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. A powerful tool to help you learn from the future - a new MindBullet every week!

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INTERNET OF ORGANIC THINGS

Published on: 12 October 2017

Plants that tweet and pets that ping

Dateline: 13 October 2023

Does your prize rose bush send you an email when it needs specific nutrients, or tweet incessantly when it's thirsty? Does your Labrador retriever ping you on your smartphone, when he's restless and wants a walk? Only if you've got smart soil sensors, for the rose, and a smart dog-collar for the Lab. But all these things we've connected to the 'net, they all need power - battery power, and even enhanced with tiny solar cells, like all electronics, they eventually wear out and have to be replaced, or ...

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FIRST TRILLION DOLLAR CORP

Published on: 5 October 2017 1 Comment

The first company to reach a value of US$1 trillion is...

Dateline: 3 March 2025

Chinese. No, wait, American. Actually, it's a global company, with tech from the United States, and manufacturing in several countries, but mainly China. You would be forgiven for surmising that Apple Inc would be the first company to cross the US$ 1 trillion threshold. A couple of years ago, Apple came close, with a market capitalization of US$ 947 billion, but has subsequently seen its star losing lustre. A more recent entry into the Top Five, Facebook Inc has been battling it out with Microsoft ...

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THE INTEL(LIGENT) CHIP ARRIVES

Published on: 28 September 2017 1 Comment

Intel's new brain-like chip puts machine learning in the heart of your device

Dateline: 29 September 2018

AI is dead. Long live accelerated AI. Now deep learning by computers has been internalised in the CPU, the very heart of the machine. It's called self-learning. Cognitive computing required deep neural networks that had to be trained on extensive datasets, but Intel's neuromorphic chip combines training and inference for on-chip learning on the fly. That sounds like a mouthful, and it is. Simply put, AI systems required supercomputers and advanced software to learn how to deal with different ...

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CARIBBEAN DEPOPULATED AS FINAL HOLDOUTS LEAVE CUBA

Published on: 21 September 2017

Millions relocated to Latin America as superstorms wreak havoc

Dateline: 23 September 2023

Celia Estefan broke down and wept as she stepped onto the runway in Sucre, Bolivia. She is the last person evacuated from Cuba and marks the end of an appalling and heroic six-year migration of 44 million people from the Caribbean to new lives all across Latin America. "It is just in time," says Miriam Gomez of Mexico's National Hurricane Centre. "We've just upgraded Hurricane Franklin to Category 5, and we have Gert, Harvey and Irma right behind him. There is no way anyone will be able to live on ...

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ELECTRIC CAR GLUT THREATENS WORLD TRADE

Published on: 14 September 2017

China accused of dumping as prices plummet

Dateline: 5 March 2029

China's success as the biggest producer of cars - mainly electric cars - the world has ever seen, has led to a problem of massive over capacity. There are not enough adults in the world, with driving skills, to drive all the cars produced every year. Admittedly many of the latest vehicles are self-driving, but at the budget end of the scale, devoid of radar and software, basic cars are just dumb machines, even if they run on batteries rather than gasoline. The shift to autonomous cars has also ...

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IT'S AN INSIDE JOB

Published on: 7 September 2017

Black-market organ transplants performed by microbot

Dateline: 6 September 2027

The WHO (World Health Organization) predicts an increase in illegal surgeries and black-market organ transplants because of the increasing capability of medical microbots. They are designed for patients to swallow, as if it were a pill made out of digestible enzymes. Fitted with tiny microblades or needles, they quickly move to clean blocked arteries, detect disease and treat cancer. Microbots are also useful for delivering medication to specific parts of the body and addressing hormone or metabolic ...

