It’s the end of 2008.
Another year had come and now going to the end, with new hopes and dreams for another new year.
See if these listed below are the highlights of the year 2008
Marvin Lee’s 2008 World Technology Breakthrough
1. Flexible Displays
A sliver of the future can soon be tucked into your back pocket. For years, researchers have worked on thin, paperlike displays that can be folded, rolled or sewn into the sleeve of your hoodie. Flexible displays could change the way we interact with the info-universe, creating new kinds of cellphones, portable computers, e-newspapers and electronic books.
2. Edible Chips
Not the usual chips you eat.
Tiny edible chips will replace the organizer, tracking when patients take their pills (or don’t) and monitoring the effects of the drugs they’re taking. Proteus, a Redwood City, California, company, has created tiny chips out of silicon grains that, once swallowed, activate in the stomach. The chips send a signal to an external patch that monitors vital parameters such as heart rate, temperature, state of wakefulness or body angle.
The data is then sent to an online repository or a cellphone for the physician and the patient to track. Proteus says its chips can keep score of how patients are responding to the medication. That may be just the beginning, as the chips could improve drug delivery and even insert other kinds of health monitors inside the body. Now doctors may have a better answer to a common patient complaint — they will know exactly how it feels.
3. Speedo LZR
The LZR Racer Suit (pronounced as laser) is a line of high-end swim suits manufactured by Speedo using a high-technology swimwear fabric composed of woven elastane-nylon and polyurethane – Gore-tex. The suits are manufactured at Petratex, a textile factory in Paços de Ferreira, Portugal; the technology is patented in that country. The line was launched on February 13, 2008.
This suit has been developed in association with NASA, Ansys, Inc. (which supplied fluid flow analysis software and support), and the Australian Institute of Sport as well as the support of Speedo’s sponsored athletes, and it is marketed as the world’s fastest swimsuit. This is the focus of Speedo’s campaign for the 2008 Summer Olympics, spearheaded by Michael Phelps of the United States.
The Beijing Olympics proved to be an unprecedented success for Speedo and the LZR Racer with 94% of all swimming races won in the suit. At the Games, Michael Phelps (who was wearing the suit) won a historic 8 gold medals. In total 23 out of the 25 world records broken, were achieved by swimmers competing in the LZR suit.
4. Flash Memory
Solid-state flash drives offer faster response times than hard disk drives and they require much less power. The hitch is that they are almost eight times more expensive than hard disk drives. But with the star power behind flash storage, the prices have nowhere to go but down.
Global Positioning System is nothing new but in fact is a system which has been operational since 1978 and available for commercial use since 1993, but for years its use was relegated to expensive personal navigation devices and the dashboards of high-end cars.
Contrary to popular belief, the GPS service is actually provided free to civilian. One would only need to purchase a GPS navigational device to obtain data from the GPS satellite in orbit. In 2008, it is so popular that even Malaysia’s national carmaker, Proton has started to install GPS devices into their cars.
6. The Memristor
The definition of the memristor is based solely on fundamental circuit variables, similar to the resistor, capacitor, and inductor. Unlike those more familiar elements, the necessarily nonlinear memristors may be described by any of a variety of time-varying functions.
The discovery will make it possible to develop computer systems that remember what’s stored in memory when they are turned off. That means computers that don’t need to be booted up and systems that are far more energy efficient than the current crop. Researchers also hope the memristor can help develop a new kind of computer memory that can supplement or ultimately replace dynamic random access memory, or DRAM — the type of memory used in personal computers.
7. Video-Capable SLRs
The D90 is the first SLR in the world that can record video. Any control, effect or lens that is available for the D90’s still photos is now available for videos. Think of all the freedom you gain that you wouldn’t generally have on a camcorder: control over focus, depth of field and exposure, special effects like fisheye, monochrome and vivid and excellent image stabilization when using a Nikon VR lens.
8. USB 3.0
The USB 3.0 Promoter Group announced on November 17, 2008, that version 1.0 of the specification has been completed and is transitioned to the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF), the managing body of USB specifications. This move effectively opens the spec to hardware developers for implementation in future products.
A new major feature is SuperSpeed bus, which increases the maximum transfer rate to 5.0 Gbit/s. USB 3.0 devices supporting SuperSpeed bus are expected to be available in commercial controllers in the second half of 2009. Consumer products are expected to become available in 2010.
At least Windows 7 and Linux drivers are under development but no public releases available yet as of December 2008.
9. Google Android
Android is a software platform and operating system for mobile devices, based on the Linux kernel, developed by Google and later the Open Handset Alliance. It allows developers to write managed code in the Java language, controlling the phone via Google-developed Java libraries. Applications written in C and other languages can be compiled to ARM native code and run, but this development path isn’t officially supported by Google.
10. Apple App Store
Until this year, mobile app developers lacked an easy way to get their software into the hands of consumers, forcing them to make deals with finicky and power-hungry carriers if they wanted to get any distribution at all. Apple’s App Store changed all that. It made creating and distributing mobile applications for cellphone users easy — jumpstarting the mobile-app development market and creating clones such as the Android Market. It even forced Research in Motion to offer a BlackBerry Application Storefront. For thousands of programmers, the cellphone is the new PC.
Do not misunderstood it as the Apple Online Store which was also made available for Malaysia this year.
Marvin Lee’s 2008 Marvellous Internet Products
- Facebook – The website currently has more than 140 million active users worldwide. Facebook is easily the fastest growing social networking site in the world. Although in Asia, Friendster is still reigning the top spot in some countries, Facebook is the most common name in the Web 2.0 arena.
- Google Reader – This could be the year I have spent most time with RSS and captured the most information from the internet with my Google Reader. In the age of marvellous internet where we are having “information overload”, Google Reader helps to find specific information I’m interested in and keeping myself most up-to-date.
- Google Android – Yes, I know it’s already in the 2008 breakthough list, but it’s Java and Google! I’ve tried the Android SDK before, I might delved deeper into it when the time comes.
- Netbooks – Mobile laptops, compact version of notebooks are in town. The latest in Malaysia being the Dell Mini 9 netbook.
- WordPress – One of the most popular blogging system developed in PHP with a wide array of plugins easily available, the same system that powers this blog. Need to say more?
- YouTube – They say the kids are using more of YouTube to search for information than using Google. There are more ads available in YouTube videos in 2008 as they try to figure how to monetize YouTube. YouTube Live was launched on 22nd Nov 2008.
To end 2008 on a lighter note, and amid all the technological stuff and rush, enjoy a mashup of some popular pop songs of the year 2008.
Songs in the mashup include:
* Flo Rida Featuring T-Pain – Low
* Leona Lewis – Bleeding Love
* Alicia Keys – No One
* Lil Wayne Featuring Static Major – Lollipop
* Timbaland Featuring OneRepublic – Apologize
* Jordin Sparks Duet With Chris Brown – No Air
* Sara Bareilles – Love Song
* Usher Featuring Young Jeezy – Love in This Club
* Chris Brown – With You
* Chris Brown – Forever
* Ray J & Yung Berg – Sexy Can I
* Rihanna – Take a Bow
* Coldplay – Viva La Vida
* Katy Perry – I Kissed a Girl
* T.I. – Whatever You Like
* Rihanna – Disturbia
* Rihanna – Don’t Stop the Music
* Natasha Bedingfield – Pocketful of Sunshine
* Chris Brown Featuring T-Pain – Kiss Kiss
* Ne-Yo – Closer
* Colbie Caillat – Bubbly
* Mariah Carey – Touch My Body
* Madonna Featuring Justin Timberlake – 4 Minutes
* Pink – So What
* Finger Eleven – Paralyzer