Over the last five years, technology has been rapidly changing and expanding in every field imaginable. Smart phones are now capable of acting as standalone computer devices that can take pictures, search the Internet, send emails and text messages and yes, they even make phone calls. While it might seem that the technology of today has reached its limits, it is still actually spreading its proverbial wings. Only twenty or so years ago, personal computers were becoming small enough and affordable enough for families to buy them for home use. Since then, the world of technology has shown no signs of slowing down and practically every device available today is somehow tied to computer technology. From the first day that technology was introduced to war, it has helped shape the latter. Flint-made daggers and spears, and leather or wickerwork shields, did quite as much to shape the tactics adopted by ancient societies as horses did during the middle ages and as tanks, aircraft, and various combat ships do today.
All transportation depends on technology, whether it’s the wheel, the jet engine, or the computer chip. Transportation is not just technology it’s a system of technology, people, energy, money, and more—but advances in technology play a key role in shaping transportation systems, which in turn help to shape our lives, landscapes, and culture. Because transportation is so important to commerce, because literally and figuratively so much is riding on it, it has been the focus of an enormous amount of inventive activity. Corporations have invested billions of dollars in improved technology. Individuals have sought their fortunes in breakthroughs big and small. Technology has changed society tremendously. Things like iPods, Netbooks, BlackBerrys, Blue Tooth, and flash drives have definitely not been around for a long time. Our society today has many advantages thanks to technology.
Law enforcement officers have a great advantage with things like GPS and tracking devices and cell phone records. The general public also faces a lot of distraction because of some technology though. Car accidents used to be caused mostly by people falling asleep or drunk driving. Now the big concern is that people are playing with their gadgets, messing with music players, playing DVDs in the background for kids, and talking on their cell phones. That is a lot of potential distractions! Society is becoming a union of ‘we want it now’ people thanks to most technology offering super fast services. There isn’t enough stopping to smell the roses anymore. For the most part, however, technology does us more good than harm: It’s reconnected us with old college roommates, helped us learn a foreign language, and encouraged us to exercise. Follow us as we look back at how technology has changed our lives—for the better and for the worse—in terms of communication, computing, dining, entertainment, and travel.