The Wall Street Journal issued its 2008 Technology Awards yesterday, and there were some interesting things in the related special section. Items which might be of interest to readers of this space include the following:
- Force.com received an award for its suite of applications for creating Software as a Service (SaaS) applications.
- The Spot satellite messenger won an award for its one way emergency messaging device. This seems to be the next evolution in text messaging, and confirms trends I'm hearing about which indicate that Americans (and people worldwide) are embracing SMS messaging as part of an overall switch to cellular. I send SMS to just about every one of my friends and cronies (including my mother-in-law), and my wife, both parents, and sister all have Blackberries. (If you're wondering, my brother has an iPhone). SMS is extremely profitable to carriers. Assuming that SMS messages require 256 bytes of data (160 bytes for the data, plus 95 bytes for the header), the same megabyte of data transmittal which sells for $10.24 at the Sprint "casual data usage" rate of $0.01/kb sells for $822.41 when used to transmit SMS messages.
- Nanocomp Technologies won an award for creating large sheets made from specialized carbon nanofibers. This is interesting, although I have also seen articles which indicate that nanotubes may have an impact on lungs similar to asbestos..... see this Ars Technica article
Other winners included a technology for using one cable to replace up to 14 cables linking virtual servers in data centers, software for finding bugs in computer code which analyzes the compiled "object" code instead of the raw "source" code, a noise reduction technology deployed in certain South Korean cell phones, a dispersed storage technology which makes it more difficult to retrieve confidential information from file systems by spreading the data across multiple servers, and a service in India which helps farmers diagnose and treat issues with their crops via cell phone based on inputs from camera phones as well as other traditional remote sensing tools.