Popular Mechanics is out with their "Breakthrough Awards," and it's an interesting bunch of people and things ranging from cheap space travel to learning to ride a bike.
To beat out the hundreds of candidates we find each year and win a Breakthrough Award, an advance has to solve problems, expand horizons or engage the imagination of millions. It really has to matter. The visionaries on the following pages have made such strides - attacking the energy crisis with a better light bulb, saving lives with replacement organs, fighting Third World poverty with a low-tech peanut sheller, and more. They are problem solvers on a grand scale. They are PM's kind of people. The new-product winners are just as impressive, setting benchmarks in design and creativity. Together, the two groups provide a picture of the best technology of today and tomorrow.
They've got a section at the end with a roundup of the "Smartest Stuff," and boy does that 60" Plasma with an ethernet port look sweet. If you invented one of the other pieces of hardware featured, maybe you could afford it.
Read the whole thing here.