Filtered by author: Doug Vining

3D printing managed by robots
Posted: 20 October 2017

Just as we suggested might become the case, a small manufacturing plant using 3D printers has scaled up by adding a robot to do the work at night. See the attached MindBullet for further scenario options!

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This robot-run 3D printing farm is the future of light manufacturing
20 October 2017
Even small businesses are now running lights-out facilities using robots and automation
MindBullet logo THE CURSE OF ABUNDANCE
Free energy spawns hordes of wetbots and kills off big brands
Dateline: 13 July 2033
"We're closing up shop. Wetbots made us broke." The production chief of iRobot consumer products grins ruefully. "Luckily we've still got our military ...
Scary scenarios for the future
Posted: 17 October 2017

As futurists, we often tend to favour a techno-optimistic view. After all, if you don't think the future can be better through your own efforts, then what's the point of trying to create the future? But we should not ignore the dystopian scenarios, some of which are pretty horrific, and possible, even if we think them unlikely. Here are ten predictions from the future that will be bound to ...

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10 Predictions About the Future That Should Scare the Hell Out of You
17 October 2017
The future looks bright, except when it doesn’t. Here are 10 exceptionally regrettable developments we can expect in the coming decades.
MindBullet logo THE FUTURE SURE AIN'T WHAT IT USED TO BE
The future will always surprise us
Dateline: 11 August 2026
Back in the 1950s, seventy years ago, people made all sorts of predictions about what the future would be like. We'd have flying cars and robot maids, it ...
No more helium shortage
Posted: 16 October 2017

You may not have been aware of it, but the world was facing a possible shortage of helium, which is used in space rockets and MRI medical devices. Helium, besides being lighter than air, and a safe way to inflate party balloons, is an inert, stable element that won't combust or explode under pressure, making it almost unique in some scientific applications. But it can't be made in a ...

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Massive 'Life-Saving' Helium Field Just Turned Out to Be Far Bigger Than We'd Hoped
16 October 2017
New analysis of a gargantuan helium deposit discovered in Tanzania last year has revealed that there may be much more of the gas than initial surveys ...
MindBullet logo US BANS HELIUM EXPORTS IN ELEMENT TRADE WAR
China's medical and consumer electronics manufacturers in turmoil
Dateline: 15 August 2015
In a widely expected, but controversial, move the US has banned all helium exports to China and its major trade partners, following China's banning of all ...
Mainstream metal printing
Posted: 13 October 2017

We've talked a lot about 3D printing over the years, and its potential to disrupt traditional manufacturing businesses. Now metal 3D printing is about to go mainstream, with office-friendly studio systems and high-speed manufacturing systems from Desktop Metal. And in a variety of metals, from titanium to stainless steel. Let the 4th Industrial Revolution begin!

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100x faster, 10x cheaper: 3D metal printing is about to go mainstream
13 October 2017
Desktop Metal - remember the name. This Massachussetts company is preparing to turn manufacturing on its head, with a 3D metal printing system that's so much faster, safer and cheaper than existing systems that it's going to compete with traditional mass manufacturing processes.
More than just a home invasion
Posted: 5 October 2017

Amazon is invading the home with its Echo devices, and Alexa is set to become the Operating System for the smart home. But it doesn't end there. Amazon also wants to sell you financial services - and anything else a household might need. Read this piece about Amazon's threat to the UK insurance industry:
https://banknxt.com/61791/amazon-insurance/ ...

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MindBullet logo FIRST TRILLION DOLLAR CORP
The first company to reach a value of US$1 trillion is...
Dateline: 3 March 2025
Chinese. No, wait, American. Actually, it's a global company, with tech from the United States, and manufacturing in several countries, but mainly China. You would be forgiven for surmising that Apple Inc would be the first company to cross the US$ 1 trillion threshold. A couple of years ago, Apple came close, with a market capitalization of US$ 947 billion, but has subsequently seen its ...
Truly intelligent machines will be able to plan
Posted: 4 October 2017

Harri Valpola, founder of The Curious AI Company, says all of the AI currently in use is second rate. He wants to change that. AI systems that are trained on lots of data can be better than humans at solving problems involving new data, like predictions, but they are incapable of the kind of abstract reasoning that humans and animals employ when they want to achieve something - planning. This ...

