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The whole purpose of the computer is to transmit data from one location to another, is it not? Transferring data from servers to other servers to your computer through your network connection to the inner workings of the computer and finally to your eyes and ears. Or in reverse, originating from the user and traveling out into the cyber world to reach others. Communication pretty much right?

The growth in computers has been to make this transfer faster and faster, which it has become amazingly fast, but where is the real change? You still need x,y,z parts to build a computer and this and that software to control it. It's a fun game building a computer and spending $1000's every year or so and feeling cool but that's all it is, fun. Computers should be tools used to increase the quality of life and instead it seems like they have become a trap. These companies release a product, charge top dollar and then 6 months later release another product and so on. I often hear "That's just how technology is" and I disagree. We don't need a computer broken down into all these components and sold to us one piece at a time. A computer should be one single unit and everyone works on improving it. That would mean companies like Apple and Microsoft combining efforts to really evolve computers. The goal of these companies should be to create technology that helps the planet and all life on it. At least that would be my company's goal. How is Windows 8 or OS X making computers "better"? Operating systems over the past 10 years haven't changed much in the sense that they still do the same thing.

What do you guys think?

asked Dec 21 '12 at 14:15

IamTechCrazy's gravatar image

IamTechCrazy
4.6k79100145


"The whole purpose of the computer is to transmit data from one location to another, is it not?"

No it is to computer data faster than humans can, networking came later allowing you to transfer data. Computers are just really good at sharing data if you connect them because they are good at doing what we tell them to.

"Computers should be tools used to increase the quality of life and instead it seems like they have become a trap."

Computers do increase the quality of life (arguably.) they only become a trap if you allow them to.

"These companies release a product, charge top dollar and then 6 months later release another product and so on. I often hear "That's just how technology is" and I disagree. We don't need a computer broken down into all these components and sold to us one piece at a time."

I bought my laptop, the only two pieces it came in is the laptop, and the battery... And i dont know how you can disagree, that is how technology works, we get better at things, make things cheaper and smaller, companies need to recoop their capital which is why they charge a lot when it comes out.

"A computer should be one single unit and everyone works on improving it."

What do you conciser a "single unit?" my laptop is a single unit, there really is no way to get all the parts on one thing on a desktop, its just not practical.

"That would mean companies like Apple and Microsoft combining efforts to really evolve computers."

Yeah because neither company has really done anything to contribute to computing technology have they? Competition drives technology, working togeather will produce 1 product, and only 1 and would slow it down.

"The goal of these companies should be to create technology that helps the planet and all life on it."

The goal of ALL companies is to make money. end of story. They can take a green approach, but at the heart that is a cost savings method and a PR stunt.

"Operating systems over the past 10 years haven't changed much in the sense that they still do the same thing."

A wrench has done the same thing since 1835 (first patent date), if a tool works, what is the need to change it? an OS has not changed much at its core principle because they have not had to change, there job is to assist the applications to access the hardware

What do I think?

I think that this is not well thought out, if you don't like the technology game with buying new high end technology, then stop playing. I sure as hell dont buy the newest high end stuff every year, and i don't spend $1000 on my computer every year either

answered Dec 21 '12 at 16:23

trueb's gravatar image

trueb
16.1k54105269

"No it is to compute data faster than humans can, networking came later allowing you to transfer data. Computers are just really good at sharing data if you connect them because they are good at doing what we tell them to."

The answers a computer produces are only as good as the data given to it. At its core, data is coming from us and into the computer and then data comes back to us as answers.

“Computers do increase the quality of life (arguably.) they only become a trap if you allow them to.”

Look up how much money consumers spent on computer hardware and software. Now imagine if even half of that money went into technology research….every year! Yea, I think there are a lot of people who “allowed” themselves to fall into the trap.

“I bought my laptop, the only two pieces it came in is the laptop, and the battery... And i dont know how you can disagree, that is how technology works, we get better at things, make things cheaper and smaller, companies need to recoop their capital which is why they charge a lot when it comes out.”

A laptop has all the same components as a desktop, just worse because there’s little you can do to upgrade when your hardware is outdated in 2 years. There is also RAM, hard drives and power cord that are “parts” of a laptop.

“What do you consider a "single unit?" my laptop is a single unit, there really is no way to get all the parts on one thing on a desktop, its just not practical.”

