THE GREATEST DISCOVERY SINCE FIRE

Such was the sentiment surrounding the microwave oven in the early 1970’s.  This device was a high-priced wonder, with several companies rushing in to the market to capitalize on the hype.  In cities across the U.S., traveling salespeople conducted demonstrations whereby they cooked beef tenderloin in minutes and potatoes in seconds, leaving onlookers in amazement.  Early models sold for as much as $500.

Sharp ad in 1972

Sharp ad in 1972

GE ad in 1972

GE ad in 1972

The microwave oven was a revolutionary technological development.  It enables us to heat foods and liquids in much abbreviated time.  Yet despite its promise and capability, the microwave oven did not dislodge the conventional oven.  There are certainly uses for which cooking with a microwave oven is preferable, but for most cooking applications a microwave oven is never even considered.

Information streams, and the associated real-time search they enable, give us great insight to current sentiments and events happening at the moment.  I need not elaborate on the value of this data.  However, this value of real-time information is only relevant for a small percentage of searches (e.g. current events and current sentiments).  Try searching for information about the new Yankee Stadium, or music festivals in Europe this summer, or things to consider when selecting the right breed of dog for your family, and I can assure you that Google is a better resource than Twitter.

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