An example of popular media where molecular nanotechnology and the NNI definition of nanotechnology are intermingled is Better Investing magazine. They have an article about nanotechnology today and tomorrow. It is a two page article which first starts by referencing the Engines of Creation book and Eric Drexler and then goes to mention the National Nanotechnology Initiatives definition of things from 1 to 100 nanometers in size. It then talks about large companies working on things with small dimensions in different industries.
Then they have a chart of technologies that were here in 2004 being labeled as nanotechnology, 2008 and 2012 and beyond. The 2008 and 2012 lists are pretty much hot developing or developed technologies named. Micro-fuel cells, OLED displays, quantum computers etc…
This is a clear example of something that Eric Drexler has said. Those in the development of current nanotechnologh businesses intentionally create the confusion that they want to associate with the popular meme impact of molecular nanotechnology and then divert from that promise with current products with some nanoscale dimensions. Eric Drexler and molecular nanotechnology get used as bait before switching to something else similarly named.
I think often times it is just that some people cannot be bothered to look at or understand the differences. I do not think the baiting and switching is that horrible except when it is combined with the insults and bad mouthing of molecular nanotechnology. Look this is pretty but it is impossible and science fantasy and those people are crazy and trying to scare your children, why don’t you try these nanoparticles I can deliver it to you next week. Another bothersome thing is as the nanoscale field advances and the various things start to converge the current developers are still saying but this work which has similar results to what was being talked about is different. We have molecular precision and control but it is with DNA, RNA, proteins and small molecules. Drexlerian molecular technology was talking about diamondoid. All the early papers involving proteins, DNA and RNA from Drexler and the Foresight institute? I am going to ignore them because it is convenient for me and helps build my case that my stuff is important and your stuff is not.