While this year’s Halloween started out as normal as ever, with many of us scheming away at what clever costume we could pull out of our closets for the night, media gossip outlets decided to drop quite a bomb on us on the scariest day of the year: reality star Kim Kardashian’s marriage to NBA player Kris Humphries would alas be coming to an end after a short-lived, 72 days.
Instead of saying “Happy Halloween,” fans were uttering, “Is this for real!?” as dreams held for this not-so-perfect couple by reality TV junkies across the globe came crashing down, as we had been there every step along the way watching every single detail of their relationship, engagement, and ultimately, the exchange in vows unfold on TV week after week and in the oh-so-necessary, three-part “Kim’s Fairytale Wedding” TV special on E!.
And, if you are anything like me, you’ve enjoyed every last drop of Hump-dashion drama in all of its glory, from the tears, family fights and uncertainty during their rehearsal dinner to the culmination of the lavish, over-the-top, black-and-white-themed, $10 million Hollywood wedding.
However, we can’t deny that there may have been an inkling in all of us that their marriage was doomed from the start, as Humphries, a modest, small-town athlete from Minnesota, may just not have been cut out for the glamorous Hollywood lifestyle the Kardashian empire is well-known for. Either way, those of us whom have kept up with the fated relationship can confirm this star-studded couple’s road to tying the knot was always a bit bumpy.
Expectedly, gossip columnists and the public eye have taken to media outlets to give their condolences and, of course, poke some fun at the marriage, which many have called “fake” and even a “sham,” and went as far as to create a trending topic on Twitter (News - Alert): #ThingsLongerThanKimsMarriage.
Luckily, there are aspects of life other than reality TV star couples that last longer than a mere 72 days; and just like relationships and marriages come and go, so do technology trends. So, here’s our take on a few technology crazes that are not only making the headlines, but we expect to thrive longer than Kim K.’s marriage, even 20 carats, an extravagant wedding, and 72 days of not-so-wedded bliss later:
The iPhone (News - Alert) 4S’ Siri and IVR technology: One of the most talked-about features on the all-new iPhone 4S, the virtual assistant application Siri makes it possible for smartphone users to perform everyday tasks only using the sound of their voice. Using interactive voice response (IVR) technology, which has long been used by contact centers and enterprises for customer assistance, applications like Siri are designed to remind you about important meetings, help you draft e-mails and place calls, and basically function as your “co-pilot.” With similar applications continuing to pop up, the recent emergence of an Android (News - Alert) knock-off called “Iris, and Siri’s potential functionality on the iPhone 4 and iPod Touch, it’s looking like IVR may become a permanent staple in the design of smartphones.
Technology in the classroom: Long gone are the days of jotting down notes in your compostion book and solving math equations on a chalk board, as the everyday classroom is chock full of high-tech equipment as students and teachers alike continue to embrace education technology trends like SMART Boards, Blackboard (News - Alert), Skype and iPads. As more tools and applications go mobile, the only option for schools is to go along with these trends, especially if they want to keep up with the standards expected of them by school boards and state administrators.
The cloud: It’s no secret cloud computing continues to gain significant traction across the globe, thanks to many company leaders accepting this technology as a necessity, rather than a novelty. ICT solutions and services provider Logicalis (News - Alert) recently compiled a list of trends that prove moving mission-critical data into the cloud can produce immense results. Private cloud deployment, the hybrid cloud and managed services successfully made the list, with Logicalis confirming that the hybrid cloud model in particular, or the linking of a premises-based cloud with the capabilities and bandwidth of a public cloud, is definitely here to stay. Meanwhile, enterprises worldwide spent $3.3 billion for public cloud-based storage in 2010, and growth is projected to hit a compound annual growth rate of 28.9 percent to 2015. That means worldwide expenditures would reach about $11.7 billion. While how much private cloud storage will grow vs. public crowd storage is up for debate, it’s clear the cloud will certainly produce quite a storm over the next few years.
Daily online deals: In the past year, daily deals have taken off as a sure-fire way to get the best dining, recreational, cosmetic, etc., deals for your money’s worth. Delivered by e-mail and tailored to a subscriber’s location and interests, crowdsourced discounts from the likes of Groupon and LivingSocial are being scooped up like rapid fire by bargain-hungry consumers everywhere. While the competition between Groupon and LivingSocial begins to heat up, with LivingSocial’s projected revenue for 2011 expected to hit a whopping $1 billion and Groupon gearing up for this week’s IPO, it’s ultimately our inherent quality as humans to want more for less, and increased usability of e-mail and the Internet, that will continue to fuel these commerce sites.
The smart grid: A newer, innovative twist on the current power grid, the smart grid is a category of electrical grid that attempts to predict and intelligently respond to the actions and behavior of electric power and energy users connected to it in order to deliver reliable and sustainable electricity services. According to a recent study, the U.S. smart grid optimization solutions market is expected to expand at a CAGR of 40.1 percent over the period 2010 to 2014, with North America expected to experience 50-percent growth of smart meter installations by 2016. Meanwhile, as many as 238 million smart meters will be deployed across Europe over the next nine years, with cumulative investment in smart grid technologies totaling $80.3 billion by 2020. A tightened focus on the benefits of smart grid implementation, which is now beginning to transition to a more consumer-centric service delivery model, will certainly help move along the adoption.
So, while you mourn the loss of what could have been for Kim K. and her basketball player hubby, keep in mind there’s a lot to look forward to in the technology world. Or, in the meantime, check out what thousands of Twitter users are saying is longer than Kim’s marriage, some of which include Twitter’s character limit, the iPhone 4S’ battery life, and the obvious: the No. 73.
Tammy Wolf is a TMCnet web editor. She covers a wide range of topics, including IP communications and information technology. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.