8 Technologies We're Thankful For - InformationWeek
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8 Technologies We're Thankful For

Thanksgiving is about giving thanks, remember? So, let's express appreciation for the technologies that make our lives better. These are the gadgets, apps, and tools that have earned our eternal gratitude.
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(Image: Sadeugra/iStockphoto)

(Image: Sadeugra/iStockphoto)

It's easy to imagine that the upcoming holiday weekend is about coping with turkeys (metaphorical or otherwise), cheering a football team, finding the best Black Friday sale, or avoiding giving your family free technical support.

But remember: Thanksgiving is supposed to be a day when we openly appreciate all that we have. Ideally, each of us has plenty of personal joys to celebrate. I hope your own list is a long one.

What's not to like about the idea of dedicating a day wherein the purpose is to remind us to be thankful? That sentiment isn't applicable only to the people (and cats) in our lives. It's about everything that helps us become comfortable, productive (or cheerfully unproductive), and spiritually balanced. Because technology often can improve the quality of life, it's worthwhile to take a few moments to give thanks for some of those technologies, too.

[It's not wasting time if we're having fun. Read 10 Mobile Games To Ease Your Commute.]

Some of these items are so commonplace, you probably use them every day and don't even think twice about how much they've transformed your life. Others might not fall under your definition of "technology," though these products certainly have a significant amount of technology required to make them possible -- and indispensable -- to our everyday lives.

This list is unabashedly personal, but I expect you can relate to several of these items. Add your own favorites in the comments section below, and together we can expand our range of "things to appreciate."

Esther Schindler has been writing for the tech press since 1992. She specializes in translating from Geek into English. Her name is on the cover of about a dozen books, most recently The Complete Idiot's Guide to Twitter Marketing. Esther quilts (with enthusiasm if little ... View Full Bio

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Angelfuego
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Angelfuego,
User Rank: Ninja
12/19/2015 | 9:37:52 PM
Re: Many thanks - untethered
@mejiac, I do the same, I just carry my keys, cell phone, debit card, and identification. I usually hold it all in one hand, if I don't have any pockets. I don't have a need for a pocketbook. I feel like pocketbooks just get filled up with a bunch of unnecessary stuff to lug around. In the rare occasions that I use a pocketbook, I use a small clutch bag just containing my identification, keys, debit card, and phone.
estherschindler
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estherschindler,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/4/2015 | 3:38:46 PM
Re: Social Media?
Each of us has a different experience with social media. In my case, reconnecting with my high school friends (some of whom I knew since first grade!) was a good thing. I discovered that both they and I had changed since then. And that most of them decided I wasn't as much of a dork as they remembered.

You can tune your social media feeds so you can minimize (if not eliminate) the topics you don't want to hear about.

For me, it's been a net Plus. And not just because of cat videos.
PedroGonzales
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PedroGonzales,
User Rank: Ninja
12/2/2015 | 9:46:56 PM
Re: Many thanks - untethered
I hope so as well.  Both debit and credit cards aren't secure enough.  My friend got her money stolen from her debit credit.  Sometimes unscrupulous employees clone customers' credit cards to make other purchases.  This doesn't happen with cash.  I was hoping that by the year 2000 we would have better card technology.
Gigi3
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Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
12/1/2015 | 11:21:17 PM
Re: Weather App
"Weather apps are amazing. It indeed makes travel a lot easier. Also for frequent flyers there is this app that calculates the correct time you should rest, even among time differences under many time zones, so that your normal functioning biological clock isn't disturbed."

SachinEE, I haven't used weather apps for travelling but a frequent user in home town to know about the forecast and predictions.
Gigi3
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Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
12/1/2015 | 11:19:36 PM
Re: Weather App
"I am pretty thankful for smartphones. Truly the best invention so far. Just think: in the future smartphones will play a major role in controlling just about anything an everything."

SachinEE, you are right Smartphone made the GPS and map technology wide popular. I believe that most of the Smartphone users had used the maps and gps atleast once in their life.
Gigi3
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Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
12/1/2015 | 11:16:46 PM
Re: Navigation
"I still recall how much I used the Thomas Guide in SoCal. Funny, I used to like it. It's almost unreal that now, it's just a thing of the past. This year is the 100th anniversary of its foundation, and most likely going to a museum pretty soon."

Mak63, what's this Thomas guide? Is it something like maps and guidance system?
nomii
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nomii,
User Rank: Ninja
12/1/2015 | 11:34:40 AM
Flight Radar

One app which I think most of you are not familiar with is flight radar. Its a very nice app where you can check any flight in its route. You can check its real time status and its location. It was very handy for me once my family was travelling abroad and I was waiting for their arrival. I was able to get their travelling status in a wink. A great app indeed.

nomii
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nomii,
User Rank: Ninja
12/1/2015 | 11:31:47 AM
Re: Weather App
@Shakeeb true. I believe that every app has some purpose. It might not be handy for one but for other it might be the best thing that can happen to him. So I am waiting for this list to grow further.
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Author
12/1/2015 | 7:51:27 AM
Wireless connectivity
Esther, what a wonderful collection of technologies! I am particularly grateful for wireless technologies without which I wouldn't be able to lead the kind of life I lead today, somehow of a digital nomad working from here, there, and everywhere across cafés, cities, countries. Like you, I am very grateful for the Word Processor and for the Internet, with all the knowledge and information it brings to my fingerprints. I am also grateful for claud storage. -Susan
impactnow
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impactnow,
User Rank: Author
11/30/2015 | 11:26:02 PM
The future is so ....
What a great list that I am truly thankful for every day! Technology does make so much of our lives more enriching and entertaining! Imagine what this list will look like in twenty years!
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