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December 30th, 2009
09:59 AM ET

What's gone obsolete?

This morning in Tech Trends, we're taking a look at this list from the Huffington Post declaring what, in the world of technology, became obsolete this decade.
Dial up internet, newspaper classifieds, and yellow pages may be no surprise... but do phone calls belong on the list?
Let us know your thoughs on what's gone "obsolete." As we end the decade, it's a good chance to take stock of how quickly technology has changed - and changed our lives.

Filed under: Heidi Collins • Josh Levs
soundoff (77 Responses)
  1. Sandra Cox

    Cable television. It used to be that a cable company came to town, the city would grant it a franchise, and everyone had a choice: take it or leave it. With the advent of satellite TV, fiber optic TV, TV shows on the Internet and good ol' free digital TV signal, there are more players in town. Cable is on its way out.

    December 30, 2009 at 10:05 am |
  2. Victor/NYC

    Apparnetly, since we don't interact with one another, personally, manners are obsolete not to mention looking folks in the eye and all the other social graces. Soon, we'll just be pointing at the screens on our tablets to get the point across to others.

    December 30, 2009 at 10:21 am |
  3. InfotainMe

    Looks like Infotainment is still in; news is still out.

    December 30, 2009 at 10:42 am |
  4. keith hedrick

    the war in the middle east is a relegious war that we will not win due to the fact we are fighting as a goverment, and not as a relegious group as the taliban and al-quadia are, as you can stop a goverment but you will never stop relegion, the sooner the us and its allies understand this the sooner our troops will start coming home walking and not in a box. keith, swampscott mass.

    December 30, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  5. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    There's several things that have went obsolete this year job's -social security increases – uniformed government – Obama's strategy to make a plan to come together – and alot of rich and famous people .

    December 30, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  6. Fred

    Here's my list:

    Maps (GPS so much better)
    Carbon Paper
    Conversing without acronyms
    A.M Radio
    Bingo Cards
    Solitare with real Cards

    December 30, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  7. John Mark Miller

    Heidi, we have forgotten true Christian principles (Duh...) but has anyone even thought of Jesus' admonition to return good for evil? No one died in the Christmas Day incident. Wouldn't this be a good time to heap coals of fire on our enemies heads by doing something really peacable, really considerate, really full of love and loving kindness? Something that lets the enemy know that we are trying embrace the reasons for their madness. There is more to gain by love than that that will be lost by hate. In this season of Christ's birth celebration wouldn't it be a good time to do that? Consider what the wanna be bomber's father did. Couldn't we just this once return love for hate?
    John Mark Miller

    December 30, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  8. Larry

    We should fight terrorism with technology. Demand and assist all airports worldwide that have flights coming to U.S. have full body scanners and any other tool needed to catch these terrorist. In oher words, put the money spent on useless bombings and ground attacks into the technology now needed to protect the public.

    December 30, 2009 at 10:51 am |
  9. Joe Hilaman

    Texting has taken over it seems like but at what cost. the youth in america have very poor communication skills when it comes to face to face communication. Wonder why, oh ya they don't do it

    December 30, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  10. kumar

    Humans are too much dependent on technology that we take "Nature" for granted. We forget that "Nature" which taught us lots of things is neglected . We need to focus on small things that we as humans can return back for "Nature".

    December 30, 2009 at 10:53 am |
  11. Vijay Singh Jaswal

    Till last decade we were using tapes and tape walkman till more recently we were using compact CD for listening to music but with MP3 players and all USB supported devices these have gone obsolete. I wonder who still is buying music on CD.CRT TV is another product which has definitely gone obsolete.

    December 30, 2009 at 10:54 am |
  12. Harold

    Radio and television stations will be obsolete by 2019.

    December 30, 2009 at 10:57 am |
  13. Sundalya

    Josh you are so right so many different things are going obsolete. Its like people don't need to go out anymore we all just stay in the comfort of our own homes.

    December 30, 2009 at 10:57 am |
  14. Johnny

    Letters, phone calls, film, encyclopedias... Seems to me these items have become "obsolete" from the lack of American work ethic and desire to grow (there was just a story on how American students plagiarize college papers). Remember what happened to the Harvard MBA's who got the easy degree only to run our financials into the ground. Cut back on nurturing our education and need to read and communicate, and we become a society that values little. It's very sad.

