Forgot your password?

Your Favorite Technology That Didn't Come To Pass

Displaying poll results.
Flying Car
  5273 votes / 21%
Personal Jet Pack
  4412 votes / 17%
Robot Maid
  4936 votes / 20%
Automated House
  2553 votes / 10%
Computer Teacher
  468 votes / 1%
Underwater City
  3687 votes / 14%
Pill Food
  2026 votes / 8%
CowboyNeal-1000
  1310 votes / 5%
24665 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Your Favorite Technology That Didn't Come To Pass

Comments Filter:
  • Computer Teacher? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 19, 2012 @08:38AM (#41044777)

    Don't we actually have those?

    As in, you're on it write now. And go to WikiPedia ....

    And there are all those interactive lessons for just about every subject on the planet on the 'Net.

    • Re:Computer Teacher? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by 2.7182 (819680) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @08:40AM (#41044797)
      Yes, I think one could definitely say that this was the ONE thing that did come to pass. And pretty effectively too. Unless they mean some sort of AI.
      • Yes, I think one could definitely say that this was the ONE thing that did come to pass. And pretty effectively too[citation needed] [wikipedia.org]. Unless they mean some sort of AI.

      • Or maybe it's a euphemism like the "Robot Maid."

        That's why so many people voted for that, right?

      • by g0bshiTe (596213)
        The computer teachers at my daughters school are constantly getting her help to solve simple Windows issues. So I'd say they are still a ways away.
    • by Pantero Blanco (792776) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @02:01PM (#41047147)

      That's more of a textbook than a teacher.

      They're talking about the sci-fi version, which is basically a specialized AI that has access to all that information.

      If you've read The Diamond Age, the Primer is a good example.

      • They're talking about the sci-fi version, which is basically a specialized AI that has access to all that information. If you've read The Diamond Age, the Primer is a good example

        Even in that vision of the distant future, human intervention was required to make it work completely.

        The type of real GOFAI implied by "Computer Teacher" is probably the most valuable tech on the list, but it seems like it's a lot harder to do than the rest. The fact that our best "human simulations" are basically Eliza with a few hard-coded gags is kind of depressing.

    • by tpstigers (1075021) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @07:14PM (#41049233)

      As in, you're on it write now.

      No, I'm not. However, I am writing on it right now.

    • Yeah, crappy poll. Most of the options are things that did come to pass, if not widely available...

      Flying car: http://www.terrafugia.com/ [terrafugia.com]
      Personal Jet Pack: (there have been several) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jet_pack [wikipedia.org]
      Robot Maid: http://www.irobot.com/us/ [irobot.com]
      Automated house: http://www.thehomeautomationstore.com/ [thehomeaut...nstore.com] More advanced examples have been built but I don't have any links at the moment...
      Computer Teacher: Wow, really? My kid's leapfrog comes to mind to start with...
      Underwater City: I
  • Food pill (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AmiMoJo (196126) <mojo @ w orld3.net> on Sunday August 19, 2012 @09:10AM (#41044951) Homepage

    One pill that gives you all the nutrition you need and makes you feel completely full and satisfied would be one of the greatest inventions in the history of the world. It could reduce obesity and poor diet related problems in developed nations and feed the rest of the world, freeing them from the slavery of subsistence farming or trying to scrape together enough food.

    Of course in reality it would be patented to hell.

    • Re:Food pill (Score:4, Interesting)

      by azalin (67640) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @09:54AM (#41045179)
      I wonder what would happen if you ate a whole bunch of these, because you thought you were really hungry - or to drunken to see the dangers of a pill eating contest...
      • There are already "smart pills" that analyze certain properties of the body; you'd just need it to analyze and/or interface with existing online monitoring systems and dispense only what you really need.

    • Re:Food pill (Score:4, Insightful)

      by John Hasler (414242) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @10:16AM (#41045355) Homepage

      > Of course in reality it would be patented to hell.

      Patents are not like copyrights. They expire.

    • Re:Food pill (Score:4, Informative)

      by realkiwi (23584) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @10:37AM (#41045505)

      Then of course in "developed" nations we could just eat less, eat better quality food, stop over producing food and pay honest prices for food items that are imported from the "developing" world.

