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The Next 25 Years in Tech 166

Posted by Zonk
from the technosticating-the-future dept.
PCWMike writes "PCs may disappear from your desk by 2033. But with digital technology showing up everywhere else — including inside your body — computing will only get more personal, reports Dan Tynan for PC World's 25th Anniversary. While convenience will be increased by leaps and bounds, it will come at a profound loss in our sense of what privacy means. 'Technology will become firmly embedded in advanced devices that deliver information and entertainment to our homes and our hip pockets, in sensors that monitor our environment from within the walls and floors of our homes, and in chips that deliver medicine and augment reality inside our bodies. This shiny happy future world will come at a cost, though: Think security and privacy concerns. So let's hope that our jetpacks come with seat belts, because it's going to be a wild ride.'"
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The Next 25 Years in Tech

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  • Between this and the previous article, my desk will be clean and I'll have lots of open power and cabling ports.

    In other news, I'm going to start a publication whose name ends in "world" so I can get automatic posting on /. Think of all the page impressions I can bill for!
  • Only if it becomes part of the desk...there will always be a place for desks and tables, even if only as a method of organizing things in one place and having a 'base of operations' to work from.

    Though I wouldn't mind having a gargoyle rig, a la the gent in Snow Crash. We've almost got the tech for it now, save only that I don't know of a good portable input method that doesn't require poking at a tiny screen or a mini keyboard...
  • Heh, just an hour ago we got a Jack PC wall plugin thin client and were playing with it.
  • ...or I'll yank that phone right out of your head!
  • by jameseyjamesey (949408) on Thursday January 31, 2008 @05:50PM (#22253242) Homepage
    scientists say the future will be 33% more futuristic
    • by blair1q (305137)
      33% less, you mean. Futurism was better in the past. I mean, they had flying cars in their future. We don't even try, any more.
      • by idontgno (624372)

        Futurism was better in the past.

        I'm not so sure about that. [wikipedia.org] It was more optimistic, sure, but only by virtue of a creepy simplicism that smacks of final solutions and brave new worlds.

        I'll take a messy wide-open future any day of the week, thank you.

  • I'm surprised they didn't mention the transition of CPUs into some sort of biological form factor. Speeds at which cells communicate and transfer data can be introduced into a controlled process. The benefts are speed and infinite increase in energy efficiency...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Arthur B. (806360)
      What !? Speed is not the benefit, it's the drawback ! CPUs are order of magnitude faster than cellular processes. What you gain from biology is cheap scalability, but certainly not raw speed.
      • For cellular information transfer, yes, but information transfer among neurons is much, much more efficient than with what we have now (iirc).
        • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward
          Neurons are slow. This is why we have reflexes. It takes too much time to send the data that you touched something hot to your head and then processes it, then send a response back to move your hand.
          • Specifically, there is a chemical chain reaction which transfers the information, rather than electric signal being sent through a wire. I guess you could say the transfer is ionic rather than electromagnetic.
  • WTF? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mrbcs (737902) * on Thursday January 31, 2008 @05:55PM (#22253366)
    What is this? Bullshit day on Slashdot?
    First they took away our lan,
    then the internet infrastructure stateside needs $100 million,
    now they want to take away my computer.. shit. give it up already.

    These guys can barely forecast seasons and they're going to tell us what's going to happen in 25 years? As the tag says, "Where's my flying car?"

    • by Bryansix (761547)
      Hey, I tried. I submitted an article about today being the 50th anniversary of the United States entering the space age thanks to JPL but it hasn't seem to get onto the front page yet.
  • The immediate future of technology will have a very eco-conscious angle. Some of it will be legitimately good for the earth and society. A lot of it will be merely fashionable. But maybe, just maybe, we can finally dispel the myth that ethanol from corn is good for anyone but ADM.
  • FEMBOT (Score:2, Funny)

    by Major Blud (789630)
    I can't wait that long....I'll be 55 by then and I'm not sure if I'll still have the libido to keep up with a fembot.
  • I couldn't imagine Microsoft electronics in my body.
  • This is gonna sound worse than it is, by 2033, I'll be like 75 or something and probably dead from from all the Global Warming. And then there is that thing about December 21st, 2012 that's supposed to kill us all.

