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OFF-TOPIC 30 Quotes - All proven wrong

Giles

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Found this to be an interesting read:
1. “There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” — Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp. (DEC), maker of big business mainframe computers, arguing against the PC in 1977.

2. “We will never make a 32 bit operating system.” — Bill Gates

3. “Lee DeForest has said in many newspapers and over his signature that it would be possible to transmit the human voice across the Atlantic before many years. Based on these absurd and deliberately misleading statements, the misguided public … has been persuaded to purchase stock in his company …” — a U.S. District Attorney, prosecuting American inventor Lee DeForest for selling stock fraudulently through the mail for his Radio Telephone Company in 1913.

4. “There is practically no chance communications space satellites will be used to provide better telephone, telegraph, television, or radio service inside the United States.” — T. Craven, FCC Commissioner, in 1961 (the first commercial communications satellite went into service in 1965).

5. “To place a man in a multi-stage rocket and project him into the controlling gravitational field of the moon where the passengers can make scientific observations, perhaps land alive, and then return to earth - all that constitutes a wild dream worthy of Jules Verne. I am bold enough to say that such a man-made voyage will never occur regardless of all future advances.” — Lee DeForest, American radio pioneer and inventor of the vacuum tube, in 1926

6. “A rocket will never be able to leave the Earth’s atmosphere.” — New York Times, 1936.

7. “Flight by machines heavier than air is unpractical (sic) and insignificant, if not utterly impossible.” - Simon Newcomb; The Wright Brothers flew at Kittyhawk 18 months later.

8. “Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.” — Lord Kelvin, British mathematician and physicist, president of the British Royal Society, 1895.

9. “There will never be a bigger plane built.” — A Boeing engineer, after the first flight of the 247, a twin engine plane that holds ten people

10. “Nuclear-powered vacuum cleaners will probably be a reality in 10 years.” -– Alex Lewyt, president of vacuum cleaner company Lewyt Corp., in the New York Times in 1955.


11. “This is the biggest fool thing we have ever done. The bomb will never go off, and I speak as an expert in explosives.” — Admiral William D. Leahy, Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy during World War II, advising President Truman on the atomic bomb, 1945.[6] Leahy admitted the error five years later in his memoirs

12. “The energy produced by the breaking down of the atom is a very poor kind of thing. Anyone who expects a source of power from the transformation of these atoms is talking moonshine.” — Ernest Rutherford, shortly after splitting the atom for the first time.

13. “There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will ever be obtainable. It would mean that the atom would have to be shattered at will.” — Albert Einstein, 1932

14. “The cinema is little more than a fad. It’s canned drama. What audiences really want to see is flesh and blood on the stage.” -– Charlie Chaplin, actor, producer, director, and studio founder, 1916

15. “The horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a novelty - a fad.” — The president of the Michigan Savings Bank advising Henry Ford’s lawyer, Horace Rackham, not to invest in the Ford Motor Co., 1903


16. “The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys.” — Sir William Preece, Chief Engineer, British Post Office, 1878.

17. “This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.” — A memo at Western Union, 1878 (or 1876).

18. “The world potential market for copying machines is 5000 at most.” — IBM, to the eventual founders of Xerox, saying the photocopier had no market large enough to justify production, 1959.

19. “I must confess that my imagination refuses to see any sort of submarine doing anything but suffocating its crew and floundering at sea.” — HG Wells, British novelist, in 1901.

20. “X-rays will prove to be a hoax.” — Lord Kelvin, President of the Royal Society, 1883.


21. “The idea that cavalry will be replaced by these iron coaches is absurd. It is little short of treasonous.” — Comment of Aide-de-camp to Field Marshal Haig, at tank demonstration, 1916.

22. “How, sir, would you make a ship sail against the wind and currents by lighting a bonfire under her deck? I pray you, excuse me, I have not the time to listen to such nonsense.” — Napoleon Bonaparte, when told of Robert Fulton’s steamboat, 1800s.

23. “Fooling around with alternating current is just a waste of time. Nobody will use it, ever.” — Thomas Edison, American inventor, 1889 (Edison often ridiculed the arguments of competitor George Westinghouse for AC power).

24. “Home Taping Is Killing Music” — A 1980s campaign by the BPI, claiming that people recording music off the radio onto cassette would destroy the music industry.

25. “Television won’t last. It’s a flash in the pan.” — Mary Somerville, pioneer of radio educational broadcasts, 1948.

26. “[Television] won’t be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night.” — Darryl Zanuck, movie producer, 20th Century Fox, 1946.

27. “When the Paris Exhibition [of 1878] closes, electric light will close with it and no more will be heard of it.” - Oxford professor Erasmus Wilson

28. “Dear Mr. President: The canal system of this country is being threatened by a new form of transportation known as ‘railroads’ … As you may well know, Mr. President, ‘railroad’ carriages are pulled at the enormous speed of 15 miles per hour by ‘engines’ which, in addition to endangering life and limb of passengers, roar and snort their way through the countryside, setting fire to crops, scaring the livestock and frightening women and children. The Almighty certainly never intended that people should travel at such breakneck speed.” — Martin Van Buren, Governor of New York, 1830(?).

29. “Rail travel at high speed is not possible because passengers, unable to breathe, would die of asphyxia.” — Dr Dionysys Larder (1793-1859), professor of Natural Philosophy and Astronomy, University College London.

