A-T Technology Death Pool

A-T Technology Death Pool: The End

Way back on the 2nd of January, 2012 AD, we asked you to try and predict what technologies would find their final resting place this year. We had some interesting guesses. And a huge miss.

The guesses back on that original post, with the whole of 2012 ahead of us, ran the gamut form disappearing Swedish auto industries to nothing to wristwatches, standalone GPS units, network TV, Kodak, point-and-shoot cameras, SiriusXM, Lightsquared, and chop sticks.

So, where did we end up? Well, all of those things, except Lightsquared, are at least undead. Alff, please report to the fire pit. You’re obviously a witch and must be burned at the stake.

What technologies, then, didn’t survive 2012? Well, let’s see…

1. The Space Shuttle and the US Manned Space Program
Endeavour departed for California, Atlantis left the confines of Kennedy Space Center for the visitor complex, Discovery went to Washington, and Enterprise is now sitting on an aircraft carrier. Along with the retirement of our orbiting construction vehicle, the manned space program has virtually ground to a halt. Our astronauts are hitching rides on Russian Soyuz rockets and all we can cling to is the hope that SpaceX continues to progress towards a man-rated rocket and that the political and bureaucratic mess we call NASA can produce the SLS and get us back into the space exploration game.

2. Film
We called it back at the end of January. Now, before you get pedantic and point out that film is still being produced and whatnot, consider that Kodak…one of the world’s leading producers of film and film cameras…is exiting that market. They are selling off their consumer film business and focusing on commercial and movie-grade film. Other than hipsters and a minority of experimental photographers, professional and amateur photography involves CCD or CMOS, rather than silver halide salts. As an amateur photographer, I know some people who still shoot in film. Their biggest concern is that, for some formats, the film is no longer produced and they are living off hoarded stores of the stuff.

Blackberry remained on life support this year. RIM, despite a failed tablet, has managed to stay afloat and is currently touting Blackberry 10 as a company saving platform. Is it really going to save the company, or is it just another Palm 2.0 final gasp of air? Unfortunately for our little morbid game, we have to wait until 2013 to see if the coffin gets closed.

Other than our favorite Canadian “smart”-phone maker, what’s on the edge for next year? Well, there’s netbooks. They were only holding on against the ultralight laptops because of their price. However, the rise of the tablet has made netbooks almost irrelevant. A quick search on bestbuy.com turned up exactly 7 netbooks currently available, and 3 of those are variations of the Asus Eeeeeeeeee. Nokia, Ericsson and MySpace — who helped bring the social network to the mainstream — are all teetering. Nokia and Ericsson, especially, have not produced anything new in some time. Thin film solar is not competing against its silicone-based cousin and may, if the disappearance of companies producing it is any indication, disappear altogether next year.

What technologies finally left the surly bonds of this life did I miss? What are your predictions for 2013?

  • Slow_Joe_Crow

    I was going to nominate Teletext after the widely publicized shutdown of the BBC's Ceefax service in October but apparently several other countries still have some se4rvices running. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_teletext_ser

  • mr. mzs zsm msz esq

    So 'neerd you're predicting a return of the Swedish panel truck? Sweet!

    • …or, sadly, that its return is as likely as lightning striking twice.

  • Flip/slider phones or pretty much any small mobile device with a non-touchscreen QWERTY keyboard.

    • I've thought about that one, and when we were in the Verizon store in November to get my wife her new phone I looked. They are still there, and quite a few of them. Apparently there are enough people who just want their phone to be a phone that they keep making them.

      Plus, there are a lot of people that can't have cameraphones at work or who are extremely abusive to their phones.

    • I disagree, but I may be biased.

  • CaptianNemo2001

    Correction "we"(Jerks who think they need to be correct) use C.E. nowadays not A.D.. I personally don't care but thought I would point it out.

    Now for things that will fail and vanish in 2013, I unhapply cast my vote for a large chunk of the bureaucratic mess called NASA.

    • It's easier to think of the current year as -62 BP or AVC MMDCCLXV.

      • If the Mayans are right, tomorrow marks the beginning of the year 0.

        • jeepjeff

          There's nothing to say they're wrong. Their counting system is as reasonable as any. For that matter, it could be the year 3178.

    • fodder650

      I prefer my randomly created calendar to be used with a naming system just as random. I have some issues concerning the fact that 2012 years ago that something was considered modern where the poor schlub who had died a month before might as well have been a neanderthal.

      Really shouldn't the calendar has reset during the industrial revolution? How about when the first smart phone was released by Palm? Heck the day after VJ day a whole new era started that ended when the wall fell in 1989. So that would mean its 23 A.R. (after Reagan)

  • Maybe not 2013 but, similar to my above prediction, I predict the end of actual buttons. Touchscreens are EVERYWHERE. We just got new printers at the office, no buttons, all touchscreen controls.

  • Nemesis980

    Dell, Inc., the computer manufacturer may not go out in 2013, but the brand as we know it (and one time darling of Wall Street), is going to go the way of the dodo, probably in seven to ten years. Did you know that, at one time or another, Dell made televisions? Smart phones? Tablet computers? Of course not. Dell does not know how to market themselves any more than a pig can sing the Star Spangled Banner. Look for it to get swallowed up (and broken up) by Microsoft as a hardware line to build their "Surface," or sold off in pieces to other, more nimble technology companies. And Michael will waltz away with his money and put thousands of people (and families) out of work.