Things people believed 10 years ago that ended up being wrong

In 2007, we were eagerly awaiting another Pirates of the Caribbean film and a Spider-Man movie. Beyoncé and Rihanna topped the charts, and everyone was wrapped up in the drama of the sexy doctors on Grey's Anatomy. So, life might not seem that different from then. But 2007 wasn't exactly the same as today, and a lot of predictions from ten years past ended up being completely incorrect.

Al Gore thought we'd be plagued by hurricanes

Ten years ago, we saw the debut of Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth, which forced the topic of climate change into the national conversation. A lot of what Gore predicted has come true or is at least on track to be true in the next 50 years. Like the ice at the arctic poles disappearing. It's melting away even faster than the film predicted, so way to go Earth for exceeding Gore's goal!

Still, Gore didn't knock it out of the park with all his predictions. He and the National Weather Association predicted that hurricanes would be on the rise starting in 2007 due to the increasing ocean temperatures. After the wanton destruction of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, this seemed like a safe bet. Gore predicted hurricanes would be more frequent, more damaging, and ruin a bunch more baby names. Think of those poor parents who just named their baby Katrina in July 2005. In the future, no name will be safe.

But it seems that rising temperatures don't necessarily lead to a rise in hurricanes. There was a high spike in storms in 2005, but it's never reached those heights in the nearly 12 years since.

Now, that doesn't negate his claims of climate change. Again, most of his stuff was right, and the rising sea levels (which is definitely happening) could allow weaker wind storms to cause more damage than they'd have caused in years past. At the end of the day, we should take Gore's climate change lessons seriously but not be overly freaked out by his occasionally fear-mongering presentation.

Ringtones could save the music industry

Oh man, remember when the latest Evanescence track would come out and you'd run to iTunes to download it as a ringtone? It was so cool, making everyone hear little snippets of songs every time you got a phone call or text. And we can all agree, if you want prime sound quality, you've got to hear the song playing from Motorola Razr.

Ringtones were huge business ten years ago, an embarrassing fact for all of us who bought "Clocks" by Coldplay to announce our phone calls. Since the music industry was starting to falter from piracy and a move toward digital single sales, the great ringtone sales gave industry insiders hope. CNN Money reported that experts weren't sure if ringtone sales would continue to rise, but they'd certainly be used to promote artists. At the time, Madonna's single Hung Up was introduced as a ringtone before it came out as a single, and experts figured that trend would stick around for a very long time.

Unfortunately, iPhones came out, your phone became your MP3 player, and somehow as a nation we all realized how stupid it was to play a 30-second clip of a song every time we got a damn call. There's no better way to never want to hear a song again than by having it play every time Sallie Mae phones to hassle you about student loans, so ringtones' effectiveness as a promotional tool slowly faded away.

The iPhone would fail

With a headline that they'll probably regret for the rest of its days, Tech Crunch confidently announced in 2006: "We Predict the iPhone Will Bomb." It's a classic "Dewey Defeats Truman" type of headline that will go down as one of the most wrong things ever said.

Now, Tech Crunch wasn't insane. When the iPhone first came out, it seemed ridiculous that a phone would have so many extraneous uses. Sure, checking your email on your phone is great, but what else would anyone want to do on their phone? Conan O'Brien even ran a sketch making fun of the phone's many uses (it stars Ellie Kemper before The Office and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt).

But why was Tech Crunch so sure the iPhone would be a disaster? One, they thought the glass would result in lots of cracked screens. This is true, but it never stopped people from just buying a new phone or enduring constant finger cuts when playing Farmville. They also believed the iPhone's keyboard was laughable: "That virtual keyboard will be about as useful for tapping out emails and text messages as a rotary phone. Don't be surprised if a sizable contingent of iPhone buyers express some remorse at ditching their BlackBerry when they spend an extra hour each day pumping out emails on the road."

They also figured people would flock to iPods. "Since AT&T is REQUIRING iPhone purchasers to sign up for two-year contracts (any lawyers out there know if this is legal?), it isn't difficult to imagine folks who have no real need for the phone aspect looking for a nice web-browsing widescreen iPod. But boy will they be expensive (probably about $750 new)." The iPod Touch stuck around for a while, but they were never as pricey as iPhones or got anywhere near a $750 price tag.

Radiohead's In Rainbows online release would destroy the music industry

Radiohead made a bold move with the release of their album In Rainbows. Before selling physical CDs, they'd sell digital downloads, and the customer could pay whatever they wanted for the album. Whether they chose to pay nothing or $50, they'd get the same songs either way. Some people praised Radiohead for breaking away from major labels, but a lot of people were very worried about the moody band's new record selling technique.

After the In Rainbows announcement, the Sunday Times wrote: "The day the music industry died." The headline was a bit melodramatic and a horrible sequel to the song "American Pie," but The Guardian went even further. They said that though the pay-what-you-can ploy worked for the popular band, it was a death blow to up and coming musicians. Sure, Radiohead can afford to give their stuff away, since they can go on tour and make money that way, but some new band doesn't have that luxury.

The article was right that the record industry was changing and physical sales would never be what they were. But at the end of the day, In Rainbows had little to do with it. The arrival of Spotify and streaming services has upset sales a lot more than bands doing a pay-what-you-can system. Oddly enough, Radiohead refuses to put their music on the streaming platform, claiming it's a bad deal for the artists.

