Skip to main content

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.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Why I Switched From Git to Microsoft OneDrive

I made the unexpected move with a string of recent projects to drop Git to sync between my different computers in favor of OneDrive, the file sync offering from Microsoft. Its like Dropbox, but "enterprise."

Feeling a little ashamed at what I previously would have scoffed at should I hear of it from another developer, I felt a little write up of the why and the experience could be a good idea. Now, I should emphasize that I'm not dropping Git for all my projects, just specific kinds of projects. I've been making this change in habit for projects that are just for me, not shared with anyone else. It has been especially helpful in projects I work on sporadically. More on why a little later.

So, what drove me away from Git, exactly?

On the smallest projects, like game jam hacks, I just wanted to code. I didn't want to think about revisions and commit messages. I didn't need branching or merges. I didn't even need to rollback to another version, ever. I just …

CARDIAC: The Cardboard Computer

I am just so excited about this.


CARDIAC. The Cardboard Computer. How cool is that? This piece of history is amazing and better than that: it is extremely accessible. This fantastic design was built in 1969 by David Hagelbarger at Bell Labs to explain what computers were to those who would otherwise have no exposure to them. Miraculously, the CARDIAC (CARDboard Interactive Aid to Computation) was able to actually function as a slow and rudimentary computer. 
One of the most fascinating aspects of this gem is that at the time of its publication the scope it was able to demonstrate was actually useful in explaining what a computer was. Could you imagine trying to explain computers today with anything close to the CARDIAC?

It had 100 memory locations and only ten instructions. The memory held signed 3-digit numbers (-999 through 999) and instructions could be encoded such that the first digit was the instruction and the second two digits were the address of memory to operate on. The only re…

On Pruning Your Passions

We live in a hobby-rich world. There is no shortage of pastimes to grow a passion for. There is a shortage of one thing: time to indulge those passions. If you're someone who pours your heart into that one thing that makes your life worthwhile, that's a great deal. But, what if you've got no shortage of interests that draw your attention and you realize you will never have the time for all of them?

If I look at all the things I'd love to do with my life as a rose bush I'm tending, I realize that careful pruning is essential for the best outcome. This is a hard lesson to learn, because it can mean cutting beautiful flowers and watching the petals fall to the ground to wither. It has to be done.

I have a full time job that takes a lot of my mental energy. I have a wife and a son and family time is very important in my house. I try to read more, and I want to keep up with new developments in my career, and I'm trying to make time for simple, intentional relaxing t…