      There, no more need for a food pill.

    • Re:Food pill (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 19, 2012 @10:50AM (#41045609)
      I happen to enjoy the smells, tastes and textures of food too. With a pill, you wouldn't have that.
    • Re:Food pill (Score:4, Insightful)

      by petes_PoV (912422) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @02:31PM (#41047367)

      One pill that gives you all the nutrition you need and makes you feel completely full and satisfied would be one of the greatest inventions in the history of the world. It could reduce obesity

      Nah, you'd always get some greedy *%%!@bag who went back for seconds - and other people who decided they were pillarians and wouldn't eat them.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Considering the calories you actually need the pill would be denser than lead. Since its not lead I suppose you could use some sort of extremely strong microgravitational field to squeeze all of the required elements and configurations into the SIZE of a pill. But at that point using enough mass for that amount of gravity would create a micro blackhole, assuming of course you somehow manipulated the higgs field via whatever causes hypothetical anistropy in the physical laws of the universe to confer more ma

      • Considering the calories you actually need the pill would be denser than lead.

        Not if the pill opens up a small wormhole in your stomach, that feeds in nutrients from another location.

        The benefit would be you'd only need to eat the pill once, it could clamp on to the sides of your stomach and continue to provide an endless stream of nutrients.

        • All the FUD about the LHC making a black hole that would swallow Earth, and you want to put a black hole in everyone's abdomen?

          Actually, that's pretty cool - so long as there was a second wormhole in the rectum to remove the end results.

          • by Pieroxy (222434)

            Methinks you're confusing black holes and wormholes. These are very different beasts. Actually, you'd need a wormhole in your stomach and a black hole in your rectum.

            • Not really. After all, we still don't really know what's the other side of an event horizon. Plus, wormholes are a specific subclass of black hole.
      • Considering the calories you actually need the pill would be denser than lead. Since its not lead I suppose you could use some sort of extremely strong microgravitational field to squeeze all of the required elements and configurations into the SIZE of a pill.

        "I can't swallow that!"
        "Well then, good news! It's a suppository."

    • Sure what a great way to basically destroy the economy. How many people would it put out of work?

      No more farmers. No farmers means no feed supply stores so no clerks, stockboys, drivers and cashiers. No farm equipment manufacturers so no salesmen selling the equipment, no factories producing the equipment so no assembly line workers, office staff, managers, and drivers. The collapse of the the manufacturers puts their parts suppliers out of business so no mangers, office staff, drivers, delivery

      • I suppose you sent that message via postal mail, so as to not put all those people out of work by using the mostly unmanned Internet?

    • by prefec2 (875483)

      It would be disastrous, because delicious food, cooking etc. are part of our culture. Furthermore taste is one of our senses. To cut it of by not using it, reduces your life experience. All world food problems are based on bad resource management and bad habits. You do not need to eat meat every day for a healthy diet, you should not eat too much carbohydrates, sugars, and fat. If you do, this has negative effects. We all know it. Those who cannot stop should consider a behavioral therapy or if they eat to

    • by cfulton (543949)
      And if the food pill where green we could all run out into the streets crying:
      Oh my god. The food pill is people. The food pill is people.
      How about we all grow a nice garden.
      • by idontgno (624372)

        How about we all grow a nice garden.

        The fertilizer is people. The fertilizer is people!

  • by dltaylor (7510) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @09:29AM (#41045037)

    How could it not be the overwhelming favorite?

    Whether it really is just a rather smart cleaning tool, reducing the burden on yourself/SO, maybe a bit of cookery to reduce the need for breaks in gaming sessions, or adds a sex function to provide some distraction (again for yourself/SO; threesome?), what other choice is really day-to-day better?

    Automated house? Didn't you read the book/see the movie?

    "Demon Seed", IIRC

    • Ignoring any possible connotations (robots have no gender anyway), this one is definitely the most useful option in the list, so the one I picked.

    • I chose to interpret this as the anime android Robot Maid... you know, the "fully functional" kind.

