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  #1  
Old 05-06-2012, 11:46 AM
Mangosteen Mangosteen is offline
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101 Gadgets That Changed The World

Popular Mechanics put out the list.

http://www.popularmechanics.com/tech...-world#slide-1

Any additions or subtractions? Changes in order?


101 Gadgets That Changed The World
Full list:

101. Duct Tape
100. Fiberglass Fishing Rod
99. Stapler
98. Roomba
97. Aerosol Spray Can
96. Quick-Release Ski Binding
95. Super Soaker
94. Blender
93. Bra
92. Picnic Cooler
91. Digital Video Recorded
90. Zippo
89. Teflon Pan
88. Flash Drive
87. Ginsu Knife
86. Hearing Aid
85. Sunglasses
84. Drip Coffeemaker
83. Toaster
82. Flashlight
81. Leaf Blower
80. Spincast Fishing Reel
79. Swiss Army Knife
78. Can Opener
77. DVD Player
76. Chainsaw
75. Electric Blanket
74. Safety Razor
73. Printer
72. Stopwatch
71. Kodak Carousel
70. Boombox
69. Electric Toothbrush
68. Coleman Lantern
67. Binoculars
66. Tape Measure
65. Zipper
64. Derringer
63. Lunchbox
62. Charcoal Grill
61. Smoke Detector
60. Moog Synthesizer
59. CD-ROM
58. Outboard Motor
57. Hair Dryer
56. Tape Recorder
55. CB Radio
54. Ballpoint Pen
53. Car Jack
52. Kindle E-Reader
51. Push Lawnmower
50. Cassette Tape
49. Circular Saw
48. Game Boy
47. Leatherman
46. Fire Extinguisher
45. Sony Walkman
44. Floppy Disk
43. Polaroid Camera
42. MP3 Player
41. Pocket Calculator
40. Wi-Fi Router
39. Electric Drill
38. Digital HDTV
37. Wristwatch
36. 8mm Camera
35. Mircophone
34. Digital Camera
33. Microwave Oven
32. Computer Mouse
31. LED
30. CD Player
29. Camcorder
28. Electric Guitar
27. Blackberry
26. Crescent Wrench
25. Hi-Fi
24. Sewing Machine
23. Laptop
22. VCR
21. Answering Machine
20. Remote Control
19. Brownie Point and Shoot Camera
18. Vacuum Cleaner
17. Handheld GPS
16. Transistor Radio
15. Modem
14. Typewriter
13. Match
12. Bicycle
11. Dry Cell Battery
10. Light Bulb
09. Alarm Clock
08. Phonograph
07. Telephone
06. Portable Air Conditioner
05. Personal Computer
04. Hypodermic Syringe
03. Television
02. Radio
01. Mobile/Smartphone
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  #2  
Old 05-06-2012, 11:59 AM
ZipperJJ ZipperJJ is offline
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Roomba? Are they really ubiquitous enough to have made any significant impact?

I'm a person in my 30s and I'm pretty sure my friends and I are the "target market" for such a tool and I only know one family/person out of all my friends who has one.
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  #3  
Old 05-06-2012, 12:08 PM
ralph124c ralph124c is offline
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Yeah..the "boombox" changed the world-for the worse!
Thank God we now have Ipods-instead of blasting noise with boomboxes, the Ipod zombies listen in private..and other people don't have to suffer
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  #4  
Old 05-06-2012, 01:02 PM
chacoguy chacoguy is offline
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Ginsu Knife?
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  #5  
Old 05-06-2012, 01:29 PM
nicole1912 nicole1912 is online now
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Digital HDTV has changed the world? I mean, it's nice and all, but I'm not seeing it as in the same category as bras, or duct tape, or the hypodermic syringe.

I might have added 3D printers to that list - though maybe that's just a potential thing at the moment. The idea does have immense potential to change the world, though.

ETA: I also have some grave doubts about calling a bra a gadget, unless I've misunderstood and it's not referring to clothing - in which case, I doubt its world-changing impact, if I've never even heard of it...

Last edited by nicole1912; 05-06-2012 at 01:31 PM..
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  #6  
Old 05-06-2012, 01:45 PM
ZenBeam ZenBeam is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZipperJJ View Post
Roomba?
Exactly what my first thought was.

What's portable air conditioner doing at #6? Some kind of sponsorship deal? I wouldn't even have put it on the list.

And what would we do without our electric toothbrushes? Our teeth would fall out, because it's not like we have some manual method that works.

Last edited by ZenBeam; 05-06-2012 at 01:47 PM..
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  #7  
Old 05-06-2012, 02:45 PM
Dewey Finn Dewey Finn is offline
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I'd add the washing machine.
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  #8  
Old 05-06-2012, 03:02 PM
Rick Rick is offline
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Super soaker?


