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Science Forum

Science Forum

  1. 02 Oct '09 02:06 / 1 edit
    Perhaps this should go in the debates section. The popularity of the net astounds me, am hooked! and Laptops, Mobiles develop at an amazing pace.

    But elsewhere I see technology moving much slower. I wonder if the internet has cast some spell on people where they think they live in a hi tec world.
    That just doesn't exist... e.g. In cars, only now are we seeing significant changes to engine design & most houses just have better light bulbs.

    I think our resource/environmental problems are part caused by resting on old technology, but still captivated by the net, while using coal plants George Stephenson could have designed. And I wonder with internet, being a mountain of user driven content helps?

    Why have telecoms & computing evolved so much faster then other technologies? .. am i wrong?
  2. 02 Oct '09 03:22
    Originally posted by Black Star Uchess
    ,Why have telecoms & computing evolved so much faster then other technologies? .. am i wrong?
    Because it's a lot of money behind. People are prone to pay for a new model of a new cellular whenever a new model arrives. Behind internet there is a mighty porn industry that with customers wanting pto pay hard.

    The branches you mention are very near the customers. I think nano technology and bio technology is also evolved rapidly, but it's not as near the people so we don't know the progress in the same way. The military is often the main customer.

    Just thoughts...
  3. 02 Oct '09 18:09
    Not sure the net is driven by porn... its a great way to play chess Amazon, Monster.com, online travel, marketing v big business. It is odd tho, cars, home improvements are close to consumers to but don't evolve as fast. The net is captivating in some way, but not sure how productive it is... ?

    agree bio tech does seem to be evolving in the military ... I blame Haber, i studied chemistry n those notes ended up in a skip when i finished.
  4. 02 Oct '09 19:06
    Originally posted by Black Star Uchess
    Not sure the net is driven by porn...
    No, not driven by, but without porn internet wouldn't be as developed as it is today.
  5. 02 Oct '09 19:41
    We're not likely to see rapid movement on the environmental/resource front as long as the current fuels and resources are as cheap as they are.

    If gasoline prices suddenly jumped permanently to $20-gallon, you can bet that the rate of technological advances for car engines would become much faster.
  6. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    04 Oct '09 16:13 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by Melanerpes
    We're not likely to see rapid movement on the environmental/resource front as long as the current fuels and resources are as cheap as they are.

    If gasoline prices suddenly jumped permanently to $20-gallon, you can bet that the rate of technological advances for car engines would become much faster.
    20 dollar gas would suck big time! If it came to that kind of price, civilization as we know it would end. Even if you had a car getting 200 mpg, VW is actually showing off a small car that approaches that #, the price would be 10 cents per mile so a trip of 20 miles would 2 bucks. I suppose that could work but at that price, almost any alternative would be cheaper, like the upcoming algae oil industry, there is an algae that grows pretty much pure diesel fuel and is made in vats where they absorb sunlight so it's basically solar energy deferred just like fossil fuels but renewable.
    At that price, solar powered cars could come online, where the body collects solar energy directly and stores it in some advanced form of battery and after you park at work in the sun, continues to generate its own energy and store it, maybe enough to get you to work and back with no further input of energy from any source. There is already lab work showing a kind of solar cell paint that is sprayed on a steel or other conductive substrate and it self organizes into one giant PV cell. Questions of course would arise like how well would it work if scratched or hit in an accident or how long would it last in full sunlight, etc., but that seems to me the coming wave of real self generated power for cars.
    I calculated the price to drive my own car, a Voyager van, which gets about 18 mpg and the price right now is about 2.30 per gallon US, which comes out to about 8 cents a mile so a car getting 200 mpg could live with 20 dollar gas but if you don't get at least 100 mpg, not many people could still afford to drive. That would be about 20 cents a mile but of course if I had to pay 20 bucks a gallon right now with my particular gas guzzler, it would cost about 70 cents a mile so a 20 mile trip would cost 14 bucks so the size of the area you could commute to would go down drastically and even the price of subsidized mass transit would go up several times over.

    At least for public transport, hydrogen driven vehicles would come online in a big way. They are already using hydrogen on small scales here in Allentown Pennsylvania which is a small town so H2 is probably being pursued in a lot of towns in America at least in the public sector as we speak.
  7. 05 Oct '09 14:02
    Originally posted by Black Star Uchess
    Perhaps this should go in the debates section. The popularity of the net astounds me, am hooked! and Laptops, Mobiles develop at an amazing pace.

    But elsewhere I see technology moving much slower. I wonder if the internet has cast some spell on people where they think they live in a hi tec world.
    That just doesn't exist... e.g. In cars, only n ...[text shortened]...

    Why have telecoms & computing evolved so much faster then other technologies? .. am i wrong?
    I think its because we live in the age of communication, and so we push for advances in this area of life more than others, and more money can be made by developing communication tools.
  8. 06 Oct '09 12:28
    Partly the nature of the technology - the improvements were there to make.

    But consider this - would you be happy with a power station that had the reliability of the average computer?
  9. 10 Oct '09 02:18
    No... true that would be bad

    Interesting case in Kenya; Old story but it struck me... the road between Mombasa & Nairobi isn't quite finished, but there's mobile coverage all the way... http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/6241603.stm