Linked by David Adams on Thu 18th Oct 2007 13:57 UTC
Features, Office Remember those great "home of the future" demonstrations from days past? If you're not old enough to remember them from world fairs, Disneyland, or movie newsreels, you've probably seen the cartoons parodying them: Robotic maids, self-cleaning kitchens, futuristic-looking plastic furniture, dehydrated food; everything white, round, and sparkling. Well, it's the future now, and it didn't exactly turn out the way they thought it would, but thanks to ubiquitous computer technology, today's home can have capabilities that futurists 50 years ago would never have imagined.
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Full article?
by anevilyak on Thu 18th Oct 2007 14:05 UTC
anevilyak
Member since:
2005-09-14

The "Read More" link seems to be missing...

Reply Score: 5

RE: Full article?
by somebody on Thu 18th Oct 2007 14:27 UTC in reply to "Full article?"
somebody Member since:
2005-07-07

The "Read More" link seems to be missing...

[joke] Nah, its just the new feature on OSNews... OSThoughts [/joke]

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Full article?
by PJBonoVox on Thu 18th Oct 2007 16:38 UTC in reply to "RE: Full article?"
PJBonoVox Member since:
2006-08-14

What a funny joke.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Full article?
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 18th Oct 2007 14:58 UTC in reply to "Full article?"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I've already fixed it. I have no idea what the hell happened, but luckily, Safari had the story in its cache, so I was able to fix it.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Full article?
by JonathanBThompson on Thu 18th Oct 2007 18:56 UTC in reply to "RE: Full article?"
JonathanBThompson Member since:
2006-05-26

Perhaps the "OSNews Software of the Future" will be perfect, have no bugs, and bring world peace through its incredibly wise stewardship of environmental resources that causes everyone to live together as one.

Nah, that's going so far out, that's even wilder than the "House of the Future" predictions in the 50's ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: "live together as one" vs Garrett Hardin
by pg--az on Thu 18th Oct 2007 21:16 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Full article?"
pg--az Member since:
2006-03-15

I like Garrett Hardin's "Filters Against Folly" for its chapter on the "Global Pothole Problem". In contrast to say healthcare, potholes are less emotionally loaded so it is easier to think rationally. Anytime I see "as one" it's my cue to bring up "Tragedy of the Commons" - title of his widely-cited 1968 essay.

Reply Score: 1

linked
by Darkness on Thu 18th Oct 2007 14:42 UTC
Darkness
Member since:
2005-08-27

it says "linked by" so I guess there is another article to be referenced...

Reply Score: 1

Printer friendly is your friend!
by BBlalock on Thu 18th Oct 2007 14:55 UTC
BBlalock
Member since:
2006-01-15

Click the "printer friendly" link to see the article.

EDIT: now it's got a "read more" link. Wierd.

Edited 2007-10-18 14:57

Reply Score: 1

House of the future?
by AdamW on Thu 18th Oct 2007 15:08 UTC
AdamW
Member since:
2005-07-06

The real problem with the house of the future is that, on current trends, it cannot logically speaking be a house. It's going to have to be a condo.

There are simply getting to be far too many people around for all of them to have a house. It's not going to work.

Reply Score: 4

RE: House of the future?
by butters on Thu 18th Oct 2007 18:28 UTC in reply to "House of the future?"
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

Plus, property and landscaping maintenance is annoying and expensive for suburbanites. Townhouse communities offer centralized outdoor facilities like pools, fields, and picnic areas that end up being better-maintained and a whole lot cheaper because the cost is spread over many families.

You don't have the privacy or exclusivity, but there's always a heavy premium associated that. For people who spend so much of their time at work, it's convenient to be able to meet new people and socialize at the community pool or fitness center. Having many more families nearby and without any main roads is great for kids.

Modern society, and I would suggest America in particular, is losing its sense of togetherness. If we don't find more effective ways of bringing people together, the religious fundamentalist nutjobs will continue to proliferate their self-righteous hatred. I tell you, science and rationalism was doing great until people started moving to the suburbs and finding this new brand of megachurch Jesus.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: House of the future?
by chmeee on Fri 19th Oct 2007 03:31 UTC in reply to "RE: House of the future?"
chmeee Member since:
2006-01-10

Your argument was valid all the way until you started your bullshit spout on religion, then it became nothing but an idiot's tirade. He's talking about technology, you just had to give your anti-religion view. You give atheists a bad name.

