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Filtered by tag: Economics
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Waiting in the wings
Posted: 21 August 2014  
There's a powerful, growing economy that is still under the radar in monetary terms. What happens when China uses digital Darwinism to leapfrog the old established reserve currencies? It could change everything, forever.
The Secret Life of the Renminbi
21 August 2014
The IMF chooses not to track the use of the renminbi as a reserve currency, which isn't stopping central banks from accepting it as such.
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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Humans Need Not Apply
Posted: 21 August 2014  
If you missed my recent post about the robopocalypse, here's the video referenced in the Mashable story. It's well worth a look if you've got 15 minutes to spare, and makes an interesting counter argument to the optimism of Erik Brynjolfsson in The Second Machine Age.
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Bitcoin Central
Posted: 20 August 2014  
Here's an alternate future for Bitcoin, and it reads a bit like a MindBullet, set in 2024. I love the way Thomas Frey has brought the internet of things and a futuristic gadget into his scenario, but on the more serious side, I think they would call it something other than a bank. Bitcoin Clearing Centre perhaps?

One thing is for sure, even if the bubble bursts, the idea of cryptocurrencies ...
Establishing the Central Bank of Bitcoin
20 August 2014
The year is 2024. It seemed like a piece of nostalgia to open a new bank account and get a free toaster, but this wasn’t any ordinary toaster, and it ...
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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Just add sunlight for pure water
Posted: 18 August 2014  
Years ago we published a MindBullet that sketched a scenario which included the invention of a 'water cell' - a fuel cell that runs on seawater, producing electric power and pure water. Could this teenager's invention be the first step towards that slightly fanciful idea?
Teenager Invents Water Purifier That Creates Electricity With No External Power Source
18 August 2014
Her invention is a water purification system that does not require an external power source, but actually creates electricity of its own.
MindBullet logo SAHARA SHRINKS AS PLANET COOLS
Technology makes water abundant and upturns economies
Dateline: 1 June 2033
Two of the world's greatest problems, global warming and water shortage have been solved in one fell swoop. A new UN report shows that the great deserts of ...
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Robot-enabled digital fabrication
Posted: 18 August 2014  
Jordan Brandt is another futurist who sees 3D-printing as a key driver of innovation in manufacturing:

“On the 3D printing side, the biggest impact is ... the way that it’s making existing manufacturing processes more efficient,” sometimes by up to 60 percent, Brandt said in an interview. In these cases, new-age devices aren’t replacing traditional technologies, they’re augmenting them.

Brandt ...
A tech futurist on how robot-enabled 3D printing can change the world
18 August 2014
What does a tech futurist who has created his own concept of Elon Musk's proposed Hyperloop, founded a cloud collaboration company and earned a PhD from ...
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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Fusion's future
Posted: 15 August 2014  
This nuclear fusion startup isn't trying to recreate cold fusion experiments. Instead they think that their reactor engine can create hot fusion in one-second cycles, generating a net gain of electric current. The problem with fusion energy, it's always a decade away, even in a decade. I think cheap solar will beat fusion power in the next decade, but who knows?

