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Filtered by tag: Economics
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Can't stop viral power
Posted: 6 December 2016  
Earlier this year, we published a MindBullet about micro generation and consumption of solar power, particularly in under developed areas like Africa. Now people who have abundant sunshine are leapfrogging the industrial-age model of a centralised power utility, straight into the future of basic electric power at almost zero cost!

Not even Trump can reverse this trend. ...
Off the grid solar is increasingly solving power problems in parts of rural Africa
6 December 2016
Pay-as-you-go solar systems have begun to light up homes in underserved parts of the continent, but will need to pack more punch to leapfrog the grid.
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 ...
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African solar set to power Europe
Posted: 5 December 2016   1 Comment
Don't say we never told you! Way back in 2009 and we wrote the MindBullet alongside, that sunny African states would dominate the future energy market. And its happening, right now, with a giant solar plant in the deserts of Morocco.
The colossal African solar farm that could power Europe
5 December 2016
We visit a vast power plant at the door to the Moroccan desert that is helping to define the energy future of the world.
MindBullet logo EUROPE HELD TO RANSOM BY SUNNY AFRICAN STATES
Solar energy at the centre of an economic storm
Dateline: 11 May 2020
It's been just a year since the Afro-European solar energy initiative was launched to harness the deserts of North Africa to supply European countries with ...
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The age of digital gold
Posted: 29 November 2016  
How long before we get the world's first digital currencies issued by a major country - the digital dollar, or the digital yuan, or the digital rouble? And it will be based on Blockchain technology, one of the most fundamental instruments of change in our modern world.
And in addition to the Royal Mint's digital gold, Senegal is issuing a digital Blockchain ...
Royal Mint to issue digital gold
29 November 2016
The Royal Mint, a 1000-year-old institution owned by HM Treasury, is partnering with CME Group to create a digital gold product that will be stored and ...
MindBullet logo CHINA LAUNCHES THE E-YUAN
US Dollar slides as gold-backed RMB becomes the online and offline currency of choice
Dateline: 15 March 2015
China's monetary authority has done it again. After surprising everyone but a small group of futurists by partially adopting a gold standard to back their ...
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LONDON WANTS TO SHANGHAI YOU
Published on: 17 November 2016  
MindBullet picture
Now various city 'passports' are vying for your attention
Dateline: 4 March 2029
People used to compare and evaluate national passports in terms of what they offered and how many doors such a document would open for them. Now it's not so much about countries competing against one another; instead megacities are trying to appeal to skilled workers by throwing numerous benefits into the mix. The first signs of this revolution appeared in 2019 when, after Brexit, trade and financial services in London were allowed to attract foreign workers to their industries in exchange for ...
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GOODBYE TRUMP, HELLO MADAM PRESIDENT
Published on: 10 November 2016  
MindBullet picture
After one term in office, America has had enough of the Orange POTUS
Dateline: 10 November 2020
At long last, the United States has a female head of state. Hillary Clinton's big mistake was one of timing. She couldn't beat Obama, and when up against Trump, she failed to inspire or engender trust. Many voters saw her as a has-been. But now the tables have been turned. Trump, like Jimmy Carter, has failed to secure a second term. And his ouster is a woman. To some extent, Trump was his own worst enemy. Having exposed himself, his thinking and biases, the kind of person he was deep down, ...
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Taxing food and water, and air
Posted: 8 November 2016  
A few years ago, we published a MindBullet which suggested that the climate control freaks, I mean bureaucrats, would eventually tax us for the very air we breathe. While that was a bit tongue-in-cheek, the idea is not so far fetched. Water is already taxed in the form of VAT on your council bill, and bottled water is taxed three times over, which is probably a good thing.

Now comes an idea to ...
Food Tax Could Tackle Climate Change and Save Half a Million Lives: Study - NDTV Food
8 November 2016
Taxing food on the basis of planet-warming emissions generated to produce it could boost the fight against climate change and save half a million lives, a ...
MindBullet logo TAKE A DEEP BREATH, YOU'LL SOON BE PAYING FOR AIR
European agency for air quality seeks to introduce oxygen tax
Dateline: 28 April 2023
The EU Climate Control Agency (CCA), known colloquially as the 'carbon police', has introduced proposals to tax the very air we breathe. Two decades of ...
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Anything but Clump?
Posted: 21 October 2016  
With the increasing disenchantment with both candidates in the digital media, one wonders if our recent MindBullet, suggesting an AI system would be the best POTUS, isn't right on the mark.

After publishing this MindBullet, we came across this article from earlier in the year that asks the same question: Could a robot run for President? ...
Could a robot run for U.S. president in 2020?
