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Leonard Ken

Total Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2010
Posted: 2010-01-02 08:19
Hi, Nice work, thanks again for sharing such an informative ideas. Coursework


Total Posts: 1592
Joined: Sep 2006
Posted: 2010-01-02 08:59


Total Posts: 237
Joined: Jan 2009
Posted: 2010-01-03 23:59
lol yes outsourcing our homework to the 3rd world is the next great leap forward. ironically highly relevant spam posts...

"clean tech," "alt energy," and "global warming" are all jokes. (sick ones, albeit) vast majority of investment there is pure waste funded by your tax dollars.

honestly the best tech change we could have would be wholesale replacement/deportation of the congress and other branches of govt (reset to circa 1800s law). point being that govt interference in the economy here and elsewhere is doing vastly more damage worldwide than any tech leap could conceivably overcome. under current tech the world economy could be a multiple of what it is.

iphones/bbery/mobile internet are not trivial advances, they can enhance productivity enormously. one of the big trends will continue to be availability of cheap tech to the 3rd world. cheap wireless internet expanding there like mobile phones did etc..

i think internet-based learning eg. MIT OCW could be a major "tech" advance, making high-quality learning available to many for cheap. some would disagree and say this is already available but i think the willingness of top schools to embrace it is a potentially big deal...

any thoughts on optical computing? back when i was into physics that was my interest although it seems like one of those things that's always 10 years away. and i'm not sure what the extra computing power would be needed for.

how about cheap superconductors? that's another one of those "dream techs" lol. ok tl;dr


Total Posts: 277
Joined: Jul 2006
Posted: 2010-01-04 00:34
SIP, is there a set of IPs that can be banned to prevent this?


Total Posts: 1136
Joined: Feb 2007
Posted: 2010-01-04 06:50
I think optical computers are like quantum computers, "gee, wouldn't it be nice if we could use magical analog tricks to solve hard problems." There's lots of lost computing technologies out there. They used to build computers for missiles which worked using noise rather than bits, for example.

I suspect you've been reading Mencius Moldbug's blog. I knew him when he was a goth kid and held diametrically opposite beliefs about the purpose of government.

"Learning, n. The kind of ignorance distinguishing the studious."


Total Posts: 237
Joined: Jan 2009
Posted: 2010-01-04 08:31
had not heard of Moldbug until your post. wordy fellow eh? based on a quick scan of his blog i guess i'd agree with 95% of what he says, at least regarding politics and the climate farce.

although my last post may be a bit unfair about laying the blame solely on govt ... to paraphrase Hamilton, we get the govt we deserve. too bad all these evil supergeniuses didn't decide to use their powers for good ...


Total Posts: 520
Joined: Jun 2005
Posted: 2010-01-07 15:13

last month NatGeo issue about bionics


Total Posts: 142
Joined: Feb 2009
Posted: 2010-01-29 01:13

So, this thread did not really work out like I hoped.  I was hoping people might list what they thought were really cool recent or impending inventions (iPhones, BatteryTech, BlueFin Ranching, Fusion, Lipitor/Viagra, etc).  Instead it was either too intellectual (replicators, robots, worm holes) or too ignorant (P.Theil - "nothing meaningful has been invented since 1999.  Buy gold!").

Let me propose something else -- any good lists or single ideas for LOW BROW inventions that you think are just great (or just ubiquitious) and werent around 10-yr ago?

- Hand sanitizer
- Reality TV
- Vibrating condoms
- Red Bull
- $1 menu
- Coffee pods


Total Posts: 390
Joined: Aug 2007
Posted: 2010-01-29 02:00
On LowDD's note, the propagation of e-readers as of late has certainty been interesting. I know I've been purchasing whichever books I can for my device over the traditional physical text.

"Mathematicians are machines for turning coffee into theorems!"


Total Posts: 164
Joined: Jun 2007
Posted: 2010-01-29 04:05
Low latency electronic access to liquid markets? :)


Total Posts: 1136
Joined: Feb 2007
Posted: 2010-01-29 04:09
Lipitor is probably bs. They only recently figured out, oops, saturated fat doesn't kill you. I'm pretty sure they'll eventually figure out statins kill you quicker than a diet of pure bacon. Still; great marketing: take my potion or you might die! I predict many, many more such "innovations" with the same marketing pitch.

R-ALA is good stuff; what lipitor wants to be. Only available recently, though not patentable.

There is a lot of recent research into growth hormone releasing agents, which has tremendous potential as an anti-aging drug -not only will it normalize your cholesterol, it pretty much revitalizes old people. MK-677 failed, but it would have been really exciting if it hadn't.

