If You Could Travel Back In Time, What Would You Change About Tech?

Imagine you had the ability to travel back in time. Knowing what you know now, what would you make different in the tech world? What tech would you bring with you? Would you create Facebook before Facebook? Would you convince Reed Hastings never to attempt the Qwikster disaster? Would you terrify people with your iPod touch?

Or maybe you'd subtly insert yourself into photos with people of the time? Let's get hypothetical in the comments.

Image: Virtual Museum of Canada


Comments

    Would make FM radio services available at lower frequencies, the ones currently used for AM-medium wave (MW), because FM provides much better quality.

    I would prevent any social media sites from arising. They have ruined the internet and bred a generation of self obsessed, attention whoring drones.

      This. A thousand times this.

      i love when i find a person after my own heart, death to social
      media sites!!!

      Bitch please... I submit blogs as evidence of the downfall of the
      internet.

      but James - you just used a social media tool to express your
      thoughts to a bunch of strangers.

    do everything to stop Steven Elop killing Nokia and force Microsoft to partner with RIM instead

    Simple one. Take out a patent for the microprocessor and then license it out to whoever wanted to make it with a percentage of each one paid to me. I'd instantly become the wealthiest person in the world.

      Even better: Copyright Binary!

    I'd invest and push fiber optics over copper from the start

      You would have to invent fibre optics first

    I'd prevent whatever cultural crap caused people to see what tech they use as some sort of allegiance.

      You'd have to go pretty far back then- same tendency in family,
      tribe, religion, town, city, country, sporting team, skin colour,
      you name it . :(

    I'd go back to when they first introduced the patent system and revise it to get rid of these ridiculous patent wars that are squashing the ability for tech to move forward. Essentially just take away artificial limits that stop us from advancing.

      definitely something patent related! ...stop all patent trolling,
      prevent aesthetics patents, al patents must be licensed at a costs,
      fund patent offices enough so they can properly research prior art,
      remove all exploits...

        Definitely this. This 'patent everything' mentality of companies
        has to stop. How about making money by producing a better product
        and providing appropriate levels of customer service, instead of
        suing your way to a marketplace monopoly. This is what I would
        change.

    I'd have told Jobs he would have died from cancer. Maybe he would have spent his billions finding a cure for the rest of humanity.

      He didn't have billions back then.

      He could have been potentially cured but left it too late to
      operate. That's why I have zero sympathy or sadness over his death.

    Internet Explorer 6 wouldn't be around. Let's put it that way.

    Stop Bill Gates from bailing Apple.

      Wow.. I'm sorry but that is possibly one of the dumbest thing you
      could do. Sure let's make the computer market even more dominated
      by Microsoft.

      imagine the world nowadays if Apple wasn't bailed out by Microsoft
      that would be crazy.... we would have a lot less rich patent
      lawyers too

    Get rid of QWERTY and make em use standard alphanumeric. That way I might actually be able to type more than sixty or seventy wpm!

    One would have to go through every single important and less important tech and consider something. Does this make the most money or does it do the most for Earth? once you have that then what do you decide? Be rich or remember for doing so much for the planet?

    For me, I would pretty much create as many patents as possible and then when Apple comes around saying XYZ about patents, I can turn around and tell them to @#$% off. The reason why I would do this is because I could get to pick what I can make from patent fees so live a good life and stop a lot of the patent trolls that sue everyone. I consider Apple to be a Patent Troll these days (sorry everyone)

      Wouldn't that pretty much make you the guy that invented patent
      trolling? I mean if that's what you want to be remembered for..

    In family guy fashion I think that stopping the advent of the dark
    ages would be a better way to go. Damn you imaginary deities
    slowing our progress. We could have been at the singularity by now!

    i can't believe that no one has mentioned the most obvious one.. go
    back and teach people hoe to produce high end batteries, of all
    sorts, so that by now batteries would be super awesome and very
    cheap. imaging the 50's with Li-Po batteries? then imaging that
    battery with 60 years of advancements..

    Prevent Microsoft from buying 150mil non-voter shares at Apple. Oh
    how magnificent that'd be.

    Install a patent system that doesn't unfairly favour the rich with
    lots of lawyers but instead those that actually invent useful and
    ground breaking products. for example you wouldn't be able to just
    put fuel cell in front of laptop and get a patent you would have to
    invent a new kind of computer or fuel cell.

    Make the daily smut (aka news) being broadcasted by channel 7 &
    9 and the endless re-runs punishable by death. Ditto for anyone
    feeding the paparazzi frenzy.

    I'd start a lot earlier on research into solar and other
    alternative energy sources, especially here in Australia- make sure
    they had massive, defence level type government and industry
    funding. Gut the oil and gas industry bastards.

    Comic Sans as the default Font in everything, OS, apps, everything.

      are you the long-lost spawn of Adolf ?

    I would go back to the dawn of writing and communication and create
    a 'world religion' based on rational critical thinking and
    scientific rules of evidence. No matter what, we'd be far more
    advanced and enlightened by 2012.

      I was going to type 'abolish religion' but your version works fine
      :-D

      "No matter what, we’d be far more advanced and enlightened by
      2012." Thats a big assumption on your part. I'm quite sure the
      church thought the same thing 2000 years ago.

      You'd thwart religion by creating a religion. Well done *slow clap*

        And I've got just the name for it - The Church of Scientology!

    I would prevent reality tv from ever coming into existence. Not
    sure how, but i'll go ahead in time to hopefully when I've figured
    out how to stop it, then go back in time and put it all into action
    (assuming Im still alive by the time I've thought of the solution).

    Correct me if I am wrong (and I probevly am) but so far as I am
    aware traveling forward in time is a lot more realistic. I remember
    a doco about me travel and that the astronaut who has had the most
    flight time has experienced .something of a second longer than us
    earthclan due to gravitys effects on time.

      Faster than light travel would put you into the future.

        the faster you travel the slower time moves - relatively

    I would take psytrance and the machines that make it back to 1960
    ;D

    One word -Tesla. Use knowledge of the future to make myself rich
    and then become Tesla patron. Giving him free reign to work on
    whatever wanted.

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