Nov 08 2013

Emerging Technologies

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9 Responses to “Emerging Technologies”

  1. Neilon 08 Nov 2013 at 11:52 am

    With regard to CNTs and graphene, CNTs appear to be a far less attractive option compared to graphene (for the reasons you point out). It will surprise me if there isn’t a fairly significant graphene-based technology within the next five years.

    My prediction is that the incremental improvements and installation of proximity (rate and distance) sensors in cars will allow us to eventually drive around in a semi-automated way that will reduce traffic accidents. This is a good thing considering how much I see people looking down at their phones as they are driving at 70 mph. The conversion into an automated traffic network is not something we can just do (even though we already have the technology to do it) because people will undoubtedly resist. But if we keep installing these sensors in more and more cars (like airbags) and they start to reduce accidents, we’ll be moving towards that fairly quickly without people realizing it. Hopefully that happens before my kids start driving.

  2. ChrisHon 08 Nov 2013 at 12:08 pm

    “Now, 20 years later, smartphones have finally achieved the promise of portable personal computing devices.”

    Though some of us with fat fingers and eyes that are almost sixty years old are not that excited by smartphones. I’m sticking to a dumb phone and a tablet with a keyboard cover (noting that I can get free wifi almost anywhere).

    When I am driving and need to get directions, I ask the teenager in the passenger seat to look it up on her smartphone.

  3. Heptronon 08 Nov 2013 at 12:27 pm

    Dr. Novella, what are your thoughts on biotechnology?

    The idea of using bacteria to produce chemicals using bacteria at neutral pH and 37°C or 98.6°F seems like a no-brainer given that traditional production methods (depending on the chemicals) takes place at several times atmospheric pressure and up to 204°C or 400°F.
    I also have a soft spot for biotech since it was the focus of my master’s degree. My particular project didn’t work as we intended, but our lab group was definitely successful not only in producing high-value chemicals but also in bioremediation.

  4. LDoBeon 09 Nov 2013 at 1:27 am

    The first time I saw the Ghost in the Shell series I was utterly hooked. I’m pretty much convinced that eventually (I can’t even hazard a guess, probably no sooner than a hundred years from now at least) people will have the option of nearly completely forgoing their meat bodies and upgrading to cybernetic parts that simply work better and are as replaceable as keyboards, monitors and mice are for computers.
    Certainly the tech won’t be available for everyone, and will be astronomically expensive, but I’m sure there’ll be a bunch of veterans walking around with eyes that see from infrared to x-ray, and legs that can be replaced in a day if they’re broken instead of taking months to heal. And people will want that, and eventually get it.
    Heck, imagine the kind of psycho-active state of mind altering things that can be done with a direct line to the brain. There’ll definitely be wireheads. I wouldn’t mind programming my peripheral nervous system to drive me to work while my gray matter can kickback and surf the web in the meantime.

    It’s pretty much science fiction at this point, but the way things are going, I’m pretty sure it’s a matter of time before everyone has the option of ditching their biology for technical solutions that work better, last longer and are swappable.

  5. Nitpickingon 10 Nov 2013 at 3:00 pm

    Microwave ovens are a poor tool for roasting and baking. They’re an excellent way to cook vegetables, though. You were a bit overbroad above.

  6. oldmanjenkinson 11 Nov 2013 at 8:48 am

    Wholly Schnikeys! Apple Newton. I had one of those. People thought I was overboard with trying to keep organized, now look at everyone and their tablet, phone etc.

  7. Davdoodleson 12 Nov 2013 at 1:28 am

    Sharks with frikkin’ lasers attached to their heads!

    X-ray specs.

    Sea monkeys that actually look like the little be-crowned anthropomorphs on the advertisements.

    And a robot like in Forbidden Planet, but nothing like the one in Lost in Space (which I think might have just had an actor inside).
    .

  8. zorrobanditoon 18 Nov 2013 at 6:00 pm

    @Neil If the computers which are supposed to drive my car on the freeway have the reliability of the computer which drives my law practice, thanks, but no thanks.

    Will it suddenly blue-screen for no reason? Will it require to be shut off and turned on again to work properly? Will it insert ads and forget what I originally asked for?

  9. purenootropicson 07 Jan 2014 at 10:16 pm

    Nitpicking, I have to disagree. Every baked potato (whether sweet, yukon gold, red etc) is made to perfection in my (mediocre) microwave. It is excellent for baking certain things..

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