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Filtered by author: Doug Vining
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Cut and paste genes
Posted: 25 February 2015  
I've previously mentioned the discovery of CRISPR as a way to easily edit DNA, by snipping out genetic sequences. But I didn't fully understand the ramifications of a biological system that could be used to identify, target and then either selectively destroy or edit specific genetic sequences in a variety of species, potentially including humans, and even viruses.

This could indeed be the ...
The biggest biotech discovery of the century is about to change medicine forever
25 February 2015
Jennifer Doudna, and her collaborator, Emmanuelle Charpentier each received $3 million for their invention of a potentially revolutionary tool for editing ...
And we'll mend them and send them right back - by email
Dateline: 15 August 2022
Now that the bio-replicator is a reality, it is easy to transfer biological fragments from place to place - electronically! In fact, you can send the code ...
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Energy internet
Posted: 25 February 2015  
We've been talking about the concept of an energy internet for some time now. A smart grid where both power generation is distributed and power consumption is collaborative. It's inevitable that as rooftop solar becomes more widespread and power utilities less powerful, that an efficient means of sharing excess power with your neighbours, and having extra power available on demand, will lower ...
'Smart City' knows who needs power, and when - CNN.com
25 February 2015
The city of Mannheim, Germany, uses a smart network to match electricity supply with demand.
The stone age didn't end because we ran out of stones
Dateline: 20 January 2021
Back in the day, when horse drawn carriages and buggies were the preferred mode of transport for anyone, there was a big fear in Paris, London and New York ...
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Space cowboys
Posted: 20 February 2015   1 Comment
We've been saying for some time that space is the next area for tech start-ups to make an impact, and profits. Now even venture capitalists are starting to agree with us! Cheaper launch technologies make room for (financially) risky efforts to jump into space.

"At the same time, all those launches will provide lots of opportunity for satellite hitchhiking. Jumping into some available space for ...
Space, the Final Startup
20 February 2015
Recent advances are about to put entrepreneurs into orbit.
Space tourism and satellite launches compete for profits
Dateline: 27 September 2015
The race to launch a successful private space business has been won - and the victor, surprisingly, is not Virgin's Sir Richard Branson, but a 40-year-old ...
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Augmented reality taking a magic leap
Posted: 20 February 2015  
One of MIT Technology Review's breakthrough technologies for 2015 is a new approach to augmenting the physical world around us with realistic virtual imagery. This differs substantially from approaches like Oculus Rift, which takes you into a completely virtual environment, essentially inside a computer game.

Whether Microsoft with its Hololens or Magic Leap with their system will be the ...
What It’s Like to Try Magic Leap’s Take on Virtual Reality
20 February 2015
A startup is betting more than half a billion dollars that it will dazzle you with its approach to creating 3-D imagery.Availability: 1-3 years
Augmented reality builds business - but creates a new global addiction
Dateline: 18 October 2018
It seems that there's good and bad in everything. Dramatic improvements in virtual reality systems have led to massive productivity improvements - but have ...
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Basement broccoli
Posted: 13 February 2015  
More than seven years ago, we proposed a MindBullets scenario for solving the big problem of trucking fresh food into the big cities on a daily basis. Ever-increasing fuel and transport costs make this a good target for innovation. Even with the falling oil price, there are obvious benefits to growing food indoors or on roof-tops, even in artificially-lit basements. It's always organically ...
Sun-free farming: Indoor crops under the spotlight
13 February 2015
It tastes great, is hyper-local and is available all year round. But is growing food indoors in our cities really sustainable?
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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Age of the algorithm
Posted: 13 February 2015  
We've been discussing the coming age of the algorithm in client sessions this week, and it's certainly a hot topic. Here's an article in New Scientist that points out the pitfalls and problems when no one is in control, except the machines.
No one in control: The algorithms that run our lives
13 February 2015
Software is deciding who gets a loan, who counts as a citizen and what prices you pay online. Who will step in when the machines get out of hand?
Cloud-based algorithms determine our daily routine and schedule - and our love lives
Dateline: 27 April 2017
We can't predict the future, but the clues are all around us. We're all connected, to each other, to everything, in so many ways. Our daily lives are part ...
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When the robot decides
Posted: 12 February 2015  
In a recent client session we spent some time debating what will happen when artificial intelligence agents in the form of virtual assistants start making decision for us. But in a way, it's already happening. Our decisions are being influenced by algorithms, we are getting recommendations and search results based on our big data and online behaviour, our digital footprints.

