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Filtered by tag: Economics
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Disease-resistant wheat - boon or Frankenstein food?
Posted: 22 July 2014   1 Comment
In comfortable, well-fed Western centres, the raging against genetically modified foods continues. But, as always, there are two sides to every story. Is wheat that is resistant to common diseases a boon for mankind, or a Frankenstein food? It's time to put the emotion aside and focus on facts.
Beijing Researchers Use Gene Editing to Create Disease-Resistant Wheat | MIT Technology Review
22 July 2014
Researchers have created wheat that is resistant to a common disease, using advanced gene editing methods.
MindBullet logo GM IS THE NEW 'ORGANIC'
Modified beef set to boost consumer health
Dateline: 12 December 2009
The first genetically modified cows approved by the US Food and Drug Administration were simple creatures. They removed the susceptibility that cows have ...
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Dangers also abundant in future
Posted: 10 July 2014  
Futurist Thomas Frey supports our thinking that abundance comes with turbulent consequences, technological unemployment being one of them:

"Even though we are headed toward a world of abundance, having a significant loss of jobs due to robots and automation has the potential of causing a near term backlash." ...
The Growing Dangers of Technological Unemployment and the Re-Skilling of America
10 July 2014
Futurist Thomas Frey: In March, when Facebook announced the $2 billion acquisition of Oculus Rift, they not only put a giant stamp of approval on the ...
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 ...
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Towards an abundocracy
Posted: 10 July 2014   2 Comments
The inevitable paradigm shift as we move towards an age of abundance is an interesting one. From this side of the revolution it is very difficult to think about how it will happen. Our recent history with digital products, opensource and zero distribution costs may be an applicable model, but even in that micro world the story is far from over - capitalism and large-scale businesses still ...
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 contracts!" Since open source, peer production of printed solar panels has made electric power almost zero cost, robots have taken over agriculture, mining and most manufacturing. With no jobs but plenty of creative spirit, the 'maker' ...
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THE CURSE OF ABUNDANCE
Published on: 10 July 2014   4 Comments
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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 contracts!" Since open source, peer production of printed solar panels has made electric power almost zero cost, robots have taken over agriculture, mining and most manufacturing. With no jobs but plenty of creative spirit, the 'maker' movement has spawned millions of backyard factories, churning out low volume, low cost 3D printed products for ...
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Here's a new customer service challenge.
Posted: 9 July 2014   1 Comment
Most banks encourage you to go paperless, to save the cost of sending you statements. My bank, Standard Bank Private Bank, will only let me see my last 180 days of transactions online. If I want to see any transactions before that I will be charged R25 “per page” - because the statements have to be "printed manually" by a so-called "Service Centre", and then posted to me. In these days of ...
Private Banking
9 July 2014
Together with a highly qualified and experienced team of support bankers and specialists, your dedicated Private Banker and support team will act as your ...
MindBullet logo JUST DON'T MENTION THE WORD 'BANK'
If you're not safe then you're not a bank, says regulator
Dateline: 1 September 2011
EU regulators have followed US trends by putting a big wedge between retail and investment banking. Effective tomorrow, if you're not a pure commercial ...
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Long live longevity
Posted: 8 July 2014   1 Comment
The possibility for humans to extend their lives by hundreds of years is becoming less of a fantasy and more like a future reality. According to this article, a new enzyme and a hormone offer the chance of preventing aging and extending life in mammals. Will our scenario published nine years ago become a hot topic in the near future?

The implications of technology like this becoming affordable ...
This is thrilling life-extension news – for dictators and the ultra-rich
8 July 2014
George Monbiot: Longevity science may divide us into treated and untreated: the first living ever longer, the second dying even younger than now
MindBullet logo WOULD YOU LIKE TO LIVE FOREVER?
You'd better check how many years you can afford
Dateline: 13 September 2025
Two decades ago, Ray Kurzweil and Aubrey de Grey were often considered the lunatic fringe of science. Living forever? What nonsense! Then, ever so slowly, ...
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Solar beats coal
Posted: 8 July 2014  
In Australia, rooftop solar is disrupting the power business:

"Coal, of course, will never be free. And the rapid uptake of rooftop solar – dubbed the democratisation of energy – is raising the biggest challenge to the centralised model of generation since electricity systems were established more than a century ago."

