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IBM's Five Best Predictions in Tech for the Next Five Years

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December 26, 2011 11:07:19 PM

"We will make our own energy instead of relying on monopolizing power companies."
heh..... That doesn't mean that the old rule "energy in equals energy out" rule is dead.... So, instead of paying for power, we will pay for food instead because our body would need more energy to power these devices?

"Mind reading is no longer science fiction"
Good luck with that one....

"Junk mail will become priority mail"
Who comes up with this crap????

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December 26, 2011 11:22:20 PM

IBM should work on a global AI, earth orbiting super-computer for sensing corrupted business men and politicians :-)
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December 26, 2011 11:25:35 PM

This must be from IBM... Internal Bullshiters Meeting.
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December 26, 2011 11:33:15 PM

From Innovations To Reality? Interesting!!!!
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Anonymous
December 26, 2011 11:46:16 PM

If all this happens. We're going to be citizen's found on WALL-E. Hell no way!
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December 26, 2011 11:51:46 PM

"Mind reading is no longer science fiction"
Interesting. AFAIK the only methods for recording brain waves are EEG and MEG, and are not exactly user friendly or cheap. It sure it great to see this brand new technology in our smartphones before the medical world even gets their hands on it.
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December 26, 2011 11:52:09 PM

"Mind reading is no longer science fiction"
Interesting. AFAIK the only methods for recording brain waves are EEG and MEG, and are not exactly user friendly or cheap. It sure it great to see this brand new technology in our smartphones before the medical world even gets their hands on it.
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December 27, 2011 12:02:56 AM

I predict that IBM is bad at making predictions. This stuff is complete crap. The only one that might happen is the self powered devices, but that will be limited to mobile devices and obviously not your PC.
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December 27, 2011 12:06:37 AM

All I got from that was that the guy sounds like Borat :) 
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December 27, 2011 12:14:21 AM

The mind reading I can believe. They are making huge steps towards brain interaction/control already. Mostly for helping people with spinal injuries, however it could be used for "reading"
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December 27, 2011 12:55:19 AM

This is what Nokia, Friendster, MySpace, GM, & lehman brothers predicted 5 years ago
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December 27, 2011 12:56:02 AM

More like fifty years...
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December 27, 2011 1:08:46 AM

coming from a man who can't draw a circle...
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December 27, 2011 1:13:56 AM

People power will come to life: The Matrix
You will never need a password again: Gattaca
Mind reading is no longer science fiction: Master System
The digital divide will cease to exist: Big Brother Pizza
Junk mail will become priority mail: Corollary - priority mail will become junk mail
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Anonymous
December 27, 2011 1:14:01 AM

They've been making the, "junk mail will become valuable to you," for over a decade now, and it hasn't happened yet. I think they underestimate people's hatred of advertising clogging up their media streams, even if it's for stuff they like.
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December 27, 2011 1:43:26 AM

"Mind reading is no longer science fiction"
If the advertisers can read our minds, then they can tell us exactly what we want to hear, exactly when we want to hear it. Which is why they they assume "Junk mail will become priority mail".
What they don't understand is the moment we are told what we want, we no longer want it.
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December 27, 2011 1:43:56 AM

Quote:
Mind reading is no longer science fiction

Thought crime anyone?
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December 27, 2011 2:38:18 AM

memadmax"We will make our own energy instead of relying on monopolizing power companies."heh..... That doesn't mean that the old rule "energy in equals energy out" rule is dead.... So, instead of paying for power, we will pay for food instead because our body would need more energy to power these devices?"Mind reading is no longer science fiction"Good luck with that one...."Junk mail will become priority mail"Who comes up with this crap????


single car breaks, when you break it slows you down but it also generates power for the battery, I'm guessing it's things like that they say running shoes would provide power but just imagine if shoes could provide power to a small device like a phone, effectively making running out of power damn near impossible.

we already have mind reading things, they're really hard to use but they already exist, this is based on things I've seen five or so years ago so I don't know exactly how much it progressed. it's probably not the replaced keyboard typing just yet, or speech to text, but it could replace the mouse is also the chance that it could replace fingers touchpad device. all that said the moment that we can record our dreams sign me up, I have a bunch of them that I would just love remember forever, and out one of those porn.

