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A Day in Your Life, Fifteen Years From Now 687

Posted by Soulskill
from the time-travel dept.
Fifteen years from now, your alarm goes off at 7:30 AM, pulling you out of a dead sleep. You roll over, grumbling a command, and the alarm obediently shuts up. You drift off again, but ten minutes later the alarm returns, more insistent. It won't be so easily pacified this time; the loose sensory netting inside your pillow will keep the noise going until it detects alpha waves in drastically higher numbers than theta waves. Or until it gets the automated password from the shower. Sighing, you roll out of bed, pull your Computing ID (CID) card from the alarm unit, and stumble out of the bedroom. Pausing briefly to drop your CID into your desktop computer, you make your way to the shower and begin washing. Your alarm triggered the shower's heating unit, so the water comes out at a pleasant 108 degrees, exactly your preference. (42 degrees, you remind yourself — the transition to metric still isn't second nature, after almost two full years.) You wash quickly to avoid exceeding your water quota, and step out refreshed, ready to meet the day. (Read on for more.)

After your shower, you grab a bowl of cereal and head to the living room. Your desktop has already torrented last night's episode of your favorite comedy show, saturating the municipal gigabit fiber connection for almost a full minute to grab the 20-minute program. (You have it set to download in basic 8K, eschewing the 3D and live mashup feeds.) At a spoken command, your TV turns on and begins playback. When a confirmation box pops up on the screen, you state your name to authorize payment for the episode. Unfortunately, because you spent extra time sleeping, you're in too much of a rush to finish the episode. You tell the TV to send the rest to local storage, pull your CID from the desktop, and put it into your phone. While you get dressed, your phone plays back your social streams from last night, filtered to only the closest tier of relationships. After listening to your mother's voice detailing plans for the upcoming holiday, and your best friend summarizing the game he went to, you tell the phone to retrieve streams from one tier further. Ten seconds into yet another political rant from your cousin, you tell it to cancel and you set off for work.

As the door closes behind you, you absently wave your phone by the doorbell panel. The embedded RFID chip triggers the locks and security system, and sends a command to start your car. You climb in and place your phone in its dock. Quickly checking the car's charge and its wireless connection, you say, "Go to work," and lean back into your seat as it rolls out of the driveway. Telling your phone to resume playback, you watch the rest of your show as you wait for your commute to finish. (You're vaguely aware that the car isn't going to the freeway today — there must have been a hack-cident — and you feel irritation yet again at the arbitrarily low speed limits, wishing there was a way to ignore them.) After the show is over, you call up your work email and calendar, and prepare for the rest of the day. It's not until the car comes to a halt and beeps at you that you realize you've arrived in the parking structure. As the induction coils top off your car's charge, you exit the structure and walk over to your building's entrance. After waving your phone past the entry sensor, you stand as still as you can and slowly think your full name. The fMRI sensors process the input quickly and decide you are who you think you are.

Walking into to your office, you drop your phone into its dock and flip on the display, thus interacting with the only two objects on your desk. The display, nearly five feet across (1.5 meters, you mean) scans your CID and instantly restores the projects you were working on yesterday. You notice a handful of button icons are different than they were before. There must have been an OS update overnight. Your mild curiosity over finding a changelog fades when you realize you can't remember the name of the OS to look for it. It's unlikely anyone else at your agency does, either, except perhaps the CTO. Frowning at one of the dead pixels on your display, you remember when you used to have co-workers who dealt with that sort of thing. As your attention returns to your projects, you begin to manipulate the contents of your screen, sometimes moving your hands along the top of your desk, sometimes gesturing in midair. For particularly precise work, you detach a stylus from the side of the display. Occasionally you pause to read or listen to an email and vocalize your response. Pushing your work to the side, you take a moment to check in on your subordinates' screens, watching in real-time as they manipulate data and imagery. When needed, you open the intercom channel and provide direction.

After a couple hours, the advertising campaign your team is working on is nearing completion. You package it up and open a connection to your company's AI provider, working quickly to minimize the fees. Setting the AI to "Human Approximation" (and using "Moderate" fidelity to make it finish in a reasonable amount of time), you run it through the ad campaign and monitor the psychological reactions over a matrix of common phenotypes and personalities. The response from the Super-Rationals isn't good (but then, it never is), and you spot weaknesses in your campaign's ability to reach females in one subculture, and males in two others. You make a quick list of potential improvements to background music and the facial expressions of the computer-generated actors, and send the list off to your team. This project has been particularly stressful; in addition to the legislation currently being debated over how AIs can be used (or whether they can be turned on at all), several patent suits involving advertising methods are hanging over your company's head, and you have to carefully review your team's work to ensure it doesn't cause another. You know far more about patents now than you ever wanted to, but you don't want your company to be one of the early victims. You hope the advertising industry doesn't go through a reckoning as happened with the computer and entertainment industries. There's still money to be made in those sectors, but nobody's getting rich, and you want to retire into one of the planned orbital communities.