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Harri Valpola dreams of an internet of beautiful AI minds
4 October 2017
The Finnish computer scientist says he has solved AI's fundamental problem: how to make machines that plan
MindBullet logo THE INTEL(LIGENT) CHIP ARRIVES
Intel's new brain-like chip puts machine learning in the heart of your device
Dateline: 29 September 2018
AI is dead. Long live accelerated AI. Now deep learning by computers has been internalised in the CPU, the very heart of the machine. It's called ...
Elon Musk's next big gamble
Posted: 3 October 2017

Elon Musk is not afraid to take a chance, if the potential rewards are there. His latest concept called BFR could stand for Big Freaking Rocket or Big Fat Risk - either would make sense. But there is method in his apparent madness.

The key to all this lies in reusability, the holy grail of affordable and profitable launch systems. SpaceX has already proved they can reuse the first stage of the ...

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SpaceX’s Elon Musk unveiled a rocket that can fly to the Moon, Mars—and Shanghai
3 October 2017
A slightly smaller rocket with a slightly bigger chance of becoming reality.
MindBullet logo SPACEX LAUNCHES MOON TAXI
Fancy a walk on the dark side?
Dateline: 15 June 2029
It's fun to go away for a summer holiday, and what better, more exotic place than the moon? That's assuming you can afford the fare, of course. For the ...
A third thumb
Posted: 26 September 2017

It's not a third arm, but a third thumb is already available, way before 2023:
https://twitter.com/businessinsider/status/912547290702680064
...

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MindBullet logo WAIT A SEC, I'VE ONLY GOT THREE HANDS
Third arms are a blessing and a curse
Dateline: 1 September 2023
Since scientists and doctors collaborated almost a decade ago to fit amputees with robotic arms controlled by their brains, bionic limbs have come a long way. Now it's possible to strap on a wearable robotic appendage, even if both your arms are fully functional. Connected wirelessly to your brain by a 'thinking cap', you can move your third arm and manipulate your extra limb, just by ...
Blockchain businesses
Posted: 26 September 2017

We published this MindBullet more than two years ago about autonomous businesses on the blockchain. Now they're getting airtime as DAO or decentralised autonomous organisations. I prefer the name 'blockchain businesses', better than an acronym and more descriptive. Were we ahead of the game? Read the attached news link by Chris Skinner and decide for yourself!

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What is a Decentralised Autonomous Organisation?
26 September 2017
I was asked to explain what I meant by haven’t central bankers realised that democratised trust is in the technologies and code? when I blogged about the ...
MindBullet logo BLOCKCHAIN BUSINESSES THAT RUN THEMSELVES GO VIRAL
The rise of the distributed autonomous company has disrupted markets and nations
Dateline: 17 February 2027
CarCoin has ubered Uber. AppCoin has upstaged Apple. And Africoin has made African countries irrelevant; fiscally and economically at least. Based on the ...
China goes electric
Posted: 11 September 2017 1 Comment

We 'predicted' that China would de-commit from all fossil fuels by 2020. That's what our MindBullet said 12 years ago. Well, China is not going fossil free that soon, but they are on a declared strategy to dominate electric vehicles!

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China Fossil Fuel Deadline Shifts Focus to Electric Car Race
11 September 2017
China will set a deadline for automakers to end sales of fossil-fuel-powered vehicles, becoming the biggest market to do so in a move that will accelerate ...
MindBullet logo WORLD MARKETS IN TURMOIL AS CHINA DECOMMITS FROM ALL FOSSIL FUELS
Bold energy strategy targets pollution and leadership in world automotive industry
Dateline: 1 July 2008
Just four weeks before the start of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, China has played a trump card in global politics. China has taken the pollution bull by ...
Rent a robot and retire
Posted: 6 September 2017

More than a decade ago we speculated on the ability for robots and automation to enable people to retire earlier, and published a MindBullet along those lines. Now we see this looming concern with robots 'replacing' jobs for people, and the support for basic income for people made redundant by technology. I think I'm inclined to agree with Gerd Leonhard, we are on the cusp of a tipping point ...

