Monday, January 04, 2010

Top Ten Science and Technology Predictions for 2010

I made a few long-term predictions in conversations over the past week about science in the next century. Focusing on only the next year is much more challenging. Also, I'll be proven wrong much more quickly.
  1. Mass market CPU/GPU hybrids are going to make netbooks and tablets very viable machines. HDMI outputs will make them powerful docked machined, capable of replacing a laptop realistically. Intel might have dropped the ball, but Nvidia's Tegra chips are going to prove this in the early half of 2010.

  2. Cheap DNA tests are going to be a noticeable social problem. We're going to see numerous news items this year about disgruntled parents trying to prove some fear with a few stolen strands of hair and a self-addressed envelop from a shady testing company. The legal and social implications aren't going to be pretty.

  3. At least one eBook reader will be released with color support in the US market. TMOS displays will appear in netbooks and phones. Our display technologies will continue to dive in cost and energy usage.

  4. Solar technology is going to hit a cost that will begin to make it a selling point for new housing development. There are likely to be new tax breaks for home's built or renovated with solar panels on the roof tops. This won't lessen the demand for the energy grid, but will slow its growth. The social idea of what a house is will begin to absorb energy production along with gutters, fake window shades, and central air.

  5. Bio-Fuel from algae will start to compete with soy and corn fuel in the sustainable fuels market. At least one company will start to sell commercial and possibly consumer targeted units for self-run fuel production. There are already such units available for breaking down biowaste, and a unit containing algae tanks is a sure attempt to be made.

  6. Google will begin public launches of plugin support for their major applications, starting with Google Spreadsheets' plug-in beta moving out of the sandbox and into Google Docs Labs. These plug-ins will run on AppEngine and be able to integrate with other products to extend and customize them in ways that aren't feasible for Google to do for the entire market. Don't expect to see a plug-in custom sorting your search results, but aside from Spreadsheets, I would expect Docs, Gmail, and possibly Picasa.

  7. The Google Nexus One phone will release and it will not be impressive. It will essentially be a shinier development phone mass-produced to give them better sample sizes for new experiments.

  8. The first commercial production trials of vat-meat will begin. People will be grossed out, but they won't ask if it's already being put in their hot-dogs or not.

  9. IPv6 will not be used much more than it was in 2009.

  10. No one will use public/private key signing, but they'll still complain about spam all the time.
You can see my list of other and upcoming 2010 predictions.

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I write here about programming, how to program better, things I think are neat and are related to programming. I might write other things at my personal website.

I am happily employed by the excellent Caktus Group, located in beautiful and friendly Carrboro, NC, where I work with Python, Django, and Javascript.

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