Mid-afternoon rolls around before you realize it. Hunger gnaws at your stomach and, perhaps because of that, you're mildly uncomfortable all over. Grabbing your phone and leaving work, you walk down the street to a restaurant. You seat yourself at a booth and call up the menu on the table's display. Finding a likely-sounding sandwich, you browse quickly through pictures, a few reviews, and the nutritional information before confirming your order. Switching the table to browse-mode, you catch up on the news while waiting for your food. It seems another Middle-Eastern country has severed its last wired connection to the outside world as a desperate defense against continual cyberwar. The local police force has been tasked with controlling wireless transmissions, and they're being run ragged trying to construct monitoring stations and conduct wardriving patrols with limited manpower. Nobody is willing to take chances after last year's nuclear incident. Browsing more, you see nothing is new with the coastal flooding situation in Europe, though China has once again increased its level of economic aid. You note with dismay that the U.S. election campaigns, underway for over a year already, are both distancing themselves from the current plans to return to the Moon. The organization that took over for NASA is likely to face budget cuts regardless of who wins.

The server robot finally rolls up to your table and deposits your sandwich, along with a glass of water (soda is a rare treat these days, because of the tax). After eating half your meal and picking at the rest, you realize it's not hunger that's making you feel poorly. You briefly remove the CID from your phone and wave it across the table to pay for your food. You leave a small tip for the robot maintenance engineer, then walk to your car, calling work on your way to notify them you're feeling ill. Once you've instructed the car to go home, you recline the seat and take a short nap. The car gently chimes to wake you when you're safely home. Heading inside, you walk to the bathroom and root around in a drawer for your phone's medical attachment. Once connected, you instruct it to contact the CDC's servers for a virus definition update. You quickly swab your nose and throat, and place the samples on the attachment's sensor, then step into the kitchen to make some tea while you wait. In 20 minutes, the results come back, showing a very strong likelihood that you have the seasonal flu. Your results are automatically sent to the CDC, where their algorithms verify your CID and confirm you had contact with several other people now exhibiting symptoms. An antiviral drug is prescribed for you immediately. You dispatch your car to pick it up.

Laying back down in bed, you pull your CID from your phone and place it into your tablet. Checking your social feeds, you see several get-well-soon messages already from friends and family. You distractedly browse through some of the media your friends have been reading, watching, and playing, but nothing strikes your interest. After your car returns, you take the meds and settle back down with a cup of tea. Undoing the small latches at the corners of the tablet, you pull at the sides, stretching the screen until it's 30 centimeters across. You lay it down and fire up a game of chess. After quickly losing two games, you suspect it won't be good for your rating to play while sick. You briefly consider pulling the CID and playing anonymously, but decide against it. Returning the screen to its default shape, you detach it from the tablet and grab an e-ink screen from the drawer. Once you've firmly seated it on the tablet, the ebook you've been reading appears on the screen right where you'd left off. After reading a while, you begin to nod off. At the increase in theta waves, your pillow's sensor web shuts off the tablet, dims lights throughout the house, and silently monitors your vital signs to see if your symptoms are getting any worse. As you drift off to sleep, you wonder what the next fifteen years will bring.

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A Day in Your Life, Fifteen Years From Now

Comments Filter:
  • But... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @10:53AM (#41607439)

    But before I get in teh shower I'll jump on Slashdot to try and get first post. Some things never change!

    • Re:But... (Score:5, Funny)

      by SquarePixel (1851068) * on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @11:02AM (#41607569)

      The whole thing seems like lots to do. I would just grab a beer and call it a day.

      • Re:But... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by durrr (1316311) on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @11:36AM (#41608121)

        Reads like cheap pulp scifi, lost me after second paragraph.

        What will happen is that you'll throw your low tech cotton pillow onto your 25 year old plastic, night indestructible alarm clock, grumble, and go to your 30 year old(shover head only 10 years old) shower system, swear while the water takes 2 minutes to reach a proper temperature.

        And suddenly you remember this masturbatory futuristic article from slashdot and chuckle heartily.

        • Re:But... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by N1AK (864906) on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @12:44PM (#41609083) Homepage
          The problem with predictions of the future like this is that the truly transformational changes aren't usually obvious so they end up with incremental improvements instead. Why on earth would I still have 'a desktop' 15 years from now and what on earth would make me want to have some computing unit (CID) that I plug into various devices when that's even less useful than the closest current equivalent (a mobile phone and bluetooth/wifi). Why on earth would I despatch my car to go on a collection errand when there would be fleets of delivery vehicles constantly passing by etc. This strikes me as a particularly unimaginative and non-compelling attempt to predict the future.
          • Re:But... (Score:5, Interesting)

            by DamonHD (794830) <d@hd.org> on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @01:26PM (#41609651) Homepage

            Spot on.

