Read on, you may agree with me on the importance of asking these few major questions.
When are we going to see the end of incremental upgrades for our smartphones? The term flagship has been ruined by the phone industry as much as the term genius has been ruined by the Apple store haha. The release cycles for these phones are now way too short, and upgrades too minimal for anyone to rationalize upgrading; most of us do it for vanity or t show off. In a world of stagnating wages, increasing property prices and rent in major urban hubs, people starting to save for retirement late, many people suffering financial burdens of education and staying single longer and so much more, the true cost of incremental upgrades is horribly taxing. Seriously folks, we should have been at the foldable smartphone stage years ago, as soon as (Android) tablet sales started declining! Samsung teased one, and now we're wondering if it'll be too expensive. Dammit, all of us already spent way more than whatever price they set through a few incremental upgrade cycles! This really grinds my gears. :p
Another things I want to ask the Tech sector is to start setting realistic timelines for self-driving vehicles- at least trucks if nothing else. Here in North America, there are so many truck drivers who excel at the career and cannot easily switch to anything else without losing damn near everything they have. First, the older generations told us to go in serious debt getting degrees, just to find out work is scarce for most grads. Then, we'll take jobs away from the truck drivers. Then come all the other drivers. The only thing left would be to eliminate cashiers and the last remainder of low-tech manufacturing sector here and good luck finding domestic buyers for $1,000+ flagships- millions will be fighting over the likes of Alcatel U50 in the bargain bins. The self-driving tech leaders have a responsibility to be honest and transparent about the stage their research is at and how well it's progressing, because local governments need to start letting the people know how much time they have left to make huge, radical changes to their lives. This is truly no laughing matter.
Related to the above question, I want to ask the Tech sector if it'll dare to put machines on the same level as human beings in the eyes of the law. Hear me out on this one. Let's say we get self-driving trucks. Companies lay off drivers and hope to make tons of money in the long run in making this move. Hmm, have you guys Googled truck robbery lately? They happen, quite often. Depending on the scenario, if a bunch of guys disable a moving truck so it stops and then they try to rob it, it's an actual robbery, threatening with a deadly weapon and so on because a HUMAN is present in the truck, i.e. the driver. If there is no human there, it's theft and it carries a lesser sentence if the culprits are caught! Therefore, there is way more incentive in that case for robbers to attack driverless trucks because they're automatically demoted from robbers to thieves and they'll love it! So, when that happens, will tech companies team up with logistics companies and lobby the governments to make theft from self-driving trucks robberies as if the self-driving system was a human being? That would effectively equalize humans and machines in this particular case, and I'm 100% Luddite on this one.
My next question is about widespread digitization of medical records! I don't know how things vary within USA, but here in Canada I'm tired of doctors' notes written in awful shorthand that remains hidden from me instead of being typed up and uploaded in the cloud where it is organized and full searchable. In this case, I kind of want the Tech companies offering solutions for the medical records in the cloud to go ahead and lobby the governments to get this done! Alternatively, I want them to offer us really good software and have the government order doctors to type their notes and have secretaries email them to us after every visit, including specialist reports, test results and medical imaging so we can organize and back it up ourselves! I know there are solutions out there for both scenarios, but I'd like powers that be to take this seriously. One of the reasons is that, at my family doctor's office, I would have to pay for a copy of each set of notes and I think this is ridiculous in this day and age. It should become a standard and doctors' offices have to find a technological, cheap and efficient way to absorb the cost of doing this for the patients.
Finally, I am wondering why there has not really been anything aside from games and media that would make me, or anyone else, buy a new computer. I fail to understand why even larger businesses upgrade their gear as often as they do. I know a few people who bought these refurbished office PC's, decked them out with more RAM and better video cards (and perhaps a SSD), and got super capable computers way cheaper than brand new store-bought ones and these computers don't break down! Most times, people apparently have these components on hand already, which makes the entire effort even more cost-effective. What's even crazier is that these people say they know people who put together powerful computers with these chips called Core 2 Quad and Xeon; both options are apparently made from super old components, but still make for beyond capable computers. Then, there are people breating new life into old laptops with Chrome OS and Linux... Bottom line, if you're a consumer or a small business that doesn't need the latest components for bleeding edge gaming, media editing and stuff like that, what's the reason to buy a new computer (besides vanity and showing off)? If there was something else that would make a true difference in my life, I would buy a new computer in a heartbeat. Sadly, no matter how hard I look, there isn't anything... I wonder if this is because many of the things we do are now being done on smartphones and in the cloud. Bottom line though, we need new software solutions for consumers besides gaming and media to be the gaming world's equivalent of launch titles. What I would like to know from the Tech sector is what that those will be, and when.
So there you have it, dearest readers. I hope you found this an interesting read and that you share some of the same thoughts and questions. It is good to question actions and plans (or lack thereof) of large and powerful companies within the sector, to expect true progress and revolutionary solutions instead of pacifier products and services (haha), and to hold them to a higher standard due to the overwhelming influence they have on our present and our future.
Until next time. :)