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Eight Technologies That Will Change the World

michael posted more than 12 years ago | from the better-stronger-faster dept.

Technology 157

lostincyberspace writes "This story looks at existing advanced technologies, and contemplates how they may combine in the future to create the technology of 70's TV shows. Sensors + Mobile Power + Biomanufacturing = ... Bionics. ("We have the technology") The most fascinating part is that all of these new technologies seem like they'll be available in the not too distant future."

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technologies of 70s TV shows? (1)

TomRitchford (177931) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578284)

transporters and communicators?

Re:technologies of 70s TV shows? (2, Funny)

garren_bagley (413546) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578289)

Hopefully it'll be more advanced than that. That was 60's technology.

Re:technologies of 70s TV shows? (5, Funny)

BLAMM! (301082) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578404)

Where's my flying egg?

Re:technologies of 70s TV shows? (-1)

Yr0 (224662) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578406)

Your First post is uselessly on topic, and i therfore claim it for the CLIT.

j00 sux0rz.
>Yr0 has stolen your first post!
>you weep unconsolably and then die.
>identify posessions (y/n)?

Check Out IBM's Science Division (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3578467)

They are working on transporters... they have successfully teleported instantaneously both massless photons and single electrons. Huge energy costs, and it would take a quantum computer to do the math needed to quanitfy and digitize even just one molecule, but cool stuff none the less.

Re:technologies of 70s TV shows? (1)

Oculus Habent (562837) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578720)

They did mention replicators (Molecular Manufacturing). The ability to create complex molecular structure without large equipment is a very exciting concept...

Then comes the problem of the trillions of trillions of bytes of storage it would need to know how to create anything. We would probably have to create absolutely incredible new storage and compression technologies to make it work well. That, or we could carry around suitcases filled with Super-MegaDVD v9 discs (the 60 terabyte verions ;) and spend a day watching messages like, "Please insert disc 371..." to have the computer build us that watch we really like.

My bet for future data storage is a microscopic version of IBM's storage brick [] - something that can be easily added to, is self-maintaining, and takes up as little space as is possible.

Re:technologies of 70s TV shows? (2)

Darth RadaR (221648) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578848)

According to this [] , we've had this technology for the past 3 years.

first pr0n (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3578297)

You are outside doing yard work on a hot summer day. It's too hot for that shit, but you want to get it done today so you can be free all day tomorrow. I stop by the house unexpectedly and you invite me to join you for a beer and ask if I'd mind sitting out back with you - you're too dirty to sit inside. So I join you out back and we throw a blanket down over the fresh cut grass and grab a couple beers.

By the end of the second beer, I'm losing track of the conversation and just watching the sweat roll from your neck down to the waistband of your cut offs. You are totally into telling me about the rest of your landscaping plans until you roll up to grab me another beer out of the cooler, and notice that my eyes are on your cutoffs.

You laugh it off, but I can see the thought of me watching you is making your cock swell. You hand me my beer with a comment about how hot it is. Now, me being me, I can't resist cooling you off and I take a long drag on the beer before leaning over and dragging the beer bottle down the inside of your thigh. You jump so quickly in surprise that you end up dumping half your beer down my chest and now we have both gotten cooled off. This sends us into gales of laughter. But our eyes aren't laughing; your boner is practically crawling out the bottom of your cutoffs and my nipples are so hard they ache.

Your eyes stay intently on mine as you lean in and pull my hair loose of the pony tail holder making my hair tumble down all over my shoulders and back. You draw a couple strands thru your fingers...and then pull on one of the strands drawing me in for a kiss. My hands come up against your chest for balance, and feeling you all sweaty, I just let 'em slide down to your waistband and around your back. Your lips press gently to mine, and your tongue finds mine and strokes.

Like a magnet my hair is drawn to your sweaty shoulders and chest, and we're making a whole new kind of heat. You push me down onto the blanket and follow me down. Your kiss is turning harder, more passionate and your hips are rocking with the rhythm of your tongue. You pull on the strings of my bikini top and kiss my neck until my back arches with my moan. You quickly reach under and pull the lower string loose too. Kissing my quickly down my neck, across my shoulders you lick the beer off my chest. Apologizing in a whisper for getting my top wet, you lick the beer off my nipples at the very tips.

My back arches and I whisper that more than my top is wet. You reward me by sweetly swirling your tongue against the nipples till they are both standing at attention and begging for more. My hips arch and I moan your name. By now I have forgotten where we are but as you lift up to pull my shorts off you notice your neighbor out in his yard with his eyes locked on us (and his hand jacking his lawn hose). You sink back down and kiss me firmly, letting me know exactly how much you want me. Then you whisper that your neighbor is watching, and ask me if we are going to cum inside or out. I laugh gently and whisper that I will cum inside and you can cum wherever you want. Kissing me firmly again you roll slightly to the side and say, "Take a look".

Peeking over your shoulder I see Mr. Middle America standing dumbly in the middle of his lawn. I quickly pull back and kiss you passionately till you have forgotten that he is there, and are reaching for my shorts again. Unable to resist my playful mood, I scream "Oooooh God, baby, ohh yes make me cum!" and then jump off the blanket and grab my top and run in the house. You curse and start to run after me, catching me just inside the house panting "You're not getting off that easy". "Definitely not, I'm planning on getting off on your very hard, very long cock baby" and I grab you and kiss you with my tongue simulating exactly the stroke and rhythm I want you to make me cum with.

