Brad Wardell's site for talking about the customization of Windows.

I'm on an airplane right now.  I've been flying pretty regularly since I was 5 years old (parents got divorced and back then they could live in different states). 

It's the flight experience where you can really see how much tech has changed.  More to the point, as Kurzweil has pointed out, tech is changing exponentially and it's gotten to the point where it's really hard to miss.

On the way to the airport

I was able to check in to my seat via the Delta app that put a notification on my screen while in my Tesla on auto-pilot.  Just a couple of clicks and I was good to go.

At the airport

I have TSA PRE and the new clear program which is supposedly (but not really) faster than TSA Pre.  I was through security faster than before 9/11.   The only hic-up, was that the monorail was down to the gate which meant hoofing half a mile.   Reminded me that most rail advocates probably don't use much rail.  Rail was a great tech in the 19th century...

I sit down near the terminal and every chair has its own little iPad type device for ordering food and drink.  Almost no one uses them now, they're already outdated because their iPhone or Android device "has an app" that's easier.

Under the covers, thanks to computer aided data analysis, what are in airports now are much nicer and useful.  They know what works in airports (coffee ships, mid to high end restaurants, shoulder massage) and what doesn't (fast food, general goods).  And tech has largely eliminated book stores (sigh).  The result is that the airports I visit are generally quite pleasant.

Moreover, the better experience means lower stress.  If Brad from 1989 were to time travel to 2019, the first thing I'd notice is how much happier people are.  The general smoothness of how air transportation works now (relatively speaking) means a lot less stressed people.  The only really archaic thing left are the &#$%@ drivers licenses or other physical ID we still have to mess with and of course the normal TSA experience (mainly the damn shoe thing).  But the end result is that people tend to be pretty relaxed (relatively).

On the plane

Many of the chairs have displays on the back.  Already outdated.  They're the display of last resort because everyone has a handheld or some kind.  Which reminds me, I can't find my Kindle.  

Planes typically have WiFi, it's not free but eliminates much of the boredom of long flights.  I use to pour through PC Gamer, PC Magazine, PC World, Macworld, etc. from start to end on these flights.  And even that was a big step up from the early 80s and 70s where I'd lug Infoworld with me in the late 80s.  I still miss reading Nick Petreley's articles.

But it's not just that it's improved, it's that the rate of improvement is accelerating.   

What are some of the things you've noticed changing that seems to be changing even more rapidly now?

 


Comments (Page 2)
on Feb 28, 2019

I don't know if tech is changing faster. CPUs aren't getting much faster, but get more cores. The desktop (Windows 10 1809 for example) is pretty mature. The smartphone hasn't changed much in recent years.

Sure, self-driving cars are an important innovation. Robot vacuum cleaners have been around for a while, as have robot lawn mowers. Airplanes are pretty old and something like the Hyperloop feels better suited to this millennium. It needs to travel underground so we need better tunnel boring machines.

When one realizes one will die in a world that is pretty similar to the one we have today, then life feels short. The world progresses slowly. Some obstacles are technological, some are political. And there is also the risk for WW3 or something like that.

If one finds enjoyment/convenience in recent technological advances then that's great. The telephone was huge, the car, the TV, airtravel, the computer/PC, the smartphone. I don't think there will be a more important innovation than the Internet in my lifetime. And that's OK. Trains started modern civilization and something like the Hyperloop might make evolution come full circle. Airplanes use combustion engines and we don't know how long those will be allowed. There might be higher taxes on jet fuel in the future.

 

on Feb 28, 2019

Kavik_Kang

Where on internet do you truly have freedom of speech if you want to say something even the least bit controversial?

There is no such thing as 'freedom of speech'. It is a limited and parochial miss-reading of the localized right-to-hold-an-opinion-contrary-to-the-state.  Somehow it's redefined as some inherent right owned by and owed to mankind in toto enabling/facilitating defamation/slander/racial vilification/white supremacy/bullying/ad-nauseum.

Reality is that there are going to be standards setup within any society, no matter how large or how small that will require a far tighter interpretation than that.

Example....there is no right granted to anyone to shout 'fire' in a crowded/darkened cinema.

What the Internet teaches everyone [hopefully] is that parochial/closeted standards need to be revised to encompass all.

There is no 'Tyranny of Distance' when the rest of the world is but one click away....

on Mar 01, 2019

DaveRI

A few months ago I saw on tv where someone is trying to develop a robot lawnmover. 

anotherside

Robot vacuum cleaners have been around for a while, as have robot lawn mowers.

I had to check into it, and so I see they have been.  Don't know what I'd seen, maybe a local company working on it or something, but it was the first I'd heard of it - obviously I'm not keeping up, no surprise there.

I pity the cat that get into an argument with one of those...   

on Mar 01, 2019



Quoting Kavik_Kang,

Where on internet do you truly have freedom of speech if you want to say something even the least bit controversial?



