Not signed in (Sign In)
    •  
      CommentAuthorliquidcow
    • CommentTimeJan 20th 2008
     (443.61)
    What I worry about is that they'll start selling albums on USB sticks. I know the new Mars Volta album is getting released as a limited-edition USB stick. I hope that doesn't catch on, there's something not nice about it. I doubt it will as they're probably harder to make than CDs and DVDs, if only a little.
  1.  (443.62)
    "How long will it be before we're buying movies on little sticks?"

    Wasn't the real shock anouncement of the Macworld Keynote speech the Fox DVD guy explaining how the Simpsons DVD has a digital copy of the film on it ready to be copied to your computer?

    (The devil is no doubt in the DRM details).

    Here's the twenty year question that I want answered, and stuff all the high tech things - in twenty years will everyone on the planet have access to clean water and reasonable healthcare, even the ability to vote without getting shot for supporting the 'wrong guy'?

    Isn't that a bigger concern than the high tech ideas that us internet types desire?

    And apologies in advance, I know that this isn't the thrust of this thread - but we could use technology to provide clean water.

    (To answer my own question - no, I don't think we will. Too many nasty people with too many resources will stop their 'sub-human' subjects from being able to live safely).

    Fuck-it, now I feel like a tree-hugger.
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeJan 20th 2008
     (443.63)
    "in twenty years will everyone on the planet have access to clean water and reasonable healthcare, even the ability to vote without getting shot for supporting the 'wrong guy'?"

    Probably not but more people in absolute terms and more people as percentage of the total will have those things.

    Actually I saw something interesting a few weeks back about clean water. Apparently if you partially evacuate an old-fashioned condensing still you can vastly reduce the energy requirements. So basically you have one chamber being heated, a partially evacuated tube and a condenser in another chamber. So far the scientists working on this were designing a large-scale high-tech version but I suspect you could scale it down to use solar power and a modified bicycle pump to create the partial vaccuum.
    •  
      CommentAuthorJoe Paoli
    • CommentTimeJan 20th 2008 edited
     (443.64)
    @Reynolds
    Here's the twenty year question that I want answered, and stuff all the high tech things - in twenty years will everyone on the planet have access to clean water and reasonable healthcare, even the ability to vote without getting shot for supporting the 'wrong guy'?
    This is really a subject deserving of it's own thread. And while my personal feeling is that there will always be a third world, or at least poverty or an underclass, and that population growth is leading us to an eventual fresh water availability crisis, I also believe that it is possible to solve the basic problems facing the world's destitute if we have the will, or if an easy enough solution presents itself.

    Cheap solar and wind generators mean that any village, no matter how remote, has a way to generate electricity. Electricity means they can run a water filtration system. Also a satellite internet station that could give them access to medical advice, if not care.

    As devices can run on less and less power, that means that a pair of shoes that harness the kinetic energy of walking, or things that run on body heat could be used by people who don't have a power grid.

    Then all we need are people who get those things into their hands.

    There are enough idealistic people working on low tech, cheap solutions to basic sustainability problems facing poor villages worldwide that make me think it could happen. For example, the watercone, a simple piece of plastic capable of using evaporation to produce a liter of fresh water from salty water over the course of a day. It also doubles as a rainwater collector.

    But again, technology alone won't solve those problems.
    • CommentAuthorMacgyver
    • CommentTimeJan 20th 2008
     (443.65)
    @liquidcow:

    From what I've heard, iTunes and other legal downloads are killing the album anyway. People download individual tracks instead of the whole album. Personally I think this is a long time coming as albums generally have at least a few tracks of crap no matter how good they are.

    @everyone else:

    We're not that far away from being able to get everyone clean water anyway are we? It's just a matter of actually getting the technology to the people that need it...
    •  
      CommentAuthorm1k3y
    • CommentTimeJan 20th 2008
     (443.66)
    my 2c on the clean-water thing..

    don't have the ref. handy, but it's my understanding that the tipping point has just been reached where the greater percentage of the world's population now lives in (mostly mega)cities.
    in 20 years this will most definitely be the case.

    cities are far more capable of providing clean water for their citizens than rural areas.
    • CommentAuthorMacgyver
    • CommentTimeJan 20th 2008
     (443.67)
    Assuming they update their sewage systems to handle the larger population. I'm assuming a lot of the UK has this problem, and I know Inverness does. Whenever there's a flood there it's because the drains are too narrow to handle the water.