Monday, October 24, 2011

October 24, 2011 - Today in Technology History

1861 - First transcontinental telegraph message was sent from Chief Justice Stephen J. Field in San Francisco, CA, to President Abraham Lincoln in Washington, D.C. The message was sent over the Western Union Telegraph Co.'s telegraph system. The message declared Justice Field's hope that the telegraph would strengthen the ties between the East and West and their attachment to the Union.

Monday, August 15, 2011

3D in the Marketplace

August 15, 2011
Just a note. I have been watching the release of 3D cell phones (HTC EVO and LG Optimus) and the Nintendo 3DS Gameboy. To me, these all show that the companies are very interested in producing 3D screens, and without forcing the users to wear 3D glasses. I also saw an add for a home PC "designed for older, non-PC literate" people, and it is an all-in-one unit with a large screen and, get this, a touch screen.

To me, this is validation of my forecasts that the systems will move more and more to 3D and touchscreen technology.

Unfortunately, it does not seem that sales are following, for, just as with the 3D TV's, there are few 3D apps for the phones and Gameboy to use and, so , no killer apps that make people HAVE TO HAVE a 3D phone! Angry Birds in 3D anyone?


   LG Optimus -->

Nintendo 3DS

Thursday, June 9, 2011

CS855 - Week 9's Technology's Promise analysis

CS855 Futuring – Week 9 Assignment: Technology’s Promise

On your blog: Analyze a forecast from Technology's Promise and post it on your blog.
In the class forum:

     • List the url for your blog post.

     • Discuss the process used in Technology's Promise and its effect on the results.

     • Offer additional information in a reply to another student's post.

This week we are to return to William Halal’s Technology’s Promise and analyze another prediction. I have chosen to also return to Chapter 4, Society Moves Online: The Transforming Power of Information Technology and E-Commerce. In the text, Halal has a series of predictions about particular technologies in E-Commerce and Information Technology. I have chosen to look at eight technologies, four each from the two areas, and compare the predictions from the book printed in 2007 and the ones published on the website now (June, 2011). I have posted pictures of the tables on E-Commerce and IT from the website and from the text at the end of this post, and I have the predictions listed in a simplified table below:

Fields of Study                 |        Technology         |  Most Likely Year   |    Most Likely Year |
                                        |                                  |   (2007 Forecast)    |     (2011 Forecast)  |
Information Technology    |          Wireless           |          2007              |           2011.5          |
E-Commerce                   }       Entertainment      |         2009              |             2011           |
E-Commerce                    |     Convergence         |        2009               |            2012            |
Information Technology     |     Smart Phones        |        2009               |             2012           |
E-Commerce                    |     Web 2.0                |       2009                |             2013           |
Information Technology     |     Broadband            |       2010                |             2014           |

Information Technology     |     Intelligent Interface |       2011               |              2016           |
E-Commerce                    |     Global Access        |       2015               |               2016          |

Table 1. Eight technologies in IT and E-Commerce. Data pulled from (2011) and Technology’s Promise (2007)

The interesting part to me is that the order of implementation/acceptance is exactly the same for both sets of forecasts, though the years when they become commonplace have all shifted forward several years. Without access to the thinking of the folks, I cannot say why they shifted things forward, but I would think that part of it is that the “future” of 2007 is here in 2011 and many of the predictions of 2007 have not been met.

Personally, though, I feel that some of 2007’s predictions are better than the present ones, for to me, SmartPhones are here now (2011) and become common last year (2010), pretty close to the 2009 prediction. While SmartPhones continue to change and improve, I see no reason for saying that they are NOT here yet. The introduction of the iPhone from Apple in 2007 was a real game-changer. The new mobile-from-the-bare-bones OS and touch screen forever changed people’s idea of what a phone can, or should, do.

Availability of Wireless is another “miss” for the 2011 site, for Wi-Fi is here, but the need for Wi-Max and the other high-bandwidth wireless technology has actually dropped, due in part to technology issues (Wi-Max cannot penetrate glass; Wi-Fi is “standard” on laptops [and some phone] while the others require extra modems, etc.) and the shift of wireless internet and email to the smartphone cell-phones.

In my opinion, the others follow similar paths. What I see here is an adherence to the basic premises of the 2007 predictions now – that particular technologies are inter-related and cannot be fully implemented/adopted/accepted into common use until other technologies are at a particular tipping point. In my opinion, what TechCast is missing is the synergic relationship between the SmartPhone and the other technologies. The new SmartPhones are driving a need for a faster-wireless network, but not a Wireless as TechCast defines it! 4G phones need more bandwidth, but in the cell-phone network, not the wireless “internet” of Wi-Fi, Wi-Max, etc. The SmartPhones are also driving intelligent interfaces (voice recognition, gesture-based controls, etc.), and the new Web 2.0/3.0 applications (mobile apps, facebook, twitter, YouTube, etc.) are all interfacing with the new phones. I purchased new phones for myself and my wife last year, and the facebook and twitter and email applications came standard and we did not purchase expensive ones. A recent report discussed that the use of the new internet-ready cell-phones is reducing the traditional digital-divide between the less affluent city children and their richer suburban cohorts (Brown, Campbell, & Ling, 2011).

