Posts

The Dot-Com Collapse

The bubble began to form due to an increase in computer and internet usage. Previously, computers were only available to the military, universities, corporations, and the wealthy. During the 1980's personal computers hit the market at a low enough price point to put them in the hands of the middle class. The invention of the World Wide Web in 1990, followed by the Mosaic browser in 1933 brought about a whole new world of possibilities for what could be done on the internet. Investment started pouring into different tech companies as investors saw the opportunity the web provided and wanted a piece of the pie. These tech companies were constantly getting increasing valuations without the company making any profits yet or even if they operated at a loss. A prevailing practice in the industry was to "get big or get lost" leading people to expand and hire more than they could afford, meaning that they relied directly on investment money to stay afloat.  The situation became …

Skynet is Upon Us

The purpose of this blog assignment is to discuss what I am excited excited for and what I fear, pertaining to the future of technology, but honestly the fear greatly outweighs the hope or excitement about the future.

Lets start with the good. I'm looking forward to advancements in technology that increase efficiency and reduce the impact humans have made on our planet. I'm not a hippy and I don't hug trees, but the human population is out of control. Third world populations are growing at an exponential rate, the average ratio of children per woman being 4.8 which is almost double the global average of 2.5, thats a lot of mouths to feed. The fertility rate in the first world is much more manageable, 1.8 in America, but first world countries consume way more resources per capita. Both of these issues could be solved with greater efficiency through technology because then people in undeveloped countries can get the resources they need while the developed countries can switc…

Net Neutrality and Why We're All Screwed

Net neutrality is the idea that internet service providers shouldn't be allowed to dictate which websites you go to, what you share, what companies you can shop from, which applications you can run, slow down speeds, charge seporates prices for different services, etc. The idea of net neutrality is essentially that we have the right to communicate and operate freely online. In 2015 these online rights gained legal protection under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934 by reclassifying ISPs as "common carriers" instead of "information providers" which gave the Federal Communications Commission the authority to keep ISPs in check to ensure they don't put a damper on net neutrality. Since then, the new FCC chairman Ajit Pai has been working to reverse the protections made in 2015 because he believes that the current system is too heavy handed and he believes that a lighter approach is more beneficial in a free market system. Under normal circumstance I wo…

Colossus: The Forbin Project

Colossus (1970) is a sci-fi movie about the cold war. Backed by the US government, a man named Charles Forbin spearheads an operation to create a supercomputer named Colossus with its purpose being national defense purposes, having full access to government systems... even nuclear. Once they managed to "successfully" get Colossus up and running it had discovered that there was another computer just like it named Guardian in the USSR and urged Forbin and the president to approve communication between the two computers. Contact between the two computers began slow as Colossus reached out to Guardian by means of mathematics as communication, but they seen created their own form of communication that humans could not understand. The computers intelligence skyrocketed and soon became more than its creators could handle, so in fear of their creation both nations decided to cut communication between the computers. Once communications were cut the computers demanded that the connect…

Max Headroom

Max Headroom (1985) is a short film made for TV that sets up the backstory to the spinoff series that would soon follow under the same name. Its a cyberpunk style of film that takes place in a dystopian/post apocalyptic world where all of the common people are poor, dumb, lazy, and filthy. Meanwhile the elites are rich and powerful and they control the masses through TV as they veg out and watch screens all day. The protagonist is a man named Edison Carter who is the top reporter for the top new station Network 23. In an effort to cut down on viewers switching channels during commercial breaks, which lowers their ratings, Network 23 has developed a new technology called "blipverts" which essentially delivers all of the advertisements in a flash due to what appears to be subliminal messaging. This proves to be great for ratings, but detrimental for viewers because it causes some of them to randomly explode. Edison Carter is investigating a story of one of these explosions whe…

A Visit from Shadrach White

Mr. White came into class and told us about how he own and operates his own business. He started out with creating an online registry for medical marijuana for the government and his business has branched out from there. If my memory stands correct most of his business is somehow related to government contracts.
The main focus on his lecture was about how his business, Airlift, is powered solely by cloud computing. This business model is very lucrative as it doesn't require much tangible resources and its scale is fluid, they can taper their server size in real time as they see fit. Airlift has been created in such a way that new clients can be added to the service easily by having an account created on the existing base platform. Shadrach explained that what sets his business apart from the competition is that it originated in the cloud, while the competitors were retrofitted. This reminds me of the analogy Mr. Fry made in class with the dinosaurs. Airlift would be the younger a…

Convergence

Convergence is the process of different technologies coming together to create new technologies. A phone is a good example of this process. Phones have become so complex and powerful that making phone calls is almost rare for some people. Just as a Leatherman is the creation of mechanical convergence (knives, pliers, screw drivers, scissors, etc), our phones are essentially digital multitools (GPS, cameras, music, streaming, countless apps, etc). Continuing the multitool example, mechanical convergence has seemed to slow down as you can only do so much with such a limited, pocket sized platform. Smartphones however, have grown exponentially in strength and ability while becoming increasingly slimmer. At this point there really aren't many things that computers can do that phones can't, Microsoft office is even phone compatible now.

Convergence has a a way of eliminating the "middle man" due to an increase in efficiency, therefore convergence continually eliminates jo…