If you want to get an idea of just how fast technology moves, a brilliant piece from the BBC should help light the way. The setup is simple enough: 13-year-old Scott Campbell is given a Walkman and told by his dad that it was "the iPod of his day" — and that's when the fun begins. Having never used or even seen the device, the young man proceeds to experience the kind of equilibrium-destroying confusion which we can only imagine the elderly first felt when using attempting to set a VCR timer (you do remember what VCRs are, right?). We've collected a few the choicest bits from the teen's observations, but we highly suggest you read the full article… you won't be sorry. Our favorite picks (direct quotes):
* When I wore it walking down the street or going into shops, I got strange looks, a mixture of surprise and curiosity, that made me a little embarrassed.
* It took me three days to figure out that there was another side to the tape. That was not the only naive mistake that
I’m developing some tools on another website—partially to help me keep track of information in a more effective manner—and I started messing around with Google Trends.
I was punching in various queries, just to have a fiddle around.
Then the phone rang. Becky answered it.
I typed in ringing phone. Then ringing bell. Then ringing ears. I have no idea what I was looking for, but look at this chart for ringing ears:
Is that weird?
Most of these charts look like a noise floor, with occasional news driven spikes. I looked at tinnitus, the clinical term for “ringing in the ears” and when I combined the chart from that with the one above, there’s a general correlation, as one would expect. (CSV datasets from all of these queries may be downloaded if you want to perform actual correlation calculations instead of just eyeballing it with the boneheaded charts Google is using.)
Next, I tried one with obvious seasonal correlates: gardening. That chart looks exactly as one would e