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THE BLIND CAN SEE AND THE DEAF CAN HEAR

Published on: 31 August 2017 1 Comment

New technologies open up the world for previously disabled

Dateline: 30 July 2020

Millions of people around the globe suffer from deafness and blindness - but that will soon end; and when it comes to helping the deaf, we have to thank Siri, Apple's digital assistant! Early experiments showed that transplanting stem cells into the eyes of rats with damaged retinas cured blindness. Now scientists are using the same technology to repair diseases which commonly cause deteriorating sight in humans, namely glaucoma, retinal detachment and macular degeneration. In fact, thanks to ...

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WAIT A SEC, I'VE ONLY GOT THREE HANDS

Published on: 24 August 2017 2 Comments

Third arms are a blessing and a curse

Dateline: 1 September 2023

Since scientists and doctors collaborated almost a decade ago to fit amputees with robotic arms controlled by their brains, bionic limbs have come a long way. Now it's possible to strap on a wearable robotic appendage, even if both your arms are fully functional. Connected wirelessly to your brain by a 'thinking cap', you can move your third arm and manipulate your extra limb, just by thought alone. With practice, you become quite dexterous. What's really interesting is that you can operate all ...

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RUNAWAY TOURISM THREATENS EUROPE

Published on: 17 August 2017 1 Comment

Local activists stirring up resistance to the invasion

Dateline: 11 August 2019

"It's worse than migration," says an Arran spokesperson, "they are destroying our neighbourhoods and culture!" Arran is the radical anti-tourist movement in Spain. In Barcelona, Rome and Venice, protest marches have turned violent, and travel advisories have been issued by British and American authorities. Tensions between hordes of foreign tourists and nationalist locals have been escalating for the past two years, and are now boiling over. Share bikes and Uber cars have had their tyres slashed, ...

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WE'RE ALL CRIMINALS NOW!

Published on: 10 August 2017 1 Comment

The internet of everything exposes all our faults

Dateline: 9 August 2020

There's an old adage of mobsters everywhere: "You're only guilty if you get caught!" Now it seems that everyone is guilty. Who can say they've never, ever committed a crime? Perhaps you cheated on a tax expense, or told a little white lie that made you look good; maybe you embellished your resume - just a bit - or left out a part of your history when you told all to your spouse-to-be. Probably most of us have exceeded the speed limit on occasion, or perhaps smoked or drank something we legally ...

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BEAM ME UP A VIRUS, SCOTTY

Published on: 3 August 2017

Sending life to Mars in minutes

Dateline: 5 August 2024

I know we were promised the first humans on Mars by now, but it turns out, making the seven-month journey is pretty rough on people, and we're not ready to risk it yet. Our robots and rovers have been busy on Mars, building landing zones and habitats, and preparing the soil for the first plants. Now we're ready to send a small organism to be cultivated on Mars, to see if it will survive. Sending a mothership all that way, just for a microbe, would be a costly waste, if the experiment fails. But ...

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HEATHROW BANS ALL HUMAN PILOTS

Published on: 27 July 2017

Peak airspace capacity relies on fully autonomous aircraft for holiday season

Dateline: 26 July 2027

As we approach the UK summer holidays and air traffic rises to its seasonal peak over South East England, aviation authorities have announced that only autopiloted flights will be allowed at airports servicing London and surrounds. "Automated take-off and landing is just so much more efficient," says Juliet Kennedy, Ops chief for NATS. "Humans can't deal with the pressure of 14-second gaps between planes!" Without this blanket ban on human-piloted craft and reliance on digital systems, the area ...

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THE CARBON BUBBLE BURSTS

Published on: 20 July 2017 3 Comments

Stocks crash as executive orders bite

Dateline: 5 February 2021

US President Bernie Sanders has signed a series of Executive Orders designed as emergency measures to combat climate change. The net effect is to make fossil fuels way too costly to produce and consume, forcing emissions lower and a massive swing to nuclear and renewable power. On top of that, the plummeting cost of solar has convinced many consumers, even those skeptical about global warming, to switch to a system of distributed power generation and consumption. These micro-grids and rooftop panels ...

