Tag Archives | Future

Newspapers To Disappear By 2040?

ALeqM5iAPPYRjlbQRCvzYsPh4kFxa2Ro4wTaking, 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 replaced by digital versions by 2040, the UN intellectual property agency’s chief said in an interview published on Monday.

Francis Gurry, who heads the World Intellectual Property Organisation told the daily La Tribune de Geneve that “in a few years, there will no longer be printed newspapers as we know it today.”

“It’s an evolution. There’s no good or bad about it. There are studies showing that they will disappear by 2040. In the United States, it will end in 2017,” he said.

Gurry noted that in the United States there are already more digital copies sold than paper copies of newspapers. In cities, there are also fewer bookshops.

A key problem is the revenue system.

“How can editors find revenues to pay those who write these articles?” asked Gurry, noting that “the copyright system must be safeguarded as a mechanism to pay these writers.”

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After Earth: Where Will Humanity Go?

5efc3c27f081463e8c9e31fd93d45164If and when Earth is no longer able to sustain human life, where should we go? NASA says that a colony could be dug several feet below the surface of our moon (with a cover to protect residents from high-energy cosmic radiation, which can damage our DNA and lead to cancer).

Or we could head for the resource-rich moons of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Mars is very Earth-like, with enough carbon in its soil to grow plants, and daytime temperatures that reach 70°F. And that’s only the start of our options. Popular Science explores:

Earth won’t always be fit for occupation. We know that in two billion years or so, an expanding sun will boil away our oceans, leaving our home in the universe uninhabitable—unless, that is, we haven’t already been wiped out by the Andromeda galaxy, which is on a multibillion-year collision course with our Milky Way. Moreover, at least a third of the thousand mile-wide asteroids that hurtle across our orbital path will eventually crash into us, at a rate of about one every 300,000 years.

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UK Scientists Warn Of Future ‘Planet Of The Apes’ Scenario

planet-of-the-apesCould ongoing experiments involving the mixing of human and non-human DNA produce monstrous, over-intelligent hybrids down the road? In the U.S., human cells are already being implanted in mouse embryos, so we’ll likely be facing the rats of NIMH, rather than talking chimps who smoke pipes. The Telegraph reports:

Action is needed now, according to a group of eminent experts. Their report calls for a new rules to supervise sensitive research that involves humanizing animals.

“The fear is that if you start putting very large numbers of human brain cells into the brains of primates suddenly you might transform the primate into something that has some of the capacities that we regard as distinctively human..speech, or other ways of being able to manipulate or relate to us.”

Currently research involving great apes, such as chimpanzees, is outlawed in the UK. But it continues in many other countries including the US, and British scientists are permitted to experiment on monkeys.

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Replicant Cities: Identical Places On Different Continents

Imagine visiting a foreign continent and knowing every street, every tree like the back of your hand.25258635 Duplicate copies of unique, gorgeous cities seems like both the inverse and logical continuation of the 1950s idea of identical, planned tract-home suburbs. BLDG BLOG writes:

First there was the replica of Lyons, France, being built in Dubai; it would be a replicant city “of about 700 acres, roughly the size of the Latin Quarter of Paris,” and it would “contain squares, restaurants, cafes and museums.”

Now, though, we learn that a Chinese firm has been “secretly” copying an entire UNESCO-listed village in Austria, called Hallstatt. Residents of the original town are “scandalized,” Der Spiegel reports, by these “plans to replicate the village—including its famous lake—in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong.”

After all, in addition to the uncanny experience of seeing your buildings, streets, sidewalks, and even trees repeated on the other side of the world, “creating an exact duplicate of a city may not be legal, according to Hans-Jörg Kaiser from Icomos Austria, the national board for monument preservation under UNESCO.

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Human Breast Milk Produced By Chinese GMO Cows

Impressive, but I'm holding out for genetically engineered cows that produce milkshakes. Good writes:
These cows were bred by inserting human genes into cloned cow embryos which were then implanted into surrogate cows. The plan is to have this milk in supermarkets within three years. China is well ahead of the Western world in terms of its comfort with genetically modified food. But let's think about this. Could consumers get past the Freudian weirdness of drinking breast milk in the name of nutrition?
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Aerotropolis: Will The Cities Of The Future Be Giant Airports?

aerotropolis3dThe Utopianist discusses one (slightly hellish) idea of what the city of the future may look like — the ‘aerotropolis’, in which the airport is at the city’s geographic and economic core, and daily life increasingly resembles being inside an endlessly sprawling airport:

It’s a city that’s built around an airport, the bigger the better, with factories and/or traders, both dependent on air freight, close by, followed by a ring of malls and hotels, followed by a ring of residential neighborhoods. The airport isn’t an annoyance, located as far out of the way as possible, but the city’s heart, its raison d’être.

While the vision of a city based around an airport may seem novel, there are such aerotropolises already in existence, like Ecuador’s capital, Quito. We already have a few cities in the United States that roughly adhere to this model — Memphis, our nation’s major FedEx hub, and Seattle, the home of Boeing.

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Guide To The End Of The World, From 5000 B.C. Into The Future

Pick A Year handily compiles, in timeline form, all end of days prognostications of note, for your doom-and-gloom needs:

The END has been with us for a very long, time and extends well into the future. Need I say that prophesy has, so far, failed? And that this is true as much for ‘scientific’ prophesy (see 1962, 1975, 1976, 1989, 1992, 2002, 2005, 2008) as for the cultish kind?

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British Astronomers Warn World May End This Century

3170001703_118ba4869dTop U.K. astronomers give civilization only a 50 percent chance of surviving to 2100, reports Scottish STV. To voice the obvious questions: How can anyone calculate the date of the apocalypse, really? And, what does the end of the world mean for the Royal Family?

The end of the world is nigh. That’s what top astronomers will claim during a debate to end the 2011 Edinburgh International Science Festival.

Lord Martin Rees, the Astronomer Royal, believes civilisation has only a 50 per cent chance of surviving to 2100 without suffering a man-made catastrophe. And the Astronomer Royal for Scotland, Professor John Brown, has an equally bleak outlook, fearing a random event from outer space is the most likely cause of our demise.

Despite having widely differing views, these two titans of astronomy between them offer global warming, over-population, terrorism, an asteroid falling to earth and a solar blast as potential reasons to panic.

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Ten Years From Now, Facebook Will Be Your Bank

bankoffacebook-erica_glasier“Why is its important to have a Facebook profile? They are going to start using that to determine what your credit worthiness is.”

The tin-foil-hatted nuts at BusinessWeek explain how and why Facebook will become the largest bank in the United States. (Perhaps most disturbing is the thought of a universal currency called ‘the zuckerberg’.)

Becoming a financial powerhouse would help Facebook avoid the fate of many once-popular networks. AOL, Friendster, Second Life, and MySpace all dreamed of growing forever, too. To survive, Facebook must become more than glorified e-mail. Sharing photos and gossip with friends might make Facebook hard to leave. But upload your checking account and Facebook may just be forever.

Nongamers may have missed Facebook’s clever foray into the world of “virtual currency,” where Facebook Credits cost 10 cents each and can be exchanged for game points or cartoony gifts. Those dimes are adding up—the U.S. market for virtual goods will reach $2.1 billion in 2011.

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