"At the scale they’re designing ...
Y Combinator And Mithril Invest In Helion, A Nuclear Fusion Startup | TechCrunch
15 August 2014
Building a nuclear fusion reactor that can generate more energy than is put in to make it work is one of the biggest challenges facing engineers today. ...
MindBullet logo COLD FUSION SIGNALS THE END OF BIG OIL AND NUCLEAR POWER
It’s the start of a new low energy nuclear revolution
Dateline: 5 June 2014
Every once in a while we see the introduction of a technology that is so radically innovative that it seems magical, or impossible. The old clichés get ...
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A Giant Beam Of Energy From Space
Posted: 12 August 2014  
That's the idea behind this concept for an orbiting solar power station, and the subject of a MindBullet we published some time ago. But there's one reason I personally don't think this is going to materialize any time soon; the cost of putting this thing in space and keeping it orbiting exactly on station would be prohibitive. When you consider that solar panels you can put on your roof are ...
What If Giant Space-Based Solar Panels Could Beam Unlimited Power To The Earth?
12 August 2014
Not only would the energy source be continuous but it would also be clean and unlimited (until the sun explodes, that is).
MindBullet logo SPACE POWER FOR TIMES SQUARE
Space based solar station lights up New York City's New Year party
Dateline: 1 January 2024
A decade ago, people were fighting wars over energy; peak oil was a major concern; and shale gas was a short-term solution to the growing global demand for ...
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The crunch on Diesel starts in earnest
Posted: 9 August 2014   1 Comment
There are signs that the scenario postulated in our April 2014 MindBullet is starting to materialise with this UK move.
£20 fine for leaving diesel engine running
9 August 2014
Islington Council in North London is to introduce the penalty for drivers of diesel vehicles leading to claims it is introducing a 'stealth tax'.
MindBullet logo DEADLY DIESEL'S CENTURY ENDS ABRUPTLY
Germany first to put health before economy
Dateline: 12 July 2017
Germany's Berliner Zeitung put it succinctly: Diesel Backfires - Decades of government support can't hide the ugly truth. It was only three years ago ...
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Good bot, bad bot
Posted: 7 August 2014  
This is a hot topic at the moment. Will the automation of everything create or destroy jobs? Silicon Valley is split on this issue, with technologists and analysts alike fairly evenly divided as to how intelligent machines and the internet of things will affect the economy. One thing we can predict with confidence, it will be massively disruptive, and we'll all have to unlearn the old way of ...
AI, Robotics, and the Future of Jobs - PewResearch
7 August 2014
Experts envision automation and intelligent digital agents permeating vast areas of our work and personal lives by 2025, but they are divided on whether ...
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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The lessons the music industry can learn from TV
Posted: 6 August 2014  
Everyone knows the traditional music industry is in trouble. In the words of Edgar Bronfman, when he was CEO of the Warner Music Group, "The music industry is growing. The record industry is not." But have you noticed that the TV industry is booming, even as the so-called "free' model spreads? Here's a fascinating insight and five lessons that the music industry could learn from television.
Five Lessons the Faltering Music Industry Could Learn From TV
6 August 2014
As record labels repeat tired formulas and watch their business model collapse, they should turn on the television to see how another outmoded industry ...
MindBullet logo RECORD SALES PLUMMET AS MUSIC BOOMS
Music industry hits tipping point
Dateline: 1 June 2011
In the past five years artists and consumers have been chipping away at the record companies' dominance. It's been dark days for the record industry, but ...
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Heading for 'Peak People'
Posted: 5 August 2014  
One of the six forces shaping the future of the world is demographics. It's reasonably easy to study demographic trends, and very difficult to change them. Predictions of an ever-increasing global population that runs out of resources are usually based on a linear view of the future. A more likely scenario is global population peaking in the coming decades, and declining after that.

But is a ...
The Depopulation Time Bomb
5 August 2014
The future of nations is not written in the stars but in their demographics. In particular, a futurist can study national fertility rates, urbanisation ...
MindBullet logo WORLD POPULATION IN FREE-FALL
Fertility rates and life expectancy down
Dateline: 1 June 2200
Since its peak at just over 8 billion in 2050, world population has been in decline; but the rate has showed signs of dropping even faster in the last ...
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Radical shift change in solar?
Posted: 4 August 2014  
Just imagine how this could change the solar industry, at least at the consumer level.
Spray-on cells can turn ANYTHING into solar panels
4 August 2014
The cells, designed by Sheffield University, are made from perovskite, and when used as a spray (illustration pictured), produce very little waste. ...
MindBullet logo ENERGY WARS IN FULL SWING
Where's my solar power solution?
Dateline: 5 June 2016
In the last five years the world has seen ever more conflict over that basic resource, so essential to the modern industrialized economy, energy. Real wars ...
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Improbable but not impossible
Posted: 31 July 2014  
When we published this MindBullet several years ago, we didn't really expect this technology to emerge as more than improbable, but now it seems even NASA is giving it credulity!
Nasa validates 'impossible' space drive (Wired UK)
31 July 2014
Nasa is a major player in space science, so when a team from the agency this week presents evidence that "impossible" microwave thrusters seem to work, ...
MindBullet logo CHINA'S MAGNETIC SPACESHIP ENGINE SUPERCEDES REALITY
Revolutionary 'electric rocket' reaches Mars without fuel
Dateline: 1 April 2029
They said it was impossible, but China has done it. After decades of skeptical press in scientific circles, an engine has been built that actually delivers ...
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IT'S CHAOTIC AND WE LOVE IT
Published on: 31 July 2014  
MindBullet picture
Digital darwininsm provides innovation opportunities for the bold and nimble
Dateline: 7 July 2024
"Let's go and get us some Randomness today!" That's the corporate battle cry of the new breed of innovators, business mavericks who are not fazed by the complexity or turbulence of the post digital age. "It's crazy out there; isn't it fantastic?" Life, and business, beyond 2020 is chaotic. Digital technology has disrupted every industry in every part of the globe. From robotic mining in Australia, to 3D-printed houses in China, to artificial intelligence accounting in America, precision agriculture ...
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Internet of Things changes everything!
Posted: 30 July 2014  
A fully connected world is different to anything we know today, and every business will need to think of the impacts and opportunities. New ideas and opportunities will abound and big social, moral, legal and other questions will arise and create space for the slow movers to get with the program. Maybe!
How-the-internet-of-things-changes-business-models
30 July 2014
Value creation is no longer one-and-done.
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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Gazprom might have problems
Posted: 30 July 2014  
Gazprom might think Europe needs it more than it needs customers in the west, because it has plenty of demand in Asia. But it seems it's not only demand that's at issue.
Power failure
30 July 2014
GAZPROM is usually seen, especially by Europeans, as a powerful tool of Kremlin-led statecraft. But in Central Asia, a region that was once part of the ...
MindBullet logo GAZPROM THUMBS ITS NOSE AT EUROPE
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 ...
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China's frozen food craze
Posted: 29 July 2014  
This article in the New York Times magazine gives great insight into the birth of Chinese innovation and entrepreneurship, what I like to call an "innovateur":