Reply Score: 1

Kitchen of the future
by Tyr. on Thu 18th Oct 2007 15:29 UTC
Tyr.
Member since:
2005-07-06

Now, there has been talk of having a fridge that monitors the age and condition of the food inside, and that can use the bar codes (or soon, RFID tags) on packages to maintain electronic shopping lists or even reorder food automatically over the Net

Sounds like a fridge for managers: "I need pro-active monitoring of the grocery storage system in case of a freshness defenciency event. Oh and we need to link it to our resupply process to achieve greater synergy. And connect it to the intertubes too."

Reply Score: 10

RE: Kitchen of the future
by sbergman27 on Sat 20th Oct 2007 01:54 UTC in reply to "Kitchen of the future"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
Now, there has been talk of having a fridge that monitors the age and condition of the food inside,
"""

Oh dear! I'd better not get one of those. I'd hate to be the first to create a need for fridge psychiatrists, fridge group therapy, and fridge anti-nausea medications!

Better give the fridge a method of ejecting offensive former foodstuffs on its own. ;-)

Edited 2007-10-20 01:55

Reply Score: 1

Good article.
by BBlalock on Thu 18th Oct 2007 16:16 UTC
BBlalock
Member since:
2006-01-15

I especially liked the first photo you selected; it reminded me of "And he built a crooked house" by Robert A. Heinlein.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Good article.
by Johann Chua on Sun 21st Oct 2007 10:24 UTC in reply to "Good article."
Johann Chua Member since:
2005-07-22

Just finished reading Heinlein's THE DOOR INTO SUMMER. The main character designed household robots, though the first one built was basically just a Roomba. On the other hand the story opened in 1970.

Reply Score: 2

......
by islander on Thu 18th Oct 2007 17:49 UTC
islander
Member since:
2007-04-11

I skimmed through most of the article until I reached the last page which interests me most on this topic.Ecological Responsibility.

I personally believe that until we can sucessfully marry technology and nature then we are getting nowhere.I believe that is or should be the true purpose of computer technology to allow us to build work and home spaces that are very nature-friendly and are highly integrated into its cycles.

Right now technology is very antagonistic in its approach to this ideal and its only a matter of time before nature's reaction overtakes the rate of technological innovation.Nature has never and will never lose a battle to mankind's attempts to subvert its power.

My ideal home of the future is not one loaded with technological gadgetry but one that is low cost, low maintenance,uses natural forces (solar,wind,seawater,etc) to power itself.Everything else is secondary.

Reply Score: 3

RE: ......
by butters on Thu 18th Oct 2007 19:45 UTC in reply to "......"
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

Indeed. Even if climate change is a political bogeyman like communism, terrorism, or materialism (and I'm not saying it is or isn't), it's a far superior bogeyman to rise up against. I'm convinced that life is, in part, a desperate search for collective purpose, and there's an overwhelming amount of historical evidence to suggest that religion and nationalism are destructive outlets for this desire.

If we're going to have a bogeyman, it might as well be one that requires the entire world to work together in order to defeat it, one that doesn't involve the rationalization of mass murder, and one that will stimulate the global economy to work toward sustainable peace and prosperity.

Even if you don't buy into climate change theory, all you need to understand to get on board is that the fossil fuel reserves won't last forever, and, for all intents and purposes, the nuclear waste will. Then you'll realize that the entire Earth, and indeed the entire Universe, is awash in virtually limitless energy, and all we need to do is invest in the technology to harness it.

There's no reason why we can't dive headfirst into this effort. Residential solar grid-tie systems are available today for under $10K USD, a relatively small fraction of the value of a middle-class home, and that cost will drop like a brick under economy of scale. Community photothermal generators using parabolic mirror arrays and sterling engines are even more cost-effective.

Furthermore, we must switch over to lithium-based battery-electric vehicles (BEVs). Putting any kind of fuel in the vehicle is just plain stupid, since the kind of small, lightweight, inexpensive engines used in vehicles are remarkably inefficient. There is no alternative vehicular fuel that emits less CO2 per mile than gasoline. Period. Not hydrogen, not natural gas, and certainly not ethanol.

