Tagged With the future

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Scientists recently developed a method to convert sewage into biocrude oil, so it appears that our future will quite literally be shit. According to a report from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, researchers converted poop to oil using a process called hydrothermal liquefaction. PNNL explains that hydrothermal liquefaction "mimics the geological conditions the Earth uses to create crude oil, using high pressure and temperature to achieve in minutes something that takes Mother Nature millions of years."

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Drone deliveries are the future. Years from now we really will be able to order something online and have it dropped off at our door hours later by a tiny flying robot. But presently there are some issues with drone deliveries. And they're only partially related to aviation laws. Quadcopter-based deliveries have to struggle with the weather, tiny delivery zones and drones potentially falling out of the sky. Zipline, a robotics company based out of San Francisco, claims it solved those issues.

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2015 was an insanely wild year in robotics: From leaps in AI technology to piloted, Gundam-like battle machines. We're living in a bizarre, sci-fi world that entangles humans with robots more than ever before. Here are ten of the craziest 'bots from the past year.

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The HoloLens headset from Microsoft is the world's first untethered wearable that generates holograms before your eyes. It's been nearly a year since we first strapped a prototype to our faces, and as the tech goliath prepares to unleash a first batch of units to developers in the coming months, I was invited to check out just how far the technology has come. Holograms are here people — and they're going to change your life.

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Movies — no matter how groundbreaking or vision changing or future defining — are trapped under the limitations of the technology of their time. Which often means that a movie's imagination of the future is handcuffed with those same limitations. Their vision of the future may be correct but the technology used to execute that idea is often hilariously outdated.

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Video: If real life imitates art, we're doomed. This teaser video for the upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 video game paints a very plausible vision of the future, so much so that watching it totally feels like channel-surfing while fast-forwarding through time. We're going to build awesome stuff, which is great, and then ruin ourselves with said awesome stuff, which is not so great.

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As (presumably) living, breathing humans, we can't not spend exorbitant amounts of time wondering about the future. Will I have kids? Will I be dead? Will I finally get my goddamn hoverboard? All valid questions! And while Orange's new site, Future Self, might not answer all (or any) of them, it does attempt to at least give you a taste of one, equally desirable bit of knowledge: What you'll look like 20 years from today.

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Death is unfathomable and terrifying. We try to stave it off with vitamins, checkups, and exercise, to diminish the awful permanence with beliefs in afterlives and miracles. For some people, that's not enough. There will be no accepting mortality for believers in cryonics, the process of preserving human bodies at low temperatures with hopes of one day reviving them.

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Signs From the Near Future — a Tumblr that features photoshopped images that show the upcoming consequences of technology development — has quickly become one of my favourite blogs. Some of the street signs are genius — I have no doubt that we will see them in the very near future.

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We poke fun of Siri and pretend to get scared by Humanoid robots and make our neck hair stand up straight by watching quadrocopters do amazing things, but the truth is artificial intelligence is still pretty dumb. But that's going to change! The rise of artificial intelligence is happening and they're learning a lot more about us because we're learning more about them. Sort of.

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Samsung’s put together a sci-fi vision of the mobile phones of the future, showing us fold-out models, bendy tech, weird orange things and wearable sensors that scan our bodies to see if we’re unwell. We’d settle for a battery that could last more than a day.

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Volkswagen wanted to build a car that could go 100km on a litre of fuel. Now, 15 years after setting that challenge for itself, it has exceeded its goals in almost every way. The VW XL1 is built like a supercar, looks like a spacepod, feels like a production model and crosses the Autobahn while using barely 0.009 litres of fuel every kilometre. This is what it's like to drive the future.

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The January 1987 issue of the legendary (and sadly, now defunct) Omni magazine included predictions from 14 "great minds" about what the world might look like in 20 years. By the year 2007, musician David Byrne believed that computers would do little for future musicians outside of their bookkeeping.