Changes that are coming (and not political)

Subject: Changes that are coming (and not political)

This age of computers;- the Internet;- wide, wide broadband communication capability (and growing);- the Cell Phone, which is not just a phone anymore;- sophisticated "gadgets" like the iPod and a multitude of others,,has, is and will,, create changes to this world as we have known it to be.

Whether these changes are good or bad depends in part on how we adapt to them. There will be no going back and you best be ready to go with the flow. But, ready or not, here they come! Consider the following:

1. The Post Office. Get ready to imagine a world without the post office. They are so deeply in financial trouble that there is probably no way to sustain it
long term. Email, Fed Ex, and UPS have just
about wiped out the minimum revenue needed to keep the post office
alive. Most of your mail every day is junk mail and bills..

2. The Check. Britain is already laying the groundwork to do away with checks by 2018. It costs the financial system billions of dollars a year to process checks.
Plastic cards and online transactions will
lead to the eventual demise of the check. This plays right into the
death of the post office. If you never paid your bills by mail and never
received them by mail, the post office would absolutely go out of

3. The Newspaper. The younger generation simply doesn't read the newspaper. They certainly don't subscribe to a daily delivered print edition. That may
go the way of the milkman and the laundry man. As for reading the paper
online, get ready to pay for it. The rise in mobile Internet devices
and e-readers has caused all the newspaper and magazine publishers to
form an alliance. They have met with Apple, Amazon, and the major cell phone companies to develop a model for paid subscription services.

4. The Book. You say you will never give up the physical book that you hold in your hand and turn the literal pages. I said the same thing about downloading
music from iTunes. I wanted my hard copy CD. But I quickly
changed my mind when I discovered that I could get albums for half the
price without ever leaving home to get the latest music. The same thing
will happen with books. You can browse a bookstore online and even read a
preview chapter before you buy. And the price is less than half that of
a real book. And think of the convenience! Once you start flicking
your fingers on the screen instead of the book, you find that you are
lost in the story, can't wait to see what happens next, and you forget
that you're holding a gadget instead of a book.

5. The Land Line Telephone. Unless you have a large family and make a lot of local calls, you don't need it anymore. Most people keep it simply because they've always had
it. That's the way it is around my house. But you are paying double charges
for that extra service. All the cell phone companies will let you call
customers using the same cell provider for no charge against your

6. Music. This is one of the saddest parts of the change story. The music industry is dying a slow death. Not just because of illegal
downloading. It's the lack of innovative new music being given a chance
to get to the people who would like to hear it. Greed and corruption is
the problem. The record labels and the radio conglomerates are simply
self-destructing. Over 40% of the music purchased today is "catalog
items," meaning traditional music that the public is familiar with.
Older established artists. This is also true on the live concert
circuit. To explore this disturbing topic further, check out the book,
"Appetite for Self-Destruction" by Steve Knopper, and the video
documentary, "Before the Music Dies."

7. Television. Revenues to the networks are down dramatically. Not just because of the economy. People are watching TV and movies streamed from their
computers. And they're playing games and doing lots of other things that
take up the time that used to be spent watching TV. Prime time
shows have degenerated down to lower than the lowest common
denominator. Cable rates are skyrocketing and commercials run about
every 4 minutes and 30 seconds. I say good riddance to most of it. It's
time for the cable (TV) companies to be put out of our misery.. Let the people choose what they want to watch online and through Netflix.

8. The "Things" That You Own. Many of the possessions that we used to own are still in our lives, but we may not actually own them in the future. They may simply reside
in "the cloud." Today your computer has a hard drive and you store your
pictures, music, movies, and documents. Your software is on a CD or DVD,
and you can always re-install it if need be.

But all of that is changing. Apple, Microsoft, and Google are all finishing up their latest "cloud services." That means that when you turn on a computer, the Internet will be built into the
operating system. So, Windows, Google, and the Mac OS will be tied
straight into the Internet. If you click an icon, it will open something
in the Internet cloud. If you save something, it will be saved to the
cloud. And you may pay a monthly subscription fee to the cloud provider.

In this virtual world, you can access your music or your books, or your whatever,, from any laptop or handheld device. That's the good news. But, will you
actually own any of this "stuff"? Will it
all be able to disappear at any moment in a big "Poof?" Will most of the
things in our lives be disposable and whimsical?

It makes you want to run to the closet and pull out that photo album, grab a book from the shelf, or open up a CD case and pull out the insert.

9. Privacy. If there ever was a concept that we can look back on nostalgically, it would be privacy. That's gone! It's been gone for a long time anyway. Try a Google search on your name and see how much information is available. You will be very surprised

There are cameras on the street, in most of the buildings, and even built into your computer and cell phone. But you can be sure that 24/7, "They"
know who you are and where you are, right down to the GPS coordinates,
and the Google Street View. If you buy something, your habit is put into
a zillion profiles, and your ads will change to reflect those habits.
And "They" will try to get you to buy something else. Again and again.

All we will have that can't be changed are Memories.

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