What Technology and Companies Are Obsolete Today?

Senior Contributor
10.26.10 3 Comments

...Soundwave? Is that you?

Yes, they still make cassette Walkmans. Well, they DID make cassette Walkmans. An obituary for something you haven’t thought about in a decade, plus how are the major broadcast networks committing suicide today? We’ve got all the answers here on Uproxx News.

First up, the Walkman. Once a marker of status, the Walkman had fallen on hard times, which is kind of to be expected in a time when you can’t even find the format you play in music stores. We were in Target last night looking for stuff to hide in Robopanda’s desk, and we don’t even remember seeing any blank cassette tapes. Even on our regular visits to the dollar store to find the food that sustains us to write these posts, we don’t see them.

But apparently there were still cassettes in Japan, or at least enough painfully out of touch people who used them, to justify making a cassette Walkman. No more, as after thirty years, they’re no longer being made in Japan. Thus comes an end to a long, dignified brand that had spent the last ten years kind of hanging around next to the iPod, talking about how it totally came first and how the MP3 player branded Walkman were, like, totally better, a brave advertising message consumers ignored in droves.

Of course, they’re still making them in China, and they’re still being distributed in the US, although where, precisely, that’s happening, we’d really like to know. No, seriously. Who’s selling these things? Forget that, who’s buying them? Our grandmothers all have CD players at this point, and half of them aren’t even on the Internet (hence all the boobies in our posts).

Anyway, enough about an obsolete technology. Let’s talk about obsolete media giants! It’s been an exciting couple of months for TV, what with Comcast trying to acquire NBC, and ratings generally taking a nosedive. But things have gotten really exciting during the last week or so.

First up, Fox and Cablevision. It’s really hard to feel bad for either side, as both are about as evil as you can get before you start getting into “eating kittens” territory. Fox and Cablevision are in a wee little argument about how much Cablevision should pay to carry Fox’s channels, most of which either feature programming that caters to old people or that people could see, for free, in the first place. The argument has been getting ugly, so Fox decided to make a point in a mature, intelligent, and effective way.

Oh, wait, no, they just decided to block access to Cablevision subscribers to Fox shows online out of spite, because apparently it’s the customer’s fault for not wanting higher prices. Unfortunately for Fox, this managed to drag in other TV providers like Dish Network and a few Democratic Congressmen into their Internet peen-size match.

Immediately following this, the networks decided they really hadn’t demonstrated to their customers quite enough just how useless they were, and decided they weren’t going to let Google TV anywhere near their precious TV shows. Because, of course, the last thing you want is ad-supported television to be found by the viewers.

After all, it’s not like they’ve got five hundred channels to choose from. Or Netflix. Or friends with DVRs. Or the Internet, which features every TV show that airs approximately a microsecond after it finishes its first airdate. No, no, the networks can totally control how and where their customers access their content! Completely!

Just like the music industry!

[news-links]

  • Walkman dead. Well, kinda. (The Hindu)
  • Fox and Cablevision can’t decide on how much to overcharge their customers. (MSNBC)
  • The networks really, really want to encourage you to avoid the ad-supported versions of their programming. (CNN.com)

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[news-morenews]

  • In other news, Sprint’s backing an iPad rival, the Samsung Galaxy. Pay $400 and sign up for a data contract, or go to Verizon and pay $600 and $20 a gig. Verizon must have seen that Walkman tidbit and thought it was still 1985. (Yahoo! News)
  • In the latest episode of a seemingly endless series called “Republicans Should Not Use Twitter”, Dane Deutsch decided he wanted to end his career and tweeted this: “Hitler and Lincoln were both strong leaders. Lincoln’s character made him the greater leader whose legacy and leadership still lives on!” …yeah, there were a few more differences beyond just the whole “character” thing, Mr. Douche, er Deutsch. Stay classy, Wisconsin. (Chicago Tribune)

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[news-stats]

  • How many Walkmans sold around the world? 220,000,000. (Yahoo! News)
  • How many iPods sold around the world? About 270,000,000. Suck it, Grandpa! (About.com)

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