Condom technology probably has a ton of room for innovation. This is an industry where using polyurethane is a great recent innovation.
Reality TV is sheer genius. Why pay for high priced idiots, when you can sell the same ads on cheap ones?
LED flashlights are nice and fairly recent

I can't think of any more simple ones, since I don't believe in progress. I can't even buy a damn staple gun that works.

"Learning, n. The kind of ignorance distinguishing the studious."


Total Posts: 279
Joined: Aug 2007
Posted: 2010-01-29 04:45
I like my Nike Free trainers. And I think raw food clubs are cool.

some people say bremelanotide is good


Total Posts: 1677
Joined: Aug 2005
Posted: 2010-01-29 18:23
My Nike Frees aren't really wide enough for my oddly shaped feet, so I stopped wearing them after about a year. My Vibrams still get a lot of use, but I have to occasionally soak them in bleach.

I think a diet of pure bacon is really unhealthy, but only because of the nitrates. I eat bacon twice a week, beef four times a week and I average about 3 eggs per day (not counting when the egg is an ingredient to some baked good). I eat lots cheese and drink whole milk. My HDL is great, my LDL is not great but not terrible. My triglycerides are 45. I basically just try not to eat very many processed foods, no artificial sweeteners and generally stay away from sweets. If a doctor told me to take a statin I would go to a different doctor.

I think hand sanitizer is a great thing to put on the wall in hospitals, and maybe at the entrance/exit of daycare or schools, and maybe for occasional use at work, but I think using it all the time is a bad idea.

I haven't stayed current on the latest porn technology, and I don't know if we have an analyst covering that sector. I'll let you know if I hear anything interesting.


the only reason it would be easier to program in C is that you can't easily express complex problems in C, so you don't. -comp.lang.lisp


Total Posts: 353
Joined: May 2009
Posted: 2010-01-29 19:03
>> What do you think are the most important coming technological advances, products, etc?

I beliebe progress in technology is highly nonlinear, like every evoluationary process. Also the cumulative effects are more important than isolated effects.

For example a friend of mine is a biochemist. His professor invented a method by which, broadly speaking the activity in the neural cells becomes controlable via light. This method is very promising for the area of neural engineering.

Another aquintance of mine has a PhD in AI and is now working on compuational neuroscience, specifically temporal difference learning.

So brain science integrates a vast network of field from physics and biochemistry to psychology and AI.

Unfortunately endogenous growth models are an extremely undercovered subject in economics. Kurzweil has some interesting things to say in terms of the rate of change of technology. Looking at old predictions for the future is quite insightful. Usually it turns out that some predictions are astonishingly accurate, whereas others are absurd.

"[Fama] then said that he believed that God knew that the stock market was efficient. He added that the closer one came to behavioral finance, the hotter one could feel the fires of Hell on one’s feet.”


Total Posts: 92
Joined: Jul 2009
Posted: 2010-01-29 20:03
LED bulbs as replacements around the house. I've tried a few, and I think their time may come very soon.


Total Posts: 520
Joined: Jun 2005
Posted: 2010-02-10 11:42

this kind of stuff has definite future:

airship covered with textile solar batteries might travel without landing for years (limited to gas leaks)... transport, travelling, (luxury) cruising... etc.


Total Posts: 237
Joined: Jan 2009
Posted: 2010-02-11 00:39
in my circles a lot of people are hyping up the health/medical benefits of fish oil

Ice Viking

Total Posts: 239
Joined: Aug 2007
Posted: 2010-02-11 01:02
Fish oil, LED's and various types of algae/bacteria
Having fish oil as a long part of my childhood, I know the taste pretty well and some simple benefits.
Having said that, the "poly unsaturated fatty acids" or PUFAs that come from various types of microalgae can be of equal quality and often "better".
With sustainability of fish being a concern, it is possible that there will be pressure to move away from fish for fishmeal or fish oil. Algae is perfect to fill that role, as it can be grown on non farming land, eats co2 and can shit valuable stuff.
Biofuel - never gonna happen economics wise, unless they can increase the photosynthetic efficiency which is around 10% now. Some very cool stuff happening here with regards to that, using techniques from Systems biology and other methods.
LED's - One cool thing we've done, is evolve algae that typically absorbs light at 680 nm to grow equally well at 660 nm. By doing this, we got the cost of LEDs down by a factor of 5. This is due to the fact that LED's at 660 are much more common then their 680 cousins.

If we can increase the photosynthetic efficiency up from 10% to say 60%, algae and cynanobacterias types will be cost efficient in producing almost anything you want ; industrial molecules, high value compounds..and perhaps biofuel. But all that more or less depends on increasing the efficiency. This *could* be the sort of unexpected jump that typically drives technological advances.