Will imagine it this way, you bought a pair of socks, some unregistered you bought a pair of socks and then at the most likely date that the sack to be worn only be looking for new ones, in comes an advertisement for socks. Thanks to things like Facebook this is a very viable option and it would at least be less annoying than your penis needs to be enlarged.

anonymous23423"Mind reading is no longer science fiction"Interesting. AFAIK the only methods for recording brain waves are EEG and MEG, and are not exactly user friendly or cheap. It sure it great to see this brand new technology in our smartphones before the medical world even gets their hands on it.

it's hard to explain but it actually has very little medical use, at least the method I've seen him doing it, but at the same time I could see being used in medicine more than anything else because controlling the computer with your brain would allow you to at least be able to communicate if you're paralyzed, among other applications.

southernsharkI predict that IBM is bad at making predictions. This stuff is complete crap. The only one that might happen is the self powered devices, but that will be limited to mobile devices and obviously not your PC.


completely power, no
offset your power bill, yes

Considering how much I rocked back and forth it my chair, or bob my leg up and down my foot, that could offset my power bill a it

--------------------------------

the most worrisome thing would be the biometric passwords, I could see being using ATMs, at least until people starting their fingers cut off. People don't like to think of it that way but that's how it would happen people would be getting the fingers cut off whether it's possible to circumvent it that way or not.
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December 27, 2011 2:38:28 AM

I'm with Rick D. I typically use unsolicited advertising to tell me what NOT to buy. Even if the product type interests me, I'll try to find another vendor specifically to avoid supporting an unsolicited advertiser.
Biometric passwords are already here, at least to some extent, so I believe this one.
A later email is one thing, but the day my cell phone chides me on a choice I've made is likely the day I hurl it off a building. Just say no to Skynet.
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December 27, 2011 4:23:41 AM

I'm skeptical on all five of these:

1. No matter what, the law of Conservation of Energy cannot be broken, ever. There's no free source of energy, period. (more on this below) Furthermore, of course, what would power companies say about this?

2. I can't see biometrics being any more secure... If anything, they'd be LESS secure, since that means anyone with a good photo of your eyes, and (possibly) a copy of your fingerprints and/or a strand of your hair would be able to fool EVERYTHING. With a password they at least have to try and crack it. Biometrics may be added as ADDITIONAL security, but it's NO replacement for other forms of it.

3. This, in all honesty, would be less convenient than many existing forms of input, such as the keyboard, mouse, touchscreen, and controller. Wearable readers are still inconvenient, and implanted devices are, of course, only something that makes sense for the handicapped. For the impaired, I can definitely see these sort of devices gaining a lot of popularity, but perhaps not so much for gadgets as for prosthesis.

4. This really sounds a lot like advertising... Of course, this could be compared to a "pro-active Siri," but even then, I'm predicting that, like either other people chiming in, people would just find this annoying. And it sorely misses the mark by suggesting this would eliminate the "Digital divide." Do they even remember what said "divide" is?

5. No, simply NO. The whole reason for advertisements existing in the information age is to try and present people with things that they aren't already wanting. If they would've bought said product anyway, it was wasted ad dollars. If someone is actively searching for a specific product, they are NOT going to be looking for advertisements... They're going to go to Google, Angie's List, or some other SERVICE that will provide them with things. This is something people pay for (indirectly) rather than receive as a negative experience. I see such services being used more and more, and, while one could predict that they'd become a primary source of revenue, they'd be wrong for the reason that they already are.

alidansingle car breaks, when you break it slows you down but it also generates power for the battery, I'm guessing it's things like that they say running shoes would provide power but just imagine if shoes could provide power to a small device like a phone, effectively making running out of power damn near impossible.

