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4 Surprising Reasons Tomorrow’s Technology May NOT Be More Advanced

4 Surprising Reasons Tomorrow’s Technology May NOT Be More Advanced

In the past 100 years, we’ve seen incredible technological advancements become increasingly commonplace.

To realize just how quickly things are moving, consider this: the Intel Pentium 3 processor, produced from 1999 to 2003, had a max CPU clock rate of 1.13 GHz. The iPhone 7’s A10 Fusion processor’s max clock rate?

2.34 GHz — more than double that of the Pentium 3’s.

However, there are multiple reasons why technological advancement may hit a dead end. Here are four of the main ones, including one which may slow down the growth of the internet in the very near future.

1. Battery Life

Speaking of the iPhone — did you know that the battery takes up most of the space inside its case?

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That’s because we’re still using a variation on the same rechargeable lithium-ion battery technology that was first commercially released in 1991 by Sony. As gadgets become more complex and power-consuming, those batteries need to be larger to power them.

Unless we find a new way to power our devices away from power sockets, we’re going to have to deal with increasingly larger gadgets — or stop making them more advanced.

Right now, many industry-leading companies are working on innovative ways to make batteries. One of them is SolidEnergy: a company with roots in MIT. Another is Toyota, which has recently published a paper on high-power, solid-sulfide batteries.

batteries

    But as of right now, there’s no alternative to Li-Ion batteries on the immediate horizon — which may stop mobile technology from developing in the very near future.

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    2. Expensive Electricity

    If we continue using fossil fuels at today’s rate, they’re projected to run out in the 21st century. Oil may be gone as early as 2050 — but prices may explode long before that. In the U.S., fossil fuels may already be losing the price war against solar and wind power.

    One thing that could happen is that we invest in solar, wind and geothermal power, getting cheap electricity in the long run. Some people think the U.S. will make the switch by 2050.

    But before that becomes a reality, we may be faced with the prospect of increasingly expensive electricity.

    If the latter happens, we may have to rethink the need for electricity-guzzling cars and gadgets in favor of simpler ones that don’t put quite as big of a drain on our wallets. Cars engines are getting smaller, and often simpler — other technologies may soon follow suit.

    3. No need

    Between 2005 and 2013, the Nintendo Wii — a technologically simple gaming console — outsold both the Sony PS3 and Microsoft Xbox 360, two far more powerful devices.

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    Could this trend repeat itself in other industries? Not necessarily. This is just one example, and it doesn’t prove that simplicity is the way to go for everyone.

    However, the Wii case certainly shows us that “more powerful” doesn’t necessarily mean “better.” And with batteries and electricity costs potentially limiting the number of people who can afford complex devices, simplicity may be the way of the future.

    Of course, processors, screens and sensory devices will all continue to get more complex in laboratory settings. But in the end, unless customers need and buy those advanced technologies, devices may remain as they are now or become simpler.

    4. Limited bandwidth

    Last year, researchers and scientists met in London to discuss the fear of fiber optic cables approaching their physical limits. According to an Alcatel-Lucent spokesman, that may happen in the next 4-5 years.

    That’s a problem, because 8K video, over-the-top messaging services like WhatsApp and mass video streaming all require bandwidth — and lots of it.

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    This might seem like a stretch to you right now — but just take a look at this infographic published by Ooma, with data compiled from publications like The Economist, the New York Times and the Huffington Post.

    The data it references shows us that WhatsApp uses up to 12.6 Mbps of bandwidth compared to Facebook’s 2.1 Mbps… and Snapchat uses a whopping 40.5 Mbps.

    evolution-of-messenger-services-infographic

      If messaging services keep developing at the same astounding rate, we may have to find new alternatives to fiber optic cables sooner rather than later.

      On an optimistic note, there are many techniques that would enable us to get more power and speed from the same cables that are in place today — and together with renewable energy sources and battery technologies on the horizon, there should be no long-term issues with technology’s advancement.

      Featured photo credit: https://stocksnap.io/photo/T1OT6PNWOC via stocksnap.io

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      Vikas Agrawal

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      The Gentle Art of Saying No

      The Gentle Art of Saying No

      No!

      It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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      But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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      What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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      But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

      1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
      2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
      3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
      4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
      5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
      6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
      7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
      8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
      9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
      10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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