Do you think the pace of technology innovations has slowed down?


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Profile Gordon Lowe
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Message 1424984 - Posted: 6 Oct 2013, 18:41:47 UTC

To put this question in perspective, I am 45, and I have seen the timeline of innovations such as tube tv's and analog phones change gradually into solid state and digital technologies, along with the advent of the personal computer, and the evolution of the internet as we know it today, but it seems like things are starting to slow down a bit. I think eventually Ray Bradbury's Veldt/ Star Trek's Holodeck will become a reality, and maybe time travel and inter-star travel, too, but for right now, it seems we are slowing down in our innovations. I'm a little bit familiar with Moore's Law, and it seems like things are hitting a wall. I expect nano science to become a major part of the future of computing which will help us in all technologies, especially healthcare and space exploration. I'm an optimist, but I don't have the feeling anything significant is on it's way anytime soon. What do you think?

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Message 1425148 - Posted: 7 Oct 2013, 6:08:50 UTC

I think maybe due to the stagnant economies of the developed world the pace of product releases has slowed a bit but I doubt that the pace of technological break throughs has slowed much.
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Message 1425247 - Posted: 7 Oct 2013, 14:56:20 UTC

The innovation of technology is a neverending story. I sometimes wonder where it'll all end. Probably with the disappearance of the human race. I do think technology innovations are in a rapid nowadays...
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Message 1425299 - Posted: 7 Oct 2013, 17:00:28 UTC

Historically, development in science and technology tends to be punctuated with plateau periods.

The development of agriculture (circa 10 000 years ago) saw a huge leap forward with formerly nomadic people settling into permanent communities and leading to the beginnings of what we have come to think of as civilization.

The development of the scientific method in the 1500 - 1700 era (Kepler, Newton, et.al.) saw a huge leap forward in our understanding of the natural world. Then a pause with slow evolution of science and technology.

In the 1760's a chap by the name of James Watt kicked off the industrial revolution that still continues to this day to an extent, but those first few decades saw the most explosive evolution, followed by decades of gradual change.

We are now in what is often called the information revolution and it will slow down and consolidate eventually, all revolutions do.

What comes next is anyone's guess.
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Message 1425321 - Posted: 7 Oct 2013, 17:33:25 UTC - in response to Message 1424984.

I think technological innovations are still happening at a relatively fast pace, but the innovations are coming from areas outside the Personal Computer space as hobbyists traditionally expect them.

For example, the tablet is now taking the place of many mobile laptops, and Google's Glass is making wearable computing an interesting prospect, if even controversial as it will require a change and acceptance of wearable computing in public spaces.

I think currently we are trying to figure out how to best integrate these new offerings into the way we do our everyday computing. Younger generations tend to take to these new offerings much quicker than people of older generations, so it seems to me that the uptake of these innovations is going to be tired almost directly to the population's generation.

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Message 1425391 - Posted: 7 Oct 2013, 20:00:00 UTC
Last modified: 21 Mar 2014, 21:48:42 UTC

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Message 1426700 - Posted: 10 Oct 2013, 17:27:10 UTC - in response to Message 1425321.

Google's Glass is making wearable computing an interesting prospect


Google Glass is intriguing. I actually think it will be the next big thing.

What I would really like to see is a smart tv/computer combo with voice recognition - I've read various things about Apple's dabbling in an iTV.


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Message 1427028 - Posted: 11 Oct 2013, 9:59:01 UTC

"How come none of you computer teachers have a smart phone?" The quick and simple answer is, "I don't need it."


Same here. Still have my 5-year-old cellphone and I'm quite happy with it...
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Message 1427047 - Posted: 11 Oct 2013, 12:23:59 UTC

"How come none of you computer teachers have a smart phone?" The quick and simple answer is, "I don't need it."

Same here. Still have my 5-year-old cellphone and I'm quite happy with it...

+1

Computer teachers teach computers, They are not paid by private companies to push commercial products. If you have a class full of wannabe technophiles, find another College or Uni to teach in, they aren't worth bothering with.

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Message 1427208 - Posted: 11 Oct 2013, 17:38:46 UTC - in response to Message 1427028.

"How come none of you computer teachers have a smart phone?" The quick and simple answer is, "I don't need it."


Same here. Still have my 5-year-old cellphone and I'm quite happy with it...


I have a dumb phone and it does everything it is designed for quite well.
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Message 1427221 - Posted: 11 Oct 2013, 18:01:24 UTC
Last modified: 11 Oct 2013, 18:02:48 UTC

Every semester, at least one of my students asks me, "How come none of you computer teachers have a smart phone?" The quick and simple answer is, "I don't need it."