There is no such thing as 'freedom of speech'. It is a limited and parochial miss-reading of the localized right-to-hold-an-opinion-contrary-to-the-state.  Somehow it's redefined as some inherent right owned by and owed to mankind in toto enabling/facilitating defamation/slander/racial vilification/white supremacy/bullying/ad-nauseum.

Reality is that there are going to be standards setup within any society, no matter how large or how small that will require a far tighter interpretation than that.

Example....there is no right granted to anyone to shout 'fire' in a crowded/darkened cinema.

What the Internet teaches everyone [hopefully] is that parochial/closeted standards need to be revised to encompass all.

There is no 'Tyranny of Distance' when the rest of the world is but one click away....

Freedoms are in name only. They are here today but can be gone tomorrow. History says so.

on Mar 01, 2019

We have standards that have been set up by our society.  "Family Friendly & PG-13" and "even the Nazi's can march in Skokie, IL".  What the internet has become is EVERY forum has a little Heinrich Himmler "Chicken Farmer" who decides who can speak and what they can say.  That's the German Reich & Soviet Union, not America.

The level of surveillance and tracking is also just plain dangerous.  Ask yourself this question... Why, after the Las Vegas shooting, did the authorities not ask people for cell phone footage they may have taken?  The answer is that they already have all of the cell phone footage that anyone might have taken automatically stored in Utah.  

The fact that there is no free speech on the internet is obvious and very, very dangerous.  You won't like the world that it leads too within 20 more years or so.  The tracking and surveillance is less obvious, and FAR more all encompassing than you realize.

 

on Mar 01, 2019

Brad, you run a software company.  You know how many bugs your products are shipped with, and how many the developers have to fix. And yet you let autopilot drive your Tesla???  

(Not meant as a slam at Stardock's code quality, just recognition of the facts of life about software. I designed and wrote it for 40 years).

on Mar 02, 2019

Publius of NV

Brad, you run a software company. You know how many bugs your products are shipped with, and how many the developers have to fix. And yet you let autopilot drive your Tesla???

Autopilot/driverless vehicles should be outlawed by all governments.  I don't care how good the software is, no driverless car can predict dangerous events that a driver can see and adjust to appropriately: eg: a small child running out onto the road unexpectedy.  A driver may not avoid the child, either, but a driverless vehicle has bugger all chance.... and imagine the gridlock when hundreds [maybe thousands] of driverless vehicles all shut down due to some pre-programmed event.... and can't be restarted.

Nope, driverless cars are a no no.

on Mar 02, 2019

That's a good point, Starkers, a better example might be "will auto-pilot go off the road to avoid hitting a child"?  A human would leave the road and drive into someone's yard to avoid hitting a child, would auto-pilot do that?

 

on Mar 02, 2019

No, of course not, the primary function of the auto-pilot would be to protect the occupant - unless someone had implemented that rule into it, based on, say, height or size of the target, at which point the AI would likely do something stupid such as killing the occupant to save a midget.

There really is no such thing as AI, at least not in the way most people think of it - there is no 'intelligence', only complex programs following complex rules. At most there is room for these rules to change based on 'experience' and 'results', but even this is also based on preset rules. There is no 'awareness' in AI, no 'consciousness', AI is a 'dead thing', a machine no different than a calculator.

on Mar 02, 2019

JcRabbit

There is no 'awareness' in AI, no 'consciousness', AI is a 'dead thing', a machine no different than a calculator.

That's why there should be no such thing as driverless cars.  I mean, you wouldn't want a calculator making life or death decisions, would you?  Well that's what driverless cars would be expected to do... the impossible.

on Mar 02, 2019

There WILL be completely autonomous cars, but only when two more things come together as well, IMO: car to car communication *and* road side sensors communicating with cars. So the latter infrastructure will need to be slowly added on top of current roads, just like the current road infrastructure was slowly built over time.

Everywhere else you will need to drive the car manually or only with driver-assist instead of full autonomy. Something like that anyway.

You will probably also need some sort of 'traffic director' centers too (a bit like modern air traffic controllers) to overview overall traffic and deal with situations that require human intervention (e.g.; temporarily block a path to autonomous cars due to scheduled construction, unexpected events, etc...)

on Mar 02, 2019

Then one day the cars revert to 'default settings' and all the American-made ones drive on the right....and all the Japanese-made ones drive on the left...

 

Gonna be interesting...

Define "interesting"

Oh god, oh god, we're all gonna die? ...

on Mar 04, 2019

JcRabbit

You will probably also need some sort of 'traffic director' centers too (a bit like modern air traffic controllers)

 

And what happens when traffic control centres also become automated.... as is the case with everything in the technological era?  The other problem with ground traffic control is that there are millions more vehicles on the road than there are planes in the sky.... thus creating huge potential for chaos and carnage on the roads.

Simply put, autonomous vehicles are NOT a good idea.  Just because they can make them doesn't mean they should.

on Mar 04, 2019

Today is a new era. ioT is the new 'in' thing until your washing machine explodes or your fridge talks back to you.

on Mar 04, 2019

Hey! I've been having deep long philosophical conversations with my fridge lately, so back off!