2014 Technology – The Year Ahead
Brushless DC Motors, 3D printers, lathes, milling machines and of course robotics.
Like most readers of technological magazines we equip ourselves with amazing gadgetry, audio which never sounds right, cars that always fail and a non-deserved flair for arrogance. 2014 is going to be tough, say the economists. No matter how tough, we will always find those that find the money to buy the latest audio, cars and fashion. Whether it’s the banks money, a friend’s or a parent – who really cares? Technology is king and will remain so for many years to come.
What’s trendy and what’s not in 2014 Technology
I come from the computer era, I am also a big electronics geek (or I like to think so). Technology is certainly changing the way in which we think and do things. 80% is not for the better. Spellcheckers are great for the beginner but really, look back 50 years and you’ll find your parents did not have those marvels at their fingertips – they had to do things right, first time. Spelling was just one of those things. One day, trust me, spelling will be a subject at school. Do you remember that story (Asimov) where a space ship had a young cadet on board that could add. subtract, multiply and divide without the use of a calculator – these were single digit numbers by the way. He was classified as boy genius. Technology is making us lazy and ummm, pretty stupid. Read the book: “Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies” by Jared Diamond.
Bob Dylan’s “The Times are a Changing”.
Not really – no matter how some things change they don’t really. Well let’s get to the point then, I think I am in a fair position to say that although technology is changing it’s making us poorer – poorer in vision, things we do and in our social skills. To keep up with the Jones’s we want the latest cellular device and have become brilliant users. The more gadgets the more we want. App writers are making millions and for many, deservedly so. For many also, they are supplying us with rubbish. There’s duplication upon duplication upon duplication – we have too little time on planet earth to check all the apps so lets just start by giving us something that really works. I had a spyro-gyro set when I was young. I also had a little ‘TV’ set which displayed an 8mm film onto a small screen. These two ‘play-things I will never forget. It expanded my own dreams. Try this with the latest technology and I can promise you it’s only the very bright and the very daring that will take this technology to the next level. There’s worse to come – money.
2014 Technology – From archives to Now or How to steal technology and get away with it!
We are really a sucker for punishment. What may seem like a wondrous invention in 2013 may in fact have been on the cards in 1910. I kid you not. Are you really aware that flash boilers have been around for over a century. We adapt because of the environment – energy stakes are high so we look for alternative fuels. The man or woman that invents a car that can run off water will win first prize. The man or woman that discovers a cure for diabetes wins second prize.
Apple is just such a wondrous company with a great flair for innovation. Steve Jobs gets a posthumous Grammy but while he was alive he was often treated like a schmuck. This is how I see it in any event. Yes, perhaps he was a difficult man to work with but so do I believe was Albert Einstein. This is how it is working with genius. Then we copy the works – like we all know Steve did as well. There is a difference however, Steve just made it better.
As much as technology changes it doesn’t change that much. Marketing is much stronger than 50 years back because of the power of the internet so of course it has a much larger audience or spectatorship. Much of what is being brought out today is really not all that exciting. Much of what is being brought out today is just an improvement on old design. I see three big jumps in the last 20 years:
- The computer – used as a multitasking device.
- The Internet – marketing, education and media content.
- Wireless and home media (I connect these two, excuse the pun)
I am over simplifying. There are many things I can add but I see the most significant jumps in these three from a technological standpoint. Of course I could add cell phones. I won’t though because like the TV receiver has been proven to be the demise of many an intelligent kid, I abhor the fact that in a room full of people, 90% of them are looking at their cell phone, waiting for something or someone to spring out and wave a wand. I do give it 90% though for making communication simple and life-saving. The AM transceiver still beats it hands down in performance. Yes, you may argue about skips, hops and jumps – whatever (I studied radio so yes, I do know about the Kennely-Heaviside and Appleton layers etc, etc – but you don’t need all the expensive mumbo jumbo which goes with modern technology). I do see that where the cell phone beats any other technology hands down is in making money. So sorry, I haven’t included cell phone technology in my 2014 round up. Neither a TV that changes channels when you talk to it, a car that can drive on three wheels, self inflating tyres and a bucketload of gadgets and gizmos.