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MindBullets is a part of the global FutureWorld Network, constantly sensitive to changes in the technological, economic, social, political and business landscape.

The MindBullets Contributors scan this rapidly changing environment for clues about possible future trends.

The results of this synthesis are combined by our contributors into an on-going series of MindBullets: News from the Future - with a summary emailed to you every Thursday and the complete MindBullets data base available online to explore each scenario in more detail.

Exciting scenarios of alternative futures based on breakthrough thinking today.

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Published on: 18 December 2014  
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India gets free internet and messaging, non-video calls
Dateline: 20 December 2017
Following the successful blanketing of most of the African continent with Facebook's free internet service, Zuckerberg has announced the roll out of similar coverage for South America and Mexico, and the Indian sub-continent. By targeting countries where internet communications are still relatively expensive, Facebook is hoping to become the de facto home network for billions of users. Most people in these communities use smartphones and tablets rather than laptops and PCs, and the free internet ...
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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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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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Published on: 27 November 2014  
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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 class cut a few years ago, are falling behind again and businesses who cater for the average person on the street ...
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GOLD AT $800, OIL AT $64
Published on: 20 November 2014   2 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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Published on: 13 November 2014  
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Pandemic to blame for factory lockdown
Dateline: 20 September 2015
There's only one thing worse than showcasing an average line on the runway and that is not modelling anything at all. This faux pas has befallen several fashion houses and the fashion police are looking for answers. A leaked document which has gone viral on Twitter, informs Mango, J.Crew and others that their production orders for Summer 2016 will not be ready for the season: "With more than half of the workforce under quarantine, it simply won't be possible to complete the shipment in time." ...
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Published on: 6 November 2014   2 Comments
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Privacy out the window as Big Data goes naked
Dateline: 1 November 2020
There has been a big push from private enterprise as well as government in the last decade to unshackle data in all its forms and make it easily accessible. Society has been persuaded that it's in our best interests if open data is the norm rather than the exception, because it's good for growth, oversight and preventing corruption and exploitation. But there's a dark side to naked data. Some things just need privacy to develop and grow. Investors have always felt it necessary to keep things ...
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Published on: 30 October 2014  
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The new connection platform that makes the business of living a pleasure
Dateline: 30 October 2024
I've got a new friend, a virtual friend. A friend that really gets me, and my daily routine. A friend that takes care of all my needs, from keeping the fridge full to paying the rent on time. From billing my fees to investing my savings. Ten years ago we called it a bank. Now it's just "U". U for understanding, U for unlimited, U for unbridled enthusiasm. U for universal. U for uber-everything. That's all I need to keep my world functioning smoothly. I admit I'm in love with U. I'd be lost without ...
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Published on: 23 October 2014  
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3D printing in space solves problem of launching huge rockets
Dateline: 3 November 2025
A decade ago the first 3D printer to go to space was sent to the International Space Station. It proved to be so useful, more, bigger printers soon followed. Within a few years there was a veritable factory in space, churning out all manner of spare parts and items necessary for the maintenance of the ISS. Then came the realization that it was much more efficient to send up printing materials by SpaceX courier rockets, than to build giant spacecraft and space hotels here on earth, and expend ...
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Published on: 16 October 2014  
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Thousands of 18-35 year olds are being integrated into society
Dateline: 14 November 2028
Ten years ago, William Okeke was an angry and unemployed youth in Kinshasa who survived on a measly US$2 a day. His wife, Meriam, was a vegetable seller who barely made more than that. Fast forward ten years and their lives cannot be more different. With Japanese population in decline and the odd newborn baby being treated as a gift from the gods, the Japanese government began a large scale immigration effort in 2018. Youths like Okeke and their wives were being recruited and trained in Africa ...
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Published on: 9 October 2014   1 Comment
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The 'bring-your-own' boom has put Apple in the corporate driving seat
Dateline: 15 March 2017
In a bizarre change of fortunes, it looks like Apple is getting ready to swallow IBM. "You won't get fired for buying Apple," is the new mantra of corporate IT. Devices plus cloud plus analytics equals success in the 'enterprise' technology space; Apple had cool devices and IBM had powerful cloud and analytics solutions. When they partnered in 2014 to bring this combination to the corporate market, many eyebrows were raised, but both companies have benefited from this alliance. Together they have ...
