Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

Community News Network

December 30, 2013

In technology, 2013 was a more amazing year than you think

(Continued)

The space race is on again. In 2013, India launched a spacecraft that is headed to Mars and China landed a six-wheel rover on the moon. China also announced that it is planning to land a man on the moon by 2025. Add to this the success that private companies SpaceX, Virgin Galactic and Moon Express have had and you realize that we are at the cusp of a new era in space travel.

NASA once again has competition from governments abroad so there will be a new sense of urgency. Now it has the advantage of being able to collaborate with entrepreneurs and take advantage of the technology advances that they have created.

I am eagerly waiting for reservations to open up for the Starship Enterprise.

Now let me give you the bad news: we still have a few more years of disappointment before we marvel at all these advances. The base of an exponential curve is flat. When it turns upwards, dramatic developments happen, but for the longest time nothing seems to change. This is where we are with robotics, sensors, artificial intelligence, synthetic biology, 3D printing and medicine — all of which are exponential technologies.

We were disappointed, too, when cellphones first came out. They were big, expensive and clumsy. For many years, these were just for the rich — a symbol of wealth and power. Today, there are close to one billion cellphones in use in both India and China. Almost everyone has one.

In 1977, the president of Digital Equipment Corp., Ken Olsen, famously said "there is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home." The first personal computers were just for geeks and nerds. Then they were for the rich. About two decades ago, we began to question their usefulness and productivity. Now they are transforming industries, and we can buy a tablet for $37.99 plus shipping.

Text Only
Community News Network
Features
AP Video
Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel David Perdue Wins Georgia GOP Senate Runoff 98-Year-Old Woman Left in Parked Truck Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Raw: MD Church Built in 1773 Ravaged by Fire Flight to Tel Aviv From US Diverted to Paris AP Review: Amazon Fire Adds Spark to Smartphones Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban
Facebook
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Upon completion and reopening of Third Street, should the City of Knoxville wait to start the next stage of the Streetscape and Infrastructure project until 2015?

Yes
No
     View Results