CNN Delivers 20 Factors That Will Change PCs Next Year

CNNis Christmas gift to the propeller-heads among us was a December 25th article detailing their predictions for 2002 and beyond. Among other iobviousi things, such as the growth of peer-to-peer networking and .NET services with Passport, their outlook includes organically-based LEDs that emit their own light - no backlighting - as well as 500 MHz palmtop devices within the first half of the year, and magnetic RAM that retains its contents after powering down.

Hereis their prediction for portable power:

Imagine notebooks that work 20 hours at a stretch or cell phones that never run out of juice. Both may be possible thanks to new developments in fuel cells. The Fraunhofer Institute in Germany has built prototype handhelds that use solar panels to recharge a tiny hydrogen fuel cell. New York-based Medis Technologies says it has developed a fuel cell for cell phones and laptops that uses ethanol and water -- a safer and cheaper alternative to hydrogen. Meanwhile, researchers at Motorola and Los Alamos National Labs are developing a methanol fuel cell thatis about the size of a postage stamp.

One of the more interesting things, however, is their portrait of typical desktop and notebook systems for 2004: for a desktop user, theyill be running Windows on a machine with a 4-5 GHz processor, 512 MB of RAM, up to 400 GB of hard disk storage using serial ATA, and DVD-RW as standard. Oh yes, and they think the floppy drive will be sticking around.

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