I had a crazy weekend. Funeral in Florida, then holiday preparations. I am so beat. however, I had an interesting conversation with Bill Johnston about the state of technology. Bill worked for Lawrence Berkeley labs, Nasa and the department of energy running a major network, so I always appreciate his views on technology.
The question arose, “Where is all the great stuff?” Some examples:
- Nantubes. I haven’t seen anything come of nanotubes. They were supposed to change everything. Bill said IBM is “quietly” making a nanotube processor that will be a huge jump in speed, but they are keeping it under the covers.
- Solar panels. Why don’t every household in America have solar panels on them? Can’t we generate decent electricity this way? There was that post before about the solar cells you can spray on. California was supposed to have some initiative. I want solar power! Where is it?
- Hydrogen Fuel Cells. Bill says they have some cool stuff in Japan that works. But for some reason it hasn’t penetrated the U.S. How long must we keep paying 3-4 dollars a gallon?!
- Stem Cells. I am waiting for ONE single breakthrough using stem cells. Anything! Cure athelete’s foot for all I care. Just something!
- Voice Recognition. I guess they have some stuff working on call centers and voicemail systems. And maybe a tiny bit on cars, like to play music. But they work like crap and haven’t really changed the world. Where is the system that I don’t have to yell at. I speak to voice recognition systems the way I speak to someone who doesn’t speak english. I speak loudly and slowly. HELLLOOOO!
- WiMax and highspeed. I want a network that is free and covers the whole city. WiMax was supposed to be it, but nothing is working. Cities are giving up! And where is the kickass bandwidth I was expecting? I get 3-4 megabits downstream and 300-500 kilobits upstream. That is the same speed for about 8 years. What the hell? Where is faster speeds? I want 100 megabit download and upload! I want to video conference in full motion HD. What is the holdup?
All in all, I am wondering, “Where is all the cool stuff I was expecting?” Of course, I am impatient and want the world to innovate faster. But how will I ever get my soul transfered to a nanobot swarm collective at this rate?