Also: one of the things that struck me as odd about the recent discovery/invention was how old-fashioned a discovery it seems.
We are no longer used to "fundamental" breakthroughs in areas other than the biological sciences, as Charles Stross comments in this interview:
"We seem these days to be seeing new ground-breaking theoretical developments at a rate of one every six months to a year: breakthroughs on the same order as general relativity or quantum theory. (You don't see such breakthroughs routinely in physics, which is a relatively mature field, but if you look into the biological sciences equivalent breakthroughs appear to be coming thick and fast.)"
There is something wonderfully retro-1950s-buttoned-down-white-labcoat-brylcreme- and-horn-rimmed-glasses about the invention/discovery of the "memristor."
Sadly my knowledge of electronics is ever-so-slightly too limited to truly grasp the theoretical implications of this. However the practical implications look extremely interesting:
"Today, most PCs use dynamic random access memory (DRAM) which loses data when the power is turned off.
But a computer built with memristors could allow PCs that start up instantly, laptops that retain sessions after the battery dies, or mobile phones that can last for weeks without needing a charge."
Imagine all the time you've spent waiting for a PC to power up: adding up all those two to three minute gaps could make a lot of difference in the world. You probably wouldn't even notice power cuts.
Of course my reading of this is that "instantly" means within a second or two and that the computer would retain the current session.
Anyway there's another thing off my list of things to do before I die...
C'est la vie.