This article on ...
The Future of Humanless Decision Making
12 February 2015
Imagine a world where machines are building companies and finding trends in data undetectable by humans. There was a recent post on Medium, “How our ...
"I'm sorry Jeff, I can't let you do that"
Dateline: 22 August 2017
Fine. I know it's a weekend and I'm not supposed to read my mail when I'm socializing with my family. But I really, really want to check if Larry has sent ...
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Getting chipped
Posted: 12 February 2015  
We're all used to having our pets, and other valuable animals, chipped so that they can be identified if they get lost. At FutureWorld we have for more than a decade pointed out that some people are prepared to put RFID chips into their bodies for a suitable reward, like access to the VIP lounges at a nightclub.

But here is a recent story where a BBC writer volunteers to get chipped, as part ...
Office puts chips under staff's skin
12 February 2015
The chip allows employees to open doors and use the photocopier without a traditional pass card
The convergence of in-body and in-home networking is here
Dateline: 15 September 2010
The chip business hasn’t exactly set the world on fire the last few years but today two consumer giants Sony and IBM got together to launch their entry ...
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Robot avatar
Posted: 9 February 2015  
I recently posted about the idea of achieving immortality by 'uploading' your mind to a computer service that would then attempt to continue your social interactions online. Well, here's another 'mind clone' idea with a physical avatar, a robotic head which can replicate you and be your mouthpiece.

It seems like our MindBullet on this subject is getting ever closer. Would you want a robot or a ...
Living forever as robot? Prototype lets humans upload their mind into mechanized ‘heads’
9 February 2015
An Artificial Intelligence pioneer is embracing the controversial idea of uploading the memories, thoughts and feelings of a living person into a computer ...
You can't live forever, but your avatar can - with your brain
Dateline: 23 June 2025
There's a battle brewing in the avatar industry. The battle for your mind. Your brain. Or to be more specific, the backup of your brain. The contenders ...
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Microsoft gets its cool on
Posted: 30 January 2015  
Yes, we can't ignore Microsoft and Windows. Many millions of people use Windows, me included, and it's time Microsoft made it work like an innovative, leading product. It sure looks like they're planning to do that with Windows 10, which should be a major step up from 8.1. It will make integration between devices via the cloud pretty seamless. And it's a free upgrade.

But beyond that, ...
Microsoft’s in danger of becoming cool again
30 January 2015
This week's Windows 10 event was arguably the most exciting technology industry keynote address since Steve Jobs took to a stage in 2007 to introduce the ...
Apple in decline as consumers, and businesses, vote with their wallets
Dateline: 7 November 2016
The votes are in, and there's a new winner in the global race to be the biggest and best tech company. And the winner is Microsoft! Just four years ago, ...
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Simply become immortal
Posted: 29 January 2015  
There's certainly demand for a service that preserves your memories. Someday we may be able to upload our brains to an avatar, but right now you can subscribe to Eterni.me and start saving your memories.

"It works like this: while you’re alive you grant the service access to your Facebook, Twitter and email accounts, upload photos, geo-location history and even Google Glass recordings of ...
Back-up brains: The era of digital immortality
29 January 2015
How do you want to be remembered? As Simon Parkin discovers, we may eventually be able to preserve our entire minds for generations to come – would you?
You can't live forever, but your avatar can - with your brain
Dateline: 23 June 2025
There's a battle brewing in the avatar industry. The battle for your mind. Your brain. Or to be more specific, the backup of your brain. The contenders ...
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It's the year of the drones
Posted: 29 January 2015  
Drones are crash landing everywhere, from the White House lawn to northern Nigeria. I'm sure we will see more and more drone stories as the year goes on.