    • If I had a personal jet pack I'd never be home to make a mess. And who needs a cook when you're getting all that protein from all the bugs that smash into your face and goggles? Also, "I have a jet pack" is a pickup line that probably works more often than not, no matter how few digits your ./ uid has.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    With the absence of business-related articles in the past month or so and now a CowboyNeal option in the poll, could Slashdot be finally getting back on track?

  • by Anne_Nonymous (313852) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @12:14PM (#41046291) Homepage Journal

    Why is CowboyNeal-1000/robot maid in there twice?

  • The flying car (Score:5, Insightful)

    by phaedrus5001 (1992314) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @12:18PM (#41046323)
    Ever since I was a little kid and saw "Back to the Future Part II", I used to dream of the day when I could have my own flying car (be it a DeLorean or not). Of course, as I got older and started actually driving, the idea has become much less appealing. Driving now is, for the most part, a two dimensional activity: you have forward, back, left, right, and all the angles in between. People (apparently) have a hard enough time with that as is. The flying car would just bring stupid into the third dimension.
    • by antdude (79039)

      What about hoverboards? ;)

    • Re:The flying car (Score:5, Interesting)

      by subreality (157447) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @09:59PM (#41050159)

      The flying car would just bring stupid into the third dimension

      The third dimension dramatically simplifies many of the things that people have trouble with in 2d:

      You no longer need stoplights. Cross traffic is handled by flying at different altitudes.

      You no longer have to merge. You just make a sweeping turn as you climb so that you're always going the same direction as other traffic on your flight level. Flying in a helix that way is going to be hard for people to visualize, but in practice it's easy: you're at xxx altitude, therefore fly yyy heading +/- 5 degrees. You won't even have to really manage it yourself: it's a trivial task for the autopilot.

      This also eliminates head-on traffic on a two lane road.

      The traffic density becomes MUCH lower when you have all that vertical space available - instead of all the cars being confined to linear roads, they're spread out on a stack of infinite-width roads layered 40,000 feet high. Thus when you start approaching someone from behind (it's always from behind since everyone at your level is going the same direction) all you have to do is change headings slightly when you get within a few miles (!).

      Those things eliminate the causes of most non-DUI accidents. Of course, flying has its own unique set of difficult problems, but I don't think the "average person doing 3d maneuvers" is significant enough to kill it.

      • by Hentes (2461350)

        Also, there's nothing obstructing your view and no pedestrians or large animals to watch out for. 3D is safer.

        • Not that you don't have to worry about the birds with cars, but it's more of a windshield strike problem than a stop the motor problem. You also have to worry about radio and TV towers and power lines just as aircraft and helicopters do. Landing on pedestrians would still be an issue. With flying cars you add a whole new class of hazards even though you eliminate several.

          Still, by the time we get true flying cars that are as advanced as we like to think about from science fiction, I suspect that the other a

      • by HappyHead (11389)
        The non-DUI accidents you're talking about eliminating are the ones where cars are running into eachother. The problem is, even though regulations would be created to try to prevent those things, similar regulations being in place do nothing to prevent cars in 2-d from running into eachother, pedestrians (I've been hit three times, once on the sidewalk, twice in a parking lot while standing still in plain sight, wearing an orange and yellow vest since I worked there), and non-mobile obstacles like trees, b
      • Re:The flying car (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Quantus347 (1220456) on Monday August 20, 2012 @01:24PM (#41056721)
        The simple fact is that we wont have mass market flying cars until we have widely accepted and trusted self-driving cars (which thanks to Google's "its easier to ask forgiveness than permission" mentality may be closer than we realize). Do you really want all those idiots that eat/text/read newspapers/apply makeup/etc while driving to be doing so directly over your house? When you are talking about falling from even low level cruising altitudes, there is no such thing as a minor accident. And not much in the way of survivors...
    • by evilviper (135110)

      The flying car would just bring stupid into the third dimension.

      Nothing says the flying car has to be as fast, heavy, and dangerous as current cars. I think the most ideal flying car would be something like ultra-light aircraft... Your parachute is permanently deployed, so stupid maneuvers or engine failure just results in you floating down to the ground.

