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By David Forrest | THE FUTURE IS HERE innovationwatch.com ...strategic foresight... ...breakthrough innovations... ...global trends...

Bernie Sanders Blasts Greece's Creditors

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) attacked the International Monetary Fund and European authorities on Wednesday for imposing what he called excessive austerity measures on Greece in negotiations over the country’s debt payments.

“It is unacceptable that the International Monetary Fund and European …

Greece

Nasa's space-age 'boomerang' drone is headed for Mars

Nasa has developed a prototype drone aircraft destined to be the first to fly on Mars.

The Preliminary Research Aerodynamic Design to Land on Mars, or Prandtl-m, is a glider drone that's designed to piggyback on a rover and seek out landing sites for an eventual manned mission on the Red Planet.

The …

Mars

Going Further Faster Together

Rocky Mountain Institute and Carbon War Room merge to speed the energy revolution and create a clean, prosperous, and secure low-carbon future.

When …

Energy

Fracking is using up an increasingly massive amount of water in drought-prone areas

Fracked wells require more than 18 times the amount of water they used to, a new USGS study found

Those who laud fracked natural gas as the Great Green Alternative to other fossil fuels (ahem, David Brooks) are forced to overlook a few glaring inconsistencies regarding the so-called “bridge fuel,” …

Natural Resources

Why Elon Musk is donating millions to make artificial intelligence safer

Tesla’s founder, along with two other organizations, have given $7 million to researchers looking for ways to avoid any problems caused by artificial intelligence.

What do Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates, and Tesla Motors founder Elon Musk have in common?

They all fear that advances in artificial …

Artificial Intelligence

New method can make cheaper solar energy storage

Storing solar energy as hydrogen is a promising way for developing comprehensive renewable energy systems. To accomplish this, traditional solar …

Energy

Are we on the brink of an electric car revolution?

Carlos Ghosn, the fast-talking head of the Renault-Nissan alliance, is not keen to be drawn on targets for electric car sales. A 2011 prediction of 1.5m Renault-Nissan electric vehicles by 2016 turned out to be wildly optimistic. The group just passed the 250,000 mark.

Ghosn was not alone. President …

Electric Vehicles

Ultrafast 3-D Printing Tech Could Challenge Established Manufacturing Methods

A larger version of this high-speed sintering machine is now in the works.

The inventor of a new kind of 3-D printer says his research group will …

Manufacturing

Brazil announces massive reforestation and renewable energy plan with US

Barack Obama and Dilma Rousseff put climate change at the top of their agenda at their bilateral meeting on Tuesday, with the US and Brazil agreeing to obtain up to 20% of their electricity from renewable power by 2030.

Brazil also committed to restoring up to 12m hectares of forest – an area about …

Brazil

A Chinese artificial intelligence program just beat humans in an IQ test

Science just took us a small step closer to HAL 9000.

A new artificial intelligence (AI) program designed by Chinese researchers has beat humans on a verbal IQ test.

Scoring well on the verbal section of the intelligence test has traditionally been a tall order for computers, since words have …

Intelligence

A robot called Hadrian wants to build you a house in two days

A West Australian company has a robot they say can lay 1,000 bricks per hour and build the frame of an average house in under two days.

The robot is still in prototype stage, but Fastbrick Robotics is hoping to bring a commercial machine onto the market within the next couple of years, Mike Pivac, …

Robots

The self-healing concrete that can fix its own cracks

Of all the carbon emitters that surround us every day it’s easy to overlook one of the most ubiquitous: concrete.

The material that builds our buildings, paves our roads and spans our bridges is the most widely produced and consumed material on earth apart from water, according to a WBCSD report. By …

Concrete

How Industrial Systems Are Turning into Digital Services

To some, ball bearings are boring, even though these small steel spheres are what keep everything from factory machines and wind turbines as well as cars, trucks, planes, and trains moving smoothly and safely. But to Sweden-based SKF Group — the leading company in the $76 billion global market for …

Internet of Things

Three ways the world’s power mix is about to change

Big changes are afoot for the energy sector in the next 25 years. Coal and gas are headed out and solar and wind are rushing to take their place on a multi-trillion dollar investment bonanza, according to a new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance that scopes out the power generating landscape …

Energy

Oslo Creates World's First 'Highway' to Protect Endangered Bees

Oslo: From flower emblazoned cemeteries to rooftop gardens and balconies, Norway's capital Oslo is creating a "bee highway" to protect endangered …

Environment

Tsipras’s shock call for vote on Greek bailout sets day of destiny for Europe

Five years of wrenching austerity that have left many Greeks traumatised and pauperised are about to get a lot worse.

