8 Technologies We're Thankful For - InformationWeek

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11/25/2015
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8 Technologies We're Thankful For

Thanksgiving is about giving thanks, remember? So, let's express appreciation for the technologies that make our lives better. These are the gadgets, apps, and tools that have earned our eternal gratitude.
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(Image: Sadeugra/iStockphoto)

(Image: Sadeugra/iStockphoto)

It's easy to imagine that the upcoming holiday weekend is about coping with turkeys (metaphorical or otherwise), cheering a football team, finding the best Black Friday sale, or avoiding giving your family free technical support.

But remember: Thanksgiving is supposed to be a day when we openly appreciate all that we have. Ideally, each of us has plenty of personal joys to celebrate. I hope your own list is a long one.

What's not to like about the idea of dedicating a day wherein the purpose is to remind us to be thankful? That sentiment isn't applicable only to the people (and cats) in our lives. It's about everything that helps us become comfortable, productive (or cheerfully unproductive), and spiritually balanced. Because technology often can improve the quality of life, it's worthwhile to take a few moments to give thanks for some of those technologies, too.

[It's not wasting time if we're having fun. Read 10 Mobile Games To Ease Your Commute.]

Some of these items are so commonplace, you probably use them every day and don't even think twice about how much they've transformed your life. Others might not fall under your definition of "technology," though these products certainly have a significant amount of technology required to make them possible -- and indispensable -- to our everyday lives.

This list is unabashedly personal, but I expect you can relate to several of these items. Add your own favorites in the comments section below, and together we can expand our range of "things to appreciate."

Esther Schindler has been writing for the tech press since 1992. She specializes in translating from Geek into English. Her name is on the cover of about a dozen books, most recently The Complete Idiot's Guide to Twitter Marketing. Esther quilts (with enthusiasm if little ... View Full Bio

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mejiac
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mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
11/30/2015 | 10:45:17 PM
Re: Word wrap!
@Brian.Dean,

Thanks for mentioning Google Search. I remember during collegue that afte I learned to use logical operators for searching, I was considered an uber geek only brecause I was able to find almost anything online just using keywords. Today we have Google Voice/Siri/Cortana and many others.

What would be the world without Google? Probably less connected
mejiac
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mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
11/30/2015 | 10:42:50 PM
Re: Many thanks - untethered
@Michelle,

I share your sentiment. It's amazing that today's phones have the same processing capabilities as the same computers we used 5 years ago (and the gap is shrinking)

Today we can control our homes with our phones, so i don't think we're that far away from docking our phones and that becoming our PC. Attach a mouse and keyboard and we're good to go
mejiac
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mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
11/30/2015 | 10:38:44 PM
Re: Many thanks - untethered
@shakeeb,

I don't think we're that far from the point of just carrying your phone. Even thought in many countries they are still years behind, in many 1st world countries is a reality. I myself don't carry any cash, just my credit card, ID and cell phone (and my ID I can have digital if I wanted to).
Michelle
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Michelle,
User Rank: Ninja
11/30/2015 | 10:25:34 PM
Re: Many thanks - untethered
That's a facinating future that's both scary and likely true. Cash money is really handy to have when payment systems crash. I hope it sticks around for the future. 
shakeeb
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shakeeb,
User Rank: Ninja
11/30/2015 | 10:20:38 PM
Re: Weather App
@shamika – You could use a task application to trigger you the weather update via email. Try using IF by IFTTT if you are on Android. 
shakeeb
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shakeeb,
User Rank: Ninja
11/30/2015 | 10:17:00 PM
Re: Weather App
@nomii – Weather apps are always useful when you need to play your week ahead or if you travelling frequently. 
shakeeb
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shakeeb,
User Rank: Ninja
11/30/2015 | 10:15:14 PM
Re: Many thanks - untethered
@ Michelle- So true, today you hardly see a physical map. The coins and paper money will gradually fade off and the credit cards would be linked to mobile payments. Soon the only thing you need to carry will be your mobile phone.

 
shakeeb
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shakeeb,
User Rank: Ninja
11/30/2015 | 10:11:41 PM
Re: Weather App
Google now, Siri and other assistance apps need to have an AI component installed to understand the user. Currently they are just following preprogramed voice patterns and instructions. I am sure that day is not too far from where we are right now.
shakeeb
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shakeeb,
User Rank: Ninja
11/30/2015 | 10:09:19 PM
Re: Gps
@yalanand – Plenty of other applications build around GPS technology. Maps, Cab services, Location sharing apps, Device locator apps etc. This is a classic example of one technology with multiple benefits. 
shakeeb
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shakeeb,
User Rank: Ninja
11/30/2015 | 10:07:32 PM
Re: Gps
@ Angelfuego – GPS is one great tool we all used at some point as navigation help or even measuring a point to point distance.
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