This is more of my vision. A single unit would be a computer that is a full computer with all parts but those individual parts don’t need to be tampered with. They are build for a purpose and fill that purpose. A TV for example is one unit. When you upgrade a tv, you don’t open it up and replace parts, you buy a new tv.

“Yeah because neither company has really done anything to contribute to computing technology have they? Competition drives technology, working togeather will produce 1 product, and only 1 and would slow it down.”

I won’t argue that competition drives technology but greed and misguided people hinder it.

“The goal of ALL companies is to make money. end of story. They can take a green approach, but at the heart that is a cost savings method and a PR stunt.”

Maybe the goal of all your company is to make money but not mine. Money is a tool and doesn’t guarantee happiness. If that’s what you think then you clearly prove my point that they are in the business of making money, not computers so that is why they fail and eventually will go under. Even Microsoft is not immune to the laws of the universe.

“A wrench has done the same thing since 1835 (first patent date), if a tool works, what is the need to change it? an OS has not changed much at its core principle because they have not had to change, there job is to assist the applications to access the hardware”

That’s true. Now imagine if someone came along and tried spicing up the wrench and hiking up the price. Putting out a “new” wrench every 5 years and then changing the bolts so everyone who bought a wrench 10 years ago now has to buy this new wrench or they won’t be able to keep up with everyone else. Things don’t ever stay the same and we are in an ever changing world that we must continue to adapt to in order to survive. If the OS doesn't change then it will perish as you can see happens in life all around us.

“I think that this is not well thought out, if you don't like the technology game with buying new high end technology, then stop playing. I sure as hell dont buy the newest high end stuff every year, and i don't spend $1000 on my computer every year either”

My opinions are very well thought out. It’s our perspectives that differ. Technology is a very big game and everyone and anyone who picks up a device an any sorts is playing. Not as simple as “stop playing” unless you plan to go live on secluded island or maybe a different planet.

(Dec 21 '12 at 17:35) IamTechCrazy IamTechCrazy's gravatar image

If half the money that you pay for a product went to R&D you would not have an R&D company very long, they will go under, You still have to make the product, you still have to pay for lights, you still have to pay accounts, sales, marketing, facilities, and so much more, R&D 7% is spent for R&D typically.

Yes a laptop is made out of parts, everything is made out of parts, even a microcontroller is made out of parts, you can have your storage (flash) memory (RAM) and all your periferals in a chip, but they are all separate. A TV is even made of parts, there is the power supply, tuner, display board, and the screen its self.

Companies working together is like a horse with blinders on, you know what is in front of you, but you do not gain an insight as to what else is out there.

If the goal of your company is not to make money, then you do not have a company (by definitions) if you are not making money, then you are a non profit.

In computing technology they develop more ram to put into a computer, faster processors, and faster and larger hard drives. same over all architecture, just better parts.

FYI: My educational background is computer engineering, I (personally) like to think I know what is going on with technology.

(Dec 21 '12 at 18:04) trueb trueb's gravatar image

I think there may be an issue with the paradigm. I've done some research on AI research. One of the main issues expressed by one of the foremost AI researchers (Ben Goertzel) concerns the focus of research and funding. A more end goal focus is desired over the narrow focus that is producing the narrow AI products like speech to text applications and search engines. It's postulated that if intelligent machines are to be built then the focus of the research should be on that specific goal. Maybe that issue translates.

Open is the future for solid reasons. A lot of the development goes toward short term gains as opposed to a generalized goal. There's also the issue of the money pit that perpetuates the standard business model. The legal fees and man hours that go toward protecting the IP could be repurposed toward R&D or production. There's also the issue of centralizing the projects in full competition as opposed to collaborative competition where the rewards are based more on the real value of the product. In the current paradigm, the products are subject to the limiting factor of their own brand when they could gain the best of other products through collaboration. An open system would give added degrees of freedom in generalized and specialized products.

My first computer was an extremely expensive data entry node. It was a nice gift at the time but in hindsight it was essentially a $5,000 glorified typewriter. Evolved would be a very soft statement for how computers have changed over the past few decades.

(Dec 30 '12 at 17:01) ClosetFuturist ClosetFuturist's gravatar image

I must admit, i do not see how the issue with AI research is translatable to this topic.

first and foremost AI is nothing but software, not hardware, which is what this question is really concerned with.

to address why research is put into short term goals that is because a company wants to release a product as soon as possible. There is a division between research for research sake, and research for a purpose. the former takes place generally in the university industry as they do not produce anything and can spend the time because the money has been donated though some grant. The other is doing research to develop something, generally this is short term, a couple years tops. A companies job is to make money, they cannot afford to tie up their money for years at a time to produce something in the long run. this comes down to stock holders and the consumers, more time spent researching means the product would cost more.

