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Five Reader Picks for Tech's Next Big Thing

A little more than a month ago I wrote a column on MSN Money about finding "the next big thing" in technology. The next big thing, I argued, would be a disruptive technology that changes the existing game and sends rivals to the scrap heap.

I picked seven "next big things":

  • The "Cell" microprocessor
  • The home-entertainment gateway
  • The home-entertainment hub
  • Internet telephony over mobile phones
  • Electronic networked health care records
  • Mapping everywhere
  • Batteries

And I suggested that readers send me their own picks for the next big thing. If I got enough, I'd put them together into a follow-up column.

A Deluge of Entries

Well, of course, the shrinking violets they are, Jubak's Journal readers buried me with heated nominations that often began "How could you leave out ... " Here are the best of the bunch from that reader mail -- five more, to be exact.

I have not vetted any of these ideas, and readers should certainly not regard them as picks in any way. I see this effort as brainstorming.

I have, however, checked to make sure that there is a public way to invest in each idea, and that none of these stocks are such micro-caps that a mention from me here would be easily manipulated by speculators. Lastly, I have provided some basic information that you might need to begin your own research.

The ideas offered here and in the earlier column are intended to spark creative thinking that will lead to more ideas and, finally, after research and due diligence, to a stock or two you might want to buy. This column, like the earlier one, is just the first step in that process.

The ultracapacitor: "A good candidate for a disruptive technology is the ultracapacitor. Take a look at Maxwell Technologies (MXWL). Maxwell is a member of the Hybrid Consortium, and Maxwell is included in the PowerShares Wilderhill Clean Energy ETF (PBW). Ultracapacitors are replacing or supplementing batteries in many applications from hybrids to fuel cells to automatic meter-reading devices." -- Joe.

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