    Heck, we might all be looking like overly cooked eggs by then anyway.

    Or nearly frozen and living underground. My kids already don't know what a rotary phone is, have never seen a record player, and my grandkids probably won't ever have experienced analog TV.
  • by verbalcontract (909922) on Thursday January 31, 2008 @06:05PM (#22253546)

    PCs may disappear from your desk by 2033 when the superintelligent robots vaporize your desk and everything underneath it.

    there, fixed that for you.

  • Nano Technology - we'll probably be assimilated by then - CyBorgs R Us.
  • Make sure that when given the opportunity, you take the red pill.
  • Cheryl was one of the founding staff for PC World magazine (and PC Magazine before that) and a nice looking gal at the time. Scares me to realize that it has been 25 years since PC World started and even scarier that I bought my first copy of Byte 6 years before that...
  • by Pojut (1027544) on Thursday January 31, 2008 @06:10PM (#22253642) Homepage
    Seriously. Think about it. I'm 23 years old. My generation has lived through:

    -Multiple, world-influencing major conflicts.
    -The introduction, widespread distribution, and near-anywhere access of the Internet (which, in my opinion, is one of our greatest achievements as humans.)
    -The rise of wireless mobile devices that have the potential to function anywhere in the world.
    -Computers moving from universities and government orgs, taking up entire rooms, to becoming nearly universal in our homes, cars, and pockets.
    -The rise of communication to the point where an actor can die in New York, and within ONE HOUR the entire world knowing of it (those parts of the world that has access to the net, radio, and/or TV of course)
    -9/11 (one of the most world-changing events in modern history)

    And many more. Seriously folks. We are living through one of the most exciting and important parts of history in the entire time-line of our species.

    Centuries from now, people will be wondering "Imagine what it was like to live through the era where in roughly one century we went from taking weeks to get a message across a country and taking literally MONTHS to travel across the sea... to the point where you could talk to someone on the other side of the world using a device no bigger than your fist, and could travel from New York to Australia in a matter of hours."

    And you know what? We are lucky enough to experience it first hand. Be grateful, folks. Someday, all of us will be the stuff of history and legend.
    • by WilyCoder (736280)
      So full of optimism and joy, you must be young.

      Oh...wait....
      • by Pojut (1027544)
        Actually, I'm not full of optimism and joy...I feel that if we keep going down the path that we are, our species will be mostly eradicated within a hundred years. I also think that we will continue going down the path that we are.

        But hey...if you can't hope for good things during bad times, when can you?
        • At 23, Pojut has never used a rotary phone, probably never used a record player, doesn't know what leaded gas or a carburetor is, and probably has never seen a TV that didn't have a remote. Yeah, Pojut's young.
          • by bigstrat2003 (1058574) on Thursday January 31, 2008 @06:32PM (#22254016)
            That's a pretty broad assumption. I'm 23 as well. I've used a rotary phone plenty, definitely used a record player, I know what leaded gas and carburetors are (even if they haven't exactly been every day fixtures for me, that doesn't mean I'm unaware of them), and I've definitely seen a TV without a remote.

            Being young doesn't mean you lack knowledge of recent history.

          • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

            by Atti K. (1169503)
            I am 27. I used a rotary phone for many years, traveled a lot by cars powered with leaded gas, and watched cartoons on a black-and-white TV with no remote control for many years.

            Oh, shit, wait, I live in Eastern Europe!

