Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Two technological innovations met ends this past week, and both did so with little fanfare. One's a footnote, the other an integral part of communication since the 19th century. Let's pause a minute to pour one out for:

The telegram
Western Union discontinued telegram service on January 26th. It happened so quietly that no one noticed. Or, no one apart from people who for some reason still send telegrams. It's weird that this hasn't gotten a lot of coverage. It's not like too many people use telegrams anymore, but think how hugely important they were for years. 145 years to be more exact. The first telegraph, sent by none other than Samuel Morse, was "WHAT HATH GOD WROUGHT?" What was the last? Who knows? Probably something like, "Dude, I'm totally sending you a telegram! STOP Can you believe this shit? STOP"

Sony, in attempt to refocus its company toward ventures that make money, has decided to discontinue Aibo, the robot dog that could, like, totally chase a ball and... well it could chase a ball. Sony has guaranteed seven years of maintenance for current Aibo owners and then, after that... well, you're on your own. I suspect that they'll slow down, stop being quite so playful, and then eventually develop ongoing malfunctions that make their owners question whether or not the kindest thing would be to shut them off forever. Technology is totally better than biology.

1 comment:

maryk said...

I heard a story on NPR about this, they talked to a guy who'd invested, all told, like $90,000 some odd $$$ in the dogs and accessories. And he had no regrets. Loves them dearly. Probably bought them beCAUSE they wouldn't die. How sad that now they will just like real dogs. And do you think they chose 7 years because of the whole 7 to 1 dog year ratio thing?