      My problem with the flying car is that they can no longer be constrained by curbs and other barriers... You'll have them buzzing residential neighborhoo

  • We have the technology to have mathematically provable free speech and free association. The nation of my birth, the land that I love, my home, enshrined those values in its most important founding documents because it had seen the worst of losing those values. Yet the siren song of simplicity has led the majority to forgo the P2P design of the Internet and end-to-end encryption. Be it symptom or cause, it is an important milestone in the increasing concentration of power.

    There is still time to have it. I a

    • by Nutria (679911)

      Give it up. The vast majority say they want freedom, but what they really want is convenience. Sadly, encryption aint convenient.

  • Missing option (Score:4, Insightful)

    by geminidomino (614729) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @01:21PM (#41046889) Journal

    I have to vote for the missing option:

    Direct Neural Interfacing.

    If those medical shows are to be believed (I know, I know) we have made some rudimentary progress in that regard -- I remember an episode of house where a patient basically had the ability to move what was essentially a "mouse pointer" up and down on a screen.

    That's a far cry from a datajack and deck, though...

  • Missing Option (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rossdee (243626) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @01:43PM (#41047035)

    Fusion Power Plants

    Most of the options listed may sound nice, but are not practical.

    But we need fusion (or some other non-CO2 emitting virtually endless source of affordable energy.)

    The Science Fiction of the 50's and 60's envisioned a world where there was a robot servant in every household. Well we don't have robots that look like C3PO but there is almost a computer in every household, and roombas are becoming popular

    • Re:Missing Option (Score:5, Insightful)

      by simonbp (412489) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @03:59PM (#41047921) Homepage

      But we need fusion (or some other non-CO2 emitting virtually endless source of affordable energy.)

      You mean like fission? If all (literally all, including all transport) of the world's energy was from the fission, we would have enough uranium (assuming zero incease in efficiency) for at least 300 years from proven reserves. If you add thorium into the mix, we have enough for several thousand years. And if that's not enough, the Moon is rich in both uranium and thorium.

      So, we do already have a vitually unlimited source of carbon-free energy. It's just that evironmentalist pseduo-scientific FUD prevents us from using it.

    • by prefec2 (875483)

      No we do not need fusion. We need renewable energy sources and a distributed energy production and consumption network. Fusion is just another big technology thing, which is hare to handle and which is horrible expensive. Distributed power production and consumption on the other hand is easy to realize and easy to handle. There is another such distributed technology which work quite well, it is call Internet. Yes there are big server plants in it, but that is not really necessary and even these are distribu

  • by Kittenman (971447) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @04:43PM (#41048245)
    or maybe a 'Flexible Frank', the more advanced model. Of course we'd need Thorsen tubes.
  • by coldsalmon (946941) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @09:17PM (#41049927)

    Only one guy has it, but it exists.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yves_Rossy [wikipedia.org]

  • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @09:40PM (#41050067)

    I mean, duh...

  • I'm not disappointed by any of these things "not coming to pass". Flying cars and underwater cities will likely be too expensive for most people, but everything else on the list is completely plausible for mass production. Give it time.

  • Robot Maid (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Alicat1194 (970019) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @10:38PM (#41050393)
    Because holy crap, do I hate cleaning! (and the rest wouldn't have a huge impact on my day-to-day life. Plus, I enjoy eating :)
    • by Hentes (2461350)

      Washing machine, dishwasher, microwave, roomba. Once we invent an ironing machine the robot maid will become complete.

    • by Bigby (659157)

      With food pills or flying cars, enough people will lose jobs that most working people will be able to employ others to be their maid/butler. The future economy will require this to happen. The minimum wage is the only thing keeping it from happening. With automated shipping, food pills, personal flying possibilities, soaring unemployment will require relatively low minimum wages.

  • My favourite technology would be solar panels that can power everything. Yes we do have solar panels, but they are a) expensive b) not very efficient. I'm still waiting for solar panels that fit on the back of my laptop and can power it, or solar panels on the top of each car that can power it as long as the sun shines, or solar panels on the roof that can power the whole house.

