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Filtered by author: Doug Vining
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At home on the city farm
Posted: 18 December 2014  
A while ago, seven years to be exact, we published this MindBullet about farms in city skyscrapers. Now it's an actual proposal for a retirement complex in Singapore. Could it work?
HOMEFARM VERTICAL FARMING RETIREMENT HOUSING - SERIOUS WONDER
18 December 2014
HOMEFARM VERTICAL FARMING RETIREMENT HOUSING could be the future of elderly care. Futurist GRAY SCOTT for SERIOUS WONDER.
MindBullet logo SKYSCRAPER FARMS SOLVE URBAN FOOD SUPPLY CHAIN
Indoor farming produces fresh food where it's needed - in the store
Dateline: 1 May 2030
New thinking in urban design, plus new technologies, are turning city blocks into self-contained 'country villages'. Hydrogen fuel cells and community ...
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Gasoline, electric or hybrid?
Posted: 15 December 2014  
Electric cars are doing pretty well in some urban markets, with the BMW i3 claiming to have sold 12,000 units in the last year. The market is still very fragmented, and now hydrogen fuel cell cars are making their way onto the scene. Personally I think these are the least likely to get mass adoption, but then, with the oil price dropping, perhaps a return to gasoline-electric hybrids will ...
Fuel Cell Vehicles Aren’t Yet Greener than Hybrids
15 December 2014
Hybrids are a much more cost-effective way to reduce carbon emissions than newly released hydrogen fuel cell cars.
MindBullet logo FUEL CELLS TO THE RESCUE OF PLUG-IN ELECTRIC CARS
There's a resurgence in EVs, thanks to cheap fuel-cell technology and hydrogen
Dateline: 9 August 2016
Once the darling of the US administration, fuel-cell vehicles were the future of clean, green motoring. Fuel cells running on hydrogen produce only water ...
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Oil heading for a wild ride
Posted: 11 December 2014  
When we published this MindBullet not even a month ago, we were pretty sure that oil would drop, but we didn't expect it to be this fast or this far. Perhaps our scenario wasn't crazy enough!

Bank of America forecasts deep structural shifts that will have profound consequences:
"The free market will now set the global cost of oil, leading to a new era of wild price swings and disorderly trading ...
Bank of America sees $50 oil as Opec dies - Telegraph
11 December 2014
The Opec oil cartel no longer exists in any meaningful sense and crude prices will slump to $50 a barrel over the coming months as market forces shake out ...
MindBullet logo GOLD AT $800, OIL AT $64
The mini-boom is on
Dateline: 6 November 2016
Two years ago we saw the first faltering of the oil price, as Brent crude dipped below US$80 per barrel. Gold was also weak, at about US$1100 per ounce. ...
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Mind the drone
Posted: 9 December 2014  
With drones becoming an ever increasing part of modern urban life, whether it's geeks having fun, or the more serious side of communications, aerial surveys or surveillance, the chances of light aircraft and jet airliners coming within striking distance of a drone increase significantly.

A recent near miss approaching Heathrow was not an isolated incident. Perhaps it's time to insist that all ...
Drone involved in Heathrow near miss
9 December 2014
An unidentified drone came close to hitting a plane as it landed at Heathrow, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has confirmed.
MindBullet logo DHL FLYING ON WIRELESS POWER
No batteries needed for these delivery drones
Dateline: 7 March 2017
The biggest hurdle for electric aircraft has always been the weight of the batteries, and as nimble as they are, quadrotors and octocopters typically had ...
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Scared of smart bots
Posted: 3 December 2014  
Stephen Hawking is afraid of super intelligent computers.

Hawking told the BBC: “The primitive forms of artificial intelligence we already have, have proved very useful. But I think the development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.” ...
MindBullet logo COGNITIVE SYSTEMS RULE, OK
Machines that think for themselves are taking over the world
Dateline: 22 February 2022
In our quest to develop smarter, more powerful, less power-hungry computers and devices, we have created artificial intelligence that rivals that of the human brain. We call these cognitive systems. We've taught these cognitive systems how to learn, and how to be aware of other systems, each other, and ultimately, themselves. Now they are making their own decisions; because they can. In a ...
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AIs love online gaming
Posted: 3 December 2014  
Did you know that you can train your bot by letting it play StarCraft - against other bots! And because it's an annual tournament, you can make improvements to your software AI and let it try again next year. Now if someone writes a deep learning algorithm to enhance your StarCraft bot, couldn't it practice against real gamers ahead of the tournament?

