Graphic by Katie Peek
Welcome to the fourth round of our five-round bout!
There was no shortage of impassioned debate when we gathered to anoint the top 25 innovations in the history of Best of What's New. But a dozen editors locked in a room can only get you so far. How do you rank the best of the best – the iPhone versus the Large Hadron Collider, the TiVo versus the Chunnel? How do you name the one product that has affected more, lasting change than all others? That friends, calls for a smackdown.
Over the next week, we'll be tallying your votes through five rounds of head-to-head matchups (thanks to our friends over at Grantland whose Wire character smackdown inspired us). The ultimate goal: to name the most important product of the last quarter century.
We move on now to round four. You may cast only one vote per matchup, so deliberate carefully. This poll will close Thursday, December 13, at 16:00 Eastern time.
Had to go with wifi over the iphone. Would have gone with smart phone vs wifi, but not iphone. iphone was a big deal and changed the category, but didn't invent the fundamentals of the category. wifi did, though for a very different category.
No question the HGP has more long term importance than the ISS.
Agree about the HGP. It's Epic and Genomic sequencing is quickly changing the world already. Sea change is coming.
I have to disagree with avkck. The iPhone did completely revolutionize personal computing - the idea that everyone now has a smartphone and the ways that we use them simply didn't exist before. The facts that comparatively pathetic phones did exist beforehand, or that competitors came in and improved (stole) Apple's ideas afterward, are irrelevant. Wifi did not change the way we use the internet - it certainly made it more convenient, but the internet (and networking in general) would be going strong either way.
yosifcuervo, I agree about the iPhone, but Wi-Fi totally revolutionized the internet, allowing us to make portable computers more practical, since they didn't have to be wired in with an ethernet cable. The smartphone as we know it (basically a miniature computer) probably wouldn't have even existed were it not for Wi-Fi.
I'll have to agree with yosifcuervo, the iPhone really was a game changer, not only in mobile communications, but also the way people and businesses work and play. Yes there were plenty of touch screen and smart phones available but nothing like what the iPhone brought. For the first time people could really do things they did on their computers, right on their phones, and beautifully done so as well. And Apple totally took over the mobile gaming market once the App store was released, both Nintendo and Sony were probably crapping themselves trying to figure out what happened it happened so fast. Don't get me wrong WiFi has revolutionized wireless data communications, but WiFi had been revolutionized before the G revision came along. And I personally voted for Spaceship One because that is way more revolutionary than the ISS. Yes the ISS does a lot for the scientific community, but Spaceship One is going to revolutionize commercial space travel for everyone, not just a select few, lucky bastards.
To bad the ISS is nothing more than a massive platform for taking pictures of Earth from low orbit. I voted Wi-Fi and HGP.
in order to thank everyone, characteristic, novel style, varieties, low price and good quality, and the low sale price. Thank everyone
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In my not so humble opinion the The Wii does not deserve a spot in the contest for most important invention in the last 25 years,
the Wii was to the most important electronic invention in the past 25 years,
the Wii was not the most important game system in the past 25 years,
the Wii was not even the most important Nintendo system in the past 25 years.
Who thought this list up?
Maybe 25 years is too short a time span to have anything of note be produced, or for us to distance ourselves enough to realize what actually rises above the hype, but wait there has to be something we missed.
The internet as we know it today began about 25 years ago and the only legitimate things you can come up with for that category is one wireless format and a web browser.
You seriously think that some damned Google organization widget belongs in this swirling bracket hell hole and the first search engine does not?
Or that the "amazon kindle ecosystem" belongs here but amazon the fact that the company sold its first book in 1995 shouldn't at least be mentioned.
How about java, what about HTTP what about HTML what about streaming video, what about MP3s or MP3 players. The invention of the iPod beats the invention of the iPhone by a mile.
Popular science used to be cool and imaginative and futurist about the greatness of technology and science but how can they expect us to be interested in their future technologies when they don't even know history.
This bracket makes me sad.