What they were referring to is the most-ignored (if most un-ignorable) law in physics: that of Conservation of Energy. (also known as the First Law of Thermodynamics) There's no such thing as free energy, (or power, fuel, etc) and this applies to EVERYTHING. If you're grabbing power for something, it's coming from SOMWHERE. Hybrid cars? Regenerative braking merely recovers the energy from the car's momentum. (with normal braking, it's all dissipated as heat, hence why brake pads are made of asbestos or ceramic)

Similarly, if your own movements are powering something, this means you're going to be expending extra energy to do so. No, it's NOT going to be energy you wouldn't be expending normally. Any device that'd be converting back-and-forth motions is going to wind up acting more as a "drag" than an otherwise inert object, as it will be acting as a deceleration on all your movements.
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December 27, 2011 4:37:29 AM

Get the energy from your own:
Less bill more eating.

Biometrics:
Eyes, Vocal, Fingerprint,. 3x more efficient (to get robbed, dead or alive)

Mind reading:
You won't get away from your wife (with her mind-reader) about what happened in the business trip in Vegas last night.

Mobile for everyone:
Not bad.

Junk Mail to Priority mail:
Com' on!


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December 27, 2011 4:57:39 AM

"Imagine a future where some sources of unsolicited advertisement produce such useful and perfectly timed ads, that you would signup"... ...for Viagra, sex with REAL women, making my penis bigger, free iPads and random things in Russian and Chinese.


...ok.
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December 27, 2011 5:43:45 AM

notthekingI'm skeptical on all five of these:1. No matter what, the law of Conservation of Energy cannot be broken, ever. There's no free source of energy, period. (more on this below) Furthermore, of course, what would power companies say about this?2. I can't see biometrics being any more secure... If anything, they'd be LESS secure, since that means anyone with a good photo of your eyes, and (possibly) a copy of your fingerprints and/or a strand of your hair would be able to fool EVERYTHING. With a password they at least have to try and crack it. Biometrics may be added as ADDITIONAL security, but it's NO replacement for other forms of it.3. This, in all honesty, would be less convenient than many existing forms of input, such as the keyboard, mouse, touchscreen, and controller. Wearable readers are still inconvenient, and implanted devices are, of course, only something that makes sense for the handicapped. For the impaired, I can definitely see these sort of devices gaining a lot of popularity, but perhaps not so much for gadgets as for prosthesis.4. This really sounds a lot like advertising... Of course, this could be compared to a "pro-active Siri," but even then, I'm predicting that, like either other people chiming in, people would just find this annoying. And it sorely misses the mark by suggesting this would eliminate the "Digital divide." Do they even remember what said "divide" is?5. No, simply NO. The whole reason for advertisements existing in the information age is to try and present people with things that they aren't already wanting. If they would've bought said product anyway, it was wasted ad dollars. If someone is actively searching for a specific product, they are NOT going to be looking for advertisements... They're going to go to Google, Angie's List, or some other SERVICE that will provide them with things. This is something people pay for (indirectly) rather than receive as a negative experience. I see such services being used more and more, and, while one could predict that they'd become a primary source of revenue, they'd be wrong for the reason that they already are.What they were referring to is the most-ignored (if most un-ignorable) law in physics: that of Conservation of Energy. (also known as the First Law of Thermodynamics) There's no such thing as free energy, (or power, fuel, etc) and this applies to EVERYTHING. If you're grabbing power for something, it's coming from SOMWHERE. Hybrid cars? Regenerative braking merely recovers the energy from the car's momentum. (with normal braking, it's all dissipated as heat, hence why brake pads are made of asbestos or ceramic)Similarly, if your own movements are powering something, this means you're going to be expending extra energy to do so. No, it's NOT going to be energy you wouldn't be expending normally. Any device that'd be converting back-and-forth motions is going to wind up acting more as a "drag" than an otherwise inert object, as it will be acting as a deceleration on all your movements.