Still, new artists do have a chance to make it big today. They now have outlets like YouTube that can get them attention for free. The dark side is that YouTube allowed Justin Bieber to come to power, so the music industry has been facing problems from all angles for quite a while now.

The Wii was the future of gaming

Nintendo has had high highs and low lows for many years, but the company thought their troubles were over when the Wii hit the shelves. When the active video game console was released, it was an immediate hit. While PlayStation and Xbox were reducing their console prices, Wii's were flying out of stores at full price. It looked like Nintendo was on top again and might even take out its competitors once and for all.

People loved that the Wii required physical movement, and Wii Fit was a growing fitness craze. Gamers were coming together to form Wii bowling leagues, and even senior centers were getting on the Nintendo bandwagon. Wii was the future, all hail Wii!

The Wii-volution didn't last, as sales peaked in 2008. PlayStation and Xbox upped their game, and their games steadily upped Wii's sales.

Nintendo still wasn't worried about the competition. They thought having an affordable console with average graphics and a limited variety of games would be just fine. But it wasn't. As their competitors' games grew more and more graphically impressive, Wii stayed the same, and people realized there's only so many times you can pretend to play tennis in your basement before getting bored. By 2013, Nintendo stopped production on the original Wii, and the days of Wii bowling leagues are long in the past.

People would get too lazy to keep putting out internet content

Tech Crunch had a bit of a hard time ten years ago. After their announcement that the iPhone would be a big pile of garbage, they went on to say that laziness would lead to the end of user-created content. Again, this isn't crazy logic. People are lazy, and they tend to get bored of any major fad (such as the Wii), so it makes sense to think pretty soon people would get sick of making YouTube videos or updating their profiles, so all the sites dependent on user-generated content would run out of steam and become a fad like Friendster.

What Tech Crunch didn't predict was how much people love seeing themselves and expressing their myriad opinions to the world. The article stated that Facebook will soon go the way of Myspace and "Then it might be time to grow up and invest your time in LinkedIn." Really, the idea that LinkedIn could ever compete as a social media site is probably more outrageously wrong than their iPhone prediction.

Also, they thought Wikipedia's days were numbered. "And Wikipedia—perhaps the Web's greatest gift to humanity—is based on the idea that people will be generous with their time and editing skills. While the prospect of giving the gift of knowledge to the world may sound tempting, there will come a point when the only people who have time to frequently check up on articles and update them will be egomaniacs making sure everybody knows that Scott Tuckerson Kicks Ass."

Again, this prediction was incredibly wrong. Sure, there's lots of jerks on the Internet who like to post "Scott Tuckerson Kicks Ass-esque" posts, but lots of smart people still love putting out content. Giving people a way to anonymously post their thoughts, opinions, and sometimes very dated points of view has proven to be exceedingly popular. Sure, Facebook might give way to another future social media site, but unless there's some kind of electrical apocalypse, it's hard to imagine a world where people get tired of posting pictures of their own face and their hot takes about the Marvel Universe.

Voice recognition technology in cars would actually work

Ten years ago, Ford and Microsoft debuted Sync, an entertainment system in cars that would let you connect your phone to the system via Bluetooth and have a readable electronic display. You're probably pretty familiar with this, since pretty much all new cars have a similar system, and it works well. But one of the biggest things Ford was excited to announce was their advancement in voice recognition technology.

They bragged that you could play songs entirely via voice control. After your MP3 player was indexed, you could say "Play Avril Lavigne" or request a specific song by saying "Play track 'My Humps.'" As you may have guessed, this didn't quite work out.

Voice recognition is still a part of many cars, but it's far from the revolutionary device they made it out to be. Really, try to play a specific song in your car. You'll end up crashing into a tree with rage before you ever get your Rage Against the Machine song to play. Even today, we can hardly get Siri or Alexa to play an artist without repeating it ten times and holding back your anger toward the faceless robot. Voice recognition technology is getting better, but just barely and just in the last few years. In 2007, nobody was having a good time talking to their car, and now, the voice prompts in cars are seldom used.

The Flip camera would be around forever

Camera technology has rapidly changed over the last 30 years. Going from something you could only have access to in a fancy studio, to a bulky over-the-shoulder model where half your videos would come out as straight darkness because you forgot to take the lens cap off, to digital cameras, it kept getting easier to make videos. When the Flip cam came around, it seemed like we'd reached the pinnacle of affordable filmmaking.

The Flip Video Ultra was super small, inexpensive, and captured pretty good-quality video. It was easy enough to carry around, unlike many home video cameras of the past. Other manufacturers were copying their design and putting out light cameras of their own. With its winning combo of good price, size, and quality, people couldn't imagine this camera going out of style any time soon. But then came the iPhone.

Before iPhones, there were cameras on cell phones, but those cameras sucked, and they sucked hard. The idea that phone cameras would ever be popular seemed ridiculous. Where would you ever get enough memory? But then old iPhone came along with their good camera and decent storage, and people realized they didn't really need to carry a bothersome Flip cam when they had everything they needed in the palm of their hand already. By 2011, the promising Flip was obsolete, rendered useless by that "bomb" of an iPhone.

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