Jack TenneyExtra Point

by Jack Tenney, Publisher

January 2015

Now that I have four flat screens in a two-bedroom condo, the memory has faded of the transitions from radio to a TV with a beautiful test pattern to three channels to rabbit ears with a hoop for UHF channel for catching Bruin games to cable to hell and gone. I am a bit inured to what technology might bring in 2015. Curved screen? 3-D? ... Yawn! I maxed out on Cinemascope years ago. The last great 3-D movie was House of Wax with Vincent Price (1953). So what else is new?

Here’s what I am told will be the technologies to impact us in 2015.

Getting off the grid in order to get on another grid will keep us busy. You are already coping with phone number changes as more people have dumped their landlines. China, of course, is way ahead of us, as the Chinese never had a lot of landlines.

More and more and more solar panels will be showing up in even the darkest valleys. Regardless of the price of oil or the availability of natural gas, residential electricity comes through a spinning meter, and sun power can slow or even reverse the direction of the meter.

Stephen Hawking has voiced his worry that robots will outsmart us. Robots are able to evolve faster than humans, he argues, and may supersede us. There is a relatively new communication industry already growing rapidly that deals exclusively with machine-to-machine communication.

Yeah, machine-to-machine. That’s how driverless cars work. Check out the results of DARPA (Defense Agency Research Projects Agency) races and other tests. It (DARPA) has been running competitions since 2005.

Money. Money is getting faster. I am still a little late to this party. You take a picture of the front and back of the check you wish to deposit, email it to your bank account, and then what? Take another picture of it and email it to your other bank? Probably not going to work. But what exactly do you do with the check when you’re done?

Whatever. Best wishes for the new year. Can’t wait.