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Using less power to do more
Posted: 28 July 2014   1 Comment
This really interests me! I have long believed that the first way to manage our ever-increasing demand for electricity in a world of potential shortages is simply to use less - and that;s a pretty decent way to also start tackling climate change issues. It seems the devices we use are become more power-effecicient. Now can we tackle ineffecient fuel-guzzling vehicles!
On the other hand, could ...
New Research Shows Household Electronics Are Using Less Energy | MIT Technology Review
28 July 2014
New research shows a decline in the electricity used by all the electronic devices in U.S. homes.
MindBullet logo ELECTRIC CARS CREATE GRIDLOCK
Power utilities caught by surprise as charging demand soars
Dateline: 18 July 2019
The sudden surge in the popularity of electric vehicles has taken everyone by surprise - and is causing unexpected problems. The late night hours, when ...
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Robots reading the news
Posted: 21 July 2014  
The robots are coming:

"South Korea deploys jellyfish-terminating robots, while a robot with artificial intelligence able to analyse market trends has become a company director in Hong Kong."

We've published a number of MindBullets about our robotic future. The one attached to this post is the most recent. Just search MindBullets for 'Robot' to find the others! ...
Getting closer to Blade Runner future
21 July 2014
Tokyo - A future in which it is difficult to tell man and machine apart could soon become reality, scientists say, after recent robotic breakthroughs in ...
MindBullet logo LET G-DROIDS DO THE DIRTY WORK
Google's robots do the heavy lifting, drive the dump trucks and haul the garbage
Dateline: 17 July 2018
Now that Google has become the leading developer of robots, including humanoid robots, we can leave them to do all the unpleasant, dangerous, and boring ...
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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
MindBullet picture
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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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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Morals for Robots - it's time to think about this!
Posted: 8 July 2014  
With advances in smart robots, self learning systems, the internet of everything and other supporting disruptive technologies, the debate on what robots should be allowed to do, develop etc is rapidly becoming important. Where will this lead society and human kind? The upside is truly spectacular but so is the downside! And there is, as always, no one right answer!
It's Time to Start Talking About Robot Morals
8 July 2014
We're at a moment in time where computer programmers are injecting machines with consciousness and the power of thought. It's time we stop and ask: What ...
MindBullet logo LET G-DROIDS DO THE DIRTY WORK
Google's robots do the heavy lifting, drive the dump trucks and haul the garbage
Dateline: 17 July 2018
Now that Google has become the leading developer of robots, including humanoid robots, we can leave them to do all the unpleasant, dangerous, and boring ...
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GAZPROM THUMBS ITS NOSE AT EUROPE
Published on: 3 July 2014  
MindBullet picture
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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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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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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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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Men and Machines - A new dawn
Posted: 27 May 2014   2 Comments
A fascinating new trending theme is developing...a world where men and machines mingle and merge. The question is - who or what will win and what happens in the fallout? Will it be economically good overall or will mankind be left wondering what happened? Follow this theme here!
Management in the Second Machine Age
27 May 2014
Future leaders will succeed by being entrepreneurial and by rethinking the balance between financial and social goals.
MindBullet logo LIVING MACHINES TO CHANGE OUR WORLD FUNDAMENTALLY
Get used to living in a world where products are grown rather than manufactured
Dateline: 27 October 2019
The promise of living biological machines, as well as industrial scale 3D printing, seemed just beyond our reach in the late 20th and early 21st Centuries. ...
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Flying robots inspired by nature
Posted: 26 May 2014  
Biomimicry - emulating nature's amazingly efficient designs - is an emerging science, but an important one that deserves more attention than it is getting. Read how scientists are building flying robots inspired by nature.
Nature inspires flying robot design
26 May 2014
Dr Mirko Kovac from Imperial College explains how drones whose design is inspired by nature are set to become part of our everyday lives
MindBullet logo LET G-DROIDS DO THE DIRTY WORK
Google's robots do the heavy lifting, drive the dump trucks and haul the garbage
Dateline: 17 July 2018
Now that Google has become the leading developer of robots, including humanoid robots, we can leave them to do all the unpleasant, dangerous, and boring ...
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China's mega-cities and regions
Posted: 19 May 2014  
As we've noted before, China is intent on achieving first world levels of urbanization, and this means developing mega-cities and enormous municipal regions. Will their society adapt to this way of life, or will such intense urbanization lead to conflict and the kind of scenario we outlined in this MindBullet?
China’s mega-cities are combining into mega-regions, and they’re doing it all wrong
19 May 2014
You may never have heard of the southwestern Chinese city of Chongqing, but by some measures it is one of the largest and fastest-growing cities in the ...
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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FARMAGEDDON, FAMINE AND FOOD
Published on: 8 May 2014  
MindBullet picture
The war between agribusiness and artisanal farming threatens food security for the poor
Dateline: 1 May 2024
It seems that voices in the pastoral wilderness have been shouting contradictory messages at each other for decades. Since the beginning of the 21st century, we have been warned of an approaching 'perfect storm' of crop failures, droughts and overpopulation by doomsayers and alarmists. John Beddington predicted that world population growth beyond 9 billion alone would be enough to create shortages of food, water and energy. Climate change alarmists had even more apocalyptic visions of famine and ...
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Cleaning up the kingdom
Posted: 7 May 2014  
China declares war on pollution:

"Over the past year, the Chinese government has begun to emphasise environmental protection in its official rhetoric. The new law 'sets environmental protection as the country’s basic policy,' state news agency Xinhua reported.

At an annual parliamentary meeting in March, premier Li Keqiang said that the government will 'resolutely declare war against pollution ...
China strengthens environmental laws
7 May 2014
Amendments to country's environmental protection are first in 25 years and will come into force in 2015
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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A car than runs for 100 years - without refuelling
Posted: 25 April 2014  
Now here's a car truly of the future, and how about that design? Sexy or what?
We have often written about thorium as al alternative nuclear fuel (see the MindBullet alongside, from 2010) and here's a different perspective - thorium as a fuel to power automobiles.
But note the comment from the CEO and scientist behind this technology, that "too much of the automobile industry is focused on ...
This Car Runs For 100 Years Without Refuelling – The Thorium Car
25 April 2014
If your car was powered by thorium, you would never need to refuel it. The vehicle would burn out long before the…
MindBullet logo THORIUM - THE NEW URANIUM
Green, clean and abundant - what more do we want?
Dateline: 11 October 2013
Indian engineers seem to have set the cat among the pigeons of the nuclear energy industry. Yesterday, in a Mumbai press briefing, the newly-formed INEF ...
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Diesel's future
Posted: 17 April 2014   1 Comment
Personally I am much more optimistic about the future of diesel, and don't think this scenario of diesel being banned will materialize. Diesel is a very efficient store of energy, and is the backbone of heavy trucking globally. While it might be feasible to convert some trucks to natural gas, converting them to petrol is not a proposition.

New technology is winning the day for diesel. In ...
New Generation of Clean Diesel Technology Is Fueling U.S. Economic Growth
17 April 2014
In The Past 10 Years, Emissions From Diesel Trucks And Buses Have Been Reduced By 99% For NOx And 98% For Particulate Emissions
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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DEADLY DIESEL'S CENTURY ENDS ABRUPTLY
Published on: 17 April 2014   2 Comments
MindBullet picture
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 that government researchers began to admit that irritating private research may just be correct - the nitrogen dioxide emissions generated by diesel engines have increased substantially over the past two decades and there was no sign of a reversal. Tiny toxic particulates emitted by diesel engines, have been shown to pass through the lungs and enter ...
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