30. “The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to no one in particular?” — Associates of David Sarnoff responding to the latter’s call for investment in the radio in 1921.
It makes you wonder - what do we think is impossible today, that will be common place in the coming decades?
 

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Diane Kennedy

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I don't have the quotes, but three things that I was taught in school as absolute certainty were:

- There wasn't enough oil and we would be completely out by the mid 1970's. (technology and new reserves proved that false)

- The US would be on the metric system and so we had to all learn it and did NOT learn the current system. (I still struggle with how many cups in a quart and that type of thing - we just never were taught it)

- There would never be a computer smaller than a room...so it was absurd that anyone would ever have personal computers. (I just counted - our family of 3 has 7 personal computers)
 

MJ DeMarco

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Great read Giles, proof that not one person determines a market. Speed++
 

biophase

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I often wonder if people still make claims like the ones above. I can somewhat understand the people making claims from the 1800's and early 1900's because they did not have any clue of how fast we can advance. But I can't imagine anyone making statements using the word "never" or "cannot be possible" given what they've seen in progress over just the past 5 or 10 years in all sciences.
 

biophase

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I think so, I would say invisibility, time travel, and star trek type transporting would all be considered impossible by many peope today. Then again....

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,306678,00.html
The writers on Star Trek were amazing. I think of how similar our cell phones look to the communicators they had on the show in the 1960's. People watching the show must have thought they were impossible gimmicks. Do these look familiar?
 

GettingThere

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Imagine someone trying to explain this to the average person years ago...

Viruses are making their mark in industry too, where they are being used as spare parts and miniature tools



An electron micrograph shows an ant holding a tiny microchip. Viruses can potentially be used to create even smaller, more efficient microchips.


in the growing field of nanotechnology. Nanotechnology is the term given to research and engineering done at an atomic or molecular level. Nano means one-billionth, and a nanometer is one-billionth of a meter.

Small is big in science. When Nobel Prize–winning physicist Richard Feynman declared in 1960, "There's plenty of room at the bottom,"28 he meant that technology can always get smaller. In 1946, when the first computer was constructed, it filled two thousand square feet of space and weighed fifty tons. Today the smallest microcomputer would fit on the head of a matchstick, and the smallest microchip, unveiled in 2003 by a Malaysian company, is no bigger than the period at the end of this sentence. But the smaller technology gets, the more necessary it becomes to study those organisms that perform complex tasks on that level every day—microbes.

"Scientists didn't invent nanoscience," says Angela Belcher, a pioneering materials chemist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "Organisms have been doing if for a long time."29
 

MJ DeMarco

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Bump!!
 

hatterasguy

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I love this one!

21. “The idea that cavalry will be replaced by these iron coaches is absurd. It is little short of treasonous.†— Comment of Aide-de-camp to Field Marshal Haig, at tank demonstration, 1916

Being an avid fan of Heinz Guderian the father of the panzer divisions and a large part of modern warefare. He had to deal with such comments and hard headed individuals, but they were largely silenced by his achevments on the battlefield. In the French champaign Guderians 10th panzer, and (off the top of my head) he had the 5th panzer and SS division "Das Reich", were able to slice through the French and British lines with such speed that Hitler and the German OKH were scared to death. The famous halt order resulted from this, and one little known French colonels attack... The French thought tanks were an infantry support weapon, except for one little known Colonel named Charles de Gaulle.

De Gaulle was the one commander the French had but failed to take advantage of early in the war, and as a result wasted there best forces. He was able to scare the German high command badly with his flank attack on Rommel's famous 7th Panzer Division, known as the "ghost division". Rommel had to personaly man a gun line of 88's to stop the French tanks.

At the time the German army was the finest in the world bar none.
 

MJ DeMarco

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Giles, do you have the source of this?
 

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JayKim

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I think so, I would say invisibility, time travel, and star trek type transporting would all be considered impossible by many peope today. Then again....

British Defense Researchers Create Invisible Tank - Science News | Science & Technology | Technology News - FOXNews.com

http://www.howstuffworks.com/teleportation.htm


Teleportation Milestone Achieved | LiveScience


They can do teleportation with atoms short distances.


"Scientists have come a bit closer to achieving the "Star Trek" feat of teleportation. No one is galaxy-hopping, or even beaming people around, but for the first time, information has been teleported between two separate atoms across a distance of a meter — about a yard."
 

JayKim

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I think so, I would say invisibility, time travel, and star trek type transporting would all be considered impossible by many peope today. Then again....

British Defense Researchers Create Invisible Tank - Science News | Science & Technology | Technology News - FOXNews.com



HowStuffWorks "How Invisibility Cloaks Work"

Berkeley Researchers Create an “Invisibility Cloak†- US News and World Report


[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQ2FhX-BtEw]YouTube - Optical Camouflage[/ame]

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQ-aLyiU_i0]YouTube - Invisibility a Reality?[/ame]
 

EastWind

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NEVER say NEVER.

most of those quotes where saying NEVER.
 

GuestAcct-10

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Add another one to that

'Next Christmas the iPod will be dead, finished, gone, kaput' - Sir Alan Sugar, February 2005

I would post a link to an article about it but I need 10 posts first
 
OP
OP

Giles

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Sorry dont have a source MJ
 

CarrieW

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bumped
 

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