    December 30, 2009 at 10:57 am |
  15. Amos Annan

    Heathcare reform is obsolete. The corporations and insurance industry won again.

    December 30, 2009 at 10:57 am |
  16. Dr. Yiannis Sovarous

    Oh I really hope newspapers dont go, I dont care if they are considered obsolete. I enjoy the daily papers thoroughly. Oh well, i guess i'll just have to spend more time on

    December 30, 2009 at 10:58 am |
  17. Linda Stevens

    Before we start doing things we need to remember that not all people have computers. Most Government agencies don't accept computer transmitter documents. The forms must be faxed or mailed. Speaking of mail, how about putting the Post Office on the list. I'd also like to do away with catalogs sent through the mail. There are 2 women living in my house. Three days ago we received 16 magazines.

    December 30, 2009 at 10:58 am |
  18. Dan

    Obsolete: anything that is paper based like newspapers, magazines, books, greeting cards, faxes, etc. We need to go paperless and inkless as much as possible. Personal Computers as currently devised as large work stations and laptops wlll soon be obsolete as we replace them with online access to our files from hand held portable devices.

    December 30, 2009 at 11:00 am |
  19. Michelle Stalnos

    Video rental stores. I saved a TON of money on late fees by switching to Netflix!

    December 30, 2009 at 11:00 am |
  20. Nate

    Catalogs?? Really?? Consumers might find them obsolete and now do more browsing and shopping online, but I still get a mailbox stuffed with 6-12 catalogs a week that go straight into a recycling pile. Someone at the Huff Post might want to give consumer goods companies the message.

    December 30, 2009 at 11:01 am |
  21. Jimmy Limo in Vegas

    Josh, PLEEEASE mention this on air...
    The current decade does not end until Dec. 31, 2010 !!!
    All this media talk about the end of the current decade is WRONG !
    I thought a professional geek like you would KNOW that ! The first year
    was "1", not "0"... The first decade 1-10....
    ergo... the current decade 2001-2010...
    I'm just sayin'....
    Happy New YEAR....

    December 30, 2009 at 11:01 am |
  22. Judy DiMillo

    Yellow pages are still needed to press autumn leaves.
    Seriously, in Northern Canada, landlines and dial ups are the norm, not the excpetion.
    Fax machines still make great one off copy of something and are the only way you can send medical forms to insurance companies fast and cheap.
    Don't be too hesitant to shelve some of these once useful tools.

    December 30, 2009 at 11:01 am |
  23. Laurie

    I do agree that many of these iteams you named on TV are going away and I think that it is due to the internet. How convinient is it to go on the internet and read about the latest news or look up encyclopedias. It sure beats going to the library or reading the paper.

    December 30, 2009 at 11:02 am |
  24. Justin D


    What a great segment, thank you! It was great to think back on all of these things. Dial-up internet was probably the most interesting on the list. It came and went so fast!!!

    They say that technology is getting exponentially faster so it will be interesting what we will see go obsolete in the next decade.

    I do think that we are seeing the phone call become obsolete, but i think it is going to be more appropriate to see it on the next decades list. Texting is very impersonal which will not replace phone calls, but I do think that video calls will become the norm.

    Great news segment!

    Justin – Arizona

    December 30, 2009 at 11:03 am |
  25. Grace Olson

    Josh: The thought of the phone call as obsolete is horrifying to me; texting can never capture the resonance of a human voice, more distinctive than even the human finger print.

    As far as letters, I just put my Thank You cards for allmyChristmas presntes in the mail yesterday.

    Call me old fashioned – I prefer connecting with my fellow human beings on the face of Planet Earth while we're all here together.

    Best regareds,

    Grace in Seattle

    December 30, 2009 at 11:07 am |
  26. nap

    I agree that all of the things that you mentioned are obsolete. In the debate over job creation seeing the list helps me understand why job creation is such a difficult thing in this country.
    Think about this too. If we only text and don't talk,what impact does that have on us eventually as a society? Talking is a big part of all societies cultural evolution. Kids today don't even know how to talk in the workplace!

    December 30, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  27. Karen Zhou

    Landlines and pretty soon cell phones too! They are both so 1990's and well maybe cell phones were very popular in the early part of 2000's. But these days, people communicate more with each othere through emails and text messages (although I have never really texted myself) and gchatting and etc. Gone are the days of ICQ but people have found other means of internet communication through Facebook messages and Gmail chatting. I just wonder what is gonna be next.

