Technology: 2008 vs. 1992

by on December 13, 2008 · 23 comments

See my comparison of the state of technology in 2008 versus 1992, during the last Democratic presidential transition.

In mid-2008, the four-gigabyte (or 4,096 megabytes) flash memory chip in an iPod Nano cost $25. Late in 2008, four-gigabyte flash cards and USB drives are selling for $14.99. But back in 1992, four gigabytes of flash memory would have cost $500,000. This means a hypothetical iPod Nano circa 1992 would have set back the teenage Nirvana or Boyz II Men fan around $3 million.

Apart from research scientists and a few early adopters of Compuserve and AOL, the Internet essentially didn’t exist in 1992. Monthly Internet traffic was four terabytes. All the data traversing the global net in 1992 totaled 48 terabytes. Today, YouTube alone streams 48 terabytes of data every 21 seconds. . . .

The dramatic centralization of money, power, information and influence now under way seriously threatens the entrepreneurial revelations and technological revolutions that drive long-term growth. If we quasi-nationalize the energy, finance, auto and health care markets, and possibly bar dynamic new business models on the Internet, as with possible network neutrality regulation, we will close off many of the most promising paths to needed efficiencies and, more important, new wealth.

See the whole article at “How Techno-Creativity Will Save Us.”

Previous post:

Next post: