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2012 and the Technology Blahs

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the end-of-the-world-nigh-monetize-now-now-now dept.

AI 130

Velcroman1 writes "Generally, at the end of the year, predictions stream forth as to how this or that new technology will transform the world in the next 12 months. Just before Christmas, IBM announced computerized mind reading was just around the corner — sometime after 2017, that is. But on the whole, experts and analysts don't see a whole lot of innovation coming out of the U.S. anytime soon. Instead, they see sluggishness. 'We'll have to wait for consumer spending to go up before the 'flying surfboard' arrives,' said Chris Stephenson, co-founder of Seattle consulting firm ARRYVE. 'Bigger innovation labs and companies are holding back on numerous innovations until they can properly monetize them.'"

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And here are the predictions for 2012 (4, Informative)

InterestingFella (2537066) | more than 2 years ago | (#38504794)

TechCrunch has an interesting predictions on how HTML5 and 2012 will change the web [techcrunch.com] .

Apart from making the whole web more interconnected between different websites, web browsers starting to look and behave more like iPad, complete with push notifications and geolocation, and HTML5 ads replacing majority of flash based ads, the article also predicts that browser makers will start to introduce App Stores within their browsers. In fact, Chrome already has one.Facebook will also get a lot more seamlessly integrated with your desktop, including file system access, photo syncing and widgets on your screen. There will also be an increasing amount of HTML5 based social games and online cloud based apps that replace every functionality you needed desktop apps for. All of these changes and features will start to blur the line between desktop and browser and will also bring your social graph more closely into contact with your traditional desktop experience.

Re:And here are the predictions for 2012 (5, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#38504900)

Marketing speak decoded:

  • "Push notifications" -> ads rammed up your ass
  • "Apps" for browsers -> pay per view content
  • "HTML5 ads" -> ads take over the whole screen.
  • "Facebook will be seamlessly integrated into the desktop" -> all your info belongs to us

Re:And here are the predictions for 2012 (1)

cosm (1072588) | more than 2 years ago | (#38504982)

They need to sell marketing speak decoders to dub over everything that gets spewed by the mba vermin.

Re:And here are the predictions for 2012 (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 2 years ago | (#38505326)

You should surf the web on your iPad, cause there's an app for that.

Re:And here are the predictions for 2012 (1, Troll)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 2 years ago | (#38505114)

Nerd speak decoded:

anything at all -> whine whine whine, bitch bitch bitch

Re:And here are the predictions for 2012 (3, Interesting)

smi.james.th (1706780) | more than 2 years ago | (#38505210)

"Apps" for browsers -> pay per view content

Permit me to respectfully disagree. I use a few of the Chrome apps, mostly like offline GMail and Google Calendar because I have extended periods away from an internet connection when I still need to be able to access these things. Chrome Remote Desktop is quite useful as well. Sure, pay-per-view stuff may arrive, but I doubt it will even become a major thing.

Re:And here are the predictions for 2012 (3, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#38505346)

In the beginning it's free or really cheap... then you get hooked on it and then the costs keep going up. Are you like 18 or have you not noticed this general trend where the consumer is concerned?

If there is a way to exploit the consumer with technology, they have ALWAYS done so. Everything you do, everything you see, everything you eat, every breath you take, every move you make... it's worth something to someone and they will always do everything they can get away with to capitalize on it. The only areas which aren't being exploited are either prohibited by law or new enough that they haven't yet figured out how to best exploit.

Re:And here are the predictions for 2012 (5, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#38505698)

Are you like 18 or have you not noticed this general trend where the consumer is concerned?

Are you like 18 that you have no self-control or disposable income? I have about 40-60 apps on my Android. I paid for exactly one, because it was a non-trivial app that I use every day, for at least an hour to two hours. The rest are all free. Exactly one comes with ads, and I only have it because it's a fun game to play with friends (I won't mention the game because I don't want to give extra publicity to the game, and because I don't want to admit that I actually support the company via ads).

Do some research on what you use, and you can live a nice, uncluttered life filled with useful apps that don't cost you a dime. And if you do find a particularly nice one, do the right thing and donate.

Then the poor schmucks making the app won't have to turn to the dark side to make a living.

Re:And here are the predictions for 2012 (1)

imamac (1083405) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506022)

It's okay...I play Words with Friends, too. Damn you, Zynga.

Re:And here are the predictions for 2012 (1)

arkane1234 (457605) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506122)

I have to admit, reading that I kinda chuckled...
"offline gmail" - POP/SMTP client
"offline google calendar" - iCal subscription to google calendar or I hear Windows has some sort of "subscibe to calendar" feature

Re:And here are the predictions for 2012 (5, Insightful)

grimmjeeper (2301232) | more than 2 years ago | (#38504986)

That's all I need. A browser that gives away all of my personal information so that advertising creeps can push sell a lot of crap on top of the web pages I'm trying to view. And on top of that it's going to make me use a very clunky "touchscreen" style user interface full of downloadable craplets rather than taking advantage of the keyboard and mouse that my desktop has always had.

Call my cynical but I really see all of this as the web going downhill. Sure, there are great new technologies that can make things better. But as with any tool, it depends on how you use it. In this case, it's not being used to make anything better.