    I still look through YellowPages and occasionally the Classified section of the newspaper and I read the paper daily at breakfast. I don't think newspapers and print magazines will go out of business just yet. I have trouble reading online as do many people I know. Even if I read online, I print stuff out.

    Yeah definitely dial-up internet is a thing of yesteryear!.

    December 30, 2009 at 11:36 am |
  28. Scott Stodden

    I believe more than anything else Heidi that newspapers have gone obsolete due to television and the internet. I hate the fact that we're losing or are in danger of losing great newspapers all around the United States because newspapers weather local or national should be the main way to get to news and then the internet and television, its pretty bad when people don't have time to actually sit and read.

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    December 30, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  29. Wale Falodun

    According to the last comment on the Cheney story the Bush's VP. Anyway Cheney and his daughter and haliburton did nothing for the safety of Americans then and now. Why is he talking. You were in a wheelchair when Joe Biden came for the changing of the guards. You came out to cover up for the fact that 3000 lives were lost because you failed to heed previous warnings. There were Vice presidents before you but you had the privilege of being the one that terrorists felt they could make a move on. If you are making America safe travel out of the country with or without Obama and his administration. By the way apologize to Bush for being incompetent.

    December 30, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  30. Wale Falodun

    The weakness of Dick Cheney makes America look weak. Since Obama became president there has been a nobel peace prize, reversal of economic collapse, new allies in the war against terror, job growth, transparency, and of course the right hand knowing what the left hand is doing. This is different from treasonous acts such as undermining the ability of the current commander in chief.

    December 30, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  31. Ron J Mitchellette

    I think many newspapers, not just because of classifieds, and most magazines, not just catalogues, are a dying breed. I also think that fossil fueled gas guzzlers, under 30MPG citi driving, will soon be replaced by a vast array of hybrids as standard production vehicles and not just a politically correct nod currently given by the auto industry.

    December 30, 2009 at 1:16 pm |
  32. Iyke Naija


    I think you do great analytical foreign news reports and understand diversity and differences when you're talking and thats why I like listening to your reports.
    One thing that I would like you to highlight is the muslim north and christian south parts of nigeria. This unification was made by Lord Lugards Amalgamation in 1914. That has been the source of religious tensions since that day. There seem to be a lot of generalization about nigerians. Most nigerians that you see are the southern christians. The northern muslims hardly travel.
    Thereby, this recent unfortunate incident will affect a lot of southern nigerians who are NOT terrorists. Please highlight.

    December 30, 2009 at 1:26 pm |
  33. Wale Falodun

    The GOP and Fixed News continually make a fool of themselves by always having the same talking points. When something happens there response is uniform blame the other party. Obama offered success on a silver platter with a golden fork and spoon. Being an acquired taste they rejected it. The only good republicans left minus Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. He waas the only one with brilliant questioning during the vetting of Sotomayor. Also he was the only one to publicly admit that the loss of Arlen Specter was catastrophic.

    December 30, 2009 at 1:34 pm |
  34. Mike

    Questions on the terrorist & the security measures for airtravel...
    -why doesn't the US work with Great Britain on banning terrorist...they
    put this guy on their no-fly list...I don't understand why the US didn't
    immediately follow suit.
    -I think full body scan is it NOW !!
    -I don't understand the results of your current on-line the
    approx 27% saying no to body scan WANT TO DIE ???
    -all domestic flights....significantly limit the amount of carry on
    luggage on domestic flights.....have you flown lately and see the
    amount of luggage people bring on board. Less carry-on luggage
    would help...TSA personnel, flt. attendents, people flying (faster
    boarding/getting off planes)....I think that much carry-on is a safety
    risk & just absolutely redicolous !!!

    December 30, 2009 at 1:42 pm |
  35. Wale Falodun

    The GOP and Fixed News sound like a broken record.

    December 30, 2009 at 1:53 pm |
  36. Wale Falodun

    Here is a solution lets investigate every white person and see how much dirt turns up. Racism is Obsolete. When someone is better than you the best thing to do is fall in place. Wax on Wax off.

