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Research Reveals Americans’ Feelings About Futuristic Technology

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droneI teach, think, and write a lot about the technology of the future, and the implications of that technology. I often worry that people accept the evils of technology without thinking carefully enough about it — i.e., spying, other privacy invasions, and hacking — and that Aldous Huxley’s fear that we’ll be “caught by surprise by our advancing technology” will indeed come to fruition. But recent Pew research indicates that Americans might be a little more skeptical about futuristic technology than I thought.

Just as we’ve experienced great technological leaps in the past few decades, we’ll continue to advance technologically at breakneck, if not exponential, speed. The Pew Research Center wanted to see how Americans feel about what’s coming down the pike, and what technologies they predict will actually come to fruition in the next 50 years. Their research shows that 59% of respondents believe the coming technology will impact society in a positive way. I’m not sure if that number indicates optimism or naivete, or perhaps a little bit of both. Thirty percent of respondents think the coming technological changes will make life worse. Are they pessimists or Luddites? Maybe a bit of both.

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I Want To Ride My Bicycle—Into The Future

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Aerofex hoverbikeFuturists think a lot about what transportation might look like. Will we travel via bullet train or hyperloop? Who and what will take us to space? Are those hoverboards coming anytime soon? jetpacks? In the future, I plan to keep riding my bike, I’ll pass on that smartwheel, thank you very much. The bike as we know it, however, might look drastically different, and they’ll likely be able to do all kinds of things bikes of today can’t.

For cyclists who think that turning wheels on the ground has gotten old, there’s a hover bike in the works. Aerofex is working on a “bike” that looks more like Annakin’s pod racer from The Phantom Menace. Powered by ducted fans, it reaches heights of approximately 15 feet. There’s a conceptual prototype, and the company is now developing a usable version. But unless you’re on Tatooine, the hover bike probably won’t ever enter the consumer market.

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Miley Cyrus Is Nude And Glittered In Space For Future’s Real And True Video

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Some songs are well known for their connections to people committing suicide, most notably Rezső Seress and László Jávor’s “Gloomy Sunday,” which has reportedly led quite a few people to kill themselves while listening, because it’s just that depressing. And then there’s rap artist Future’s video for “Real and True,” which features guest spots from Miley “My Boobs Are Headlines” Cyrus and British musician and producer Mr. Hudson. This science fiction-tinged clip was enough to make me want to blow my brains out just to get all that inane Auto-Tune to stop. I guess it was pretty depressing, though not because of saddening subject matter, but because it just kept going on and on and on.

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Sci-Fi Movie Timeline: Getting The Future Wrong Since 1995

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Futuristic Movie TimelineWe’ve all been there. You’re watching Back to the Future Part II and you’re getting sucked up in the quick-paced story, but then all of a sudden you think to yourself, “There’s no way we’re going to have hover boards by the year 2015.” With only a year and a half before we hit 2015, we’re still waiting for power-laced sneakers, self-drying jackets, and hover-converted cars. Sadly, I think we’re going to be disappointed.

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DARPA Research Aims To Make Halo-Style Super Soldiers

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Running at Olympic speeds, going for days without food, healing at an accelerated rate, and carrying enough gear to make a professional bodybuilder cry like a baby: sounds a little like Master Chief from the Halo series doesn’t it? Well now scientists at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) are looking at turning this all too familiar video game protagonist into a reality, and just like the Spartans from Halo, they want to do it with genetic manipulation.

Novelist Simon Conway revealed the plans to make a genetically altered super soldier after he was allowed special behind-the-scenes access to DARPA. Conway seems to have used his access as the inspiration for his newest book Rockcreek Park , which revolves around a dead body found in Washington, D.C. that appears to have superhuman qualities. About the research, Conway said…

 It’s all about improving the efficiency of energy creation in the body. Soldiers would be able to run at Olympic speeds, carry large weights and go without sleep and without food…

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NASA’s Next Generation Plane Concept Takes Flight

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Believe it or not, one of the A’s in NASA stands for Aeronautics. It may not get as much press as their space stuff does, but the work is no less important and helps develop key technologies that advance the design and safety of modern aircraft. Yesterday, at Edwards Air Force Base in California, NASA tested out a concept for a futuristic blended wing body aircraft that may well be norm several decades from now. Don’t get too excited though; like they say in Camelot, it’s only a model.