I don't see the automobile listed. Maybe they don't consider that a gadget.
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  #9  
Old 05-06-2012, 03:05 PM
Shagnasty Shagnasty is offline
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The problem with the list is that some of them aren't gadgets. They are just regular inventions or specialized products. I don't think of duct tack as gadget for example and neither are DVD players, CD's, or matches. A list that includes all technology would be much different.

Last edited by Shagnasty; 05-06-2012 at 03:06 PM..
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  #10  
Old 05-06-2012, 03:08 PM
Lumpy Lumpy is offline
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A lot of room to debate what's a "gadget"- I presume they mean something personally usable on a small scale. And some of the listings seem like near-duplicates: cameras, electronics, digital media, etc.

Derringer? I'd have said "revolver" or "handgun".

How about the Thermos?

Probably "vibrator" should be on the list.
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  #11  
Old 05-06-2012, 03:18 PM
ZenBeam ZenBeam is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lumpy View Post
Probably "vibrator" should be on the list.
Oh, you're right. "Electric toothbrush" must be a euphemism.
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  #12  
Old 05-06-2012, 03:21 PM
Gagundathar Gagundathar is offline
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Originally Posted by ZenBeam View Post
Oh, you're right. "Electric toothbrush" must be a euphemism.
If so, then what does it mean when my dentist reminds me to floss?

Last edited by Gagundathar; 05-06-2012 at 03:22 PM..
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  #13  
Old 05-06-2012, 03:28 PM
Kenm Kenm is offline
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1. The wheel.

2. Fire.

102. Shallow lists by an increasingly irrelevant dead-tree publishing house.
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  #14  
Old 05-06-2012, 03:39 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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Of course those all changed the world. Every invention changed the world. Some of them just didn't change the world nearly as much as others. Given what they claimed, the list is fine. If they're trying to claim the 101 biggest changes to the world, though, they're crazy. Where's fire, or the wheel, or the spear, bow, or club?
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  #15  
Old 05-06-2012, 04:38 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
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The list should include the telegraph. It's been superseded now by other technology but it's impact at the time was bigger than the telephone or the radio or the internet. Those inventions were just improvements of existing communications. The telegraph was the system that first made it possible to have instantaneous communication over long distances.
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  #16  
Old 05-06-2012, 04:50 PM
sitchensis sitchensis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZipperJJ View Post
Roomba? Are they really ubiquitous enough to have made any significant impact?

I'm a person in my 30s and I'm pretty sure my friends and I are the "target market" for such a tool and I only know one family/person out of all my friends who has one.
Quote:
Originally Posted by chacoguy View Post
Ginsu Knife?
I think you have to read the article to really understand their reasoning. The Roomba is important as the first mainstream personal robot. The Ginsu Knife for its infomercial marketing style.

Not saying I agree, but it makes a little more sense.
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  #17  
Old 05-06-2012, 04:52 PM
Arrendajo Arrendajo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gagundathar View Post
If so, then what does it mean when my dentist reminds me to floss?
It means he wants you to wear a thong.
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  #18  
Old 05-06-2012, 11:17 PM
Sailboat Sailboat is offline
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Alarm clock but not the clock itself, especially the chronometer that made longitudinal navigation possible?

Handheld GPS but not the compass?

The Super Soaker? The Leatherman?

This looks like a list compiled by bunch of stoners during after-school detention.
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  #19  
Old 05-09-2012, 01:15 PM
trev0006 trev0006 is offline
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Awesome list but not in that order, and a few of the things on the list are just silly. Roomba?????? seriously!!!!




Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangosteen View Post
Popular Mechanics put out the list.

http://www.popularmechanics.com/tech...-world#slide-1

Any additions or subtractions? Changes in order?


