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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.

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Published on: 18 September 2014   1 Comment
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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  
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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  
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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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Published on: 31 July 2014  
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Digital darwininsm provides innovation opportunities for the bold and nimble
Dateline: 7 July 2024
"Let's go and get us some Randomness today!" That's the corporate battle cry of the new breed of innovators, business mavericks who are not fazed by the complexity or turbulence of the post digital age. "It's crazy out there; isn't it fantastic?" Life, and business, beyond 2020 is chaotic. Digital technology has disrupted every industry in every part of the globe. From robotic mining in Australia, to 3D-printed houses in China, to artificial intelligence accounting in America, precision agriculture ...
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Published on: 24 July 2014   2 Comments
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Maximum working hours cut to 30 per week
Dateline: 1 July 2016
In a desperate attempt to stem the rising unemployment tide, the EU has imposed a limit of three days per week that people may work, and a maximum of 10 hours per day. "We're not trying to drive business under," said labour commissioner László Andor, "just reduce inequality between working people and the unemployed. Businesses can have a post filled for six days a week, up to 60 hours, they just have to employ two people to do it." Originally proposed by Carlos Slim two years ago, the 3-day work ...
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Published on: 17 July 2014  
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Winner disqualified after evidence of cognitive enhancement revealed
Dateline: 14 March 2029
Tired, but healthy, students and professionals have been buying Ritalin and the brain enhancing drug Modafinil illegally for more than a decade, but this type of doping or cheating is going up a notch. Just ask Jack McCloskey. McCloskey, a 32-year-old male from Manhattan, has been disqualified from winning the Global Medical Science Expo, hosted by the World Health Organization every year. It has been established that he was making use of an implanted memory chip that gave him immediate access to ...
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Published on: 10 July 2014   8 Comments
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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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Published on: 3 July 2014   1 Comment
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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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Published on: 26 June 2014  
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Nervous system delivers virtual drugs to combat arthritis
Dateline: 21 September 2020
Inflammatory afflictions like rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn's disease used to be treated with drugs - painkillers, steroids or genetically engineered proteins - expensive, hard to administer and with sometimes lethal side effects. Yesterday the US Federal Drug Administration approved a new procedure that sees chip-controlled electricity delivered to the vagus nerve to reproduce the drugs' anti-inflammatory reactions. Since late in the 1990s researchers at the Feinstein Institute for Medical ...
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Published on: 19 June 2014   8 Comments
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Barclays Plc to close retail bank in the face of persistent decline and customer flight
Dateline: 11 June 2019
It was just five years ago that Uber upset the applecart in London's taxicab industry. Unable to compete with the smart app and its ride-sharing, car supplying service, the traditional black cabs that were so much a feature of London city life simply faded away. As one enthusiast remarked: "Who needs 'The Knowledge' when you've got Google Maps and great service?" Now other industries have been caught napping by upstarts who broke all the rules. The latest is banking, and dinosaurs like Barclays are ...
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Published on: 12 June 2014   3 Comments
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Whole-body simulation lets the computer prescribe the best treatment
Dateline: 23 June 2023
A UK team has announced it has completed building a fully computer-simulated human physiology for personalised healthcare. The Insigneo Institute at the University of Sheffield managed to engineer a simulation of the human body so true to life, that it can be used to test and optimize medical therapy. The Virtual Physiological Human dubbed "SimPhy" acts as a software defined virtual patient on which doctors and researchers can experiment with impunity. By entering the parameters of your medical ...
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Published on: 5 June 2014  
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Loss of 30 billion hectoliters blamed on biodynamic farmers
Dateline: April 2017
Emmanuel Giboulot remains unrepentant. "I do not see how refusing to use harmful pesticides is a bad thing. I refuse to support the profits of corporations when our health is at risk from these toxins." That was in February 2014, when he was found guilty of refusing to spray pesticides against the spread of leafhopper Scaphoideus titanus, believed to be responsible for the grapevine disease flavescence dorée. Three years later and the French wine industry is devastated. "Production yields ...
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Published on: 29 May 2014   1 Comment
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It's patents versus patients as biotech giants fight to dominate the stem cell industry
Dateline: 16 June 2023
In the world of biotech, genetic engineering and regenerative medicine there's a magic holy grail: stem cells on demand. And like the holy grail, stem cells promise to cure all ills, and grant indefinite life to the worthy, and wealthy. The best stem cells to enhance your health are your own, taken at the embryonic stage, or grown by transforming your adult cells with genetic programming. Stem cells can be programmed to clone a variety of tissues and organs, providing replacement parts for your ...
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Published on: 22 May 2014   2 Comments
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Modular devices open horizons to a new 'mofone' world
Dateline: 27 April 2017
How 'phones' have changed! Even the smart handsets of a few years ago look like toys by today's standards. Our mobile communicators are now completely modular, which enables us to customize them and turn them into an endless array of useful, interesting and often just plain bizarre mega-devices. Some people are jokingly calling it the "Legofone", or the "mofone" and that's exactly the idea. It's a basic smartphone 'skeleton' onto which you can simply clip hundreds of devices. Want a 3D scanner on ...
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Published on: 15 May 2014  
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Redundant workers cashing in on robot jobs
Dateline: 3 February 2024
Up until now, we have managed to survive recessions and every economic slump, but experts believe we are finally reaching a plateau, as the majority of jobs are being automated away. Income inequality is reaching levels never seen before. The world is increasingly run and ruled by tech-heavy companies who employ only a handful of people. The ten biggest multinationals of the '90s employed 12 times more people than the ten biggest corporations today. The business behemoths of the current age rely ...
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Published on: 8 May 2014  
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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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