As part of my research into the ramifications of advanced and future technology, I have constructed this site as a point of focus for my work, which will eventually lead to a PhD study into:
I had intended the 'backbone' of FutureTech to be a large collection of complete New Scientist (NS) articles from the past few years. NS tell me that, due to copyright issues, it is not possible for me to reproduce the articles verbatim; however, I have been told that it is acceptable for me to 'precis' articles and so this I shall do, though note that summarising articles will take longer (the process of article precis is not as simple as just chopping out sentences). Since I can now expand my site, the HTML version of the reference list will link to actual articles, whether to original source articles on NS' web site, or to precis versions here at FutureTech (eg. all six articles I have referenced from issue 2147 are available either in original form on NS' web site, or in summary form here at FutureTech - written in my own words). I shall clear the backlog of unsummarised articles by precising at least two issues per week.
I have yet to write and ask Electronics & Wireless World (which often covers technical aspects in much greater detail), Byte Magazine, T3, etc. if I can summarise their articles.
The articles in the reference list are generally no older than 1993; however, some older articles have been included to provide a historical perspective. I have finally obtained the complete set of 'Science Now', published by Marshall Cavendish in the early 1980s, so I shall also index relevant historical articles from these magazines at some point.
What is 'future technology'?
The phrase certainly doesn't refer to 'Star Trek'-style wishful thinking or anything like that - I'm referring to real technologies which are currently in the research stage that I hope/expect to see being used in products that people can buy within the next two decades. Some technologies are at the stage where useful devices should go on sale any time now, whilst others have hardly started yet and as such won't develop into their final useful forms for at least ten or fifteen years. Since I started writing the FutureTech reference list, it's also possible that some items covered have already been put to commercial use.
FutureTech covers the following areas:
You may be wondering why I'm creating a site such as this. Well, the reason is simple: most people (and by that I mean at least 95%) simply don't know what's going on in the world. The vast majority of people, for whatever reason, either don't have access to straight simple information or haven't ever bothered to find out, or don't care (perhaps they cannot see how technological development is relevant to their own lives). It's amazing how little people know of what has been achieved in research labs around the world; even many top professionals in relevant industries don't know about the advances being made in their subject areas.
At a personal level, I do not like the 'black box' phenomenon which seems to be so heavily prevalent in the modern world; this is where consumers are not only unaware of how the products they use actually work, but the very manner in which products are designed makes it increasingly difficult for them to find out anything (eg. product casings are hard or impossible to open). I hope to encourage a desire to know more about the products and devices we use every day, and to know more about what the future holds.
One example side effect of a lack of knowledge is that far fewer people today know how to repair and maintain the items they own, such as TVs, videorecorders, even very simple devices like vacuum cleaners. Increasing miniaturisation certainly makes it harder to fiddle with technological devices, but there is still much that one can do when items break down without having to resort to calling in repair personel. Even if something is unfixable, the invidual bits in modern consumer devices can often be put to good use, eg. home security, hobbies, DIY, etc.
My N64 page attempts to help dispell the 'black box' feeling which surrounds the Nintendo64 games console, explaining as far as I am able how the console works, the meaning of various technical terms, etc. Years ago, I had the first ever N64 page on the WWW; now my site has evolved into the only N64 page that deals strictly with technical issues. The feedback I've had from gamers has shown that game players do want to know how their devices work - besides, better knowledge of the issues allows them to make better purchasing decisions on future systems. Indeed, if industries such as home entertainment are to continue to grow, then the young gamers of today must be encouraged to take an interest in the technologies that helped create the devices they own. The games of tomorrow need the gamers of today to become programmers, artists, designers, etc.
The above line of thinking can be similarly applied to just about any field of life that involves technology in a personal way.
As time goes on, the rate of technological change itself increases; so, more than ever now, it's important that people have a chance to see what's coming before it hits them.
SGI Depot: http://www.futuretech.blinkenlights.nl/sgidepot/ Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Backup email (send copy to this too): email@example.com Home: +44 (0)131 476 0796 (best to call this number first) Mobile: 07743 495403 (usually off; leave a message and I'll call back) SGI/Future Technology/N64: http://www.futuretech.blinkenlights.nl/ Mirror site: http://futuretech.mirror.vuurwerk.net/ Doom Help Service (DHS): http://www.gamers.org/dhs/