You let me take the lead and I reach down and firmly cup your cock before letting my fingers find your zipper. Taking my time, I release you and listen to you moan your appreciation as you lean back against the kitchen counter and drop your head back. Your cut offs sound loud as they hit the floor, but not as loud as your breathing. I slowly engulf your warm sweaty cock in my mouth and listen for the catch in your breathing. Sure enough, your breath halts and then with a whoosh starts back up again, louder and harsher than a moment ago. You widen your stance, giving me plenty of room to lick and suck your cock. My tongue bathes you and I moan my appreciation of your taste. I suck you deep and stroke firmly with my hand at the base, letting my fingers ease under your balls and stroke behind them. I feel your legs tense and you moan loud and reach out and stroke my head and hair and start whispering to me. Over and over you tell me how good it feels, how hot and slick my tongue is, how badly you want me, how beautiful I am, how hard you are.

With every word I am more aroused, moaning and panting around your cock. My moaning and panting is driving you crazy and you pull me up for another torrid kiss, our lips and tongues mating wildly. You don't bother with my zipper, just running your hand down the inside of my shorts and find my bikini bottoms. Cursing you pull your hand out and reach with both hands for my button and zipper and then push the shorts and bikini bottoms off at once and slide your hand right into my furry mound. You waste no time and sink a finger deeply inside me, never letting go of my mouth and tongue. I moan and melt against you, my mouth going slack, unable to feel anything except your hand. Quickly you insert another finger and at the same time brush my clit with your palm and I shudder and squeeze your fingers with my love muscles.

I drag my lips up your neck to your ear and pant and whisper in your ear "now, now!" gasping and melting on your fingers. "Oh, no baby" you whisper back and stroke your fingers in and out of me, then spreading my juices over my clit. "My turn to tease you baby" you grin as you take your hand away and pick me up and slide me onto the kitchen counter. "Spread your legs and I'll make you cum" you tell me. Suddenly I feel open and exposed, until I notice that somewhere along the way you unzipped your pants and are slowly jacking your cock. Its rock hard, and all my attention is centered on it. When you lean close and spread my legs, my thighs part like melted butter. I lean back on my hands and let my head drop back until my hair is brushing the counter top. "Ohhhh yes, what a sweet juicy pussy you have baby" you moan. You swirl your tongue along my clit and down into my now sopping slit. The sound of your voice so rough and uncontrolled is like lightning in my soul. You take notice that I tense and shiver when you talk, and immediately start a rolling dialogue pausing only to flick your tongue on my clit. You slide your fingers in circles around my slit, not sliding them in, just around and around.

"Yes, I'm going to make your sweet pussy cum baby, you know I am. I want to feel this pretty pussy tighten all over my cock baby". I gasp and close my eyes, sinking deeper into the electricity your creating. You suck on my clit and continue to tease my slit until I moan that I can't hold back any longer, "I wanna come on your cock, pleeeeease baby". You immediately slide me off the counter and I wrap my legs around your waist and begin kissing you like tomorrow doesn't exist. You push me against the cold refridgerator door and split me open with your cock. I shudder and immediately begin cumming from the cold on my back and the heat in my slit. My pussy milks your cock hard until you start to cum too. It feels like one very long, very wet cum. I can't tell where mine stops and yours begins. Suddenly there is loud silence as the refridgerator momentarily pauses running. "Lets go to bed" you whisper. "What about the lawn?" I enquire and you laugh and tell me there's nothing left to do but take care of a bush while your hand strokes my furry mound again

Re:first pr0n (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3578381)

Thanks for that. It just lasted long enough for me to jack off to.

Not from TV... (2)

blankmange (571591) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578304)

But a tractor beam would be nice....

Re:Not from TV... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3578377)

Oh no, never saw one of those on tv...nope...

We all can get Starsky and Hutch haircuts (0, Offtopic)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578307)

So we can properly ask Jamie Summers out.

Larger article on wearables (1)

Kajakske (59577) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578308)

/. has recently posted another story on the first technology described here.

It's about wearable devices. Read more here.

Personally, I think they look cool.
In Belgium (where I live) there was recently an interview with a company making such things (shown on TV, don't remember when).
They made a shirt + scarf + shoes & glass to see it all.

They also showed a working demo version :-)

Re:Larger article on wearables (1)

Kajakske (59577) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578317)

The link [] ...

It's friday and I'm tired :-)

Future Soldiers (1)

coryboehne (244614) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578310)

You can have little doubt that this will soon be employed by the United States military, as they are usually the first to adopt this type of technology. Due to our current technology and training right now we have something like a 50 or 100 to 1 kill ratio (50 to 100 of their soldiers die for every 1 of ours that is killed) If we have bio-mech soldiers how high do you think the odds will go then? Mess with the USA? I think not.

Re:Future Soldiers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3578320)

That all depends on who and where we fight.

Re:Future Soldiers (0)

Tsunami_In_My_Head (576682) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578426)

name someone we couldn't beat.

Osama Bin Laden (0, Offtopic)

Wind_Walker (83965) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578480)

America obviously can't beat that revolutionary...

Re:Future Soldiers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3578504)

Anyone with Nukes.

The Vietnamese.

A United Europe (Well, a United Northern Europe, the latin countries have a habit of surrendering/losing/changing sides.)

Really? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3578729)

Hmmm... having done a few stints in the USAF, the term "Brillian Pebbles" comes to mind. Only one country in the world can threaten the US with nukes (okay, two if you count Ukraine, but only for a year or so more thanks to us buying them up), that being Russia. And, given that they have not built a new bomber or ISBM since 1990, nor do they have more than three working SSBMs, that may not even be true, and we would BURY them if that happened.

Vietnam... read up. We could take them in a week these days, they are broke, dispirited, and brutalized. You equate a political situation and blunder from the 60's to the reality of today... it just doesn't hang.

