Intel CTO Predicts Multi-Multi Core Processing, Spintronic Memory and Infinite Battery Life

January 20 2009 / by Alvis Brigis / In association with Future
Category: Technology   Year: 2015   Rating: 5 Hot

Unsurprisingly, Intel CTO Justin Rattner believes that accelerating computation will soon transform our everyday lives and experiences, perhaps enabling a not-too-distant Singularity.

In this exclusive Future Blogger interview, shot at the Singularity Summit, Rattner lays out his core near-term predictions for the field of computing:

Rattner's core prognostications include Massively Multi-Core Processing, and Evolving Memory Hierarcy and Infinite Battery Life.

Multi-Multi Core Processing: "Certainly systems based on processors with large numbers of individual processing elements are a major part of what we're going to see in the middle of the next decade."

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2063 A.D.: Future Predictions from the Past: Space Travel, Lunar Bases and Cheap Energy

January 20 2009 / by Garry Golden / In association with Future
Category: Technology   Year: Beyond   Rating: 2

2063 BookletOnline book publisher has a great look at past future predictions in its 'Paleo-Futures' storefront:

The booklet 2063 A.D. (Free PDF download; $25.30 print) was published by General Dynamics Astronautics, and placed into a time capsule in July of 1963.

Only 200 copies were ever printed. The 50 page book contains predictions by scientists, politicians, astronauts and military commanders about the state of space exploration in the year 2063.

As you'd suspect, given General Dynamic's business, there are many predictions about space travel, lunar bases and cheap energy resources. (So there is still time yet for their forecasts to come true!)

Lulu's edition is a reprint made from scans of the original 1963 book.

If you like this type of historical futures also check out the blog Paleo Future

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[Video] The Crash Course - An Open Look at the Future

January 19 2009 / by Garry Golden / In association with Future
Category: Economics   Year: Beyond   Rating: 3 Hot

Crash CourseChris Martenson has created a series of videos called The Crash Course 'to provide you with a baseline understanding of the economy so that you can better appreciate the risks that we all face.'

Martenson shows how important it is for us to understand the enormous implications of exponential growth, debt-deficits, wealth creation, asset bubbles and demographic shifts, resource production plateaus, hedonic models, fuzzy numbers of GDP, et al.

Martenson is not necessarily trying to sell a vision of inevitable collapse. Rather he makes a strong case to highlight the observable fundamental flaws in our current economic behavior and models, and the dire consequences of what might happen if we do nothing to change our course.

This is a must watch set of videos for thinking about the future.

The Crash Course: Table of Contents

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Does the road to Electric Vehicles pass through China? EV Startup outsources production

January 13 2009 / by Garry Golden / In association with Future
Category: Transportation   Year: 2014   Rating: 2


EV startup Miles Automotive has announced plans to outsource manufacturing of its California-bound electric vehicles to a China-based assembly factory.

Auto analysts continue to speculate about plans by Detroit-based companies to partner with Asian manufacturers.  And yesterday the Wall Street Journal reported on BYD's plans to produce EVs for global markets based on a lower barrier to manufacturing.

More than ever before, the road to electric vehicles powered by batteries, fuel cells and capacitors seems destined to pass through Asia.

And it is time to challenge common assumptions about EVs?

Will EVs be a Domestic or Global Industry?
It is commonly assumed that electric vehicles would bring non-OPEC countries more 'independence'.  Instead it seems clear that the age of EVs will pull them further into the global economy of 'interdependence'.  Electric vehicles propulsion systems and storage systems (batteries, fuel cells and capacitors) are likely to emerge from a global value chain that spans from Asia to Europe to Americas. 

Will Early Adopter Markets Emerge from within Europe/California or Asia?

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Wall Street Journal confirms our Case for Electric Cars: A Lower Barrier to Manufacturing

January 12 2009 / by Garry Golden / In association with Future
Category: Transportation   Year: 2010   Rating: 2


The Wall Street Journal has finally reported on the real driver of change around the electrification of the world's auto fleet: Manufacturing.

