In case there is any doubt that the future is on our doorstep and ringing the bell, I've compiled a list of 250 headlines related to the future of computing, the environment, medicine, robotics, and other topics that have been hot in 2010. Although by no means a complete record of the year's future-related headlines, this list demonstrates what an incredible year 2010 has been. Even if you don't click through to any of the articles, just reading the headlines will give you a good idea of the technology tsunami that was 2010.
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The incredible combination of smart phones and apps is changing the way we live. It was also the year of Apple vs. Android for mobile operating system supremacy. Location-based apps were also a big story in 2010. And 2010 will be remembered as the year the iPad changed personal computing.
- AT&T: The end of the wireline telephone is in sight
- Survey: U.S. mobile Web access growing fast
- It's Time to Prepare for the End of the Web as We Know It
- Seven Social Transformations Unleashed by Mobile Devices
- FCC moves to open satellite airwaves for mobile internet use
- 5 ways Apple's iPhone OS 4 is a game changer
- BlindType, Virtual Keyboard of the Future
- 7mm Thick Pico Projector Can Produce a 70 inch Image (video)
- Pay for the Subway Using Your iPhone
- Body Sensing Comes to Smartphones
- Why Location Apps of the Future Will Do Much More Than Checkins
- Foursquare seems silly, but it could be the future of information
- Mobile Phone Software Makes Your Device Intelligent
Artificial intelligence is starting to find its way into our every day lives in call centers, shopping websites, mobile apps, and even email sorting. Advances in computer vision and language processing are leading us closer to the empathetic, conversational, personal assistant.
- AI's Time Has Arrived
- Artificial Intelligence advances reaching groundbreaking stage
- Voss Turns Artificial General Intelligence Into Phone Answering Service
- Goog, CIA invest in technology that can predict the future
- IBM `Velociraptors' Modeling Monkey Brains in Quest for Sales
- Riders on a swarm (a key to artificial intelligence)
- Computer-simulated life forms evolve intelligence
- New supercomputer on a chip ‘sees’ well enough to drive a car someday
- Ability to 'see' advances artificial intelligence
- Intelligent Video to Drive the Artificial Intelligence Revolution – IMS Research
- Artificial intelligence has a feel for laboratory science
- Artificial intelligence: Helping man to explore the cosmos
- MoNETA: A Mind Made from Memristors
- Robot Can Read, Learn Like a Human
- Machine takes on man at mass Turing Test
- Reliable Dictation, Down to a ‘T’
- SalesClark Brings Artificial Intelligence to Online Shopping
Web 2.0 and the rise of social media such as Twitter's millions of tweeters have created an incredible resource of collective data which can be mined to predict stock prices, disease outbreaks, emotional states, and even box office hits. The world is quickly moving towards a collective intelligence.
- Twitter used to predict box office hits
- How Twitter Could Better Predict Disease Outbreaks
- Twitter mood maps reveal emotional states of America
- Twitter Predicts the Stock Market
- Why Twitter Is the Future of News
Researchers are working to get into the human mind and find ways to connect it to computers. Meanwhile other researchers are finding ways to use electronics to affect the mind making it a two way street. It won't be long before we are controlling computers with our minds and augmenting our minds with computers.
- Computers that read minds are being developed by Intel
- Brain-controlled cursor doubles as a neural workout
- Yale Study Shows Electrical Fields Influence Brain Activity
- Skull electrodes give memory a boost
- Unleashing the Power of the Savant Brain in All of Us
- Wiring The Brain to Aid People With Paralysis
- App Lets You Make a Phone Call With Your Mind (Video)
Robots are on the rise. From autonomous quadracopters to human exoskeletons to four legged pack mules, robots are taking all kinds of forms. They are making scientific discoveries, helping the disabled walk, folding laundry and giving sponge baths, and even playing soccer. If you can name it, robots will someday do it.
- World's First Robot Census
- Robot Operating System Celebrates 3rd Birthday with Exponential Growth (video)
- Robot Makes Scientific Discovery All by Itself
- Raytheon Unveils 2nd Generation Exoskeleton Robotic Suit (Video)
- Five federal agencies want big robot technology advances
- Japanese 'HRP-4' Bendy Bot Has Better Balance Than Most Bipeds
- Personal flying drones are here: should we be concerned? (Video)
- Badass Quadrotor Flies Through Hoops, Hauls Wood, and Spies On You (Video)
- Quadrotor Autonomous Flight and Obstacle Avoidance with Kinect Sensor (Video)
- Futuristic Robot Comes to Life in Virginia Lab
- Childless millionaire builds 'intelligent robot' that sings Karaoke, laughs and tells jokes
Although it looks like we're in dire straights with global warming, ocean acidification, dwindling resources, pollution, and poverty, there are some bright spots that give us hope that humanity has a chance of living in harmony with the planet.
