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The true cost of different forms of energy
Posted: 30 October 2014  
A really interesting read - what's the true cost of various forms of energy, including alternative? And why is solar so expensive?
Environmental Cost Makes Wind Cheaper Than Coal in Europe | MIT Technology Review
30 October 2014
A new report from the E.U. estimates the true economic cost of different forms of energy production.
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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Nuclear fusion a reality?
Posted: 30 October 2014  
We've written a lot on these pages over the years about the dream of nuclear fusion - clean, fast nuclear energy. Could it actually be happening? The sceptics remain, but it seems unlikely that a company of the stature of Lockheed Martin would make lose claims. The energy market just got more exciting!
Lockheed Martin’s Claims on Fusion Energy Meet with Skepticism | MIT Technology Review
30 October 2014
Lockheed Martin says it will have a small fusion reactor prototype in five years but offers no data.
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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HP gets its 3D groove on
Posted: 29 October 2014  
So we're finally going see the biggest name in printers getting onto the 3D bandwagon. This will be a pivotal point for HP. It will either become a big name in 3D printing or fade into irrelevance like it did with pocket computers and smartphones. It's a big deal, either way, and something that HP doesn't want to mess up.
HP promises a fast, colorful 3D enterprise printer for 2016 that will cost…something
29 October 2014
The long-promised printer will be available to everyone in 2016. In the meantime, partners like Shapeways will be able to test it.
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 ...
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The perfect storm
Posted: 27 October 2014  
Are we headed for inevitable, irreversible global collapse? Although the attached article was published much earlier in the year, in March, it has recently been shared on Facebook as something to consider seriously.

I'm generally of the opinion that prophets of doom are usually wrong, and this study points to the increasing stratification of society into Elites and Masses as the root cause of ...
Nasa-funded study: industrial civilisation headed for 'irreversible collapse'?
27 October 2014
Nafeez Ahmed: Natural and social scientists develop new model of how 'perfect storm' of crises could unravel global system
MindBullet logo 'PERFECT STORM' OF SHORTAGES AVERTED
Predictions of a global lack of food, water and energy prove false
Dateline: 1 September 2029
Once again, Malthusian famine and thirst have been forecast - and failed to materialize. Twenty years ago, Professor John Beddington, the UK government's ...
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Hero farming in the US
Posted: 21 October 2014  
They call it sustainable agriculture, I call it hero farming. There must be a better way to keep everyone fed without resorting to 'factory' food, and it seems it can be profitable too.
Investing in sustainable agriculture by converting farms to 'beyond organic'
21 October 2014
A San-Francisco based fund aims to target conventional farms and make them sustainable while providing high returns to investors. Can it work?
MindBullet logo FARMAGEDDON, FAMINE AND FOOD
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 ...
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Huge focus on energy efficiency
Posted: 15 October 2014   1 Comment
The article alongside, and the two links below, demonstrate just how much research is going into how we can better and more efficiently using energy. There are breakthroughs on the horizon, and the MindBullet we wrote in 2008 could just become a reality in the years ahead.

Lighting sheets better than lightbulbs: ...
Generator Produces 25,000 Watts without Consuming Fuel | MIT Technology Review
15 October 2014
Startup Alphabet Energy has its first product: what it says is the world’s largest thermoelectric generator.
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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Food crops and forests of the future
Posted: 26 September 2014  
Seven years ago we published a MindBullet that suggested the use of fungi to dramatically encourage reforestation. We speculated that this might be achieved through open innovation on Facebook. In an uncannily similar real world event, young girls living in Ireland have won the Google Science Fair with the invention of a method to increase crop yields with beneficial bacteria. Imagine the ...
MindBullet logo VISIT THE SAHARA NOW - WHILE IT'S STILL THERE
Hydroscopic fungus turns deserts into bushland and forests
Dateline: 14 March 2017
The simple application of a fungal cocktail to arid soils in Southern Africa has enabled small shrubs and trees to take root where no plants have grown for ...
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Printing up a new industry
Posted: 23 September 2014  
3D printing is becoming big business. In fact it's building an entirely new industry. There are still many challenges and obstacles to be overcome, but think back on the original personal computer industry, and how that stumbling infant grew to be the giant commodity industry it is today. There are several niche industries being spun out of the development of 3D printing, and new metal ...
How 3D Printing Will Impact Your Future
23 September 2014
Approximately 40 manufacturers sell the 3D-printers most commonly used in businesses, and over 200 startups are developing consumer-oriented machines.
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 ...
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What Millennials really want from your business
Posted: 23 September 2014   1 Comment
We are seeing increasing signs of the old drivers of the economy - mass consumerism - starting to tilt and shift. And some of this opens new opportunities to innovative thinkers. Ignore at your peril in developed economies and be aware of what this may mean in developing economies where we risk thinking they will all want the 'American Dream'.
A Millennial's Version of "The American Dream"
23 September 2014
Gen-Y hasn't bought into the dream of big houses and fancy cars. So how do you sell to their demographic? First things first, forget what you knew.
MindBullet logo FACEBOOK TO CLOSE: GEN Z REJECTS DIGITAL LIFESTYLE
Flower children of the twenties look for analogue bullet
Dateline: 12 January 2021
In what might be considered a typical anti-establishment rebellion of youth, teenagers of the 2020s seem to be disenchanted by their parents' excessive ...
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Solar breakthrough?
Posted: 20 September 2014  
Now we're talking! If solar power really becomes cheaper than other, carbon-derived forms of power, then the game will change. And isn't it interesting that the man driving this is South African-born maverick billionaire Elon Musk. There really are new and different players entering the field.
Perhaps our 2008 MindBullet will become a reality? ...
Elon Musk Promises Solar Power Cheaper Than Fracked Gas
20 September 2014
Elon Musk's SolarCity buys panel maker and promises to slash the cost of solar 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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NEW DIMENSION FOR METAL MINING
Published on: 18 September 2014   2 Comments
MindBullet picture
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 printing is not hard at work, from construction to aerospace. And the demand for the specialized metal ...
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Portable nuclear power
Posted: 17 September 2014  
No this invention is not cold fusion, or even warm fusion. Rather it is a nuclear power cell, described as a water-based battery. Perhaps it should be called a fuel cell, as the radioactive material presumably gets used up. It's also unclear whether this device can be recharged and discharged, or if it's a one-time use. My guess is that it would be fairly expensive to use in place of a ...
First water-based nuclear battery can be used to generate electrical energy
17 September 2014
For the first time using a water-based solution, researchers have created a long-lasting and more efficient nuclear battery that could be used for many ...
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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The end of ownership
Posted: 9 September 2014  
In the networked economy, it's increasingly not necessary own assets, if you have access to the services those assets provide. This is well understood in the consumer market, but also applies in the commercial space.