A united Europe? LOL. YOu have no shipping for invasion, only two good french and one old brit carrier, a divided political base, a limited amount of nukes, no intercontinental ranged strike AC. Two dozen ICBMs and it is over pally. Worse still, the US wouldn't even resort to that, we would just park 10 nuclear carriers and two dozen top notch attack boats around the edge and blocade your butts while we economically bury you. And finally, you do have the French and Italians, who while nice people (my mom is french), couldn't fight their way out of a wet paper bag with a shotgun and a map when it comes to war and only know how to wave white flags (must be taugh in basic training), and France is one of your nuclear nations and has the two decent carriers!

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3578999)


What's your point anyway ? Why not dump a few nukes here and there (mostly there), and be done with it.

I mean, that's where your heading anyway with the attitute ur displaying at the moment.

Come on, you can do it, press the button, life wil be so easy after that.

location: Europe (NL), near Den Haag, just so you know where to aim.

Re:Future Soldiers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3578322)

Only problem is that US isnt the only country in the work that know tech. Sorry but I never been to US, and we pretty high tech here to.

Re:Future Soldiers (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3578331)

And I assure you your speech patterns are proof enough to me.

Re:Future Soldiers (0)

Tsunami_In_My_Head (576682) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578417)

One problem with your argument is that while we may not be the only country that knows tech, we probably have a post 911 defense budget that approaches your national gdp.

Re:Future Soldiers (2, Funny)

HiQ (159108) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578380)

Pwaaah, well our soldiers will be manufactured from the ground up from carbon nanotubes, assembled by our Lego Quantum Storms (tm) molecular building set, and they will run on biodiesel, or even on a quantum nucleonic fuell cell. They will all be linked in on big matrix by our new cognitronic network. So where will your soldiers be then, huh?

Re:Future Soldiers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3578397)

Wow! I we train everyone in the US we would be able to kill 250m * 50 = 12.500.000.000 people.

Cool!!! that will keep the world safe for Americans for the next couple of millenia....

btw, you should now by now that high-tech isn't everything.

Yes, I do think your an asshole...

Re:Future Soldiers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3578419)

"50 or 100 to 1 kill ratio "

Judging by events over recent years, I rather suspect you meant to say that for ever 1 USA soldier killed, the USA soldiers kill 100 enemy soldiers and another 50 "allies" soldiers in "friendly fire"...

The Future is Here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3578570)

The army has several Future Soldier Projects in the pipe, some nearing completion.

1) First Gen Cyber Soldier - Wearable field computer, integrated into light weight ClassIII+ armour suit that is NBC capable and has auto med functions (to integrate with the now deploying auto stretcher). The suit has integrated radio, microwave shortrante comms, GPS, HUD, infra/night vision integration and enhancements on the HUD, target ID visualization systems, target designation systems, and built in navigation.

The big hang up is with the existing rifle systems. Some sectors of army RnD want a new battle rifle based on a german caseless design (3.7mm) that has limited recoil and a ROF that exceeds 1500RPM with a 200rnd mag and a relatively flat trajectory over 850-900m. Another sector loves the newer version of the Olin CAWS, with an integrated 15mm smart nade launcher and caseless 12ga low recoil multi-purpose long range shotgun. A third gun, put forward by the Klashinokov folks no less, is caseless with a high ROF and an integrated 25mm smart nade launcher and very high capacity mag.

The hang up ends up being cost (the guns would each be 5x to 10x as expensive as the M16A2/3) for the new rifle (it has to be low recoil for improved accuracy and shock effect on mounted or integrated electronics) as well as the overall cost of the deployed infantry system (close to 25K a pop in general issue, over 33K in small issue to organizations like special forces and security). The upside is that they could realistically cut manpower in the infantry by a quarter and have twice the force thanks to the ability of C3 integrated down to the squad level and enhanced ability to cover more forward field per soldier.

2) EMMCAS (pronouced em-kaz) - Enhanced Multi-Mission Combat Armour System. Basically this is an armoured exoskeletal suit that weighs in at over 800lbs. It's fully self contained, offers NBC and classIV protection, has all of the features above in terms of electronic capability, as well as enhanced strenght. This suit would be 'worn', reading the soldiers movements with micro sensor and react instantly, amplifying their movements and strength. Power comes from ultra dense (and horribly toxic) fuel cells and storage capictors. It charges in two hours and has six hours of heavy use duration (12 - 14 of light use duration, like walking a post).

The vision is to deploy these in mechanized units, with a new APC that is capable of charging and maintaining the suits. They would be the shock infantry of the mech brigade, working in a 1 to 4 ration with standard infantry to get the job done in high stress / combat environments.

There are rumors that certain material technologies are integrated for stealth purposes, including RAM and/or chamelic outer coverings.

3) Memory plastics (artifical muscles) are being looked at in combination with high energy power sources, ceramic armours, and micro sensors, all networked together in a similar system as above, but at 1/4 the cost and 1/2 the weight. Mass produced, it would still cost 200K per soldier to outfit, but they are 5X as effective in the field and far more suvivable.

chamelic outer coverings ... (1)

SmartAs (262534) | more than 12 years ago | (#3579068)

You heard it hear first!

chamelic outer coverings []

I saw it did you?

Soon, to a hospital near you... (1) (213219) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578312)

I doubt it, the FDA will take eons to approve this.

The tech may all be close but medical testing and then approval will make this take a lot longer.

Technology previews (2, Insightful)

NETHED (258016) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578313)

I think it was in the early 30s or 40s that they demonstrated a video phone. Its twenty-o-two, I see no video phones.