Oh yea, I almost forgot the obligatory "get off my lawn" statement...

Re:And here are the predictions for 2012 (1)

RKBA (622932) | more than 2 years ago | (#38505334)

Amen. Where are my mod points when I need them, arrrgghhh! You deserve some upvotes.

Re:And here are the predictions for 2012 (1)

grimmjeeper (2301232) | more than 2 years ago | (#38505728)

Eh, I have plenty of karma already. I'm not worried about getting voted up.

Re:And here are the predictions for 2012 (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#38505366)

Stop running MSIE, Chrome or any other browser from a publisher which might seek to make a buck from you. Best bet is an OSS browser which has been forked and rebranded and sanitized by privacy interest groups.

Re:And here are the predictions for 2012 (2)

grimmjeeper (2301232) | more than 2 years ago | (#38505568)

I use Firefox, which probably isn't the best. But NoScript and Ad Block Plus make a huge difference. It's amazing how many websites use scripts from Twitter, Facebook, and google-analytics.

Re:And here are the predictions for 2012 (2)

arkane1234 (457605) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506144)

There's Ad Block on Chrome. I have that.

Re:And here are the predictions for 2012 (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38505070)

online cloud based apps that replace every functionality you needed desktop apps for

Already almost there, at work.

We downgraded from a opensource web based ticket system to a local client home grown POS ticket system that doesn't work as well. This I'm sure will move back to the web.

We still have ms office installed although people are starting to use web alternatives for convenience whenever possible.

Our current CAD system does not have a web viewer. I'm sure that will change eventually. Maybe the cheapskates just have not paid for it.

There are a couple weird engineering apps of the $$$$$$$$ per seat license variety which very few people use but are vital for operation. I suppose those could be run on a rdesktop thingy.

Most people use "outlook client" instead of "outlook webmail" for little reason other than inertia. At home obviously I log into the webmail and its just fine.

I use ssh roughly 40 hours per week, for years (decades?) there have been web/java hosted ssh apps. Some day I'll set up some kind of "java ssh client" here so I don't need to run putty-ssh.

Other than that, in an extremely tech oriented office, we're already there... don't require html5 for all "apps on the net" situations anyway, at least not per evidence of past 15 years or so. I don't run native apps. I might have 3 FF windows each with 5 tabs, but FF is the only "desktop app" I use at work on a regular basis.

Re:And here are the predictions for 2012 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38505116)

Facebook will also get a lot more seamlessly integrated with your desktop, including file system access...

The hell it will.

I suspect that HTML and JavaScript, possibly including HTML5 features, will continue to replace Flash, including in advertising and games. I don't think well see a significant rise in push notifications in web browsers over the next year, nor do I think that geolocation will take any stronger a position on the desktop than it has in recent years. We may start seeing more browser extensions pushed as apps, but I doubt that will see any big fundamental shifts in just one year. I agree that the browser as a platform paradigm will continue to grow, but radical changes take time. Many new year predictions about technology fail to take adequate development and adoption time into account.

Re:And here are the predictions for 2012 (1)

smi.james.th (1706780) | more than 2 years ago | (#38505244)

Facebook will also get a lot more seamlessly integrated with your desktop, including file system access...

The hell it will.

Am I the only person who really isn't keen on this happening? I'm not a luddite, but this isn't really my field. The way I'm familiar with the web and JavaScript is that it specifically has no access to the local filesystem on your machine. Someone correct me if I'm wrong?

Re:And here are the predictions for 2012 (1)

Coolhand2120 (1001761) | more than 2 years ago | (#38505358)

It think they're talking about adding a widget/toolbar/whatever or standalone executable that interfaces with facebook.

One can only hope that it causes facebook to crash in some spectacular way that prevents it from ever working again. I wouldn't mind if it made Zuckerberg's shoes strongly adhere to all surfaces at the same time. Both are just as likely.

Oh well, one can still hope.

Re:And here are the predictions for 2012 (1)

sidthegeek (626567) | more than 2 years ago | (#38505430)

It think they're talking about adding a widget/toolbar/whatever or standalone executable that interfaces with facebook.

Well, a lot of users will already be familiar with widgets and toolbars that offer them cool features. They're probably enjoying their Super Smiley Packs and Free Stock Update Ticker Web Applet Widgets too much to care.

Re:And here are the predictions for 2012 (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 2 years ago | (#38505384)

If that were the case there would be no exploits executing code in the user context when viewed in a browser with Java/Javascript enabled.

First Post (0)

thomasw_lrd (1203850) | more than 2 years ago | (#38504796)

From the Apple TV due out next year.

Good use of my time machine.

Re:First Post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38504884)

How about using your time machine to actually get first post?

Re:First Post (1)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 2 years ago | (#38504964)

Because there's an app for that?

How to Monetize a Flying Surfboard: (5, Insightful)

earls (1367951) | more than 2 years ago | (#38504834)

Invent a flying surfboard.

Read: accountants are strangling progress (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38504846)

The depressing part is that this is not only true but the status quo.

