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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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REVOLUTIONARY EVOLUTION IN THE UK WORKPLACE
Published on: 24 April 2014   1 Comment
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10m small businesses but 5m have no employees
Dateline: 12 January 2019
The UK has developed into an increasingly polarized workplace. Unemployment has fallen and formal employment has grown, but conversely there has been an absolute boom in a new kind of work. The number of sole traders have exploded and 'zero-hour' contracts has boomed. The fact that the number of small UK firms has now reached 10m, from just 4.9m five years ago is testimony to the success of economic policies that have given a knees-up to commerce. The self-employed now represent double the number of ...
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DEADLY DIESEL'S CENTURY ENDS ABRUPTLY
Published on: 17 April 2014   2 Comments
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Germany first to put health before economy
Dateline: 12 July 2017
Germany's Berliner Zeitung put it succinctly: Diesel Backfires - Decades of government support can't hide the ugly truth. It was only three years ago that government researchers began to admit that irritating private research may just be correct - the nitrogen dioxide emissions generated by diesel engines have increased substantially over the past two decades and there was no sign of a reversal. Tiny toxic particulates emitted by diesel engines, have been shown to pass through the lungs and enter ...
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RACE TO BLAST SPACE DEBRIS FROM THE SKIES
Published on: 10 April 2014  
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Radical plan after Great Space Crash of 2020
Dateline: 20 March 2022
Forget bonfire night! This year the heavens are lit up like fireworks as five companies race to blast dangerous space debris from the skies with powerful lasers. It all started back in 2010 when various scientists proposed ambitious plans to clear the skies of space junk that was threatening low orbiting satellites. And in 2014 Australian scientists came up with a concrete plan to track, map and zap the debris. But progress was slow as conservative space agencies weighed up possible risks, while ...
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TRACK ME ONCE, TRACK ME TWICE
Published on: 3 April 2014   3 Comments
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New wearable tech is making (some of) us happier and healthier people
Dateline: 2 September 2015
Google Glass started it all, and now the viral spread of the Quantified Self meme is showing us the good, the bad and the ugly on the screens of our high tech bracelets and necklaces. With the demand for wearable technology far outstripping supply, there's no denying it; no one likes average - everyone wants to be awesome. And how do you become an A-list version of yourself? You self-improve... or you try to, at least. Self-help books are rotting away on the shelf, because wearable tech is ...
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MIDDLE KINGDOM REIGNS SUPREME
Published on: 27 March 2014   1 Comment
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China beats the odds and the analysts and doubles its economy in a decade
Dateline: 8 August 2025
China has proven all its detractors wrong - again. Despite predictions of economic collapse by global doomsayers, China has doubled its GDP in ten years, rising from the second most important economy to top spot, eclipsing even the United States, although not by much. How did the 'Middle Kingdom' do it? China faced down its biggest demographic crisis, with the population segment that provides the workforce declining by 70 million people since 2010. Many feared this would precipitate a collapse, as ...
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GAZPROM THE BIGGEST CASUALTY IN CRIMEA CRISIS AFTERMATH
Published on: 20 March 2014   1 Comment
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Merkel declares Germany free of Russian gas
Dateline: 5 April 2019
Yesterday, Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that Germany had achieved a new level of energy security and independence. "It has taken us five years to wean ourselves from Russian gas but today I can announce that the last Gazprom supplies are being officially switched off." In March 2014, Russia claimed Crimea as their own. In the diplomatic crisis that ensued, Russia held an economic weapon - Europe's dependence on gas supplies from the east. The crisis was a catalyst for EU leaders to rethink ...
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DHL FLYING ON WIRELESS POWER
Published on: 13 March 2014  
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No batteries needed for these delivery drones
Dateline: 7 March 2017
The biggest hurdle for electric aircraft has always been the weight of the batteries, and as nimble as they are, quadrotors and octocopters typically had limited flying time before they had to land to recharge. But what if you could charge them in mid-air? When Artemis Networks launched their revolutionary bandwidth breaking wireless data technology in 2014, few people suspected they had another, related invention up their sleeves. Their unique algorithms for creating powerful radio bubbles from ...