How about that molecular manufactering. Sounds like the replicator they had on the Enterprise. Truthfully, I don't see this even being in the lab for decades. Sure, we can theorize about these things that it is possible, but I can also theoretically date Britney Spears, and we ALL know that ANIT gonna happen.

I take these tech preview thingies with many grains of salt.

Re:Technology previews (2, Informative)

White Shade (57215) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578440)

Video phones exist and are actually reasonably common, especially in business circumstances. The reason most home users don't see them though is that for the most part the quality is sorely lacking, and they're often way too expensive...

a quick search on google netted me this:
a home videophone... []
another home video phone... []
and, for what appears to be the prevailing standard: h.232 []

molecular manufacturing is a bit of a different story, but:
a group devoted to molecular manufacturing []
some interesting stuff on it []
and, last but not least:
IBM does some cool stuff sometimes []

hope this helps dispel your mistrust of tech previews (Although i'll admit that at least a grain or two of salt is warranted in many occasions)

Re:Technology previews (1)

Weird_Hock (571445) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578488)

During the late sixties, my stepfather worked for Western Electric. At the time, it was the research and installation arm of AT&T. What's left of it is now Lucent, by the way. One of the projects he worked on was a test of the "Video Phone". There were a limited number of test subscribers on the East coast somewhere. It worked rather well, to hear him talk about it. What killed it was that the users really didn't want it. As I recall, one of the big complaints was that they were afraid of being seen getting out of the shower to answer the phone, etc. No matter that you could turn off your camera. Also, no one wanted to bear the extra cost of the equipment or the service. The technology was there, but no one seemed to want it. It was killed due to lack of market.

Re:Technology previews (1)

ClickNMix (218488) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578612)

I think it was in the early 30s or 40s that they demonstrated a video phone. Its twenty-o-two, I see no video phones.

So all the people with webcams are dreaming?

The technology is here, and beyond.. sure its changed in its use, but thats the nature of development. And the law of supply and demand of consumers, Vs what the boffins dream up.

Re:Technology previews (1)

NETHED (258016) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578626)

I'm going to steal your sig for a shirt if that's alright.

Re:Technology previews (1)

jratcliffe (208809) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578703)

Videophones have been the next big thing for 60 years - the technology problems have been solved, and they can be made cheaply, and provide acceptable quality even over standard phone lines. Problem is, on the consumer side, _people don't want to use them_. Video telephony has always been a technology searching for consumer demand, and it hasn't gotten there yet.

many grains of salt (2)

stego (146071) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578805)

unless by date you mean 'frantically and repeatedly masturbate to'...

Combinatorial Science is the way to go (1)

cyborch (524661) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578315)

Given that technology the rest of the technologies could be achieved rather quickly...

The makers of Viagra won't be happy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3578321)

Remember, Steve Austin was bionic from the waist down....

Star Trek TOS Disks (1)

Toshito (452851) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578323)

I'd like to have those small red squares to carry data... They're small and solid (no moving parts!!!) I wonder how much Gb you could put on these?

Re:Star Trek TOS Disks (1)

zaren (204877) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578421)

Umm.... Smart Media? Flash RAM? Sony memory sticks? I think they've already got that technology covered :)

Apple hardware too expensive? How about a raffle ticket? []

Try TerraBytes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3578592)

I remember a couple of episodes where they actually complained about the limited storage of those disks... that being like 150Tb.

Cognitronics (5, Funny)

IxnayOnTheIxnay (579226) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578333)

This tech will allow people to "drive a car simply by thinking about doing so" Of course, thinking about driving will be an entirely new skill, now only inherent in about 10% of the population.

Re:Cognitronics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3578599)

>"drive a car simply by thinking about doing so"

The downside is if you're driving down the road, and hear a bad Monster Truck commercial.

"SUNDAY! SUNDAY! SUNDAY! Come see MONSTER TRUCKS wreck cars ..."

"Wreck car?" you think. "Nooooooooooooo!" CRASH!

Anonymous Kev
Proudly posting as AC since 1997

Jesus, that's scary... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3578690)

What happens when a Nascar driver gets on the road after a day at the track?

What happens when pretty much any blonde gets behind the wheel... nothing, the car just sits there waiting for a thought.

What happens when the chinese get behind the computer thought reader of a car?

There's an idea... (1)

HiQ (159108) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578334)

This nano-army of robots would then begin assembling atoms into any material the laws of physics will allow.
Now, my dear nanobots, build me a Natalie Portman and a fine bowl of... ah, well, you get the picture

Not so distant future? (2)

juliao (219156) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578340)

The way the article is written , it seems that most of this is just around the corner. But so is cold fusion, and has been, for a number of yeras now. [/sarcasm]
One of the ideas that attract me the most, "cognitronics", as they call them, is reportedly based upon sensors, advanced analytics and smart materials. And none of those will be sufficiently advanced in the next 10 years to allow for any kind of practical widescale use.

Number Nine: Weird Science (2, Funny)

delphi125 (544730) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578341)


The big idea:

Providing pleasurable massage sensations without using hands, in the privacy of one's own home.

Image of three intersecting circles, labeled 'Internet connectivity', 'AI', 'ultra-delicate tactile stimulators'

The challenge:

There are two major issues still to be solved: making sure the electrical parts don't get wet and sticky, and hiding the gadgets from the unsuspecting parents.

(I hope I didn't use any naughty words there!)

Right! (4, Insightful)

mjh (57755) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578342)

The most fascinating part is that all of these new technologies seem like they'll be available in the not too distant future.

Right. Which is exactly what they thought in the 70's, too, hence the TV shows.

Subject to make you read message goes here (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3578344)

CmdrTaco: The inherrant flaw in the system is that people working for free won't be perfect.

CmdrTaco: Dissing someone popyular is a great way to make yourself seem smarter or more important.

