Skip to comments.The IT Question
Posted on 11/28/2001 10:23:07 AM PST by Senator Pardek
This mysterious invention, reportedly created by National Medal of Technology Award winner, Dean Kamen, is on everyone's lips and has captured everyone's imaginations. According to published reports, IT has caught the undivided attentions of tech revolutionaries like Apple's Steve Jobs and Amazon.com entrepreneur Jeff Bezos. Alledgedly, these progressive minds are stunned; praise and sheer amazement flow from the lucky few who have seen IT (code name: Ginger). A book deal is already in the works, news magazines are clamoring for information, and the Internet is a flurry of IT chatter.
What is IT? Reportedly, we know IT is not medicinal in nature, will be mass produced, will affect cities and the environment, as well as conventions and old-money institutions, and will, (according to the handful of people who have seen it) change lives and trains of thought.
IT Speculation naturally shifts to a mode of modern personal transportation, due to Kamen's latest invention, the iBot: A wheelchair that can traverse sand, go upstairs and stand on two wheels with the balance of a ballerina. But that is only speculation. The public does not know what IT is, and won't know until its planned 2002 release.
I'd like to know how they are gonna explain all the hype over a motor scooter.
Don't want one if that's what it is.
And some of the public doesn't give a rip.
Two things are particularly interesting. First, Kamen has apparantly develped a gyroscope-like system that can keep any vehicle (scooter?) in a state of balance once in motion. Second, he has developed something known as a "Stirling" engine that while I don't have the expertise to really understand it, supposedly is a highly efficient motor that could be used for such a device. Maybe other more qualified Freepers could weigh in on this and fill in some details.
If the above is the case it could help explain the hype. Imagine a powered yet clean personal transportation device that was stable and safe and efficient enough for personal urban transport. This could truly change the ways cities are developed simply by realigning roads and such.
If anyone has more info on the announcement and where to view it on Monday please advise!
The best current theories are:
1. The Sterling Powered Scooter - Self balancing, hugely energy efficient, almost no emmissions.
2. Personal Robot - Don't laugh, there are a lot of people taking this very seriously. Probably sterling powered, self balancing, programable to handle simple tasks. Think mobile workbench.
3. Free Telecommunication - A recent entry, seems to fit the IT/Ginger profile in a lot of ways and would explain some obscure relationships in the whole "IT" tangled web. Seems Dean Kaman may have been involved with Apple Computer in getting the government to free up a "band" in the spectrum for "free" public access.
I'm personally betting on the scooter, but would not be surprised with it being something else entirely.
Guess we'll find out on Monday...or will we?
Sigh.... well, if they can't invent those things, then a vehicle that runs on hydrogen so we
don't need fossil fuels isn't so bad.
The volume of apps for Linux is amazing. But most people don't care, as they already have the apps they care about, and have no plans to switch. Nor would I expect them to, at least not in a big hurry.
I'll lay a wager, however, that there will be more Linux desktops than Windows desktops in another 10 years, on this planet.
I admit to running both - one for games, Quicken and Lotus WordPro, TheBat! (email) and InfoSelect (PIM), the other for most else. Except that I run Windows on top of Linux, using win4lin, because it is more stable that way. Only for games do I boot Windows native.
My dad's machine I setup with just Linux, because he wanted low cost, stable word processing and web browsing, with no particular bond to any existing app.
My son's machine is just windows - all games all the time.
But that's STILL better than what the airlines do to you.
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