The Future of Computers – Through Bill Gates’ Eyes…

In a recent airing on MTV (unfortuanatly i will never perhaps see), Bill Gates in an interview gave the low-down on computing in the next years. As Lauren pointed out in class, though this is not what this weeks discussion is about, it does indeed have a huge relevance as to what we discuss almost every week – side-tracking into our facination with the advances in technology. This week we were more focussed on apple’s new iPod Nano. It is so facinating to me how everyone thrives for their electronics to be skinnier, lighter, more metalic… Take for instance the Moto Razr, THough there must be even more thinner, flashier phones, this is the one I am more accustomed to. And lastly, lets talk about the new Gameboy Micro, How can you use any of these new devices without suffering from a migraine from constant eye strain? I think its a world-wide conspiracy of optomestrists and and electronic comapnies. Maybe that is why there are so many “scary” ads on Canadain TV about the dangers of not having your eyes checked every year…And to make that even worse, I had to go get glasses this apst weekend! My eyes have always been perfect, but staring at a computer screen for 10+ hours per day has caused “my lateral vision to be uneven”. ?? $490 later I have to wear glasses every time I even try to look at a computer screen. And I thought I spent enough already updating my computer screens to LCD. Well, back to Bill Gates. His interview can be viewed HERE. A glimpse at one portion:

Audience member: The original reason you were so successful is you took the computer, something that everybody needs, and made it accessible by making a good operating system that anyone could use. Where are we going with that? How are we going to interact with our computer 15, 20, 30 years from now?

Gates: The future computer will be a lot more imbedded into the environment instead of something that you can identify. Whenever you are in your house you’ll be able to ask for something, and whatever wall or counter you’re near, that information will just be projected onto it. So computers will be able to understand speech, that’s one of those tough problems we’ve been working on for a long time, and we can say with great certainty that over the next five years we’ll be able to do that very well. We’ll be able to recognize handwriting so you can just, you know, go to a little piece of paper of a screen and just scribble a little note on it and we’ll see what that is and do the appropriate thing. So the computers, you’ll feel like they’re kind of everywhere — on your wrist you’ll have a glanceable little screen, in your pocket you’ll have the phone of the future. It will be a lot better. You’ll have the tablet [PC] that you can carry around … and even your living room TV will be a full-powered computer for playing games, for doing video conferences, connecting up with friends, or watching the redefined type of TV that comes over the Internet.”

There was also much talk this week, (because it was the topic) but the nature and future of today’s “cinema” (I put cinema in quotes because what is so cinematic about video-games turned movies such as Doom). The movie industry has seen drastic reduction in sales each year, in the billions:

“Overall growth for the home entertainment industry is slowing too, up a mere 1.1% to $11.4 billion in the first six months of 2005, compared with the same six months in 2004, according to Shindler. “For an industry that saw double-digit growth in prior years, that’s fairly dramatic,” he says. Movie rentals are down 2.3% to $3.9 billion for the first six months in 2005 compared with the same period last year.

The potential impact on the movie industry is huge. To produce a digital 3-D film isn’t cheap: It costs between $20,000 and $25,000 to produce a copy of a 2-D film and between $35,000 and $50,000 for a 3-D film, Shindler says. But the potential for higher box office sales is there, too. Last year’s Polar Express in 3-D from Warner Bros., in limited release at IMAX Theaters, brought in $45 million, demonstrating consumer hunger for something new.”

The article also really touches upon the future and demand for 3-D films, the overall costs of making such films, and the discovery that many are already in the works. The article can be viewed HERE

Well, that is enough of my rambling. I need to focus myself now on the task at hand: “Write a review of a film of your choice, where you can trace how new media technologies is effecting the narrative in the film and your perception when watching it. It doesn’t have to be a contemporary film. 3 – 4 pages.”

I am thinking Cast Away