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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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SKY WARS: HACKING THE CLIMATE
Published on: 23 June 2016  
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'Weapons' and casualties have just increased by an order of magnitude
Dateline: 1 March 2027
It was supposed to be the last ditch, 'in-case-of-emergency-break-glass' solution to climate change. Unfortunately, geoengineering - or climate hacking as it is also called - has now become the latest weapon in the arsenal of petty and desperate governments who want their way. Weather patterns have been going haywire. In Kenya it's been raining for three weeks straight; in Mumbai the average high temperature has increased from 33°C to 45°C; and in Texas the number of tornadoes for the first ...
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MOBILITY AS A SERVICE
Published on: 16 June 2016   1 Comment
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Private cars banned in New York and London
Dateline: 17 August 2019
Four years ago, it was proposed that gasoline and diesel vehicles be banned from certain cities and states; but the new trend towards mobility as a service has caused a major re-think. It's not enough to insist on electric vehicles; privately owned cars are just so wasteful. Now it's becoming illegal to own your own car. It takes up too much of the city's resources, parking and charging; and the wasted asset, standing idle while you are not travelling - where's the sense in that? Fleet vehicles can ...
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A LAPTOP THAT FITS IN YOUR HAND
Published on: 9 June 2016  
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New meta-lens makes your phone screen the size of a laptop
Dateline: 7 June 2020
We'd all love to have a phone with a screen as big and clear as a laptop - but it must still fit in your pocket. There have been many attempts at roll-up, fold-up screens, and they've all been dismal disappointments. Now there's an entirely new approach that seems to break the rules of optical physics. Samsung's Galaxy 14 has a 4-inch screen; but when you turn it on, a 12-inch image of the screen appears above your hand; and it's crisp and square. This magic is performed by a new nanotech device ...
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ATTACK OF THE DRONES
Published on: 2 June 2016  
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The drone apocalypse starts out of someone's garage
Dateline: 8 June 2021
You might be forgiven for thinking that they were filming a new episode of that old movie series, Star Wars. But the drone attack in Los Angeles yesterday wasn't staged by movie moguls. It was a local attempt at urban terror. Police and FBI are still investigating, but it appears to have been the work of a lone wolf, possibly an ordinary embittered citizen who has gone 'dronal'. The attack was launched with 76 home-printed quadcopter drones fitted with improvised explosive and chemical weapons. ...
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MEET JOHN DOE 1.0
Published on: 26 May 2016  
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First fully-synthetic human genome completed
Dateline: 29 May 2026
It's taken a decade since the idea was first conceived, but a fully-specced, digitally defined genome of a human being without parents has been created. Not surprisingly, this human DNA blueprint has been christened John Doe 1.0 and lives in a supercomputer. It may be some time yet, before the genome is inserted into a cell and brought to life. You can however, see what John will look like, at various ages. The artificially intelligent system can render a perfectly clear 3D image of John, based on ...
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AIRLINES SLUMP AS TRAVELERS CHOOSE THE EASY ROUTE
Published on: 19 May 2016  
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Taking the hyperloop or a fast bus is so much quicker
Dateline: 3 June 2018
There's a simple problem with air travel these days, which has proved impossible to solve. The more people that fly, the longer it takes; not just the flight, the queues through security, complex boarding procedures; the inevitable delay before push back; and then queuing for a take-off slot! It's becoming increasingly quicker to take an Uber, if it's not too far, or a train or FastBus. California will have soon have the Hyperloop, with pods that dash through a vacuum tube at aircraft speeds. At ...
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FUSION'S FATAL FAILURE
Published on: 12 May 2016   2 Comments
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Power from nuclear fusion is forever beyond our grasp
Dateline: 12 May 2026
The greatest nuclear fusion experiment, ITER, has been mothballed barely a year after being switched on. "It's unlikely we'll ever achieve ignition," said the project's acting chief scientist, "and without substantial budget increases, it's not worth doing anything else." The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) project was begun in 2006, but took almost 20 years to reach completion, to the point where it could be activated. After decades of delays and cost overruns, there was ...