            If not having face time, why travel at all? I already only travel in to my main client a couple of days per week, and only then for the benefits of working cheek-by-jowl with my co-workers since my human firmware needs that sometimes. And my transport is already self-directed and all-electrified and fairly decent (train, underground, elevated light rail ending close to Canary Wharf). Wasting time and energy on travel for the sake of it is silly.

            Yes, it'll be the thing we don't expect and cannot predict that is interesting...

            I'll not start ranting about ID cards, save to point out I happen to be wearing the t-shirt from the only political campaign I've participated in: No2ID (against a previous UK government's heavy-handed attempt to introduce universal ID here),

            Rgds

            Damon

        • Re:But... (Score:5, Funny)

          by AmiMoJo (196126) <mojo @ w orld3.net> on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @01:08PM (#41609393) Homepage

          It got some things right. For example I notice the guy lives alone, and his day is largely devoid of physical human contact or looking anyone in the eye.

          Sigh. Forever alone. I just hope Slashdot is still around or my life will be so empty.

      • I dunno, sleeping in until 7:30 sounds pretty sweet to me.

        It also looks like lots of pending work for EEs, here comes the gravy train, whoo whoo!

      • Re:But... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by DragonTHC (208439) <Dragon@gamerslaC ... minus physicist> on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @12:46PM (#41609109) Homepage Journal

        I'd cut the whole thing short. When you go outside to get in your super space car, you get mugged at knifepoint and your cid is stolen.

        You can no longer enter your house, because the door locked, and you can't go anywhere because your car only recognizes your cid and biometrics.

        You decide to get on your bike and ride to the BCC (bureau of citizen computing) where you can apply for a new cid. You stand in line for 6 hours due to everyone's cid getting stolen because it's a stupid idea in the first place.

    • Re:But... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by slashchuck (617840) on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @11:06AM (#41607633) Journal
      TLDR
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @10:55AM (#41607465)

    No way this is ever going to happen. The US convert to metric? Come on.

    • by 14erCleaner (745600) <FourteenerCleaner@yahoo.com> on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @11:02AM (#41607575) Homepage Journal
      And shouldn't the car be flying? Remembering back a few decades, the main difference between then and now is that "modern" people play with their phones a lot. I see no reason to think the future will change any faster.
      • by 14erCleaner (745600) <FourteenerCleaner@yahoo.com> on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @11:03AM (#41607593) Homepage Journal
        And Slashdot still won't allow you to edit or delete your posts when you screw up the tags. :P
      • by jeffmeden (135043)

        And shouldn't the car be flying?

        Remembering back a few decades, the main difference between then and now is that "modern" people play with their phones a lot. I see no reason to think the future will change any faster.

        "Modern" people have a cheap, compact, completely connected computer in their pocket at all times. Did we see that coming 15 years ago? Before you say "sure, things constantly get smaller" the real thing that surprised the world wasnt that they exist, but the fact that just about everyone (that can afford it) has decided they "need" one.

    • by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworld@NoSPAm.gmail.com> on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @12:05PM (#41608533) Homepage
      Metric is for people who are too bad at math to mentally convert from different base systems.
  • Rather... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by war4peace (1628283) on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @10:55AM (#41607469)

    You wake up suddenly because looters are again banging at your reinforced door, looking for food and something to kill (or both). You shoot your through the door slits to make them go away, then prepare to take off and scavenge neighboring ruins for food.

    And so on, and so forth.

    • by na1led (1030470)
      The way things are looking, it will probably be Dystopia instead of Utopia, 15 years from now.
      • by timster (32400)

        Only to those who lack a sense of history. People always think the worst is coming.

        • Just because you haven't been the subject of a war yourself, it doesn't mean your (pretty comfy) life (I assume) is shared by the entire world. Quite the other way around, I'd venture to say. The world is changing at an unprecedented pace. In some developed countries there's this false feeling of safety, because there are still resources to access and the quality of life is good and seems unchangeable.
          Facilitated travel heightens the risk of an epidemic. It took 15 years for the black plague of 14th century

  • by peter303 (12292) on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @10:55AM (#41607471)
    Now nor when I am retired in 15 years
  • CID? Seriously? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by valadaar (1667093) on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @10:56AM (#41607485)
    No card. The damn things will simply know what you look like.
  • by RichMan (8097) on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @10:57AM (#41607495)

    I will not work in advertising.

    • by Jason Levine (196982) on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @11:55AM (#41608381)

      I've heard of bleak, post-apocalyptic versions of the future, but one where everyone works in advertising is just too scary to envision!

      • As it happens I'm reading the The Space Merchants [goodreads.com] at the moment, which posits a future where advertising is ubiquitous. It was written in the 50s. Talk about prescient. The characters seem exceedingly cynical, then you realize they're just oblivious when they say the things like "the pamphlets were chock full of sound reasoning, a notion we ad men dispensed with ages ago."

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I'll be using GNU/Linux and thankful that they finally got a working wireless driver for my 15-year-old wifi card.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @10:57AM (#41607501)

    And /. still won't support unicode...