21 October 2016
Advances in artificial intelligence have raised the question of a supercomputer running for office.
MindBullet logo AI FOR PRESIDENT
The next Commander in Chief is an avatar
Dateline: 3 November 2020
When a Presidential decision can affect millions of people's lives, it's a weighty matter; one that must balance ethics, integrity and pragmatism with what ...
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AI FOR PRESIDENT
Published on: 20 October 2016   1 Comment
MindBullet picture
The next Commander in Chief is an avatar
Dateline: 3 November 2020
When a Presidential decision can affect millions of people's lives, it's a weighty matter; one that must balance ethics, integrity and pragmatism with what is best for the majority of the people. It's not easy to arrive at the best decision, even with a host of expert advisors. That's why it is best left to the dispassionate rationality of Artificial Intelligence. Since Watson learned to diagnose cancer quicker and more accurately than the most experienced oncologist, the IBM AI platform has also ...
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The future of mobility
Posted: 11 October 2016  
Here's an interesting article on urban mobility in 2030, by McKinsey&Company, based on their report. I am pretty sure that by 2030 most urban dwellers will prefer to view mobility as an on-demand service, rather than an investment in personal vehicles. McKinsey provides several models for the future, all of them disruptive. That's the key - disruption is certain.
An integrated perspective on the future of mobility
11 October 2016
A number of social, economic, and technological trends will work together to disrupt mobility, potentially creating three new urban models by 2030.
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 ...
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How to train your robot
Posted: 6 October 2016  
In a previous MindBullet we talked about the Robot Internet, where unskilled robots could download all the information they needed to perform a skill or carry out a new function. There's a name for that now, and it's 'cloud robotics'. Using connected artificial intelligence, let robots learn from each other. That's what Google is doing.
Google's next big step for AI: Getting robots to teach each other new skills
6 October 2016
Robots haven't reached human intelligence yet, but Google's researchers are showing how they're closing the gap using downloadable intelligence.
MindBullet logo ROBOEARTH TAXES THE MACHINES
With robots paying labour tax, the 99% can be as idle and as comfortable as the elites
Dateline: 4 July 2025
We're living in the age of abundance. The age of the algorithm. The age of... well, automated utopia. Who would have thought that this soon, with machines ...
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CHINA TRUMPS TRUMP, RUSSIA LOOMS LARGE
Published on: 6 October 2016  
MindBullet picture
Brexit looks benign in the face of new shocks
Dateline: 14 October 2017
Disruption and turbulence are the new normal, as Black and 'Grey' Swans hatch repeatedly. When the British voted to leave the EU, it was a great shock to the global system, and markets reacted in both predictable, and unpredictable ways. While everyone was 'waiting and seeing' which way the wind would blow, Donald Trump became POTUS, sending another shockwave through the world. Within a year, France and Germany saw populism and reactionary forces replace their governing parties, and the EU is ...
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The urban future
Posted: 26 September 2016  
We have published MindBullets before about the inexorable shift to an urban demographic. Key in this trend is China's stated intention to reach 75% urbanization, and Africa will catch up eventually. So, will cities, both economically powerful and housing many voters and tax payers, become the center of influence in the future?
Why The Future Will Be Dictated By Cities, Not Nations
26 September 2016
Cities encourage forward-thinking attitudes that will transcend the rise, fall, and enacting of bad policies by their parent countries.
MindBullet logo MEGACITIES HAVE TO DOWNSIZE
United Nations blames supersized cities for world's social ills
Dateline: 15 March 2039
In a sweeping move, the United Nations has ordered the 75 largest megacities in the world to come up with strategies to radically reduce their urban ...
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RELIGION IS A DYING BUSINESS
Published on: 8 September 2016  
MindBullet picture
Traditional religious beliefs are dying out as global living standards rise
Dateline: 1 September 2034
A charismatic preacher once wrote that to get seriously rich, start your own religion. But academics suggest the world's major religions, including Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and Buddhism, emerged as an evolutionary response to the differences in lifestyle between wealthy elites and other, poorer, communities. The disadvantaged classes needed hope for a better future, and a deity to blame for their misfortunes; a higher order being in which to place their faith. Now that poverty is ...
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Electric cars could replace most of today's vehicles
Posted: 18 August 2016  
Will eletric cars take off? The skeptics tell us that our love affair with fossil fuels will continue for decades. But perhaps not! Read this study from MJT that shows that even today, the level to which electric vehicles have developed means that almost all our driving needs could be met today.
MIT Reveals That Current Electric Cars Could Viably Replace 90% of Today's Vehicles
18 August 2016
An MIT study has shown that electric vehicles can now replace roughly 90% of the conventional vehicles in the market. Enabling it to play a significant ...
