Is the Net killing innovation? (23 Feb, 2018)

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Is the Net killing innovation? (23 Feb, 2018)

Postby aardvark_admin » Fri Feb 23, 2018 8:09 am

This column is archived at: https://aardvark.co.nz/daily/2018/0223.shtml

Is it just me or has the tech-sector become a much quieter and less exciting place than it was 35-years ago when new computers, new processors, new ideas and new products were flowing like water?

Could it be that the Net and the ability it gives to research an idea and check for other people's failures is actually leaving some potentially brilliant concepts and projects stillborn, for fear of repeating previous failures?

Was there something supremely empowering about the privacy and compartmentalised development that the pre-internet era delivered to those developing technology?

Food for thought... or just the ramblings of someone who is perhaps no longer on the bleeding edge?
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Re: Is the Net killing innovation? (23 Feb, 2018)

Postby hagfish » Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:17 am

Well, we have space craft that can land themselves, cars that can drive themselves, appliances that can recognise our faces and understand our voices, primitive brain/machine interfaces, and robots that can murder us in our sleep.

I'd say the pace of tech innovation is as hectic as ever. There might be less going on in people's garages, and maybe we haven't got our 10GHz desktop CPUs yet, but we do have desktop-level CPUs that will run all day on a battery. A generation of Smart People got absorbed by the financial industry, and by the quest to get us to click ads, but there are still innovators out there, working to save humanity by forking cryptocoins...
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Re: Is the Net killing innovation? (23 Feb, 2018)

Postby phill » Fri Feb 23, 2018 10:00 am

perception or reality
is it a simple answer like .. we now know most of whats being researched so its a slow gathering of knowledge to completion and no *wow* factor of surprise when its finished
or
there is so much going on and has been for decades that it just gets lost in the quantity of information .. so again no *wow* factor
whereas i hope it's because
we are turning the corner on the throw away society, and are going back to grass roots and redesigning stuff so it works, and keeps on working for as long as we can make it, so there's not so much new but lots more better
sadly im still so very wrong on that one
( ,,,,,,,, ....... A E I O U use em sparingly theres probably not enough )
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Re: Is the Net killing innovation? (23 Feb, 2018)

Postby latewings » Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:24 am

The latest smartphone app has replaced the latest 4000 series cmos chip released to market.

Instant everything seems to be the order. Whereas I built models from balsa/tissue I now buy a box of foam parts and spend minutes assembling with a few rubber bands. I can now get a full PC from the corner Dairy (slight exaggeration, but we're not too far away from that), and reaching the moon could be managed with sufficient budget and interwebs info.

Innovation is borne from necessity. Google has evaporated necessity, and thus a problem is solved in minutes with a few keystrokes, then the resolution promptly forgotten. The deep understanding that came from pouring through books, sweating over incomplete instructions until the missing point was established has unfortunately resulted in a society with enormous potential, but no application to task.
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Re: Is the Net killing innovation? (23 Feb, 2018)

Postby phord » Fri Feb 23, 2018 2:21 pm

I fondly remember a computer trade fair in the building on Princes Wharf in the mid 80s.
Trying out an expensive IBM keyboard was an experience.
There were booths for Lotus 123, Amstrad, Apple, Commodore, IBM, and all kinds of interesting software, etc.
They were the days before I become old and cynical.
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Re: Is the Net killing innovation? (23 Feb, 2018)

Postby Perry » Fri Feb 23, 2018 2:47 pm

There does still seem to be lots of technology appearing as "new and revolutionary," (and other exaggerations) but very little of it seems to have much practical application, tied in with consumer need/use/acceptance.
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Re: Is the Net killing innovation? (23 Feb, 2018)

Postby Malcolm » Fri Feb 23, 2018 2:56 pm

There is still a lot happening, infact possibly a lot more. However there is now a huge number of places to look to keep up with it all. Not that long ago we only had a few TV news channels, and then there were the tech oriented magazines etc. Now there are more news chnnels, probably not quite as many magazines, but a huge number of websites and communities where people discuss these things. From reddit and varuious sub-reddits, facebook groups, twitter and even stand alone places like this. The chances of any thing being mentioned on the mainstream news is very low.
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Re: Is the Net killing innovation? (23 Feb, 2018)

Postby aardvark_admin » Fri Feb 23, 2018 3:51 pm

Malcolm wrote:The chances of any thing being mentioned on the mainstream news is very low.

When Bill Gates and I were just getting started in microcomputers (albeit separately, not together), the mainstream media made zero mention of these new-fangled things. I don't think the MSM has ever been up to speed on technology and now I see that the NZH is going to put up a paywall. LOL... why would I pay for press-releases with an intern's byline?
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Re: Is the Net killing innovation? (23 Feb, 2018)

Postby Perry » Fri Feb 23, 2018 4:21 pm

aardvark_admin wrote:. . . and now I see that the NZH is going to put up a paywall.
Speaking to investors and analysts today after NZME announced its latest financial results, Boggs said a subscription model for "premium content" would be in the market this year.

You can bet your premium dollar that premium, in that NZH context means cost to access, not quality of journalism, no matter how much they sputter and fizz the thing.
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Re: Is the Net killing innovation? (23 Feb, 2018)

Postby hiscoca » Fri Feb 23, 2018 4:52 pm

phord wrote:I fondly remember a computer trade fair in the building on Princes Wharf in the mid 80s.
Trying out an expensive IBM keyboard was an experience.
There were booths for Lotus 123, Amstrad, Apple, Commodore, IBM, and all kinds of interesting software, etc.
They were the days before I become old and cynical.


NZ Micro Computer Club IIRC not even a trade event, dedicated amateur people organizing and presenting the tech, yes vendors played a part
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