A survey, asking the world's top boffins what they think the greatest innovations have been in their fields, has turned up a dizzying list of inventions, from the world wide web to the humble microscope. Online magazine Spiked asked more than 100 top scientists, academics and influential thinkers including six Nobel laureates, …
Most people will say that the mobile telephone is the best invention. And they are probably correct.
Where is the rest of the article?
What top scientists? What favorite Gizmos? What sort of an article is this? Can I have 30 seconds of my life back?
and most will probably say - the mobile phone is the worse invention in the way it impacts their lives - again they are probably correct
It MUST be the Segway, surely?
I can remember being told that "it" was going to bring world peace/solve global warming/end famine/etc. Well "it" has been here for 6 years now so everything should have been solved by now...
Daniel said: "What top scientists? What favorite Gizmos? What sort of an article is this? Can I have 30 seconds of my life back?"
While I adore El Reg for bringing me good and often quick news/reviews and analysis, I must agree with his comments. The article looks like an introduction to an article that does not appear.
I'm really surprised that credit card readers in gas pumps didn't make the list, better than cell phones, not quite as good as google...
Segways vs mobiles
As the mobile/cell phone took some 20 years before becoming ubiquituous, maybe we have to give the segway a bit more time before solving global warming and bringing Pyongyang to its knees.
However, ubiquity seems to be the only reason to mention cell phones (hey, sliced bread?). It cuts some time of some things and wastes some more --- I do not see how this invention has a big impact. The benefit/impact of shoes/cars is more obvious for now, and it's used by more, so why not that?
Lastly the mobile is just a patching together of Bell's phone and Marconi's radio. So even in originality and stand-alone impact it does not score well.
Innovation or adaptation?
"Lastly the mobile is just a patching together of Bell's phone and Marconi's radio. So even in originality and stand-alone impact it does not score well."
The same argument can be aimed at the microscope, which is just a beefed up magnifying glass. Or you could say that the world wide web is just another progression of the printing press. Often, what is classed as an innovation is, in reality, very derivative.
It is often quoted that we are "standing on the shoulders of giants" but the giants are more like human pyramids.
Well in my job (Software Testing and Test Automation), I'd have to0 say the best gadget is the virtual desktop. But on a personal basis, I'd have to say the automatic dishwasher is the greatest boon to mankind.
I can think of a few
Lessee. Fire, electricity, the internal combustion engine, the transistor, the microprocessor, the internet. All have drastically changed the world.
You are all wrong!
The indoor flush toilet...
ethanol, particularly in its many diluted, drinkable forms is clearly the greatest invention/discover ever.
My top 5
The internal combustion engine, Cigarettes, Controlled fermentation, Plumbing, Explosives. A pity the article does not say what was voted as the top invention by the Top scientists.