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Pojut (1027544)
            We had a rotary phone until I was ten. I have a Technics MK1200II hooked up to my sound system. My '64 Dodge Dart that I inherited from my dad has a carburetor on it that I myself rebuilt (along with the engine AND transmission...I was a mechanic between the ages of 18 and 22, and started working on cars when I was 12), as well as the '69 Chevelle and the '79 FJ-40 Land Cruiser that my step dad has (as well meaning they have carbs on them as well). Until my grandparents moved to Maryland from Pennsylvani
            • I stand corrected, I thought rotary phones had left the US about 20 years ago for touch-tone. BTW does your Dart have a slant 6 in it?
              • by Pojut (1027544)
                No, it has a 350 in it that I built up (nothing spectacular, it was primarily to get decent power without crazy fuel consumption...the original 273 was functional, but only just.)
            • by iocat (572367)
              Anyway, kids will always know what that stuff is, as long as they keep re-running old cartoons. Trust me, I've never used a Voctrola, cranked a car to start it, or used an anvil, but I know exactly what they are, thanks to cartoons.
          • by rubycodez (864176)
            fun to add to list: mechanical typewriter, telephone party line, DDT, punched cards, punched tape, 8" floppy, vacuum tube tv & radios, metal electrician's fish (and thank god those aren't sold anymore), three speed bicycle
            • Oh Geez, I completely forgot Punch Cards. I remember doing the entire high school's registration with punch cards and that thing was loud!

              Then there were bell bottoms, modified VW Bugs, Metal Shop with real equipment, taking your rifle's to school and leaving them in the rifle rack until school let out so that you could get in some hunting for a couple of hours, calculators worn on the hips like cell phones, pocket protectors, OMG I could go on and on.
          • My gf's 24 (I'm 35). When we started dating, she didn't know who Fonzi was :-(
    • by Stanistani (808333) on Thursday January 31, 2008 @06:24PM (#22253860) Homepage Journal
      Pish. My dad was born in 1924. He experienced the Great Depression, served in WWII, Korea, lived through Vietnam, riots, a massive increase in crime, saw technology enable us to break the sound barrier, vaporize cities, shrink a building-sized computer to a twelve-inch box, and land on the moon.

      We're dwarfs.
      • I tend to agree with you: the generation born in the 20's and 30's experienced changes (and faced hardships) far deeper and more dramatic than any of the generations who followed.
      • by fontkick (788075) on Thursday January 31, 2008 @08:12PM (#22255524)
        I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.
      • I agree. Near instantaneous media revolutionaized the last 19th century and early 20th. Using non-human or animal power for transportation, especially personal, was the early 20th century. The computer is a lesser transforming invention.

        I'm looking forward to when they can figure out how to smooth out economic cycles and wars. Central planning ans statism hasnt so far. Neither has totally undridled free market. there was some hope in the late 20th century that liberal democracy was the answer, but i
    • In your young life for sure, but look at the following from a bit err elder perspective:
      -Multiple, world-influencing major conflicts.

      To bad you missed several good wars, Viet Nam, WWII, WWI, I do not believe this one even compares in any facet to WWI or WWII as far as how much it reached every individual in the world.

      -The introduction, widespread distribution, and near-anywhere access of the Internet (which, in my opinion, is one of our greatest achievements as humans.)

      No indoor plumbing beats this hands d
      • by Knara (9377)

        Yeah. I don't know if people really realize that outside the US 9/11 just resulted in everyone hoping that the US wasn't gonna throw a tantrum and invade them. Outside of the US, by and large, the "post-9/11 world" is very similar to the pre-9/11 world, warts and all.

      • by corbettw (214229)

        -9/11 (one of the most world-changing events in modern history)

        Na, WWII
        To be fair, WWII was a series of events. Though several of them (Hitler invading Poland, Pearl Harbor, and the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki) rival or beat 9/11 in terms of how they changed the world.
        • by jaakkeli (47383)
          To be fair, WWII was a series of events. Though several of them (Hitler invading Poland, Pearl Harbor, and the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki) rival or beat 9/11 in terms of how they changed the world.