I teach basic IT at my local 60+ club and I have a smart phone,(I am also 60+) probably a third of my time is spent helping students use their various smart phones that sons and daughters have given them, to try and get mum/dad into the 21st century, doesn't always work though!!

My feeling is to teach IT you have to know as much about it as you can and smartphones/tablets are going to be the way forward.

PS like it or not smartphones ARE computers with operating systems.
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Message 1427338 - Posted: 11 Oct 2013, 21:41:21 UTC - in response to Message 1427208.

"How come none of you computer teachers have a smart phone?" The quick and simple answer is, "I don't need it."


Same here. Still have my 5-year-old cellphone and I'm quite happy with it...


I have a dumb phone and it does everything it is designed for quite well.



Yup, me too. I can talk and (I think) send text messages, that's it.

Luddites of the world, unite!.
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Message 1427376 - Posted: 11 Oct 2013, 23:59:10 UTC
Last modified: 12 Oct 2013, 0:00:45 UTC

Up until approx. the present time, advances in technology have resulted
in jobs; different skills, but jobs, never-the-less. However, from what
I read and observe, todays "automation" has resulted in fewer jobs -- esp.
in the middle-class, including "white-collar" jobs.

So, from my perspective, the challenge to MIT and Silicone Valley, et. al.,
will be to create new technology that will, certainly, justify itself by
increasing the efficiency of the workplace, but will, also, increase the
number of people working at meaningful jobs. This is no small order, and
I, personally, don't have the faintest idea of what form it might take.

The Fed's leaving the interest rate low, is good -- but, it's a band-aid.

Perhaps, someone -- even in the SETI net -- might have some ideas on
the subject.
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Message 1427390 - Posted: 12 Oct 2013, 0:39:19 UTC - in response to Message 1427376.

Traditionally when new technology is introduced, a re-tooling of one's skillset is required to provide a living. For example, the invention of the printing press required people that knew how they ran and how to fix them when they broke.

With the increasing pace of technology, it requires an increasing pace of education and more creative ideas to solutions. The caveat, however, is that it only takes one person per X number of machines, with each machine doing what formerly X number of humans used to do, while the individual is still earning only the pay of a single individual, as that is all the market will bear.

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Message 1427498 - Posted: 12 Oct 2013, 9:37:30 UTC
Last modified: 12 Oct 2013, 9:40:30 UTC

There are a number of issues here.

Firstly we have evolved into a society that has to be in touch with the world 24/7 whether in the house or outside of it. The Internet gives us worldwide news as it happens and we cannot get enough of it. Our grandparents made do with the 1 o'clock news on the radio, our parents watched the 6 o'clock news on the telly. Time was when we waited until we got home after a days work to open our snail mail, or telephone a friend. And we read the news in the next mornings newspaper at breakfast, even though it was 8 hours old. Not any more, we want the lot instantly at our fingertips.

Secondly people used to talk face to face with their friends, these days it is via Twitter and facebook, people are losing the human interaction skills they used to have, and they wonder why they can't pass interviews or land customer facing jobs. Even Downing Street uses Twitter, they have to really if they want to be on the same wavelength as potential voters

Thirdly, they tell us that you can already login to home from the office and remotely turn the central heating on. Whatever happened to thermostats and timers? They tell us that there will be smart fridges that will decide that you have run out of eggs or milk, and automatically order it for you online, and it will be waiting for you when you get home. It still means that you have to open the fridge door to put the goods in, but they're probably working on that too. Nearly everybody I know orders their Xmas shopping on line these days and tops up with bits and pieces in the high street.

Fourthly, there is what used to be called the yuppy crowd, who aren't judged as having "arrived" unless they have the latest all singing all dancing gizmo. They were the ones that in their early teens wouldn't be seen dead in the street without the latest £100 designer trainers, in case it dented their street cred which meant more than life itself. How many people have these ginormous flat screen TV's now, often totally overpowering in a small room. They invite all the neighbours in to show off that they have the first one that big in the road. Pathetic.

Those are all the negatives as I see it, and it necessarily means a portable computer in our pockets i.e. smartphone, tablet etc. But I well remember many years ago one young manager being totally shattered by leaving his filofax, the old paper version of a smartphone, on a train. His whole life was in that book, addresses, phone numbers, contacts, personal photographs, the lot. He was totally stuffed. I can see the same "all the eggs in one basket" syndrome happening with today's reliance on gizmos.