CmdrTaco: Linux is better. But these days many people use it 'cuz its cool to be different. Its a fad!

CmdrTaco: people are always suspicious of everything. This is *slashdot*. Everyone is paranoid of everything! I'm paranoid! You're paranoid!

CmdrTaco: Some days I just go home so fucking angry because some dickless wonder with no information and a paranoid fantasty is convinced that I'm the antichrist.,

CmdrTaco: People are mean to me in the comments.

CmdrTaco: we have editors discretion.
CmdrTaco: we abuse it sometimes.
CmdrTaco: else we'd get bored.
QuoteMstr: CmdrTaco: So your own personal amusment is more important than a website read by thousands?
CmdrTaco: Quote:Hell yeah.

CmdrTaco: I want to sell karma.

I would go for the eyesight stuff. (1)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578350)

Infrared, UV, etc, etc.. a la Shadowrun.

The Companion Piece (3, Informative)

donnacha (161610) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578353)

The companion piece to this article, Untangling the Future [] , is also pretty interesting.

Six Million Dollars? (2)

tshoppa (513863) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578355)

But is it worth paying six million dollars of taxpayer money for this?

:-). I'm sure that sounded like a large sum of money in the 1970's, but today it's a drop in the bucket compared to other military projects.

i think that (1)

paradesign (561561) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578356)

i think that Duracell and Energizer are probably pissed about remote energy sources, but me want!

Predicted Slashdot comments breakdown to this: (1, Offtopic)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578357)

Ah! An article about possible future technologies. I see the comments broken down like this:

The standard guff:
1% - "Imagine a beowulf cluster..." posts
2% - "First post" posts
10% - "Off-topic, Microsoft stinks" posts
12% - "Big Business is evil" posts

And the more relevant posts. I predict:
20% - "Very cool and exiting, I want this" posts
25% - "Very dangerous, we do not want this" posts
30% - "Very cool but it'll never happen, people" posts

Re:Predicted Slashdot comments breakdown to this: (0, Offtopic)

loconet (415875) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578433)

1% - "I see comments being broken down like this:"

Right... forgot about that one. (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578442)

Can't be right all the time ;-)

Re:Predicted Slashdot comments breakdown to this: (1, Offtopic)

Skidge (316075) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578437)

Don't forget the standard 0.02% of comments predicting what everyone else will post. :)

You Forgot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3578675)

2% - "Somebody Famous" dead at age "xx"

.5% - Sex story unrelated entirely, usually involving incest or fisting

4% - Anon Coward Trolls serving no purpose to but to waste electrons

Gee-whiz predictions the future tend not to work (3, Interesting)

Seth Finkelstein (90154) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578364)

I'm always skeptical of any gee-whiz predictions of the future. They tend to have a bad track record [] , e.g :

The future isn't what it used to be. Take Tomorrowland. When it opened in 1955 as one of the five original sections of Disneyland, Walt Disney himself appeared on the live opening-day telecast and promised "a step into the future with constructive predictions about things to come." He may have been a dull public speaker, but in envisioning "the world of 1987," as it was at one point conceived, he did offer up such astounding attractions as TWA's Rocket to the Moon and Monsanto's all-plastic House of the Future ("Hardly a natural material appears anywhere"). We now know that people still live in wood and brick houses; and that even if TWA did fly to the moon, no one would go because the service would be ghastly; and that if Disney could have given 1950s parkgoers a genuine look at the future, the most amazing thing about 1987 would have been the presidency of Ronald Reagan, ...

Where's my flying car?

But then again, we do have Soma, err, Slashdot :-)

Sig: What Happened To The Censorware Project ( []

Re:Gee-whiz predictions the future tend not to wor (2)

CaffeineAddict2001 (518485) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578449)

I think someone in 1957 would be pretty impressed with home computers, cell phones, big screen TV's, VCR's, etc...

Re:Gee-whiz predictions the future tend not to wor (2, Funny)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578586)

Agreed. Plus, this sounds like some bad Cosmo article headline:

Eight Technologies That Will Change the World
Eight Makeup Tricks to Make You Look Thinner
Eight Ways to Keep Your Man Interested
Eight Hot Looks for Summer

Re:Gee-whiz predictions the future tend not to wor (0)

Incorrigible (570746) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578602)

The future isn't what it used to be. Take Tomorrowland. When it opened in 1955 as one of the five original sections of Disneyland, Walt Disney himself appeared on the live opening-day telecast and promised "a step into the future with constructive predictions about things to come." He may have been a dull public speaker, but in envisioning "the world of 1987," as it was at one point conceived, he did offer up such astounding attractions as TWA's Rocket to the Moon and Monsanto's all-plastic House of the Future ("Hardly a natural material appears anywhere"). We now know that people still live in wood and brick houses; and that even if TWA did fly to the moon, no one would go because the service would be ghastly; and that if Disney could have given 1950s parkgoers a genuine look at the future, the most amazing thing about 1987 would have been the presidency of Ronald Reagan, ...

You know what the first thing that popped into my head after I read that quote?

If you guessed "1.21 jigawatts!," you were correct.

Re:Gee-whiz predictions the future tend not to wor (2, Interesting)

Untimely Ripp'd (513408) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578973)

We now know that people still live in wood and brick houses

Well, yes, but ... Your kitchen cabinets and most of your cheap, assemble-it-yourself furniture are made of particle board (wood fibers glued together in a plastic matrix). Your countertops are particle board and formica if you're a working joe, and Corian if you're a yuppie. Your subfloor -- and your roof sheeting -- are Oriented StrandBoard (wood fibers glued together in a plastic matrix). Your floor is probably "tiled" with either polyurethane or vinyl, and carpeted with recycled polyester. Your exterior walls have an OSB layer (if you're lucky), a polystyrene insulating layer, and more probably vinyl than brick to face the elements. Your bathtub is either acrylic or fiberglass (silica fibers in a polyester matrix). Your deck is quite likely to be either sheathed in plastic, or simply made of plastic. Your couch is upholstered with polyurethane foam covered with polyester fabric. Your patio furniture is, of course, resin (plastic). Your LOTR chess set is resin (plastic). etc.

