It seems at the moment, formspring.me is the latest craze to hit the internet, with a few of my mates posting on facebook “hey, ask me questions!”. Well, I happened to follow one of these links recently, and noticed the latest question which had been answered:
What 3 things do you think will become obsolete in the next ten years?Books, because all reading will be via digital means. Land line phones because everybody will have mobiles.. even granny! Music CD's for sure, with ipods + mp3s taking over.
I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to disagree with all 3 of these, and here are my reasons:
Books – Books have been around since at least the 4th Millennium BC, and whilst there’s not denying that the digital versions are useful (especially when it comes to searching for something in a non fiction book), the good ol’ paper and ink partnership will always have a place due to its robust medium. Lets say you had 1000 ebooks saved on a memory stick, and there was a power surge on your computer, you will have lost 1000 books which most likely can’t be recovered. Now lets say there was a flood and it ruined a bunch of paper books. There’s a good chance that the books could still be read, even though they are no longer in good condition!
Land line phones – Yup, we can’t avoid mobile phones these days. I have an iPhone, which is an excellent device, but there are times when using a land line is the better option. Calls are usually cheaper on a land line, premium rate numbers (when called in the UK from a British Telecom phone line) cost the price they say they are. The call is generally more stable, especially in remote areas, where phone signal isn’t very strong. Also, most of the UK connect to the internet via ASDL connections, which require a phone line to work, and whilst you can get mobile boradband now, the speeds are not as fast, and require you to be in a 3G area. I do agree though that in about 10 years time, even your granny will most likely be using a mobile phone!
And finally, CDs – CDs will not be obsolete in 10 years time! Until services like iTunes offer lossless downloads, CDs will have a place in the legally bought music market. The reason for this is simple, MP3, WMA, AAC, and OGG Vorbis are all examples of lossy formats. A lossy format is where the original music file has been analysed, and the frequencies that are supposed to be to high and low for the human ear to hear are removed. Then, similar sounds are merged together. The results mean the sound just isn’t quite as good as the original from the CD. There are lossless formats such as FLAC and Monkey’s Audio, as well as WMA Lossless and Apple Lossless, but these formats are rare to find being sold legally. That was a crude description of how a lossy file works, but I believe the examples showing picture compression on Wikipedia give you an idea.
These are just my opinion, I obviously can’t tell what we’ll be reading/using/listening to in 2020, but I don’t think these current day technologies will be obsolete!