Sluggish? (1)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 2 years ago | (#38504856)

With our headstrong exponential growth of scientific/technological progress, I guess *not* revolutionizing the world within 12 months is sluggish. But we have nothing to be ashamed of, our .6 GTPY (Global Transformations per Year) is perfectly good. :P

Please keep the "Christ" in Christmas (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38504862)

Do not participate in the secularization of America. We are, have been, and need to continue to be a Christian nation. Through God we will meet and defeat all other nations.

Re:Please keep the "Christ" in Christmas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38505002)

Religion can bring out the extremes in people; from the incredibly generous and compassionate - to suicide bombers and people starting unnecessary wars. I don't know weather this is good or bad.

Re:Please keep the "Christ" in Christmas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38505058)

What does the weather have to do with this? I'm not sure whether or not I get the connection.

It's the Weather, stupid (-1, Offtopic)

jabberw0k (62554) | more than 2 years ago | (#38505468)

Clearly, Manmade Globular Worming, caused by evil soccer moms driving gas-guzzling SUVs, is the root of all evil. Someone tell Algore to shut off his weather-control satellites.

Re:Please keep the "Christ" in Christmas (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38505066)

Do not participate in the secularization of America. We are, have been, and need to continue to be a Christian nation. Through God we will meet and defeat all other nations.

The radical Islamist adhere to the same philosophy.

Re:Please keep the "Christ" in Christmas (0)

jitterman (987991) | more than 2 years ago | (#38505224)

I imagine even the non-radicals adhere to it. You don't have to be extreme to love your religion and want it to be respected.

Re:Please keep the "Christ" in Christmas (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 2 years ago | (#38505416)

Not sure about you, but while gathering my shopping for the Holiday season I saw or rather heard "Christ" everywhere.

There was a time when that were true, but with stores pushing gifts rather than the reason, whether you believe or not (which I do not, it's a pagan holiday after all). What I do believe is the message. It shouldn't be limited to one day/week/month a year either.

Re:Please keep the "Christ" in Christmas (1)

tibit (1762298) | more than 2 years ago | (#38505800)

I think everyone but me missed on the big red flag in the troll parent: WTF should we defeat every other nation?! How can that be anyone's goal?? What kind of a fucked up ideology is that? If that guy/gal seriously thinks that and claims themselves to be Christian, they need to take a long view in the mirror because they are really, truly fucked up, no other word for that. Christian my ass. Sigh.

Re:Please keep the "Christ" in Christmas (1)

arkane1234 (457605) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506234)

Why of course the only way to true godliness is the complete and utter annihilation of every country by one country and one ruler. Then, you will know righteousness.
Oh yeah, if you don't believe in what your told, wrath will be released upon you. After all, any loving person invokes wrath upon their child for not believing what they're told.

Re:Please keep the "Christ" in Christmas (1)

tibit (1762298) | more than 2 years ago | (#38505762)

If you think it's somehow Christian and necessary to "meet and defeat" all other nations, then you I think you should seek help because the whole idea has seriously whooshed over your head.

Consumer spending never goes back up? (4, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38504892)

What if consumer spending never goes back up, adjusted for inflation?
I know that adjusted for inflation the median has had less income every year for something like 40 years.
Also .edu, medical, car/transportation, energy, food, and housing costs have recently been exploding.
Then add in "new" expenses. Very few people were spending $150/month on smartphone bills more than a couple years ago.
Leaving less money for consumer spending every year.

so... those companies who wait, might be waiting a very long time indeed, like until they go out of business.

Re:Consumer spending never goes back up? (5, Funny)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#38504940)

Also .edu, [...] costs have recently been exploding.

I know how you feel! Those domain registrars are nuts. How are we supposed to get by if the fake university websites we set up to fool our parents are unaffordable? ICANN should do something.

Re:Consumer spending never goes back up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38505034)

All of those things are consumer spending.

What you're really getting at is that given the price of everything except how much you get paid is going up, what happens when you've borrowed so much money that you can't reasonably pay it back in your lifetime?

Re:Consumer spending never goes back up? (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38505208)

All of those things are consumer spending.

And none of them are innovative, at least in the short term. And I can't even imagine what could be released in those fields that is innovative.

I suppose buying gasoline, natgas for the furnace, electricity for the air conditioner, would be pretty innovative on a multi-century time scale, but not compared solely to next year.

Medical is not innovative for consumers. For tech types we understand new things are always arriving. For management types there are purchase orders to be decided on. For joe 6pack the medical experience is, they deduct an ever increasing fraction of your paycheck for insurance, you go to hospital/clinic when necessary, doc does his thing, the end. Recently with medical-bill-caused bankruptcy if the insurance only covers 80% costs and your hospital trip had a high 6 figure bill.

Food is certainly not innovative, unless you count the American obsession with soaking everything to saturation with corn syrup and/or salt. If you go low carb for awhile until your taste buds downregulate, most "regular american food" tastes way beyond disgusting until your taste buds upregulate again.

A housing is simply not innovative. A McMansion is just a large shack. So your overgrown cookie cutter garden shed has fake styrofoam columns. Woo hoo. Soooo not impressed with innovation in housing. If anything housing seems to be the opposite of innovation.