Hey, here's something we've had the technology for (1)

fatalist23 (534463) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578365)

Slashdot + Unsuspecting site + Slashdot users = Server meltdown! wheeeeee!

Power Sources? (3, Interesting)

TheNecromancer (179644) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578366)

Seems to me that this technology is limited, not by what it can do, but by the energy it consumes performing its function. Think about it, the SmartShirt that is talked about has electronics embedded in the fabric, but how is it powered? Current batteries in PDAs don't last very long, and it would be easy enough to replace batteries in the SmartShirt, but what about replacing power cells of electronics embedded in a person's skin? Once we are able to miniaturize powercells enough without sacrificing longevity of power, this field will thrive enormously!

Solution: (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578414)

Embedded electronics might well have a reather small power requirement. A few solutions (not all too serious)
- Using the heat of ones body to generate electricity.
- A tiny turbine/generator in the bloodstream. Go easy on the cholesterol or you'll clog it up!
- A micro fuel cell. Heat can be dissipated through the normal body functions, and it would run off regular petrol or methanol. When you go to gas up the car, remember to fill up yourself as well.
- Rechargeable batteries with an induction coupled charger under your bed. No worries.

Keep reading... (1)

H0NGK0NGPH00EY (210370) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578473)

If you read through to the end of the article (a rare thing around here, I know) you will find this:

Quantum Nucleonics
The big idea: A portable, safe, nonpolluting source of nuclear power

As long as we're being fanciful, why not use these amazing portable nuclear devices to power our whiz-bang portable devices?

Re:Power Sources? (2)

Jodrell (191685) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578575)

The rate of innovation of portable power sources is a lot slower than in the technologies that depend on them, for a number of reasons - mainly due to the fact that after a century or so of development we're reaching the theoretical limits of the current technology.

This issue was discussed recently [] following an article on CNN (that's disappeared, unfortunately).

Too late (2)

anpe (217106) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578374)

The most fascinating part is that all of these new technologies seem like they'll be available in the not too distant future.

"The height technologies that will change the world once you'll be in the grave" sounds less attractive.

Not just 70's TV shows... (2)

Innominate Recreant (557409) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578382)

How about 90's TV shows? The human/computer topic seemed to be limited to mobility. What about sight? A Geordi visor from ST:TNG would be a valuable invention and a really cool integration of computer technology with the human brain.

When can I trade in this ugly body... (1)

tmcmsail (302707) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578385)

Can I trade this old, worn out POS for the new coolness? Or do I need to be Will Smith?

It looks like the next step is near, replaceable bodies and the ability to transfer knowlege. The line from Star Wars could come true, Darth Vader was "more machine than man."

I will wait for the first service pack before trading my bio for bio-machine....

Half of that is Nearly Reality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3578622)

Cloning... They can clone your body, using genetic engineering to take out the flaws (obesity, disease, whatever... make mine a body like a 21 year old decathalete, the metabolisim of a rabbit, the reproductive organs of a porn star, and the immune system of a god please). That only means they have to figure out how to read your mind in it's entirety and how to transfer it to a suitable blank.

Not for everyone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3578386)

Biofuel production plants? It'll never work on a large enough scale.

Cognitronics? I don't trust anyone in the world enough to let them implant devices that will manipulate my brain.

Genotyping? Fertile ground for rampant abuse. No thanks.

Combinatorial science? It already exists. There are hundreds of super-computers that have been doing that kind of stuff for over a decade.

Now quantum nucleonics? I'd really like to see that idea come to fruition, as well as some of the others.

Re:Not for everyone (1)

joshsisk (161347) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578460)

Biofuel production plants? It'll never work on a large enough scale.

Why not? What part of the chain do you think will fail?

Business 2.0 Front Cover (5, Funny)

donnacha (161610) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578396)

With regard to the front cover's question, overlayed on possibly the smuggest Bill Gates photo I've ever seen:

"How To Beat Him"

I'm hoping that the answer boils down to "with a large wooden bat, spiked with rusty nails".

"beating" Bill (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3578522)

Nah, The handwriting's already on the wall and they know it at MS. Lindows, WINE, OSX, OpenOffice, etc.. They are all much more painful than a bat.

Don't drool, beware! (The Luddite approach) (5, Interesting)

juliao (219156) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578420)

All of them seem like great things to happen! But are they? Let's take a look...

Biointeractive Material: An idea with a lot of potential, and that may see light sooner than we think. The risk here is reverse interaction, that may allow your shirt to be hacked into heating just a bit too much...

Biofuel Production Plants: They mention the risks themselves: using bio-engineered plants for fuel production may create mutated species that grow beyond our control. And on another issue, growing GMO for fuel will legitimise using GMO for food, won't it?

Bionics: A wonderful potential, but so many risks: yes, it can be use to cure the deaf, and the blind, but as you go on it allows you to replace organs, even to enhance them, and in due time it will allow you to slowly become a bit like a cyborg. It sounds great to me, but maybe it will create even a greater divide between the "have"s and the "have not"s. Will humanity (the poor of the world, their strenght being the numbers) rebel against the cyborgs (the bionic we) someday?

