If movies have taught us anything, it is that one day super computers will rise up and overthrow its meat and bone creators and make slaves of us all. Admittedly it looks far fetched when even my own PC goes into a sulk when i try to run more than 3 applications at the same time but maybe even the newest supercomputer named Roadrunner, would struggle to run Excel, Word and open email at the same time.
It means very little to me but apparently it is capable of a trillion calculations a second and is more than twice as powerful as the previous best supercomputer but here is the scary bit, it is only 50 times less powerful than the human brain and at the present rate of processing advances, the machines are expected to out-perform our grey cells in just five years.
Will we then reach a point where computers can design other computers that are even faster and better to run all the aspects of our lives?
Artificial intelligences would be so far ahead of our own that they'd be able to do anything and we would end up relying on their logic circuits for our very lives which they could snuff out quite easily as we are now no use to them and therefore redundant.
This idea, called a Technological singularity, even have the big knobs at Sun Microsystems worried with some voicing their concerns about such an eventuality.
Maybe we should be concerned at the progress of supercomputers and the consequences but as a fail safe i recommend they load Photoshop and Quark on each computer and if it shows signs of turning evil, just run both at the same time because in my experience it will work for ten minutes before slowing to a crawl, hanging for ages and then be in need of a reboot. Problem solved and the human race lives to fight another day.