Companies do work together to develop standards. organizations such as IEEE and ANSI allow for companies to collaborate to produce something. things like Bluetooth, WiFi, HDMI, and countless others have came out of groups just like this.

The example of your $5,000 glorified typewriter is a prime example of how computers have evolved greatly.

(Dec 30 '12 at 22:36) trueb trueb's gravatar image

AGI does seem to be software centric but generalized intelligence requires an awareness of and the ability to navigate and interact with the physical environment. It may seen like a bit of a nit pick but it's not possible without sensors and actuators and a capable substrate for that matter. It's the end goal commonality that I was focusing on. There's a new open project (Parallella) that's making super computers by scaling ARM processors. They are competing for the future by not focusing on the near term. They are already funded by Kickstarter. I realize the importance of producing devices but I see no reason to be locked into it and I'm not convinced that it's the best way to go.

(Dec 31 '12 at 03:01) ClosetFuturist ClosetFuturist's gravatar image

@trueb "A companies job is to make money, they cannot afford to tie up their money for years at a time to produce something in the long run."

Like I said before, if this is the companies purpose then they don't care about technology, they care about how full their wallets are. MY companies purpose would be to evolve technology and we would utilize MONEY to make this happen.

MONEY is a commodity used to purchase a service or product that improves the quality of living. If everyone had a computer that did what it was intended to do then why in the world would they need to keep buying computers over and over and over. Yea these computers are "faster" and "better" but it....still....does...the...same...thing. Get my drift? The problem isn't the cycle itself but how often it's occurring. These companies are like a constant out flow of "new" products. Haha it's like shoes. A certain shoe company comes out with a brand new shoe that really isn't different from last years. Yet they survive, and why? People keep buying into it and the company keeps making it.

Idea: Make a product to the highest quality possible so it last as long as possible and really serves its purpose.

(Jan 16 '13 at 12:41) IamTechCrazy IamTechCrazy's gravatar image

"if this is the companies purpose then they don't care about technology" - Why cant they want to make money and care at the same time. You wont get venture capital for a start up or any investors if your goal is to not make money and to just improve technology.

many successful companies have been able to impact how technology is today while filling up their wallets.

"If everyone had a computer that did what it was intended to do then why in the world would they need to keep buying computers over and over and over."

Because, computers ARE evolving! they need the updated systems to keep up with the current trend in software. Computers from the early 90s cannot do the same things as computers today. There is no way you can render out, or even watch a 1080p video on a computers from 1991.

"A certain shoe company comes out with a brand new shoe that really isn't different from last years. Yet they survive, and why?"

There is a lot of research as to what makes a good shoe good. What makes a runner shoe better then a hikers shoe. You see a shoe as a shoe, but there is a lot more then meets the eye about shoes.

"Make a product to the highest quality possible so it last as long as possible and really serves its purpose."

Companies do... but you have to pay for it! it costs a lot to develop something that will last a long time. I recently worked for a company that designed electronic devices that would last $20+ years, burred in the ground, without needed a change in battery, It gets damp, wet, humid, high acetic area, just in general the worst place to have electronics, yet they last!

You are expecting a BIG change, but that is not what evolution is! that is never going to be how technology works! People want their old programs to run on their new computer. People get accustomed to how their technology works.

If you think that technology is NOT evolving, then I don't know what to tell you. Open your eyes. If you think you can run a company with out a clear plan to make money, then your company will FAIL before you start.

(Jan 16 '13 at 15:23) trueb trueb's gravatar image

The currency all over the world isn't based on concrete tangibles, it's value is based upon growth. Industries that aren't working toward their own growth are in turn decreasing the value of their earnings. If the latest greatest thing is what's selling then that is the market for growth. Also the more numerous successful businesses are in a given country the higher the value of it's currency and in turn their earnings. In this climate it almost makes sense for successful businesses to build relationships with startups. One thing that does concern me though was brought to my attention today. It seems there's a growing need for people with technical and business training.

http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/jobs-crisis-skills-crisis-article-1.1240688?localLinksEnabled=false

Any one or all of the factors that I've mentioned and probably many more that I am unable to appreciate could be holding us back proportionally to their affect. The climate is also changing as new models, technological resources and sociological trends arise.

