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Do you remember? March 31, 2009

Posted by David Gillespie in technology.
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When Firefox 3 launched last year, I said to Scott Drummond “There goes the URL!” and thank God. While it still recognised the cumbersome string of letters aligned for a seemingly ancient protocol, it also now recognised the names of sites. So after closing the tab containing a story on Bit.ly raising $2 million in funding, I decided I wanted to reference it and ponder in some fairly semantical and tangential fashion about these further steps away from URLs. I forgot what site the story was on though, and so just typed in “bit”. Lo and behold:

Bit.ly raises a round of funding and I find my way back

Bit.ly raises a round of funding and I find my way back

We’re seeing the same thing on our phones, where we no longer dial numbers, we call people. I don’t know the phone numbers of any of my friends, hedging my bet on always being able to find them in some fashion. Skype takes this one step further with the complete absence of numbers. I can imagine explaining to children one day how you once needed a number to find someone, and having them say back to me “Why didn’t you just call their name?”

In one simple update, amidst what were I’m sure hundreds of more important features, Firefox 3 relegated the URL to history. The phone number is well on its way, and I’m wondering what other staples of life are due for a swift Darwinian exit from our technological lives?

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