We've made huge technology leaps since the new century began, which got me thinking about the difference today's technology will make in the lives of tomorrow's kids.
Do you think kids born in 2011 will recognize any of the following?
Video tape 录影带
Starting this year, the news stories we produce have all been shot, edited, and distributed to TV stations without ever being on any kind of tape. Not only that, the tape-less broadcast camera we use today offers much higher quality than anything that could have been imagined 10 years ago -- and cost less than the lens on the camera we were using previously.
Movie rental stores 影碟出租店
You actually got in your car and drove someplace just to rent a movie?
Books, magazines, and newspapers 书籍，杂志和报纸
Like video tape, words written on dead trees are on their way out. Sure, there may be books -- but for those born today, stores that exist solely to sell them will be as numerous as record stores are now.
Maybe as quaint jewelry, but the correct time is on your smartphone, which is pretty much always in your hand.
Wired phones 有线电话
Why would you pay $35 every month to have a phone that plugs into a wall? For those born today, this will be a silly concept.
Yellow and White Pages 电话黄页
Why in the world would you need a 10-pound book just to find someone?
Fax machines 传真机
Can you say "scan," ".pdf" and "email?"
The evening news 晚间新闻
The news is on 24/7. And if you're not home to watch it, that's OK -- it's on the smartphone in your pocket.
Commercials on TV 电视广告
They're terrifically expensive, easily avoided with DVRs, and inefficiently target mass audiences. Unless somebody comes up with a way to force you to watch them, who's going to pay for them?
Film cameras 胶卷相机
For the purist, perhaps, but for kids born today, the word "film" will mean nothing. In fact, even digital cameras -- both video and still -- are in danger of extinction as our pocket computers take over that function too.
Hand-written letters 手写信件
For that matter, hand-written anything. When was the last time you wrote cursive? In fact, do you even know what the word "cursive" means? Kids born in 2011 won't -- but they'll put you to shame on a tiny keyboard.
Not long ago, if you didn't answer your home phone, that was that -- nobody knew if you were alive or dead, much less where you might be. Now your phone is not only in your pocket, it can potentially tell everyone -- including advertisers -- exactly where you are.