Entertainment-on-demand is also moving to the cell-phones, with recent 4G devices actually being advertised coming with a movie already pre-loaded. The phones come with e-reader applications, or can download them from major book-selling websites (iStore, Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Borders, etc.)

I am in IT and teach some networking courses and the stories are common that the new phone systems being installed in the 3rd World nations are not land-lines, but cell-based., leading me to thnk that “universal access” is becoming a function of cell-phone access, rather than traditional land-line Internet access.

So, in summary, it is my opinion that many of the 2007 forecasts have actually come to pass, but the TechCast folks, missing the surge of the cell-phones, are still looking for the “old technologies” to be implemented have missed the change in requirements and are still looking for them to arrive! It is rather like the native American Indians believing that the Cavalry was carrying clubs (not recognizing rifles)!

Figure 1. E-Commerce Predictions 2007 vs 2011

Figure 2. IT Predictions 2007 vs 2011


Brown, K.; Campbell, S.W.; Ling, R. Mobile Phones Bridging the Digital Divide for Teens in the US?. 
         Future Internet 2011, 3, 144-158.

Halal, W. E. (2008) Technology’s Promise. PALGRAVE MACMILLIAN, 175 Fifth Ave., Ny, NY 1010

Anonymous (N.D.) Techcast's Latest Strategic Analyses. Retrieved June 9, 2011, from

Monday, June 6, 2011

CS855 Animoto Assignment for week of May 22 - 28

Hi, All!

Well it seems that your ol' Head (Le)Master Mind is running behind a bit for this one.

The assignment this week was:
  1. Design an Animoto video using images, photos or jpgs from your PowerPoint slides and set it to music to illustrate your innovation ideas.
  2. Upload or point to your image, drag them into the desired order and click an image and the Spotlight button to add effects that compliment the music.
  3. Embed your Animoto video
Well, I finally got one produced. I decided to go a little different way on this one. While I have been talking about my VR suits and set-ups, I could figure no way to show that in a video. So, I produced a video ad for a fake company producing VR temporary tatoos to give the wearer a new and different look!
I hope that you like it!

Create your own video slideshow at

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Futuring via brainstorming and visioning – Jim’s Bucket List

The assignment this time is to brainstorm all the things that I would do if I had no limits: unlimited time, talent, money, and so forth. Well, not all, but to try for at least 25. The categories are Research/Study, Education, Philosophical /Religious, Travel, Fun, Home, Self and Family. Some of the topic areas were easy to find 25 things, and more, that I would like to do. (see my table of topics and activities following this discussion) Others were more difficult and I failed miserably at two:  Philosophical /Religious and Family!
My professor stated that she did this exercise (or a similar one) as a graduate student back in 1995, and that it inspired her to accomplish many of the items on her list over the past 16 years.
In my case, while it is a vision of things-that-I-want-to-be, it is also a bit of a Bucket List (the list of all the things that you want to do before you kick the bucket) for me. I quite imagine that my professor was in her 20’s when she did her Bucket List, which meant that from that time forward, she had 50 – 80 years to accomplish its items. My fellow students are all in their 30’s, so they can look forward to 40 – 70 years in their Bucket plans, while I, on the other hand, turned 60 this year, so that I have only 20 – 40-or-so years for mine, a more limited span of time, and definitely no set of unlimited funds! (Though to be fair, neither did the professor nor do the other students!)
However, thinking about this made me remember things that I had planned to do over the years that never happened or were put off for later and forgotten, or just said that they were not possible! When people ask me if what I would do differently in my life, I honestly answer that, while the idea of changing something to make my life easier at that point is tempting, I would change nothing for I like the way things in my life are now and I would not risk losing what I have for a moment of might-have-been-better! I hope that my decisions were good, and good for my family, many did result in less monetary return than if I had chosen differently!
The exercise of creating the Bucket List, however, showed me that, in many ways, my basic desires have not changed over the years: Study, Teach, Research and Invent. I continue to enjoy both studying and teaching. I read all kinds of magazines on technology and science, and have continued to be creative. Many of my “inventions” were not much – I developed microwave scramblers years before they appeared on QVC – but others were pretty good. All of the FedEx Distributed Service teams used the Move-to-Production project plan that I developed back in 1996! In fact, one of the reasons that I want to attain my Doctorate is to be able to be taken seriously in the development of my ideas for Haptic Displays! Many of the items, if I am going to accomplish them, need me to simply knuckle down and apply myself, others are probably unrealistic (like the flying house/flying island), but are fun to dream about! Some I will just have to settle for a subset of, but I still do have at least 20 years ahead of me, so who knows what I mind accomplish!

