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Taking the bait.

The iPhone is a product, not a technology.

With a whole 8% of it now in the can, Jim Rapoza thinks it's a great time to look at the Most Overhyped Technologies of the Century.

Of course, Jim could have more accurately said "the decade", but century sounds so much more important. Like, 10 times as important!

Let's look at the list.

  1. iPhone
  2. Social networks
  3. Grid computing
  4. Outsourcing
  5. RFID
  6. Virtualization
  7. Blogs
  8. Green technology
  9. VOIP
  10. Video on the Web

Surely the Macalope's intelligent and sex-ay readers can spot the red meat link bait on the list. Here's a clue: it's not really a "technology".

Here's another clue: it's #1.

So, OK, the Macalope took the bait, but he's not going to even bother to argue over whether or not the iPhone was over-hyped. That argument is so 2007.

The real problem with including the iPhone on this list is the simple fact that it's a product, not a technology. A technology -- like every other item on the list -- is something that anyone can implement. The iPhone is an example of smart phone technology [Macalope: commenter Obvioustroll is right, even that's not correct as "smart phone" is really a product class, but it's at least consistent with the other things on Rapoza's list]. Anyone can make a smart phone, but only Apple can make an iPhone (OK, and Cisco, but that's a crappier iPhone). Well, unless you want Apple (and Cisco) suing you into the stone age.

That's not hyperbole, either. Where, exactly, do you think cave men come from? They're people who got successfully sued by well-heeled corporations, of course.

Anyway, if Rapoza had really wanted to swat at a hornets' nest to drive up traffic to his silly little list, he could just as easily have said "Open source", which is at least a kind of technology. And, after all, it hasn't achieved its promise of a technological utopia running under one world government, now, has it.

Oh, what, you don't think Jim would hold anything to such absurdly high standards? Well, he probably wouldn't hold open source to something like that because he loves him some open source (not that there's anything wrong with that, unless he were to decide to express that love physically, because, ew). But let's read his reasoning behind putting another item on the list.

Blogs - Blogs have unleashed the hordes of citizen journalists. Now everyone has a printing press with which they can speak to the world. Well, while blogging has produced some great new writers and commentators and has opened up discussions between people and companies, it hasn't been quite the sea change envisioned by early hypers. After all, for every one blog that is well maintained and heavily read there are probably a hundred that aren't updated and that no one reads.

Wow. That is so stupid it actually made the Macalope's antlers go numb.

According to Rapoza's logic, moving pictures never amounted to much either because for every "Citizen Kane" there was a "Baby Geniuses 2". Same goes for the printing press. For every Gutenberg Bible, there was a novelization of the movie "Baby Geniuses 2". And the wheel. For every life saved getting someone to the hospital on time, there was someone who drove to see the film "Baby Geniuses 2". And what's all this hype around fire?! Sheesh! Fire, fire, fire! Well, did you know that for every person who was "saved" from "freezing to death", there was a theater that wasn't burned to the ground for showing "Baby Geniuses 2"? It's true!

Well, Jim, the next time you want to troll for hits from Apple fans, maybe you should just start your piece with something about how they're members of a cult.

You know, like everyone else.