          Sorry, but so far 9/11 goes to the same class for *the world* as, say, the death of princess Diana: a big news story. It's a definite "where were you when..?" thing for a generation, but it's just too early to tell whether it'll even be known to non-history-geeks outside America in 60 years. (This j

    • Someday, all of us will be the stuff of history and legend.
      and will we have some strange stories [xkcd.com] to tell.
    • by RobBebop (947356) on Thursday January 31, 2008 @06:47PM (#22254302) Homepage Journal

      "Imagine what it was like to live through the era where in roughly one century we went from taking weeks to get a message across a country and taking literally MONTHS to travel across the sea... to the point where you could talk to someone on the other side of the world using a device no bigger than your fist, and could travel from New York to Australia in a matter of hours."

      Imagine what it was like to live through the era when Iron [wikipedia.org] was being developed that could slice right through the Bronze [wikipedia.org] that protected inferior armies... to the point where you could rape and pillage an entire village in under a week. You could march from Cairo to Rome in a matter of years and being conquering and conquering all along the way!

      No, seriously. Technology in the future is going to be *way* cooler than it is now. You never reflect on what life was like for your grandparents before the automobile or refrigerators were standards for every family. Your grandchildren won't reflect on what life was like for you without the internet or the cell phone...

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by jcnnghm (538570)
        I actually have thought a lot about what life was like for my grandparents, and more importantly, asked them about it. My grandfather was born just after WWI, lived through the great depression, then fought in WWII. Having lived through that, the Korean war, the cold war, Vietnam, the Kennedy Assassination, the space program, the civil rights movement, the fall of the soviet union, and 9/11, I always believed that he lived through perhaps the most interesting time in history, and almost certainly saw the
        • by Fweeky (41046)

          I still remember, a few years ago, showing him how to connect to the internet and search it with Google, and telling him he could find pretty much anything he ever wanted to look up with it.

          I seriously doubt that in my lifetime I will see anywhere near the amount of revolutionary change that he saw in his.
          Let's hope your kids show you how to plug in the UC, have a conversation with it and make it build pretty much anything you ever wanted.
      • You never reflect on what life was like for your grandparents before the automobile or refrigerators were standards for every family.

        You do if you want to understand why some innovations see mass adoption and others do not. Your great-grandfather could walk down any middle class suburban street and feel perfectly at home. We do not build like The Jetsons.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by DJ Jones (997846)
      And a young person from 65 years ago would have said the same thing.

      They would have seen -

      - Advance of the assembly line and mass produced cheap automobiles
      - An massive highway, rail and phone line system that allows information be spread globally within hours.
      - Need I mention the television?
      - They said Pearl Harbor changed the world too. And arguably more than 9/11 did for our time. You can't even compare Iraq to World War II.


      Just think about it. Everyone thinks that of their own generati
    • 23 years ago, I was using a Commodore 64, and a Commodore PET before that. I think the "computers taking up rooms" statement is a wee bit of an exaggeration.
    • by sams67 (880846)
      "Someday, all of us will be the stuff of history and legend." According to some, that will be around about 2030. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technological_singularity [wikipedia.org]
    • by Tribbin (565963)
      And in these modern times, every man has seen movies of every fetish imaginable.
    • by felipekk (1007591)
      Seriously. Think about it. I'm 23 years old and from the year 2200. My generation has lived through:

      -Multiple, universe-influencing major conflicts.
      -The introduction, widespread distribution, and near-anywhere access of the Uninet (which, in my opinion, is one of our greatest achievements as humans.)
      -The rise of instant interplanetary communications.
      -Computers moving from being measured in inches to nanometers.
      -The rise of communication to the point where an actor can die in Earth, and within ONE HOUR
    • by Gauchito (657370)
      Considering the looming likely catastrophes the world is going to go through soon (catastrophic climate change mainly, and all the goodies associated with it) I'd be surprised if anyone will bother remembering these last few golden decades. Might just be a psychological reaction to reading so much bad news, and seeing so little action to mitigate the pending disasters, but that also makes me feel it's unlikely there will be much remembering of history centuries from now by those few of us left.

