It looked as though Outkast's catchy plea to "shake it like a Polaroid picture," would be as outdated as references to the Lindy or saying "23 Skidoo." But just as hipsters were buying the "last" Polaroid cameras in their neighborhood Urban Outfitters, a comeback was announced for the cameras and film.
Back in June 2008, Polaroid stopped production on its once coveted instant cameras and film, much to the chagrin of collectors, photo aficionados and manic pixie dream girls with a bit of cash and a thing for retro.
So what does Polaroid have that Nikon, Fuji and Kodak don't? Not much, really. In fact, plunk down a few cents and there are numerous iPhone apps that can convert digital photos into the more nostalgic look of those once popular hurry-up-and-wait cameras.
Nevertheless, just as film stock reserves were running low, a company, Licensee Summit Global Group, partnered with a group calling itself the The Impossible Project to resurrect a variety of Polaroid's products and sell them online. Doing so, it bought the company's last remaining production plant and says its film production will spare upward of 300 million cameras from obscurity.
No matter how much talk we've heard the "paperless office," fax machines, though little used, are still taking up space.
Why? In part it is because electronic signature technology, as pioneered by Adobe and others, still has yet to meet the critical mass needed to replace legal concerns. Most electronic fax processes require fax modems, which, in that special logic of the Internet age, aren't needed because everyone sends e-mail. (And everyone sends e-mail because no one has fax modems anymore.) Add in a dash of perceived "we might really need it someday" and feature sets such as plain paper printers and scanners, and we'll undoubtedly be stuck replacing thermal paper rolls for ages to come.