There was a concept in the computer programming classes I've taken that suggests older technologies and methods are revisited as software and hardware evolves.
So even though we have higher level programming languages, the lower level languages are still appropriate for the more limited machines or devices. Kind of reminds me of ubiquitos bacteria--despite (or probably more appropriately, because of) evolution, microbes are the true rulers of the planet in both sheer numbers and possibly even in physical mass.
The examples given were appliances that are programed with low-level assembly language. That was a few years ago, so now you can see it not only in devices, but elsewhere with html coding.
In the earlier days of the Web, the tighter and lighter the html code was, the quicker it ran. As we increased bandwidth and processing power, it seemed like we could get away with bulkier and possibly "sloppier" coding styles. Then small web devices with limited memory and processing power (mobile phones) showed we still need clean and light html (well-formed, valid html is almost always a good idea).
So even as mobile devices are getting faster and more powerful (think iphone and others like it), we will still see the web, web browers, or some kind of web functionality needing clean and fast html. That web browser connected with your GPS device or built into your fridge may need clean and simple html in addition to perhaps low level assembly to create the OS.
Got any better examples? I think I'll revisit this topic.