> I spent the afternoon in a bookstore. There were no books in it. None had been printed for nearly half a century. And how I have looked forward to them, after the micro films that made up the library of the Prometheus! No such luck. No longer was it possible to browse among shelves, to weigh volumes in hand, to feel their heft, the promise of ponderous reading. The bookstore resembled, instead, an electronic laboratory. The books were crystals with recorded contents. They can be read the aid of an opton, which was similar to a book but had only one page between the covers. At a touch, successive pages of the text appeared on it. But optons were little used, the sales-robot told me. The public preferred lectons - like lectons read out loud, they could be set to any voice, tempo, and modulation. Only scientific publications having a very limited distribution were still printed, on a plastic imitation paper. Thus all my purchases fitted into one pocket, though there must have been almost three hundred titles. My handful of crystal corn - my books. I selected a number of works on history and sociology, a few on statistics and demography, and what the girl from Adapt had recommended on psychology. A couple of the larger mathematical textbooks - larger, of course, in the sense of their content, not of their physical science. The robot that served me was itself an encyclopedia, in that - as it told me - it was linked directly, through electronic catalogs, to templates of every book on earth. As a rule, a bookstore had only single "copies" of books, and when someone needed a particular book, the contents of the work was recorded in a crystal.
> The originals - Crystomatrices - were not to be seen; they were kept behind pale blue enamel the steel plates. So a book was printed, as it were, every time someone needed it. The question of printings, of their quantity, of their running out, had ceased to exist. Actually, a great achievement, and yet I regretted the passing of books.
Cellphones are nothing less than a better communicator, Bluetooth badges are even available on thinkgeek!
(and yeah, I maybe agree that the Apple engineers may have a lot of TNG. The 'too lazy to make actual buttons' set designers, I think, actually inspired apple; it really is a lot easier to design a muti-use interface if the "buttons" are all behind a glass touchscreen.)
I think the iPhone was more inspired by existing products and their obvious drawbacks. The Newton was more like a PADD than the iPhone is.
The story I've heard about the TNG set design is "Gene Roddenberry thought it looked more futuristic". Calling it laziness is insulting.
Visually, it's pretty similar , and even the name recalls Star Trek.
My favorite one is from Gottlieb Daimler 1901:
"The global demand for automobiles will not exceed one million - at least because of a lack of available chauffeurs." 
He is the founder of the predecessor of todays Daimler AG, which owns Mercedes-Benz.
 losely translated from German: "Die weltweite Nachfrage nach Kraftfahrzeugen wird eine Million nicht überschreiten - allein schon aus Mangel an verfügbaren Chauffeuren."
"It would appear that we have reached the limits of what it is possible to achieve with computer technology, although one should be careful with such statements, as they tend to sound pretty silly in 5 years." – John Von Neumann, circa 1949
(as a genius, he realized that how things appear is not necessarily how they are)
Such quotes are helpful to ask what are possibilities if we subvert the imposed limitation. E.g. I got a thought what if we switch the subject to some other invention e.g. a medical equipment:
The global demand for gamma knifes will not exceed one million - at least because of a lack of available surgeons.
Thomas Watson, president of IBM, 1943
I... kinda doubt it. All of the really big players have access to markets that are willing to pay huge margins.
there are a lot of smaller players that would be happy to sell you compute at 75% the price of amazon, and bandwidth at 1/10th the price of amazon. Yeah, the big customers are happy paying the premium, but there are plenty of small customers that will buy service from a smaller player if it means a big discount.
Sometimes centralization helps efficiency, it's true, but sometimes the opposite, decentralization helps, too... it sure looks like for peak-load in sunny areas, decentralized power generation is cheaper.
I think that for commodity compute, the big players are not a lot more efficient than the big hardware manufacturers. Go to a supermicro, a foxcon, or other ODM server manufacturer, and you'd be surprised how cheap it is to buy actual hardware.
Small companies will scrap for margins that the big players, so far, at least, have laughed at, because so far, most of the market seems to be okay paying these large margins. (I used to be one of those small companies scrapping for those low margins; I am not happily and much more renumeratively employed by a big player, outside of their cloud department)
I personally think that long term, smaller players or in-house hosting will be the way to go for your 'base load' compute resource. I think that paying the margins of the big players makes a lot more sense for your 'peak load'
But, of course, we don't know yet; none of this will shake out until the next serious economic downturn. There isn't a lot of pressure to save money when the economy looks like this.
The Sylmar grounding system is a line of 24 silicon-iron alloy electrodes submerged in the Pacific Ocean at Will Rogers State Beach suspended in concrete enclosures about one meter above the ocean floor.
The grounding system at Celilo consists of 1,067 cast iron anodes buried in a two-foot trench of petroleum coke, which behaves as an electrode, arranged in a ring of 2.02 mi (3,250.87 m) circumference at Rice Flats (near Rice, Oregon), which is 6.6 mi (10.6 km) SSE of Celilo.
And even more interesting is they are replacing/replaced it! https://www.circlingthenews.com/terminus-of-sylmar-ground-re...
- HVDC uses voltages between 100 kV and 1,500 kV.
- HVDC can be cheaper for 500+ mile runs
- HVDC allows power transmission between unsynchronized AC transmission systems
- Recent advances make UHVDC feasible (800kV+)
AC won because transformers are relatively simple and can change AC voltage, but we can now build stuff to change AC voltage too.