Here's a great use for swarms of drones - planting millions of trees, with a 'seed cannon' no less! ...
Drones Will Be Everywhere Watching, Listening, and...Planting Millions of Trees?
29 January 2015
More and more people are getting to know drones, and not just the military kind. Drones were one of the hottest gifts over the holidays because they’re not ...
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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Robot farm workers
Posted: 28 January 2015  
You may have heard us expound on the concept of precision agriculture, where drones do aerial surveys of the fields, and robots precisely manage the crop production. This trend is advancing faster than we thought. Here's a slideshow of 27 agricultural robots who have recently joined the workforce, from the enormous, specialized LettuceBot to the utility BoniRob, a lightweight field robot ...
Top Robots for Farmers for 2014
28 January 2015
Over 60 agricultural robots are in-the-field today, either commercially or in testing for release in 2015-2016. Here are 27 of the top contenders for the ...
Google's robots do the heavy lifting, drive the dump trucks and haul the garbage
Dateline: 17 July 2018
Now that Google has become the leading developer of robots, including humanoid robots, we can leave them to do all the unpleasant, dangerous, and boring ...
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Russia cut to junk
Posted: 27 January 2015  
The scenario outlined in our recent MindBullet looks increasingly likely. Will China become Russia's strongest (and only significant) ally?
Russia downgraded to junk status for first time in decade
27 January 2015
S&P says downgrade caused by reduced flexibility to cut interest rates and weakening of financial system as oil price drops
Putin blames oil price for Russia's cash crunch
Dateline: 5 January 2017
The oil price plunge could not have come at a worse time for Russia. Just as Putin was flexing his muscles, taking back Crimea and calling the shots over ...
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IBMers facing the chop
Posted: 27 January 2015  
The once-almighty tech firm IBM is looking to drastically cut their workforce. For me it's interesting that IBM is now being described as an Apple Partner. Perhaps the day when Apple considers IBM to be nothing more than their corporate consulting arm, as hinted at in this MindBullet, is not so far off!
IBM prepares for largest corporate layoff in history
27 January 2015
Things aren't going well for IBM. Six months into its Apple partnership, the company is preparing for the largest layoffs in history.
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 ...
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Are we ready for the autocars?
Posted: 26 January 2015  
Back in 2010, when we published this MndBullet, Uber didn't exist. But the concept of renting a ride rather than owning a car was well established. And when all the Uber cars are driverless, what will become of Avis and Hertz? Will they simply become depots for Uber autocars?
How Uber's Autonomous Cars Will Destroy 10 Million Jobs and Reshape the Economy by 2025
26 January 2015
I have spent quite a bit of time lately thinking about autonomous cars, and I wanted to summarize my current thoughts and predictions. Most people - ...
Computer piloted 'transformer' vehicles cleared for public use
Dateline: 8 May 2021
Ever since DARPA's 'Flying Hummer' known as the Transformer X made its debut, people have been champing at the bit to get a chance to use them for personal ...
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Printing buildings moves up a notch
Posted: 21 January 2015  
China is leading the world in rapid construction methods, and now they are embracing 3D printed components, which are assembled to make apartment blocks and villas. They also use recycled materials in their printing process.
World's first 3D-printed apartment building constructed in China
21 January 2015
A Chinese company has successfully 3D printed a five-storey apartment building and a 1,100 square metre villa from a special print material.
Tallest building in the world erected in record time
Dateline: 21 August 2014
China has done it again. After building a 15-storey hotel in six days, and a 30-storey block in 15 days, Chinese construction company BSB has built the ...
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Media tipping point
Posted: 21 January 2015  
Google's ad revenue is now bigger than all US newspapers and magazines combined.
Jim Harris on Twitter
21 January 2015
“Google is Bigger Than ALL US Newspapers & Magazine Combined! World Economic Forum #WEF15 #Davos #media”
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SpaceX internet getting Google support
Posted: 20 January 2015  
So Elon Musk's latest crazy ambitious plan is eclipsing Branson's by far and attracting serious money. It seems where OneWeb are talking about 728 satellites, Musk says plans are for over 4,000 microsatellites in medium earth orbit, so no delay as is typically the case with geostationary satellites.

Perhaps this is the beginning of the interplanetary internet we talked about in our MindBullet ...
Google's Finalizing a $1 Billion Investment in SpaceX Internet
20 January 2015
It looks like Google is going to throw a ten-figure sum into Elon Musk's space internet dream. Both The Information and The Wall Street Journal report that ...
And we'll connect on the interplanetary internet
Dateline: 14 February 2028
Ten years ago we witnessed the first private, robotic mission to Mars, which also led to the start of an internet network linking all the rovers and probes ...
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One web for the whole wide world
Posted: 19 January 2015   1 Comment
Funded by Qualcomm and Virgin, OneWeb hopes to construct a giant constellation of microsatellites that will beam internet access to all corners of the globe. From O3B to Google Loon and Facebook drones, there are several initiatives aimed at getting increased internet access to under-served areas.

I'm all for increasing the options for a truly global wireless network, but the cynic in me says ...
World's largest satellite constellation to provide global internet access
19 January 2015
According to the International Telecommunications Union, over half of the world's population has no access to the internet. A new plan, however, could ...
Space tourism and satellite launches compete for profits
Dateline: 27 September 2015
The race to launch a successful private space business has been won - and the victor, surprisingly, is not Virgin's Sir Richard Branson, but a 40-year-old ...
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