      I only wis
      • by B_un1t (942155)
        Why do people assume that the air we breathe out is killing our environment? In my own observation, we're not headed to an early doom, the earth has healed itself time and again throughout history. Please think before taking THEORIES like Global Warming and assuming the worst end game imaginable. I admit there are data that point towards slight warming, but not to the point that it will consume the human race. Please consider why politicians are so adamant about this issue. MORE TAX DOLLARS FROM YOUR P
    • Nevermind that shit, you missed Disco!
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Seriously. Think about it. I'm 23 years old. My generation has lived through:

      I'm 49 years old and MY generation has lived through the same. big deal. ALL generations live through history. It's what makes it history.

      -Multiple, world-influencing major conflicts.

      Like WW2? You lived through that one? I didn't either. Or Napoleon's conquest of Europe? I missed that one too. Oh, and the Aryan invasion of India. That was a biggie I missed out on too. Also: the Viking invasions of the 11th century. Nasty stuf

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by hackingbear (988354)
      Well... I'm 36 and during my times,
      • There are still a billion people on hunger, as it used to be
      • There are still millions of people have no health care, as it used to be
      • There are still millions of illiterate people, as it used to be
      • Forests are still being cut at rapid pace, as it used to be
      • Rich people get richer than they used to be
      Nothing has really changed. Maybe you are still too young.
    • Imagine what it was like to live through the era where in roughly one century we went from taking weeks to get a message across a country... to the point where you could talk to someone on the other side of the world using a device no bigger than your fist

      You know, they've had telegraphs for about 150 years now.

  • by Eravnrekaree (467752) on Thursday January 31, 2008 @06:15PM (#22253720)
    I do not foresee the PC going away. The device is just too useful and common sense. Having a monitor on your desk and a keyboard is practical and its not something that is going to become obsolete.

    I would be very concerned about the privacy and human rights implications of putting computers or chip implants into peoples bodies. This is the perfect vehicle for total electronic surviellance of a population, and perhaps even more nefarious purposes. For instance it might be possible for a clandestine purpose, or for "law enforcement" purposes to put circuits in these implants that could deliver an electric shock, cause pain or disable a person. The human rights implications and the threats to basic freedom that this would entail would be very dire and serious.

    Technology is great on your desk or in your PDA device. It is nice to be able to browse the internet and access and share information through the internet via computer. But this technology should work for our benefit and also be used to promote freedom, not take it away. People must have complete control over their computers, and should be able to put it to use how they see fit. This is the idea of a general purpose computer. DRM indeed is a serious threat to the freedom of the consumer, the freedom to tinker and to utilise technology in new and innovative ways. Closed platforms such as game consoles are designed to limit how they can be used, so that instead of you being able to use your computer as you see fit, some large corporation controls the system and what you can use it for. Putting implants into peoples bodies raises far too much concern for abuse, the the risk or danger to freedom and to control this technology is too great. Once you put electronic devices into the body for these kinds of things, the potential for this to be abused and to be used against you increases exponentially. At least a person should have a choice to refuse this sort of technology. We need to be very wary of schemes to try to forcibly implant people with chips, especially children, and the issues this would create to various bodily integrity and human rights issues, and would also lead us towards a world where no one has any privacy or rights at all, a 1984 like society where everything someone does can be controlled and scrutinised. People should have a basic right to not have their body implanted with electronic devices, tracking devices, etc, which can be used against them. No matter what gaurantee a manufacturer of such technology makes, there is always the opportunity and chance that some technology which you may not be told is there can be embedded into these devices, for tracking or monitoring persons, or as a control measure through some sort of electroshock feature for instance. It is impossible to verify from the consumers end that this technology is not present in such devices. They present a very serious danger and threat to human rights, freedom and privacy.

    In the future, ideally I see the desktop computer remaining very commonplace. Computer processing power will continue to increase which will improve game performance, rollout of fiber optic networks will allow for more high bandwidth applications such as instant movie downloading, and so on. Linux will eventually become dominate and totally replace windows, which will give consumers vastly increased freedom and control over their computers than ever before. Just keep the computers on your desk and in your pocket, not in your body and we can use them as a tool of freedom and for our own benefit and to use them as we wish, rather than as a tool of survellience and enslavement.

