The Smartest Advancements in Technology Series: The ATM

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What five technologies have made our lives easier, better, and more efficient? Hard to choose, right? Well, inspired by the next tech advancement, Intel smart, we've done it for you. Last week we brought you the MRI. Today: the ubiquitous ATM.

The first self-service banking system to hit the pockets of the American people was way back in 1939. A model called the Bankograph was developed by Luther George Simjian, and accepted cash, coins, and check deposits. The essentially Stone Age machine was released by City Bank of New York, but was unable to dispense moolah. It was soon removed because Depression-era New Yorkers were, understandably, naturally distrustful of cash-eating robots.

The mighty ATM has come a long, long way since its initial development. So we have compiled all you will ever need to know about these dollar-dispensing doo-dads.

Big Business

Sure, you're used to ATMs giving you money, but how about making you some? First off, it's probably a good idea to have at least a remedial understanding of their basic mechanics. Then make a rough business plan (i.e., figure out how much to charge in fees, you miser) and buy a couple of these bad boys. Put one in your living room, organize a high-stakes poker game, and then charge your friends when they run out of cash.

Frozen Assets

Did you know that world's most southerly ATM is located at McMurdo Station in Antarctica? Might come in handy if you, say, need to pay off a penguin or something and it's a weekend and you don't have a chance to visit the snowbank. (Zing!)

Break the Bank. Literally

Crime doesn't pay. But that doesn't mean the criminal element doesn't keep trying to exploit the system. From hacking to skimming, to plofkraaking, thieves constantly prove that where there is a will, there is a go to jail.

Flash Your Cash

At some point in your life you might find it necessary to do business with pirates, in which case you should get your assets to Dubai, where the world's only gold dispensing ATM is located. Hopefully, this will appease them.

Where would humankind be without the ATM? And we'll be asking ourselves that same question about Intel smart TV sooner than later, because the combination of Internet and television is surely the next in line in the Smartest Advancements in Technology all-time rankings.

Tune in later this week to see what the next revolutionary and utter indispensable item in the Smartest Advancements in Technology Series is. Hint: It's working for you right now.

And click here to find out more about Intel smart TV: where Internet meets television.