101 Gadgets That Changed The World
Full list:

101. Duct Tape
100. Fiberglass Fishing Rod
99. Stapler
98. Roomba
97. Aerosol Spray Can
96. Quick-Release Ski Binding
95. Super Soaker
94. Blender
93. Bra
92. Picnic Cooler
91. Digital Video Recorded
90. Zippo
89. Teflon Pan
88. Flash Drive
87. Ginsu Knife
86. Hearing Aid
85. Sunglasses
84. Drip Coffeemaker
83. Toaster
82. Flashlight
81. Leaf Blower
80. Spincast Fishing Reel
79. Swiss Army Knife
78. Can Opener
77. DVD Player
76. Chainsaw
75. Electric Blanket
74. Safety Razor
73. Printer
72. Stopwatch
71. Kodak Carousel
70. Boombox
69. Electric Toothbrush
68. Coleman Lantern
67. Binoculars
66. Tape Measure
65. Zipper
64. Derringer
63. Lunchbox
62. Charcoal Grill
61. Smoke Detector
60. Moog Synthesizer
59. CD-ROM
58. Outboard Motor
57. Hair Dryer
56. Tape Recorder
55. CB Radio
54. Ballpoint Pen
53. Car Jack
52. Kindle E-Reader
51. Push Lawnmower
50. Cassette Tape
49. Circular Saw
48. Game Boy
47. Leatherman
46. Fire Extinguisher
45. Sony Walkman
44. Floppy Disk
43. Polaroid Camera
42. MP3 Player
41. Pocket Calculator
40. Wi-Fi Router
39. Electric Drill
38. Digital HDTV
37. Wristwatch
36. 8mm Camera
35. Mircophone
34. Digital Camera
33. Microwave Oven
32. Computer Mouse
31. LED
30. CD Player
29. Camcorder
28. Electric Guitar
27. Blackberry
26. Crescent Wrench
25. Hi-Fi
24. Sewing Machine
23. Laptop
22. VCR
21. Answering Machine
20. Remote Control
19. Brownie Point and Shoot Camera
18. Vacuum Cleaner
17. Handheld GPS
16. Transistor Radio
15. Modem
14. Typewriter
13. Match
12. Bicycle
11. Dry Cell Battery
10. Light Bulb
09. Alarm Clock
08. Phonograph
07. Telephone
06. Portable Air Conditioner
05. Personal Computer
04. Hypodermic Syringe
03. Television
02. Radio
01. Mobile/Smartphone
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  #20  
Old 05-09-2012, 01:57 PM
Ludovic Ludovic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
The list should include the telegraph. It's been superseded now by other technology but it's impact at the time was bigger than the telephone or the radio or the internet. Those inventions were just improvements of existing communications. The telegraph was the system that first made it possible to have instantaneous communication over long distances.
I agree that its impact was at least as great if not greater than the above, but the reason has at least as much to do with cost as it with speed. Optical telegraphs could get a message across all of Europe in less than a day, but required manned outposts every 2 miles or so. Resultingly they were so expensive that after the Napoleonic Wars they were almost (but not quite) completely abandoned.

For many pieces of information it doesn't matter if you receive it some time in the day or within a few minutes (allowing for waiting for the telegrapher and transcription times) but both are huge improvements over around a week.
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  #21  
Old 05-09-2012, 02:33 PM
mack mack is offline
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I'd add the compass and sextant and put them way up on the list.
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  #22  
Old 05-09-2012, 03:22 PM
kunilou kunilou is offline
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When they have the fiberglass fishing rod at 100, but the fishing reel at 80, I start to wonder if they've really put a lot of thought into the list. When they put the super soaker ahead of the stapler, I get convinced they drew things out of a hat (and where's the hat on the list)

And how about the condom?
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  #23  
Old 08-26-2012, 04:54 PM
One-Eyed Jack One-Eyed Jack is offline
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The list makes my head itch

I wonder how such an eclectic list could have come together - what were the criteria used to be considered for the list and why are they ranked this way? What is a "gadget" and what makes it important?

Apparently a gadget is something small, although it can be part of a much larger system required to make the gadget work. For example, a smart phone is only a digital camera or walkie talkie without a cellular communications system (with all the technology such a system includes).

A roomba is on the list, but not the steam engine (which can be the size of a 100-ton locomotive or a lunch box). Steam power was a critical element of the industrial revolution, although the roomba will clean your floors. Hmmmm, hard decision (more head scratching).

Many of these gadgets need electrical power to operate, yet generators and motors of all types (except the battery powered electric drill) are missing from the list yet have fundamentally changed our world.

I'm still scratching my head over the list.
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  #24  
Old 08-26-2012, 05:07 PM
Scribble Scribble is online now
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I'm with Lumpy--how do we distinguish a gadget from any other type of techological invention?

Does the cotton gin count? How about the pendulum clock? The treadle loom? The Foulard loom? The hypodermic needle? The laser?

I'm suprised to see the portable air conditioner, but not air conditioners in general.

It also seems odd that GPSes didn't make it onto the list. I suppose you could argue that GPSes actually depend upon satellites and atomic clocks, which are gadgets in their own right. But, then, I don't see those on the list, either.

Last edited by Scribble; 08-26-2012 at 05:08 PM..
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  #25  
Old 08-26-2012, 05:07 PM
johnpost johnpost is offline
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it is a magazine that is big on gadgets. it is an article to help sell the magazine.

it isn't a history magazine that steam or electric power development would have an article in.

it's not even old gadgets that your grandparents had. it is gadgets that you bought last year, last month or might buy soon.
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  #26  
Old 08-26-2012, 05:12 PM
Scribble Scribble is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnpost View Post
it is a magazine that is big on gadgets. it is an article to help sell the magazine.

it isn't a history magazine that steam or electric power development would have an article in.

it's not even old gadgets that your grandparents had. it is gadgets that you bought last year, last month or might buy soon.
Yes. Right. We get that. That's not the point of this thread, as far as I can tell.

Last edited by Scribble; 08-26-2012 at 05:14 PM..
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  #27  
Old 08-26-2012, 06:03 PM
Rick Rick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scribble View Post

It also seems odd that GPSes didn't make it onto the list. I suppose you could argue that GPSes actually depend upon satellites and atomic clocks, which are gadgets in their own right. But, then, I don't see those on the list, either.
Number 17 handheld GPS
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