  • I don't care what happens as long as I can get a plug in my head an IV in my arm and never come back to a reality where I can't fly at will. Oh yeah, and Unicorns.
  • My 1950's World Book Encyclopedia claimed that by the year 2000 robots would be doing all the work and everybody would have complete leisure. They forgot that leisure doesn't come with a paycheck.

    So I am skeptical of pie in the sky predictions about technology.
    • Remember Popular Science? Back in the 60's & 70's they were sayin' we were all gonna be driving in wheel-less flying cars and houses made of plastic and eating food that was replicated or some such nonsense.
  • I cannot let you do that.
  • If desktop computers die then nothing will remain but proprietary devices needing to be hacked. Without build it yourself devices life would really suck.
  • 2033 (Score:4, Funny)

    by hawks5999 (588198) on Thursday January 31, 2008 @06:31PM (#22253994)
    The Year of Linux on the Desktop!
  • I feel like theres no technology that can be invented in the next 20 years that can revolutionize our lives. we are so advanced in tech that so far the only thing left is to do small increments to current tech. i dont think that a computer thats 100 times more powerful and smaller than your thumb can change the lives of to many peoples. things like the matrix interface or true ai are the true innovations that i am waiting to come. not a powerful pc or tv with the size of a wall.
    • You might feel that way, but look at the cell phone or the ATM. 20 years ago, only the weathly had cell phones, and they didn't work very well. Today, most people have one, and they are getting better all the time. 20 years ago, the ATM existed, but few used it. Today, we now use debit cards, and few bemoan the loss of paper currency. I expect there is something that is currently in its infancy that will revolutionize our culture. 20 years from now, I hope my toilet and refridgerator collude to provid
    • Isn't that what an event horizon is? At least when dealing with innovation. That is you couldn't predict how the Internet would revolutionize our life until the Internet was created/idealized.
  • "There's a very short leap between implanting a [cochlear] device and one that lets you receive data directly from the Net,"

    Gives a new meaning to getting worms!
    or to catching a virus.
    and generally seems a little more intrusive than a cochlear implant. None the less, if the pr0n industry can take advantage of this, I'm sure it will be ubiquitous.
  • by Richard Steiner (1585) <rsteiner@visi.com> on Thursday January 31, 2008 @06:55PM (#22254440) Homepage Journal
    ...but some of us will still find an excuse or three to run it under emulation. :-) :-)

    Or maybe my PPro will still be working in 2033? Who knows? :-)
  • I'm waiting for all the stupid laws and rules about "no cameras or recording devices (for the mob)" collide with people whose bodies are recording devices due to advances in the use of technology to assist and augment people with sensory handicaps. Why shouldn't I be able to take advantage of modern technology to correct and enhance my vision?
  • As wireless networking speeds up it will be possible to carry smaller less powerful devices that merely act as clients for your home and work computer.

    This will mean more dedicated hardware which uses less power, you won't need any storage on the move or vast amounts of processing power.

    It may also mean that TV, phone and other services you have at home would merely be redirected to your portable viewer.

    This is all fairly possible now, the main problem is speed and lack of a dedicated portable terminal.
  • by Eravnrekaree (467752) on Thursday January 31, 2008 @07:33PM (#22254986)
    The way I see it, and this comes not from a religious viewpoint since I am not religious, but a human rights one, is no one else has a right to impose on another person their wishes about their body, including deciding what kind of body that person will have. Every person should have a right to a body that is uniquely theres and no one elses and no one should have a right to force them into someone else's body. At least nature is random and has no agenda. People have agendas and I do not like the idea of people deciding what kind of body a person will have, their facial features, their eye color, etc. People have a right to eb unique and to have things which are uniquely their own and which no one else has control over and the most basic of this is their body. Perhaps people choose their own DNA before they are born, including their phsyical features and characteristics.

