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5 Most Ground-breaking Technologies of decade

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 22-07-2016 Jefferson Graham

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LOS ANGELES - What are the five most ground-breaking and life-changing technologies we’ve seen over the last decade?

The iPhone, Uber, Google Maps, Periscope, Airbnb - they would top anyone's list, right? There are so much to choose from, way more than what we saw in the 1990s.  

As the host of the #TalkingTech video and audio series, I've had a unique position of being an eyewitness to the massive tech changes we've all experienced together. I've been covering tech since the year 2000; #TalkingTech began in July, 2006 as a video series; the podcast began in 2014.  

Some 844 podcast episodes and over 1,000 of the video edition later, I’ve been looking back this week through the archives to put the highlight reels together, and jotting down the major changes we’ve seen over the last ten years.

We had PCs and Macs in the 1980s, Google and Amazon in the 1990s and in the oughts and teens - the smartphone revolution gang.

The 5 biggies: The iPhone and Android, social media, TV streaming, transportation and reviews.

1) In first place, and without any question, it's the mobile revolution! The Smartphone did so much - it’s our generation’s Model T Ford, the device that brought people online 24/7 - for the good, bad and ugly. Remember this - in 2006, we walked down the street looking ahead, we drove around focused on the road, and and at restaurants, we actually spoke to the person we were dining with.

2) Goodbye VCR and DVD, hello streaming. Now with services like Netflix and devices like Roku and Apple TV, we really can watch what we want, when we want it, anywhere. We’re no longer a slave to the TV dial or cable company. How cool is not having to remember to set the VCR or DVR? I love it. 

3) Transportation: Rides are plentiful and more affordable with Uber and Lyft, and Google Maps or Waze tells us how to get there when we want to drive. I'm with most folks - I wouldn't dream of driving anywhere without the navigation app going. And what a huge improvement over the old GPS units that we used ten years ago. Remember when we used to have to type in the information, street name, address, city - and if you get any of those off by a digit or so, it was no go? Now, you just type the name of the business or location, the the smartphone app takes over. 

4) Social Media: The attempted coup in Turkey was live streamed on Facebook and Twitter. A major speech at the Republican convention was considered a success - until social media joined in and said no, the speech was plagiarized, and the mainstream media was forced to respond. With over 1.6 billion people on Facebook, we are more connected to our friends than ever before - and the world around us. And everyone's a photographer now. With a smartphone camera by seemingly the entire world's side, their travel and baby photos come to life in social; media, and we get to live everyone’s vacations through their photos. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing, but as a photographer, I gotta tell you - love the instant feedback.

5) Reviews: Remember when we used to call friends asking for restaurant recommendations? The flip side of that is internet trolls and how nasty it can get online sometimes. Just ask the stars of the new Ghostbusters reboot.

What would be on your top five list? Let’s chat about it on Twitter, where I'm @jeffersongraham. Listen to #TalkingTech, USA TODAY's no. 1 podcast, daily on Stitcher and iTunes. 

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