However, a BEV running on electricity generated from natural gas gets 5 times the mileage of a natural gas vehicle running on the fuel directly, and it "emits" 1/3 the CO2 of a Prius. There's your solution to the carbon emissions problem, and it will only get better as the electric grid mixes in more renewable energy sources, including privately-owned solar grid-tie systems. Not the mention the possibility of charging your BEV at home directly from your solar system and/or using its battery as an energy storage buffer for your home.

Surprisingly, the only American presidential candidate that's out in front of BEV technology is John McCain. Go figure.

Green energy technology is almost entirely ready, albeit pricey. But if we put even a modest fraction of the amount of public funding into green energy as we do into our various other bogeymen, we'll be well on the road to a sustainable energy future in less than 5 years.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: ......
by islander on Thu 18th Oct 2007 23:51 UTC in reply to "RE: ......"
islander Member since:
2007-04-11

Agreed 100%.

Reply Score: 2

Why we'll never have flying cars
by JonathanBThompson on Thu 18th Oct 2007 18:33 UTC
JonathanBThompson
Member since:
2006-05-26

At least, in abundance:

Even if we somehow overcome all the technological and efficiency problems of such small flying aircraft, and even if we make them 100% failure-proof from a mechanical point of view, a flying car as anything depicted that has the freedom to fly in the XYZ space (3D space, which, being on a sphere, can't be strictly cartesian) will never happen. As long as there's the freedom of choice (which I believe is what a flying car is all about) to move about in any direction, it'll be limited to a very select few that have demonstrated both proficiency and (hopefully!) responsibility, for much the same reason that there's very few jet pilots on earth.

Everywhere I've ever lived, I've seen evidence that there's a huge portion of the population that isn't capable of controlling their vehicles safely on what is a mostly 2D plane: why would we ever want to place such people (a large part of humanity) in such an environment that adds an extra dimension of difficulty and room for failure? Not only that, but when a ground vehicle goes awry, the damage tends to be far more predictable and limited than what would happen with an air vehicle: most cars never end up in or on a roof of a residence, for example, except in the most extreme of weird situations. Just imagine the difficulty of securing anything from accidental or intentional collisions of flying cars into them. Now, imagine how many people on their cell phones would cause spectacular accidents everyday. I know I certainly would become a much more paranoid person about the sky falling on me (it's not enough that I've had a 210 foot tall crane fall directly on top of my former apartment building with me inside, directly underneath).

Thus, even if all the technical, efficiency and cost problems of flying cars were solved, I'm not convinced we can solve the human problem that most people can't be counted on to not screw things up, intentionally or by accident.

Reply Score: 6

butters Member since:
2005-07-08

Unless you're crossing a large body of water, flying doesn't make much sense. We'd be much better off with high-speed rail for long-distance or even medium-distance travel.

Imagine a maglev linear-induction rail system on which family-sized cars travel independently, normally in "trains" of cars kept drafting distance apart by the computers that operate the track. The riders indicate where they're going, and the computers route the cars accordingly by separating them from their drafting groups and taking switch exits. Then they either catch up or slow down to join a new drafting group.

I don't see why such a rail system can't exceed the typical cruise velocity of a commercial airliner. It's bound to be more convenient and less expensive than flying while getting you closer to your intended destination both physically and temporally.

Reply Score: 3

AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

Bruce Sterling wrote a book in the mid-90s (can't remember the name, I think it had 'Fire' in it) where all long-distance travel was done on trains. Even intercontinental - just run tunnels under the oceans. Neat idea.

Reply Score: 3

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Agree 100%.

Also add the fact that if everyone was using a flying car instead of a regular car the sky would be just as overcrowded as our roads now are.
The plus side is that The Worlds Worst Car Crashes videos would be more spectacular than ever.

Reply Score: 1

StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

Everywhere I've ever lived, I've seen evidence that there's a huge portion of the population that isn't capable of controlling their vehicles safely on what is a mostly 2D plane


Hell, it also seems that a huge portion of the population isn't capable of sensibly maneuvering themselves, much less a vehicle (something I'm reminded of with every visit to a grocery store).

Reply Score: 3

DigitalAxis Member since:
2005-08-28

I've grown to assume that the real 'flying' part of this is going to be cities increasingly built up and out, with skyways and pedestrian walkways and trains everywhere.