Creditor governments meeting in Brussels on Saturday night pledged to halt Greece’s bailout on Tuesday after the leftwing government abandoned five months of negotiations with its …

Bailouts

Where Is The Internet-Of-Things Being Invented? Not In Silicon Valley

The emerging consensus view of humanity’s imminent future is that just about everything will soon be interconnected with just about everything else.

In a recent report on Digital Life in 2025, the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project predicted that the internet would soon become a “global, …

Silicon Valley

Banks are seriously worried about startups like TransferWise and are desperately trying to 'hedge'

Banks are facing a huge wave of competition from financial technology, or fintech, startups who are eating away at various parts of their business by using technology to do the job faster, cheaper and better.

One of the highest profile areas of attack on the banks has been in the international money …

Money

Inside the race to create the next generation of satellite internet

Is the sky big enough for two multi-billion dollar satellite internet projects? In the next two years, we’ll find out if entrepreneurs driven by human betterment—one looking up at the heavens and humanity’s future, the other looking down to the earth’s neediest—can share a shot at creating the next …

Satellites

Insurance Agents Are Pretty Freaked Out About Climate Change

Lloyd's prepares "an exploration" of apocalyptic scenarios

Rarely does a document prepared by an insurance group read like an apocalyptic screenplay. But it does happen. In this case, Lloyds, a storied insurance market put out a report outlining the potential global meltdown that could occur if …

Climate Change

This startup pays young people in Africa to learn to code and connects them with Fortune 500 companies

Africa has the largest pool of untapped tech talent in the world, according to Jeremy Johnson.

The 31-year old says that for two reasons:

Human brilliance is evenly distributed around the world, but opportunity isn't.
• There are four jobs for every software developer in the U.S.

Johnson's solution is …

Startups

Researchers develop a new means of killing harmful bacteria

The global rise in antibiotic resistance is a growing threat to public health, damaging our ability to fight deadly infections such as …

Life Sciences

All 3 of Elon Musk's companies are in MIT's list of the 50 smartest businesses

The MIT Tech Review has compiled a list of the 50 “smartest” companies in the world. Elon Musk’s Tesla tops the list, while the Chinese mobile and wearables upstart Xiaomi comes in second.

The Review gives Tesla props for its new line of batteries “in service of a big goal: remaking the energy grid …

Elon Musk

There is a $12 trillion revolution taking place in the energy market

After years of anticipation, the renewable energy revolution is finally here.

Solar energy is poised to become the dominant player in electricity markets worldwide moving forward, capturing a large share of the expected $12 trillion in investment between now and 2040, according to a new report from …

Energy

China’s Dangerous Game

The country's intensifying efforts to redraw maritime borders have its neighbors, and the U.S., fearing war. But does the aggression reflect a government growing in power—or one facing a crisis of legitimacy?

In the tranquil harbors that dot the coastline of Palawan, a sword-shaped island in the …

International Relations

Dutch government ordered to cut carbon emissions in landmark ruling

A court in The Hague has ordered the Dutch government to cut its emissions by at least 25% within five years, in a landmark ruling expected to cause ripples around the world.

To cheers and hoots from climate campaigners in court, three judges ruled that government plans to cut emissions by just …

UK Politics

Report Suggests Young People May Abandon Social Media If Privacy Breaches Continue

With all of the revelations of data snooping and privacy violations at the hands of government agencies and clandestine hacker groups, a new report suggests young people are having buyer’s remorse regarding the amount of social media accounts they’ve poured their life details into.

In a report …

Social Media

DARPA: We Are Engineering the Organisms That Will Terraform Mars

It’s no secret that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is investing heavily in genetic engineering and synthetic biology. Whether that excites or terrifies you depends on how you feel about the military engineering totally new life forms. If you’re in the excitement camp, however, here’s …

Mars

AI’s Next Frontier: Machines That Understand Language

The AI startup MetaMind has published new research detailing a neural networking system that uses a kind of artificial short-term memory to answer a …

Artificial Intelligence