Cognitronics: The greatest of all greats, but... If ir can control, can it be controlled? If it interacts, can you read my mind? It kind of redefines the notion of "0wn3d"...

Genotyping: Hmmm... What was this one good for, again? Too much potential for the wrong things happening...

Combinatorial Science: Wow! At last, a way for the government to find all about life, the universe and everything without having to bother with those pesky scientists and their silly notions of "moral" and "ethics"...! Anyway, anything that is comparable to Excel has to be a bad thing. :)

Molecular Manufacturing: One of the coolest technologies ever. And yet, a great potential for being abused. This effectively removes the limit of scale on anything we build, be it large or small. But the planet isn't large enough for us to start building our private megalopolis and robot armies anytime soon. This had better come true after generalized space travel and colonization.

Quantum Nucleonics: Hmmm.. Boom?

An answer to one of your questions... (1)

H0NGK0NGPH00EY (210370) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578493)

Will humanity (the poor of the world, their strenght being the numbers) rebel against the cyborgs (the bionic we) someday?

For some insight into that question, may I recommend you view Episode 6 of Sealab 2021--I, Robot. An insightful debate on the issue is contained within. ;^)

Re:Don't drool, beware! (The Luddite approach) (1)

DarenN (411219) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578629)

Molecular Maufacturing

Ummm, this is almos a prerequiste to space travel, as builing craft that are reliable, strong, and light enough will almost certainly require this technology.

This is probalby the most likely of those technologies to become realistic in the near(ish) future

Hook me up... (1)

bsdparasite (569618) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578429)

"I would like the X-10 auxiliary cerebrum please!"
"Oh, we don't have it in stock. It's the only part for which you want to wait for a truck to arrive in the store."
"It figures!"

Nanotech in Sci-Fi (1)

PortPuppie (580855) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578430)

If any of you have not taken the opportunity (doubtful, but I'll toss it out there in case any one isn't aware of him), Ben Bova has an excellent Sci-Fi series with nanotech as one of the aspects of the near future.

He does a really good job of showing potential applications and FUD spread by political movements.

Check out the first two books:


The rest of the series is also very good. Mars, Jupiter, Venus, Asteroid Belt, etc.

Do a search for Ben Bova on, they have the complete list.

But... (1)

squaretorus (459130) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578431)

The most fascinating part is that all of these new technologies seem like they'll be available in the not too distant future

They always do!
They never ARE!

Like Alpha Centauri (1)

AnotherSteve (447030) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578441)

This article reads like a Sid Meier game - what I want to know is how did they figure out the technology tree for all these cool things so they'd know what to work on next.

Did steve austin see popup ads? (1)

Madman (84403) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578443)

The main difference between the bionic man and the people of the future is that we're likely to be bombarded 24 hours a day by unwanted ads. I wouldn't mind being able to lift 2000 lbs but I'm leery of having an electronic device control what I see and hear.

cognitronics - dangerous? (3, Insightful)

Sarin (112173) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578444)

You could turn lights on and off, mute the TV, or drive a car simply by thinking about doing so.

Sounds dangerous to me, you have to be carefull what you think instead of being carefull what you do, escpecially when these devices have lethal uses, like a car.
What if you bionic arm would act on your impulsive first toughts after being annoyed or arroused by someone.Instead of pulling your middle finger to another roaduser, the car might try to hit this person.

Thinking is not a crime might not be true in such a future.

"Quantum Nucleonics"??? (2)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578456)

Halfnium amplifying X-Rays "exponentially"?? OK, I realize that this is a e-mag for PHB's, but come on - that reads like something straight out of Star Trek: "I know - we'll use a sheet of halfnium to amplify the X-Rays exponentially" "Shut up, Wesley" (no offense intended, CleverNickName...) Ignoring the fact that "exponentially" makes no sense in this context (after all, .9^n 1, you cannot define this without stating your units), but more importantly the energy must come from somewhere - either you are causing fission or some other form of decay in the halfnium, or you aren't getting any more energy out than you put in.

Secondly, did anyone else feel like they were reading the Great Library from any of the Civilization games - "Domestication + Iron working = Stirrup" "Bio-informatics + Genetics = Enhanced crops"?

I agree - the tech of the future will come about as combinations of what we have: I'm far too big a fan of James Burke to dispute that. But this article was "a crock of excrement, and none may abide the odor thereof".

Anna Kournakova Dead at 22 (-1)

CofWheat (464490) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578489)

Tennis beauty Anna Kournakova 22 was found dead at her villa in Ivanov a suburb of Moscow this morning. Initial indications are she died of acute alcohol poisening from a nightlong vodka drinking binge. Her body was found by her sometime boyfriend NHL star Pavel Bure. A distraught Bure said, "We spent the night screwing and drinking vodka straight. Anna had her normal 3 bottles and vomited on me. I then left the villa and went home." An autopsy is pending and nude photos of Kournakova will be posted on internet sites.

Interesting theme. (3, Interesting)

Junta (36770) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578595)

Not too long ago, the top list of techs that would change the world were typically all about computers and the internet, focusing on how people interact with each other and get information. The big internet bubble kinda grew out of this whole excitement over computer and internet technology as an end in and of itself rather than a means to another end.

Now it seems like the general populace have tired of thinking of computers and the internet as they did before. This lack of interest and the recession have fed each other to a downward spiral. It seems that now the populace is getting more excited about biotech things, as reflected in this article. e-everything and fast communications got boring, but now people see biotech as having the potential for enhancing and extending life in a very real and pervasive way.

So are we about to see a "biotech" bubble like the "internet" bubble we saw in the past few years? Are bio-engineering, genetics, and biology programs about to reach record high enrollments like computer science and engineering programs saw a few years ago (when the general populace thought computer knowledge = big bucks).