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LIKE UBER FOR SPACE

Published on: 13 July 2017 3 Comments

Now anyone can put a sputnik into orbit

Dateline: 5 October 2020

Rocket Lab has gone fully commercial, offering launches for small satellites at a tenth of the cost of SpaceX. The 3D printed rockets are less than three stories tall, but they still make it to orbit, in just a few minutes. It's like Uber for space launches. You book your slot on the app, and get a real-time quote on your phone, which varies with the size and weight of your satellite. Most popular are cubesats, only slightly larger than a smartphone, and controlled by users on the ground. The ...

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MAKING SCIENCE FICTION A DAILY REALITY

Published on: 6 July 2017

The 'Youth-Tech' factor is reinventing our world!

Dateline: 30 July 2019

FutureWorld started talking about the impact of the 'Youth-Tech' factor many years ago - that fearless, entrepreneurial and smart young people, empowered by easy access to radical technologies, were working to reinvent the world. In so many ways, the science fiction of our past is becoming a daily reality. Just a few weeks ago the first 'Willy Wonka' elevators were installed in a Dubai high-rise (much of which, incidentally, was 3D printed). Remember the movie based on the Roald Dahl story 'Charlie ...

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NERDS TRIUMPH OVER COWS

Published on: 29 June 2017

Clean meat comes to market

Dateline: 28 June 2019

It's common cause that the meat industry is not very kind to animals, and intensive cattle farming is not very good for the environment in general. What's more, more than enough food is grown globally to adequately feed the world's growing population, but a large part of crop production goes to feeding cows, so that affluent people can enjoy nice juicy steaks. All this while the poor go hungry and survive on foreign aid in times of drought. In the interests of social justice and animal humanity, ...

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SOLAR PAINT MAKES ITS DEBUT

Published on: 22 June 2017 1 Comment

Just paint that wall for instant solar fuel

Dateline: 23 June 2022

It's taken five years to come to fruition, but the magic of solar paint is finally something every building owner can benefit from. Why pay for costly 3D printed solar panels and film, when you can just slap it on like paint - literally. Discovered back in 2017, solar paint is a special mixture of synthetic molecules and titanium oxide, which has been used in paint for decades. It turns out the oxide helps the paint absorb the sun's energy, while the molybdenum molecules act as a catalyst, splitting ...

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FAREWELL BANKS, HELLO BANKING

Published on: 15 June 2017

New players dominate financial services

Dateline: 26 August 2022

It was Microsoft founder Bill Gates who famously said in 1994 that we need banking, but we don't need banks. It's taken nearly 30 years, but he was dead right. Worldwide, financial services have moved out of the hands of traditional banks and into an array of mobile, FinTech and data companies. Some forward-thinking banks grasped the new world of collaboration and entered into early partnerships and have survived, albeit in a different form. Others have failed or, at best, become simply the ...

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MOVING GRIDLOCK UNDERGROUND

Published on: 8 June 2017 1 Comment

Tesla Tunnels aren't boring, they're totally congested

Dateline: 7 June 2027

Since Elon Musk's Boring Company provided automated underground highways to move traffic underground, it's been wonderful to walk the streets again. The high street has become more like a pedestrian mall, and the occasional, electric, car that passes is quiet and discreet. Electric cars quickly get swallowed up by the new Tesla Tunnels, or TT, that permeate the city links; the airport and all major hubs and parking garages are connected by automated elevators, that whisk the car, and its passengers ...

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ELECTRIC CARS CAN'T STEER THE CLIMATE

Published on: 1 June 2017 1 Comment

But they're driving the Energy Internet and saving the city

Dateline: 2 June 2030

It's official. It's now cheaper, on average, to buy a new electric car than one that burns gasoline, without subsidies. But it's not having any effect on climate change. It seems the global climate runs on its own largely unexplained clock, and nothing we do affects it much. Electric cars have become the vehicle of choice for two reasons; cheaper, more efficient batteries, and charging convenience. Now that the vast majority of electric power comes from renewable sources, it makes sense to put the ...

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