Can the future truly be changed, or are we on a predetermined path? Chris Woebken and Sascha Pohflepp on grasping at the fabric of reality:

Hermann Minkowski’s light cones gave us a visual idea of how the possible may be situated within relations of causality. Then, in the mid-20th century, those ideas were carried into the realm of geopolitics by the threat of nuclear war.

With a flight time of 30 minutes between the Soviet Union and the United States, rocket technology shrank the future to a point where speculation became a key asset in the arsenals of the superpowers. Big think tanks like the Californian RAND Corporation, scientists, and engineers were systematically mapping out possibility spaces.

The spacecraft EchoStar XVI will beam trillions of images into the darkness and then enter an eternal “graveyard orbit”. Artist in residence at MIT Trevor Paglen on satellites as the new pyramids:

Currently, more than 800 spacecraft in geosynchronous orbit form a man-made ring of satellites around Earth. The dead spacecraft in orbit have become a permanent fixture around Earth, not unlike the rings of Saturn. They will be the longest-lasting artifacts of human civilization, quietly floating through space long after every trace of humanity has disappeared from the planet’s surface.

Presented by public art organization Creative Time, The Last Pictures is a project to acknowledge these spacecraft as the monuments of our historical era. They are our Pyramids, our Stonehenge, and our Nazca lines.

This is real, folks! John Biggs reports for Techcrunch:

The Kuratas Mecha robot is an art/aspirational nerd project by Suidobashi Heavy Industry. This full-sized Mech robot features a ride-in cockpit, “rocket” launchers, and a “smile controlled” BB Gatling gun. That’s right: when you smile, this thing unleashes thousands of tiny plastic BBs.

Unveiled at Wonder Fest 2012 in Tokyo, you can control the robot with either a set of master-slave joysticks or using a more fluid Kinect interface. It runs something called the V-SIDO (Bushido) OS and includes touchscreen support inside the cockpit as well as 3G wireless connectivity so you can control it via phone.

You can “price out” your own Mech here but rest-assured you won’t be able to drive one of these off the lot any time soon….

Fake? Hank Mills with Sterling D. Allan report for Pure Energy Systems News:

A company named Luxury-Sea is building a boat with a special device that is claimed to generate electricity from ocean water, to both produce hydrogen to fuel its engine as well as power its on-board electronics.

A boat that requires no fossil fuel and that has an infinite range would be a true breakthrough. The French company Luxury-Sea claims to be building such a boat, named the MIG 675. Allegedly, it utilizes a patent pending technology that generates up to 50,000 volts of electricity from ocean water. The electricity generated is used both to power on board electronics, and to generate hydrogen to fuel a powerful 500 horse power engine…

Of course the most amazing aspect of the boat is that it runs off salt water. No details are given about how it works, and no evidence is provided. Here is a video of the boat in action, but there is no way to determine if it is really powering itself using ocean water.

The inventor of the technology, Angi Le Floch, is asserted to be self taught…

My prediction — in the future, if you do not meet a husband/wife by age 40, you will have the option of being given a robot boyfriend/girlfriend:

Pretty interesting where robotics is going. It will really get interesting with the merging of artificial intelligence, prosthetic development, innovative CPU processing developments, low cost storage (SSD) and a connected Internet…. the next 50 years will allow for some crazy and perhaps scary, developments.

Microsoft has released this “positive” (hear the cheery music?) thought-exercise short film titled “Productivity Future Video” which shows “how future technology will help people make better use of their time, focus their attention, and strengthen relationships while getting things done at work, home, and on the go.”

It’s an affluent, depressing world in which every surface has been turned into a screen with notifications telling you what do or think, interpersonal relations have completely atrophied, and emotions and sensation are muted as one is shuttled between airports, hotels, and other highly-planned spaces. Just wait until everything around you, the walls and the floor the table, is a Microsoft product with malfunctioning software.

Taking, for example, the New York Times’ inability or unwillingness to properly cover the Occupy Wall Street protests, maybe this news isn’t all that bad. AFP reports: Newspapers will disappear and be…