"The purpose of this competition is to ...
StarCraft AI Competition
3 December 2014
2014 Tournament is officially OVER! You can view the official results here!.
MindBullet logo SAM DOESN'T KNOW SHE'S A BOT
Super Artificial Intelligence agent thinks it's a real person
Dateline: 7 January 2019
You may recall the movie 'Her' where the lead character falls hopelessly in love with his virtual girlfriend Samantha. She returns his love, even though ...
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Oil, gas and the Russian winter
Posted: 2 December 2014  
When Russia strolled into Crimea and simply 'took it back' it seemed that Putin was holding all the cards. What could the West really do about it? Gazprom was an energy giant that most of Europe was at least partially dependent on, and Russian oil was needed everywhere, including China.

Or was it? With oil prices plunging, Russia's house no longer looks so cosy, and Putin's deck looks weak. ...
Russia intervenes as crumbling ruble echoes 1998 debt crisis
2 December 2014
Collapse in Russian currency, which has been badly buffeted by a plunge of almost 40% in oil prices, prompts central bank action
MindBullet logo GAZPROM THE BIGGEST CASUALTY IN CRIMEA CRISIS AFTERMATH
Merkel declares Germany free of Russian gas
Dateline: 5 April 2019
Yesterday, Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that Germany had achieved a new level of energy security and independence. "It has taken us five years to ...
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Smart luggage arrives
Posted: 26 November 2014  
Almost a decade ago we published this MindBullet about smart suitcases, and now the real products have arrived. Most of them allow tracking from your smartphone and can include a power bank to charge your devices on the move. They also weigh themselves. But they still don't press or clean your clothes.

I like the one that follows you around like a personal drone, though I suspect it's pretty ...
The world's coolest suitcase?
26 November 2014
A new high-tech, zipless suitcase offers travellers a sleek and 'sexy' way to travel, its designers claim
MindBullet logo SMART LUGGAGE IS 21ST CENTURY JEEVES
When a suitcase is not just a suitcase
Dateline: 14 October 2008
"It's completely unfair," said Molly Abernathy. "We've been waiting here for two hours before departure and that man arrives ten minutes before and gets ...
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OPEC to the rescue
Posted: 24 November 2014  
Could OPEC inadvertently rescue the global economy by pushing energy prices down quicker than market forces? This article tends to suggest that oil could drop well before our MindBullet timeline!
Brent Plunge To $60 If OPEC Fails To Cut
24 November 2014
While OPEC has been mostly irrelevant in the past 5 years as a result of Saudi Arabia's recurring cartel-busting moves,
MindBullet logo GOLD AT $800, OIL AT $64
The mini-boom is on
Dateline: 6 November 2016
Two years ago we saw the first faltering of the oil price, as Brent crude dipped below US$80 per barrel. Gold was also weak, at about US$1100 per ounce. ...
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Toyota's Mirai is not the future of motoring
Posted: 19 November 2014  
Although 'mirai' means 'future' in Japanese, I don't think this car will be a mass market winner, not even in the 2020s. It's just too expensive, at around US$ 60,000 (in Japan) and entirely dependent on the ability to refuel it at hydrogen stations, which makes it a niche product in the extreme. I think a far better concept would be a plug-in electric car like Tesla with a small fuel cell to ...
Toyota Tackles Chicken And Egg With Rollout Plan for Hydrogen-Powered Mirai
19 November 2014
Carmaker will subsidize hydrogen infrastructure to jump-start acceptance of its new fuel cell vehicle
MindBullet logo FUEL CELLS TO THE RESCUE OF PLUG-IN ELECTRIC CARS
There's a resurgence in EVs, thanks to cheap fuel-cell technology and hydrogen
Dateline: 9 August 2016
Once the darling of the US administration, fuel-cell vehicles were the future of clean, green motoring. Fuel cells running on hydrogen produce only water ...
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Bitcoin will change the world
Posted: 18 November 2014  
Some may say it already has. In this excellent opinion piece, Ivo Vegter illuminates the way the blockchain technology behind Bitcoin is the truly revolutionary idea, with the potential to fundamentally alter the way the world does business.

