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Will the Internet transform storytelling?

Sat, 27 Oct 2007 00:51:08 GMT

(image) Next month will see the Myspace TV debut of “Quarterlife,” a Web series that follows the fictional adventures of twenty-something creatives searching for love, gainful employment and the meaning of life.

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What evolutionary psychology says about social networking

Mon, 10 Sep 2007 14:55:27 GMT

It’s dangerous to rely on the enthusiasms of the blogosphere to determine the longevity of any new Web phenomenon.  But social networking may be in a class by itself — for reasons that go back long even before human memory. 

At this radio network, the audience is the star

Wed, 25 Jul 2007 18:37:10 GMT

(image) St. Paul, Minnesota's best-known contribution to modern media may be Prairie Home Companion — but its Minnesota Public Radio group is now working on a project with even bigger potential.  And this time the star isn’t Garrison Keilor, but the audience itself.

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Is the Internet dumbing us down?

Tue, 19 Jun 2007 01:37:11 GMT

(image) Andrew Keen wants to start an argument. And his new book “The Cult of the Amateur: How Today’s Internet is Killing Our Culture” shows that he knows how to do it.

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Who will fix my wired (and wireless) home?

Wed, 16 May 2007 01:22:42 GMT

When I was growing up, my mother urged me to become a telephone repairman—that way, she said, I’d always have a job. I think she was  onto something, but it’s more than just telephones — it’s all the gadgets that hang onto our increasingly complex home networks.

Will road warriors choose electrons over airplanes?

Mon, 16 Apr 2007 13:34:11 GMT

(image) It turns out that videoconferencing reaches a new threshold of reality when the people you’re seeing are nearly life-sized, moving naturally (without that Max Headroom lag-time) and speaking with sound as clear as a CD.

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Who will be the TV Guide of the Internet?

Wed, 14 Mar 2007 16:33:21 GMT

(image) How do you find what you want in the midst of this utterly disorganized video bonanza?  Clearly, the entrepreneur who comes up with the video equivalent of Google would be in a very powerful position.

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Why is U.S. always last for new phones?

Thu, 22 Feb 2007 23:53:46 GMT

(image) For U.S. gadget lovers, this week has been pretty much torment.  We’ve been watching the enormous 3GSM tradeshow in Barcelona where the latest and greatest mobile phone gadgetry is paraded before the international press.

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Weighing the risks of biotechnology

Wed, 17 Jan 2007 06:01:07 GMT

(image) Can we continue to advance technology without needlessly subjecting society to more Chernobyl melt-downs? The query is made more urgent by the fact that, given the new powers of biotechnology, the next miscalculation may prove to be damaging in ways we can’t presently imagine.

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What will make the laptop obsolete?

Wed, 13 Dec 2006 16:02:21 GMT

(image) A decade or two from now, will there be a laptop replacement? Will an even smaller, more mobile device — perhaps something the size of today’s smartphone — replace the laptop in the lives of consumers?

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Whither the iPod?

Wed, 8 Nov 2006 22:29:27 GMT

(image) It’s been quite an autumn for the ubiquitous music player: the fifth anniversary celebration, the ultra-small gigabyte Shuffle and finally the ultimate iPod accessory: “The Perfect Thing,” Steven Levy’s engaging new book that chronicles all-things iPod.  But here's the big question: what comes after the iPod?

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The future isn’t what it used to be

Thu, 12 Oct 2006 00:14:57 GMT

(image) “Follies of Science: 20th Century Visions of Our Fantastic Future” is a lavish visual compendium of art work, advertisements, cartoons, magazine covers and government documents, all depicting just how wonderful, or occasionally terrifying, the future will be.

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Will it matter if people can’t read?

Fri, 22 Sep 2006 01:52:21 GMT

(image) Educational doomsayers are again up in arms at a new adult literacy study showing that less than 5 percent of college graduates can read a complex book and extrapolate from it.  The obsessive measurement of long-form literacy is once more being used to flail an education trend that is in fact going in just the right direction.

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What do futurists really know?

Thu, 17 Aug 2006 15:04:07 GMT

The World Future Society conference in Toronto reveals that making accurate predictions isn’t necessarily what futurists do. It’s the act of stimulating creative thought. As one futurist said: "The future will always surprise us, but we must not let it dumbfound us."

How Washington will shape the Internet?

Tue, 11 Jul 2006 15:21:55 GMT

The most potent force shaping the future of the Internet is neither Mountain View’s Googleplex nor the Microsoft campus in Redmond.  It’s rather a small army of Gucci-shod lobbyists on Washington’s K Street and the powerful legislators whose favor they curry.

Can Web 2.0 change the world?

Tue, 13 Jun 2006 17:43:57 GMT

Some venture capitalists say that using Web 2.0 in your funding pitch is the quickest way to get thrown out of the office. In the not-for-profit world, however, Web 2.0 tools look like the biggest boost since the invention of the personal computer itself.

Readers want Internet TV — but cheap!

Thu, 1 Jun 2006 00:43:44 GMT

Reader responses to Practical Futurist Michael Rogers column on how TV networks are adapting to the Internet. 

TV networks begin to embrace Internet

Tue, 16 May 2006 23:36:47 GMT

Boob tube getting smart about Internet delivery.