    December 30, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  37. Angie

    What is Obsolete? The Truth!
    The truth that the Republicans in 2007 Released 2 of the masterminds in the Christmas attack.
    The truth that if those 2 whom Cheney and Bush in 2007 released had still been detained that the Christmas attack would not have happened.
    The Truth that the Republicans are holding back the appointed Democrat position head of Security which is proving to Endanger American Lives, and they are doing it for personal Political Gain.
    The Truth that Senate Republicans Are Playing RUSSIAN ROULETTE with American Lives for their own Personal Political Gain.

    December 30, 2009 at 2:46 pm |
  38. Dan

    I really wish some of you would keep on track with the original question rather than posting your rhetorical political views in the guise of responsible comment on the original premise of the questions.

    can you please give us a break?

    December 30, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  39. Fred

    I still think the telephone has a special place in the modern world. Even to hear someone's voice form a great distance can be a comfort...

    December 30, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  40. stormy lady

    The same guys are in charge pulling the strings and their sinister actions are not supportive of the present administration. They will do any and everything to keep control no matter who suffers. Christmas day explosion, thank god it was stopped, Amen. But who was responsible for the white house crashers, air force one flying over N.Y. No one can change the face of evil and they will not allow the president to change anything for the good of an old outdated system that does not work for the people. He will be bashed by chaney, rove ,steele, yessirbossmen, michael steele, larry elder and racist hateful, birthers, tea party. NATIONAL SECURITY?

    December 30, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  41. Carol Reaves

    For those that choose privacy – dogs. For those that are scared of dogs – machine Why not both. Maybe the lines would move faster

    December 30, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  42. Robert

    Problem I have with too much technology is its outsourcing once decent paying jobs to unemployment lines that will not shorten due to what jobs that were left that the average American could due is already outsourced to China and Mexico primarly! People should sit back and see whats going on! If things dont change here in our own back yard there will be NO future for our children much less the rest of the world!

    December 30, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  43. Brian Keves

    I would like to weigh in on the what has become obsolete. Firstly, almost every item on the list is actually still extensively used by large segments of the population. This should be called a list of things that are on their way to becoming obsolete.

    Secondly, there is one item which I want to let anyone who will listen know is very dangerous to allow to become obsolete. Landlines are extremely important still because they protect against power outages and cell phone outages, which are still common place all over the world. You should not be totally dependent on one cell phone for all of your communication. Also, the land line should be a direct connect phone, not wireless, because wireless phones will go out with power outages.

    Not to be alarmist and negative, but with global warming changing weather patterns all over the world we face more cell and power outages in the future and need to be prepared for that eventuality. If you want proof just look at all of the "record" weather events which hit the United States this winter season. These are a direct effect of pattern changes.

    Every household should have at least one basic service direct connect phone and keep this as a standard backup for life.



    December 30, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  44. sowhat

    duhhh...ah thank thet mebbe Christmas has went obsoleete

    December 30, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  45. Pattipan

    I would add online banking and check writing to replace paper check payments of bills plus online income tax submission..

    Internet phones replacing landlines, and online TV will replace the networks and cable.

    Avatar the movie will bring on a new surge in the popularity of virtual reality sites like Second Life.

    Dictionaries are gone too.

    GPS nd Google Earth are a given over paper maps and the atlas.

    Of the 12 listed I don't use any of them and in some cases haven't for years and I am a grandma! The latest thing I gave up was cable TV infavor of

    My 5 year old grandson has no clue about cowboys and Indians but he does play astronaut and Star Wars.

    December 30, 2009 at 9:46 pm |
  46. Pattipan

    oh, I forgot the most important one: books! at least on paper...Kindle here we come. Never again do I pack 15-20 boxes of books when I move.

    December 30, 2009 at 9:50 pm |
  47. Dan F Anaheim,CA

    Landlines are not likely to go away as they provide DSL service; the phone is just a cheap "add on" to Internet service.

    December 30, 2009 at 11:15 pm |
  48. kk

    I live in Japan currently and they still depend heavily on fax machines. Most of my coworkers have no idea how to use email, or the address bar on their web browser for that matter. It's incredibly frustrating to me when people here want a fax when it would be much faster to email the information.

    As for yellow pages, I recently went on vacation on Saipan and the hotel room didn't have a phone book in it. It took housekeeping 30 minutes to finally track one down. Phone books are still needed in hotel rooms, people!