Reframing the Problem
Our insights into the crossroads of energy and the future of the auto industry have reflected a very unique tone when compared to all major media outlets and bloggers.

We have been alone in pushing a few disruptive ideas about the future of energy and the auto industry:

Kill the Combustion Engine
While others focused on the problem of oil, we said it was the manufacturing legacy of the combustion engine. We have argued that it's how you build the car, not fuel it that matters most.

Skateboard chassis is Platform of the Future

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5 Media Trends For 2009

January 03 2009 / by Jeff Hilford / In association with Future
Category: Entertainment   Year: 2009   Rating: 9 Hot

2009 promises to be a big year on the media landscape as next stage public adoption of online product will spur tremendous growth.  Here are 5 things to watch for:

  • Tweet!  Twitter explodes and joins the parade - MySpace --> YouTube --> Facebook --> Twitter - as an elite meme that everybody has heard of.  In the process it requisitely transforms into a corporate tool and attracts an older demographic cohort. pewinter1.png
  • Online Advertising Hangs Tough  Despite all of the end times rhetoric, online advertising actually increases 10%.  The efficiency of the web is wreaking havoc on traditional media.  Companies still need to advertise their products and eyeballs are continuing to flock to the web.  Bang for the buck and big metrics make web media undeniably compelling.
  • The Future Gets Hot  The present stinks and people will turn their attention elsewhere.  While many will pine for a return to the past they will be forced to look ahead.  The doom and gloom of the economic meltdown and global warming combined with the incredible pace of technological change provide a fertile backdrop for projection.  ABC's 2100, Discovery's 2057 and plenty of content about the next decade will push this meme to the forefront.  Sweet.  

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2009: Prosumers Will Proliferate as Old Media Dies

December 26 2008 / by Alvis Brigis / In association with Future
Category: The Web   Year: 2009   Rating: 4

Biological history has much to teach us about our web economy.  In particular, we can glean a great deal from the well-established patterns of punctuated equilibrium (the idea that growth and death come in spurts, which is very similar to many technology and social diffusion cycles) and evo-devo biology (a new theory of life in which Darwinian evolution acts in concert with Prosumerstructured development to optimize organisms AND biological systems for survival).

Just as the sudden death of the dinosaurs permitted small warm-blooded mammals to vary and scale during the subsequent ice age, so too is the swift death of old media models creating the ideal conditions for nascent software and social media models.  Though this sort of cycle is nothing new, it is illuminating to apply it to the current economic situation in which printed newspapers are dying, open source IT is winning marketshare, and increasingly more people are sharing their information online.

When considering the near-term future and the year ahead, we can be reasonably certain that the dire economic conditions will serve as a breeding ground for new advantageous innovations.  It was no accident that we experienced a spurt of great literature during the Great Depression as brains were freed up and exposed to an extreme environment.  And now it's no accident that were vacillating from commercial enterpise to "programming subculture", as Kevin Kelleher at GigaOm puts it.

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New "Algae 2020" Study forecasts commercialization path for algae biofuels

December 05 2008 / by Garry Golden / In association with Future
Category: Energy   Year: 2020   Rating: 3

Algae 2020A new industry study by Emerging Markets Online describes a turning point for the algae derived biofuels sector as it enters the first stage of commercial development. 

So let's hold back on the 'hype' and take a solid look at how algae biofuels might evolve in the years ahead!

The forthcoming "Algae 2020" [PDF] study measures over $300 million (€233 million) in algae investments through November 2008 "including projects, initiatives and participation from Bill Gates, The Rockefellers,  DoE, BP, Chevron and the UK’s Carbon Trust."

The report notes significant trends related to public-private investments, growing investments in private startups, and engineering efforts related to the first wave of pilot and commercial facilities.

The study includes detailed analysis on: algae production methods, species selection, algae biofuel applications, CO2 selection methods, as well as updates on technical aspects of algae harvesting and extraction.

