I just watched an AT&T commercial from 1993. It was part of their “You Will” series, which featured quick glances of futuristic technology that AT&T claimed to be a part of developing. I remember the campaign clearly because I was in college at the time and my friend Jason and I designed some t-shirts around the theme.
Anyway, what I find interesting about these commercials from 17 years ago is they were surprisingly prescient. They predicted things like:
- Online books (remember, in 1993 the web was new and Mosaic was everyone’s browser)
- GPS navigation in cars, including automated routing and directions
- RF sensors that can pay tolls as you drive through the checkpoint
- Video conferencing
- Purchasing concert tickets online (in 1993 the web didn’t have any commercial stuff)
- Choosing a movie on demand from a menu on your TV
In hindsight I think it’s easy to say, “Sure, all of that is pretty obvious”. But 17 years ago, it wasn’t obvious at all. When you think about it, the things we take for granted today were barely pipe dreams then. What kind of amazing things can we expect in the next 17 years?
I’m working on some server configuration stuff for a client. They have an account at Rackspace, which is a well-known (and very good) hosting company. Like many such companies, they have an option on their web site for a live chat session. The idea is you can immediately connect to their support personnel and resolve problems or whatever.
Now, there’s kind of a joke in the industry about so-called “Headset Hotties” which are those areas on corporate sites that encourage you to contact them, and there’s always a picture of an amazingly beautiful woman wearing a headset and smiling broadly because she’s so excited to take your call.
Rackspace apparently doesn’t believe in headset hotties.
Uhh. Is that a woman? Seriously. If so, maybe she should lose the army-green cap and overalls and consider a different hairstyle. I fear that if I click the button to chat with her I’ll suddenly be online with someone named Helga and she’ll want to arm-wrestle.
“Just speaking generally, not about any specifics, and taking a wild guess, I’d say that’s a good solid maybe, unless my salary depending on raising money by saying yes, in which case I’d say yes.”
— Seen on Slashdot, although pretty much any politician would say it
Spent today at Sea World. Fun stuff.
Now I’ve really hit the big time… Angelina herself wants to be my friend!
Or– and I know this might be a long shot– this could be a spam message. Hmm.
Summer vacation update: as we were driving through Holbrook, Arizona on our way to Phoenix, we zipped past a little side street. It was so awesome I pulled a u-turn about a half mile up the road and came back just to have my picture taken with the sign.
Can you imagine how cool it would be to tell people your address when they ask?
“Yeah, I’m over at 662 Bucket of Blood Street.”
Or something like
“…So you go about a mile on Navajo Blvd. and then take a right on Bucket of Blood.”