Monthly Archives: August 2006

The wisdom of crowds

The idea of crowd intelligence is simple: the wisdom of a large group of people is nearly always greater than the intelligence of any single member. The theory is especially hot in Internet circles – where obviously it’s very easy … Continue reading

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Customised treatments

90% of medicines don’t work for 30% of people, so in the future we’ll see treatment programs and drugs tailor made for specific groups and even individuals. We’ll also see diets customised to specific groups of people and genetically based … Continue reading

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User generated content

One of the great features of the Internet is how it allows people who don’t know each other to instantly share things with each other, sometimes enhancing them along the way. Old examples include Flicker while new examples include Spore, … Continue reading

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Longtails

First, in the 1980s, it was ponytails, now, in the noughties, it’s longtails. The longtail effect has long been used by statisticians to describe ‘power-law’ distributions, such as the usage of certain words in the English language (words occurring frequently … Continue reading

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Continuous partial attention

Interruption science is the study of why people get distracted and how best to interrupt people. For example, in the late 1980s NASA needed to find ways to deliver important importation to busy astronauts. This might seem trivial but if … Continue reading

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Simplicity

A trend that’s sweeping through the technology industry is simplicity. The idea is starting to make its presence felt in other areas too. Business tends to make things complicated because it’s easier that way. Engineers, in particular, are guilty as … Continue reading

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Discipline convergence

If the convergence of computing and communications led to the Information Age, then perhaps we are on the cusp of another dramatic shift. Engineering and computing started to converge some time ago and other disciplines are following suit. For example, … Continue reading

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The rise of the machines

Expect computers to become more intelligent than humans by about 2025. At this point humankind will be faced with something of a dilemma. If machines become more intelligent than their makers, what’s to stop them taking over? You could of … Continue reading

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US and them

It would obviously be too simplistic to carve up the world between America (and its allies) and the rest of the world, but some people see it that way. So far protest has been limited to street demonstrations and the … Continue reading

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Personalisation

How can you have a list of top trends and innovations without mentioning Apple’s i-Pod somewhere? The i-Pod is an excellent example of all sorts of trends including place shifting, device convergence, Moore’s Law and miniaturisation. However, the most interesting … Continue reading

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