~ Chrognosis ~   Posted by Aether.Group: 0
 GM, 89 posts
 Like the Higgs Boson
 I give the story gravity.
Tue 19 Feb 2013
at 00:34
~ Chrognosis ~
Alright yes, I'm being a bit creative with my Greek.

This thread will be for the purpose of educating the players on future technological and political developments.

I'm only going to select a handful of things for each year. I don't want this to feel like homework. That said if you are interested in learning about what the future is bringing I will be recommending a couple websites.

To start things off, here is some of the things expected to occur in 2014.


One World Trade Center
After the terrorist attacks of 2001, then-President George Bush vowed that the World Trade Center complex would be fully rebuilt and the skyline made whole again. A competition was held between several architecture firms to design an iconic new landmark.

The One World Trade Center is completed in 2013, becoming the tallest building in the US - and third tallest in the world, before being overtaken by the Shanghai Tower.* The entire complex is finished by 2014.

Terabyte SD cards are available

SD cards and other memory devices continue to grow exponentially this decade, with storage capacities doubling roughly every year. A terabyte is equal to 1000 gigabytes.

Robotic pack mules are entering military service

Dynamically stable, quadruped robots are being deployed in military support roles now. These are accompanying soldiers in terrain too difficult for conventional vehicles. They use four legs for movement, allowing them to move across surfaces that would defeat wheels or treads. They are capable of running at 4 miles per hour (6.4 km/h), while carrying loads up to 340 pounds (150 kg) and climbing slopes with 35 degree inclines.

The first test flight of NASA's Orion spacecraft

The Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle was originally part of NASA's Constellation Program which was cancelled in 2010. However, the design was carried forward as the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (Orion MPCV), as part of NASA's new plans for manned exploration to the Moon, Mars and asteroids.

The first test flight is in 2014.* For this particular mission, the capsule is unmanned. Nevertheless, it reaches a higher altitude than any spacecraft intended for human use since 1973. Orion makes two highly elliptical orbits of the Earth, before re-entering the atmosphere and splashing down in the Pacific Ocean.

Rosetta deploys its lander on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Rosetta is a probe launched in 2004 by the European Space Agency and intended to study the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

The craft examines two asteroids - 2867 Steins and 21 Lutetia - before rendezvousing with the comet in 2014.

The spacecraft then places a lander on it. This deploys harpoons to anchor itself to the surface, and has legs designed to dampen its initial impact. During its week-long mission, the lander uses a variety of scientific instruments to examine the surface and internal composition.

Most phone calls are made via the Internet now

By now, the majority of homes and workplaces use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems, such as Skype.* These connections are made via the Internet, rather than traditional phone lines. The biggest advantage of VoIP is the cost. PC-to-PC phone calls can be made anywhere in the world, at any time, for free. PC-to-phone connections usually charge a fee, but are generally much cheaper than standard phone services with conventional handsets.

Personalised DNA sequencing for under $100

DNA sequencing technology is now so fast and cheap that an entire human genome can be read in a matter of hours for less than $100. This has been made possible by a revolutionary new device called a nanofluidic chip.*

Medical treatments can now be delivered on a highly personalised level, tailored to a patient's exact genetic code. For example, a doctor can biopsy a cancer patient's tumor, sequence all of its DNA, and use that information to determine a prognosis and prescribe treatment - all for less than the cost of a chest X-ray.

This message was last edited by the GM at 01:45, Tue 19 Feb 2013.

 GM, 91 posts
 Like the Higgs Boson
 I give the story gravity.
Tue 19 Feb 2013
at 01:24
Re: ~ Chrognosis ~

Virtual reality makes a comeback

The computer industry is another sector that has continued to see growth, in spite of the global economic crisis.* Exponential improvements in processing power (doubling every 18 months) are enabling the creation of highly lifelike graphics and 3D environments. At the same time, faster broadband is opening up new frontiers in cyberspace, allowing the development of Web 3.0 - the next generation of Internet. This is being combined with developments in on-person hardware, creating renewed interest in virtual reality.* Having been something of a gimmick in the 1980s, it is now becoming a serious tool for business, leisure, education and training.

Much of the content in these 3D environments is user-generated, with online communities for sharing and exchanging virtual objects, buildings, avatars, etc. For the wealthy, some of the hardware options now available include pod-like structures which are fully enclosing and respond to a variety of gesture commands.