    December 30, 2009 at 11:20 pm |
  49. Dee

    When naming obsolete things, letters were mentioned. I do not mind at all receiving e-mail as a replacement for letters, but I still want to receive actual cards in the U.S. mail. I do not feel e-mail cards are personal and they don't really mean anything to me. I know – that may be illogical, but that is how I feel. And I also enjoy actual phone calls more than e-mail. Call me old-fashioned, but not everything is better if it's electronic or the newest thing.

    December 30, 2009 at 11:24 pm |
  50. David K

    I don't think the Yellow Pages will disappear completely – I still use them. In many ways looking up something in the Yellow Pages is easier than online. What's in the YP are people advertising in my immediate area – not people gaming the rankings. I don't need 50 million hits for a resturant choice, a barber, a hobbyshop, mechanic, attorney, etc. The YP has it neatly organized, by type of resturaunt, lawyer speciality, and since I know where I live I know what's close. I can see them all side by side without having to open a bunch of windows.

    Online, has some definite advantages, but it also provides way too much and often with things not related but "gamed" to appear at the top of the list.

    December 31, 2009 at 12:04 am |
  51. cmouse

    I worry about disability accessibility. My hands are broken. it is physically impossible for me to text. So, if I can't text does this mean I don't participate in the future? I know many people in their 60s and 70s whose fingers are also sufficiently disabled by age that they can't text. Does predict that the twentysomethings who are all gaga over twitter and texting are in for a rude awakening as they age?

    December 31, 2009 at 12:48 am |
  52. Suz

    I think one service that will become obsolete is 411 information via landline and cell phones due to smartphones and apps giving users the ability to search the web and giving the same if not more info for a listing for no extra charge and at your fingertips.

    December 31, 2009 at 1:47 am |
  53. Geek

    Wires? FAIL... Far from obsolete. there will be wires for decades to power/recharge, at least until they microsize that "nuclear" battery used in satellites for gadgets.

    December 31, 2009 at 2:34 am |
  54. Ori

    I wish someone could help me talk my uncle out of his AOL on 56.6 K modem. Before it was a necessity because no DSL or Cable. Last year they got cable in the area but he just wont let go.

    December 31, 2009 at 9:31 am |
  55. Ross Putsvatik

    Obsolescence of many older past innovations is killing much of our inter-personal relationships with each other today. Having to wait long periods on telephones in order to talk to other people that are really readily available to talk but opt to make people wait on phones is just one of the many inconveniences that we see with constantly changing ways of phone connections in our lives. Much innovation today is taking the respect out of mankind for his fellow humans. Folks putting aside books and other new ways of gaining information through the internet is not all that good. We will pay for all this "new junque" in the long run and it will not be such a pretty picture.

    December 31, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  56. Janet

    Letters may never become obsolete for individuals who are incarcerated. If a person is imprisoned and you want to contact them, the only option is a letter. I realize that few people think of those who are incarcerated, but they matter.

    Until society comes up with other options–and that seems doubtful–letters will always be critical to those in prison. Having volunteered in prisons for many years, I know how vital those letters can be.

    December 31, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  57. Dwight

    I would agree with most but film. Many professional photographers for portrait and landscape photography are gravitating back to film because it's simply better. The resolution and color rendition are not even close, even with things like Photoshop to help in post processing. But, for the average person and manay professionals, like most of the sports photographers for CNNSI, digital will now be the standard.

    December 31, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  58. Matthew

    Calling, not even close to obsolete
    Classifieds, will be obsolete during coming decade
    Dial Up, true for many but not for all
    Encyclopedias, not even close
    CDs, will be during coming decade
    Landline phone, not even remotely close to obsolete. In the coming decade, who knows???
    Film, arguably true
    Yellow Pages, in the coming decade
    Catalogs, I get more now than ever how could anyone even think this one was right?
    Fax, will be true in the coming decade
    Wires, if only it were close to true. Sheeple believe the wireless power nonsense, but all we've really achieved in one wire fits more things
    Handwritten letters, sadly it is becoming true. I'm hoping for a comeback for this one.
    I think that Huffington came closer to a prediction of what will become obsolete in the coming decade, not what did become obsolete.