To paraphrase Martin Luther King, Jr., "I have a dream - and a man ain't nothing without a dream!"

1.       Kung Fu
2.       Tai Chi
3.       Haptic displays (vibro-tactile, special fluids and polymers)
4.       Electro-muscle stimulation
5.       Dog intelligence and training
6.       Greek language
7.       Latin Language
8.       Chinese language
9.       Japanese language
10.   CAD/CAM design
11.   Microprocessor design
12.   Ancient History
13.   Paleontology
14.   Philosophy
15.   Blacksmithing
16.   Metal working for knives, swords, etc.
17.   Cartooning
18.   Sonar
19.   Fencing (martial)
20.   Sculpture
21.   Carpentry
22.   Music – drums, piano, harpsichord, etc.
23.   Armor design
24.   Astronomy
25.   Religion
26.   Brewing Beer
27.   Making Whiskey

1.       Ph.D.  CS
2.       Ph.D. EE
3.       Ph.D.  Physics
4.       Ph.D. Comparative Religions
5.       Study at MIT
6.       Study at CMU
7.       Study at UCLA
8.       Study at Sorbonne, FR
9.       Teach at MIT
10.   Teach at CMU
11.   Teach at UCLA
12.   6th Degree Black Belt
13.   Kung Fu/Tai Chi Master
14.   Master Magician
15.   Clown College
16.   Gymnastics under a Circus artist
17.   Fencing under an Olympic master
18.   Start a school to assist the ‘at risk’ students
19.   Teach at the War College
20.   Study at Oxford, UK
21.   Teach at Oxford, UK

1.       Study at Shaolin Temple
2.       Study at the Vatican
3.       Study in Jerusalem
4.       Study at an Ashram (Hindu)

1.       Singapore,
2.       Hong Kong,
3.       Mt. Fiji (hike to top),
4.        Tokyo,
5.        Athens,
6.       Paris,
7.       Mexico
a.       Chichenitza
b.      Mazatlan
c.       Puerto Valarta
d.      Etc.
8.       Central America (Mayan Ruins)
9.       Peru
10.   Brazil
11.   New York
12.   New England in the Fall
13.   Cruise around the world
14.   Fiji
15.   Hawaii
16.   Easter Island
17.   Crete
18.   Rome
19.   Moscow
20.   Around the work underwater (like in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea)
1.       Hike the 14-ers in CO
2.       Hike Mt Fiji
3.       Visit the London Museum
4.       Conduct research in all the areas that I am interested in.
5.       Develop my ideas for inventions
6.       Train my pets
7.       Learn to Juggle
8.       Learn to do Magic tricks
9.       Gamble in Vegas, Reno and Monte Carlo
10.   Write Books
11.   Blog my thoughts to 1,000’s of fans
12.   Teach
13.   Create art
14.   Design and make blade weapons
15.   Collect Comic Books
16.   Collect blade weapons
17.   Watch all the movies I would like to
18.   Learn to throw a boomerang
19.   Play with my grandchildren
20.   Enjoy time with my children and their families
21.   Enjoy time with my wife
22.   Enjoy time with my extended family
23.   Enjoy time with friends
24.   Attend plays
25.   Attend concerts
26.   Attend comedy shows
27.   Attend the circus
1.       Flying house to travel to visit family and places
2.       Flying island for the house to rest on
3.       “Underwater RV” to sail on and under the water
4.       Large screen flat panel TV’s in all rooms
5.       Man-cave
a.       Home Theater
b.      Home Sound Studio
c.       Music Room
6.       Computer Room
7.       Contractor on call!
8.       Tom Swift’s lab in the back
a.       Manufacturing lab to build what I design
9.       Pool (inside and outside)
10.   Hot Tub (inside and outside)
11.   Sauna
12.   Jacuzzi tubs in all bathrooms
13.   Bedroom and bathroom suites for everyone
14.   Really great kitchen
15.   Formal and informal dining rooms
16.   Game room
17.   Home Gym
18.   Home Dojo
19.   Video Conference room
20.   Full Satellite channel access
21.   Home Office for me
22.   Home Office for Sara
23.   Great Library


1.       No more need for BP or Cholesterol meds
2.       No more weight problems
3.       Travel with family (my nickel)
4.       Establish homes for orphans – as many as possible
5.       Establish animal shelters
6.       Read the great (and no so great) classics

I have only one wish for my family: that they be healthy and happy in their lives.

Monday, May 16, 2011