I have the impression this thing is overlooked, undertalked, but it could just have been an enormous driver in the advent of digital. The fact that you don't have to show your pictures to your shopkeeper (and hence to the entire district) is just huge. It's not just nude or porn, is anything private in nature (like your child's poo to send to your brothers, mentioned in another thread, or children nudity, or whatever else).[/QUOTE]

for proof of this, go to google image search, turn off safe search, and restrict your search (with a generic term like "IMG" or "DSC" or "mobile") to one site, last 24 hours. For example:

mobile sitehotobucket.com

And that's just the people who are too dopey to figure out how to keep it to themselves. Sigh.

As for the Xerox thing, that's an apt comparison. Creepy anti-Apple zealots like to accuse Apple of stealing the mouse-driven GUI from Xerox. In fact, what Xerox had was fairly primitive, and they welcomed an offer from Apple to license the tech because the bosses didn't know what to do with it. Lots of interesting research from smart people, a paucity of turning that into successful products to expand beyond their initial area of dominance (we'll be talking about Google the same way in the not-to-distant future).