    As for the decade thing: if one refers to the decade of the oughts or nineties or what-have-you, then the decade starts with 0 and runs through 9. We aren't completing the first decade of the 21st century, but we are completing the decade of the oughts or units or whatever you decided to call it. We will begin the decade of the tens at midnight.

    December 31, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  59. Ron

    The fax machine, yes is technologically obsolete, but not going away. Business needs for legal communicaction will keep the fax around for signature or signed legal documentation. This will continue until other technology and or laws provide another means of verifying signatures on documents. Security documents with electronic signatures are good, but not legally binding in most places. The electronic signatures electronically tells who created a document or made a change, but that is only down to the computer hardware or software. There needs to be an equivalent of an electronic notary that verifies the signature and is witness to the signing by people and not just hardware. Until we make those changes, faxes, couriers, and yes the mail system will continue to survive and thrive.

    December 31, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  60. Scott603

    The list is spot on. Not only are all these things now obsolete but the world is a far far far better place without them. Most especially, film!

    These are the things that will become obsolete over the few years:

    1) Privacy. Our fear of terrorism and crime will drive it out of existence. 2) Incandescent light bulbs. 3) Compact Flourescent bulbs. 4) CD's 5) Flights to Asia that stop in Anchorage for re-fueling (sorry North terminal! The A340-500, 777, A380 and 787 are going to spell certain death for this waste of time).

    December 31, 2009 at 1:45 pm |
  61. Ciro

    Obsolete for sure: dial-up internet, fax machines, newspaper classifieds (bye-bye morning paper), encyclopedias (but can you really trust Wikipedia?), letters, film, catalogs (good riddance), CD's
    Not so sure: land lines (businesses and those without good coverage still need them), Yellow Pages (not every business has a website), wires (how do you deliver power wirelessly AND safely?)
    Definitely NOT obsolete: telephone calling (texting is impersonal, and I for one do not text),

    December 31, 2009 at 2:17 pm |
  62. Ted Smith

    My vote is that film is the number one obsolete item. I suggest that land-line phones might be a close second; however, cell phone coverage is not available everywhere (and neither is DSL and cable Internet; several of my online students indicate they only have dial-up available in their areas).

    December 31, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  63. Michael VA

    CD's are definitely on the way out. Not quite obsolete yet. A lot of car stereos can't play MP3's; they require a CD. Most basic stereos still require store bought CD's since they cannot read CD-R's.
    DVD's follow the way of CD's soon too. Streaming movies to your DVR/PC will soon be the norm. DVD players (DVD & yes...Blueray's too) will be obsolete soon.
    VCR's are more obsolete than fax machines. Most companies want you to sign a job offer letter and background investigation forms and fax it to them.
    Free off-air TV will soon become obsolete due to unjustified transition to digital (no one has ever given a good reason for this), corporate greed and government control.
    Letters are not obsolete...yet. I write letters to my out-of-state nieces because they are too young for cell phones or email accounts...Sister cannot afford these erroneous expenses for them too.
    One thing that will become obsolete (if it has already) is promises made by politicians when they campaign for office...bringing troops home, centrist government, not increase the national debt, lower polution...

    December 31, 2009 at 2:42 pm |
  64. Donna

    I believe this list to be directed toward the upper middle class and does not take into account poorer people. Family and friends of prisoners can only communicate through writing letters. The poor and disabled often can only afford and use land line telephones. Some people will always prefer to hold a book in their hands rather than search online. I think this list was created by narrow minded snobs. Wake up to the entire world not jut your little corner of it.

    December 31, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  65. jen walls

    What an interesting list...most I agree with, however I am daily innundated with catalogs, so clearly retailers don't think they are obsolete! Also, it will make me incredibly sad if letters go away. I still have old letters from relatives long gone and delight in reading them. What will our kids have in their memory boxes from our generation? There is nothing quite as touching as a hand written letter.

    December 31, 2009 at 3:18 pm |
  66. Ray

    In my opinion, encyclopedias and landlines still have a lot of life yet. You can't trust Wikipedia and most of it is copied from another web site or edited by people who are obviously biased. As long as landline calls are cheaper and better quality than mobile phone calls, they will still be used. I still tell people that I'll call them back on a landline since the connection on the mobile phone is so poor.

    If encyclopedias and landlines are replaced, then their replacement need to be at least as good as them...and I don't quite see that yet...

