Fear of Arctic War Grows, Danish and Russian Fleets Clash – Copenhagen, 23 June 2017

June 08 2008 / by Cronos / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Economics   Year: 2017   Rating: 6 Hot

Copenhagen has admitted Danish warships were responsible for the sinking of the Russian frigate Czar Putin in the Arctic Sea. The commander of the Danish Destroyer Prince Frederik declared the vessel was in Danish territorial waters off the coast of Greenland and had ignored multiple warnings.

The Danish press release also stated it regretted the sinking of the ship and the loss of the Russian crew and that first shots were meant as deterrence only. Once the Russians started returning fire there was no other option than to target the ship itself, concluded the press release. Russian warships of the Northern Fleet are steaming up towards the area from bases all over Russia while the US is doing the same to come the aid of their Danish ally. (cont.)

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Microsoft CEO Ballmer: Print Media Dead in 10 Years

June 07 2008 / by Alvis Brigis / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Business & Work   Year: 2018   Rating: 2

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has joined the ranks of those predicting the near-term demise of print media.

In a recent Washington Post interview (see below), Ballmer forecasts that, “In the next 10 the whole world of media, communications and advertising are going to be turned upside down, in my opinion.”

“There will be no media consumption left in 10 years that is not delivered over an IP network. There will be no newspapers, magazines that are delivered in paper form – everything get delivered in electronic form,” he claims.

The reasoning behind this vision is rooted Ballmer’s belief that “advertising, community and content [will] all kind of blend”, resulting in a world in which we’re “going to have incredible pieces of software that run out in the internet that know all about the publishers that want to sell ads, all about the advertisers that want to buy ads and all about the users who want to consume content and advertising; and it sort of algorithmically puts them together … and it gets smarter and smarter at delivering the right ad at the right place at the right time. That’s a big business, we think.”

Personally, I am in full agreement with this scenario, though I do think that while they will seriously dwindle, some forms of traditional print will still be around in 2018. But I think Ballmer is spot-on in his argument that newspapers and magazines will certainly be hard pressed to continue their traditional existence(s).

(via Tech Crunch)

Cars drive themselves; trains go 4,000 mph in future

June 06 2008 / by futuretalk / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Transportation   Year: General   Rating: 11 Hot

By Dick Pelletier

In the sci-fi movie Minority Report cars drive themselves, maneuvering unaided through traffic. Though the film represents a more distant future, amazing cars like these could be parked in your garage as early as 2020.

Imagine making the 270-mile trip from Los Angeles to Los Vegas in tomorrow’s “smart” car. You hop in your car, tell it your destination, and off you go. Traveling on an automated highway system, sensors guide you in complete safety, at speeds up to 140 mph. You sit in the driver’s seat, but the car does the driving. For your part, you kick back; read a newspaper, browse the Internet, watch TV, or take a nap. In less than two hours, you arrive in Las Vegas relaxed and ready for fun.

Some of the technology necessary to make this future happen is already in our vehicles; cruise control, load-leveling, and satellite navigation. The two steps that remain – allowing computers to actually pilot the car, and developing the automated highway system – are being tested now on a ten mile Interstate highway strip near San Diego. Electronics in the roadway are detected by sensors located in test cars, which feeds steering information to the car’s computer.

In the wake of the computer and information revolutions, motor vehicles are undergoing the most dramatic changes in capabilities and how they interact with drivers since the early 1900s. The U.S. Department of Transportation is spending more than $1 billion a year to develop “human-centered” smart vehicles and intelligent highway systems. The DOT believes this technology is essential to handling the vast number of vehicles expected on tomorrow’s roads. (cont.)

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10 Future Reality TV Shows Set in Virtual Worlds

June 04 2008 / by Alvis Brigis / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Culture   Year: General   Rating: 9 Hot

The genre known as reality television sprang into existence thanks to a drop in camera costs and increased digital storage, editing and effects capabilities. Now, as we enter the acceleration era, consistently dropping technology costs and new software capabilities will enable a radical transformation in in the sorts of reality shows we see on broadcast television and on YouTube.

