Technology worthy of Thanksgiving

There are many things for which I'm grateful on Thanksgiving, not the least being technology.

Thanksgiving football and feasting has yet to begin, but I wanted to take a minute to reflect on technology's role in my life. We live in a pretty amazing time, with tremendous opportunities to use technology to resolve big problems.

Here are just a few of the reasons why I'm grateful for technology, or technologies that make my life richer:

  • Air travel. The other day I flew from my home in Utah Silicon Valley to meet with customers, speak at Adobe Max, and then fly home again that same evening. Over 1,000 miles flown in a single day, splitting breakfast, lunch, and dinner between different time zones. What an amazing thing.
  • Costco berries. This probably doesn't seem like a marvel of technology, but given the sophisticated logistics, farming, and transportation systems that can move blueberries from Chile (or wherever) to my refrigerator in just days, allowing me to enjoy them for days thereafter, is amazing. (And, yes, Costco really does have amazing berries.)
  • MacBook Pro. Sorry, but I absolutely love my MacBook laptop. You can replace "MacBook Pro" with the the laptop of your choice, but I particularly love my Mac for its beautiful interface and elegant design, as well as the creativity software that it has: I use iMovie and iPhoto almost daily to create family videos and photo albums. My Mac makes my personal life richer.
  • Social networking. Over the past years I have made some excellent hires using LinkedIn. More recently, I was able to reach out to a girl on whom I had a crush in fourth grade and catch up with friends that I haven't seen in years using Facebook. The Web truly has made the world a smaller place.
  • Medical technology. My grandmother hasn't been in the best of health lately, but has recently grown stronger through technology-driven pharmaceuticals, which were prescribed after tests with high-tech medical equipment. Perhaps not as obviously rich in technology, but I'm also able to call her from wherever I am in the world to check in on her. On that note, my parents (who live in Argentina) call her every other day for roughly $0.00 using Vonage. VoIP is a blessing, too.
  • Blogging. Web publishing has become extraordinarily easy thanks to WordPress, Movable Type, and other blogging software. Thank you. Most of the best technology commentary would be largely unavailable without this rich publishing software.
  • The Web. It's so pervasive now, we take it for granted. But my life has changed forever because of the Web. How else would I follow the Arsenal games (over streaming audio/video)?

These are just a few technologies for which I'm grateful on this U.S. holiday. Thank you to all the engineers who have made so much possible through technology.

Tags:
Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.

     

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