Doug Dixon, Manifest Technology, returned to Princeton to exhibit the hottest, miniature technological wonders in the electronic marketplace, notably media players, communication devices, and audio accessories. On his web site, Dixon maintains a technology blog as well as thematic galleries with information on trends and sample products including detailed specifications and prices about these latest hip-pocket wonders.
So much fun, or too many choices? As became obvious at his April 23 Lunch ‘n Learn presentation, there’s no one integrated full-featured gadget that does it all. Suggests Dixon, it’s a wonderful, but confusing, world at the electronics store — for consumers as well as manufacturers. What is the industry to do? There’s so much new technology to leverage, so many possible features to add, and so much potential in integrating multiple devices. But you can’t ask customers what they want, because the new devices have not been invented yet. So instead we see a profusion of different combinations of features, form factors, and price points thrown into the market to see what sticks.
In 1965, Intel co-founder Gordon Moore predicted that the number of transistors placed on an integrated circuit would double approximately every two years. That prediction, notes Bernard Chazelle, Computer Science Professor at Princeton, if anything underestimated the results during the past half century and should continue for at least another decade. Moore’s Law, he posits, is responsible for most of the desktop and hip-pocket wonders of the computer age, notably remarkable improvements in processing speed, memory capacity, and network bandwidth.
Moore’s Law correctly predicted revolutionary technological and social change in the late 20th century. But by 2020 if not before, as transistor features approach just atoms in width, Moore’s Law will have run its course. New technologies may replace integrated circuit technologies to extend Moore’s Law for decades; Chazelle argues that the years ahead will usher in the era of the “Algorithm,” a notion which, he contends, may prove to be the most disruptive and revolutionary scientific paradigm since quantum mechanics.
At the November 29 Lunch ‘n Learn, Doug Dixon (Manifest Technology) presented “Content Protection and Digital Rights management: Accessing your Media in the Digital Home.”
Imagine having a comprehensive library of music and movies. And imagine being able to listen to your holdings in your car, when you jog, or while sitting at your computer. And so, you might reasonably expect that buying digital media from Apple, Microsoft, or Sam Goody would contribute to that vision.
To be sure, as content has become digital, consumers are indeed finding it much easier to access such media, but also to copy and share it. In theory, with just a single click, customers could share perfect digital copies worldwide. Upset with rampant piracy, especially given the high value of high definition, digital content, owners are finding new and innovative ways to protect the copyright and intellectual property.
Donna Liu, University Channel Director
What if the public could listen to the best minds and newest ideas at colleges and universities around the world? What if the academic research and analysis that aims to solve the world’s problems were presented, unfiltered and uncut, to a global audience? What if this could be accomplished with only a modest investment in new technology?
These are the goals of the University Channel, a collection of recordings of public affairs lectures, panels and events from universities around the world. The University Channel web site uses new media technologies — such as streaming, “podcasting” and video-on-demand — to distribute these talks straight to the public, without the cutting and packaging of commercial news and TV programming. The goal is to enrich the general discussion of public and international policy by giving the public free access to full-length, commercial free, thoughtful presentations of people who are focused on solving the problems of the world.