One particularly potent reality TV catalyst will be nascent virtual worlds technologies like Second Life, Multiverse and There which will not only make possible high-end machinima (animation via virtual world action capture, which is already taking off), but also totally new, ultimately genre-busting, broadcast worthy physical/digital behavior.

Back when I lived in LA and worked in reality television and at the same time encountered virtual worlds for the first time, I would often image the amazing reality shows that will soon be possible as production technologies and practices evolve. For your enjoyment and as a demonstration of just how crazy television programming is about to get, here’s my current top 10 list of future virtual world enabled reality TV shows that I’d love to see developed:

1. U-BOAT: 25 contestants live aboard a submarine set and engage in the historical experience of a lifetime. They must quickly learn to navigate the craft through a virtual ocean simulation and a string of dramatic WWII battle scenarios. To both the contestants and the viewer at home it looks and feels as if these modern day Americans are actually piloting the submarine and narrowly staving off infamous Nazi U-Boat fleet.

2. THE BOARD ROOM: The new flagship marketing vehicle for Milton Bradley is an augmented reality game show that allows contestants to literally step right onto their favorite all-time board games. To the audience at home, it resembles The Price is Right in game structure, but visually looks like the participants have jumped into a Tron-like world with their favorite games all around them.

3. REQUIEM: Each episode of Requiem features one near-death person (young, old, terminal, famous, interesting, compelling life story) as they leave behind a 3-D “plot” of land for the world. Each individual is given the opportunity to create a 3-D world in which they deposit memories, images and descriptions of loved ones, candid descriptions of historic and historical events, favorite memories, renderings of their dreams, final farewells, and warnings to society. (cont.)

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Lab wants to capture minds... Literally!

June 03 2008 / by futuretalk / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Other   Year: General   Rating: 11 Hot

By Dick Pelletier

The mega-billion dollar Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) recently developed a new state-of-the-art facility – Janelia Farm Research Campus – to learn how brain cells store and process information.

Today, biologists can only observe a cell’s activity by indirectly analyzing chemicals it produces in response to stimulus. But what if you could take a picture of a brain cell at the very moment it recorded a thought? HHMI researchers believe this worthy goal can be achieved and they are rounding up some of the top researchers in the world to make it happen.

Janelia Farm will provide its world-class science team with near unlimited funds in a mostly unsupervised environment. “The Institute’s core belief is that scientists who demonstrate creativity and imagination make lasting contributions to benefit humanity when they are given flexible, long-term support and the freedom to explore,” said former HHMI President Thomas Cech.

Attempts to capture memories, personality, and feelings – elements that describe the mind – are not new. Researchers have successfully transplanted worm brains, and a proposal is underway to implant a trained mouse brain into a new mouse to see if habits and traits can be transferred. But the host body is destroyed in these experiments. (cont.)

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Simulated clinical trials promise healthcare miracles

June 03 2008 / by futuretalk / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Health & Medicine   Year: General   Rating: 10 Hot

By Dick Pelletier

Movies like The Terminator series and 2001: a Space Odyssey bring out the little child in us. We love to fantasize about computers capable of mimicking life. Today, this science fiction is rapidly becoming real science with computers bringing human cells to “virtual” life. Recognizing the values of this new technology, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently recommended that the industry expand and accelerate development of simulated clinical trials. For too long, experts say, the drug industry has relied on human trial and error; sometimes even intuition, to determine which products would succeed. Statistics show three of every four drugs entering clinical trials fail, leaving companies burdened with huge financial losses and shattering the hopes of patients anxiously awaiting cures.

From R&D to the pharmacy, each drug development typically takes ten years or more and costs up to $1 billion, which is the prime reason prescription drugs are so astronomically high priced. Researchers struggling to meet time-to-market deadlines, and drug companies anxious to cut costs, are beginning to place their hopes on computer simulations.

