Questions – Week 4

Here we go!

  1. Adam
    • Other than chip customization, what other disruptive innovation could eat into Intel’s market share?
    • Bush suggest the whole of scientific knowledge is unknowable to the individual in her lifetime and that so much research is being conducted that it is possible for some present day research to go unnoticed (as was the case of Mendel’s genetics research). How might the process of scientific research, publication and review be made more efficient?
    • How does Moore’s Law relate to the software industry?
  2. Adri
    • What arguments or theories can support the benefits of market diversification and decentralization that would refute Christensen and Bush seemingly negative views?
    • According to the Victorian Internet, we’ve been trying to send more data, further away and faster, even before Morse’ time. Why do we keep pursuing this?
    • As Bush demonstrates with many examples in his reading, information is more and more decentralized and complex, therefore search and organization solutions have increase demand, what are the “Faustian bargains” of such solutions?
  3. Amy
    • Just as the telephone replaced the telegraph, what technology will replace the internet?

    • As the government becomes more aware of varying forms of storing information via digital media (moving and still images, electronic documents), what steps should the government take to ensure digital media can be used as common record? What should the government define as ‘legally binding’ digital media?

    • July of 1945 marked a devastating time for some scientists, leaving them pondering their inventions, and their ethics. What current communication technologies do you think are powerful enough to have the same effect, and why? Do you think the internet could be such a tool? [Closed]

    • As the internet becomes more complex, what new ways will search engines need to fucntion in order to continue to parse information into meaningful and useful data for consumers?

  4. Annie
    • What are some “denials” that we face with current technological advancements?
    • Develop possible theories that may help predict how technology will impact the future of digital media.- Give an example of a new invention that may be the revolution in communication today. How do you think this invention pave the path for the future?
  5. Bonnie
    • When technology becomes overloaded inventors find a fix. For example, the pneumatic tube solved the problem of a telegraphy process that was a victim of its own success. Is this kind of fix driven by the bottom line of big business, the need of human beings, or both? How can current technology address our society’s sense of being buried under too much information?
    • Is the feeling of being buried under information overload perception or reality? What is to blame for it? Human nature or the technology?
    • How was Standage’s prediction that, “Mobile phones will complete the democratization of telecommunications started by the telegraph,” different than the hyperbole over the telegraph he characterized in The Victorian Internet?
  6. Brian
    • Now that humans have aggregated a vast knowledge base online, and we have enough processing power to quickly and easily access this knowledge, in what ways has productivity changed? Has our culture become more or less productive?
    • How has the development of an aggregate knowledge base of records, research and resources online benefited science?
    • What social necessities are presently driving innovation?
    • How is the semiconductor industry’s pursuit of Moore’s Law changing in relation to consumer demands?
  7. Carrie

    • How does the replacement of skilled human work with the work of machines relate to outsourcing? What can be done to protect your job from both machine replacement and outsourcing concerns?
    • What could telegraph operators have done to ensure their employment when automated telegraphy was introduced?
    • What can incumbent semiconductor design companies do to protect against new industry entrants?


  8. ChrisC
    • Look at what has occurred in the last 20 years in regards to digital communication technology and describe where you believe the next 20 years will take us in the same field.
    • Bush describes in sections 6 and 7 his envision of the future recording and indexing of information. What do you think developed into his vision, and how accurate was he?
    • In the Victorian Internet, the telegraph, as non personal as it may seem to us today, still resulted in romances between people that had never met face to face. Nowdays, entire web sites are dedicated to services that result in romance. Why is our society becoming more and more geared towards taking the traditional ways of face to face interaction out of our lives?
  9. ChrisE

    • Can you think of any other technology product where entrants, instead of incumbents, dominated the market?
    • Imagine you are a Victorian time-traveler. What would impress you the most about the technology of today? Would something like digital photography be more revolutionary than the Internet?
    • As our demands for computing power and running the latest games and applications increases, are today’s microprocessor consumers really overshot?
  10. Corey
    • Another theme in the readings is setting standards.  How did setting standards benefit or hurt the telegraph and transistor business?
    • Was the introduction of the automated telegraph a result of undershot or overshot customers?  Provide an explanation for your answer.    
    • Each reading talked about the role of experts.  How as the need for experts in the communications industry evolved over the past century?  
  11. Garrett (n.q.)
  12. Jody

