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Robert Trigaux

30 innovations that rocked the last 30 years



Internetexplorer What are the 30 "most important" innovations from the last 30 years? Well, PBS’ Nightly Business Report teamed up with "Knowledge at Wharton", the online research and business analysis journal of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and came up with a list. No surprise to me, the Internet ranks No. 1. But the other 29 are fascinating choices.

Got some favorites here? Can you think of innovations left off this list that should have made it? My thoughts appear after the list. Comment, folks, comment!

30. Anti retroviral treatment for AIDS -- Health Care
29. SRAM flash memory -- Electronics
28. Stents -- Health Care
27. ATMs -- Finance
26. Bar codes and scanners -- Retail
25. Biofuels -- Biotechnology
24. Genetically modified plants -- Biotechnology
23. RFID and applications (example: EZpass) -- Electronics
22. Digital photography/videography -- Electronics
21. Graphic user interface (GUI)  -- Computer Science
20. Social networking via Internet  -- Media
19. Large scale wind turbines  -- Energy
18. Photovoltaic Solar Energy -- Energy
17. Microfinance -- Finance
16. Media file compression (e.g., jpeg, mpeg, mp3) -- Computer Science
15. Online shopping/ecommerce (example: eBay) -- Information Technology
14. GPS Systems  -- Electronics
13. Liquid Crystal Displays -- Electronics            
12. Light emitting diodes  (LEDs) -- Electronics
11. Open source software/services (examples: Linux, Wikipedia) -- Media
10. Non-invasive laser/robotic surgery (laparoscopy) -- Health Care
9. Office software (spreadsheets, word processors) -- Computer Science
8. Fiber optics  -- Telecommunications
7. Microprocessors -- Computer Science               
6. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) -- Biotechnology
5. DNA testing and sequencing/Human genome mapping -- Biotechnology
4. E-mail -- Computer Science
3. Mobile phones -- Telecommunications
2.  PC/laptop computers -- Computer Science
1.  Internet/broadband/WWW (browser and HTML) -- Telecommunications

Nightly Business Report will review the full list during tonight’s broadcast (check local listings).

Pretty cool list, detailed here. My Fab Five are (1) Internet, (2) DNA/Human genome mapping, (3) Microprocessors, (4) Mobile phones and (5) Microfinance.

What's missing? Maybe "miniaturized batteries" or "statin drugs" (cholesterol reducers). And what about Harry Potter?

Let's hear from you all on this one.

-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist

[Last modified: Tuesday, June 1, 2010 11:24am]


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