correct, look at the hybrid cars breaking, are you telling me there is nothing that could be passively added to the human body that would generate some amount of electricity. Running shoes some sort of shock absorbers in them is engineered right could generate electricity, applied to every type of shoe you might not treat as much as running shoes but it would create some electricity. There are a lot of things that capacity tree electricity just by our everyday movements it might not eat much but it might be enough to power wireless device.
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December 27, 2011 6:24:47 AM

I don't find any of them far fetched, and most quiet conservative.

People Power - Seven years ago Microsoft patented the idea of using the human skin. Not only would the skins natural conductivity be used to power devices, it could also be used as a living antennae to create wireless nodes. Nobody here is claiming to violate conservation of energy. Merely harnessing new sources of currently existing energy.

Biometrics - Let's face it, that reality is already here. While biometric security is far from mainstream it's a technology that's been being used for ages. As this field grows and matures you'll see biometric techniques that involve more than just an iris scan or fingerprints. Our bodies generate unique thermal patterns that while the temperatures change, the pattern does not. Body movement, speech patterns. We are walking talking cryptographic engines. With unique reproducible data points that are countless in their scope you have the makings of a security systems that would be virtually impossible to brute force crack.

Mind Reading - While this seems far fetched on the surface, and might be a poster child for exaggeration there are working technologies today that do a decent job of reading your mind. Look at current day caching solutions. The "mind-reading" toys and mouse replacement addons have nothing to do with scanning your brain waves. They merely track muscle movements in your face and once a good association is created between looking one direction or another and the corresponding muscles that move to do so it works. There's no reason this couldn't be applied on a more sophisticated level to much more subtle control.

Digital Divide - Really? Does this even count as a prediction? Cell Phones have become an extension of their owners already. The divide is down, now it's just a matter of how intimate innovation is going to pervade our life. Everything points to a future in which we're integrated with machine at the finest of scales.

Junk Mail - AKA Personalized Marketing or One-to-One Marketing. Again, this is another technology that's already in place. As more and more individual consumer data is collected this will become more and more personalized to tailor an individuals needs. This technology isn't going to shrink or go away, it'll just get better.

Nothing here was shocking or forward thinking. Every single instance was a technology that's already being developed or is in use today that will just continue to mature.

How about in 5 years not a single person in this country will drive a car. How about based on current trends in AI and Robotics we could see specialized machines performing jobs that today can only be conducted by humans, and doing it better. Your next surgery could very well be done by a highly sophisticated robust machine capable of on the fly strategy changes based on a multitude of unpredictable scenarios. I love how IBM really shied away from AI all together considering how badly the company that invented the field is being made to look by Google.
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Anonymous
December 27, 2011 7:24:41 AM

if only IBM can make their softwares work without installing so many different agents and patches...
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Anonymous
December 27, 2011 7:49:10 AM

IBM is one of the most stable companies in the worls when it comes to development, research, hardware, software.

they are an old company that still push for innovation till date, and all if you who think mind reading is far fetched need to go learn more about technology, technology changes daily, in fact there if 5+ things on tom alone every day, not to mention all the other robot,ai,medical,gaming,gadget sites i watch.

this technology is very plausable and ALREADY in human testing(nat geo), with success. albe it limited for now, its success none the less.
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December 27, 2011 9:12:19 AM

Isn't 5 Years like too long for all this, it looks like all this is just around the corner...
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December 27, 2011 9:24:40 AM

alidancorrect, look at the hybrid cars breaking, are you telling me there is nothing that could be passively added to the human body that would generate some amount of electricity. Running shoes some sort of shock absorbers in them is engineered right could generate electricity, applied to every type of shoe you might not treat as much as running shoes but it would create some electricity. There are a lot of things that capacity tree electricity just by our everyday movements it might not eat much but it might be enough to power wireless device.