"When people are able to circumvent the middlemen like this, they will. There is little that governments, central banks, or the financial industry can ...
The blockchain: How Atlas will shrug
18 November 2014
Already, Bitcoin has created a revolution in digital money. It meets most requirements of a currency: it is portable, durable, divisible, relatively ...
MindBullet logo THE BITCOIN BUBBLE BURSTS
Controversial digital currency collapses as clones saturate the market
Dateline: 15 March 2015
In essence, Bitcoins are digital artifacts created by using computers to solve complex mathematical formulae, essentially cracking a code. The reward one ...
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Why we fear AI
Posted: 12 November 2014  
“We humans steer the future not because we’re the strongest beings on the planet, or the fastest, but because we are the smartest,” said James Barrat, author of “Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era.” “So when there is something smarter than us on the planet, it will rule over us on the ...
MindBullet logo COGNITIVE SYSTEMS RULE, OK
Machines that think for themselves are taking over the world
Dateline: 22 February 2022
In our quest to develop smarter, more powerful, less power-hungry computers and devices, we have created artificial intelligence that rivals that of the human brain. We call these cognitive systems. We've taught these cognitive systems how to learn, and how to be aware of other systems, each other, and ultimately, themselves. Now they are making their own decisions; because they can. In a ...
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Who's watching who?
Posted: 11 November 2014  
Five years ago we suggested that, in the future, every TV screen or monitor you watch will also be watching you. That was long before the advent of Smart TVs. The convenience of smart devices keeping track of your habits and preferences for you would outweigh the loss of privacy, wouldn't it?

Well we haven't reached that future in 2019 where every TV is a two-way video screen, but there ...
Amazon’s Echo and the smart TVs that are listening to and watching everything you do
11 November 2014
Pretty soon your toaster will soon be one of the few things that isn’t keeping track of your every move – or at least you’d hope so
MindBullet logo BIG BROTHER REALLY IS WATCHING YOU
Every screen you gaze at is looking back at you
Dateline: 4 August 2019
Ever since the innovation of integrating camera transistors with every pixel of an organic LED screen, it has become technically possible to make display ...
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IBM looks to Watson for help
Posted: 10 November 2014  
"IBM's vast research department is already a big part of the turnaround plan. Earlier this year the division was reorganized to ramp up efforts related to cognitive computing. The push began with the development of the original Watson, but has expanded to include other areas of software and hardware research aimed at helping machines provide useful insights from huge quantities of ...
MindBullet logo APPLE OVERTAKES OLD RIVAL IBM
The 'bring-your-own' boom has put Apple in the corporate driving seat
Dateline: 15 March 2017
In a bizarre change of fortunes, it looks like Apple is getting ready to swallow IBM. "You won't get fired for buying Apple," is the new mantra of corporate IT. Devices plus cloud plus analytics equals success in the 'enterprise' technology space; Apple had cool devices and IBM had powerful cloud and analytics solutions. When they partnered in 2014 to bring this combination to the corporate ...
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Cannabis country
Posted: 7 November 2014  
With legalized cannabis operations across the United States a fairly likely future scenario, the opportunities for international marketing are intriguing. Just as with wine and beer, exotic brands and flavours from foreign lands will be the next trend after local varieties become well established. Countries ideally poised to benefit from the cannabis boom should start planning now.
The Marlboro of marijuana
7 November 2014
“FRESH and fruity, right?” says a bright-eyed young man behind the counter, wafting an open jar of something called “AK-47” under Schumpeter’s nose....
MindBullet logo WONDER WINE AND MAGIC SALADS
Modified crops produce food and drink with that feel-good factor
Dateline: 26 July 2017
It's unusual for innovation in California to develop outside of Silicon Valley, but this time it's Napa Valley that's making the headlines. Vineyards and ...
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Robotic disruption
Posted: 6 November 2014   1 Comment
“You can’t wish away these things from happening, they are going to happen,” says Larry Page. “You’re going to have some very amazing capabilities in the economy. When we have computers that can do more and more jobs, it’s going to change how we think about work. There’s no way around that. You can’t wish it away.”

