Impermanence in the digital age.
When Google VP Vint Cerf warned that increased dependence on technology could lead to a 'digital dark age', he merely echoed the concern of everyone involved in the preservation of information in a digital world. While it is expedient to dismiss his claim as sensationalist and/or paranoid, Google's announcement yesterday that they are closing down the Google Code source code repositories provides an unfortunate echo to his cries.
Faster hardware, slower software. What's wrong with this picture?
I recently installed the beta of Microsoft Office 2010, and the first thing that struck me is how it performs noticeably worse on my 3.0 GHz quad-core gaming PC, than Office '98 performed on a now 12-year-old PowerBook G3, powered by a little 250 MHz PPC processor.
You can probably guess the next stage of this anecdote... Office '98 on that G3 performed ever-so-slightly worse than Office 4.0 on a truly ancient PowerBook 180, which sported a fantastic (for the time) 33 MHz Motorola 68030 CPU.