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The bright side of the AI and robot revolution: You might get to retire earlier | ZDNet
6 September 2017
Productivity gains should be used to make the quality of our working life better, and not just make corporations richer.
MindBullet logo RENT A ROBOT AND RETIRE
HSBC lets you earn while you snooze
Dateline: 11 September 2095
With 60% of the population of the US and EU now over the age of 65, economists have expressed astonishment at the continued strength of the world economy. ...
Bionic eyes being tested
Posted: 4 September 2017

A decade ago we wrote about bionic eyes giving people 'better than human' eyesight. We've also published MindBullets about upgrading humans - because we can! Now it seems these future scenarios are becoming reality, as so often happens. A new bionic lens for cataract patients will not only restore their sight - it promises to improve on the best natural eyesight. What if someone who can ...

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A Bionic Lens Undergoing Clinical Trials Could Give You Superhuman Abilities In Two Years
4 September 2017
We're talking 'Ghost in the Shell' type of stuff.
MindBullet logo CYBORG EYES SAVE STARS FROM PEEPING TOM'S GAZE
Wanted man picked out of crowd with bionic vision
Dateline: 3 November 2019
The notorious 'Celebrity Stalker' was apprehended last night after being spotted in a street crowd - with the help of cyborg eyes. The latest ...
Nuclear on the wane in Europe
Posted: 30 August 2017 1 Comment

Despite the new nukes being planned or built in the UK and Finland, it seems that the general appetite for nuclear power in Europe is declining. Germany has long had a plan to phase out nuclear, to appease the Greens, and now France - a big proponent of nuclear power - has publicly committed to closing down several nukes in the next few years.

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France will need to close nuclear reactors-minister
30 August 2017
French Environment MinisterNicolas Hulot reiterated on Wednesday that France will need toclose several nuclear reactors in order to meet a target to cutthe ...
MindBullet logo GERMANY POWERS DOWN ITS LAST NUCLEAR PLANT
New Energy replaces nukes, saves money
Dateline: 6 June 2020
Germany has shut down its last remaining nuclear power plant, two years ahead of schedule. Supporters of the Greens and the Pirate Party staged a peaceful ...
Second order consequences of auto electric cars
Posted: 29 August 2017

Benedict Evans shares his thoughts on the second order consequences of autonomous vehicles and says they will have an impact on all sorts of things, from cigarettes to cities!
http://ben-evans.com/benedictevans/2017/3/20/cars-and-second-order-consequences ...

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MindBullet logo MOBILITY AS A SERVICE
Private cars banned in New York and London
Dateline: 17 August 2019
Four years ago, it was proposed that gasoline and diesel vehicles be banned from certain cities and states; but the new trend towards mobility as a service has caused a major re-think. It's not enough to insist on electric vehicles; privately owned cars are just so wasteful. Now it's becoming illegal to own your own car. It takes up too much of the city's resources, parking and charging; and ...
Migrants are good for business
Posted: 24 August 2017

We've pointed out before that migration is a natural human phenomenon and has been responsible for building some of the greatest nations on earth, like the United States. The current trend toward closing borders is bad for growth. Here the Economist shows, with data, that Europe needs more migrants to avoid shrinking populations, and by implication, shrinking economies.

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Why Europe needs more migrants
24 August 2017
Without them the continent’s population will start to shrink
MindBullet logo WINNING THE MIGRANT LOTTERY
After running the gauntlet across North Africa and the Mediterranean, refugees face one more challenge: random chance
Dateline: 2 April 2017
Europe might have had its head in the sand, but we all know that problems do not go away on their own. Months and months of inaction in the Middle East, ...
Exponential battery power
Posted: 21 August 2017

This battery breakthrough from Ionic Materials could be the black swan that brings in a new energy paradigm. We've seen an exponentially declining cost for solar power, but the bottleneck has been costly and heavy batteries. This new battery technology uses a solid rather than liquid electrolyte, making new, denser, safer designs possible, using more efficient and cheaper materials. If a ...

