Last night on the news, I heard the quote, “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times” from Charles Dickens used to describe the year 2008 and it’s events. The technology world saw good times, while the economic world did not. Economically hard times which actually began a couple of years earlier, caused the world’s leaders to huddle together and decide to release enormous funds to “bail out” failing systems. Now, Americans can truly say they own “a piece of the rock” when it comes to insurance companies, banks and the auto makers. In all of this, gas prices have plummeted to lows that haven’t been seen in years, which should allow us to see lower food prices and commodities with the lower transportation costs.
Meanwhile, the tech term “wireless” has been stretched to mean cellphones like the iPhone and Blackberry Storm, which are completely linked to the internet and carry enough features that people are relying on their little hand-held device, rather than the combination of landline and computer. This year saw more laptops being bought than desktops, creating a more portable society which would rather work outside the office than inside, and staying in contact with friends anywhere they go. Wi-fi hotspots are abundant as more businesses are hooking up a cheap little routing device (as low as $39) and leaving it “open” for anyone to use when they move into their area. In Fernandina alone, we have several places to connect around town. Additionally, corporations like AT&T saw more lines cut as people are relying more on their cellphones than the traditional landlines.
While, economists are saying 2009 will be a tough year, tech leaders are tightening their belts but are forecasting a year of increased freedom and innovativeness in such fields as chipmaking and flash drives. Cameras are getting better and cheaper. The new Flip video camera, known as the Mino HD, is smaller, easier to use, and shoots a clean image that is easily uploaded to my YouTube account. This was shot Christmas day at the beach … http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHbjE3Om2eQ
This year’s netbook, a Christmas ‘good idea’, will be improved to offer more features and even faster computing. My Asus eee PC is small, connects wherever there’s a wifi spot and makes emailing a breeze. (I used it to upload the video at the beach.) http://eeepc.asus.com/global/index.html
Cloud computing will become more advanced, allowing for more online storage, applications and group connections.
Identity and security will become more important as the level of identity theft will continue to rise. While, there is broad agreement that moving patient records into the computer age is essential to improving healthcare and curbing costs. Meanwhile, alternative energy cars will begin hitting the road by the end of 2009 and into 2010. I have my eye on the Chevy Volt … http://www.chevrolet.com/electriccar/
Finally, if you don’t have a Facebook account, you are in the minority. Facebook allows you to keep up with friends and families, and with the new app called Voicetag, you can voicemail messages to individuals or groups using your phone. http://www.facebook.com
Look for Google to do something along the same lines as Facebook with their Gmail system. I love Gmail for webmail, pop mail for Outlook and Thunderbird, and now … video chatting. http://www.gmail.com
So, the economy might be down, but the innovation that leads technology will continue to rise. And with it, new jobs will be formed. Just as my work now was only a dream a few years ago, countless other jobs will be formed and developed from the events of 2008. Keep looking forward, my friends. The best is yet to come.
On New Year’s Eve, Marilyn stood up in the local pub and said that it was time to get ready. At the stroke of midnight, she wanted every husband to be standing next to the one person who made his life worth living.
Well, it was kind of embarrassing. As the clock struck – the bartender was almost crushed to death.
New Year Prayer for the Elderly
God, grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
The good fortune to run into the ones that I do,
And the eyesight to tell the difference.
Politically Correct Holiday Greetings
To all my Democrat Friends:
Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all;
A fiscally successful, personally fulfilling, and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great, (not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country or is the only “AMERICA” in the western hemisphere), and without regard to race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith, or choice of computer platform.
(Disclaimer: By accepting this greeting, you are accepting these terms. This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for her/himself or others, and is void where prohibited by law, and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year, or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher who assumes no responsibility for any unintended emotional stress these greetings may bring to those not caught up in the holiday spirit.)
To all my Republican Friends:
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Thank you for reading Jim’s WebLetter in 2008. While I no longer set new year’s resolutions, I will say I plan to continue writing this for another year. I think we have some pretty exciting things about to happen and I wouldn’t want to miss out.
‘Til next weekend, may God continue to bless you and keep you safe.
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