    • Christensen says that the semiconductor companies see customer needs as predictable. In what ways are our habits predictable to companies seeking our patronage?
    • As computers and applications become more powerful, at what point might we fall into the category of the overshot consumer… no longer willing to pay for unnecessary power?
    • How do we establish what ideas for the future have merit? What makes an innovation theory realistic vs. folly?
  13. John
    • Why would a business chance a risky start-up when they have the cash to let someone else take the risk and buy them out if they are successful?
    • Put on your Nostradamus/Vannevar Bush hat, what is the next step that will follow or replace the internet?
    • Do you think chip manufacturers can follow Moore’s law to the sub-atomic scale? [closed]
      Kathy: see nano-tech
  14. Katie
    • Bush mentions voice recognition technology in his predictions of what might take off in the future. We use voice recognition software when we call a company and get their customer service computer, but it hasn’t really taken off in other ways. Why not?
    • Bush also continuously speaks to his vision of the future in which a “room-full of girls” will demonstrate, or operate machines. Have we evolved considerably from this point? Or are most executive assistants or “secretaries” still women?
    • What are the advantages and disadvantages of applying theory to technological innovations?
  15. Keichii
    • Which version of CPU made you think it is an overshoot?
    • How much of Bush’s vision has been accomplished today?
    • Is there anything you are dissatisfied with today’s internet? Do you think technology advancement will solve it?
  16. Kirk
    • At what point should a company start surveying the innovation landscape and re-focus efforts (time & money) on the “next-big-thing?”(Some publications during the late stages of the telegraph, such as the ‘Telegraphers’ Advocate’ became the ‘Electric Age’ in anticipation of a new media landscape.)
    • With the semi-conductor market becoming easier to enter, will semi-condutor companies refocus large amounts of capitol in a new direction such as Quantum Computing in order to create a new less saturated and capital intensive market?(The semi-conductor ‘pie’ is already fairly sliced up. Why not create a whole new ‘pie’ that is much harder to take from, such as experimental computing methods based on quantum mechanics and string theory?)
    • The Telegraph, Telephone, and Internet all existed side by side for quite a few years. Sometimes a disruptive technology does not entirely wipe out the competing technology. How can a company continue to maintain an older technology while making a foothold in the next technology? At what point do you let go of one rung and grab the next?
  17. Mark

    • Is Wikipedia an incumbent or a challenging technology? Or, is it a bit of both? If you see Wikipedia as a challenging or disruptive technology, how can it continue to establish itself as a dominant player in the world of content publication? If it is an incumbent, who are its potentially overshot consumers?
    • How do you know a non-consumer when you see one?
    • How do non-centralized challengers like Linux effectively compete with centralized incumbents like Microsoft or Apple?
  18. Maury
    • What innovations are we overlooking or dismissing now, that will be key ingredients to future technologies and why?
    • When can the concept of overshooting the customer or the market be a good thing?
  19. Michelle (no post)
  20. Nate
    • The telegraph first found use for purposes of war. Vannevar Bush talks about scientists coming together in times of war. How does war accelerate or inhibit the stream of technological advancement?
    • In what ways has technology fulfilled Bush’s vision of the future? In what ways have his visions yet to be fulfilled?
    • How do trends in mobile technology offer a significant jump from the way we communicated, say, 10 years ago?
  21. Sarah Lane
    • If we look at the history of the Internet to begin at the telegraph and use its lifecycle as a pattern, what does the future of the Internet look like?

    • How can the Internet escape the fate of the telegraph – being made obsolete by inventions meant to improve upon it?

    • How has the governments backing and interest in the Internet made its acceptance in society easier that it was for the telegraph?

  22. Sarah Funk
    • What would Bush’s reaction be to present day technology?
    • Why is Christensen so apprehensive about the long term success of Moore’s Law?
    • How do you think Bush’s article was received in 1945?
  23. Tharaa
    • What do you think would accelerate the industry change in the future? The emergence of what and why?
    • Explain how disruptive innovations would contribute in changing an industry?
    • How the birth of telephone and the explosion of wireless technologies are related to The Victorian Internet?
  24. Yen-Ching
    • How the internet technology/industry can be explained from the viewpoints in The Victorian Internet?
    • What lessons do we learn from overly emphasizing Moore’s Laws? Please provide the cramming examples in any industry.
    • Why did Bush predict the technological changes so successfully?
  25. Yi-Jen
    • Mobile phones and PC are tiny, cheaper and well-functional. Both of they are applied to the overshooting market theory. Which one do you think will become most popular and sell best in the future? Or we can said which one is the device we need most in the future? Why?
    • Someone support that specialization is the most efficient way to invent, which mean that we invent something only for human need. Others support that amplifying creativity to invent anything without any goal and then try to use it in our daily life. Which way you like most? Why? Which one do you think will work most in the future?
    • In the book, Victorian Internet, we can see the telegraph actually help people collect and deliver more information to newspaper offices faster than before instead of kill the business of newspaper. However, why do the new technologies in twentieths always threat the business of newspaper?
  26. Yu-Lan
    • How did the public respond to Bush’s prediction in 1945?
    • If customization is the goal, how do we know it’s not also a block of innovation?
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