The Eurasian Union is formed

The Eurasian Union is a political and economic union of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan and other countries, in particular the post-Soviet states. The idea, based on the European Union's integration, was brought to attention in October 2011 by then-Prime Minister of Russia, Vladimir Putin, but was first proposed as a concept by the President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, during a 1994 speech at a Moscow university. On 18th November 2011, the presidents of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia signed an agreement, setting a target of establishing the Eurasian Union by 2015. The agreement included a roadmap for the future integration and established the Eurasian Commission (modelled on the European Commission) and the Eurasian Economic Space, which started work on 1st January 2012.

The world's first fully sustainable, zero-carbon, zero-waste city

The first phase of Masdar City a $22 billion eco-project is completed in 2015.* This huge development is located outside of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. Entirely pre-planned and self-contained, it is the world's first carbon neutral, zero waste and fully sustainable city. A multitude of green technologies are utilised including the largest solar power plant in the Middle East, rooftop photovoltaics, wind farms, geothermal sources and a hydrogen power plant. The city's water needs are fulfilled by a solar-powered desalination plant. There are extensive recycling systems too.

The world's first lunar tourist

In 2001, Dennis Tito became the world's first space tourist, spending eight days on the International Space Station and orbiting Earth a total of 128 times. Tito paid a reported $20 million for his trip, through an arrangement with space tourism company Space Adventures Ltd.

A number of startup companies sprang up in subsequent years, in the hope of creating a space tourism industry. These included Virgin Galactic, which used suborbital spacecraft designed by Scaled Composites and launched from Spaceport America. At a cost of $200,000 each, civilians could journey to a height of 110 km (68 miles), experiencing up to six minutes of zero-G whilst looking down on the Earth.

Plans for an orbital hotel were also unveiled by Russian company Energiya, in partnership with Orbital Technologies, a US hi-tech firm.

Space Adventures began to look further, however, setting its sights on an even more daring and ambitious venture. In 2015, the company offers the first lunar orbits to paying tourists. At a cost of $150 million, passengers can travel beyond Earth orbit, enjoying circumlunar trips and viewing the Moon from just 100 km (62 miles) above its surface - as well as viewing the famous Earthrise.* Only 24 people have ever experienced this. The craft is also considerably larger and more comfortable than those used during the Apollo program.

The United States and South Korea dissolve the Combined Forces Command

The Combined Forces Command has been in place since the end of the Korean War. It acts as a command structure for the multinational military forces supporting South Korea. For more than 50 years, military operations along the demilitarised zone between North and South Korea have been under the command of the USA. This structure is dissolved in 2015, with operations being handed over to South Korea.* From this point onwards, South Korean and American forces will operate as two separate entities during wartime. This event comes at a time of great stress between North and South Korea. North Korea has continued to conduct missile tests, to the continued disapproval of South Korea.

The first large-scale solar updraft towers are operational

The first large-scale solar updraft towers are completed in 2015.* Built by EnviroMission - a start-up company that purchased land in Arizona, USA - they stand 800 metres in height, over twice as tall as the Empire State Building. Each generates 200 megawatts of clean, renewable energy - enough to serve 150,000 homes - and equivalent to removing 220,000 polluting cars from the roads.*

The towers work by combining three old and proven technologies: the chimney effect, the greenhouse effect, and the wind turbine. Air is heated by the Sun and contained in a very large greenhouse-like structure around the base; the resulting convection causes air to rise up the chimney. This airflow then drives turbines, producing electricity.

The towers have a number of advantages:

    Because they work on temperature differential, not absolute temperature, they work in   any weather;
    Because the heat of the day warms the ground up so much, they continue working at night;
    Since large areas of hot, dry land provide the best results, they can be built on useless and uninhabited land in the middle of the desert;
    They use no resources such as coal or uranium - just air and sunlight;
    They emit zero pollution. The only "emission" is warm air from the top of the tower. In fact, because of the greenhouse underneath, they can also be used for growing vegetation;
    They require virtually no maintenance and will last for almost a century;
    They can serve as tourist attractions, with money being generated from people wishing to experience their viewing galleries at the top.

This new technology offers hope for the future, coming at a time when the world faces an impending energy crisis. Once proven to be commercially successful, it will be deployed on a wider scale in the 2020s.