This article contributes to that thinking and concludes:

"Within the next decade, businesses will need to become much more open and collaborative to survive in an increasingly zero ...
The End of Ownership: The Zero-Marginal-Cost Economy
9 September 2014
Within industries like hospitality and transportation, entrants are succeeding not by optimizing production but by eliminating production cost altogether.
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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Gen Z starts to make an impact
Posted: 3 September 2014   1 Comment
Years ago, we speculated on what Generation Z would think and feel in the post digital world. One of our scenarios was that the next generation after Gen Y would rebel against the automation of everything and become new age 'hippies' who preferred face time with people and handwriting over instant messaging.

Well, guess what, this article suggests that some of those ideas were not so ...
MindBullet logo FACEBOOK TO CLOSE: GEN Z REJECTS DIGITAL LIFESTYLE
Flower children of the twenties look for analogue bullet
Dateline: 12 January 2021
In what might be considered a typical anti-establishment rebellion of youth, teenagers of the 2020s seem to be disenchanted by their parents' excessive pre-occupation with all manner of digital gadgets and lifestyles. Instead of iPods and smart phones, today's emerging adults prefer acoustic guitars and personal conversations. "I don't know what to do with him," says media blogger Lucinda ...
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Big Data insights
Posted: 3 September 2014  
Everyone's talking about Big Data, even if only a few organisation are really using, or even understanding it. So here are some interesting perspectives on how much data we are actually generating, and whether it could, indeed, move "heaven and earth"!
Big Data: Creating the Power to Move Heaven and Earth | MIT Technology Review
3 September 2014
Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »
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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Limits to growth exist in the mind
Posted: 2 September 2014  
"Expect the early stages of global collapse to start appearing soon." I don't think so.

As we wrote in our MindBullet STOP THE WORLD, WE'RE HAVING A MIDLIFE CRISIS, the hypothesis around global collapse usually extrapolates current trends into the future, and forgets to consider that in the future, everything will be different, VERY different.

Having read the accompanying article, I don't ...
Limits to Growth was right. New research shows we're nearing collapse
2 September 2014
Graham Turner and Cathy Alexander: Four decades after the book was published, Limit to Growth’s forecasts have been vindicated by new Australian research. ...
MindBullet logo STOP THE WORLD, WE'RE HAVING A MIDLIFE CRISIS
The West deflates, China stagnates, and the rest of the world watches and worries
Dateline: 1 May 2040
As the 21st Century approaches middle age, prices are falling alarmingly. In real terms, everything from coal to electronics is cheaper than it was four ...
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Are social networks good or bad?
Posted: 1 September 2014  
This is such an interesting and such a controversial debate! Are the social networks socially good - or do they damage our humanity? This study from Italy is certainly powerful. If you feel like an extreme view, David Eggers has authored a powerful novel called "The Circle" which is a gripping read about the logical consequence of pervasive social connections...well worth a read!
We created a ...
Evidence Grows That Online Social Networks Have Insidious Negative Effects | MIT Technology Review
1 September 2014
A study of 50,000 people in Italy concludes that online social networks have a significant negative impact on individual welfare.
MindBullet logo FACEBOOK TO CLOSE: GEN Z REJECTS DIGITAL LIFESTYLE
Flower children of the twenties look for analogue bullet
Dateline: 12 January 2021
In what might be considered a typical anti-establishment rebellion of youth, teenagers of the 2020s seem to be disenchanted by their parents' excessive ...
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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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Robots arise
Posted: 18 August 2014   1 Comment
Some really interesting stats and graphics on the rise of robotics in the manufacturing workspace. And inevitably, human jobs are in decline. Will the militant trade unions ever get the message? As MIT's Professor Eric Brynjolffson has argued, it's not the race against the machine; it's the race with the machine. New skills, new jobs, moving up the value chain and leaving the drudge, ...
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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