We are a long way of seeing this setup used outside very special applications, AC might no longer have a natural advantage but the benefits of DC are too small to justify the massive investments and research required.
Though, it can certainly be argued that a single home-wide rectifier and smart DC wall sockets could improve efficiency and safety. You could have things like negotiated power up, ground insulation, cheaper and more efficient light bulbs and appliances etc.
Or you could build a 2 wire (or 4, 6 ...) DC line with complementary polarity that would carry more power due to skin effects. If the negative and positive loads are balanced, the currents though the earthing wire cancel out.
• No frequency matching issues between systems.
• DC systems appears as an open circuit to AC systems, limiting the spread of faults.
• Less expensive towers and wires.
• No reactive losses.
• No line length limits. Apparently AC has problems with lines longer than half a wavelength (2500 km or 1500 miles).
KIRK: Yes. (Notices the piles of books everywhere) What is all this?
COGLEY: I figure we'll be spending some time together, so I moved in.
KIRK: I hope I'm not crowding you.
COGLEY: What's the matter? Don't you like books?
KIRK: Oh, I like them fine, but a computer takes less space.
Article on the Aiken tube from 1958 with pictures that predicts future models may be flat enough to "hang like picture frames":
Seing the potential of going from normal TVs to that, it's certainly not a big leap to assume they'll get even thinner and smaller.
(the interview is from 1988, so it's now dated over 30 years)
I believe there are much older references to a worldwide library accessible by anyone from home in his writings, but I can't recall where. I admit having been a huge fan of his teaching about science (I was reading a book by him when the muted TV showed the news about his death) and I also loved his short stories, even those not related to scientific information or science fiction, but never liked his bigger novels, the Foundation that I quit after not even finishing one book etc. so my knowledge is very limited in that context.
I think a lot of public ideas of the future sprung out from that
I don't think the quote refers to a portable telephone but rather of the style that was demonstrated at the World Fair
Didn't need to predict those. Analog equivalents always existed.
> and people preferring SMS to a voice or facetime call.
Who wouldn't ;-) Thanks to the transition to asynchronous message based communication I can have more and more meaningful communication with a larger part of my family than I would if I had to FaceTime or call them.
In business it is even more useful as it provides a trail of who did what in addition to the other advantages.
Have you ever seen newspaper headlines from, say, the early 20th century?
> e-mail phishing,
The Nigerian prince scam started in regular postal mail ...
> viral fake news
Again, early 20th century newspapers... Remember the Maine!
> and people preferring SMS to a voice or facetime call.
Telegrams and voice calls overlapped in existence.
Predicting a telephone with a screen in 1969 required no great skill at prophecy, since the AT&T picture phone debuted at the 1964 World's Fair. Really the idea of being able to remotely dial up information and services on some kind of telephone/computer console with a screen was all over the place by 1969. There were, after all, commercial time-sharing computer services.
I don't see any evidence that the quote refers to cell phones, since it doesn't mention portability. But even if it did, to predict that in 1969 was likewise not so impressive, since mobile radio-telephone service had existed since the 1940s, and the cellular concept for frequency re-use was conceived in the same era.
Essentially, a machine provides all necessities of life in a persons' pod, so they need never leave. People spend their time making essentially YouTube videos about their opinions. Nobody cares about facts or knowledge anymore. Spoiler, it doesn't end well for them.
There was plenty to occupy his time, even if he did nothing but sit and read. When he tired of
official reports and memoranda and minutes, he would plug his foolscap-sized Newspad into the
ship's information circuit and scan the latest reports from Earth. One by one he would conjure up
the world's major electronic papers; he knew the codes of the more important ones by heart, and
had no need to consult the list on the back of his pad. Switching to the display unit's short-term
memory, he would hold the front page while he quickly searched the headlines and noted the items
that interested him.
Each had its own two-digit reference; when he punched that, the postage-stamp-sized rectangle
would expand until it neatly filled the screen and he could read it with comfort. When he had
finished, he would flash back to the complete page and select a new subject for detailed
Floyd sometimes wondered if the Newspad, and the fantastic technology behind it, was the last
word in man's quest for perfect communications. Here he was, far out in space, speeding away from
Earth at thousands of miles an hour, yet in a few milliseconds he could see the headlines of any
newspaper he pleased. (That very word "newspaper," of course, was an anachronistic hangover into
the age of electronics.) The text was updated automatically on every hour; even if one read only the English versions, one could spend an entire lifetime doing nothing but absorbing the everchanging
flow of information from the news satellites.
It was hard to imagine how the system could be improved or made more convenient. But sooner or
later, Floyd guessed, it would pass away, to be replaced by something as unimaginable as the
Newspad itself would have been to Caxton or Gutenberg.
There was another thought which a scanning of those tiny electronic headlines often invoked.
The more wonderful the means of communication, the more trivial, tawdry, or depressing its
contents seemed to be. Accidents, crimes, natural and man-made disasters, threats of conflict,
gloomy editorials - these still seemed to be the main concern of the millions of words being
sprayed into the ether. Yet Floyd also wondered if this was altogether a bad thing; the newspapers
of Utopia, he had long ago decided, would be terribly dull.
Bass was remarkable prescient, but also recognized the inevitable macro forces that would create change in his business.
I'm curious about this. What was wrong with the Newspad evidence? Seems convincing and relevant enough to me.
> What then? he was asked. “Then I go into the antiques business — books will be antiques,” Mr. Bass said.