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SPAM BOTS FOR HATE SPEECH
Published on: 5 May 2016  
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Bigots and racists hide behind chatbots using online artificial intelligence
Dateline: 6 June 2018
The backlash to effectively censoring social media by outing bigots and haters has pushed them underground. Now tech-savvy racists and trolls have turned to anonymous chatbots and 'intelligent' software systems to spew their invective into the public domain. Ironically, they were handed the idea by Microsoft's own experiment with a naïve AI bot on Twitter called Tay, who was designed to learn from conversations with others. Very soon, it had been trained by cynical nerds to "love Hitler" and drop ...
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VINYL CARS MAKE A COMEBACK
Published on: 28 April 2016   1 Comment
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Like vinyl records of old, retro automobiles are suddenly back in fashion
Dateline: 28 April 2029
It's been a while since manually driven, gasoline automobiles gave way to electric vehicles with autopilot. Just as horses and buggies gave way to motor cars, the transition wasn't easy, but it was inevitable. And, just as owning a horse became a costly luxury, an expensive hobby for those who truly enjoyed riding, so owning a car, one that you have to fill up with fuel, and drive yourself, has become an anachronistic occupation for those with time and money to spare. In Europe and the Americas, ...
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WHO IS WATCHING THE WATCHER WATCHERS?
Published on: 21 April 2016   1 Comment
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Mass surveillance has come full circle
Dateline: 19 April 2019
We're all connected, and most of our smart devices have cameras and sensors which can detect and analyze peoples' behaviour. What's more, our smart systems can aggregate and dissect everything happening online; mobile, financial, social - you name it. Nothing escapes the attention of the internet of things. In the age of transparency, artificial intelligence (AI) is being used to police the police. To avoid human failures and criminal sabotage of surveillance for society's benefit, we need impartial ...
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GOOGLE INVADES CUBA
Published on: 14 April 2016  
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People rejoice as Castro's firewall goes up in smoke
Dateline: 26 May 2019
Google Networks has launched its balloon and drone infrastructure over Cuba, bringing wireless internet to everyone in the country, for free. It's great for Cubans, who have endured decades of poor connectivity and strong censorship, but it's even greater for Google, who now has millions of new users for its advertising and products. It's liberating. "Cubans have been cut off from the benefits of being online for far too long," said Larry Page. "It's about time they had the opportunity to freely ...
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UBER HAS BEEN UBERED
Published on: 7 April 2016   3 Comments
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And Airbnb, iTunes and Netflix are next
Dateline: 5 April 2018
Uber has been taken out by an unexpected competitor - the crowd. It's ironic really, because Uber was the first company to leverage assets it didn't own and didn't control, yet created an eco-system that provided a platform for viral growth; a truly exponential organization. Now it's been ubered by a crowd-sourced, crowd-funded and crowd-managed system for ride-sharing and joint car ownership. Called Arcade City, it's an Uber-like app-based platform for riders and drivers - but it's owned by the ...
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CHINA TURNS ON FIRST PRE-CRIME DETECTION SYSTEM
Published on: 31 March 2016  
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Using online behaviour and social activity, government looks to catch terrorists and criminals in advance
Dateline: 1 April 2019
Reports from the Dark Web are filtering through: China has activated its 'predictive policing' platform known as the Peoples' Public Security Evaluation or PPSE. Integrating a complex network of surveillance apparatus that has been in use for some time, China has added artificial intelligence based algorithms and sophisticated machine learning programs to trigger advance warning of criminal activity and social unrest. This allows authorities to profile individual citizens not only on their online ...