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THE FUTURE IS ALGORITHM SHAPED
Published on: 6 March 2014   5 Comments
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Cloud-based algorithms determine our daily routine and schedule - and our love lives
Dateline: 27 April 2017
We can't predict the future, but the clues are all around us. We're all connected, to each other, to everything, in so many ways. Our daily lives are part planned, part accident, but always recorded. Most of us like to let a bit of randomness enter our lives - it's often how the best things are discovered, how the best experiences happen. Serendipitous joy is a treasure. But if we're honest, there's a lot less spontaneity driving our actions and transactions, our travels and connections. And ...
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LET G-DROIDS DO THE DIRTY WORK
Published on: 27 February 2014   10 Comments
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Google's robots do the heavy lifting, drive the dump trucks and haul the garbage
Dateline: 17 July 2018
Now that Google has become the leading developer of robots, including humanoid robots, we can leave them to do all the unpleasant, dangerous, and boring work. Robots have moved out of the factories, and into the mines, fields and skies. Google's drones watch over traffic and crops, and are contracted to law enforcement and local authorities. In Africa, the drones keep tabs on endangered rhinos, calling in air support when poachers are spotted. In Boston, they deliver fresh produce from eBay; all the ...
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CHINA SWAPS US DEBT FOR DATA
Published on: 20 February 2014  
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America's biggest creditor wipes out massive debt for quantum data
Dateline: 15 March 2024
China has long been thought as 'owning' the United States because of the huge amount of US debt on its books. But now China will 'own' us in the data wars, not finance or trade. The National Data Protection Agency, the network of government, banks, retailers and internet companies that has been collaborating on collecting and codifying our personal data for the last decade, has sold perpetual access to our data to China, for an indefinite moratorium on the repayment of the debt mountain. It's a ...
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BE MY MARTIAN VALENTINE
Published on: 13 February 2014   1 Comment
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And we'll connect on the interplanetary internet
Dateline: 14 February 2028
Ten years ago we witnessed the first private, robotic mission to Mars, which also led to the start of an internet network linking all the rovers and probes stationed there. Shortly afterwards NASA managed to establish the first manned outpost on the Moon, linking up to the Space Station. Then came MarsOne. Just three years ago SpaceX's first fully reusable rocket ferried a small group of earthlings to the red planet where they started a colony. The human race became a Multiplanetary Civilization. ...
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THAT'S NO COUGH, IT'S BIOTERROR
Published on: 6 February 2014   1 Comment
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Contagion has a whole new meaning
Dateline: 24 September 2017
We had bird flu and swine flu, but the latest 'flu' will have you reaching for more than a tissue. Terrorists are moving away from the destruction of physical objects like shopping malls and office towers to the destruction of living beings by deliberately spreading viral epidemics. That's enough to make anyone sick. We have successfully mapped the full human genome. Pharmaceutical companies have been posting virology problems online - and getting solutions - for quite some time. Innovators ...
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10 MILLION FINGERPRINTS HACKED
Published on: 30 January 2014   3 Comments
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Biometric passwords become epic disaster
Dateline: 31 May 2016
'Mary Master's Minor Miracle' was immensely popular for Virtue Studios, the New York-based software studio. Their puzzle game achieved 10.1 million paid downloads in its first week available in the Apple App Store. This morning, those customers will be cursing Virtue Studios. Last night, their servers were hacked and all of their customers' personal data compromised. Ordinarily, this wouldn't be so bad, but Virtue is using Apple's new Fingerprint Password Service for permitting micro-payments ...