Smart homes should be eco-savvy

Thu, 20 Apr 2006 19:39:52 GMT

Smart homes should be about more than just digital toys, Practical Futurist readers say. These days, a really smart home would do something about energy conservation

Smart homes go mass market

Mon, 10 Apr 2006 17:38:33 GMT

As the housing boom slows down, new home builders need to find ways to compete.  Solution: the smart home.

Readers offer own tales of tech demos

Fri, 17 Mar 2006 01:54:53 GMT

Readers agreed: When you see a great technology demo, make sure to look behind the curtain.

The art of the demo

Sun, 5 Mar 2006 22:31:50 GMT

(image) Over the years, Apple CEO Steve Jobs has become a master of the technology art form known as the “demo.” The power of the demo should never be underestimated: it can change your life.

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Gene-doped athletes? Cool, say some

Wed, 15 Feb 2006 22:52:23 GMT

A surprising number of readers felt that perhaps genetic engineering might present a new opportunity, rather than a threat, for sports.

The Olympic rings meet the double helix

Mon, 6 Feb 2006 01:20:07 GMT

Turin may be one of the last Olympics in history where athletes are tested only for drugs.  Gene doping is already coming into view— and it may someday prove nearly impossible to control.

Gadgets need to be simpler, readers agree

Wed, 18 Jan 2006 00:37:11 GMT

Readers agree that gadgetry has simply grown too complex, though a few argue that consumers also need to take responsibility.

Consumer confusion could dim tech hopes

Mon, 9 Jan 2006 19:18:50 GMT

Ready or not, the computer industry is moving into consumer electronics, along with one big question: Will it also bring its knack for making products that are maddeningly difficult to use?

Readers on identity and anonymity online

Thu, 22 Dec 2005 00:31:17 GMT

The end of anonymity on the Internet? Some readers think this is a great idea, while others think it will be the end of freedom and democracy as we know it.

Let's see some ID, please

Tue, 13 Dec 2005 12:53:15 GMT

As the joke goes, on the Internet nobody knows you’re a dog. But online anonymity may be about to disappear.

Readers on Europe's tech future

Wed, 30 Nov 2005 23:05:31 GMT

Is Europe is falling behind on innovation? Some readers say oui, others nein.

Can Europe still compete in technology?

Mon, 14 Nov 2005 12:53:28 GMT

(image) In years past, European technologists gave the world penicillin, radar, the compact disk, and the World Wide Web — but many observers now feel the region’s innovative spirit is flagging.

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Waiting for wireless everywhere

Mon, 24 Oct 2005 18:16:21 GMT

Readers are ready and eager for wireless wonders to come, but a few have some doubts about exactly how it would happen.

Wireless revolution is just beginning

Mon, 17 Oct 2005 15:40:50 GMT

Three technologies — WiMAX, mesh networks and smart radios — are about to converge to create a new generation of seamless networks.

Hurricanes, health records and you

Thu, 22 Sep 2005 02:36:25 GMT

How to make sure your vital health information isn't lost, plus reader reaction to the need for healthcare industry to be more computerized.

Physician, wire thyself

Tue, 13 Sep 2005 13:05:28 GMT

(image) When the average grocery store is more technically advanced than the average doctor's office, it's time for the health care system to join the 21st century.

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Synthetic actors: An interview from 2022

Mon, 15 Aug 2005 14:31:32 GMT

(image) When acting goes digital: In the year 2022, Julia Roberts reflects on acting with her synthetic younger self.

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Will Hollywood lock up our movies?

Mon, 18 Jul 2005 22:38:10 GMT

Everything you know about owning music and movies is up in the air right now, and where it will come down is anyone’s guess.

Changing attitudes on digital copyright

Thu, 28 Jul 2005 16:38:35 GMT

Memo to Hollywood: You may actually be able to avoid the online fate of the recording industry, but you’re going to have to choose copy protection that gives buyers flexibility, along with a whole lot of consumer education. 

Libraries are turning books into bits

Tue, 21 Jun 2005 12:46:00 GMT

(image) Working separately and together, a group of organizations is digitizing thousands of books every day, building a global library where every manner of content lives online.

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Readers on digital books

Wed, 29 Jun 2005 00:11:55 GMT

It was the idea of digital books, rather than the notion of new types of libraries, that brought the most reader reactions to this month's Practical Futurist columns.

Can China build its own Silicon Valley?

Mon, 23 May 2005 13:51:36 GMT

(image) China is putting the finishing touches on its own Silicon Valley and it may just have found the recipe for success. 

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Readers on China's tech buildup

Tue, 31 May 2005 22:33:54 GMT

Reader comments on China’s drive to build its own Silicon Valley fell broadly into two categories: what’s wrong with China and what’s wrong with us.

The end of analog TV

Sun, 24 Apr 2005 21:16:55 GMT

(image) Will America’s favorite technology really go dark next year? That's the date Congress has set for the end of analog TV.

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Readers on end of analog TV

Mon, 2 May 2005 20:22:14 GMT

I don’t think I’ve ever received so much email so quickly as with last week’s column on the cut-off of analog television, ranging from puzzlement and outrage to predictions of sudden increases in both book sales and pregnancies. 

Ready for your close-up? Here come vlogs

Tue, 22 Mar 2005 00:37:28 GMT

(image) Can’t stand to hear another word about the wonders of blogging?  Well, brace yourself, because here comes Version 2.0: vlogging.

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Readers on vlogs

Mon, 28 Mar 2005 20:43:10 GMT

Are video blogs the next great thing or just a niche experiment? And what does this all mean for the future of reading? Readers weigh in.