    Human cloning has a very concerning and unpleasant 1984ish or Brave New World feel to it, a horrific utopian world where every aspect of peoples lives, right down to that which is most personal and sacred to a person, their body, is controlled by others. It is a frightening vision of conformity, uniformity where people are rather than seen as unique individuals instead as carbon copies. It really needs to be completely banned if we care about freedom, the right of each person to be individual, unique, to self determination, the right to a body that is uniquely theres and controlled and manipulated by no one else. We need to respect each person as a unique and diverse person entirely their own, rather than trying to impose ourselves on them and try to determine and control who they are. We need to respect diversity and individuality and eschew totalitarianism and conformism. So I concur with the pope on cloning, not on religious grounds, but on human rights ones.
    • by corbettw (214229)

      Every person should have a right to a body that is uniquely theres [sic] and no one elses
      Identical twins would tend to disagree.
      • I accidently posted this to the wrong article, sorry about that. Identical twins is a natural phenomena as well so it is not something which someone is forcing on another person or someone else trying alter another persons body or their life. I should have mentioned the issue since I did think of this. Cloning is a completely different thing from identical twins, one is natural and one is not, one is one person forcing something on someone else and one person taking away anothers right to individuality in p
    • Think of all the benefits to law inforcement, though. For example, when CSI finds DNA at a crime scene and it doesn't match a profile in the database, they can just create a human clone from the DNA and put it in jail. Case closed. Realistically, though, cloning will be expensive far into the future, so that only the wealthiest perps can afford clone surrogates to do their time. Repeat offender? No problem, just make more copies.
  • Didn't we get the same predicitons in 1990? Wasn't Larry (head honcho of Oracle) spouting the same "network computer" idea back then? Hasn't SciFi been predicting such things for more than 50 years?

    Slow news day. For all those 30 or younger: Nothing much as happened in the last decade. No new tech, just small advances in existing tech. There are no ground breaking advances that will be happening in the next decade cause the population is too slow to adopt.

    It took 25 years after its invention and promoti

  • Of all places, /. frequenters should know that there is a dramatic difference between the terms PC and Desktop Computer.

    I would not be surprised if the personal computer changes dramatically in the next 10 years. Already, we have laptops that are more than powerful enough for all desktop computer needs. I'm foreseeing the desktop market share becoming dismally small within 5 years (for sales, there's still going to be tons of desktops that are still running). Everyone that can't get what they need done o
  • Venture capitalists aren't very creative.
  • by Tom (822)
    Seriously, what bullshit.

    Look 25 years into the past. That means 1982. Then look at any "25 years from now" articles from 1982. What's your guess as to their accuracy?

    Cell phones? In 1982, we had the "B-Net" here in Germany. It was analog, had about 20,000 users and 75 channels. The devices were huge, very few people carried them around.

    Computers? The original IBM PC had just been released (August, 1981). In case you don't remember, it had a 4.77 MHz CPU and 16 or 64 KB of RAM (extendible to the legendary 6
  • I am very surprised that no-one has mentioned bio-tech. Computers are *so* 1990's, the future is in bio-tech everyone.

    If you don't believe me, watch this video of a lecture titled "Programming DNA" taken from last year's Chaos Congress... We're not talking about doing math with DNA in a test-tube anymore, we have teenage undergraduates producing much more interesting genetic designs already!

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6950604815683841321&hl=en [google.com]

    Seems to me like the same hacker community wh
  • Case 1: People felt that all computers would eventually be networked together. But the sudden rise of the browser-based Internet around 1993 caught a lot of people by surprise. Academics had been using ethernets/Arpanet for years, but with crude data exchange tools. Event head of the MIT Media Lab Nick Negropronte missed the rise of the browser in his monthly column called Being Digital for Wired Magazine those years.

    Case 2 is little more current. I frequently mentioned the future or communication wa
  • 1. Computers won't get much smaller. Just think of it, you can now buy a cheap C64 clone which consists of a single chip, but yet they build a bulky case around it so it will be usefull. Just look at Laptops, they get bigger every year. Today you can buy laptops with 17 inch screens.

    2. Computers won't have hundreds of Chips. The number of Chips will most likely decrease with nanotechnology. Even today we see a trent towards as little chips as possible. What the author might have meant is that we might have

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