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Computer expert details future of technology

Technology continues to improve at a rapid pace, and Tuesday afternoon the Rotary Club of Bainbridge got a “crash course” in the potential future of technology.

Paul Blough, president of Blough Tech in Cairo, was the guest speaker of the club. Blough is a 27-year veteran of the information technologies industry and was introduced by club member Rick McCaskill.

Blough told the club that technology experts believe there are going to be considerable advances in medicine over the coming years. He said scientists have developed a drug that is still in the planning stages, but may be able to fight any viral disease. Such a medicine would eliminate everything from the common cold to malaria to AIDS.

“There currently aren’t any medicines that actually fight viruses, they only attack the symptoms,” he said. “You can get vaccinations, but once the virus is actually in your body all you can do is wait for the sickness to wear off. Right now, they’re testing this new drug on rodents, but they should move onto primate testing soon.”

Blough also said that medical technology is advancing to the point that human life expectancy will soon reach unforseen heights.

“Are you ready to live to be 150 or older?” he said. “Get ready, because it’s coming sooner than you might think.”

Blough said scientists have given older rats transfusions of younger-rat blood, and in some cases it has actually reversed the aging process in the older rats. He noted that this technology is still in the infancy stages, but it would not be unusual for similar blood transfusions to become available soon for humans.

While Blough acknowledged that the improvements in technology are exciting, he also noted that there may be “unforseen consequences.” As an example, he said that Social Security will become even more strained if life expectancy gets longer; and that many developing countries will have difficulty feeding their increased populations.

“These are all problems that we’ll have to solve as technology continues to improve,” he said.

Blough also stated that businesses must be ready to embrace the changes in science and technology, or they will risk going out of business. He recalled that less than 50 years ago, adding machines and typewriters were both booming industries.

What’s the next industry that might be in trouble? Surprisingly, Blough suggested that the desktop-based personal computer might be the next dinosaur in the world of technology.

“What is this thing,” Blough said, holding up his cell phone. “It’s a phone, but what else is it? That’s right, it’s a computer. In fact, this little thing probably has the same power as a computer you could get 10 years ago.”

Blough said that the only thing holding smart phones back from fully replacing the personal computer is the fact that the screens are so small.

“But they’re working on that, trust me,” he said. “There’s already technology in the works that will allow you to point your phone at a flat surface, and that will act as your monitor. You’ll even be able to ‘touch’ this ‘screen’ and manipulate what you see.”

Blough also said that the next generation of the Internet is on its way and should be ready in the next five years. This Internet protocol, dubbed “IP6,” will have additional security measures to prevent hacking and other cybercrimes.

“It will be similar to Facebook and Google-Plus,” he said. “When you log on, you’ll be required to identify yourself with your actual name. People will still be able to commit cybercrimes, but this will make it much easier to trace where the criminal is. When you take away the anonymity of the Internet, you increase the acountability.”