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Thread: The next big thing....

  1. #11
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    The next big thing: turning off the computer and going outside in the (gulp) "fresh" air. It's not my thing, but some people I know really seem to be turning anti-computer.

    Also, don't forget the old favorites as the next big thing (history has taught me that people don't learn from history).

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by L33F3R View Post
    this isnt a debate about what facebook is or isnt.

    Although i am intrigued about this german one as I have never heard of it.
    I guess he means www.studivz.net. I don't think it's older than facebook though.


    Also, don't forget the old favorites as the next big thing (history has taught me that people don't learn from history).
    ROBOTS!!!111

  3. #13
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    Generally I don't think you can really predict the next big thing, because it has less to do with the technology itself than with how people and society react to it. History is full of technologies that became big for reasons and uses that the original developers never really intended. That's one of the reasons that I loathe anti-competitive control schemes (whether DRM-based, patent-based, etc.) - they project the arrogance of supposedly knowing which products/applications are worthwhile and which aren't.


    That said, I think one candidate for the next big thing (in my little world of wishful thinking) is so-called "bottom-up manufacturing". Current industry is built around a "top-down" model, where centralized, expensive, specialized production machinery is built in order to mass-produce smaller products. There are people working toward the reverse of this model, where lots of smaller, more general manufacturing machines are used to build a wide variety of products without highly concentrated control or funding. This is potentially radical because it combines the automation and labor saving properties of modern industrial processes with the decentralization characteristic of the traditional trades. Combined with the potential of sharing knowledge, designs, and programs over the Internet, it could be really huge. RepRap is a good example, though the principle is broader than just one device.

  4. #14
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    Cars running on compressed air. Both "pure" and hybrids. As soon as MDI can get their lines running, I'm quite sure there will be interest in those.

    How would you like a new car for ~5000 €, zero emissions, rather cheap usage?

  5. #15
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    Maybe in the next few years virtual reality will become feasible.
    I know that would benefit the video game and porn industries.

  6. #16
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    great points all of you

    -compressed air cars, thats trippin. I have begun investigating this further the past few hours.

    -I have my own ideas about a virtual reality system. PM me if you want my master plan

    -I think the no technology idea is going to hit hard. We have become so dependent on electronics in particular that its unbelievable. Even when camping, people use trailers, satellite TV, electric fans FFS. What ever happened to sleeping bags and tents? I think this is a cultural trend more-less. Interesting to see how this is going to play out

    -@Ex_Cyber, from a political perspective I have many liberal views and many that are conservative. Now i as much as you, loathe control-schemes. I will be quick to point out that its unavoidable. Greed is good. greedy people may be asshats but these greedy people are the ones who give you your paycheck. Communism didn't work. Now i am not attacking you so dont be alarmed im just saying that these patents and such empower individuals or corporations to weed out competition. Competition is good but when you compete for an emerging market it can be dangerous. For example I will use XM and Sirius satellite radio (and the massive losses they both accumulated). Now I think right now they have their act together but what if a major 3rd party had entered? satellite radio simply wouldn't exist, at least of decent quality.

    Now i like the idea of the bottom-up manufacturing. I am particularly fond of the idea of not sending my money overseas to a country that threatens my own for little reason at all. Such an idea would truly empower the people, not governments! Just as the internet has empowered all of us. the RepRap is a prime example of people level sharing.

    Ex_Cyber you have arguably brought up the best idea yet.

  7. #17
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    -solar power
    -thin clients (again)

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zhick View Post
    I guess he means www.studivz.net. I don't think it's older than facebook though.
    Possibly what he told me about wasn't founded before Facebook but it boomed before Facebook boomed and also got sold before it. (he didn't tell the name at that point, just told me that's the reason he's not going to join Facebook, afraid they'll just sell out the private information too)

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmorph View Post
    -solar power
    Hmm, like humans finally learning to mimick photosynthesis properly and take full use of it? I doubt solar power is a proper alternative before that.
    Edit: I'm definitely going to laugh hard when someone tries to have a hardware patent on photosynthesis.
    Last edited by nanonyme; 07-14-2009 at 07:55 AM.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by nanonyme
    Hmm, like humans finally learning to mimick photosynthesis properly and take full use of it? I doubt solar power is a proper alternative before that.
    Photovoltaics are somewhat limited, but they're not the only form of solar power. On the more mundane side of things, there are passive solar technologies for water and home heating. For large-scale electrical generation, other technologies have been prototyped; see e.g. The Solar Project and Nevada Solar One. It will never be a 100% solution, but no energy technology has ever been a 100% solution; there are just too many conflicting demands.

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