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Filtered by tag: Economics
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The robots are definitely coming!
Posted: 26 February 2015  
More interesting discussion on the rapidly emerging world of intelligent robots - and the implications for humanity, and the jobs we currently hold today.
What clever robots mean for jobs
26 February 2015
Recent advances have pushed experts to look anew at changes automation will bring to labour force as robots wiggle their way into higher reaches of ...
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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The solar revolution
Posted: 26 February 2015  
An excellent article in the letter from Washington by Business Day's Simon Barber, on how solar power is steadily moving to the fore. And yet antediluvian administrations all over the world - and certainly in South Africa - continue to squander vast sums on old-fashioned industrial-age technologies. We need new leadership!
LETTER FROM WASHINGTON: SA’s nuclear Zumacrats ignore energy advances
26 February 2015
Every revolution has its reactionaries. In the US, these include the billionaire Koch brothers, who have been bankrolling the Tea Party wing and the ...
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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ROBOEARTH TAXES THE MACHINES
Published on: 26 February 2015   1 Comment
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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 doing all the work, we would also have found the solution to technological unemployment? The point is, just as horses became unemployable with the invention of engines, so humans became unemployable in the age of seriously smart machines. We call it "Roboearth." When a robot arrives from the factory, it's essentially lifeless; it can't do ...
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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.
MindBullet logo PEAK OIL IS HORSE MANURE
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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The middle class is dying and you need to get out of it: Grant Cardone
Posted: 20 February 2015  
Some sobering statistics that (unfortunately) support this MindBullet. Read more here: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/shake-your-middle-class-status-stat-211915756.html?l=1

...
MindBullet logo THE MIDDLE CLASS IS DYING
There's a growing gap between the have-lots and have-very-littles
Dateline: 3 July 2024
In 2014 the richest one percent owned 48% of the world's wealth (US$ 127 trillion). It's ten years later and they just keep on getting richer while the middle class is shrinking at an alarming rate. Because affluence has been growing, you need a much higher living standard than before in order to be classified as 'middle class' today. Emerging economy populations, who made the middle ...
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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.
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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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?
MindBullet logo SKYSCRAPER FARMS SOLVE URBAN FOOD SUPPLY CHAIN
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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CHOCOLATE DEFICIT LEAVES A BAD TASTE IN THE MOUTH
Published on: 12 February 2015  
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A not so happy Valentine's Day
Dateline: 14 February 2019
For the last couple of years the world has been running a chocolate deficit and it's probably not going to change anytime soon. At the moment, the global cacao sector is already in need of one million tons of cacao and the current projection is that we will have a shortfall of 2.2 million metric tons of ebony goodness by 2030. It's a real multi-faceted challenge. Ivory Coast and Ghana, which produce more than 70% of the world's cacao, have been suffering from climate change-induced droughts and to ...
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Approaching abundance?
Posted: 10 February 2015  
With the benefits of new technologies offering efficiency gains at an unprecedented scale, are we approaching a world of abundance? If so, will we have the leadership to use the efficiencies to create a fairer world for all?
Next Big Future: Advanced additive manufacturing could enable planes that are 50% more fuel efficien
10 February 2015
3d, additive manufacturing, airplanes, economic impact, energy, engineering, engines, future, rapid manufacturing, science, technology
MindBullet logo PAPER AIRPLANES SAVE FUEL
'Bucky-paper' the new composite material for energy efficient transport
Dateline: 6 September 2016
Don't look now, but the commercial jetliner you've just boarded is made out of paper. Don't worry, it's perfectly safe. This is no ordinary paper, but ...
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SOMETHING NEW IS FOR DINNER
Published on: 5 February 2015  
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Tempura crickets and locust mince are leaving diners bug-eyed
Dateline: 14 March 2024
For years, insect enthusiasts have been trying to get more people to join the bug buffet, but to no avail. In 2014 only about two billion people indulged in entomophagy, or insect eating; but that number has doubled within a decade. A culmination of events brought about the change in behaviour. Brazil and India, the biggest exporters of beef globally, have been struck by disaster simultaneously. Severe droughts in Brazil and an unidentified pest reminiscent of foot-and-mouth disease in India have ...
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UN DECLARES POVERTY ILLEGAL
Published on: 29 January 2015  
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Inequality next in the firing line
Dateline: 12 January 2021
The first resolution to come out of the United Nations for the new year is somewhat startling. Poverty has been declared 'illegal'. "A minimum living standard should be regarded as a basic human right," said the secretary general. "In this day and age, governments must ensure that for all their citizens, or step aside and let more competent people govern!" Another item on the agenda is to reduce global inequality, not only within nation states, an increasingly archaic concept, but also between top ...
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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
MindBullet logo COLLAPSE OF RUBLE THWARTS RUSSIA’S NUCLEAR AMBITIONS
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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COLLAPSE OF RUBLE THWARTS RUSSIA’S NUCLEAR AMBITIONS
Published on: 22 January 2015   1 Comment
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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 gas deliveries, the value of Russia's major export commodities collapsed. As oil more than halved in value, demand for Russia's inexhaustible natural gas also dried up. Sanctions against Russia's involvement in Ukraine were helping EU states to turn to cheap Saudi oil instead. The ruble took an immediate pounding as Russian oligarchs sought to ...
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Solar realities in Hawaii
Posted: 20 January 2015  
A really interesting perspective on the realities and problems of operating alternative energies on an existing power grid. While the Hawaiian Island of Kauai has made great strides on implementing solar power - heading towards an astonishing 80% of peak power - battery technology is not always able to cope with engineering reality. But massive investments into new battery technology are ...
Battery Performance Is Hurting Hawaii’s Solar Push | MIT Technology Review
20 January 2015
Kauai’s utility takes a second stab at battery storage as solar heads toward 80 percent of peak power.
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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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 ...
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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India's growth to overtake China
Posted: 19 January 2015  
As the world order shakes, rattles and rolls, some win and some just don't. India, no doubt with momentum under its new PM growing, looks toward a brighter future.
World Bank: India to Become Fastest-Growing Big Economy
19 January 2015
People are already having fun with Linkis.com, sharing links easily and customizing them in few simple clicks.
MindBullet logo INDIA & CHINA FORM POWER BLOC
Nuclear energy central to plans for world domination
Dateline: 5 May 2014
India and China may be the unlikeliest of partners, but the continued demand for clean energy has brought the world's most populous nations into an ...
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EXERCISE GENIE IN A BOTTLE
Published on: 15 January 2015  
MindBullet picture
Beating obesity one drink at a time
Dateline: 15 March 2026
In the race for the perfect health and energy drink, Eltsen will go down in history as the ultimate winner. Eltsen has figured out how to stimulate the main enzyme that regulates the human metabolism, which in effect means that people can burn fat without having to engage in strenuous exercise. A 30-minute jog can be replaced by one glass of EGIAB (Exercise Genie In A Bottle) and 10 minutes of YouTube aerobics. About 10 years ago we saw people hydrating themselves with smart drinks which boosted ...
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The Xiaomi generation
Posted: 13 January 2015  
There's a new brand set to dominate the consumer tech space in China, and that's Xiaomi. They're becoming the trendiest smartphone maker and soon the internet of things for their adoring fans, and that's the secret to their success.

