Turning the Page

Welcome to the future!

Well, here we are in 2014. A new year begins for us all, and there is a lot of promise said to be coming to fruition. Sadly, many of the promises are negative, but hey, at least there is something new on the horizon and it’s not the same old stuff of 2013. Perhaps this year will show congress in a more productive light; but I suppose we should be careful what we wish for in that regard. It seems that when congress does something these days, it unwinds something it took decades to build. Of course, it’s always easier to destroy than create.

For Multiple Myeloma there are the promises of new treatment options. They look suspiciously like the ones we’ve been using already, but let’s take a positive view and hope that things do get better. Every little bit helps.

Technology looks to be delivering a crop of brand new (or at least reachable) products. We can now get a 3D printer for well under $1000, watches that are almost (but not really) computers, and a bevy of new and lower priced tablets. There is new software available to the brokers selling electrical power to us that will lower their cost and make their operations more efficient. So far, there’s no word about it making power any cheaper for the end users. But there is good news in that alternative systems for generating power are affordable and finally worth installing that can put a serious dent in our power bills. Plus that, we have LED based lighting that costs very little to operate and is finally able to duplicate the soft and warm glow of incandescent lamps. Bye bye to the harsh blue hued glare. In fact, with RGB leds available, you can have your regular lighting be any color you like, and even get fancy with it at holiday time. Finally! A way to leave your Christmas lights up year ’round without looking like a dork.

More electric cars are headed out to the streets. Sadly, we’re still not seeing charging stations cropping up in any useful numbers. Judging from last year where a few electric auto owners were wrist slapped for plugging into available power sockets, it will pay for electric car owners to make sure they get written permission to charge before plugging in to power sources. Not everyone feels contributory towards supporting lower carbon footprints and reducing internal combustion pollution, even to the tune of a few cents.

This may be the year of the drones. Colleges and large employers have discovered the utility of being able to guard students or employees as they walk about campuses, stepping up security in an effective and inexpensive way. Then too there are the stated intentions of using drones to deliver goods, but I somehow think that these plas are still effectively publicity magnets rather than any real indicator of a change to delivery methods by Amazon or UPS or even burrito companies. However, research and security will definitely feel the love through drones and their ability to gather information more rapidly and less expensively than when performed by humans. They’re safer too.

This is also bound to be a year of heightened security. No, not more uniformed watchdogs at the airport, I mean personal information security. Companies and households will be abandoning the free cloud storage offered by data miners in favor of private clouds, what with the incredible simplicity and ease of doing so offered in new product lines. For around $100 individuals and families can park the data available to their PCs, smartphones, tablets, smart televisions and so on into multi-terabyte network based storage. This will cut out the data vultures of both government and marketing agencies. Privacy will also be driving people away from social media sites and over to the more tightly controlled person to person communication platforms, leaving Facebook and others for grandparents to post pictures of their grandkids. Smart moves.

And, of course, this will be a year of greater global involvements as science, medicine, government and conflict shape shift and produce results both expected and unexpected.  Yesterday’s future is today’s now, so welcome to the future and accept my hopes it’s all you hoped it would be.