Today I got an email from our sales manager. He sent it from his iPad while he was in a meeting with the client's engineers. "Can you send me a photo of the steel floor of the container? The engineers need to see it."
So I grabbed my little Canon Ixus, took the photos, plugged the camera into my PC, imported the photos, sized them from Bloody Huge to Reasonably Emailable, and emailed them to him.
He then showed the engineers the photos on his iPad, and they approved the steel floor.
The meeting was in Wollongong, I am in Dubbo -- 500km away. Total time about 30 minutes, and most of that was spent looking for the camera in my car.
This astonishing amount of technology is now considered mundane. Dr Karl
said on TV a few weeks ago that when Einstein came up with the theory of relativity in 1905, he had no idea this would lead to GPS satellites that could tell you where you are on a map in your mobile phone, which would then give you directions to the nearest pizza shop when you were pissed.
Again, astonishing technology made mundane.
We don't know what things today's SCIENCE! will lead to in the future. What mind numbingly mundane Future Thing will, say, the Large Hadron Collider lead to in 100 years?
Any time someone tells me SCIENCE! like the LHC is a waste of money, I ask them if they have a mobile phone. Or an iPod. Consider the world today if those guys at Bell Labs decided it would be a waste of money investigating the curious properties of germanium.