Even though it is the 11th of January, I figured I’d post my thoughts on the state of technology in 2003. In a nutshell, 2003 was a very disappointing year. Nothing revolutionary (or for that matter evolutionary) happened. PCs got faster with better graphics and more memory, but the applications that take advantage of this power never materialized. Statistical analysis and number crunching have benefited because raw proccessing power is the key to such apps. There are plenty holy grail applications that have failed for years because of the lack of speed. Voice recognition, facial recognition, and natural language text translation could become a reality now if somebody would try to code them again in earnest.
Consumer electronics saw some really neat trends with the most important being digital music. Portable digital players got smaller and cheaper with higher capacities. The Apple iPod is the coolest even though it is more expensive than all the others. Napster, iTunes, and MusicMatch have all made buying digital music easy and legal. I think the music industry should have embraced the downloading of music years ago because they are making money hand over fist with it. It’s so much cheaper for them than trying to sale CDs retail style, especially now that they’ve finished digitizing the existing catalog. Aside from digital music, large format High Definition televisions got cheaper. Sadly, HDTV content didn’t get much of a boost despite government mandates that all stations must broadcast HDTV signals by 2006. Let’s just pray that 2004 is more interesting.