"There is a younger generation, though, the Xiaomi generation, that has grown up in a country that has been growing by near double digits every year they have been ...
Xiaomi's Ambition - stratechery by Ben Thompson
13 January 2015
Xiaomi is a hard company to understand if you only think of them as a smartphone maker. In fact, they want to own the entire house of their true fans.
MindBullet logo MIDDLE KINGDOM REIGNS SUPREME
China beats the odds and the analysts and doubles its economy in a decade
Dateline: 8 August 2025
China has proven all its detractors wrong - again. Despite predictions of economic collapse by global doomsayers, China has doubled its GDP in ten years, ...
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This time is different
Posted: 2 January 2015  
Bloomberg is picking up on something we hinted at in our MindBullet on the subject of falling oil prices. It's not just a blip in the market. There are fundamental changes underway. The longer term scenario is a shift of power and economic prosperity that was unthinkable, until now.
This Era of Low-Cost Oil Is Different
2 January 2015
The world is experiencing much more than a temporary dip in oil prices.
MindBullet logo GOLD AT $800, OIL AT $64
The mini-boom is on
Dateline: 6 November 2016
Two years ago we saw the first faltering of the oil price, as Brent crude dipped below US$80 per barrel. Gold was also weak, at about US$1100 per ounce. ...
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Back to the retro future
Posted: 31 December 2014  
David Boyle claims that technological change is not accelerating, and that we're going back to real things over digital products. He has a point, up to a point, but I believe digital technologies are radically changing the way the world works, especially in consumer lifestyles and business lifecycles.

Take space travel. Sure, we went to the moon in 1969. But the way SpaceX is changing the ...
The future? We’ve seen it all before
31 December 2014
David Boyle: It’s not true that technological change is accelerating. In fact we’re clinging more to reality as the virtual world encroaches
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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