    The sun shines and it's free energy source. It powers all live on earth (well, at least over 95%, some creatures in deep sea are us

    • You don't need better solar panels, you need a better sun!

      Your laptop will typically have a surface area of about 0.1 m2 (unless you have one of those small laptops, then it's far less). That means that even on a hot day in the desert, you have about 100 W available from the sun (1000 W/m2, so 100 W/laptop). Also, that assumes 100% conversion efficiency to electricity. Most laptops exceed 100W in power.

      Your car, even if it's a big old American car, will have a surface area of 10 m2 (really large car). That

      • by devent (1627873)

        Eh what, most laptops exceed 100W? What laptops are you speaking of? My Laptop is using 30W under normal usage. The output of the power transformer is not exceeding 60 W (19.5V * 2.5A) of the laptop.

        Anyway, it's just the question of power optimization. A 30W laptop can be as powerful as a 200W, only if you make the CPU/GPU power efficient. 5 Years ego I had only computers where the CPU alone used 60W or more. Now you have laptops with 5 hours battery life. It's just a question of priorities and R&D.

  • You are impatient. Given time, most of the items on the list will come to pass
  • by fph il quozientatore (971015) on Monday August 20, 2012 @08:42AM (#41053301) Homepage
    As someone who moved several times (including twice internationally) in the last two years, and whose friends reside in at least 4 different continents, I respectfully demand that my taxpayer-funded physicists stop goofing off with God's particles and invent proper Star Trek-like teleportation. C'mon, it's in every SF novel, it can't be that hard.
    • by k6mfw (1182893)
      not me. call me an old fart from the 20th century but you ain't gettin me to step into one of them thar contraptions that send you thru the tubes along with emails and whatnot.
  • All the options are lovely, and man I could use a robot maid to clean up the jolt cola cans an the pizza boxes, but what I really wanted was a hoverboard. Just sayin'
  • Granted, it was not a great show - but it had some great ideas and an interesting vision of the future.
    • I voted Underwater City, and I'm talking full on pressure domes and recreational submarines and kelp farms and intelligent genetically engineered wise-cracking dolphins and house cat sized pet octopuses. You know, the pretty standard late 60's lets-all-live-under-the-sea stuff.

      Of the things listed in the poll, it contains some of the brightest dreams that we've done the least about.

  • The iconic idea of flying cars and jetpacks shouldn't happen. It is of a bygone age of suburban sprawl, cheap and plentiful energy, and a disregard for the future of society. We should not and really cannot consider flying cars or jetpacks with any current means of energy generation. Even then, it is really a solution seeking a problems.

    What we need is better public transportation, a virtual cottage where telecommuting replaces physical transportation, etc.

    Everything else already exists in some form or anot

    • "It is of a bygone age of suburban sprawl, cheap and plentiful energy, and a disregard for the future of society."

      Uh, in case you hadn't noticed, "suburban sprawl" has hardly slowed down, and, though slow, cheap and plentiful energy is on its way here.

      Sheesh. What a pessimist.

  • I chose 'flying car' in this poll (hey, it's the dream all us techies have) but one thing to consider is a self cleaning house (or condo or apt). There are many automated items such as washer, dishwasher, microwave ovens, timed coffee makers, roombas, and few other examples posted in this thread. My place is an excellent example of entropy, 2nd law of thermodynamics of spontaneous disorganization. I'm constantly having to put energy and time to maintain an ordered system at my home. Some say simply get hire
  • Oh, that's right, I need to finish the theory so I can build one....

            mark

  • They all exist. (Score:5, Informative)

    by gurps_npc (621217) on Monday August 20, 2012 @02:33PM (#41057693) Homepage
    OK, they are a bit expensive and don't work quite as well, but they do exist.

    Flying Car [terrafugia.com]

    Personal Jet Pack [martinjetpack.com]

    Robot Maid [irobot.com]

    Automated House [smarthome.com]

    Computer Teacher [cbtcafe.com]

    Underwater City [michaelbehar.com]

    Pill Food [military.com]

  • where's my vacation to space or the moon?

Some programming languages manage to absorb change, but withstand progress. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982

 



Forgot your password?
Working...