There's an issue with the nature of a complex system that defies elegant design. It would probably be better to begin with a basis of necessity and build upon it with the more agile solutions available as issues come into focus.

(Jan 16 '13 at 21:16) ClosetFuturist ClosetFuturist's gravatar image
showing 5 of 8 show all

Had a crazy Physics teacher who said in 20 years everything will be holographic like in the movies. Would be awesome if he was right.

answered Dec 30 '12 at 11:50

SamOG's gravatar image

SamOG
614410

If they could find a way to use the air or something commonly in it as a substrate for projection, I can't see why not. That would be awesome. I gotta be honest though futurism is more of a novelty.

(Jan 16 '13 at 21:22) ClosetFuturist ClosetFuturist's gravatar image

The idea is to create technology in a decentralized manor. When the populous coordinates on anything it progresses exponentially. It's the swarm tactic. Without the development being croudsourced the progression would be extremely slower. If the industry were to centralize the progression would likely plateau and prices would likely skyrocket.

There are many new efforts to croudsource hardware development. This effort is likely to extend the amount of time the rate of progression occurs. It's also likely to drive down costs.

To be honest, Windows 8 is the first OS to move toward a general use hand held.

answered Dec 21 '12 at 16:37

ClosetFuturist's gravatar image

ClosetFuturist
1.9k91530

edited Jan 16 '13 at 21:40

To answer the question of "when the computer is going to evolve" truth is, it already has. And it is almost constantly doing so. I think you need to do a bit more research into how far technology has come and just how "computers" in various forms, not just your bog standard desktop and laptop have contributed to the world around you. You also need to understand the economics of the industry. Everyone has to make money, thats how the world works. It has allowed us to advance things further in leaps and bounds in almost every way.

I take it based on your reasons above that you are someone who just uses the computer for recreational purposes but to some people like myself It's a tool that I have come to make my living from. I can tell you there is a lot that goes into the design and manufacture of a computer system underneath it all which is very highly complex, and it is those very changes which allow me to offer more to my clients or allow me to complete tasks much quicker than it would other wise take doing it by hand or even with a computer from a few years ago.

Your view on this is very limited and there is very little i can do to impress upon you the shear magnitude of an effect the current changes in technology help people do things and indirectly help you. Whether its using a mobile device in a remote location to collect sensitive data, computer systems used to simulate complex chemical or mechanical structures, or computers being implanted inside of people to monitor vital signs or regulate bodily functions.

Don't you think its amazing enough that the very software, (a bunch of 0's and 1's) you are taking for granted, allows us to do a lot of things with what is effectively just sand( silicon, semiconductor materials ) and metal ( Conductive elements). And by the way, quite a lot of it would not be possible in the manner it is today if it wasn't for companies like Microsoft and Apple.

answered Dec 30 '12 at 11:47

jabzthman360's gravatar image

jabzthman360
617711

sooner than you'd think and no just computer, i give you Graphene! Graphene is a flat sheet of carbon, one-atom thick so it's only visible in two dimensions under a powerful microscope, when stretched it's stronger than diamond, it's highly flexible so it can be use to create strong materials such as screens that can bend to any shape, it also conducts electricity far better than copper. It's invention and application will usher in a new industrial revolution!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-21028056

answered Jan 16 '13 at 13:15

mutley2209's gravatar image

mutley2209
761128134141

1

Most things you see in the news about technology will never see the light of day. I would not start holding your breath for it.

(Jan 16 '13 at 15:25) trueb trueb's gravatar image

ou did watch the video and perhaps google for more information before posting or was that a bit too much effort?

(Jan 16 '13 at 15:47) mutley2209 mutley2209's gravatar image

I thought the video was great. This is evolution in technology. The ideas are there, the creativity is there, the technology and resources are there. The only thing slowing this down is the amount of effort being put into it. They said it's been in research for 10 years already and it'll take a long time because there isn't enough drive in the world to switch gears toward making this place better instead of getting rich.

(Jan 16 '13 at 16:01) IamTechCrazy IamTechCrazy's gravatar image

the applications could be endless, but with everything it takes time and an acceleration point at which it becomes both financially viable and the demand is such that it drives supply.

(Jan 16 '13 at 16:28) mutley2209 mutley2209's gravatar image
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Asked: Dec 21 '12 at 14:15

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Last updated: Jan 16 '13 at 21:40