the helmet and boots, I did a fair amount of research online, but ultimately decided that in-store fittings were required. Yet for all of the other items, I found video reviews from one particular retail site comprehensive enough to the point where a store visit wasn't necessary. Do I expect this type of exhaustive (and economical) media for every gift I'm considering purchasing this holiday season? No, but as the online channel continues to gain the favor of time-starved and fuel-angered shoppers who've grown weary of the type of in-store holiday season customer service they've become accustomed to, there's a very good chance we all soon will."

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