Recently, pharmaceutical giant Aventis was racing to develop a competitor to Evista, a hot-selling drug from Eli Lilly. Aventis was already in early human trials, but computer simulations revealed a potential side effect which could lead to cancer. They immediately stopped funding the development and switched to a safer backup drug. Researcher Frank Douglas said the company saved $50 to $100 million and avoided exposing women to a drug that ultimately could have given them cancer. (cont.)

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Nanotech breakthroughs promise better life ahead

June 02 2008 / by futuretalk / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Technology   Year: General   Rating: 7 Hot

By Dick Pelletier

From assembling cells one-by-one into artificial tissues to creating micro-robots that swim through arteries and digestive systems, the magic of nanotech has finally arrived. A major theme of today’s nano-science focuses on strengthening human biology. In fact, of the eight technology advances listed below, seven involve systems that improve health:

1. Nanochips arrange cells to create artificial tissues. Harvard professor Robert Westervelt’s nanochips can move cells around to form new artificial tissues, which could be used to test efficacy of various drugs. This system could be in use by 2010.

2. Nanowires simulate artificial synapses. Harvard researcher Charles Lieber and his team linked silicon nanowires with axons and dendrites of live mammalian neurons, creating artificial synapses between the two. This technology paves the way for powerful neural prosthetics, and opens the door for hybrid nanoelectronic and biological information processing. Animal trials are already underway.

3. Neural data cable connects brains with computers. University of Pennsylvania researcher Doug Smith created a cable made from stretched nerve cells that can connect machines to the human nervous system, which could enable thought control over appliances by as early as 2012.

4. Nanoparticles destroy tumors. Burnham Institute’s Dr. Erkki Ruoslahti, in a joint effort with UC Santa Barbara, fashioned nanoparticles that seek out and kill cancer cells by cutting off their oxygen and nutrient supply. These nano-wonders can also deliver drugs to a specific area without affecting healthy cells. Human trials expected soon.

5. Micro-robots swim like bacterium through arteries. James Friend, Senior Lecturer at Australia’s Monash University and his team believe that by 2009 they can produce micro-robots that can swim through human arteries and digestive systems. These ‘bots will transmit images and deliver microscopic payloads to parts of the body that are beyond the reach of existing technologies. (cont.)

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Dixon: Death of Paper More Than a Decade Away

June 02 2008 / by Accel Rose / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Technology   Year: General   Rating: 2

In his latest YouTube video futurist Patrick Dixon says paper use is up because it “has this extraordinary capacity to deliver bandwidth to human beings” due to higher resolution as compared to digital screens.

“The sheer physicality of books makes them supremely readable. It’s a very high definition source for the eye,” says Dixon, adding that books are “very convenient. You can read through [them] incredibly quickly. You can flip pages around.”

As to how long will paper continue to dominate communication, Dixon forecasts that the industry “will continue for a very long time despite all the advances that are being talked about for the next 10 years.”

Will humans still use paper (as we know it) to a great extent in the year 2030?

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Future weather control: no more storms, earthquakes, tsunamis

May 29 2008 / by futuretalk / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Environment   Year: General   Rating: 14 Hot

By Dick Pelletier

In just ninety seconds, the Great Kanto Earthquake destroyed Japan’s economy in 1923 throwing the country into chaos. Instability opened the door for a military government, which quickly led to war in Southeast Asia, then to WWII, dishing out unimaginable horrors to the world.

Could a 1923 disaster repeat itself? What if the Southern California “Big One”, forecast for years by experts, actually happened and 16 million people suddenly found their homes submerged in the Pacific Ocean? Could an event like this destroy the American economy, and how would that affect the rest of the world?

Property losses from violent weather are increasing. The recent Myanmar cyclone and China earthquake have both caused huge losses in lives, weakened economies and devastated areas. Everyone enjoys nature’s breathtaking beauty and we could not exist without its bounty, but sometimes this Earth we call home can be harsh and unforgiving.

Forward-thinking scientists believe current knowledge of weather modification, combined with our newest wonder science – molecular nanotechnology – will one day provide an opportunity for humanity to inoculate itself against natural disasters.