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SILICON VALLEY'S GOLDEN YEARS DRAW TO A CLOSE
Published on: 23 January 2014   1 Comment
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It's the end of the Boomer era in Silicon Valley - and the start of something much bigger
Dateline: 16 June 2016
Bill Gates has said his last goodbye. Announcing his decision to retire from his position as Chairman of Microsoft, Gates wished the company well and said he was going to pursue philanthropic and personal interests. It's the end of an era in Silicon Valley. But innovation and inventiveness have never been more prevalent. It's a global phenomenon, driven by ubiquitous connectivity. We don't need Silicon Valley to incubate ideas and bring them to fruition. Just connect to one of the hundreds of ...
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SAM DOESN'T KNOW SHE'S A BOT
Published on: 16 January 2014   2 Comments
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Super Artificial Intelligence agent thinks it's a real person
Dateline: 7 January 2019
You may recall the movie 'Her' where the lead character falls hopelessly in love with his virtual girlfriend Samantha. She returns his love, even though she's really his smartphone operating system. Perhaps you remember the incident in 2013, when a telemarketing agent called Samantha West insisted she was a real person, but failed several 'humanity' tests. Artificial intelligence was maturing rapidly in the second decade of this century, and IBM's Watson computer was so adept at understanding the ...
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DEATH OF A MILLION VILLAGES
Published on: 9 January 2014   1 Comment
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More than one million villages in China destroyed or abandoned
Dateline: 16 January 2016
China's headlong rush into the industrial urban dystopia has a million silent victims. Some were simply abandoned to the creeping weeds and vines of nature's return. Others have been razed to the ground to make space for concrete sprawl or mechanized farming. The magnetic attraction of the megacities pulled hundreds of millions of rural Chinese out of their historic villages and into the urban jungle. By 2012 China was over 50% urbanized and the trend continues inexorably. Such rapid social change ...
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SPACE POWER FOR TIMES SQUARE
Published on: 2 January 2014  
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Space based solar station lights up New York City's New Year party
Dateline: 1 January 2024
A decade ago, people were fighting wars over energy; peak oil was a major concern; and shale gas was a short-term solution to the growing global demand for power. Now it's all changed. Last night the New Year was counted in, with Times Square ablaze with lights of every colour - courtesy of the energy beamed down from Space Power Station Alpha. "I've got 50,000 LED lights and every watt is free!" tweeted the Times Square Ball, from its perch high above the crowds. For the last decade the Times ...
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ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS MY SHOPPING DONE
Published on: 26 December 2013   1 Comment
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The age of digital abundance is mired in old fashioned industrial business practices
Dateline: 26 December 2016
A few years ago it was easy to buy things on the internet. Remember the story of someone who ordered a curry online, from a London restaurant, and had it shipped to Australia? Then Amazon introduced one-click shopping, and talked about drone delivery within hours. Then, why is it that manufacturers and retailers think they can still fool us with ten different model numbers for the same product - take phones and cameras for example. Just to give Wal-Mart a price advantage they'll invent a new model ...
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LIVING MACHINES TO CHANGE OUR WORLD FUNDAMENTALLY
Published on: 19 December 2013   1 Comment
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Get used to living in a world where products are grown rather than manufactured
Dateline: 27 October 2019
The promise of living biological machines, as well as industrial scale 3D printing, seemed just beyond our reach in the late 20th and early 21st Centuries. Now, they are reality - and 'manufacturing' will never be the same. 3D printing is now completely mainstream, with millions of printers humming away all over the world, from dinky US$ 25 home models to vast industrial printers turning out large components and whole products - and even printing bio products like meat. But the real breakthrough has ...
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NSA SELLS OUR PERSONAL DATA IN BILLION-DOLLAR AD DEAL
Published on: 12 December 2013   1 Comment
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Security agency announces exclusive licensing contract with 'secret' advertising consortium to balance the budget
Dateline: 23 September 2016
The US government has, famously, been unable to agree critical budget amendments since 2013. Even the NSA has proven susceptible to these budget constraints. Up to last week, the government security service was facing an inability to pay its 25,000 web-monitoring staff. "We realized that we needed to think out of the box to fund our own activities," says General Hank Mephisto, a senior NSA spokesman. "We've been collecting metadata on just about everyone everywhere for almost a decade. We ...
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