Re:Consumer spending never goes back up? (1)

Feyshtey (1523799) | more than 2 years ago | (#38505998)

According to some you blame the evil corporations that let you indulge in a glutinous orgy of spending. Then you turn to the government to explain how unfair it is that no sane bank will give you a loan for a house and demand that lending practices be legislated. You follow this with a bankruptcy claim that protects your home and assets (again, legislated this way, because you were taken advantage of), and retire on social security.

Re:Consumer spending never goes back up? (2)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#38505064)

What if consumer spending never goes back up, adjusted for inflation? I know that adjusted for inflation the median has had less income every year for something like 40 years.

That's what "competitiveness" is all about. Wages decline until they're just above survival level. This eliminates most discretionary consumer spending, and the economy stabilizes at a low level. That's the "free market" applied to labor. Your life will just barely work, forever. Deal with it.

Re:Consumer spending never goes back up? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38505500)

It's sad that rote work trained monkeys can perform doesn't pay 50 bucks an hour anymore. It's totally the fault of rich people that they couldn't get American consumers to pay outrageous sums of money for barely adequate goods. They should be forced to donate their wealth to the working monkeys, otherwise those poor union reps might only be able to afford one boat.

Re:Consumer spending never goes back up? (1)

Feyshtey (1523799) | more than 2 years ago | (#38505780)

So you're suggesting that capitalism desires that people have no money to spend to support the businesses that require their spending?

Putting that logic trainwreck aside for a moment....

The alternative is that the government will mandate economic controls and dictate what will be made, at what level of advancement, by whom, and to whom it shall be given. It would be wholly irresponsible for that government to spend on advancements that merely provide luxuries. The "people's" money should instead be spent solely on that which society must have to survive.

Look down at whatever it is you happen to be wearing at the moment. The chair you're sitting in. The monitor you're reading this text on and the computer which drives it. The building or home that shelters you and the systems that sustain it. Get used to it, because in your alternative all those technologies and their level of quality will be about the same 50 years from now. All people will live at the lowest common denominator in equal levels of decay. The passion to succeed and rise up will be squeezed from everyone save those that nurture the growth of power of government, and then only to their own benefit.

Maybe there's little societal value in a television show about Dirty Jobs. Maybe it's wasteful to produce scarves with snowflakes instead of solid colors. Maybe horn-rimmed glasses are not as cost-efficient as wire rim. The point being, if there's no free market to profit from making a variety of goods, necessarily the variety goes away and the bare essentials are what remain.

I'd actually like to be there when the occupy crowd realizes that there is no more Starbucks.

Re:Consumer spending never goes back up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38506136)

Or...

Capitalism drives us to the point where we have only just enough money to hang on and buy imported, disposable crap and lets us hover there. Capitalism likes efficiency, and an efficient consumer spends at 100%, all day long.

The argument is not between a plain colored scarf and a printed scarf (available from Target in your choice of 5 patterns they assure you are cutting edge fashion), but between a decent wool scarf to keep you warm and a shitty length of t-shirt poly-cotton that looks pretty. In a system based on disposable style, durability and substance represent waste and inefficiency. How else could we have the recent explosion in niche markets, if not by sacrificing depth in favor of superficial difference?

Having spent a lot of time overseas (outside the US) the past few years, especially in East Asia, I can tell you with some certainty that other countries are moving ahead of us without making many of the same mistakes we have. The US will fail because of MBA parasites and their uncanny ability to present myriad illusions of technical and aesthetic change, design, and innovation while retaining the same unsustainable business models (or, for the business world heroes with a touch of foresight, developing less sustainable business models to exploit, knowing they can jump ship before it sinks).

Re:Consumer spending never goes back up? (1)

Feyshtey (1523799) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506306)

The argument is not between a plain colored scarf and a printed scarf (available from Target...

If there is no capitalism, there is no Target. That's the point. Theres no Starbucks, or Dodge, or Dell, or Best Buy, or Levi's, or CNN, or a million other corporations that provide an alternative to their competitor's products. More specifically there's no Dell and HP. There's US Computers. And US Auto. And US News. And US Grocers with a US Coffee brand available.

If there's no capitalism, there's no competitive market. Government controls what is made, and how it's distributed. Maybe it'll be efficient as hell. But I'm willing to bet that most people in this country and in the world would prefer the freedom to find and purchase a t-shirt material scarf with snowflakes on it if that's what turns their crank.

And you're right, there are a myriad of unsustainable business practices. We should probably keep government out of the fucking way and let the shitty businesses fail, dontcha think? There's no aspect of capitalism that includes bailing out any business or industry.

Re:Consumer spending never goes back up? (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506168)

So you're suggesting that capitalism desires that people have no money to spend to support the businesses that require their spending?

Right. Capitalism is dysfunctional in that way. What individual businesses want isn't necessarily optimal for businesses collectively.

Here's the CEO of Wal-Mart complaining that his customers are running out of money. [cnn.com]

Re:Consumer spending never goes back up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38505860)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_law_of_wages

The economy doesn't stabilize at a low level.

The lack of discretionary income suffocates the economy driving the established monopolies out of business and making room for new start-ups. Assuming there are functional capital markets, new start-ups douse the economy with enough money to form a new middle class.