- Illegal logging down, new report reveals
- Youtricity: clean water & energy from waste
- Shipping goes green as Shiply expands across Europe
- Johns Hopkins scientists demonstrate real-time weather observation from space
- Artificial meat 'made in a giant vat' could solve global food shortage
- Solar-powered process could decrease carbon dioxide to pre-industrial levels in 10 years
- New Study Shows Americans Used Less Energy and More Renewables in 2009
- Will biodiversity agreement save life on Earth?
- Wal-Mart, global warming cases will get hearings before Supreme Court
- California Approves First Large Scale Cap and Trade System in the U.S.
There's lots of bad news. And if it's not man made, then it's quite a coincidence that one of the fastest global extinction events in the history of life on the planet just happens to be taking place within the tiny speck of time that industrialized society has been around. Unfortunately, the media gives nearly as much attention to 1% of experts who claim global warming in natural as they do the the 99% who are certain it is caused by human activities. All major scientific institutions have arrived at the conclusion that the greenhouse effect is causing the planet to warm. There's not a single one that disagrees. But it doesn't surprise me that we're still debating global warming considering there are still people debating natural selection.
- 2010 on track to be warmest on record
- International Scientists Claim Climate Change is "Undeniable"
- Climate Villain Bjørn Lomborg Does U-Turn, Says Global Warming is a $100 Billion Problem
- The world is running out of helium: Nobel prize winner
- Warning: Planetary Eco-Checkbook Bounced Over Weekend
- Earth's animals face grim future
- One in five plant species face extinction
- Global extinction crisis looms, study says
- Earth is 'at a tipping point'
- 2010 WWF Living Planet Report Released
- 1/5 of Animals Facing Extinction: Mass Extinction is Here
- Melting glaciers make it more likely the coasts will be toast
- International investors issue global warming warning
- Scientists fear mass extinction as oceans choke
- Climate: a million deaths a year by 2030: study
- Desertification is greatest threat to planet, expert warns
- NASA releases global warming map
Far from a complete list of alternative energy breakthroughs, here are some of the more interesting stories of 2010.
- Algae to solve the Pentagon's jet fuel problem
- Largest Ocean Energy Device Ever Installed In U.S. Waters Generates Electricity at Design Capacity
- Nanotechnology Quintuples Heating Capacity of Solar Water Heaters
- Researchers One Step Closer to Capturing Electricity Out of Thin Air
- ‘Solar funnel’ concentrates solar energy 100 times
- Swedish Researchers Harness Green Goo to Create Solar Cells from Jellyfish
- Quantum thermoelectric device turns waste heat into power
- World’s Most Powerful Laser on Target for Awesome Science
- Hemp produces viable biodiesel, study finds
- Carbon Sciences Moves Closer to Turning CO2 Into Gasoline
- Trees Infused With Glowing Nanoparticles Could Replace Streetlights
- Device Generates Electricity from Heat and Light
- Scientists harvest solar power - in the dark
Clean renewable energy is the new space race. China has taken the lead from the US. But the US and other countries are investing huge sums of money to keep up with the competition.
- Clean energy: China charges ahead of world
- Silicon Valley’s Solar Innovators Retool to Catch Up to China
- South Korea to Spend $36 Billion on Clean Energy by 2015 to Gain Markets
- South Korea Pledges $8.2 Billion For Offshore Wind Farms
- Investing Billions in Indian Solar Power
- Sahara desert project aims to power half the world by 2050
- Calif. wants third of its power renewable by 2020
With no real signs of life from global political efforts to slow carbon emissions more and more researchers are looking seriously at geoengineering solutions.
- Geoengineering: The Most Important Technology Nobody’s Heard Of
- The powerful coalition that wants to engineer the world's climate
- Geoengineering Research Emerges from the Lab
Desalination is starting to explode along with the global population. If one thing is certain for the future, it is that we need to be as innovative with water as we are energy, otherwise clean water for drinking and irrigation is going to a problem as we approach the 9 billion global citizens mark predicted for the middle of this century.
- Researchers discover a way to simultaneously desalinate water, produce hydrogen and treat wastewater
- Electrified Cotton Filter Soaked in Nanotech Cheaply and Quickly Purifies Large Volumes of Water
- Silicon Nanowires for Solar, Desalination Via Gravity on Tap at PARC’s 40th
- In The World: Drinking water, from sunshine
- A Cheaper Way to Clean Water
- SWRO Desalination: A Viable, Long-Term Solution to Water Scarcity
- Spending on Desalination Projects To Increase 191% by 2016
- AZ Desalination Plant Pumping Thousands of Gallons of Clean Water
- Providing Low-cost Clean Water for a Billion People
- Saudi Arabia’s Desalination Market A $50 Billion Opportunity
- Innovative India water plant opens in Madras
Here are just a few of the scores of transportation efficiency projects going on around the world.