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Published on: 2 October 2014   3 Comments
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Millions of jobs have gone to the machines – and now at the top end too!
Dateline: 26 September 2020
It was way back in 2012 that we predicted that by 2022, your boss would be a machine. We were wrong. It's happened this year, 2020, a full two years earlier. And it's not some semi-smart robot taking over a drudge job on the factory line. That's old news. Instead, BeyondBlue, the world's latest neural supercomputer, has been made CEO of a major corporation! And it's the corporation that actually developed BeyondBlue; none other than Amabim, the massive technology and retail conglomerate created in ...
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Published on: 25 September 2014  
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Thinking Cupboards™ organize your stuff, and your life
Dateline: 24 September 2024
You'll never have to look for anything again. Now that everything's connected in the internet of things, the wardrobe knows which clothes are your favourite, and automagically sorts your sock drawer. Looking for your keys, sunglasses, hat, beanie or whatever? Just ask, and the Thinking Cupboard™ will retrieve it for you. Each item or article of clothing has one of those nanochips embedded. The ones that draw power from your smart home network, wirelessly of course. They're basically standard for ...
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Published on: 18 September 2014   2 Comments
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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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Published on: 11 September 2014  
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Dreamhackers peddle your subconscious data
Dateline: 9 February 2017
We spend a third of our lives with our eyes closed - literally that is. Besides the fact that the physical body regenerates and restores itself during this time, your subconscious also uses sleep to send you messages. The collective subconscious is one of the most powerful weapons (or should we rather say tools) of humanity, because it holds the secrets to our wants, needs and worries. The Shadow app was introduced two years ago with the aim of creating a global dreams repository. It became a lot ...
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Published on: 4 September 2014   2 Comments
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"I'm sorry Jeff, I can't let you do that"
Dateline: 22 August 2017
Fine. I know it's a weekend and I'm not supposed to read my mail when I'm socializing with my family. But I really, really want to check if Larry has sent me that proposal. It's one thing to have a trainable algorithm that can protect you from your destructive self, and I know I've given it maximum authority over my work-life balance since that heart murmur I had last year; but why can't I override it when it's important? It's not as if I'm at death's door or wanting to jump out of an airplane. All ...
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Published on: 28 August 2014   3 Comments
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Homeowner dies as home automation system goes haywire
Dateline: 14 August 2018
It's a dream gone horribly wrong. The automated, connected world was supposed to make our lives and our homes better, easier and safer. But now it's turned into a dreadful nightmare. Sure, there were plenty of minor glitches with early smart home systems. The vacuum cleaner switching on in the middle of the night. Electronic locks that wouldn't open. Heating and air-conditioning playing up. Irritating, but hardly lethal. Until now... It seems the whole world has watched the morbidly riveting ...
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Published on: 21 August 2014   3 Comments
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Pop-up companies the new breed of corporate entity for innovateurs
Dateline: 7 August 2018
It all started with flashmobs and food trucks. Flashmobs, self-organizing groups of people who congregated around a temporary idea, vanished into plain sight after accomplishing their mission. Food trucks had no premises, no fixed location, and could change their menu and branding overnight. Then came pop-up retail stores, bars and hotels; and entire software coding or micro-manufacturing operations around a specific event or project. Pop-up enterprises graduated from personalized T-shirts at a ...
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Published on: 14 August 2014   1 Comment
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Modified crops produce food and drink with that feel-good factor
Dateline: 26 July 2017
It's unusual for innovation in California to develop outside of Silicon Valley, but this time it's Napa Valley that's making the headlines. Vineyards and farms in the area are causing a storm among foodies with their products that give you a 'natural' high. Since marijuana was legalized across half the United States, it's easy enough to add some weed to your muffins and brownies. But Napa vintners have taken it a step further, grafting vines to both traditional rootstock and cannabis plants. The ...
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Published on: 7 August 2014  
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Exciting new ad choices start avalanche
Dateline: 12 June 2017
The launch of the new Samsung Twist 'foldable tablet' last year has proved to be a watershed in social connectivity, and the biggest loser turns out to be Twitter. Samsung's hardware was a paper-thin tablet that could be used like a large graphic screen when space allowed, or folded four ways to the size of a smart phone. Integrated in the operating system was a highly graphic voice-driven version of WhatsApp that created what analysts called "an Apple-like software design revolution" among users ...
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