back to article Five technologies you shouldn't bother looking out for in 2016

Welcome to the future! The skies are full of flying cars, the waters are full of personal submarines and our digital wallets are full of 57 varieties of mutually incompatible blockchain-based monetary currency. Food is consumed in the form of nutrition pills. The outdoor temperature is determined by Weather Control in Berlin. …

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Re: From Hamlet

Oh Dave... 10/10 for bringing out the classics.

-100000 for bringing clouds into this sunny thread...

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Re: Lazy journalism methinks

Isn't "lazy journalist" a redundant description?

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Windows

Re: From Hamlet

The passage you quote demonstrates how Hamlet is losing his paranoid marbles at this point

Methinks that interpretation is lacking critical mass in the "sufficiently supported by evidence" department. Hamlet does not need to sound clever and is clearly using standard english practiced by Princes and Kings of Denmark (and their running dog lackeys) worldwide. He is just performing a simple unit test on the Obedient Advisor and reaching a clear 11 on the sycophanticity scale.

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Please not VR...again...

VR is the tech equivalent of 3D cinema. It gets dusted off every 20 years when ideas run out and a quick blip on the financials is needed.

I guess we'll see it come around again in 2035. And yes, you'll still look a dick using it.

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Re: Please not VR...again...

The difference this time round is that many people will have a device at home capable of supporting VR. (PC, PS4), or via the cheaper options, such as Google Cardboard and rivals, that use an existing smart phone.

Previous attempts at VR were too costly, only available in locations like arcades, tech shows etc. and of poor quality.

I'm not saying this will be the year of VR, but I think this will be the year for early adopters, and as the market grows, which I'm certain it will, more VR developers will jump on board with more interesting applications.

By 2017, economies of scale will mean the 2nd generation VR devices will be cheaper and more capable, and so will more from early adoption, to more mainstream.

3D was a gimmick, VR is actually immersive, when done right.

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Re: Please not VR...again...

"3D was a gimmick, VR is actually immersive, when done right."

Maybe. But you'll still look like a dick using it.

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Re: Please not VR...again...

But there's still the matter of Simulation Sickness, and that's not going to go away for the same reason seasickness won't go away: because it's biologically-triggered. The very thing that we want to see in VR is the same thing that makes us sick: part and parcel, and the closer to realistic we get, the worse the problem will become.

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4G - Not so bad here

I get 4G both at work and at home on both EE and Three. EE at work giving me a rather splendid 96meg. My house is right on the edge of a town way down in Zummerzet so that's not too bad at all.

I'd like to like VR but it makes me ill.....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 4G - Not so bad here

Yeah getting 4G at home and work is awesome. But id like to see it work inbetween.

I cant take advantage at work...the boss is a dick...and I cant make use at home...my little lad likes to hide my phone.

So really only the commute is where it makes sense...where currently just getting phone signal is unlikely.

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Re: 4G - Not so bad here

"Yeah getting 4G at home and work is awesome. But id like to see it work inbetween."

I have it kind of easy in that respect as I work from home part of the time and my commute never takes more than 10 mins even when I don't.

I do spend a lot of my time in the woods and wilds (I teach outdoor living skills) and there is often no signal at all.

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Re: 4G - Not so bad here

Why the down votey? A bit mean of you....

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Re: 4G - Not so bad here

Someone might be envious.

[edit: mentioning downvotes round here tends to get you more of them. Oh, wait...]

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 4G - Not so bad here

@ GrumpenKraut

You did ask..... ;-)

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Re: 4G - Not so bad here

Yarp.

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Meh

Re: 4G - Not so bad here

No down votey at the time of writing, Timmy.

P.S. If B stands for Bear, I'm sorry about Ted:

http://explosm.net/show/episode/47/ted-bear

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Happy

Re: 4G - Not so bad here

And there was I was under the impression that effective 4G was as expensive as a geegee

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Pint

Re: 4G - Not so bad here

Good Old Ted (sigh). I learned so much from him. He will be missed.

Pint - for obvious reasons...

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Pint

I disagree about the central heating IoT - the ability to turn it on if you're going to be home early or stop it turning on if you are going to be late is something that is practical and a money saver. And easler to program than the boxes fitted to most boilers*

* That's reminded me, the next time I'm having a beer with my landlord I'm going to ask if we can go halves in fitting one.

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Agreed, i probably don't go straight home from work about the third of the time on an unpredictable basis, so being able to stop the house from pointlessly heating itself up until I'm actually going to be there is saving me a nice chunk of my gas bill. It may even pay for itself in the first year of use.

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Same for me. Unpredictable finish times.

Some (all?) of the IoT type heating systems, can be tied to one or more mobile devices (as well as local movement detection etc).

If no one is near, or currently approaching home, heating stays off. If it detects you heading towards home, it works out your ETA, and from past data, knows how long it takes to get the house up to temp, and so switches the heating on at the optimal point.

