Linked by David Adams on Tue 13th Dec 2011 02:38 UTC, submitted by estherschindler
Geek stuff, sci-fi...

Carol Pinchefsky contemplates commercial skipping DVRs, and other tales of really good technology that vanished, in 7 Awesome Bits of Tech That Just Freakin' Disappeared. As Pinchefsky writes: "...It got me thinking about awesome technology that we somehow ditched. The airship? Awesome. Slide rules? Awesome awesome. Mir Space Station? Boss-level awesome. And now just thinking about wristwatches with calculators makes me suffer a sense of short-term nostalgia (as in Douglas Coupland's Generation X). Here are some of the coolest features and products that we’ve lost along the way to 2012.

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Comment by Laurence
by Laurence on Tue 13th Dec 2011 09:32 UTC
Laurence
Member since:
2007-03-26

IR beaming

Before the days of ubiquitous WiFi, the Treo (see Graffiti, below) and the Palm III used a unique method to transfer files between two phones: infrared beaming. To send files from one phone to another, we just placed them near each other, pointed them at one another, and selected “Beam” from the Treo’s menu. These files were as simple as business cards and as complex as applications.

Seriously, it was totally cool to beam a business card to a potential client, although certain potential dates were less impressed. (It wouldn’t have worked out with that guy anyhow. He obviously wasn’t geeky enough.)

What the hell happened?

Just as video killed the radio star, IR beaming was effectively eliminated by the Apple App Store, which replaced the ability to download apps from a centrally controlled system, rather than peer to peer.


Errr no. Bluetooth killed IR beaming, and for good reason too.

Bluetooth has a higher bandwidth for faster transfers and didn't require direct line of sight (which was a royal pain in the arse!).

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