YouTube, the video-sharing Web site recently acquired by Google, beat out a vaccine that prevents a cancer-causing sexually transmitted disease and a shirt that simulates a hug to grab top honors as Time magazine’s “Invention of the Year for 2006.”
It’s been an interesting year in technology. Nintendo invented a video game you control with a magic wand. A new kind of car traveled 3,145 miles on a single gallon of gas. A robot learned to ride a bike. Somebody came up with a nanofabric umbrella that doesn’t stay wet. But only YouTube created a new way for millions of people to entertain, educate, shock, rock and grok one another on a scale we’ve never seen before. That’s why it’s Time’s Invention of the Year for 2006.
I’m sure Google and YouTube are very happy with this honor but I have to ask, is YouTube a better invention than a vaccine that can prevent cancer? I wonder how much politics plays in these awards? YouTube inherits the tiara from Snuppy, a cloned puppy and winner of the magazine’s 2005 award.