But there are positives believe it or not.

Firstly, A businessman on a 2 hour train journey can keep in touch with the office, particularly if an important contract is being negotiated. I have a father aged 100, my poor old Nokia 6020 is switched on 24/7, if anything happens I should know pretty quickly where ever I am. If I am out in the car and I break down, I can call for assistance. Occasionally Ebay auctions end at inconvenient times, mobile internet could be helpful if you run an Ebay business.

Secondly, I fully accept that the lifestyle that Bernie has chosen for himself, means that it is sensible for him to have an ipad, smartphone, tablet, or whatever, and pretty impressive they all are as well. Not for nothing is he known as "Bernie the Gadget" amongst his friends! I don't need any of that, but I wouldn't be a Luddite, if I find one day that I do, I will go and buy one, simple as that. Just hasn't happened yet :-)

Thirdly, it's changed pub discussions out of all recognition. Time was when 1/2 a dozen lads would get all uptight about who won the Cup Final years ago and the score, or whether a certain footballer ever played for Man U etc. And there were punch-ups over it. Now, someone will produce a gizmo, go online and google the answer. End of argument.

Fourthly, technology has given governments the tools for monitoring and surveillance, that can hopefully root out terrorists or subversives before another 9/11 or 7/7 can happen again. But the public is not happy at what they see as such big brother activities, but that is a matter for another thread and discussion.

To sum up, technology innovation has made us into a lazy society, where too many people use it because they can, or think that they have to, to fit in. I don't think the pace of innovation has slowed down, but I do think that face to face human interaction has because of it. Pros and cons, but I see more cons at the moment.

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Message 1427521 - Posted: 12 Oct 2013, 10:44:56 UTC
Last modified: 12 Oct 2013, 10:45:39 UTC

There was a book on this subject,"Computer power and human reason" by Joseph Weizenbaum, Freeman (1976) which I tried unsuccessfully to publish while working in Mondadori Publishing House. Weizenbam is the author of the ELIZA program which simulates a psychoanalysis interview, but he wrote it as a jest. He was frightened when he saw it was taken seriously.
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Message 1427577 - Posted: 12 Oct 2013, 14:26:14 UTC - in response to Message 1427498.

But I well remember many years ago one young manager being totally shattered by leaving his filofax, the old paper version of a smartphone, on a train. His whole life was in that book, addresses, phone numbers, contacts, personal photographs, the lot. He was totally stuffed. I can see the same "all the eggs in one basket" syndrome happening with today's reliance on gizmos.


You've heard of the cloud, haven't you? Many devices have the capability to backup all your stuff onto a server so that in the event you lose your device, simply getting a replacement allows you to restore and resume exactly where you left off.


To sum up, technology innovation has made us into a lazy society, where too many people use it because they can, or think that they have to, to fit in. I don't think the pace of innovation has slowed down, but I do think that face to face human interaction has because of it. Pros and cons, but I see more cons at the moment.


Society has always been lazy. Man invents so that he doesn't have to do work. The wheel was invented so he could put a box on two and put stuff in it and move it down the road much easier. Anyone who thinks this doesn't apply to themselves are likely deluding themselves.

And you keep going on about face-to-face communications - yet technology has allowed us to have virtual face-to-face thousands of miles away when we couldn't afford to travel to the other party otherwise. I remember as a child my mother had bought my brother and I a pair of walkie-talkie radios. We'd use them literally 6 feet away! It was simply so cool to use! Use them across 25 feet? Forget it! Couldn't see the other person. Rather 6 feet so I can see them when I talk. Long distance is for telephones. Now with VOIP, smartphones and videophones, all these things have converged. It is truly opening up communications in our world, which can only be a good thing. We need more discussion and more understanding of differing views.

I assure you that like the invention of the wheel, gas powered engine, radio, television, VCR, personal computer, the Internet and whatever comes after it, the human race will adapt and adjust. Sure, things will change from what you knew it far beyond when you're gone. That's the nature of our existence, and change is a must.

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Message 1428432 - Posted: 14 Oct 2013, 12:53:22 UTC

There's been a German study where they put a book in front of a ten year old I think it was...
She started rubbing her finger on the book, thinking it was a touchscreen, now how crazy is that!!
Lisa has restricted access to her smartphone and computer, no matter when, and I always monitor her...
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Message 1428470 - Posted: 14 Oct 2013, 14:31:12 UTC

A sensible mother, please can we have some more!

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Message 1428476 - Posted: 14 Oct 2013, 14:47:29 UTC

:)
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