See Piezoelectricity (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piezoelectric )
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December 27, 2011 1:06:36 PM

In terms of advertising I agree that a "companion" will never work. You will never be able to trust such a companion because it would rarely choose what is best for you, instead it will choose or present options that will make the most money for its advertisers. Hell, I don't even trust Google anymore. It's really difficult to find relevant hits on things that you want unless it is of a very well known brand or a celebrity. If you want to test the reliability of Google yourself I'll give you the following sample tasks:

* Find a place anywhere in the world that actually sells the 32GB version of the Samsung Galaxy SII.
* Find a replacement battery for your Sony Ericsson MW600 Bluetooth handsfree.
* Find anything that is not paid for with advertisement money
...

When it comes to energy I think it would be a nice thing if we could have our own little "Mr.Fusion" reactor in the backyard. So it would be viable that we start to produce at least a part of what we consume. Heat can be extracted from the ground using geothermal energy, we have the sun, wind and water. Energy from such sources could be invested into through a collective effort among a small community of local neighbours.

Something I think is worth thinking about is that every person can collect energy by say gathering firewood in the trunks but that requires an effort and effort is money and that money is instead spent on other means to extract energy. So a fair price for such energy should be compared to the effort of gathering wood in the forest. Of course if everyone where gathering wood in the forest, we would most likely end up with no forest but that's another story...

Another idea that I have is regarding non-fossil fuel. There already have been reports on how "ethanol" plantations have lowered the supply of other commodities such as crops. The amount of land that can yield crops is limited and with pollutants affecting the environment such as the RoundUp pesticide that has been blamed for the mysterious bee death this amount is not likely to increase. As we know bees are crucial for growing fruit and other crops so the outlook for using crops as an energy source is rather bleak right now.

However, when we look at the sea, the sea comprises of at least 2/3 of the surface of the earth and it would be excellent if we could use this surface as growing fields for energy, also large portions of the earth contain land that is not suitable for crops such as deserts. So on the sea one could grow fatty algea that could be used for fuel. This algea could be grown in floating artificial lagoons covering large areas of the sea, in the desert such algea could be grown in sealed tanks that gather solar energy. From this algea one can extract fuels such as Methanol (for fuel cell applications), ecopar/biopar (Fischer-Tropsch diesel which is a synthetic diesel fuel that is cleaner than conventional diesel fuel and yet has a higher cetane number) or DME (DiMethylEther which is a fuel that can be used in modified diesel engines, engines running on DME has lower emissions than conventional diesels).

So in short, if we can pull this off we can grow energy without affecting our supplies of other commodities. Research is already done on the above mentioned alternatives and the chemical processes for extracting the above mentioned fuels from fats and oils are already well known.
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December 27, 2011 1:27:23 PM

"People power will come to life"

Generating Energy from the shoes or the bike... yeah.
Seriously ?
If people would actually move their butts we would not have 60% obesity in US adults.
I ride the bike to the library twice a week here in Florida (2.5 miles, door-to-door actually faster than driving). You know how many 'walkers' or other bikes I meet (not counting the homeless) ?
Maybe 1 or 2 a week. Let's face it, most Americans would drive from the living room to the fridge if they could park in the kitchen :-)

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December 27, 2011 1:46:46 PM

drwho1This must be from IBM... International Bullshiters Meeting.


Fixed that for you.
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December 27, 2011 2:20:32 PM

The power thing is totally feasible. Even Telsa created wireless energy practically 100 years ago, and said that there's energy untapped all around us and wanted to provide humanity with it free of charge. The technology didn't stop him, greed and corruption did. There's no way we'll ever see free energy in our lifetimes as long as big oil is still in power.
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December 27, 2011 3:17:39 PM

IBM is not known for it's soothsaying abilities.
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December 27, 2011 3:37:20 PM

I think it's funny that so many people are complaining about the conservation of energy law. They really aren't seeing the bigger picture.

