(Mis)Uses of Technology

by Dennis Yang

What's Next? The Pony Express Stops Delivering The Mail?

from the end-of-an-era-STOP dept

A few companies are really taking the new year mantra "out with the old, in with the new" mantra to heart. A few weeks after Nikon and Konica announcemed that they were getting out of the film camera business, Western Union annnounced Friday that it would no longer offer telegrams. Telegram use drastically declined after long distance telephones became more affordable, and email and the web delivered the final blow (the only telegrams anyone sees nowadays are in the movies). Of course, there is some sense of nostalgic remorse as each one of these technologies gets retired. Will emails ever be sold on eBay as collectors items? Most likely not. And there certainly never was a problem with telegram spam. Ahh, the good ol' days. Then again, you can't really be nostalgic for something that few (if any) of us have actually used -- I mean, it's almost been a week since we've been without telegrams, and nobody seemed to notice.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Tyshaun, Feb 1st, 2006 @ 3:55pm

    The last one...

    I wonder what the last telegram they sent was? That would probably be worth some money.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Frank, Feb 1st, 2006 @ 5:22pm

    what will go next

    I predict the USPS will stop delivering mail and go exclusivly into the Stamp and Spam markets

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    aNonMooseCowherd, Feb 1st, 2006 @ 5:47pm

    Re: what will go next

    I predict Microsoft will outsource all their software development and switch to doing something that they're actually good at, such as finding new and more imaginative ways to subvert antitrust laws.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    eeyore, Feb 2nd, 2006 @ 5:51am

    No Subject Given

    My mother-in-law lives on a tiny island in the Philippines with no running water or electricity but has cell phone service because of the antenna on top of the mountain on a nearby island. As a result I can send her a text message for a quarter and get a response within several minutes. So why on earth would anybody even need a telegram anymore?

    OTOH we do use Western Union to send them money every few weeks. Western Union was smart to change their business model twenty years or so ago to focus on money transfers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2006 @ 7:28am

    Re: No Subject Given

    not trying to be an ahole or anything, but how is your mother-in-law charge her cellphone if there is no electricity

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Mainer, Feb 2nd, 2006 @ 8:13am

    Re: No Subject Given


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    No electricity, Feb 2nd, 2006 @ 8:18am

    Re: No Subject Given

    How the hell does she keep her cell phone charged?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2006 @ 10:46am

    Re: No Subject Given

    Solar power, baby! Either that or it's one of those elusive hand-cranked powered cell phones that are THE item to have in third-world countries.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Steve, Feb 2nd, 2006 @ 12:52pm

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    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Devboy00, Feb 2nd, 2006 @ 7:29pm

    The last sentence says it all.

    Something that hasn't been emphasized is that Western Union CHANGED THEIR BUSINESS MODEL. They *had* to in response to telephones and email. Nobody got successfully sued to preserve telegrams and rid the world of the horrors of telephony, did they? Eeyore, you have struck a gold mine of fodder for the opponents of dis-innovation by legistlation.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Steve George, May 22nd, 2006 @ 9:47am

    Behind a PC

    whats the new motorola music phone called? Steve

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Jerry, Jul 26th, 2006 @ 11:09am

    Final Western Union telegram

    I can only hope that Dennis does NOT write for a living, since he is surely not good at it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Oliver Wendelll Despentes The Third, Apr 8th, 2007 @ 8:46pm

    Stop the World I Want To Get Off (stop)

    Something about holding the crackling yellow paper from long ago, opening night on Broadway, saying "Congratulations!"...a memory lingers in the cells of a physically held object...will email ever evoke the slightest nostalgia? Will there even be future objects that can evoke any other emotion other than "it's dated, it's easily disposable and it's allready obsolete!"

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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