The Manufacturers may finally be getting a break in price drops because Moore’s Law is no longer ruling the roost.
The factor not included in the data is the lack of increase in processor speeds since those are limited by frequency. If you were graphing the quality of the transistor per dollar, rather than the price per “machine” you would have seen a very different story. Customers are no longer buying machines that offer a compelling improvement in processing speed. A 4 year old computer today is now more analogous to a 4 year old TV rather than a 4 year old computer from 1999. The power envelope is the limiting factor not the geometry that drove the earlier heyday of Moore’s Law. One result of this is low powered devices were not limited by the same problems and actually were able to ramp frequency while computer’s could not. A cell phone now offers much of the functionality of a $400 computer. Sales of traditional computer’s will continue to drop because the product turnover is dropping, and there is more competition from other kinds of devices. Dropping demand for computer’s definitely means there is less investment money to pay for the next processor node.
What I am curious about is why has the obvious slow down in increases of computer speeds been so ignored by the press? There has been more technology innovation than in the 90’s, but we have seen less growth in productivity. Perhaps if we could name the problem, the solution would get more attention. Two types of processors have continued to improve while CPU’s of average PC’s have stagnated. One is the graphics processor because of it’s ability to harness more improvement from running multiple cores, and the other is the low power computing devices. Area’s economic productivity have followed in the wake of each of these two exceptions. Petroleum exploration has benefited from the ability to find oil that was not practical to extract because this is processed with multicore machines with large graphics processors. Cell phones are another growth area with smart phones leading the way towards new business innovation. Apple’s big bet on ARM makes much more sense if we look at what happened to the 5th generation PowerPC chip and how it failed to match the growth in processor speeds that Intel was producing.
… a really serious underlying problem in our networked world — the stupendous power that superior knowledge, IQ and technical understanding confers on some people. We are completely dependent on systems that are so complex that virtually nobody understands how they work — and how they can be manipulated and gamed by those who do understand them. The obvious rejoinder is “twas ever thus”, but I think that’s too complacent. What’s different now is that the level of technical expertise needed is beyond the reach or capacity of almost everyone. Which means that the elites who do ‘get’ it — and those who employ them — have colossal power.
Every act of regulation by authority is an erosion of liberty. That tells us what liberty is, and that you can have too much of a good thing. Liberty pushed to extreme is anarchy. Regulation pushed to extreme is dictatorship. Millions of words have been devoted to finding the balance, and the question remains open. The collective drift towards more regulation in the western liberal democratic model is driven by good intentions and by a mad dream of perfect fairness in which individual discretion and individual responsibility are intrinsically subversive. Infants and madmen used to be the traditional exceptions to the general notion that people should be trusted to make their own accommodations with each other, and that authority is not there to do our thinking for us. We are all halfway to being treated like infants and madmen now. As civilisation advances in complexity, liberties give way. So be it, but it’s as well to know and name the retreat of liberty for what it is, and not to call it something else, before the retreat becomes a rout.
The Independent revealed in October 2013 that Paterson [Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs] has never been briefed on climate change by the government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Ian Boyd and refused to take a briefing offered to him by Professor David MacKay, the chief scientific adviser at the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). On Monday, a cabinet colleague of Paterson’s told the Mail Online: “He isn’t climate sceptic, he’s climate stupid.’”
What is at work is a powerful vision of a world without inwardness, one in which the external record of a life is the same as our experience of it. He quotes something the science writer John Brockman said about the “collective externalised mind” promised by the internet. For Brockman, that’s not dystopia, it’s utopia. Yet, as Cohen points out, there’s another name for it: “totalitarianism” – the slogan of the Khmer Rouge, for example, was “Destroy the garden of the individual”.
I read the Schnitzler right away, and that’s when I had my early inkling of how smart Stanley really was. Traumnovelle, published in Vienna in 1926, is the full, excruciating flowering of a voluptuous and self-consciously decadent time and place, a shocking and dangerous story about sex and sexual obsession and the suffering of sex. In its pitiless view of love, marriage and desire, made all the more disturbing by the suggestion that either all of it, or maybe some of it, or possibly none of it is a dream, it intrudes on the concealed roots of Western erotic life like a laser, suggesting discreetly, from behind its dream cover, things that are seldom even privately acknowledged, and never spoken of in daylight.
If you look at what people were saying about the Internet in general, say 15 or 20 years ago, in terms of its promise, it was incredibly wide-ranging, from political liberation to eliminating economic inequality to just individual growth. It was literally conceived of as — I don’t mean by the people who created it, but by the people who started using it — as this instrument of personal and political freedom.
And I think the surveillance state is not only threatening to undermine that promise but to completely reverse it, so that as we do more and more on the Internet, as we live more on the Internet, as we engage in more activity on the Internet — all of which we’re doing — states are exercising more and more control over the Internet, and especially monitoring over the Internet, and that means this instrument is being degraded from what its promise was, which was an instrument of freedom, into probably the worst means of — the most effective means of — human control and oppression ever known in human history, because there never existed a technology before to allow people’s every thought and word and conversation and interest and reading and just interest level and fears to be comprehensively chronicled in the way that the surveillance state allows.
And there’s an irony to the fact that this technology that once held such great promise in these areas is now posing the greatest threat to those same values. But I think that’s how all technological innovation ultimately ends up being fought over — that any technology can undermine the interests of the prevailing power factions and therefore it’s targeted for co-option by those same power factions, to prevent it from being used as a challenge against them, and ultimately to be used to further shield their power from challenge. And I think that’s exactly the battle we face when it comes to Internet freedom.