Here are five indicators, observations or articles that caught the eye of FA futurists today.
- According to the Wall Street Journal we’re entering “the age of bite-sized entertainment.” Shorter formats for music, videos, and e-books are easier to consume on the go and allow producers to test the popularity of content before investing in longer versions.
- Chris Nelder writes in Scientific American about new developments in flywheel technology that could put them on the same competitive cost basis as pumped hydro or compressed air. Bill Gray, the Silicon Valley inverntor of the Velkess flywheel is crowdsourcing development funding via Kickstarter.
- Ars Technica has a fascinating article on a NASA team that performed a teardown of a 50 year old Apollo rocket booster and collaborated with another aerospace company working on a modern version of the booster. The original booster contained 5,600 parts, many of which were hand fabricated; the modern version has only 40 different components, many of which are fabricated with 3D printing technology
- And end to poverty? The World Bank says that optimistic scenarios could see the end of the worst kind of global poverty by 2030.
- Vance Fried’s College 2020 forecasts that online education will dramatically reduce educational costs. In his vision of higher education, “college” will be become unbundled, with students seeking out residential colleges for the community amenities, but choosing courses and instruction from multiple online education services.