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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.

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

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AI IS YOUR PERSONAL LIFE COACH
Published on: 18 August 2016  
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It guides you based on a real-time situational analysis of what's happening
Dateline: 14 July 2022
Google Glass was not massively successful when initially launched. The benefits were marginal at best and people preferred to rely on their phones, rather than don geeky eyewear. We had Siri and Google Now, that spoke to us. But these were only 'basic' artificial intelligence agents. Six years ago saw the launch of Nigel, touted as the first truly "Artificial General Intelligence" or AGI. A cloud-based algorithm that was more than smart; Nigel could learn from your actions and transactions, build ...
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THE FUTURE SURE AIN'T WHAT IT USED TO BE
Published on: 11 August 2016  
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The future will always surprise us
Dateline: 11 August 2026
Back in the 1950s, seventy years ago, people made all sorts of predictions about what the future would be like. We'd have flying cars and robot maids, it was all so exciting. Well, it hasn't turned out quite like that. That's the point; the future is always different to what we expect. Sometimes things don't materialize, like fusion power and flying saucers. Other times they exceed our wildest Star Trek dreams, like smartphones and teslas. Take the Apple iPhone as a case in point. As leading edge ...
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DEADLY DISAPPEARING DRONES
Published on: 4 August 2016   1 Comment
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The technology is neutral, the applications not
Dateline: 12 December 2023
It's a dream come true for gadget geeks and Bond-aficionados alike: tech toys that self-destruct and leave no trace. That's not always a good thing. Initial research conducted by the US military lead to the development of VAPR (Vanishing Programmable Resources) systems. Labelled "Snapchat for hardware," VAPR aimed to develop an electronic system that could literally disappear into thin air when triggered. This made 'object evaporation' possible - systems would not be of any value beyond enemy ...
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BLOCKCHAIN TRADING DISRUPTS CURRENCY EXCHANGES
Published on: 28 July 2016  
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Say goodbye to forex spreads and broker commission
Dateline: 27 July 2019
The new Blockchain Equitable Spread Trading system or BEST has banks and brokers in a tizzy. They've effectively been disintermediated, which is probably what they deserve, for years of fleecing consumers and investors. Most of us, at one time or another, have had that uncomfortable feeling of chagrin, when faced with a bank or forex dealer's spread of prices. "We buy US dollars at 0.89 euro and sell them at 0.98," might be the typical offering. That's a massive spread profit for simply performing ...
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LONDON POPULATION FALLS AS SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE LOOMS
Published on: 21 July 2016  
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Investment boom in Edinburgh triggers housing shortage
Dateline: 25 June 2020
London, a city which at its peak had almost 8.5 million residents, feels like everyone has gone away for the summer. You can always get a table, even at the trendiest restaurants, and the Tube is only half full. Over the past three years, as major employers have moved their corporate headquarters, or restructured to keep their European markets, hundreds of thousands have left. Following the loss of the UK's banking passport, Frankfurt and Dublin have emerged as new centres of finance, gaining the ...
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DASHY FACTORY TO BE MOVED AND RESTACKED LIKE LEGO
Published on: 14 July 2016  
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New construction models will enable reassembly in 21 days
Dateline: 27 June 2021
After a massive flood, caused by a higher-than-expected rise in sea-level for this year, the Bangladeshi textile industry has been mired in chaos. The behemoth factory of Indami textiles is a mess of drenched material and soiled garments. Critical machinery has also been rendered totally useless. They have cancelled all orders and are only expected to be back in production six months from now. Fortunately, not everyone remained unprepared. The owner of the small, but always nimble Dashy factory ...
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SHOOTING STARS ON DEMAND
Published on: 7 July 2016   1 Comment
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Lighting up the sky with a meteor shower is the latest special effect for big-ticket events
Dateline: 4 July 2018
Forget fireworks; they're so last century! This year's Independence Day celebrations included a multicolor shower of shooting stars - in glorious red, white and blue; and gold. Commissioned by POTUS, but launched from a private micro-satellite, the meteor shower filled the skies above Washington DC, where Independence Day parades and celebrations went on long into the night. "Traditional fireworks are noisy and dangerous; they scare pets and create fire hazards," said Katy Chang of SkyBurst. ...
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ISLAND CROP DECIMATED BY GENE DRIVE FLIES
Published on: 30 June 2016  
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Scientists say no other theory seems to hold
Dateline: 15 October 2026
After watching Border Security Australia, passengers always got off the plane feeling an extra bit anxious and jittery. Thoughts like 'What if they say the dirt on my hiking boots smells funny? Or they confiscate my grandma's old dusty portrait?' often ran through peoples' heads. Quarantine officers checking for foreign organic matter and unwelcome species used to have an irritating, but doable job. That reality has changed dramatically. Ten years ago, the use of gene drive technology to eradicate ...
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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   4 Comments
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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   4 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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