Likewise, if you leave the house and forget to turn the heating off, it can do it for you.

I kind of like that, the system would likely pay for itself within a year or two with the fuel savings.

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Properly insulate your home, have radiator stats in all rooms and a modern efficient boiler, with a sensibly set up overall day/night timer and you can leave it running all day with negligible increased cost.

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Boffin

Location

If no one is near, or currently approaching home, heating stays off. If it detects you heading towards home, it works out your ETA, and from past data, knows how long it takes to get the house up to temp, and so switches the heating on at the optimal point.

Likewise, if you leave the house and forget to turn the heating off, it can do it for you.

Which means you have a phone that runs an app that blabs your location.

I don't have one of those; both the first, and ipso facto, the second condition are not fulfilled. It can send an SMS, and a RasPi will then determine if it needs to act on it (no-one at home, house at $low_temp) or not, by signalling the thermostat to select a higher, preset temperature.

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@Will Godfrey

So if I spend the money to properly insulate my home, have radiator stats in all rooms and a new boiler, and then figure out how to sensibly set up a timer to accommodate my random-ish schedule I can leave it running all day with negligible increased costs. Or, I could buy a smart thermostat and have decreased running cost. Hmmm, it's hard to know what to go for...

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Rol

Sex and violence

If your product ticks one of those boxes then expect sales to go exponential.

So for VR i think part of the answer is interactive porn, where no longer are you at the mercy of whoever is holding the camera, as you can pan around the scene and focus on the angles that get you hotter and botherederer. That and finally removing your troops out of the firing line by letting them kick ass from a comfortable AC barracks.

Lets hope these two "advances" don't get confusingly intertwined in some nightmare snuff scene where Mr Garrison gets his wish to fuck 'em all to death.

Then again, watching daesh going out in a spectacular bang would be compulsive viewing.

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Re: Sex and violence

Wrong.

Why? You wont notice when your mum or wife walks into the room while you lay writhing with your phone stuck to your head and also numerous Kleenex.

"Cup of tea dear? ...Ohhhh your Father will be disappointed...and look at all that distemper on the sofa!"

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sex and violence

I suspect you missed something in recent years.

We now live in the age of wanking live on the internet.

There are plenty of people that dont care who walks (or wanks?) in.

VR porn could work. Though we need to get porn upto 1080p as standard first. Then 60fps...

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Re: Sex and violence

You still have your field of vision with a webcam.

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Mushroom

Re: Sex and violence

Then again, watching daesh going out in a spectacular bang would be compulsive viewing.

You can find hilarious videos shot by spotters, choppers or whatever on the Interwebs today, actually. Still in 2D though.

OTOH, I am still looking for the camera view of the AC-130 that repeatedly bombed an MSF hospital for funs and giggles. Some atrocities are not released early.

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Anonymous Coward

"how many arseholes"

How many arseholes I have WHAT during the course of the day? Then again, given it's SftW, I'm not sure if I want to know...

BTW. I fully agree with you regarding IoT, Dabbsy.

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Anonymous Coward

6.

This will be the year teledildonics finally goes mainstream. You'll be able to poke people on Tinder, or whatever.

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Android on the desktop

I've just read a review suggesting that 2016 could be the year of Android on the desktop. The fact that the installer hadn't been translated from Chinese didn't seem to count as an impediment.

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Don't give Dabbsy too much slack

I love his writing. But if we let him get away with the 4G gag he's just going to get lazy. Which wouldn't do at all. BTW I get mine from Tesco at no greater charge than my old 3G and it's brilliant,

OTOH I must admit, while my Tesco (O2) 4G usually works well for me, if I go a mile or two south of home there are places where I might as well try two cans and a length of string - forget 3G even. So Dabbsy's basic point is valid. Before they f**k about with 5G maybe they should be able to get a signal that covers all of North London.

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Re: Promises, promises

I got a free upgrade to 4G on 3 network and at home in the evening I've seen 40mbit speeds up and down - amazing speed!

2 miles away in one of the financial districts I struggle to get 1mbit and in the new office location I don't even get a signal at all, so it's pretty pointless most of the time.

You put 100,000 people/phones in a 2km square area and it just doesn't have the throughput it needs on the backend, doesn't matter if it's 3G, 4G or 5G, the higher number just makes you more annoyed it's not working as marketed. Holiday day trips to lightly populated Med' islands show how decent even 3G is when it's not over subscribed.

Oh and on the IoT... I love the quote I read on t'internet - "my boiler won't turn off because it can't see the internet". I would laugh hard at that except the landlord controls the heating for the flats from his phone....

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Re: Promises, promises

I live on one of the 'lightly populated' Med' islands and I can tell you when there are thousands of you taking and sending selfies of yourselves vomiting outside a club at 4am in the morning, my 3G is crap.

When hoardes of journos get told by their editors each year to make predictions for the coming year, that very act seems to guarantee that the predictions will never happen.