"His first patent covered a production process for the balls themselves; a second was for the packaging that would protect them from freezer burn. Soon enough, Chen realized that both innovations could be applied to pot stickers, too. ...
What Do Chinese Dumplings Have to Do With Global Warming?
29 July 2014
Chen, who is 72, never planned on being a dumpling mogul. Like almost everyone who came of age during the Cultural Revolution, he didn’t get to choose his ...
MindBullet logo FUEL AND FOOD CRISIS SPARKS NEW GLOBAL INFLATION SPIRAL
Millions of automobiles and western lifestyles push China's consumption beyond sustainable limits. It's another '70s style stagflation scenario.
Dateline: 25 August 2017
Even as computers and electronic devices become as cheap as the value of their waste components, prices are rocketing up for gasoline, diesel and food ...
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Fracking in the UK
Posted: 28 July 2014  
As the need for energy security increases, even environmentalists are in favour of fracking:

"This is because Britain will continue to use gas for heating and as a backup to capricious wind and solar electricity. If the industry can't get British gas it will import liquefied gas - and the energy needed to turn gas liquid makes it worse for the climate than home-produced gas."

And it would be ...
Limits on fracking in beauty spots
28 July 2014
The controversial process of fracking, could get the go ahead in Britain's top beauty spots, but only in "exceptional circumstances".
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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3 day work scheme
Posted: 28 July 2014   1 Comment
The suggestion of the EU politicians is out of this world :

the 35 hours in France created a discontent : people serch for a second job,

the more free time available equals to the need for more money to be spent,

the kids go to school : the parents sit at home watching TV

The solution lies in the revision of the taxation structure as all over continental Europe the labor cost is simply too ...
MindBullet logo EU ANNOUNCES 3-DAY WORK WEEK
Maximum working hours cut to 30 per week
Dateline: 1 July 2016
In a desperate attempt to stem the rising unemployment tide, the EU has imposed a limit of three days per week that people may work, and a maximum of 10 hours per day. "We're not trying to drive business under," said labour commissioner László Andor, "just reduce inequality between working people and the unemployed. Businesses can have a post filled for six days a week, up to 60 hours, they ...
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Spaceflight becomes routine business
Posted: 24 July 2014  
It was 45 years ago that Apollo 11 landed on the moon, an incredible feat of engineering. The Saturn V launch vehicle remains the most powerful rocket ever launched.

Ten days ago, SpaceX launched six satellites into orbit on Flight 12 of the Falcon 9 rocket, and it hardly got any press. Because it was routine, humdrum, maybe slightly boring. Nothing went wrong. But an interesting feature was a ...
Moonwalkers: Stunning Photos from Apollo 11 : DNews
24 July 2014
45 years after the Apollo 11 launched to the moon, Discovery News relives the adventure of Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins' lunar mission through some ...
MindBullet logo THE FINAL (BUSINESS) FRONTIER
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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