Stussy88

What was your favourite or most impressive new technology?

17 posts in this topic

For me it would have been anything from very early computer games (remember prmitive tennis?), mobile phone technology, in car air-conditioning or Sat-Nav devices.

So what inspires, amazes you or makes your life so much easier?

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Bose home theater surround sound with Sony HD TV. WOW when it comes to listening to movies and music.

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Explosive demolition! You get to combine physics, chemistry, engineering and art to produce a great show.

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Explosive demolition! You get to combine physics, chemistry, engineering and art to produce a great show.

You mean like these two shows?

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The flip flop circuit.

Help me out here, what is that?

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So what inspires, amazes you or makes your life so much easier?

One thing I have always been amazed by is all the various technologies involved in skiing. This winter, I bought a new pair of skiing boots, which have an integrated electric heating system, powered by rechargeable batteries. They were not the cheapest pair on the shelves, but I was very glad to have chosen them when it was around 0 degrees Fahrenheit on the mountaintop, with a strong windchill! They have a very comfortable inner lining as well, and a design that makes it much easier to step in and out of them than it is with older boots. Then, there are the clothes made out of special materials designed to let moisture out but not let it in, and at the same time not let heat out; there are the skis themselves, which are also the subject of constant innovation; the touch-screen computers in the renting places that automatically take a picture of you and print you a barcode after you have entered your data; the passes that will open the gates for you from inside the pockets of your pants; the snowcats that create the skiing tracks on seemingly impossible terrain--and what I find the most fascinating of all, the various kinds of lifts, which are built on even more difficult terrain, and also come in ever newer and more advanced models.

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I'm interested in getting the chance to hold a piece of aerogel, otherwise known as "solid smoke". I'm not a scientist, so I can't tell you exactly what it's made of, but it's a foam that's literally almost as light as air but can take heat more than just about anything else; it's a great insulator.

I'm also intrigued by the developments in microrobotics and nanotechnology, and any work being done with small, unmanned aircraft that the military would use for aerial reconaissance.

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I'm interested in getting the chance to hold a piece of aerogel, otherwise known as "solid smoke". I'm not a scientist, so I can't tell you exactly what it's made of, but it's a foam that's literally almost as light as air but can take heat more than just about anything else; it's a great insulator.

I'm also intrigued by the developments in microrobotics and nanotechnology, and any work being done with small, unmanned aircraft that the military would use for aerial reconaissance

Ah yes, aerogels are very cool. By weight, they have the greatest compressive strength of any bulk material. They can be made of a variety of materials, including Silica (the stuff sand is made of). The reason that it is almost as light as air is because... well.. it is air! At least, 98% is. And you're correct, it is also the world's greatest thermal insulator. NASA calculated that 1.5 cm would be enough to keep the human body warm in ~-150 C for the (someday) mission to Mars. They also tried to make hiking boots and blankets out of it, but users complained that it was too hot, even when climbing mountains -- It truly is incredible stuff!

To speak to small, unmanned aircraft -- a friend of mine is working on a project to make the world's smallest controllable ornithopter. It's about 7 inches in wingspan and can hover, land, and take off by itself (to a predesignated target and then return). Some estimates say that a mosquito size may be achieved by 2030. In short, I agree with your two things ;) .

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Thin-Film Solar Cells:

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/assets...old-in-ohio.jpg

http://www.ovonic.com/images/me_uni-solar_...00dpi_large.jpg

http://cientifica.eu/blog/wp-content/uploa...nosys_solar.jpg

If they can continue to push the price per watt lower and lower, these things will completely change the way that we live life.

It also would make permanent human settlements on other planets much more possible, as large solar power plants could be constructed that would allow for perfectly self-contained, self-supporting villages.

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I think my iPod Touch! ;) Seriously it is the most versatile piece of technology I've ever owned. I don't have an iPhone, but I can now use Skype on the Touch over a wireless connection. It works really well.

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One thing I have always been amazed by is all the various technologies involved in skiing. This winter, I bought a new pair of skiing boots, which have an integrated electric heating system, powered by rechargeable batteries. They were not the cheapest pair on the shelves, but I was very glad to have chosen them when it was around 0 degrees Fahrenheit on the mountaintop, with a strong windchill! They have a very comfortable inner lining as well, and a design that makes it much easier to step in and out of them than it is with older boots. Then, there are the clothes made out of special materials designed to let moisture out but not let it in, and at the same time not let heat out; there are the skis themselves, which are also the subject of constant innovation; the touch-screen computers in the renting places that automatically take a picture of you and print you a barcode after you have entered your data; the passes that will open the gates for you from inside the pockets of your pants; the snowcats that create the skiing tracks on seemingly impossible terrain--and what I find the most fascinating of all, the various kinds of lifts, which are built on even more difficult terrain, and also come in ever newer and more advanced models.
Absolutely! I love the technology that allows us to play in the natural environment, rather than merely survive. I'm a complete gear freak. I love researching the latest outdoor technologies, especially for climbing and skiing.

For example, I finally bought a new ski (and climbing) jacket this year after constantly overheating in my Gore-Tex one. Hardshells (such as Gore Tex) are great if one needs a waterproof jacket, but how often does it rain when you're skiing? The problem is this: while it is fully waterproof, Gore Tex actually needs moisture to condense on the inside of the jacket before it can be wicked out. This results in you overheating while skiing, and then freezing on the ski lift. Softshells, on the other hand, breathe exceptionally well. But, because the membrane can stretch, they are not waterproof. In my new jacket, the company designed a waterproof membrane with the exact same stretch as the softshell membrane and laminated the waterproofing to the softshell, resulting in the first (mostly) waterproof softshell. (I say mostly because they did not tape the seams, so water can still get in there. But taping the seams would have resulted in a significant decrease in the breathability of the jacket.) Anyway, I was only able to ski a few days this season, but I didn't get overheated or chilled once. Even after taking a tumble and digging through feet of powder to find my skis. ;)

I can't say this is my absolute favorite new technology, but it certainly makes an impact on my comfort level during one of my favorite activities.

Another one of the most amazing technologies to me is arthroscopic surgery. I recently had hip arthroscopy to fix a torn labrum (the same surgery as Alex Rodriguez, for those of you who follow baseball) and shave down a bone spur on my femur. All I have to show for it is two incisions the size of my fingernail. It is pretty amazing.

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This thread is getting somewhat derailed. Perhaps there should be a separate thread on the morality of downloading discontinued video games?

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This thread is getting somewhat derailed. Perhaps there should be a separate thread on the morality of downloading discontinued video games?

Good idea!

I just made a separate thread titled "The morality of downloading discontinued video games" (link).

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