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Re: Promises, promises

Holiday day trips to lightly populated Med' islands show how decent even 3G is when it's not over subscribed.

Might be great on the beach but step off the beaten track (i.e. onto the track that just locals use) and you'll be back down to Edge or they'll claim to give you 3G but they only have the bandwidth for GPRS. There's money in them roaming fees.

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FaceWatch

Hmm ... I can't quite work out whether that's "Dabbsy of Borg" or "Mean Machine Dabbsy" ... but if it's the latter I think the dial has slipped.

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Re: FaceWatch

Upvoted for the Mean Machine reference.

"Gonna go up to 3 on ya. Oh, it's dropped down to 2G... Edge... GPRS... tin cans with string... stories swapped over a campfire... etc"

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IoT

During the late 80s/early 90s there was a big push for "home automation". I was on a serious committee which met once a month to eat expensive lunches and think serious thoughts about protocols and interference and whether the signalling could be delivered over the mains without causing the lights on the house next door to turn on and off. It was good fun while it lasted, and then it sank without trace.

However,something has happened in 25 years that is different. The banks have run out of other ways of stealing our money and have been trying to pump air into tech bubbles. Peak Apple seems to have happened, Peak Twitter has happened. There has to be something new that Wall Street can lever to get the mugs to part with money. Therefore the IoT may be the next tech bubble. Remember, it is not about delivering products that people want; it is about paying yourself an enormous salary to persuade mugs to part with money, followed by presenting them with the 4.7pt "Value of investments may go down as well as up".

Unless tulips get very, very exciting again or new spices are discovered in the South Seas, I wouldn't put it past IoT to be the Next Big Thing.

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Re: IoT

I've seen home automation done right, in some very expensive homes. Window blinds in a bedroom, linked to a control panel by the bed, that sort of thing.

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Happy

Re: IoT

Was it AMX or Crestron - I worked with both in some pretty swanky places during the mid 1990s.

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Don't know about others, but wearable (s2 classic) works perfectly for people who spend time in meetings and spends ages on the phone. Quickly and more discreetly reading whatsapp, sms, short emails and being able to hangup quickly makes all the difference.

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"people who spend time in meetings and spends ages on the phone. Quickly and more discreetly reading whatsapp, sms, short emails and being able to hangup quickly makes all the difference."

I wonder if you can get 4G on the B-Ark.

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IoT

I think a lot of the predictions about IoT rest upon how we define IoT.

Christmas Day I was at a friend's house preparing to enjoy the festive dinner when I realised I had forgotten to program my DVR for later that day. That's a Virgin Media TiVo with a network connection so I whipped out my mobile and programmed it up via that.

Was that IoT or something else?

Would it have suddenly become IoT if I had turned my heating up or down instead? Turned lights on or off, or had remotely unlocked the front door and disabled the burglar alarm because a friend had arrived there and wanted to drop a present off, had used the door camera to check they hadn't brought some pals round to ransack the house?

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Trollface

IoT

apps that let me turn on the central heating when I’m not at home

ITYM 'let anyone turn on, or off,'

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Dead on!

IoT: When it survives a cost-benefit analysis, we may reconsider. Wait. We can simplify that to a mere benefit analysis.

5G: That's exactly what I was wondering. So do we really have 4G now? Really?? It's like IPv6. It's been out for a while. A really long time. We are still waiting.

VR: I keep hearing that pr0n will make this a big business. You can hide whatever you were looking at by pressing alt-tab. Not so easy to conceal your dark helmet.

IT jobs sexy: I don't know of many jobs that are sexy. It's easy to be fooled by the "sexiness" of the end result of something (check out TV dramas on lawyers or physicians), not realizing that there is a lot of effort and a fair share of tedious work to do in order to get there. This applies to any serious job. So if your job is sexy, it must be a very easy one.

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Trollface

Whut?

You mean nobody has mentioned the death of COBOL? It's an annual staple! ;)

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Re: Whut?

"You mean nobody has mentioned the death of COBOL? It's an annual staple! ;)"

DeadCOBOLannualstaple! My new password. Cheers.

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4G

I've had 4G for 18 months as have all the other subscribers to my provider. Lots of people have it and it works in any reasonably built up area including London. Unless this comment was tongue in cheek I think its wrong, it certainly doesn't tally with my experience.

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Sil
Devil

Not sure where you live, I've been using 4G for more than a year, at a decent price, without any freebies. This Christmas in France there were offers as low as 3,99€ per month for 4G subscription.

When are you launching a kickstarter campaign for your wearable ?

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Low 4G coverage

Is this a UK only thing?

And what's the big need for a 5G/4G phone anyway?

I've got 4G, but only use it on a USB dongle when customer guest WiFi is too onerous to register/connect to.

The phone is still only a 3G phone and works fine everywhere. Even for streaming radio in the car.

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