Geologists describe earth’s atmosphere as an envelope of air, rotating with the continents and oceans; receiving enormous amounts of energy from the Sun’s radiation, which powers weather events. Typical energy expended in a tornado funnel is equal to about fifty kilotons of explosives; a thunderstorm exchanges about ten times this much during its lifetime; and a moderate size Atlantic hurricane can build up to more than 1,000 megatons of energy. (cont.)

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What happens when machines learn to speak?

May 28 2008 / by futuretalk / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Communication   Year: General   Rating: 9 Hot

By Dick Pelletier

Throw away the computer mouse, keyboard, and TV remote. A new speaking machine, expected in the next decade, is about to become your newest “electronic” friend. This new voice-interactive machine will browse the Internet searching for information it thinks will interest you, and will help unravel the maize of TV channels. The machine will converse in a pleasant voice as it listens carefully to your instructions, then offers suggestions on what Internet data or TV programs it thinks you might enjoy.

This new voice-interactive machine will appear as an avatar – an on-screen image resembling your favorite movie character, religious icon, or loved one. On command, it will appear on the TV screen, computer monitor, car radio or cell phone, addressing you by name, and asking what you would like.

Most people think interactive systems like these are a long way off, but two trends are quickening the pace. Improved speech-recognition systems will soon enable people to converse with computers in normal-spoken language, and entrepreneurs are rushing to the Internet creating new business applications with software “agents” that take advantage of speech recognition.

Microsoft’s Bill Gates claims that by 2012, voice-enabled “smart” systems will allow us to converse naturally and comfortably, directly with our display, reducing need for mouse and keyboard. Avatars will help us shop, work, learn, and conduct business and social relationships on the Internet. At home, they will provide security, change lighting and temperature as needed, and deliver news, sports, games, and entertainment anywhere in the house. (cont.)

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Astronauts to land on speeding asteroid by late 2020s

May 28 2008 / by futuretalk / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Space   Year: General   Rating: 7 Hot

By Dick Pelletier

A lump of rock more than 40 meters in diameter speeding through space at 28,000 mph, once considered the most dangerous object in the universe, is about to become the site for humanity’s next “giant leap for mankind.”

NASA engineers have selected asteroid 2000SG344 – which in 2000 was given a significant chance of slamming into Earth with the explosive power of 750 Hiroshimas – as the perfect space object to study. The operation would take place before the 2030 Mars journey, a speculative trip bandied about ever since the first President Bush mentioned in 1989 that America should send men to the red planet.

The asteroid mission represents a crucial step for America’s space program. A report to be published next month in the journal Acta Astronautica describes plans to use the soon-to-be-developed Orion space ship for a three-to-six month round-trip to the asteroid, with two explorers spending up to two weeks on the rock’s surface.

As well as providing experience for longer Mars trips, samples taken from the rock could help scientists convert sub-surface ice into drinking water and breathable oxygen, understand more about the birth of the solar system, and how best to defend Earth against dangerous asteroid collisions. (cont.)

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Web Video Viewers to Grow 4x by 2013

May 28 2008 / by Accel Rose / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Entertainment   Year: 2013   Rating: 2 Hot

A new study from ABI Research forecasts the number of viewers who access video via the Web to nearly quadruple in the next few years, reaching at least one billion in 2013. “

“The rapid expansion of broadband video creates opportunities across a number of market sectors,” comments senior analyst Cesar Bachelet. “A wide variety of actors aim to gain a share of this fast-growing market: not only content owners such as the BBC and NBC Universal, and Internet portals such as AOL and Yahoo!, but also a range of new entrants including user-generated content sites such as YouTube and Dailymotion, broadband video sites such as CinemaNow and Lovefilm, and Internet TV providers such as Apple, and Zattoo

Sparked by increasing broadband penetration and rising connection speeds available to a growing percentage of the world’s population, online video is growing as quickly as the supporting infrastructure can be built. (cont.)

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