Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Hockey much as we like it means winter

Hockey night in Canada, Wednesday edition. Back to watching NHL games now that the World Cup is over. And yet again, Canada has triumphed. Good finish for a good Cup. Good for Canada, good for Ottawa, good for minor hockey.

I think I'll watch any game as long as there is action. Playing tonight are Montreal and New York. Canadians against Rangers. Much of the talk is about Montreal maybe, possibly having their first penalty free game in a million years.

But hockey season means winter and winter means snow. And once again we have snow. Enough to stop the school busses from running. Kids had a snow day. Two days back to school after the Xmas break and they get a snow day. They spent it well.

More coming tonight, so I'll leave snow removal till the morning.

Much chatter on the net about consumer electronics which of course is from the annual January CES event. Given my lust for gadgets, I think that attending that conference would cause me to have way too much gadget lust. Might just put me into a gadget breakdown. Had enough excitement reading about 24x optical zoom camcorders, shirt pocket sized 30fps still cameras, made for Ipod things, netbooks, small HD video things, direct to YouTube things and blue things: ray and tooth.

And a gaggle of GPS thingies.

Was anything announced that was a game changer ? No.

We are in a repeating cycle of incremental evolution. Technology gets improved. Radical, game changing improvements take time and tend to be developed and rolled out in increments. The only time incremental technology becomes a game changer is when adoption hasn't kept pace with the incremental improvements.

Imagine keeping the same PC for 20 years. Or a digital camera for 10-15 years. Or staying at 2,400 bps dial-up for 15 years.

PC's, digital cameras and networking have all gradually improved with at least a doubling of capability every 3 to 5 years. The hype from events like CES would try to promote the next BIG thing as having arrived but history has shown that it just won't happen.

The cumulative effect of incremental evolution is substantial when looked at from a 20 year increment. From a day to day perspective, it's baby steps. A memory card video camera that is YouTube integrated is a big step from an 8mm film camera from the 60's but adding YouTube to an existing memory card video camera is interesting but should not be enough to buy a replacement camera.

Now if somebody could invent a low cost, 10 fold battery capacity increase. Imagine a gadget that didn't need a tether to an AC outlet.

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