David Forrest

5 Magazines | 8,215 Articles | 812 Followers | 19 Likes | @innovationwatch | David Forrest is a Canadian writer and strategy consultant future@innovationwatch.com Twitter: @innovationwatch

Drought-weary California farmers look north to Oregon for salvation

PORTLAND, ORE. — The Globe and Mail<p>Over the past couple of years, farmers in central Oregon have noticed a new group of visitors poking around – a growing number of big California nut growers, looking for land.<p>They’ve shown up in the Willamette Valley, a 250-kilometre long stretch of lush farmland …

California

'Stockbroker's Bible' Just Told Oil Industry To Accept Its Demise

Coming from the Financial Times, that's a sobering wake-up call.<p>The sun may finally be setting on the fossil fuel industry.<p>The editorial board of the Financial Times isn't exactly stacked with bleeding-hearted environmentalists. Just a month ago, the British paper defended ExxonMobil's right to …

Bible

Apple is working on an AI system that wipes the floor with Google and everyone else

Siri is due for a big upgrade.<p>Apple now has the tech in place to give its digital assistant a big boost thanks to a UK-based company called VocalIQ it bought last year.<p>According to a source familiar with VocalIQ’s product, it’s much more robust and capable than Siri’s biggest competitors like …

Google

This is the 'reckoning point' for a bunch of oil producers

Oil prices have rebounded over the past few months.<p>Both West Texas Intermediate and Brent crude are currently around $49 per barrel, well above their lows below $30 per barrel earlier this year.<p>However, that doesn't mean that everything is going well for all of the oil producers. Quite the …

Oil & Gas Industry

Ethical Questions Loom Over Efforts to Make a Human Genome from Scratch

The biggest beneficiary of a plan to fabricate a human genome from scratch could be a Massachusetts startup called Gen9 that has close ties to the …

The future of warfare is coming, and it's bringing lasers

This week, both the British Ministry of Defense and the US Navy have made strides towards directed energy weapons that could change the face of warfare as we know it.<p>The British, for their part, are eyeing a laser system that could compliment the Phalanx close in anti-missile system, which detects, …

The Future

What if a bot could run a country?

EXCLUSIVE:<p>Last week, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur named Gabriel Leydon showed me the revolutionary potential of real-time bots. He showed me a test bot project that, if expanded, could almost literally run a country: its public transportation system, taxis, traffic lights, parking spaces, and …

Internet of Things

Are you a terrorist, an academic, or a poker player? This startup says it can tell from your face

Philip K. Dick’s science fiction short story, “The Minority Report,” foresaw a future in which prescient mutants can predict and prevent crimes, and …

Startups

The Future of Humanity’s Food Supply Is the Hands of AI

Humanity’s got itself a problem. As <i>Homo sapiens</i> balloons as a species—to perhaps nearly 10 billion by 2050—the planet stubbornly stays the same size, …

Artificial Intelligence

There’s a Brilliant New Way to Pay Less for Your Flights

Here's exactly how to save a ton of money on airfare—especially if you book last-minute<p>There are probably worse travel planners than me, but I doubt it. I’m a procrastinator, and always fretting that I didn’t find the best deal. So a new feature of airline travel appeals: the option.<p>Recently, I …

Airlines

Reboot: Adidas to make shoes in Germany again – but using robots

Adidas, the German maker of sportswear and equipment, has announced it will start marketing its first series of shoes manufactured by robots in Germany from 2017.<p>More than 20 years after Adidas ceased production activities in Germany and moved them to Asia, chief executive Herbert Hainer unveiled …

Adidas

The Future of Smart City Technology, From an MIT Professor

On the long list of seemingly futuristic concepts that seem to be rapidly coming to fruition, the idea of a smart, tech-enabled city is one that …

Big Ideas

Calling An Uber Is Cooler Than Owning A Car—And Automakers Want In

People don’t want cars, they want rides. That’s the existential fear plaguing automakers today. And they’re scrambling to do something about it.<p>Just …

Automotive Industry

The Great Middle Class Awakening and Its Torchbearer

The middle class has been taking a shellacking for years. It began in the 1970s, when the business and political elites separated from the people and it has been accelerating ever since, according to Hedrick Smith, a former Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter and editor, an Emmy …

Middle Class

Why John Deere Measures Employee Morale Every Two Weeks

Many companies go to great lengths every year or two to determine just how motivated their work force really is. Traditionally, they might get vendors such as Gallup to survey employee engagement. More recently, online sites such as Glassdoor and Vault let HR managers view anonymized praises and …

John Deere

Utopian off-grid Regen Village produces all of its own food and energy

Danish architectural firm EFFEKT envisioned a future where self-sustaining communities could grow their own food and produce their own energy. They …

Sustainable Architecture

Foxconn axes 60,000 jobs in one Chinese factory as robots take over

And so it begins...