The new middle class spends this money as fast as they make it keeping the gears turning.
The start-up goes public and makes the middle class who bought stock options very rich.
-The smart ones quit their job, sell their house, move somewhere with a lower cost of living, and buy their house outright in cash.
-The dumb ones stay with the company, buy a bigger house, an expensive car, and lay the seeds of divorce.

The smart consumers aren't spending money any more and are hunkered down waiting to die comfortably. The dumb ones are rapidly approaching their line of credit and begin to "tighten their belt" as cost of living increases erode their razor thin budget allowance for non-installment debt.

Neither are spending as much money as previously, and the only remaining employees are stupid and distracted by financial & therefore marital problems.

Immediately after the start up's IPO, it ceases to be innovative because of a new found shareholder induced risk aversion.
The risk aversion drives the start-up to make conservative cliche decisions. The start-up ceases to be insanely profitable and then cannibalizes itself in an effort to stay alive.

The new middle class wages cease to keep pace with inflation. This continues to be true over time, and slowly, the new middle class shrinks back to sustenance level. Demand for consumer goods drops low enough that the start-up tanks or is acquired by one of the monopolies that it was eating the lunch of not so long ago.

If capital markets are non-functional then the start-up doesn't get the money necessary to start building a new middle class or innovate and wages stay low forever.

Why invest capital in start-ups when your balance sheets are already over-exposed to risk from a shaky real estate market? Better to dilute that risk with nice safe treasury bonds. After all, innovation is disruptive and threatening to established market players. If you're in a bear market, the IPO upside doesn't justify the risk that you're selling them the rope to hang you with.

Fortunately we have functional capital markets so our children can look forward to a boom bust roller-coaster & not a dystopian future of education-debt indentured servitude. Amirite?...

Re:Consumer spending never goes back up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38505498)

Did Douglas Adams do this already?

Unfortunately, the venture was so successful that Magrathea soon became the richest planet of all time and the rest of the Galaxy was reduced to abject poverty. The Magratheans went into hibernation, awaiting an economic recovery that could afford their services once more.

Beware the writing. (2)

FuturePerson (2471030) | more than 2 years ago | (#38504894)

Never mind the mind reading. When the mind writing starts being used more (at the moment I can't remember when that will be) by forces up to no good, those aspiring for truth and justice will often find themselves in interesting and infuriating trouble.

Re:Beware the writing. (1)

jabbany (2425264) | more than 2 years ago | (#38504978)

Simple, just invent a sandbox to prevent mind writing from doing damage to your private thoughts.

We're up to our ass in debt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38504898)

What happens when consumer spending DOESN'T rebound?

Re:We're up to our ass in debt (3, Interesting)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#38504972)

What happens when consumer spending DOESN'T rebound?

You just adjust government statistics until it damned well does rebound. That's what numbers are for.

Re:We're up to our ass in debt (1)

cosm (1072588) | more than 2 years ago | (#38505008)

What happens when consumer spending DOESN'T rebound?

The economy will contract from it's inflated value accordingly and life will go on after much worthless pundit banter and political grandstanding. If the contraction is drastic enough, there will probably be a global financial system collapse after QE-X causes the printing presses to overheat. Or it will increase and we will keep racking up more debt until we hit the same ceiling again. Rinse. Repeat.

Re:We're up to our ass in debt (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38505180)

What happens when consumer spending DOESN'T rebound?

They will blame it on piracy and get the "losses" compensated by taxes, just as it is now happening with blank CDs.

Captcha: "revenues"

Re:We're up to our ass in debt (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#38505972)

What happens when consumer spending DOESN'T rebound?

Consumer spending will go up when consumer earning goes up.

If one company offshores its work, that's smart. If they all do it, there's no one left with enough money to buy their products.

You're drunk, right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38504920)

"Consumer spending has to go up so that we can stop selling you the same old stuff." You have got to be kidding.

The Word Monetize (5, Interesting)

cosm (1072588) | more than 2 years ago | (#38504944)

I am really starting to hate the word 'monetize'. Let every utterance of it be a reminder why government funded scientific research is important. I know this article is referring to more consumer oriented things, but much of our current technological wonder (internet, rocketry, about a million other things) is a long byproduct of government research. Now before I get called a pink-commie-bastard and the like, let me just say I am all for capitalism and its benefits. However, the frequency of this concept of 'monetization' as a stimulus for development seems almost foolhardy. Call me an idealist, but I like the idea of scientific and technological advancement for the principal of advancement, not just for the sake of making more money. Again, idealist viewpoint. I know.

And yes I know that a demand for XYZ creates incentives for business to develop/produce/be competitive. But the trend is going towards areas of research that have a high-risk / low-reward ration being foregone if everything is free-market, and technologies that can't possibly be implemented without 20+ years of research will rarely have private/corporate money sunk into them, even though in the long term they could have a dramatic positive impact on the quality of life for the human population.

Or is it all about the money these days? Any hard-liner Adam Smith's here? Money solves all woes, right? Right?

Re:The Word Monetize (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38505312)

Any hard-liner Adam Smith's here? Money solves all woes, right? Right?

Adam Smith never made such a claim.

If we could monetize your stupidity, then we'd be able to do away with scarcity, like on Star Trek.

Don't assume people are stupid (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38505534)

Telling someone they're wrong and calling them stupid doesn't add much value to the discussion.