    January 1, 2010 at 2:18 am |
  67. Marc Weissman

    Broadcast Television Networks

    January 1, 2010 at 2:10 pm |
  68. Dan

    I think that the Yello Pages are the thing that's becoming the most obsolete.

    January 1, 2010 at 2:45 pm |
  69. Henry aged 10

    With the arrival of of itunes, CD popularity has dropped. However, I do not believe they are obsolete yet. I tend to buy CD's mostly for listening to audio books and use itunes to preview music before I go to the shops to buy it.
    This Christmas, DVD sales were a lot higher than Blu-Ray. I think this is beceause people are not prepared to buy a brand new Blu-Ray player just because it is in HD, when they have a DVD player which works perfectly alright and they can also download HD movies from itunes onto their computer.

    January 2, 2010 at 8:00 am |
  70. cecelia wever

    You mentioned the demise of Lan Lines and this is so true but I think you may want to consider focusing on this fact as a real story and how the demise of lan lines can, ultimately, impact the national security of our nation in a time of crisis and how vulnerable the population at large will be when and if lan lines are not available to the end user. We, in my opinion, still need to secure lan lines across the nation and have them available to all. I think it would make a good story and cause some debate. Thanks!!

    January 2, 2010 at 9:04 pm |
  71. cecelia

    Oh yes, I also forgot to mention that manners and patience and kindness should be top on the list of what is going obsolete....

    January 2, 2010 at 9:10 pm |
  72. Diana

    There is nothing that shows more appreciation than writing someone a letter, whether it is a thank you card or if it's a friend off in boot camp. The effort of writing a letter and the value of keeping them for later is priceless; the handwriting, the ink, the things that seem so meaningful at the time.
    For text messaging to replace phone calls is just plain narcissistic in my opinion. It's like making everybody a remote control and vice versa. Don't want to talk to the person? Don't return the text. Don't want your stressed out friend to go on and on over the phone? Text, "how are you." (Of course if this person is a clueless chatterbox, that's another story.) Don't feel like calling to say happy birthday? Send a text. For me, a phone call is so much more satisfying than a text message. There are just some courtesy things that will do our generations good in the world.
    As long as we don't replace technology for genuine concern for people in terms of communication, we can embrace it. My problem is it's substituition and it degrading the quality of real human communication. A real hug is MUCH better than an e-hug. Real human interaction stimulate more of the senses. The telephone stimulates via auditory input and text messages do a weaker version of it, since a person's message must go through an electronic medium before getting to the person. ...just somethings to think about.

    January 5, 2010 at 9:05 pm |
  73. Martin

    What will go obsolete is media that are just used as a transport for the real information. Letters, CD, newpappers and so on.
    Don´t get me wrong! Artists , Reporters and Users will still be around, but the delivery format will change. This is due to several reasons, such as cost, convience , delivery speed and enviroment.
    The idea that power cable/internet cable will go obsolete is just a commercial gimmic to sell services and accumulators.
    It is just not economic and environmentally friendly.
    The up-side will be that there will be a lot less transport and the material can be used to produce energy instead, which will be needed when we run out of oil.

    January 5, 2010 at 11:38 pm |
  74. Chris

    I don't think catalogs are obsolete yet. I do a lot of my Christmas shopping through catalogs since you can quickly browse through such a wide variety of products, and often find something that you wouldn't know to look for in the first place. I love shopping online, but I find the internet better for more focused shopping when you already have a good idea of what you want. Catalogs are still better for browsing.

    The main thing I don't like about catalogs is that they send out so many and so often. Many companies sent out 2-6 different versions of their catalog in the past two months with all the same products in them. I've never seen such a waste of paper, even with recycling. I only need one Territory Ahead catalog for the holiday season, not 6.

    January 6, 2010 at 12:40 am |
  75. Elizabeth

    Harry Reid was stating a Fact, not being bias. I am a person of color and it amazed me to see the most bigoted protest what Harry Reid said and take it out of context while they are living their lives in a bias and bigoted manner.

    The Repubilcan Party and its affiliates cannot soeak on Race, the populous has already spoken to them by Not been part of their racially bias actions!

    One of the books author Mark Halperian is in my book a infamous BIGOT!

    January 11, 2010 at 9:27 am |