8 tech developments to be sorta kinda thankful for

From BOYD to big data, a few things to think about as you whet your appetite for Thanksgiving dinner

It's always useful to spend a few minutes appreciating some of the good stuff in the world of networking and beyond. But we don't want to be too, too Pollyanna-ish, do we? So here are a handful of things that we can all be thankful for, as long as we don't look too carefully.

1. Windows RT is going away

Nobody ever loved Microsoft's in-between version of Windows 8 designed for RISC processors. And now, thankfully, Microsoft admits that it won't be around for the long term. This is a clear case of addition by subtraction.

2. The NSA's data gathering is no longer completely secret

However you feel about what the NSA does in the realm of cyber-spying, aren't you glad that you know it's going on? At least, if you know people are watching you, you have the choice of modifying your behavior to take that into account. And that goes double for knowing they've hacked into your phone or your network.

3. Big data is "improving" all aspects of our lives

Forget weather forecasting or social media marketing, Big Data may have found its true calling analyzing what we eat for Thanksgiving. After all, when it comes to collecting vast amounts of data that will live virtually forever on almost any topic you can think of, what could possible go wrong?

4. We can use our mobile phones every second we're on a plane

I don't know about you, but not having my trusty security blanket -- er smartphone -- in my hand for even an instant of an airline flight was enough to give me panic attacks. Now that we don't have to worry about that any more, I can focus on the obnoxious seatmate hogging the armrest, the restless kid kicking the back of my seat, and clueless person on front of me reclining into laptop screen. In-flight cellphone use bonus: Who wouldn't want to hear every excruciating detail of some chatty stranger's golf game, business deal or high-school breakup.

5. Wearable technology can help spare us from unwanted interpersonal contact

Smartwatches and augmented reality glasses have many wonderful uses, but they may be most effective and helping introverts avoid unwanted personal contact. All you have to do is strap on a big honking Galaxy Gear watch or a pair of Google Glass, and you can be sure that most of the other bar patrons will give you a wide berth.

6. BYOD means we can work all the time

The Bring Your Own Device trend is all about letting workers have access to the tools they most prefer. But the not-so-secret benefit is that you no longer have to stop working just because you leave the office. That should come in extra handy on Thursday, right?

7. Cyberwar makes fighting so much more pleasant and convenient

From drone strikes to Stuxnet, we no longer have to get all messy just to fight a war. Heck, we don't even have to go outside!

8. The tech bubble

What, you don't think we're in a bubble? I guess you haven't visited Silicon Valley or San Francisco lately. While the Bay Area keeps minting millionaires and adding tech jobs, fancy shops and bars are making bank hawking $18 cocktails and $800 sneakers. (And no, I'm not kidding about the sneakers.) Even The New York Times, hardly a stranger to a world of highly paid workers oozing with entitlement, found it necessary to write about how Tech Riches Alter a City. Hard to believe, but it now seems rents in SF are topping those in the Big Apple! If that ain't a bubble...

Got any more ideas of things we should be thankful for? Share 'em in the comments!

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