We've been talking for years about how energy technologies were going to ...
Solar has won. Even if coal were free to burn, power stations couldn't compete
8 July 2014
Giles Parkinson: As early as 2018, solar could be economically viable to power big cities. By 2040 over half of all electricity may be generated in the ...
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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A blanket to keep you happy
Posted: 3 July 2014  
British Airways likes to keep its first class customers happy, so they're trying out a high-tech blanket that shows your mood, even when you're asleep, by changing colour.

This is a great example of how technology can be used to create non-invasive feedback to improve customer service. As long as the crew take notice and do something about it, that is! ...
British Airways Creates a 'Happiness Blanket' to Help First-Class Fliers Sleep Better
3 July 2014
The blanket can read a passenger's mental state, helping the airline tweak its service
MindBullet logo THE COMING FACE OF AIR TRAVEL
There isn't one: No pilots and no air traffic controllers
Dateline: 10 July 2019
When NATS, the UK National Air Traffic Control Service, was partially privatized in 2001, with the state retaining a 49% share, it started a long-running ...
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GAZPROM THUMBS ITS NOSE AT EUROPE
Published on: 3 July 2014  
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China becomes Russia's biggest single customer as massive pipeline goes live
Dateline: 7 April 2018
Four years ago, Europe was Russia's largest energy importer, and the bulk of that business was pipeline gas from Gazprom. Then came the Crimea Crisis, and Russia's relations with Ukraine and Europe took a turn for the worse. By June 2014, Gazprom was turning off the taps to Ukraine, despite much of Europe's supply being routed through Ukraine territory. It was only a matter of time before the EU, with Germany in the lead, began to look for alternate sources, to avoid being held to ransom by ...
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Can IBM come back?
Posted: 1 July 2014  
In a fascinating battle, IBM and Amazon fight it out to win a massive CIA 'big data' contract...and Amazon wins hands down. Has IBM simply miscalculated in one bid or does this suggest something far more serious is unfolding? Can the elephant still dance in the supper fast world of cloud, big data, new services and changing value propositions? IBM's positioning as the leader of our smart ...
Amazon CIA cloud row: US judge slaps down IBM as 'manipulative', inferior
1 July 2014
Big Blue thwacked for attempts to game the $600m bidding process
MindBullet logo SERVER FARMS IN THE CLOUDS
A whole new understanding of business computing
Dateline: 1 February 2013
Almost all of IBM's server business now comes from just four customers - Google, Microsoft, Tata and Amazon - these are the companies that dominate ...
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Drones in a new constructive role?
Posted: 27 June 2014  
As the world gets used to reading about 3D printing, the new uses and applications of the tech are growing ay an ever increasing rate. Drones, associated with spying and remote wars, can be used for good purposes too! But I must admit, I had not thought of them being a concrete mixer!
These Cute Little Drones Could 3-D Print a House | Design | WIRED
27 June 2014
These clever bots display a very different approach than other massive-scale 3-D printers.
MindBullet logo PRINTING - THE FUTURE OF MANUFACTURING
No more paper or ink, but everything else goes
Dateline: 17 June 2012
I spent a frustrating few days at the World Printing Industry Showcase in Beijing this weekend. As an old-timer of the printing industry, I simply didn't ...
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Exporting US oil
Posted: 25 June 2014  
The first steps towards America becoming an oil exporter have been taken. Will US companies eventually have enough shale oil to export crude? Will they be allowed to?

Our MindBullet published two years ago raised this scenario. ...
U.S. rules to loosen four-decade ban on oil exports
25 June 2014
The Obama administration quietly cleared the way for the first exports of unrefined American oil in four decades.
MindBullet logo AMERICA THE OIL EXPORTER
Unconventional oil and gas alters the geopolitical balance
Dateline: 4 July 2025
Over the last 20 years, North American oil and gas reserves have been boosted by the large scale exploitation of so-called unconventionals - mainly shale ...
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Disruptive Innovation - is it relevant?
Posted: 21 June 2014  
This us an important debate for anyone concerned about the future relevance of their business...and another example of how political academia can get!
Clayton Christensen Responds to Takedown of 'Disruptive Innovation'
21 June 2014
Harvard business guru accuses Harvard history professor of "criminal act of dishonesty"
MindBullet logo IS THIS THE END OF INNOVATION?
The pace of technology advances slows as all invention is outsourced to computers
Dateline: 3 March 2033
We are in trouble. We've reached the end of the road. Like the mythical serpent devouring itself from the tail, we have progressed in ever decreasing ...
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Big solar plans
Posted: 18 June 2014  
Elon Musk has announced that his other company Solar City is also expanding and integrating. By taking over Silevo, a solar cell manufacturer, and scaling up plans for a manufacturing plant in Buffalo, NY.

