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Old 2015-09-30, 18:05   #1
jasong
 
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"Jason Goatcher"
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Default Any technology you guys are excited about?

Given the type of people that like to post here, I'm wondering if there's any technology or news that's on your personal radar but mostly unknown to the general public?

For me, though I don't have the education to truly appreciate it, I'm excited by things like energy storage and room temperature super-conduction. A superconductor was recently built that operated at -70 degrees Fahrenheit, rather balmy for a super-conductor. Rather exciting development, for the rather arbitrary reason that -70 degrees Fahrenheit is a temperature that occasionally occurs naturally in Antarctica.

I'm also excited by the notion of "bendy" screens. We've had a failure in the last decade or so to move to paperless office, I believe we actually use MORE paper than we used to. The problem, in my mind, is that in order to truly replace a technology, the new technology has to be better in all or most instances, which obviously isn't true when it comes to tablets and laptops. We need something that can be written on like paper, has no perceivable delay between writing on the paper and the writing showing up, and we need robust copying and duplication abilities that can be achieved without a keyboard. We also need the "paper" to be reasonably cheap for the sake of power users like students and any sort of researcher, so that they can have multiple sheets showing various things. Lastly, we need a permissions system for duplicating data when the original creator isn't around.

If I may repeat my question, what are you guys excited about?
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Old 2015-09-30, 22:19   #2
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Being able to design proteins and then print them.
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Old 2015-09-30, 23:02   #3
kladner
 
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I am hopeful for breakthroughs in energy storage, especially in batteries. There have been some promising technologies tested which may increase density and greatly increase charging speed.
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Old 2015-09-30, 23:07   #4
chalsall
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasong View Post
If I may repeat my question, what are you guys excited about?
AI. I know it scares a lot of people, but I personally believe that homo sapiens are just one step of many.

Besides, if the next evolutionary step(s) treat us the way many of us treat animals (other than eating them, of course), then we're probably good.
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Old 2015-10-01, 00:57   #5
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crosspoint memory, quantum computing, and driverless cars. (kind of a vanilla wishlist)
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Old 2015-10-01, 01:09   #6
kladner
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chalsall View Post
AI. I know it scares a lot of people, but I personally believe that homo sapiens are just one step of many.

Besides, if the next evolutionary step(s) treat us the way many of us treat animals (other than eating them, of course), then we're probably good.
Trains and cars were (and are) scary technologies. A book my family had when I was a kid told of a law requiring a train to have a flagman walking ahead.

Our favorite law was, "If two trains come to a rail intersection at the same time, neither may move until the other has gone."

Last fiddled with by kladner on 2015-10-01 at 01:11
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Old 2015-10-01, 02:44   #7
LaurV
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B-e-a-utiful! May I use it as my skype status?

And to be on topic, I am enchanted by almost all "new" technologies. In spite of the fact they are not new at all. The most of "technologies" you see today are developed long ago, like for example the lithium and lithium-polymer batteries, developed by some Chinese guy in Singapore 30 to 40 years ago. They are kept hidden and locked in a cabinet until they are actually needed. Or until people want them. And it was the mobile-phone/laptops/etc technology that brought the batteries in the light (not pun intended). When the computers were room-sized and telephones were wired, who needed batteries?

It generally may take 30 to 40 years for a "new" technology to come to the public. Mostly are not used first, and part of them are used by the army first, till they get "obsolete" and become accessible to the public. This is not conspiracy theory.

And talking about Singapore, one technology which really amazes me and I put huge hopes into it, is purifying the (sea/sewage) water. I read (I think the link was posted on this forum in the past, by one of our members that are posting links to new tech stuff) about some special filters (electro/bio/carbon/tubes?) which separate water molecules from salty water (brine). Now, THAT is something. Water is already more expensive than gasoline, and it will get scarcer in the future (global warming or not). Solving this problem will help not millions, but billions of people. Singapore for example has no source of water, they are buying all the water and partially recycling "pee" water. Other technologies like electric cars and stuff don't impress me too much (to stay on the "battery-related" side, because what stops the development of electric cars is not the motors, etc, which we can make very efficient - just think about electric locomotives for trains - with regenerative braking and all the stuff, but is the (im)possibility of storing the energy on board, therefore the autonomy of the car). I don't see an "electric future" for cars. At least the immediate future (few hundred years?). The future of cars is natural gas. As opposite to petrol, natural gas is easy to find, easy to form (don't need millions of years, every pond is bubbling of it, oceans' bottoms is full of it, we even can produce it quite fast, using sunlight and/or bacteria. NG motors can be made more efficient compared with gasoline/diesel and they pollute less. We already have the "distribution" net for it in many places in the world (as opposite to "electrical charging stations") and it takes much less time to refill a CNG/LNG tank than to charge a battery (unless you "exchange" the batteries at the stations, which is risky, I won't give my new battery away to get an old and possible defective one which can explode in my car). Contrary to people belief (someone said here that he likes the strong bonds in that gasoline, when I was talking about the subject in the past) the CNG is safer than gasoline/diesel to use (buss in former communist countries were using methane reservoirs on top since the 70's), because it will not burn unless heated at (or over) 500 degrees Celsius and it is lighter than the air, therefore evading in the atmosphere (it will not accumulate on the floor of a parking space, like gasoline vapors do).

Unfortunately, what stops the development of CNG cars is the same reason as for electric cars: there is no known method to efficiently store the gas. The autonomy of a CNG car is even less than for an electric car. If you find today a way to store CNG in small spaces, you are billionaire tomorrow. Overnight.

But enough about it. There are many things that amazes me... Every time I read about something new, I am thinking "wow! Why I didn't think to this?" or respectively "wow, how come my friend X (who works in an adiacent or similar domain) didn't discover that?" and "how many people will this help?" and a billion of other thinks go through my head, and I am really amazed and enchanted..

Last fiddled with by LaurV on 2015-10-01 at 03:37
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Old 2015-10-01, 03:58   #8
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Quote:
B-e-a-utiful! May I use it as my skype status?
What is 'it'? If you are asking me, Yes, whatever 'it' is.
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Old 2015-10-01, 04:19   #9
LaurV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kladner View Post
What is 'it'? If you are asking me, Yes, whatever 'it' is.
Yes, it was for you, and I didn't really "ask"
One of your two laws/sentences, hehe. Already.

Last fiddled with by LaurV on 2015-10-01 at 04:21
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Old 2015-10-01, 05:22   #10
kladner
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaurV View Post
Yes, it was for you, and I didn't really "ask"
One of your two laws/sentences, hehe. Already.
I figured. The second one is a priceless bit of legislative nonsense. But so is the first, to a lesser extent.

Last fiddled with by kladner on 2015-10-01 at 05:24
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Old 2015-10-01, 05:31   #11
petrw1
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Default GPS Implants....

No kid is ever lost/kidnapped again .... right, and can never hide again (like from their parents, spouse, the law, the IRS, ...)
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