"i am a shark, the ground is my ocean and most people can't even swim"

Dynamic Turtle

Total Posts: 165
Joined: Sep 2006
Posted: 2010-02-11 18:19

Re algae, you're talking to a hardcore astaxanthin guzzler here and I love the stuff. Gives me a nice pink glow too  ;-)

Ice Viking

Total Posts: 239
Joined: Aug 2007
Posted: 2010-02-11 19:45
hahaha...can you say kaching! We can make that...shit goes for $2000 to $3000 per kilo. And some local fools are trying to make biofuels at $2/kg @ current efficiencies.
It's hilarious in the sense that these locals are looking to compete with Exxon/ Craig Venter, a shitload of Asians with armies of PhD's and funding, who have been doing just biofuels for over 20 years. But no, the Icelandic geniuses are going to succeed. And people wonder why every bank here collapsed under a wave of corruption/stupid investments.
Next on the agenda : compete with asians in electronics and surpass London, Wall Street and Singapore as financial centers...Hammertime

"i am a shark, the ground is my ocean and most people can't even swim"


Total Posts: 149
Joined: Oct 2004
Posted: 2010-02-11 21:27
I was hoping people might list what they thought were really cool recent or impending inventions

The practical and actionable information you are seeking is is quite valuable. Its like asking for the designs of profitable quant models or trading systems. You're never going to get a straight answer in a public forum. Maybe you could pose more specific questions and steer the conversation?

I am familiar with many innovations, and would enjoy spending hours analyzing the technical and business pro/cons on both the supply and demand side. But only if its profitable for me. I did well as an early investor in Qualcomm and NVidia in the 90's because I understood enough of the tech trends and tech was the value driver. But I also lost on 3DFX and Transmeta mostly due to biz problems, even though the tech was strong. Wish I had known that the top 3DFX engineers migrated to NVidia. I made the mistake of not doing enough research for my speculations.

To answer your question in a top-down sense, I believe the best emerging innovations nowadays at their core must rely on advancement in semiconductors, algorithms and/or energy/materials efficiencies. Most other core value drivers have already asymptotically approached the limits of known physics. Best example is the evolution of heat engines from steam to modern internal combustion engines, piston and turbine, all of which are now at the limits of materials and algorithmic-based design. see this


My personal opinion on most innovation is that its driven by habit and myopia. For example all this research to efficiently convert cellulose to some kind of liquid is totally unnecessary. Heat engines can be made to burn any fuel efficiently, liquid, solid or gas. Just harvest the crop, dry it out and burn it as a pelletized fuel at a high enough temperature to complete the combustion. Read up on multi-fuel pellet furnaces which by the way meet EPA emissions standards because of the high combustion temperature. The only advantage to liquid fuels is they are easier to combust efficiently for a car-sized engine because they can be injected into the cylinders. But we all know electric is the future of ground transportation. So why waste time on biofuels?

The better solution is to burn solid fuel in a larger engine and rely on batteries for energy portability in electric cars. The very best solution is to use nuclear fission fuel. Energy is really only a problem because of people's ignorance by fearing nuclear power, failing to insulate their homes, by buying vehicles 3 times the size they need and refusal to use fluorescent lighting, which has been available for decades irrespective of CFLs and LEDs.

Dynamic Turtle

Total Posts: 165
Joined: Sep 2006
Posted: 2010-02-12 12:37

Ice, didn't you know that "necessity is the mother of invention"? If the axiom holds any truth, the needy, downtrodden and downright bored (Iceland) have no choice but to roll the dice and innovate, because their existence (and sanity) depends on it. You shouldn't be so scathing of your countrymen and their abilities: . Looks like you have a decent chance against "the Asians" after all.....

Agreed re astaxanthin - bloody expensive stuff. It seems to do the trick though. Apparently I look 23 (31 soon) :-)

Prophet, I agree with your arguments. The trio of fields you mention appear to be at the vanguard of most innovations, particularly materials science. I'm far from an expert on the subject, but I've anecdotally noticed that coding developments accelerate only when faced with hardware bottlenecks. Intuitively, when D-RAM is cheap and Moore's law allows for regular increases in clock speeds, why bother optimising code? The relationship seems to have been reinforced lately, with MS making 7 a bit "leaner" than its previous incarnation, perhaps admitting that processor development is facing big technical hurdles?

I'm watching developments in graphane/ene with interest:


Dynamic Turtle

Total Posts: 165
Joined: Sep 2006
Posted: 2010-02-12 12:46
(Sod it. That's the last time I spell-check something in an email before posting it here. Buggers-up the font size for some reason. Sorry).


Total Posts: 1013
Joined: May 2004
Posted: 2010-02-12 12:59

Alternatively, you can use the HTML cleanup button in the editor...

Inflatable trader

Dynamic Turtle

Total Posts: 165
Joined: Sep 2006
Posted: 2010-02-12 13:39
Brilliant. Thanks NT.
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