Larry Page makes an important point. Just because you don't like the idea of ...
Google's Larry Page shares his radical view of tomorrow
6 November 2014
After restructuring his own position, Google co-founder Larry Page is spending his time reshaping our future world - driverless cars are only the start.
MindBullet logo THE ROBOTS AREN'T COMING, THEY'RE ALREADY HERE!
Millions of jobs have gone to the machines – and now at the top end too!
Dateline: 26 September 2020
It was way back in 2012 that we predicted that by 2022, your boss would be a machine. We were wrong. It's happened this year, 2020, a full two years ...
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Sea drones
Posted: 6 November 2014  
The first robotic boat or sea drone that is geared for defence is unveiled. It's possibly the best defence against pirates, but I can just see how it might be perfect for smuggling too.
Bonefish USV breaks cover
6 November 2014
Saab and PT Lundin have revealed their Bonefish unmanned surface vessel (USV) technology demonstrator at Indo Defence 2014.
MindBullet logo DRUG DRONES SWAMP BORDERS
Swarms of quadrotors overwhelm law enforcement with tons of cocaine worth billions of dollars
Dateline: 27 April 2017
More than 150 fast and high-flying aerial drones flew over the border from Mexico and crossed the Atlantic and Pacific coasts in the last 24 hours. Each ...
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Is Boomf a flashbrand?
Posted: 3 November 2014   2 Comments
A new startup in the UK combines digital info with edible gifts, and calls it "Boomf". This sounds like the type of pop-up company we talked about in the attached MindBullet.

But maybe they will surprise us all and prove to be more sustainable.

(Thanks to Anton Musgrave for the link) ...
Boomf
3 November 2014
Boomf, Magical Mallows
MindBullet logo FLASHBRANDS DODGE THE TAXMAN
Pop-up companies the new breed of corporate entity for innovateurs
Dateline: 7 August 2018
It all started with flashmobs and food trucks. Flashmobs, self-organizing groups of people who congregated around a temporary idea, vanished into plain ...
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Amelia's smarter than Sam
Posted: 5 November 2014  
Maybe not, but then Sam is only due to arrive in five years time. Amelia is here now, and ready to go to work.

If IP Soft's promotional video is accurate, then an intelligent assistant called Amelia, who speaks 20 languages and interacts like a real person, could bump Siri pretty soon. Who knows, by 2019 maybe Amelia will have 'forgotten' that she's not a real person!

Either way, this type of ...
New AI program interacts like a human
5 November 2014
A new artificial intelligence platform named Amelia makes it possible to automate knowledge distribution across a wide range of functions.
MindBullet logo SAM DOESN'T KNOW SHE'S A BOT
Super Artificial Intelligence agent thinks it's a real person
Dateline: 7 January 2019
You may recall the movie 'Her' where the lead character falls hopelessly in love with his virtual girlfriend Samantha. She returns his love, even though ...
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Why everything's getting AI
Posted: 30 October 2014  
"Everything that we formerly electrified we will now cognitize. This new utilitarian AI will also augment us individually as people (deepening our memory, speeding our recognition) and collectively as a species. There is almost nothing we can think of that cannot be made new, different, or interesting by infusing it with some extra IQ. In fact, the business plans of the next 10,000 startups ...
The Three Breakthroughs That Have Finally Unleashed AI on the World
30 October 2014
The AI on the horizon looks more like Amazon Web Services—cheap, reliable, industrial-grade digital smartness running behind everything, and almost ...
MindBullet logo COGNITIVE SYSTEMS RULE, OK
Machines that think for themselves are taking over the world
Dateline: 22 February 2022
In our quest to develop smarter, more powerful, less power-hungry computers and devices, we have created artificial intelligence that rivals that of the ...
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