CNET Top 5: Tech to be thankful for
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CNET Top 5: Tech to be thankful for

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Five technologies we all take for granted that help make modern life more convenient.

I know things can get a little cynical around here. In the short time I�ve been doing Top 5 I�ve managed to alienate Android fans, gamers, Windows users, Apple fanboys, and of course, the extremely vocal Brian Cooley fanclub. But with Thanksgiving in the air, I think I�ll take this opportunity to spread some love -- some geek gratitude. I�m Donald Bell, and in this episode of Top 5 I�m counting down the technology we should all be thankful for -- the unsung heroes we all take for granted. Starting off at #5: 4G LTE. I think we can finally say that true 4G wireless is available in the United States. We�ve been clawing our way towards this benchmark for years, trying to convince ourselves that 3G isn�t so bad, desperately waiting for our Instagram photos to upload. No more! Pretty soon, we�ll be talking about 3G the way we talk about dialup. At #4: Good cheap tablets. Emphasis on the good. Right now we have now fewer than four great 7-inch tablets priced at $199 or less. Last year we had one. Now, it�s the norm, and an entire generation of kids have been permanently scarred by the Angry Birds theme song. #3: Connected TVs. Whether you�ve got apps built into a new TV or you�re working with a Roku, Xbox, or Apple TV, it�s never been easier to get your favorite web content on your TV. And not just Netflix -- we�re talking iTunes, Amazon, Hulu, YouTube, and Google Play. The cable companies are finally facing some competition, and you�re getting more cool stuff to watch. At #2: Cell phone cameras. Ever since the iPhone 4S hung its hat on camera quality, every smartphone competitor has raised their bar. Unless you�re a serious snob about your pictures, the point-and-shoot is dead and you�ve got one less thing to carry around. Throw in the 4G LTE from the top of this list, and your Thanksgiving family photos are probably being overshared at breakneck speed. Now before we get to the #1 tech we should all be thankful for, I can�t help it -- I just have to complain about something. If there was one technology that I wish I could kick in the shins, I would hand that honor to inkjet printers. GAAAAAHHH! How is it that these things still require a billion different drivers and eat up ink cartridges at more than $20 a pop? It�s like I�m feeding money into a little manic-depressive robot that lives in my home. I swear I can hear it laughing at me when I sleep. Alright, to make up for it, here�s my #1 tech we should all be thankful for: Search. If Marty McFly showed up today from 1985, he wouldn�t find any hoverboards or flying cars, but I think we could still blow his mind with a basic Google search. We really, really take this for granted, but when you think about Siri, Google Now, Yelp, Wikipedia, and all of the information that�s instantly at your fingertips, anywhere in the world, and it�s humbling. So there you have it, 5 technologies that I�m thankful for and make me proud to be a nerd. For more Top 5�s like this, visit Top5.cnet.com. You can also follow me on Twitter and let me know what tech you�re thankful for. For CNET.com, I�m Donald Bell.
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