With 50 votes in, my Future of People survey has "People will be more intelligent" at 34%, "People will be less intelligent" at 48%, and "People's intelligence is irrelevant" at 18%. Interesting and about what I expected. Please vote if you haven't already...
Victor David Hanson hits another nail on the head: The Western Disease. "Is it weird that Western perks like tenure, jet-travel, media exposure, and affluence instill a hatred for the West, here and abroad?" I think it is. It's easy to be liberal if you don't have skin in the game, but if your own well being is at stake, you become far more conservative.
Related: The CSMonitor reports A continent at peace: five African hot spots die down. Now that's good news. Too bad the war on AIDS isn't going as well.
L.T.Smash (now Citizen Smash) considers The Longest Year. Interesting post from this blogger who was posted in Iraq.
You'll remember the poor little Beagle 2, which at this point must be presumed lost... It isn't the only Mars mission underway; Space.com reports NASA Adjusts Course of Mars-Bound Rover ("Spirit"). "Spirit is being sent to Gusev Crater, a depression the size of Connecticut that scientists believe once held a lake. It is set to land Saturday. Spirit is one half of a $820 million double mission to Mars. Its identical twin, Opportunity, is scheduled to land Jan. 24."
AlwaysOn lists the top ten trends for 2003. #1 is the awesome gain in U.S. worker productivity. And #2 is the massive export of white-collar jobs. Interesting combination, eh?
Steve Gillmor has posted his best and worst of 2003. #1 best is RSS! and #1 worst is SCO. Hard to disagree...
The most popular search item in 2003? Britney? Harry? Aragorn? Nope, BBC says it's Kazaa. Amazing.
John Dvorak has a new trend to rail against: Cell Phone Hegemony. "Cell phones now rule the world's collective unconscious in untold ways. What astonishes me about all this is the sociology that has crept up on us." He has a point, but is it really that bad?
John Perry Barlow iChats with Joi Ito, and enters CasualSpace. "I think this is different. It certainly felt different to me. I had the same shiver of the New that I got years ago the first time I ever used telnet and realized that I could get a hard disks to spin in any number of computers thousands of miles away just by entering a few keystrokes." Might even be combined with cell phones :)
RedHerring considers VoIP in Japan: VoIP for the Masses. "With its new three-digit telephone exchange, Japan has become the largest country to have federal regulators endorse mass migration to Internet-based telephony." This could end up being the biggest technology trend of 2004. You do have a Vonage phone already, don't you?
Wired considers the 100-Megabit Guitar. Not only electric, but networked. It will be interesting to see what Ottmar Liebert thinks about this :)
Wired also reviews satellite radio. It might be great, but is it better than custom playlists on your iPod? I don't think so. I'm not sure how big the market for digital radio can be.
Considering starting the year with a new video board? Check out Tom's Hardware's roundup of 46 different boards. Whew.
Another possible "biggest trend" in 2004 will be HDTV. After years on deck, it may finally come to bat. Here's an external USB HDTV tuner. So that's what you need to power your new 100" plasma display - another possible "biggest trend" :)
My favorite new site in 2003? Hand's down - The Command Post. I was visiting them hourly during the Iraq war early in the year, and have found their reporting and commentary to be first-rate. Better than any "big media" site.