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This Battery Breakthrough Could Change Everything
21 August 2017
Bill Joy, the green-tech guru who co-founded Sun Microsystems, is backing an energy storage breakthrough that could power the future.
MindBullet logo SOLAR POWER GOES VIRAL
Rooftop, backyard and portable solar is the new meme
Dateline: 15 March 2022
The biggest energy revolution in 150 years has arrived gradually, then suddenly. Now it's here. Personal solar power has displaced central utilities ...
The future death of Big Oil
Posted: 16 August 2017

This excellent analysis of how exponential technologies can flip an industry is well worth a read. The end of internal combustion engines spells the end of demand for gasoline. What isn't discussed in this article is that the sudden change will reverse the declining demand for electricity, but as we've discussed elsewhere, solar power is well positioned to take up the slack. Perhaps the best ...

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This is how Big Oil will die – NewCo Shift
16 August 2017
Self-driving cars will be electric because of cost. And the cost will be so low, oil will not survive.
MindBullet logo THE CARBON BUBBLE BURSTS
Stocks crash as executive orders bite
Dateline: 5 February 2021
US President Bernie Sanders has signed a series of Executive Orders designed as emergency measures to combat climate change. The net effect is to make ...
Computer virus transmitted by DNA
Posted: 15 August 2017

Years ago - 13 years to be specific, I wrote a MindBullet about a computer virus making the leap to a biological system, and infecting a human. Well, scientists have already demonstrated how one part of that loop could be accomplished. They edited a strand of DNA, coding it with malware that infected the machine designed to decode DNA!

DNA is just software, after all... ...

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Malicious code written into DNA infects the computer that reads it
15 August 2017
In a mind-boggling world first, a team of biologists and security researchers have successfully infected a computer with a strand of DNA. It sounds like..
MindBullet logo COMPUTER VIRUS INFECTS HUMANS
SARS-22 outbreak linked to software bug
Dateline: 13 February 2022
Panic erupted in Hong Kong's Silicon Alley when it was discovered that the latest outbreak of SARS came from a computer virus. Thousands of people demanded ...
Making it in Space
Posted: 15 August 2017

Made In Space just took another step toward its goal of building telescopes and other large structures off Earth.
A 3D printer built by the California-based company churned out multiple polymer-alloy objects — the largest of which was a 33.5-inch-long (85 centimeters) beam — during a 24-day test inside a thermal vacuum chamber (TVAC) here in Silicon Valley at NASA's Ames Research Center in ...

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Space-Based 3-D Printing Reaches Milestone
15 August 2017
Successful test suggests “Archinaut” system could soon assemble huge structures in orbit
MindBullet logo MARS MOTHERSHIP PRINTED IN 3D
3D printing in space solves problem of launching huge rockets
Dateline: 3 November 2025
A decade ago the first 3D printer to go to space was sent to the International Space Station. It proved to be so useful, more, bigger printers soon ...
The infernal combustion engine's days are numbered
Posted: 11 August 2017

The Economist weighs in with an analysis of the future impact of the shift to electric cars, and says the death of the internal combustion engine will have many ramifications for industry and government in the future. As batteries become more efficient and cheaper, the advantages of electric propulsion accelerate, and cities will enjoy cleaner, healthier air.

But there are downsides, including ...

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The death of the internal combustion engine
11 August 2017
It had a good run. But the end is in sight for the machine that changed the world.
MindBullet logo ELECTRIC CARS CAN'T STEER THE CLIMATE
But they're driving the Energy Internet and saving the city
Dateline: 2 June 2030
It's official. It's now cheaper, on average, to buy a new electric car than one that burns gasoline, without subsidies. But it's not having any effect on ...

Filtered by author: Doug Vining