The Top 10 Tech Breakthroughs We’re Still Waiting For

  • According to Bloomberg, subway stations in lower Manhattan could be wired for WiFi within the next two years, with the entire system covered two years after that. Heck, it's possible this project could even help to close the MTA's perennial budget gap. (Just one thing: don't tell the terrorists.)

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  • Major record labels suck. All music should live in the cloud, accessible to anyone, anywhere, anytime. Users would be able to pay a flat fee or a metered rate, with the majority of the proceeds going to the actual artists. Believe it or not, this already exists in Europe. Europe!

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  • If only the shoes in question were this cool.

    Slowly but surely, the objects around us are being wired to share their data. Our shoes will tell us how many steps we've taken and our stoves precisely how long we overcooked that quiche. Soon we'll be able to swim, or drown, in a sea of data generated from the things in our lives. Last one in's a rotten egg.

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  • Wallets are easy to lose, hard to find and make it a pain to wear tight pants. It's time for a single device that does everything, from phone calls to music to digital payments (for instance, when buying jeans).

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  • Help me, Obi-Wan. Steve Jobs is trying to make us believe video chat is all that. A two-way holographic conversation would make would make Apple's Facetime look like the telegram.

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  • For too long, boatloads of terrible television has survived by being packaged alongside the cream of the crop. No more, we say! It's time for an à-la-carte universe. The sooner a compelling pay model emerges, the sooner piracy will stop being the most attractive option.

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  • If anything could snap us out of our daily routine and remind us of the awe inspiring richness of Planet Earth, it would be a trip to outer space. Floating weightless above the shimmering globe would be a powerful reminder of how small we really are. A decent in-flight meal wouldn't hurt either.

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  • The biggest obstacle to the progress of mobile is the carriers themselves. They lock consumers into long, painful contracts and load the phones down with their company's own crapware. Hopefully the emergence of new communication kingpins like Facebook and Skype (who recently partnered) will provide a path to a cell phone that works with, or without, the telcos.

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  • Loneliness and masturbation are so 20th century. If we were really interested in world peace, the Department of Defense would put some serious funding into the next generation of hi-tech sex-bots! Creepy but effective.

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  • A recent Zogby poll found that one in ten Americans would have the internet connected directly to their brain if they could. More than one third would like to be able to download memories.

    As a caveat to this brave new world, the same study found one in four had been caught cheating because of a social network. Hard to imagine a more cerebral approach to surfing the net would improve those odds. 

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