Anyway, though boring to the public in general, botany research could have great impact on our lives. Things like spider silk and insulin from plants, as well as enhancing foods to feed more people could offer further reaching impact than anything mentioned in the article, in terms of reaching third world countries, for example. It's pretty exciting. Before long, they expect to be able to produce enough insulin to supply all the world's diabetic population in a few farms. Pretty cool stuff, just hope this stuff doesn't get lost in the noise of "bionic man" super-hyped research.

The Ninth Technology of the Future. (1)

actor_au (562694) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578606)

A Slashdot proof server.
Made up of Linux and about fifty Beowulf Clusters of the latest 'wunderkind' hardware this server will one day almost be able to withstad the force of several thousand people attacking it simultaneously. Thus destroying googles popular Cache service forever.

Slashdot Math 50+5-3= More Karma than I have

neural interface (1)

Black_Logic (79637) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578630)

Man, I'd cut my hand off for a neural interface :)

Although, it says in the article, that someone with a paralyzed leg was able to move the mouse by attempting to move the leg. Makes me wonder how it could work for someone with a complete, healthy body. I remember reading a case study about a person who had two fingers melded together (naturally) at birth. They did an MRI on his brain before and after separating his fingers and the results showed that his brain changed slightly. Their hypothesis was that it made new connections to deal with more input resulting from the extra skin and nerves. So, I wonder if it'd be possible to help the brain make new facultys for input/output. (although, i'm clearly not a neurosurgeon. :) ) Maybe they could just interecept and block input to the leg temporarily, rerouting it to the computer interface. I remember reading about a study that showed there is some mechanism in the body that blocked input to your body from your brain during sleep, as an explanation for people who don't have control over their body for a couple seconds after waking up. (never happened to me though)

Structuralism is for suckers! (1)

Interrobang (245315) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578970)

Hey, yes, your brain really *does* rewire itself when something about you changes drastically. I know. I have cerebral palsy, which results from a combination of predisposition, circumstance, and brain damage, and if brains didn't fix their own "short circuits" to a certain extent, I wouldn't have walked into the office this morning, and I wouldn't be typing this to you now. Granted, it takes a hell of a lot of work, stimulation (the important bit), exercise, and determination, but in general, it's possible.

In short, believing that everything in the brain is absolutely hard-and-fast controlled by *one place* and *one place* in your brain alone is nonsense. Some of those places that should control various parts of my body (the "default settings," if you will) are long since dead. Other parts picked up the slack, more or less. I wouldn't mind a little cognitronic jolt to the rest to get up to 100% functionality, though...


Interrobang, upright and striving for a reasonable hand-drawn facsimile of "able-bodied" since 1978

Bio Digital Spammers are out there! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3578655)

Think about it, you are a bionically enhanced super stud with a genetically perfect bio half and a cybernetically omni-powerful and linked brain. The only problem is that every nanosecond of the waking day you are getting spammed by some lamer on the internet who has your IP#, asking you to get a new morgage from them or to check out their Woman Done by Barn Animal virtual reality website! It will drive you insane!!!

Perpetual motion machines! Fantastic! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3578664)

From the article: Similarly, methanol takes almost as much energy to create as it releases when it's burned.

Well that is sweet! It produces more energy than it takes to make! Perpetual motion, here we come ;)

Predicting the future (1)

MarvinMouse (323641) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578700)

I remember hearing a quote a while ago in a book I read titled "The year in 1980". The book was a collection of predictions from scientists, engineers, and other academics about what the world would be like in 1980. The quote went:

"The problem with predicting the future is that you either predict that we can do far too much, or that we can do far too little."

I think this applies to these predictions. A good number of them, humourously enough, were in this book that I just quoted from. Eventually, they'll come, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

(IMHO, as always)

No one notices whats done, only whats yet to come. (1)

ClickNMix (218488) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578704)

A common theme of the posts Iv read so far seem to moan about how so much was promised years ago, and how nothing much has come of it.

Which at a glance, might seem right. But thats only because Im guessing there is a pretty youngish age group of readers here (Ie, under 40?) how have grown up with technology to the point, they see it as normal, not gee-wizz. Since its going from 'old computer to better computer' not no computers, to computers etc.

Im sure in some years to come Ill be talking to my kids(Maybe :o) and be amazed at how little they think of even a few of these things, and just pass them of as nothing new or impressive at all.

Technology increase (2, Funny)

Kushana (206115) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578817)

The Venn diagrams of the article remind me of the pretty pictures I see whenever I get a new technology in Alpha Centauri or Civilization. How long do I have to wait for Matter Transmission [] ?

Article's crap (1)

stud9920 (236753) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578828)

They didn't even mention the Ginger/IT/segfault^H^H^H^H^Hway

Seems awfully redundant (and boring) (1)

pshoemaker (568161) | more than 12 years ago | (#3578839)

The real interesting stuff--the advances that will really shake things up--aren't readily apparent to mainstream business writers. This cluelessness is to be expected, and is compounded by a well-engrained fear of going out on a limb. Instead we see these sorts of articles, with these sorts of lists, i.e. those that most people really won't complain about, and that you can find in any good scifi overview. They are safe. Less so are the 'future technologies' that will drive enormous transformations in basic industries (industries BTW that will continue to be important for the foreseeable future), the development of new technologies of death (first for the military and then as denuded civilian applications), and ubiquitous connectivity at the level of the individual. The aggravating thing is that any good review of current research suggests a multitude of alternative views that don't include Star Trek tech.

I am still waiting. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3578929)

for edible underware that doesn't taste like sh!t.
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