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @11:13AM (#41607737)
      ÂÂÃÃÃÃfà Ã...ÃÃÃÃÃSÃÃOEÃÃZÃÃÃ'Ã'Ã"Ã"à Ã-ÃÃ(TM)ÃsÃÃoeÃÃzÃYÃÃà ãÃåæÃÃé ÃÃÃÃîà ÃñÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃà üýþÃÄÄÄÄf ÄÄ...ÄÄÄÄ ÄÄOEÄÄZÄÄÄ'Ä' Ä"Ä"ÄÄ-Ä--ÄÄ(TM)ÄsÄÄoeÄÄz ÄYÄÄÄ Ä£ÄĥĦÄÄÄ©ÄÄÄÄÄ® ÄÄıÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄļĽľ ÄÅÅÅÅfÅ Å...ÅÅÅÅÅSÅÅOEÅÅZ ÅÅÅ'Å'Å"Å"ÅÅ- Å--ÅÅ(TM)ÅsÅÅoeÅÅzÅYÅÅ ÅÅ£ÅťŦÅÅÅ©ÅÅÅÅŮŠÅűÅÅÅÅÅÅÅ ÅÅŠżŽžÅÆÆÆÆf ÆÆ...ÆÆÆÆÆSÆÆOE ÆÆZÆÆÆ'Æ'Æ"Æ"ÆÆ-Æ--ÆÆ(TM) ÆsÆÆoeÆÆzÆY ÆÆ ÆÆ£ÆÆ¥ ƦÆÆÆ©ÆÆÆÆ Æ®ÆÆÆ±Æ ÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆƼ ƽƾÆÇ Ç... Ç ÇÇ ÇÇSÇ ÇOEÇÇZ ÇÇÇ'Ç'Ç"Ç"ÇÇ- Ç--ÇÇ(TM)ÇsÇ.
  • by gweihir (88907) on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @10:58AM (#41607515)

    Right! When I was a kid, we had these picture-books about "15 years into the future". That was 25 years ago unfortunately, and zero of the predictions came true. Will be the same with this nonsense here.

  • Really? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Pikoro (844299) <init@i[ ].sh ['nit' in gap]> on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @10:59AM (#41607531) Homepage Journal

    How about, in 15 years, you'll have the same dead end job where your managers are getting paid more than you are and you have nothing to show in your life except for some bytes on some company's hard drive and you still get up and perform the same routine you always have?

    We're really at the top of the curve for technological advancement without some kind of major energy breakthrough. If you want to practice your writing skills, do it somewhere else.

    This whole article is tl;dr. Read an Asimov book.

    • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TWX (665546) on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @11:21AM (#41607869)
      I laugh at the author's assumption that we'll be able to afford this excessive use of technology.

      We use cylinder locks and metal keys because they're cheap and good enough.

      We use alarm clocks with buttons because they're cheap, easily replaced, and good enough.

      We use manually-turned valves to control hot and cold water, again, because they're cheap and good enough.

      In short, almost all of our technology is minimalist, because once a technology is developed into a decent working system, there's not a lot of good in changing it for a more expensive system. I like my manual door locks, as there's a certain amount of skill required to pick one that a skr1pt k1dd13 can't download off of the Internet to use.

      On top of that, can you imagine the cabling required to control all of these fancy gizmos? A lot of what's described can't operate off of wireless, it needs some physical control. Shower valves, for example.

      Plus reliability is always an issue. We have a Clapper to control one of the lights and even it's not perfect, and it's simple.
  • So Soviet Russia is the future a decade an a half hence? I ignored the CID, but the water quota is ridiculous. Unless we have drastically less water due to using as nuclear fusion fuel, we'll still have all the water we have now.
    • The *Earth* will still have the same amount of water, but what about the aquifers or ice melt your city depends on?

  • Whoever wrote this is having a very imaginative time, but I don't see any of this stuff ever being a reality. Sorry.

  • by Desler (1608317) on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @11:01AM (#41607553)

    So soulskill has found something he's even worse at then editing submissions. Good job, man!

  • by SirGarlon (845873) on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @11:02AM (#41607573)
    Based on experience, a day in my life 15 years from now will look a lot like a day in my life now. Except, hopefully, I won't still be working on my second master's degree, and I'll have kids.
    • by rgbrenner (317308)

      I'll second this.

      This "article" is nothing more than fantasy written in the same vein as similar articles in the 50s. 15 years from now will be NOTHING like the article.

      It will be like today, with some fairly minor improvements. Think of the improvements between 1995 and today.

      See the revolutionary awesome difference? No? That's because there were no revolutionary changes. We got faster processors, smaller phones, faster internet connections, etc, etc, etc. But those are all minor in the grand scheme of thi

      • by rasmusbr (2186518)

        I'd say one or two things will be dramatically different from now, while most other things will be very slightly different or exactly the same. I can't think of a 15-year period since 1900 when there wasn't at least one dramatic breakthrough that changed some aspect of society.