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 ...
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Virtual economies get real
Posted: 11 August 2016  
Nine years ago, we wrote about an interface where you could fly around the world virtually, enter virtual copies of real-world stores, and buy goods. Well, it's finally happening. Alibaba is trialling a VR payment system. Who says we futurists can't think ahead of the game?
Alibaba trials virtual reality payments for VR malls
11 August 2016
The virtual world just got a new payments technology and it’s as easy as nodding your head Chinese web behemoth and Amazon stalking horse Alibaba is ...
MindBullet logo GOOGLE EARTH WORLD'S SIXTH BIGGEST ECONOMY
Virtual world covers two-thirds of the 'real' world
Dateline: 7 June 2017
Google Earth's virtual online buildings, designed and built by the in-world residents, now cover most of the developed world and all major tourism ...
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The future for coal is bleak
Posted: 10 August 2016   1 Comment
The economic impacts of a changing energy paradigm are being felt first in the coal industry:

Hillary Clinton’s $30 billion plan to revitalize communities threatened by coal’s decline promises to do more. But even that money might not be enough. “There is too much focus right now on ‘How do we replace these 10,000 good-paying jobs?’” says Peter Hille, the president of the Mountain Association ...
Climate change is already having severe economic impacts, beginning in coal country
10 August 2016
The demise of the coal industry should start a discussion of how we will respond to the economic upheaval caused by global warming.
MindBullet logo COAL HITS US$10 PER TON AS SOLAR POWER SHINES
Nano solar films bring cheap energy to sunshine states
Dateline: 5 May 2018
It's hard to believe that a mere decade ago fossil fuels were at a premium, and everyone talked of 'peak oil' and the high prices of natural gas and coal. ...
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Artificial photosynthesis
Posted: 29 July 2016  
The holy grail of solar energy is to do what leaves do - turn sunlight into useable fuel. We wrote a MindBullet about the possibilities of such technology seven years ago. Now it seems that there has been a breakthrough on this front. More recently we published a MindBullet about catalysers that capture carbon. This new 'breakthrough' both captures carbon from the atmosphere and produces ...
Breakthrough solar cell captures carbon dioxide and sunlight, produces burnable fuel
29 July 2016
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have engineered a potentially game-changing solar cell that cheaply and efficiently converts ...
MindBullet logo SCIENCE CLONES NATURE FOR 'FREE' ENERGY PLAN
Nano-machines do photosynthesis better than leaves
Dateline: 12 June 2030
What started as a bold project at Imperial College London in 2009, has now reached its first stage of commercialization in the deserts of north ...
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Hacking of automated vehicles a threat
Posted: 27 July 2016  
We call it "second-order implications". How will the dramatic changes happening today in technology and business models impact other industries down the track - including your business. So we see the warning from GM that driverless, automated vehicles will be threatened by hackers.
Have you started thinking about potential impacts on your business from this changing world? That's what we do ...
GM’s CEO, Mary Barra, says the threat of cars being hacked will pose a risk to the entire car indust
27 July 2016
The auto industry may need to team up to prevent spyware, phishing, and ransomware from infecting your ride.
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 ...
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Moores Law on steroids?
Posted: 23 July 2016  
Many suggest that Moores Law may be nearing its end, and the rate of technological change and hence disruption is coming to a welcome end. However others believe the journey is just starting! Best one buckles up then as the ability to store, manipulate and work with data at atomic level suggests that the rate of tech advancement is a long way from slowing down!
World's Smallest Hard Drive Writes Data Atom-By-Atom
23 July 2016
Using this breakthrough technology, all the books in the world could be stored on a device the size of a postage stamp.
MindBullet logo DATA CENTERS DISAPPEAR, WEB SERVERS GO VIRTUAL
Amazon, Google and eBay dominate internet hardware
Dateline: 5 September 2009
Why buy cows when all you need is milk? Have you noticed how no-one buys any server hardware anymore? In fact, I can't remember the last time a company ...
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AI drives costs lower and changes the energy game
Posted: 21 July 2016  
Another win for AI in the energy space is its application to optimising energy demand and cost.
Google uses AI to save on electricity from data centres - BBC News
21 July 2016
Its artificial intelligence division, DeepMind, has cut Google's data centres' energy consumption by 15%, using a machine-learning algorithm.
MindBullet logo HOMES SWITCH OFF BIG ENERGY
Home users embrace cheap bacterial fuel cells, leaving the utilities dependent on business customers. Is it too little, too late?
Dateline: 29 February 2016
After reporting a massive loss in sales to the domestic sector, Electricité de France, the world's largest utility, announced today that its survival would ...
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