Queen Elizabeth II becomes the longest reigning monarch in British history

On 10th September 2015, Elizabeth II becomes the longest reigning monarch in British history - surpassing the record held by Victoria, her great-great grandmother. Having ascended to the throne on 6th February 1952, she has now reigned for 63 years and 217 days.

Gay marriage is legal in the UK

Civil partnerships had already been permitted in the UK since 2004, following the Civil Partnership Act. This gave rights and responsibilities to same-sex couples that were identical to civil marriage between opposite-sex couples. They were entitled to the same property rights, the same exemption on inheritance tax, the same social security and pension benefits, full life insurance recognition, the ability to get parental responsibility for a partner's children, as well as next of kin rights in hospitals.

Worsening economic crisis

The economic crisis which began in 2007 shows little sign of ending. US debt continues to increase, now reaching almost $20 trillion,* and its credit rating has been further downgraded.* In an unprecedented move, the dollar is beginning to lose its status as the world's reserve currency. A basket of currencies is in the process of replacing it. America remains paralysed by political deadlock, with an increasingly polarised and divided society.

The contagion affecting the eurozone, originally confined to Greece, has spread to other parts of the continent, leading to the collapse of numerous banks, corporations and financial institutions. Bailout after bailout has failed to provide an adequate long term solution.

Unemployment remains high, while poor consumer spending means governments are faced with lower tax revenues. Oil and food prices continue to rise.* Gold and silver have reached unprecedented highs.* Meanwhile, China is facing its own problems including the fallout of a massive real estate bubble.*

There are continued riots and protests throughout the world during this time, volatile market conditions and a number of frightening changes in society at large. Investor confidence is being eroded, with a growing reluctance to take risks. As debts worsen, there is no sign of a light at the end of the tunnel.*

Battery technology gets a boost

A new method of charging lithium-ion batteries has been perfected. This enables them to charge ten times faster and to last ten times as long. A chemical oxidation process creates miniscule holes (10 to 20 nanometres) between layers of graphene. This provides lithium ions with a "shortcut" to the anode. Energy density is increased by inserting clusters of silicon between each graphene slice, which allows more ions to gather at the electrode.*

By 2015, the process is widely used in consumer electronics. Mobile phones can now be charged from flat in under 15 minutes, with a single charge lasting up to a week. This technology also paves the way for smaller and more efficient batteries for electric cars.

10 nanometre chips enter mass production

The next generation of microprocessor technology is released by Intel, with transistors based on a 10 nanometre manufacturing process.* Over 10 billion transistors can now be packed onto a single chip. Moore's Law will soon be hitting a wall, as the effects of quantum tunnelling start to degrade chip performance. Traditional integrated circuits will reach their limit in the early 2020s, with a new paradigm emerging in the form of "stacked" 3D circuits made from carbon nanotubes, graphene and other new materials.

Scientists resurrect the woolly mammoth

New cloning technology has enabled the woolly mammoth - extinct for 5,000 years - to be brought back to life. Tissue samples are taken from a mammoth frozen in permafrost. The nuclei of a viable cell is then inserted into the egg cell of a female African elephant, which can act as a surrogate mother. Following a 600-day gestation period, the baby woolly mammoth is born.

Previous attempts to clone mammoths had failed, because the cell nuclei were too badly damaged by ice crystals; but new techniques have overcome this problem.*

The mammoths take around 20 years to reach adulthood. By the 2030s, they are appearing in a number of zoos and private collections. Other extinct mammals are cloned too, such as the sabre-tooth tiger and Megatherium.

LifeSaver bottles are in widespread use

Third World countries are benefitting from a revolutionary portable device. First revealed in 2007, it is now widely used by foreign aid workers and UN staff.

The "LifeSaver Bottle" filters water-borne pathogens, using holes just 15 nanometers across, to prevent even the smallest viruses (25 nanometers across) getting through, and eliminating the need for chemicals to treat the water. The Lifesaver Bottle is fitted with a 4000UF replaceable purification cartridge that removes bacteria, viruses, cysts, parasites, fungi, and all other microbiological water-borne pathogens.

