Here are five indicators, observations or articles that caught the eye of FA futurists today.
- Disruptive TV technologies like Dish’s “Hopper” and Barry Diller’s “Aereo” are threatening the business models of TV broadcasters. CBS/ABC/FOX/NBC are threatening to pull the plug on their free over-the-air transmissions and become cable-only channels.
- Neurologist Robert Burton argues that the current explosion of brain research isn’t asking the right questions — that we can never understand the mind, which is inherently subjective, by studying its wiring. In this interview with Salon.com, Burton says that what’s needed is an “Einstein of the mind” capable of theoretical breakthroughs around the brain-mind connection.
- Early this year, in a special report on inflammation in Science, Ira Tabas of Columbia University and Christopher Glass of UC San Diego summarize the current status and future prospects of anti-inflammatory therapy in the treatment of chronic diseases such as atherosclerosis, type 2 diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease. “New advances in understanding inflammatory signaling…together with new drug development, offer promise in this area of translational biomedical research.”
- Uruguay has voted to legalize same-sex marriage, replacing gender terms on the marriage license with “contracting partner.” In addition, children of gay parent will be allowed to take either parent’s last name. This is a further continuation of the values shift on gay marriage, and a remarkable one in a Catholic country, where the church vigorously opposed the issue.
- PC sales continued their dramatic decline, as as consumers either hold off on purchasing or opt for other devices such as tablets or larger-screen smartphones. Both Gartner and IDC reported that Q1 2013 PC sales were down double digits over Q1 2012.