Robots

Fintech online lenders are looking at your social media footprint

Special to The Globe and Mail<p>A future where the time you spend on Facebook, LinkedIn and other online platforms could affect your creditworthiness isn’t merely coming – it’s already here.<p>Dozens of alternative lenders in the financial technology (fintech) space say they look beyond your credit score …

Social Media

The number of new businesses in the US is falling off a cliff

We’re supposedly living in the age of startups when people can create new businesses, enrich themselves, and employ their fellow Americans. That narrative, like much economic optimism these days, is now mostly a tale for coastal cities, and a tenuous one at best.<p>Fewer new businesses were created in …

Silicon Valley

The Revolutionary Rise Of The Chinese Brand

When China first became a global industrial epicenter it was known for contract manufacturing, OEMs, abject knock-offs, and an entire ecosystem of producers who flooded the markets of the world with low cost, no-name electronics, textiles, and other goods. However, the game has now changed for many …

Manufacturing

Google’s Superhuman Computer Can Tell Where Nearly Any Photo Was Taken

PlaNet, made by a team led by Google computer vision specialist Tobias Weyand, can determine the location of photos just by studying its pixels.You …

Google

Screen Reading Worse for Grasping Big Picture, Researchers Find

« $45 Million in Bond Funds to Flow to N.Y. Schools for Technology | Main<p><i>By Sarah Sparks. Cross-posted from the Inside School Research blog.</i><p>There's …

Literacy

11 Platform Cooperatives Creating a Real Sharing Economy

As “death star platforms” such as Airbnb and Uber continue their pursuit of global domination, an alternative is rising in its wake.<p>Platform …

Cooperatives

Barcelona's New, Huge "Superblocks" Are Designed To Stop Traffic, Fight Pollution

The nine-square-block areas are closed to everything but local traffic, filled with parks and pedestrian spaces, and change the way people interact with the city.<p>In 2017, Barcelona will start converting itself into a pedestrian city: Inside grids of "superblocks," non-resident cars will be banned, …

Traffic

One of the World's Richest Countries Is Voting on Whether to Give All Its Citizens $2,500 Per Month

Basic income gets its first-ever national referendum.<p>Next month, the world could get its first national basic income, but the likelihood of it passing remains a long shot.<p>The Swiss will vote on June 5 whether to institute an unconditional basic income that will take the place of some welfare …

Voting

Innovation Is Not Enough. Consider an Alternative Disruption Path.

While most startups are looking to disrupt an established big business or even an entire industry, Michael Docherty's book Collective Disruption provides a surprising and viable alternative.<p>Michael Docherty defines <i>Collective Disruption</i> as "harnessing the power of two seemingly disparate groups and …

Innovation

Understanding the Rise of the Global Super-Rich

A new report documents the extent of billionaire wealth across the world.<p>Ever since the rise of the Occupy Movement, we’ve become familiar with the huge amount of the world’s wealth controlled by the so-called “one percent.” Earlier this year, a report by Oxfam International claimed that the …

Wealth

Mapping the Incredible Spread of Million-Dollar Homes Across San Francisco

96 percent of homes in the city’s Westwood Park neighborhood cost $1 million or more.<p>More than half of the homes in San Francisco cost $1 million or more. While million-dollar-housing creep is happening nationwide, it’s nowhere more prevalent than in San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland.<p>The rise of …

San Francisco

We looked inside a secret Chinese bitcoin mine

In China, savvy entrepreneurs are making millions a year by mining bitcoin. Danny Vincent visited one of the world’s biggest facilities of its kind to film the activity and people within.<p>On the edge of a tiny Chinese town is a strange building where you can get an insight into the future – and only …

Bitcoin

How blockchains could change the world

Ignore Bitcoin’s challenges. In this interview, Don Tapscott explains why blockchains, the technology underpinning the cryptocurrency, have the …

Bitcoin