Algae 2020 Study Overview [PDF]

Related algae posts on The Energy

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Turning VR Inside Out

November 20 2008 / by StuartDobson / In association with Future
Category: Metaverse   Year: General   Rating: 8 Hot

Instead of trying to create reality virtually, what if we embed virtuality into reality?

Crossposted from Super Concepts.

This video shows how RFID can help improve control over stock inventory both in real world and virtual world situations. With the current state of virtual reality, it’s unlikely that virtual supermarkets will take off. They’re just too…clunky. However, one distinct possibility is a reversal. Computer controlled reality.

RFID will play a large part in this. The data it will provide will change the way we look at reality. By reporting and recording our locations and activities, it will digitise us – turning us into real life avatars.

In virtual reality, everything we do can be recorded. The software can record our every movement and interaction. This will soon be possible in real life, thanks to RFID and our interactions with computer interfaces.

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Why natural gas will never bring 'energy independence' to the US and European Union

November 19 2008 / by Garry Golden / In association with Future
Category: Energy   Year: Beyond   Rating: 2

It is impossible to talk about the future of energy without giving serious consideration to the role of natural gas as a 21st century resource. And it should not be a surprise! The case made by energy historians is that human civilization has been gradually moving away from dirty carbon rich fuels like wood and coal towards cleaner hydrogen rich fossil fuels of petroleum and natural gas. The next step for civilization is to grow our own energy supplies and reduce reliance on extracting reserves. (But we’re not there yet!!)

Even as leaders from the US and the European Union boldly focus on efforts to get off their ‘oil dependency’ their domestic utility providers, energy giants and chemical companies are opening the spigot for natural gas supplies that often come from the same oil rich regions. Natural gas is arguably the most complicated and overlooked piece of our future energy puzzle.

What happened?
We now have an updated picture of what is happening inside the United States. The Energy Information Administration has posted a web based presentation looking at expansions to the country’s natural gas pipeline network over the last decade [Link launches web based PPT].

The presentation looks at the last ten years of laying more than 20,000 miles of new transmission pipeline (97 billion cubic ft/day capacity) that has opened up access to new new supplies from Canada and the Gulf Region that feed natural-gas-fired electric power plants, factories and homes. [We will feature Europe’s pipeline in another post.]

Why is this important to the future of energy?
The world’s largest natural gas reserves are of course located within today’s oil-rich nations like Russia, Iran, Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabi, Nigeria, and Venezuela.

While The Pickens Plan paints a picture of vast US supplies, they are tiny relative to global production capacities outside US borders. And Europe is already committed to connecting its power plants to resources from neighboring regions.

Coal might be challenged by carbon policies, oil is likely to hit a production plateau—but natural gas might just be getting started as a global industry.

What to Watch: The Petro Product poker hand

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Utility Grid leaders say renewable energy must first overcome hurdles

November 14 2008 / by amisampat / In association with Future
Category: Energy   Year: 2009   Rating: 3

By Ami Sampat

What Happened?
The efforts to reduce carbon emissions and increase the use of reliable power generation of renewable fuels will determine the future of the electric grid, as was reported by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation. But solar and wind will have to overcome some fundamental challenges before they are accepted by large utilities.

“As we consider our energy future, it becomes increasingly clear that our success in reducing carbon emissions and realizing energy independence will hinge on our ability to provide reliable, clean, electricity where and when it is needed,” states Rick Sergal, President and CEO of the NERC.

Why is this important to the future?

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IEA World Energy Outlook highlights major global challenges ahead

November 14 2008 / by amisampat / In association with Future
Category: Energy   Year: 2009   Rating: 3

By Ami Sampat

What Happened?
The International Energy Agency has released a report describing a challenging future ahead for the energy industry and planet. The IEA’s annual World Energy Outlook highlights an uncertain future shaped by tightening oil supply, higher energy prices, and rising emissions of greenhouse gases.

Why is this important to the future?

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