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THE REAL JURASSIC PARK OPENS
Published on: 24 March 2016   1 Comment
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Genetic modification and bio-printing recreate the dinosaurs
Dateline: 9 June 2030
Exactly 37 years to the day since the movie Jurassic Park was released, the world's first real dinosaur park, with living, breathing dinosaurs, has opened in South America. After it emerged that trying to extract and reactivate dinosaur DNA from fossils was a dead end, scientists turned to genetically modifying birds, which we now know descended from various dinosaur species. Plenty of Virtual Reality experiences to enable mankind to 'meet' dinosaurs emerged over the last decade, but this is the ...
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PRESIDENT TRUMP WINS BALLOT SCRAPPING TERM LIMITS
Published on: 17 March 2016  
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Poll garners 95% turnout and universal support
Dateline: 14 October 2023
The counts are in and President Trump has an overwhelming vote of confidence in his continued leadership. With 95% of Americans voting for the motion, he will compete in his third presidential election in 2024. Mustapha Junar [ID21394230]*, representative of Citizens for Democracy, claims widespread ballot fraud, but President Trump scoffed at there being any impropriety under his reign. "Americans have never been happier, even if our economy is still shedding jobs. The results demonstrate that ...
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SOLAR POWER GOES VIRAL
Published on: 10 March 2016   4 Comments
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Rooftop, backyard and portable solar is the new meme
Dateline: 15 March 2022
The biggest energy revolution in 150 years has arrived gradually, then suddenly. Now it's here. Personal solar power has displaced central utilities completely for individuals, homes and small businesses. What's more, large businesses and corporate campuses are also contributing to the energy internet, sharing their excess power in slack times, and buying back from the smart grid when they need to. Utility-scale generation has shrunk to essential services only, heavily subsidized by the ...
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BANKCHAIN FUELS THE VALUEWEB
Published on: 3 March 2016   1 Comment
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The new digital network of business has a universal currency at last
Dateline: 9 March 2024
They've been around for hundreds of years, and they weren't just going to give up the ghost and disappear. Yes, I'm talking about the banks. A decade ago, 'bank' was a four-letter word in more ways than one, and everyone was predicting their demise in the face of the FinTech revolution. Finance was being overtaken by technology, and pundits asked: "When will the banks be Ubered?" But the banks fought back, usurping Bitcoin and the blockchain with a better, more scalable and widely acceptable ...
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CATALYZER CAPTURES CARBON
Published on: 25 February 2016   1 Comment
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New process integrates solar power into the hydrocarbon economy
Dateline: 26 February 2026
A new process for capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and turning it into usable liquid fuel has been commercialized and scaled up. Originally invented ten years ago, the process uses a unique catalyst to bond hydrogen in water with CO2 in the air to form methanol, a useful liquid chemical that can be burned in combustion engines or used to manufacture more complex chemical compounds. The key to making this a viable industry is the low cost of solar power, which is sufficient energy input ...
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DNA SAVES THE WELFARE STATE
Published on: 18 February 2016   1 Comment
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You can thank grandpa for those wonderful genes of yours
Dateline: 3 March 2019
Globalization and mostly-free movement of people has been all well and good so far, but when some localities are being inundated by masses looking for the Italian Dream or the life of plenty in Portugal, it's only a matter of time before a tipping point is reached. After the migrant influx of the 20/teens, EU bureaucrats are having a tough time; too many people, too few resources. Now, several governments have started to add a genetic component to their immigration programs in order to cope with ...
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MADMEN REPLACED BY ADBOTS AND ROBO-WRITERS
Published on: 11 February 2016  
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Saatchi & Saatchi hire creative robots, not people
Dateline: 12 February 2020
I remember clearly when artificial intelligence expert Vivienne Ming told us: "No job or industry is safe from robotics and AI." That was five years ago. As a freelance copywriter, I was smug in my assumption that her assertion didn't apply to us, to creative skills. We were the exception to the rule; machines, no matter how smart, can't be truly creative, can they? Software bots and AI systems quickly evolved to handle ordinary, routine work like news and sports reports. Machine learning and deep ...
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