        My money would be on Google cars and Google glass coming to fruition, and on photovoltaics becoming ubiquitous.

        You'll probably have your genome on file 15 years from now, because the cost of doing it will be trivial, but I doubt that

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Reminds me of the original star trek, always carrying little cards around.

    Come on! " pull your Computing ID (CID) card from the alarm unit, and stumble out of the bedroom. Pausing briefly to drop your CID into your desktop computer,"

    Right, because computers won't be able to track who you are, your own home. Stopped reading there.

    • by Gilmoure (18428)

      Yup, people will either wear or have implanted some sort of RFID. Doubt physical recognition will be widespread enough y et. But I could be wrong.

  • by ffoiii (226358) on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @11:04AM (#41607607) Homepage
    Everything was plausible up until I found out I was in advertising, at which point I would obviously hack the order of precedence in my robot's "Three Laws" chip and command my robot to kill me.
    • That was the point where I thought, "Ah! I seem to have died and gone to Hell in 15 years. Oh, dear..."

      At least there were no flying cars or jetpacks.

    • No need for hacking, the "zeroth law" will take care of that, and your robot will strangle you as soon as it gets delivered to your home.
  • by second_coming (2014346) on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @11:04AM (#41607615)
    With all that 'advancement' in technology I would hope that we wouldn't all be relying on a card that could be lost or stolen.

    What about voice pattern analysis or retinal scans?
  • by Gordonjcp (186804) on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @11:06AM (#41607635) Homepage

    ... stuff will be pretty much the same as it is today. Just like stuff today is pretty much like it was 15 years ago.

    It's a bit easier to pick up my email on my phone, and my home internet connection is about 100 times faster. That's about it, really.

  • Disapointed (Score:5, Funny)

    by Chrisq (894406) on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @11:08AM (#41607659)
    I read all the way to the end hoping to get to the nymphomaniac fembot or the cloned and imprinted sex-kitten
  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @11:08AM (#41607661) Homepage

    Your alarm triggered the shower's heating unit, so the water comes out at a pleasant 108 degrees, exactly your preference.

    Or it would have, except that as a prank your roommate grabbed your CID and changed the preferences so that the water now comes out at 35 F (2 C).

    As the door closes behind you, you absently wave your phone by the doorbell panel. The embedded RFID chip triggers the locks and security system, and sends a command to start your car.

    Meanwhile, a bad guy read your RFID chip yesterday when you passed him going to the restaurant and made a copy. He uses it to unlock your house, sits down at the PC to install a tool that will send your CID and any other identifying information about you to him, figures out where your car is likely to be, closes the door, re-locking the security system and starting your car. A confederate hops in the now-started car, drives a while, replaces the ID transponder currently in the car with one he can control, and leaves.

    You quickly swab your nose and throat, and place the samples on the attachment's sensor, then step into the kitchen to make some tea while you wait. In 20 minutes, the results come back, showing a very strong likelihood that you have the seasonal flu. Your results are automatically sent to the CDC, where their algorithms verify your CID and confirm you had contact with several other people now exhibiting symptoms. An antiviral drug is prescribed for you immediately.

    In addition, your insurance company knows that you are now sick, and raises your rates accordingly. Also, you notice that when you visit ad-supported web sites, they're all pushing products to help you combat your illness.

  • Don't quit your day job.

  • Why would anybody bother with a CID or even fMRI when a DNA scan-and-hash will identify you to 128 bits of certainty?

  • So much bullshit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lord Grey (463613) on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @11:10AM (#41607699)

    These kinds of readings irritate me. They present a wonderful picture, but only when everything goes right. When all the automated thingies in the environment can correctly anticipate your next action. When you don't do the unexpected, or the unexpected doesn't pop up somewhere in the surroundings.

    Who's life is that? Not mine. In the above scenario: 1) the alarm clock would wake me up on my day off because I forgot to notify it; 2) the Internet is down and I can't connect outside my house; 3) my arm is in a cast so making decent gestures at my desktop 'computer' is real chore, if not impossible; and 4) my wife is extremely pissed at me for not being able to fix a damn thing in our house. Then a major storm tears through the neighborhood, my roof is half torn off, rainwater gets everywhere and all the electronics go absolutely apeshit.

    Tell me what happens when things go wrong, not right. At least a little bit, to provide some much-needed reality.

    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      Relevant to this kind of thinking: "Even in the future, nothing works!" - Dark Helmet

  • by concealment (2447304) on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @11:11AM (#41607715) Homepage Journal

    That was an interesting vision of the future. A couple thoughts:

    (1) It's a vision of hell. I prefer solitude and real experience to the social networking world. What about someone who wants off the grid because the grid is a plastic substitute for real experience?

