13 tech trends that would have terrified us ten years ago

13 tech trends that would have terrified us ten years ago

Summary: Ten years ago we could have foreseen choppy waters in the not so distant future. But little could we envisage some of the horrors that we face today. Here are 13 of the scariest, most terrifying tech trends of the 21st century, all in the name of the Halloween spirit.


 |  Image 12 of 13

  • Thumbnail 1
  • Thumbnail 2
  • Thumbnail 3
  • Thumbnail 4
  • Thumbnail 5
  • Thumbnail 6
  • Thumbnail 7
  • Thumbnail 8
  • Thumbnail 9
  • Thumbnail 10
  • Thumbnail 11
  • Thumbnail 12
  • Thumbnail 13
  • Oversharing, overkill

    With Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Flickr, and dozens of other mainstream sharing services on the Web, we know far, far too much about almost everyone in our lives. The youth of today with smartphones in their pockets are snapping almost every photo, tweeting every incidental thing, sharing on Facebook their hates and gripes, and frankly their older, more mature counterparts aren't that much better.

    The National Security Agency doesn't to spend billions of dollars from a "black budget" on high-tech surveillance systems. Half the time they just need to hit "friend", "subscribe", or "follow" on our various feeds. The culture we find ourselves in today has morphed to such a point that the very notion of privacy has become diluted. Goodness knows what will happen when teenagers will graduate from school and attempt to gain employment, when their "hidden" resumes are only a cursory Google search away.

    Image: Google/stock image

  • Adverts. Adverts everywhere.

    "Buy this." Or not. "Look at this new shiny thing." Or don't. Everywhere you look someone or something is trying to sell you something. Not content with the traditional ways and means, advertisers are becoming increasingly desperate to infiltrate almost every walk of life. 

    From garbage bins to viral billboards, your Facebook stream, and even the apps you use on your phone or laptop. Advertising is overkill in this day and age.

    Back ten years ago, the thought of your favorite television shows having "subliminal" adverts peppered throughout. Oh no, a murder, but who will solve the case? The award-winning anthropologist who is more interested in showing you the latest features on Windows Phone than hunting down the killer. It spoils the show, and we all know it. Advertisers are even placing ads on the Web using your own photo. And what can you do about it? Well, you can always turn it off, but not in every given case.

    No wonder New Yorkers hate Times Square, the Mecca of all advertisers, so very, very much. 

    Image: Renew London

  • Windows 8: Where did the 'windows' go?

    Ten years ago, Windows XP was installed on almost every client computer in the Western market. On its tenth anniversary, Windows 7 was pegged as the next best thing, cutting frail Windows Vista out of the picture with only a meager usage share of a single-digit percent.

    But with the launch of Windows 8, many are sticking to their guns and holding off from installing the latest operating system from the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant. Why? It doesn't even feel like Windows anymore, some say. Microsoft suffered a "too many cooks" problem, with so many people influencing the development process. In a design-by-committee, they wanted to design a horse and came out with a visual Godzilla.

    While it's far from a "failed" operating system, many enterprise and business customers are holding off their upgrades until Windows 8.1 — the iterative update to the flawed software — hits the market. At least with the latest version, users can boot-to-desktop without having to face a sea of tiles and nonsense.

    Image: CNET

Topics: Enterprise Software, Cloud

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Browsing galleries on zdnet is so 1990's

    How hard is it to update it?
    • The 14th Trend that still scares us


      The 15th Trend that scares me: The rise of the disposable computer. Thanks to Apple, computers are only expected to last 2 years or less depending on your contract after which you are expected to discard it so you can get the latest operating system update.

      Say what you will about Microsoft, they have managed to keep operating systems backward compatible with older equipment, extending the life of that equipment for many, many years.
  • Now that's a thought.

    I'd much rather live with the suffering of a Pentium-class CPU in 1998 than live with the ever-present threats in the IT industry today that make me contemplate becoming Amish. I am getting to the point where I see so much abuse of new technology that it makes me almost neo-luddite, because I hope new technologies will fail simply because I am so used to them being abused and my mind subconsciously assumes no good can come from them.
  • Well . . .

    "If Reddit, Imgur, Google, and the BBC News can stay up and running, so can Healthcare.gov, surely?"

    Well, healthcare.gov was virtually untested, and they weren't quite expecting everybody to show up all at once (even though they do require by law for everybody to have the insurance).

    Personally, I'd like to see the law tossed out, or at least the part requiring you to buy the insurance. Requiring people to buy a product isn't something I associate with freedom and democracy. If you want the government to force you to buy products, find a good communist nation to join.
    • Not everybody showed up at once.

      That's the irony. The thing can't handle even trivial loads.
    • What do you suggest?

      CobraA1, I agree that requiring people to buy insurance is not a great solution. What do you suggest happens when a person who has declined purchasing insurance shows up at the emergency room missing an arm?

  • PC Sales in Decline.

    Yes,we like our tablets but will continue to prefer our large screen PCs for home use.
    However many of us refrained from buying a new PC as we don't want Windows 8. We'll either remain on our present Windows versions to the bitter end or eventually switch to Linux unless M$ comes out with a system we consider worth buying.
  • i was aware of these things 13 years ago...

    except for windows which were irrelevant than and now.