I'm not surprised that someone would have this view of Adam Smith, and it made me think of this article http://www.chomsky.info/books/warfare02.htm [chomsky.info]

Here's one relevant part of it, but I can recommend reading the entire thing.

The version of him that's given today is just ridiculous. But I didn't have to any research to find this out. All you have to do is read. If you're literate, you'll find it out. I did do a little research in the way it's treated, and that's interesting. For example, the University of Chicago, the great bastion of free market economics, etc., etc., published a bicentennial edition of the hero, a scholarly edition with all the footnotes and the introduction by a Nobel Prize winner, George Stigler, a huge index, a real scholarly edition. That's the one I used. It's the best edition. The scholarly framework was very interesting, including Stigler's introduction. It's likely he never opened The Wealth of Nations. Just about everything he said about the book was completely false. I went through a bunch of examples in writing about it, in Year 501 and elsewhere.

But even more interesting in some ways was the index. Adam Smith is very well known for his advocacy of division of labor. Take a look at "division of labor" in the index and there are lots and lots of things listed. But there's one missing, namely his denunciation of division of labor, the one I just cited. That's somehow missing from the index. It goes on like this. I wouldn't call this research because it's ten minutes' work, but if you look at the scholarship, then it's interesting.

I want to be clear about this. There is good Smith scholarship. If you look at the serious Smith scholarship, nothing I'm saying is any surprise to anyone. How could it be? You open the book and you read it and it's staring you right in the face. On the other hand if you look at the myth of Adam Smith, which is the only one we get, the discrepancy between that and the reality is enormous.

This is true of classical liberalism in general. The founders of classical liberalism, people like Adam Smith and Wilhelm von Humboldt, who is one of the great exponents of classical liberalism, and who inspired John Stuart Mill -- they were what we would call libertarian socialists, at least that ïs the way I read them.

Re:The Word Monetize (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38505618)

Agreed. It's nice that much research and innovation can be monetized, but monetizing the necessary and sufficient condition for these activities to take place? My answer is no.

Even a laissez-faire market extends only to what we decide should be sold on the market. It's important that we don't abdicate our responsibility for making these decision. Look what happens when we monetize people-- it's called slavery and it's illegal as well as immoral.

Re:The Word Monetize (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38505916)

I think we should all remember the LHC. Squillions of Billions on something that will never be 'monteized'.

But what did we get out of it? Even before it was finished?

nobody is sitting on a flying surfboard. (2)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506222)

the premise of the article is pure bullshit. if someone had a flying surfboard they most certainly wouldn't sit on it so that they could monetize it - they would be monetizing it already. if you look at money poured at research, I'll bet you'll find it's more than ever before. it's just harder to come up with something people need which makes sense, is practical and what people would actually want and would help people(and not just essentially be a toy, like a new way of toggling a switch).

personally, I'd like electricity be 1/100th of the price it is now compared to for example wheat. so that I could run greenhouses in finland in the winter for next to no cost, have a beach volleyball field kept warm with IR and so forth. and there's no "technology" that just takes 20 years of research and that's it then. fusion power is one example how it just doesn't work that way.

however there's probably quite a few assholes who SAY they have a flying surfboard if they could only get 20 millions to perfect the flux capacitor..

Missing factor in predictions (4, Insightful)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 2 years ago | (#38504946)

People that try to innovate get sued, or stopped by widely broad patents/copyrights, promising new technologies never see the light (remember sixthsense?) because "something" gets in the middle.

A few recent examples just in the Android field were that android device makers have to pay Microsoft because using/suporting the fat filesystem, Oracle suing Google for using Java, Samsung get their tablets out of the market because their dimensions looks a bit like the ipad ones. Not saying that it was the example of innovation and new ideas in computing, but the kind of unbreakable barriers our current civilization built to stop any try to build a future.

Re:Missing factor in predictions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38505162)

Why do Android devices need to support FAT?
What are they trying to maintain compatibility with?

Re:Missing factor in predictions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38505196)

Cameras, probably. Some still use FAT don't they?

Re:Missing factor in predictions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38505246)

You can plug your Android device into your computer and it will show up has a hard drive. Makes it easy to transfer files.

Re:Missing factor in predictions (2)

zill (1690130) | more than 2 years ago | (#38505284)

Because FAT is the lowest common denominator. If they went with EXT2/3/4 or ReiserFS then Windows computers, digital cameras, and most other SD card readers wouldn't recognize the filesystem. In hindsight it was a terrible decision and some custom roms already switched to EXT.

Re:Missing factor in predictions (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#38505446)

Yeah, it would be SO DIFFICULT to switch the profile to a network device and have a Samba server there.
What, by the way, also applies to cameras and GPS devices.

I double dog dare Microsoft to mess with that, considering that they pretend to co-operate with Samba developers.

Re:Missing factor in predictions (1)

Salvage (178446) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506258)

All the OSs I've run into the the most recent few years fully support UDF. And FUSE (if installed) seems to almost require ZFS be installed as well.

A quick check of flash media locally turns up nothing but UDF. If including optical media, it's split between UDF and ISO-9660. So what doesn't support UDF these days?