    (2) Bonus points to the writer for not claiming that social problems were non-existent. The freeways get hacked, there's been a nuclear war, the middle east is still trouble, and China still wants to control Europe.

    It shies away from Utopian thinking enough that I can believe it, but it also shows an automated world that I don't think I want. In that, it's an excellent brain-stimulating piece of writing.

  • Nothing will change (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Russ1642 (1087959) on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @11:11AM (#41607719)
    I'll probably still be driving the same car I have today. My computer will be a little faster, and it'll be running Windows 11. Other than that I really can't see my day being so different than it is now. Well, hopefully I'll get a new dishwasher sometime but I doubt it'll be networked.
  • by mcmonkey (96054) on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @11:12AM (#41607725) Homepage

    (42 degrees, you remind yourself — the transition to metric still isn't second nature, after almost two full years.)

    I stopped right there.

    If everything is so computerized and automated in the future, why would there be a transition to metric? All the internal calculations could be Celsius, Meters, and Grams, but I could set my devices to display Fahrenheit, Yards, and Ounces.

    • I stopped there, because I know there are too many people that will cling to measuring everything in feetsies & gerbil penises [theoatmeal.com] in the US to ever move to metric.

      I've just decided to start using metric now, and let everyone else do the converting. If someone asks for the temperature, I tell it to them in Celsius, and I tell them directions in kilometers.
      If they're going to cling to the past, I'm going to let them to the converting, not me.

  • by Marc_Hawke (130338) on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @11:26AM (#41607965)

    If tipping doesn't go away the same time waiters do, we have a SERIOUSLY messed up society. I hope that was just a really lame joke.

    Tipping is institutionalized bribing to convince a person to treat you better. The robots will be programmed to treat everyone the same, and you will NEVER meet the repairman.

    Also, it seems super lame to slide that card in and out of everything all the time. Especially when he pulled it out of his phone just to pay the bill. That was by far the weakest point of his little fantasy.

    • by KiloByte (825081)

      No civilised country has a culture of tipping waiters anymore.

      • by mlts (1038732) *

        Most civilized countries, being a waitperson is a profession to itself. That is why most of Europe has a "gratuity included" sign for their cafes and restaurants.

        I'd like to see that in the US. Charge the 20% extra on food, and pay the waitstaff a living salary. That way, tips actually would be for good service, as opposed to something one has to do as a social norm.

  • Not Very Accurate (Score:3, Interesting)

    by PastTense (150947) on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @11:28AM (#41607999)

    First I don't understand why you went to the office. You simply telecommute from home. In fact it's an exceeding rare event for any knowledge worker to go to the office; the few people going to work are the ones involved with physical objects.

    Likewise I don't understand why you would go to a restaurant and this robot server. You have your own local meal preparation unit in your house (and there is one in the office for the few times someone shows up there). People only go to restaurants where they are served by real people as a special event. It's a nostalgia type thing.

    But the event you remember the most of this day was getting a birthday card from your great grand-mother. You haven't handled physical paper in months--but she is very old-fashioned and sends you this card.

  • by Bucc5062 (856482) <bucc5062@gm a i l . com> on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @11:35AM (#41608117)

    The author lost me at "driving to work". In fifteen years. with that type of technology, why would this guy, or most IT/professional workers need to drive into work. Very high speed networks (wireless), HD style displays, super computers in a box indicates the ability to work from home (or any where) and still stay connected to co-workers and/or management. Commuting is a waste of energy and time. Face to face need not be lost, just managed.

    The rest I found not very realistic (for 15 years). Sure, Mr. Marketing guy can afford all those toys, but many more folk cannot and what will their lives look like...about the same as today. If we are still around in 100 years, then I could see that more connected world

    (man I am getting cynical, when did I stop dreaming (sigh))

  • by s0nicfreak (615390) on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @11:37AM (#41608139) Homepage Journal
    there is no way I will get up at 7:30.
  • So many absurdities (Score:5, Informative)

    by JDG1980 (2438906) on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @11:43AM (#41608231)

    the transition to metric still isn't second nature, after almost two full years

    About 25 years ago, when I was in elementary school, we were taught the metric system and told that the US would probably be transitioning Real Soon Now. When I told my parents, they laughed and said that they were told the same thing when they were in school.

    Transition to metric in the US? Never gonna happen.

    You're vaguely aware that the car isn't going to the freeway today â" there must have been a hack-cident â" and you feel irritation yet again at the arbitrarily low speed limits, wishing there was a way to ignore them.

    First off, what kind of dumbass would make a driverless car that can be hacked from the outside? The worst an intruder without physical access to the vehicle should be able to do is jam GPS, and even then a well-designed system should be able to use cached map data.

    Secondly, the reason speed limits are set arbitrarily low is so the cops can collect revenue from drivers. In a world of all driverless cars, speeding tickets go away and so does the rationale for these limits. With drivers (voters) complaining and the cops and local governments no longer raking in ticket money, raising the limits becomes a political no-brainer.