New Horizons arrives at Pluto

This NASA probe was launched in 2006 and has travelled more than 4 billion kilometres through space. In July 2015, it returns the first close range, high resolution pictures of the icy world - along with its five moons - before passing through the Kuiper Belt.*

Dawn arrives at Ceres

Dawn is a robotic spacecraft sent by NASA on a mission to the asteroid belt. It reaches Vesta in 2011, before rendezvousing with the dwarf planet, Ceres, in 2015.

Ceres and Vesta are the two most massive members of the asteroid belt: 950 and 530 km in diameter, respectively. Dawn is the first probe to study and photograph them at close range. Both bodies formed very early in the history of the Solar System, thereby retaining a record of events and processes from the time of the formation of the terrestrial planets.

Dawn is also innovative - it becomes the first spacecraft to enter into orbit around a celestial body, study it, then re-embark under powered flight to a second target. All previous multi-target missions (such as the Voyager program) have involved rapid planetary flybys.*

Voyager I enters the heliopause

Voyager I remains the most distant human-made object, traveling away from the Earth at a speed greater than any other space probe.

Launched in 1977, its original mission was to visit Jupiter and Saturn. It became the first probe to provide detailed images of these planets and their moons.

In 2003, it entered the "termination shock" - the point where solar wind particles slow down to subsonic speeds due to interactions with the local interstellar medium.

By 2015, it has travelled so far that it has begun entering a region known as the "heliopause" - the point where the interstellar medium and solar wind pressures balance. It remains operational during this time, pursuing its extended mission to study the very boundaries of the Solar System, including the Kuiper Belt and beyond.

The probe, along with its sister - Voyager II - will continue operating as they head for the "Bow Shock", the true beginnings of interstellar space. They will transmit signals back to Earth until at least 2025 (half a century after they were launched) before their power finally runs out.

Trucks with emergency braking systems are mandatory in Europe

In November 2015, an EU law comes into effect which mandates that all new trucks must be fitted with emergency braking and collision warning systems.* This has been introduced in an effort to lower the number of rear-end collisions, which account for a significant proportion of road accidents.
 GM, 92 posts
 Like the Higgs Boson
 I give the story gravity.
Tue 19 Feb 2013
at 01:39
Re: ~ Chrognosis ~

China passes the USA in PPP

Under Purchasing Power Parity (PPP), China's economy expanded from $11.2 trillion in 2011 to $19 trillion in 2016. Meanwhile, the size of the US economy rose from $15.2 trillion to $18.8 trillion. This has reduced America's share of world output to 17.7%, its lowest in modern times. China's share has reached 18% and is continuing to rise.*

Rio de Janeiro hosts the Olympic Games

Rio becomes the first South American city to host the event.

Apple Inc. achieves a market capitalisation of one trillion dollars

Since it entered the market in the late 1970s, Apple has continually supplied the consumer electronic industry with innovative and revolutionising products. From the original Macintosh, released in 1984, to the latest generations of handheld devices, Apple has been at the forefront of advancing the technology available to consumers.

Recently, the company's devices had begun to set the curve for new markets. The iPhone, released in 2007, triggered an explosion in touch-screen smartphones that spawned countless models by other companies, each more impressive than the last. In 2010, the iPad began the now-booming tablet market, acting as the middle-ground between smartphone and personal computer. Indeed, by the time competitors introduced their own models, Apple was already releasing its generation two tablet, the iPad 2.

Despite the departure of founder and long-time CEO Steve Jobs, who was largely credited with Apple's success, the company continued a period of rapid growth, just at a slower rate.* Affecting this was the worsening global financial crisis. However, the demand for and quality of products pushed the company's value to sustained record high levels. By 2016, Apple reaches a market capitalisation of over $1 trillion,* becoming only the second to do so after the oil giant PetroChina briefly achieved it in 2007.*

India's first manned space flight

India becomes only the fourth nation after Russia, the US and China to independently launch humans into space. The rocket used is a variant of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark 2, operated by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). This carries a largely autonomous 3-ton capsule, with a two-person crew on board. They remain in orbit around the Earth at 248 miles (400 km) altitude for seven days, before splashing down in the Bay of Bengal. The total cost of the project is about 124 billion rupees ($2.67 billion USD).*

The first hotel in space

Energiya - a Russian space group - launches the world's first space hotel, in a partnership with Orbital Technologies, a US hi-tech firm. Capable of housing up to seven people, it offers spectacular views of the Earth and includes a menu crafted by celebrity chefs. It can also function as a possible emergency refuge for astronauts from the ISS.