This is important news for two reasons. Solar City has been concentrating on the financing of roof top installations, now it's moved into installing and manufacturing panels as well, ...
Elon Musk's sunny plans for Buffalo
18 June 2014
Elon Musk's other superstar company, SolarCity, announced a deal Tuesday that Musk believes will result in the world's largest solar panel plant.
MindBullet logo CLEANTECH BUBBLE BURSTS
'Greenbucks' in the toilet as recession bites
Dateline: 12 January 2010
In a massive shakeout, green technology start-ups the world over have taken a major dive, as the harsh realities of dealing with global recession set ...
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Coal on a roll
Posted: 17 June 2014  
"Coal has reached its highest market share of global energy consumption for more than 40 years, figures reveal, despite fears that its high carbon emissions make it a prime cause of climate change. The use of coal for power generation and other purposes grew by 3% in 2013 – faster than any other fossil fuel – while its share of the market breached 30% for the first time since 1970, the BP ...
Coal's share of energy market at highest level since 1970
17 June 2014
Use of coal for power generation and other purposes grew by 3% in 2013 – faster than any other fossil fuel
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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Tesla disrupts again
Posted: 14 June 2014   2 Comments
Tesla has challenged the giant car industry in many ways and Elon Musk again showed he is not afraid of thinking and acting radically! His attitude to openness and its impact on innovation is refreshing...some will no doubt say 'foolhardy'. Time will tell but the patent hoarders, including many in the mobile industry will take note and have many late night debates on this. As Don Tapscott ...
Tesla considers opening Superchargers to other EV makers
14 June 2014
Can Tesla help with the adoption of electric vehicles by opening up its Superchargers?
MindBullet logo US DUMPS COPYRIGHT LAWS
This year there will be more authors than readers
Dateline: 12 June 2015
In an increasingly open world it seems that the idea of traditional copyright protection has just become an anachronism. The internet, the cell phone and ...
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Gazprom makes its move
Posted: 16 June 2014  
"Today, from 10:00 Moscow time, Gazprom, according to the existing contract, moved Naftogaz to prepayment for gas supplies," Gazprom said in a statement on Monday morning.

"From today, the Ukrainian company will receive Russian natural gas only in the amounts it has paid for." ...
Russia halts gas supply to Ukraine
16 June 2014
Ukraine says Russia has cut off all gas supplies to Kiev, in a major escalation of a dispute between the two nations.
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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Get ready for change if you are a professional!
Posted: 16 June 2014  
Interesting research suggests that not only will labour be threatened by new technologies, but the professions will also experience disruption. We have been suggesting this for years! Change is the constant and it's going to happen to a professional near you soon.
Robot doctors, online lawyers and automated architects: the future of the professions?
16 June 2014
Tom Meltzer: Advances in technology have long been recognised as a threat to manual labour. Now highly skilled, knowledge-based jobs that were once ...
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. ...
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Über disrupts age old industries...and should scare many others!
Posted: 14 June 2014  
With its latest valuation apparently exceeding USD17billion, Uber is causing disruptions all over the world. I personally experienced the French taxi strike this week - caused by their protest at Uber's impact on their business! At USD17b Uber is worth more than Avis and Hertz combined value! Will it flame out as so many others have done or could it apply its algorithms in every fragmented ...
Why Uber's $17 billion valuation is justified
14 June 2014
The $17 billion valuation of taxi service Uber was eye-popping, but here's why it's justified, says Michael Yoshikami.
MindBullet logo JUST DON'T MENTION THE WORD 'BANK'
If you're not safe then you're not a bank, says regulator
Dateline: 1 September 2011
EU regulators have followed US trends by putting a big wedge between retail and investment banking. Effective tomorrow, if you're not a pure commercial ...
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Nuking small reactors
Posted: 13 June 2014  
I've long been suggesting that the current model for nuclear power, traditional uranium fission reactors, is fast becoming obsolete, mainly for economic reasons. In this paper, Cooper not only points out that the nuclear industry is failing economically, in the US at least, but that small modular reactors are not the solution to an industry that is past its half-life and in decline.

I'm sure ...
THE ECONOMIC FAILURE OF NUCLEAR POWER AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF A LOW CARBON ELECTRICITY FUTURE
13 June 2014
WHY SMALL MODULAR REACTORS ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM, NOT THE SOLUTION - Mark Cooper, Ph.D.
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 ...
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