    Walking into to your office, you drop your phone into its dock and flip on the display, thus interacting with the only two objects on your desk. The display, nearly five feet across (1.5 meters, you mean) scans your CID and instantly restores the projects you were working on yesterday. You notice a handful of button icons are different than they were before. There must have been an OS update overnight.

    Good thing you're in advertising because I can't imagine anyone trying to get any real work done this way. The truth is that the desktop/laptop PC isn't going anywhere. It's being supplemented, not replaced. Tablets and phones are consumption devices. And no sensible IT department is going to let a third party vendor change user interfaces overnight with no time for training. That's a recipe for disaster. Whoever wrote this knows nothing about how corporate (or even small business) IT works.

    The local police force has been tasked with controlling wireless transmissions, and they're being run ragged trying to construct monitoring stations and conduct wardriving patrols with limited manpower. Nobody is willing to take chances after last year's nuclear incident.

    Is the premise here that everyone forgets everything they know about computer security in the next 15 years? Who exposed a nuclear system to the public Internet to the extent that some idiot could hack it via a WIRELESS connection?

    soda is a rare treat these days, because of the tax

    This kind of crap is very popular among a certain sector of policy wonks, but it will never happen because it's absolute political poison. No one who cares about re-election will propose it.

  • Hilarious (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Alioth (221270) <no@spam> on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @12:11PM (#41608633) Journal

    This reads a lot like those future predictions written in 1979 about life in the year 2000... which were hilariously wrong too, perhaps except for one coincidental detail, which in reality turned out to be much more powerful/better/slick than the 1979 prediction reckoned.

    I suspect my alarm clock in 15 years will still be the late 1970s clock radio with its green vacuum fluorescent display. I also suspect that there's a pretty decent chance my ride to work will be a bicycle, rather than a car, due to the relentless increase in energy costs.

  • by glebovitz (202712) on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @12:13PM (#41608651) Journal

    The alarm clock will still be on my wife's side of the bed and will probably be a cheap Timex battery powered unit with buttons that are hard to press and a crappy display and annoying beep for an alarm. She will still the voice that pulls me from my sleep,

    We will have the same shower with maybe an upgrade to the shower head. I don't see a need to upgrade our Thermosol shower control as it seems to do a fine job at at temperature control. We will still live on the east coast where water is not so much a valued commodity. We tend to take short showers, so this shouldn't be an issue.

    I will still have a phone and a computer. My computer might look more like a tablet and syncing will be faster and easier, but I won't be plopping my phone into a docking station at my office. Dropbox or Google sync seems to give me that functionality today.

    I expect to be swiping and typing. I don't think I will be gesturing into the air which seems to require to much energy. I still expect no more than a 30 inch display on my desk, although the screen and tablet computer might be flexible and thin. I doubt the metric system will take hole in the U.S. I will still be driving at 75MPH on roads with a 65MPH speed limit. My car might have more voice controls and a heads up display, but I suspect it will be a hybrid that runs on electricity and natural gas rather than gasoline.

    I will still expect a paper or card menu at the restaurant and a live waiter. The card menu could possibly be a flexible computer, but it will have to look and feel like a menu card to be acceptable.
    .
    My kitchen appliances will be very high tech with touch displays, but their function will likely be the same. We might have some unforeseen replacements for microwave ovens, but I doubt it.

    In essence, I don't expect things to change dramatically. I expect I will have multiple devices that are all synced together (I have that now, so why would it be different 15 years from now). Siri might actually work and be useful by then, but I will still only use it in the car. I won't want to be shouting out my preferences or requests in public for all to hear.

  • by EdgePenguin (2646733) on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @12:33PM (#41608933) Homepage

    Its easy to piss on a future projection, but I'm going to try to be as positive as I can.

    1. fMRI scanners at entrances. Even if this can be done accurately enough - these scanners require magnetic fields on the order of a Tesla or so. Standing in front of it would rip your keys out of your pocket, at best.

    2. Europe in economic/environmental collapse whilst the US is business at usual. Your politics are showing. The idea that Europe is going to be begging China for aid 15 years from now is absurd as it is insulting.

    3. Zero human contact. Your hero never speaks to another human face to face throughout his entire day. People don't want to live like this.

    4. Commuting to the office. What is the point if you don't see anybody face to face?

    5. The CID. Why bother with this? Dongles fell out of fashion years ago. Existing authentication is better than this.

    6. Apparently completely unfree computing. Each system the person interacts with is a walled garden. Its possible, but I would hope that the tech savvy wouldn't voluntarily submit to this.

    7. Water quota. Fine, this could easily happen - but only whilst there was a shortage of energy for desalination. If there were such a shortage, your guy certainly wouldn't wasted electricity driving to work.

    There are a few more flaws, but don't want to do a TLDR post.