Re:Missing factor in predictions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38505596)

With interest rates so low, less reason exists to invest in anything with any risk.

We need more inflation so that the large companies can not just sit on hundreds of billions of dollars

Why bother inventing? (4, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 2 years ago | (#38504994)

The risk of being sued for patent infringement is sufficiently high to prevent me from bothering. I wonder how unique I am in this regard.

Re:Why bother inventing? (2)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#38505090)

The risk of being sued for patent infringement is sufficiently high to prevent me from bothering. I wonder how unique I am in this regard.

Not very. I have five patent plaques on the wall behind me. For me, the risk is not being able to collect for infringement because of high litigation costs.

Re:Why bother inventing? (1, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 2 years ago | (#38505204)

The risk of being sued for patent infringement is sufficiently high to prevent me from bothering. I wonder how unique I am in this regard.

Not very. I have five patent plaques on the wall behind me. For me, the risk is not being able to collect for infringement because of high litigation costs.

Bigger risk is if something I invented actually became significantly profitable. Then any well-funded corporation or troll with an overly broad patent could come after me, and I couldn't afford to defend myself.

And, if you could persuade a patent troll that your patent applied, I expect you'd be tempted to let them buy it from you so they could come after me.

Re:Why bother inventing? (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#38505264)

Bigger risk is if something I invented actually became significantly profitable. Then any well-funded corporation or troll with an overly broad patent could come after me, and I couldn't afford to defend myself.

Start a corporation, pay yourself a big enough salary (we ARE assuming you are significantly profitable, right?), and then when you are sued, have your corporation declare bankruptcy and release the software as open source. All your money will be protected and you'll be rich.

There are a lot of schemes like this, be sure to consult with a lawyer once you start raking in the dough. Also, don't ask me to feel sorry for you, once you're a millionaire. I won't.

Re:Why bother inventing? (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 2 years ago | (#38505348)

Start a corporation, pay yourself a big enough salary (we ARE assuming you are significantly profitable, right?), and then when you are sued, have your corporation declare bankruptcy and release the software as open source. All your money will be protected and you'll be rich.

There are a lot of schemes like this, be sure to consult with a lawyer once you start raking in the dough. Also, don't ask me to feel sorry for you, once you're a millionaire. I won't.

Good point! Now I'm totally going to start commercializing my ideas!

Why bother making a profit? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38505896)

Just sell some dot com shares. Or Shares in Flying Surfboards Inc.

Take the investor money and pay yourself and your hoodlum posse a fat salary. The trick is to stay in business a couple of years to make it look like a failed venture, rather than outright investment fraud.

Another good scam is to sell financial paper you engineered to crash, and then short your own paper.

Still too much work?

Print Trillions of QEx dollars and hand them out to your friends.

When that stops working, try to hold the world financial system hostage.

Re:Why bother inventing? (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#38505736)

So the only way to have the patent system benefit you is to drain your own company of funds and toss everyone out on the street once the going gets tough? Wow. The future is depressing. Note that I don't disagree with you, but I find your notion of how to make the patent system work for you a particularly depressing one.

Re:Why bother inventing? (1)

Feyshtey (1523799) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506112)

So the question shifts from, "Why bother inventing? The risk of being sued for patent infringement... "
To, "Why bother inventing? Someone else is just going to steal it, mass produce it, and I'll still be exactly where I am today after enriching someone else."

Re:Why bother inventing? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38505198)

I have been sitting on an idea for a sweet app to target a specific aspect of the media, but am having trouble pulling the trigger on development because I will almost certainly get sued. Anything that does any type of streaming is a mine-field as we have seen many times here on /. My coworkers always joke when I get up on my soap box about patent reform, but I honestly don't think they are aware of how impossible it is to innovate.

Re:Why bother inventing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38505396)

Ahh, the Slashdot definition of innovating, meaning "reimplement an idea someone else had first."

It must be terrifically difficult to make other people see the world according to your own personal misapprehensions. If only they realized that moral correctness demanded you be given everything you wanted for free!

Well, so long as you have a good excuse for giving up before you even tried, you can blame your lack of success on "luck" and bitch about how rich people are holding you down. The party is proud, comrade.

Re:Why bother inventing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38505438)

LOL. I knew someone like you back in elementary school.
"I can lift a car, but I don't feel like it right now".

Yeah sure man, I bet you're the next Einstein but can't be bothered because of the patent system.

Innovate, dammit! (4, Interesting)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 2 years ago | (#38505140)

'Bigger innovation labs and companies are holding back on numerous innovations until they can properly monetize them.'

And citizens are holding on to their money until they see something worth buying. Innovate, dammit!

Re:Innovate, dammit! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38505606)

Small businesses can't innovate, because they get destroyed by patent infringement litigation costs whenever they try.

Big businesses won't innovate, because they make more money from rent seeking, and their shareholders demand those returns.

There are exceptions, of course. But don't expect either group to put their necks out just because you are tight-fisted.

More Droids! (1)

tunapez (1161697) | more than 2 years ago | (#38505184)

I don't think enough variants of the same system have been regurgitated [wikipedia.org] since they broke from the G1. Who wanted a cross-carrier device when we can enjoy buying another over-priced, locked device? Consider and enjoy the long, fruitful relationship we get when we're locked in to a 2 year bonded friendship with yours and my newest BFF.....