Yes, there is no such thing as FREE energy - however, there is PLENTY of potential energy in the world just wasted and unused.

Example - You are already using energy to bend the fabric in your clothes. So REPLACE the threads of your jeans with tiny generators that produce energy as they bend. Sure a single "gen-thread" (as I just made up) may only produce .0001 amps of power - but when combined with all the other threads in your pants, might give you enough power to connect a USB plug in pocket to your cell phone to keep it charged while you walk around your office, or bike to work.

Your favorite rocking chair in your house absorbs/wastes energy in the spring as your rock. You are already rocking, so replace the spring with a small generator. You are still getting your resistance you need enabling you to rock, but generating power at the same time. This ties into my next one:

When you run water down the drain, the falling water through the pipes is wasted energy. Place tiny water-wheel style generators on your drainage pipes going from upper floors to ground level. You aren't using any additional energy because you already needed to get the water up to those floors to begin with - however you are simply taking advantage of the wasted energy as a result of the falling water.

Now - every power outlet in your house will have an extra plug. Your standard OUT Plugs (providing power to your electronic equipment), and one for in (accepting power from all of these little Potential Energy Generators around your house like the rocking chair and the water pipes). The In-plug then sends the power to a household battery in your utility closet to store it until it's needed. Sure this wont be enough power to completely get rid of your need for the electric company (You'd have to rock pretty fiercely to watch a blue-ray movie on your 50" TV in 7.1 True-HD surround Sound) - but it'd help with a bill a little bit.

My point is - Anyone spouting "this wouldn't work because of conservation of energy law" isn't thinking hard enough, and I'm glad you aren't our top minds trying to solve our energy needs - you people gave up before even starting.
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December 27, 2011 3:43:01 PM

P.S. - yes I know someones going to complain about my use of the term "potential energy" and where I probably should have used "kinetic energy" - but you got my point.
Also, I'm on my way to the patent office right now to patent some of these ideas as well as a few more I have just thought up - so don't bother stealing them.
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Anonymous
December 27, 2011 4:05:43 PM

#1 Robots will become self-aware.

This was really the #1 reason but the PR people at IBM thought it might be a bad idea to let that cat outta the bag...
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December 27, 2011 4:57:03 PM

"If people would actually move their butts we would not have 60% obesity in US adults.
I ride the bike to the library twice a week here in Florida (2.5 miles, door-to-door actually faster than driving). You know how many 'walkers' or other bikes I meet (not counting the homeless) ?
Maybe 1 or 2 a week. Let's face it, most Americans would drive from the living room to the fridge if they could park in the kitchen :-)"

So, your saying, with our present economic conditions and future outlook, we should harness the homeless as a potentially endless supply of energy?
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December 28, 2011 2:54:35 AM

IR-ROBOT#1 Robots will become self-aware.This was really the #1 reason but the PR people at IBM thought it might be a bad idea to let that cat outta the bag...


Already done. Google's self driven cars are a prime example of AI that is both aware of not only its surroundings, but also how it fits into its surroundings. If that isn't self aware I don't know what is.

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December 28, 2011 12:24:34 PM

target3coming from a man who can't draw a circle...


I didn't get that far in the video. When they introduced the idea that my bicycle might be used to power a light bulb in my house I stopped it. It was just too stupid at that point.
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December 28, 2011 12:27:27 PM

ClasszeroFixed that for you.


You may have, but you forgot his spelling error, which I am sure people here besides me noticed. The chosen word for bull-crappers has two T's in it.
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December 28, 2011 2:05:40 PM

Government could make energy cheaper tomorrow but they wont because they need to wait for the big corporations to first position themselves in the best place.

You think we'll stop buying oil and gas from the bastards when green energy becomes more common - no. You'll just buy a different energy, but from the same people...and here we were thinking the wind the sea and the sun were free ha ha ha [sounds of lightning and evil laughter from Saudi Arabia]
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