  • by peter303 (12292) on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @12:39PM (#41609011)
    Ever since the Carrington event [wikipedia.org] of 2023 and its cruel repeat in 2025 most food production and life in the western world has been confined to a few miles of home. 98% of the US electric power transformers were fried along with the computers of almost every truck, car, and train. The US only had about ten percent transformer replacements in stock. And most of those got fried in the repeat event two years later.

    In the first months most of the old and sick people died. Then plenty of the rest in the gang wars. The most difficult thing to deal with was the utter electronic silence. No phone, internet, radio or TV. More than one teenage girl jumped off a roof when the smartphones stopped working.

    But its the cellphone service that is coming back first. One can runner the towers of solar cells during the day. Every little neighborhood has its solar charging station. No ventral power stations or wires necessary. I recall that was the situation in deepest Africa in the early 2000s: minimum infrastructure, but every family prized its cellphone.
  • by hb253 (764272) on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @01:14PM (#41609483)

    Obviously written by a young know-nothing without children. There is no such thing as "dead sleep".

    The last time an alarm woke me up was 20 years ago before my first child. I don't know how, but kids makes it so that you never sleep well again. I am always awake before the alarm

  • Minor Corrections (Score:5, Interesting)

    by halcyon1234 (834388) <halcyon1234@hotmail.com> on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @01:58PM (#41610061) Journal
    After getting woken by a 140db rickroll at 4am, You get scalded by 140 degree water.. because the ex you pissed off screwed around with your preferences...

    You're still late for work, because you kept getting cut off by those diving for the Priority Lane. You, of course, can't afford the tolls, so have to suffer in the shared public lane.

    The robot maintenance engineer is actually the 80 year old guy whose (still) 15 years away from retirement, due to everyone else's increased life expectancy, and the latest government pension grab-back. He can't be arsed to learn metric, and keeps screwing up the robot's sensor parameters. The robot travels 3 meters instead of three feet, and dumps your sammich on your lap.

    When you call in sick, the HR Drone does a worth/risk calculation on you, taking into account the amount of time your sick day is going to cost the company based on your projects. Your salary is automatically docked the expected value of your absence. Since you've already used your sick day this year, you must also provide documentation in the next 12 hours or face termination.

    The CDC diagnoses you with AIDS. Fortunately, it's one of those mild, 24-hour AIDS. Since your health plan doesn't include a delivery premium, you have to send your car out on your own electrical dime to pick up your meds. Your CID automatically correlates your social calendar with the incubation time of your AIDS, and sends notices to your partners, and posts it on your public feeds anyways. It also packages the whole report and ships it off to HR, not like that's needed, since HR monitors your social and medical feeds in real time. Your worth/risk score is adjusted again, penalizing you for your undesirable social behaviour. The company would rather not be associated with anyone who could damage their brand by engaging in "unseeming" social activities. You're instantly terminated. Your 2-day severance package is reduced by the sick day, plus early-termination penalties. The bill for 1 week's pay arrives in your inbox, the funds already removed from your savings account.

    After leaving the pharmacy, your driverless car is spotted by a pack of organized thieves. Your car passes through their wireless interdict field, and they easily break in, steal your medication, and are out without even stopping the car. Your car arrives at your home, sans medicine or any evidence it was broken into. Now, without a job and without health insurance, you cannot afford to replace the pills. You must quickly find employment to afford you meds before your immune system shuts down and you die. Of course, now you'll never pass the mandatory health screens or social network background checks. You figure you've got a good two years left, for some definition of "good".
  • I probably wont host a 30 years of /. party since the other one 15 years ago wasn't a big success. Thank god I got the t-shirt nevertheless! Then I go to the /. site and post some snarly replies to dumbasses with 40digit uid's telling them that back in the olden day's things were much better. Mainly because with a CRT you got cheap laser eye surgery. (I think I might end up rather cynical)
    Then Ill drink some moonlight still, cause that is the only stuff around (because those pesky crypto-communist-health-and-safety-environmentalists got their way) and curse at my cat for half an hour. No problems, he is old and deaf cause he is born way back in 2012, and there (still) is no wife to yell at. Then I hit another shot at the little altar erected in 2018 to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the death of George Carlin. Erected just to piss him off in case he IS in heaven looking down. Before I go to my damp cold bed and take a look at the martian sunset one more time before I close my eyes. :-)
  • by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @02:41PM (#41610671) Homepage

    I'll be obscenely rich and working in a senior position in marketing. Gotcha.

    But on a serious note, sending a car, which is built for transporting passengers, on a trip to pick up a small packet of medicine? In a world where even your shower water (not drinking water) apparently has a quota, that's an insane waste of fuel. An advanced society would have more efficient delivery systems, either underground channels or aerial drones. Besides, there's probably going to be flu medication where you live (if you're as rich as the article makes out, you'll have a well-stocked personal medicine cabinet, and if you're not your apartment megacomplex will be large enough to make an in-house pharmacy viable).

    On the other hand, the prediction that your medical diagnosis will be published on your social feeds in real-time is probably spot-on.

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