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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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Robot farm workers
Posted: 28 January 2015  
You may have heard us expound on the concept of precision agriculture, where drones do aerial surveys of the fields, and robots precisely manage the crop production. This trend is advancing faster than we thought. Here's a slideshow of 27 agricultural robots who have recently joined the workforce, from the enormous, specialized LettuceBot to the utility BoniRob, a lightweight field robot ...
Top Robots for Farmers for 2014
28 January 2015
Over 60 agricultural robots are in-the-field today, either commercially or in testing for release in 2015-2016. Here are 27 of the top contenders for the ...
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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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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Printing buildings moves up a notch
Posted: 21 January 2015  
China is leading the world in rapid construction methods, and now they are embracing 3D printed components, which are assembled to make apartment blocks and villas. They also use recycled materials in their printing process.
World's first 3D-printed apartment building constructed in China
21 January 2015
A Chinese company has successfully 3D printed a five-storey apartment building and a 1,100 square metre villa from a special print material.
MindBullet logo SCRAPING THE SKY IN SHANGHAI
Tallest building in the world erected in record time
Dateline: 21 August 2014
China has done it again. After building a 15-storey hotel in six days, and a 30-storey block in 15 days, Chinese construction company BSB has built the ...
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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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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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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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NASA IS 3-D PRINTING TOOLS IN SPACE LIKE CRAZY - QUICK - WE NEED A WIDGET
Posted: 26 December 2014  
Few places offer a higher cost for storage of spare parts and more urgent need for "just in time" delivery than spacecraft. NASA has intelligently begun to solve both challenges by printing objects on the International Space Station (ISS). The greatest benefit is likely the ability to spontaneously create objects that no one could have thought to bring along, making the ingenuity ...
MindBullet logo NEW DIMENSION FOR METAL MINING
3-D printing creates unusual alliances
Dateline: 26 August 2016
Five years ago, it would have seemed an unlikely partnership. But the alliance announced today between BHP Billiton, the world's largest mining group, and printing technology company Hewlett Packard, makes perfect sense. And the reason? 3-D printing has gone mainstream as an industrial production technique, and HP-BHP wants to corner the market. There's hardly an industry within which 3-D ...
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WHAT BILL GATES WANTS FOR CHRISTMAS
Published on: 25 December 2014  
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The new lifestyles of the rich and famous leave luxury brands in the lurch
Dateline: 22 December 2021
The glitzy shopping mall might have been the Mecca of money in the nineties, but no more. The higher level need for amazing experiences is replacing the accumulation of bling and BMWs - for those with deep pockets at least. There's a huge disparity when it comes to what consumers want. Millionaires and billionaires in America and Asia are no longer interested in Louis Vuitton luggage and Jaguar convertibles. Instead, the wealthy are forking out thousands for experiences they deem valuable, ...
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At home on the city farm
Posted: 18 December 2014  
A while ago, seven years to be exact, we published this MindBullet about farms in city skyscrapers. Now it's an actual proposal for a retirement complex in Singapore. Could it work?
HOMEFARM VERTICAL FARMING RETIREMENT HOUSING - SERIOUS WONDER
18 December 2014
HOMEFARM VERTICAL FARMING RETIREMENT HOUSING could be the future of elderly care. Futurist GRAY SCOTT for SERIOUS WONDER.
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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Gasoline, electric or hybrid?
Posted: 15 December 2014  
Electric cars are doing pretty well in some urban markets, with the BMW i3 claiming to have sold 12,000 units in the last year. The market is still very fragmented, and now hydrogen fuel cell cars are making their way onto the scene. Personally I think these are the least likely to get mass adoption, but then, with the oil price dropping, perhaps a return to gasoline-electric hybrids will ...
Fuel Cell Vehicles Aren’t Yet Greener than Hybrids
15 December 2014
Hybrids are a much more cost-effective way to reduce carbon emissions than newly released hydrogen fuel cell cars.
MindBullet logo FUEL CELLS TO THE RESCUE OF PLUG-IN ELECTRIC CARS
There's a resurgence in EVs, thanks to cheap fuel-cell technology and hydrogen
Dateline: 9 August 2016
Once the darling of the US administration, fuel-cell vehicles were the future of clean, green motoring. Fuel cells running on hydrogen produce only water ...
