Dennis Kucinich is mad that he wasn't invited to Tom Harkin's steak fry. It might've been ironic to invite a vegan to a steak fry.
The Army has recorded its first "kills" via unmanned aerial vehicles. It's a sign we're getting closer to the time when a third of America's combat vehicles are unmanned. These are huge changes from the way we've waged war in the past, and they will have major effects on our civilian lives, too. Imagine, for instance, the effect that the development of unmanned vehicles for the military will have on self-driving vehicles for Joe and Jane Sixpack. Once we have robots driving our tanks, they'll certainly be capable of driving our semi trucks, too.
Meanwhile, Google is offering a huge incentive prize to encourage people to launch privately-funded unmanned missions to the Moon. You can also use Google to see what we saw on our manned missions thirty or forty years ago.
On the subject of lofty visions of the future, the tremendous Internet buzz about the X-Seed 4000, a 13,000-foot building designed for Tokyo, may have been a little misplaced: The design was strictly a conceptual idea, not a real plan.
But it does raise interesting questions about how we choose where to live. Whether it's a matter of saving money or cutting down on wasted time, or spreading out a company's critical assets in case of disasters like pandemic flu, telecommuting looks more and more attractive all the time. And with extreme commuting on the rise, more Americans may be willing to consider ways to cut the distance between home and work.
Speaking of commutes, Minneapolis police are cracking down on jaywalking around the University of Minnesota. The problem is that they're spending lots of money to enforce a law that doesn't necessarily make sense. If there's no imminent risk to pedestrians or drivers, then allowing a person to cross the street against a light is both efficient and sensible. Ticketing people for crossing when there's little imminent risk of harm just erodes people's respect for the law. And there's far too much erosion of trust in the law going on as it is.
Beware, though: While we're dilly-dallying with stupid jaywalking tickets, China is aggressively turning computer hacking into a weapon of war. That's no small potatoes.
But we can at least take some heart, so to speak: A British surgeon thinks replacement heart valves from our own bone marrow cells could be a reality within five years. Life continues to get better all the time.
Keywords in this show: future • futurism • Presidential candidates • robots • armed forces • Google • inducement prizes • Moon • architecture • Japan • Minneapolis • jaywalking • China • heart • bioengineering • electronic warfare • commuting • telecommuting • pandemic flu