Moore\’s Law

Interesting post in the Times\’ technology blog today about the rate at which our technology devices keep getting faster, or increasing their capacity, while physically shrinking. I particularly like this paragraph:

\”Let’s stop for a second to take stock of the wonder of all this. The last flash memory card I bought for my camera held two gigabytes (16 billion bits). It cost me $6. And somewhere inside it is something that is counting electrons 40 at a time. An electron, in case you forgot your high-school physics, has a radius of 2.8179 × 10−15 meters. In layman’s terms it is pretty much the smallest thing you could ever count.\”

Love it. Facebook, Flickr, Blogging, The Wii… all things that nobody* (*more or less) was doing even five years ago. What will we have in 2012?






4 responses to “Moore\’s Law”

  1. monkey Avatar

    Alright, I’ll give you the Wii and Flikr (i.e. good inexpensive digital cameras), but Facebook and blogging have been around for 20 years — now they’ve just got easier and flashier user interfaces. I guess I fall soundly into your asterisked case above in that I was on BBSs 20 years ago on my friend’s basement computer and now hold a PhD in Mathematics, but still… I’m a stickler for calling something “new” when it isn’t. So to me, the fascinating question is “what old technology will make it big in the next three years” ‘cuz it’s much easier to make money popularizing somebody else’s idea (i.e. facebook) than it is to come up with radically new technology that either nobody knew they needed (cell phone) or works far better than anybody else’s (google PageRank) .

  2. wadE Avatar

    “it’s much easier to make money popularizing somebody else’s idea” … cough… Bill Gates… cough…
    anyway, it’s a fair point you make, as I was “blogging” in 1994… (damn, only goes back to 1997 for —
    on the other hand, you can’t underestimate the value of a solid UI. you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink unless you make it so easy that his mom can upload pictures to facebook from her phone… or something like that…

  3. alex Avatar

    I think if you look at Facebook as a one-stop communications hub that it’s pretty new (and Google clearly wants a piece of that). For blogs, I’m more narrowly defining them as either personal journals, or a site like Deadspin – with at least daily if not a LOT of daily updates. I don’t think either a BBS or a personal webpage falls into that category, and thus the phenomenon is new. (Although I will grant you that ‘easier and flashier user interfaces’ does almost cover it. Also note that I personally never used the word ‘new’ until this comment – I simply said that people weren’t doing these things 5 years ago.) 🙂

  4. monkey Avatar

    Oh, yeah — a solid UI makes all the difference in the world. This was (I think) the principle behind AOL. For all its suckage, it *did* get millions of people using email and the world wide web (or some weird mutation thereof). Microsoft is a great example: they took something that few people used (DOS) and turned it into something almost anybody could use (Win95) and then turned it right back into something almost nobody could use (Vista). All things equal, the better UI wins.

    (by the way, great old webpage, and that’s the best mangling of “you can lead a horse” I’ve ever heard…)

    I think the older-school BBS-style systems *do* fall into those categories. Heck, you could do this stuff on the old shared-user systems of the 60s. The difference is accessibility and ease of use. It’s gone from a few experts sitting at terminals in a single university building to every idiot tweeting from the backcountry wilderness. People weren’t doing these things 5 years ago, but that doesn’t mean they couldn’t — just not in their present form.

    (Similarly, communicating by cell phone isn’t a new idea — it’s been around for 100 years. It’s just that A. G. Bell had a hard-wired analog connection instead of an RF digital one.)

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