InSight touches down on Mars

InSight is a probe launched by NASA to Mars, arriving in September 2016. The name stands for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport. A stationary lander is placed on the surface of Mars, equipped with a seismometer and heat flow probe that drills 5 metres (16 ft) below ground - deeper than all previous arms, scoops, drills and probes. InSight's primary objective is to conduct an advanced study into the early geological processes that shaped Mars. The rocky inner planets share a common ancestry that began with a process called accretion. As each body increased in size, its interior heated up and evolved to become a terrestrial planet with a core, mantle and crust. Despite this common ancestry, each of the terrestrial planets was later shaped and molded through a poorly understood process called differentiation. InSight's goal is to improve understanding of this process. It will confirm whether Mars' core is solid or liquid, and determine why the crust is not divided into tectonic plates that drift like Earth's.*

The Juno probe arrives at Jupiter

Launched in 2011, this becomes the second probe to orbit the gas giant, the first being Galileo in 1995. It is equipped with a camera, infrared and microwave radiometers, particle detectors, and an ultraviolet spectrometer. The mission objectives are:

    Determine precisely how much water is in Jupiter's atmosphere, to help confirm which planet formation theory is correct (or if new theories are needed).
    Look deep into Jupiter's atmosphere to gain a better understanding of its composition, cloud motions, temperature and other properties.
    Map Jupiter's magnetic and gravity fields - revealing its deep structure, core mass and overall dynamics, helping to further explain the planet's origin.
    Explore and study Jupiter's magnetosphere near the poles, especially the auroras Jupiter's northern and southern lights providing new insights into how the planet's enormous magnetic field affects its atmosphere.

Juno's mission concludes in October 2017, after a total of 33 orbits.* Like its predecessor, Galileo, it is crashed into the outer atmosphere of the gas giant, where it compresses and then melts as it falls.

Agricultural robots are appearing on farms

The first significant numbers of robots are appearing on farms.* These have been in development for over 20 years and are now cheap and sophisticated enough for mainstream use. New scanning and imaging technology has solved the primary problem of allowing robots to handle the varying shape of individual fruits and vegetables. The on-board computers are now able to differentiate between an object and its shadow and between green fruits, their leaves and vines. This is accomplished using an array of cameras, each picking up a different spectrum of light and creating a perfect picture of the obstacles and topography in the robot's surrounding environment.*

Laser guns are in naval use

First trialled in 2010, laser weapons are now in use by a number of warships as part of their short-range defence. "Solid state" 32-megawatt beams of directed energy can be fired to a distance of more than two miles, hitting a target moving at over 300mph. This exceptionally accurate system can protect against anti-ship missiles, as well as shooting down drones and other flying vehicles.*

OLED displays are in widespread use

Having fallen greatly in cost, organic light-emitting diodes (OLED) are now available in a wide range of devices. These use less power than traditional LCDs whilst allowing sharper, thinner, brighter displays. They also eliminate the need for back lights. Sunlight that would normally "wash out" a display has no effect the screens appear the same even in broad daylight, or when tilted at an angle.**

Holographic Versatile Disc (HVD) supersedes Blu-Ray

These ultra-high density discs are capable of holding 1Tb of data - equivalent to over 200 DVDs. They work by analysing micro-holograms in 3D, rather than just markings on the surface. This allows data to be far more densely packed than conventional optical technology.

The price of storage per gigabyte is plummeting - from around $1 per gigabyte in 2006, to less than 10 cents now. This is an example of the trend of exponential progress (rather than linear) seen in forms of information technology.

HVD itself is in danger of becoming obsolete, before it has even been properly established. Solid state flash drives are increasingly being used for digital transfer, some with even higher capacities, along with read and write speeds faster than any optical disc. The new SDXC card format specification has already reached the 2TB mark.

US presidential election

The 58th US presidential election is held in November 2016. This takes place amidst unprecedented challenges - both domestically and abroad - as the global depression worsens.

Launch of the Titanic II

More than 100 years after the ill-fated voyage of RMS Titanic, an exact replica is built and launched by the Australian billionaire Clive Palmer. The boat sails from China where it is constructed to Southampton in England ahead of her maiden passenger journey to New York. Guests include leading U.S. business figures, who are treated to a dinner from the same menu as Titanic passengers on the day it sank.*