Blame the Mayans (2)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 2 years ago | (#38505268)

Who wants to develop cool stuff when the world is about to end?

lol (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#38505274)

'Bigger innovation labs and companies are holding back on numerous innovations until they can properly monetize them.'

lol conspiracy. There is no innovation because military and entertainment, the only two areas where any innovation was done recently in US (and mostly in the world) are already completely saturated with awful ideas being implemented at ridiculously high cost.

Re:lol (1)

robot256 (1635039) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506016)

I have a semi-related theory about military costs. Have you heard about all the problems with the F-22, and how they're starting to have the same kind of trouble with the F-35? Notice a similarity between that and, say, the space shuttle? What they all have in common is a ridiculously inefficient supply chain designed to please the congresscritters at the expense of any semblance of rational business and engineering practice. Now, what would happen if we consolidated the supply chains, improving both the financials and the coalescence of engineering knowledge? You'd end up with the same thing that SpaceX did for rockets: vastly superior technology at vastly lower prices. The jobs would be in only a couple of states, but you'd have hardware that works and a semi-balanced budget. I wonder how long Lockheed and Congress are going to keep this racket going.

in other news, US consumers still spend $1000's/yr (0)

neurocutie (677249) | more than 2 years ago | (#38505288)

Despite what consumer spending numbers might tell you, it is also quite obvious that huge numbers of US consumers are willing and apparently have the means to spend many $1000's/yr on iPhones, iPads, pricey wireless contracts, expensive cable TV services and many other "luxury" items. All that stuff adds up quickly to many $1000's/yr... so there *is* plenty of spending and disposable income around...

Re:in other news, US consumers still spend $1000's (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506300)

"partner and co-founder at Seattle-based strategy consulting firm ARRYVE, told FoxNews.com. "Bigger innovation labs and companies are holding back on numerous innovations until they can properly monetize them."

can't be any more bullshit than that! it's got seattle(let's all move to seattle and use slow modems), foxnews, douchebagly named consulting business and "they got secrrett techh in dem government caves!" all in one.

Consumer spending (1)

ahoffer0 (1372847) | more than 2 years ago | (#38505394)

Consumer spending will recover, but it will not make up as large a share of the US economy as it once did. That ship has sailed. Best not lie about waiting for it to return to port.

Innovation from big companies (1)

Okian Warrior (537106) | more than 2 years ago | (#38505578)

Because we all know that innovation stems primarily from the "bigger innovation labs", right?

Innovation comes from grass-roots endeavors, and always has. The paradigm is for an individual (or small group of individuals) to start a small business, build it up big, and take market share away from the big companies.

Big companies become clogged by process and moribund. They become "risk averse", preferring to sit on their laurels and collect rent from existing product.

The problem is that the paradigm no longer applies. We've successfully locked out any hope of innovation by the "little guy".

Try to compete against GE, that pays no taxes. Try to invent something that's not covered by an ambiguous patent that *might* or might not refer to your product. Calculate the out-of-pocket expenses for suing someone (or being sued), then the appeal, then the appeal to the supreme court. See if you can predict whether a government agency will shut you down.

We've made it nigh impossible for the small business to succeed nowadays. The only businesses we allow are copies of existing ones - pizza parlors, hair salons, upscale gift boutiques, and so on.

There's a lot of innovation going on nowadays, but it's largely open source. People are fed up with the system, so they throw their ideas and projects open to the world to use. Check out Instructables, Make Magazine, or Hackerspaces.org some time.

Hackerspaces are cropping up all over the world, and a fair number are in the US. All the innovation that would normally drive the economy is being distributed for free, because despite the barriers people *still* want to innovate.

We just don't do it by starting companies any more.

Oh for Heaven's sake... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38505628)

Surfboards won't fly, skateboards fly. Hello?? McFly??

Interesting (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 2 years ago | (#38505658)

Did anyone else catch the part about "hackers will target mobile phones", wow that's news. So from the whole article about the only innovation we can look forward to is from hackers attacking our phones.

Patent Term Extension Act (1)

CanEHdian (1098955) | more than 2 years ago | (#38505756)

'Bigger innovation labs and companies are holding back on numerous innovations until they can properly monetize them.'"

The longer they wait, the less time they will have to "properly monetize them" as the patents will run out. So, what dark clouds do we see building on the horizon?

Fear mongering and ignoring the rest of the world (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506154)

We'll have to wait for consumer spending to go up before the 'flying surfboard' arrives

How dumb is a quote like that? Well in France they actually HAVE a flying surfboard, RIGHT NOW. Way for your first "prediction" to be completely wrong. I won't bother to point out the "news" source that would publish this kind of hyper-pessimist attitude, you can fill in the blank yourselves.

http://www.tomsguide.com/us/Water-Powered-Jetpack-Boots-Rocket,news-13444.html [tomsguide.com]

waiting to Monetize (1)

uberuber (792995) | more than 2 years ago | (#38506160)

I actaully think its going to be some sort of technical innovation that leads the economy out of the blahs. Something like the late 90's with the internet or a century ago with the automobile etc...
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