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What is the 'bottom' level for the oil price?
Posted: 14 December 2014  
A few years ago $40 a barrel seemed 'impossible'. But what would happen if the oil price dropped way below that? Take a look at this scenario from more than a decade ago.
Opec willing to push oil price to $40 says Gulf oil minister
14 December 2014
Senior Opec ministers says cartel has no fear of oil prices falling to levels as low as $40 per barrel amid price war with Russia and US shale
MindBullet logo OIL $5 A BARREL!
THE PRICE OF CRUDE OIL PLUMMETS AS THE USA SHUTS THE DOOR
Dateline: 3 February 2009
Global markets reeled today as America announced a total embargo on oil imports from the Middle East. The move effectively smashes the stranglehold of ...
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Oil heading for a wild ride
Posted: 11 December 2014  
When we published this MindBullet not even a month ago, we were pretty sure that oil would drop, but we didn't expect it to be this fast or this far. Perhaps our scenario wasn't crazy enough!

Bank of America forecasts deep structural shifts that will have profound consequences:
"The free market will now set the global cost of oil, leading to a new era of wild price swings and disorderly trading ...
Bank of America sees $50 oil as Opec dies - Telegraph
11 December 2014
The Opec oil cartel no longer exists in any meaningful sense and crude prices will slump to $50 a barrel over the coming months as market forces shake out ...
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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THE NEW COLD WAR INTENSIFIES
Published on: 11 December 2014  
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Business in the firing line as governments spar
Dateline: 2 April 2015
Forget about McDonald's trying to outperform KFC or Coca-Cola aiming to increase sales over Pepsi. Those were the days, my friend! Lately, businesses are primarily competing against governments' geopolitical agendas - and then against each other. Let's refer to the best case in point: Russia. Following the Crimean crisis, the 2014 sanctions against Russia and Donetsk have been ratcheted up, but Russia has decided that the party is not nearly merry enough yet. After banning several G20 nations ...
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PEAK OIL IS HORSE MANURE
Published on: 4 December 2014  
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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 that there wouldn't be enough stabling for all the horses required in the future, to say nothing of all the manure that was piling up in the streets. Then we invented motor cars, and the problem of peak horse manure disappeared. That's a salutary tale to bear in mind when we talk of peak oil. There will be a time when our consumption of oil ...
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OPEC to the rescue
Posted: 24 November 2014  
Could OPEC inadvertently rescue the global economy by pushing energy prices down quicker than market forces? This article tends to suggest that oil could drop well before our MindBullet timeline!
Brent Plunge To $60 If OPEC Fails To Cut
24 November 2014
While OPEC has been mostly irrelevant in the past 5 years as a result of Saudi Arabia's recurring cartel-busting moves,
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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GOLD AT $800, OIL AT $64
Published on: 20 November 2014   3 Comments
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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$1100 per ounce. This despite the ongoing crises in the Middle East and Ukraine. What was happening? Some put it down to weak demand and plentiful supply. Although the global economy had stabilized, there was no great appetite for oil at these prices. The United States was also producing more of its own oil and gas, becoming less dependent on the Gulf for ...
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Toyota's Mirai is not the future of motoring
Posted: 19 November 2014  
Although 'mirai' means 'future' in Japanese, I don't think this car will be a mass market winner, not even in the 2020s. It's just too expensive, at around US$ 60,000 (in Japan) and entirely dependent on the ability to refuel it at hydrogen stations, which makes it a niche product in the extreme. I think a far better concept would be a plug-in electric car like Tesla with a small fuel cell to ...
Toyota Tackles Chicken And Egg With Rollout Plan for Hydrogen-Powered Mirai
19 November 2014
Carmaker will subsidize hydrogen infrastructure to jump-start acceptance of its new fuel cell vehicle
MindBullet logo FUEL CELLS TO THE RESCUE OF PLUG-IN ELECTRIC CARS
There's a resurgence in EVs, thanks to cheap fuel-cell technology and hydrogen
Dateline: 9 August 2016
Once the darling of the US administration, fuel-cell vehicles were the future of clean, green motoring. Fuel cells running on hydrogen produce only water ...
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