This of course is unrealistic in that I haven't explained how everyone got over their love affair with the family car. Yes, I'm a terrible futurist.

Reply Score: 2

What a great article
by kloty on Thu 18th Oct 2007 19:46 UTC
kloty
Member since:
2005-07-07

Hi Adam,

thanks a lot for the great article, I enjoyed reading it. In fact I was also a fan of all these future predictions books from the last century and it is interesting to see, which prediction is fullfilled and which not. I think you're mostly refering to the American and Western Europe books, but it is also very interesting (and somehow horrifiying) to read the predictions which were made in 20th-30th decades of the last century in Sowjetunion, what people were thinking how they can transform the whole earth by watering whole deserts, defrosting Siberia, cultivating the jungle and so on. Luckily enough for us, these plans were way too ambitious, though some of these plans were fullfilled, like watering the deserts in Uzbekistan, that leads already to ecological catastrophe (drying out of Aral-lake).

What you forgot to mention was the introduction of LED as lightning source, which is also a revolution, because it lasts much longer, consumes far less energy and is available in different colors, which can change dependent on your mood.

Reply Score: 1

hmm...
by hobgoblin on Thu 18th Oct 2007 20:11 UTC
hobgoblin
Member since:
2005-07-06

whats really interesting is that this confirms my thoughts that we are mentally coming full circle.

in the 50-60's it was the house of the future, the post ww2 idea that things just cant go wrong. and then the 60's rolled into the 70's, with bushfire wars popping up like (thankfully non-nuclear) mushrooms.

and with that we had the hippies and other spiritualists going whole hog natural.

with that out of the way we hit the 80-90's with the computer and the net showing the way of the future. where you would be able to order up anything from the comfort of your living room.

then bang we ran into the dot-com bubble. and now we have terrorists and desert wars. and i see spiritualists popping out of the woodwork again.

is anyone else seeing a trend?

"plus ca change" and "may we live in interesting times", ad infinitum...

Reply Score: 3

RE: hmm...
by butters on Thu 18th Oct 2007 21:21 UTC in reply to "hmm..."
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

is anyone else seeing a trend?


Yes. For 60 years following WWII, America has been on a gigantic political power trip, aggressively suppressing change in order to preserve its economic hegemony over the world. In order to do business with the American economic juggernaut, you needed to submit to their political demands.

However, the impending energy crisis is demonstrating that politics doesn't drive economics, but rather the other way around. A new Chinese superpower is rising on the back of what they call "win-win" foreign policy, the theory that mutually beneficial economic alliances can transcend political differences and ultimately create political allies.

The crux of this new geopolitical landscape will be about the relationship between money and power. Does might make right, or does money make the world go 'round? Does peace depend on agreement or on tolerance?

Reply Score: 2

GAGH the bloody swedes is coming.
by judgen on Fri 19th Oct 2007 07:56 UTC
judgen
Member since:
2006-07-12

ITS AN IKEA INVASION! =) heheh
# Røtern nik Akten Di
# Wik
# Alsø wik
# Alsø alsø wik
# Wi nøt trei a høliday in Sweden this yër?
# See the løveli lakes
# The wøndërful telephøne system
# And mäni interesting furry animals
LOL

Reply Score: 2

Loved it
by capricorn_tm on Fri 19th Oct 2007 08:04 UTC
capricorn_tm
Member since:
2005-12-31

Particularly the reference to the "Geek of the fifties" ;)

How I would LOVe to talk to a geek of the Fifties, it would be one of the more entartaining moments of my life ;)

Reply Score: 1

Cheap 2*4 construction
by MikeekiM on Fri 19th Oct 2007 18:10 UTC
MikeekiM
Member since:
2005-11-16

You're overstating the insulation in a "modern" home.
It's still cheap 2*4 frame construction( with the advantage that in a fire you can simply run through the wall ). These houses are speced with high insulation but, you can't check inside the walls to be sure. All I can say is that home_depot for example, you still see a LOT of cheap insulation for sale to contractors that should have long ago been taken off the market.

How is it that the replacement cost of 2*4 frame housing is typically 1/3 to 1/4 the sales prices. Because they are cheap peices of junk.

We should have long ago mandated homes that don't actually need heating systems except for emergency weather.

Reply Score: 1