- Aircraft completes first solar-powered night flight
- Edison2 Very light car wins $5m X prize
- Honda Air – The New Generation’s Futuristic Lightweight Car
It was a big year for self-driving vehicles. Pushed along by DARPA, Germany's autonomous taxis, and Google's interest in this inevitable market, self-driving cars made big news in 2010. It will be a few more years but eventually they will become a common site.
- Look, no hands: Cars that drive better than you
- Robot Vans Drive, Driverless, from Italy to China (Video)
- Use Your iPad to Call a Robot Taxi To Drive You Around Berlin! (video)
- German scientists see golden future for 'self-driving' cars (Update)
- Driverless Vans End Long Drive in Shanghai (Video)
Genes are the Lego blocks of life, and scientists are like kids in a toy store. By tinkering and tweaking genomes and combining parts from totally unrelated species we now have salmon that grow faster, glow in the dark puppies and mice that tweet like birds. 2010 was also big year for genetically modified crops.
- Scientists Demonstrate Mammalian Regeneration Through a Single Gene Deletion
- Is engineered 'Frankenfish' coming to the nation's table?
- Welsh scientists 'clone' human virus
- GM crops get Vatican's blessing
- Scientists produce mouse offspring from two fathers
- Japanese Create A Mutant Mouse That Tweets Like a Bird
2010 will be remembered as the dawn of the synthetic genome, the creation of a genetic code 2.0, and the discovery of anaerobic bacteria and bacteria that use arsenic in their DNA. These discoveries don't just benefit genetic technologies, they also expand the possibilities of the kinds of environments that might harbor life, greatly impacting our search for ET's.
- Genetic code 2.0: Life gets a new operating system
- Scientists create first synthetic cell (videos)
- U.S. Bioethics Commission Gives Green Light to Synthetic Biology
- First oxygen-free animals found
- Making a Genome Quickly from Scratch
- NASA Finds Alien DNA in Californian Lake
Between gene therapy, stem cell treatments, genetic engineering, and fast, cheap DNA sequencing, we are quickly becoming masters of our bodies. How long can it be before we've completely tackled cancer, viruses, nerve damage, brain damage, organ replacement, and even aging?
- Arteriocyte Produces Artificial Blood, Sends to FDA for Approval
- Hand-held detector aims to diagnose disease
- Thailand succeeds in developing nano-tech mosquito-killing net
- Protein that destroys HIV discovered
- Gene Therapy Looks To Have Cured Man With Blood Disease
- Scientific breakthrough: Healthy baby born from frozen embryo that is TWENTY years old
- Scientists unveil new method to create bioartificial organ
- Cheap new machine to read DNA could allow many more labs to start sequencing
- Your genome in minutes: New technology could slash sequencing time
- Implant Uses A Microchip Embedded in the Spine To Edit Out Chronic Pain
- Human intestinal tissue grown in the lab
- Inkjet-like device "prints" cells right over burns
Among the many branches of nano technology, nano medicine has show exceptional promise. Using nanowires and nano bombs researchers have been able to target and kill individual cancer cells.
- Pinpoint Precision: Nanowires Deliver Biochemical Payloads to One Cell Among Many
- Designer nano luggage to carry drugs to diseased cells
- Nanoshells appear to kill cancer at root
Stem cell research exploded in 2010 as researchers found ways to create them, change them, make them live longer, and use them to cure diseases. New techniques for creating stem cells mean we may no longer need to worry about the ethics involved in using embryonic stem cells.
- Scientific breakthrough to pave the way for human stem cell factories
- US scientists find new way to generate human stem cells
- Researchers engineer adult stem cells that do not age
- American Scientists Inject World’s First Stem Cells Into Human
- Conference Displays Stem Cell Research From Across Nation
- Stem Cells Return Sight to 76-Year-Old
- In First Stem Cell Stroke Trial, Scottish Patient Has Embryonic Stem Cells Injected Into His Brain
- Scientists Trick Cells Into Switching Identities
- Scientists find new stem cell source
- A Science First: Stem Cells Injected into Woman's Brain
- Direct Conversion May Make Embryonic Stem Cell Research Obsolete
People have been talking about cyber security threats for a long time. 2010 is the year that we finally have to take it seriously with cyber warfare becoming a reality. From countries to nuclear power facilities to multi-national banks to online retailers, no institution seems to be immune to the ravages of cyber war.
- Stuxnet worm 'targeted high-value Iranian assets'
- NSA's 'Perfect Citizen' Will Watch for Cyberattacks
- Call to define rules of cyber war
- US sees "huge" cyber threat in the future
- The Wikileaks scandal is more than just a diplomatic scuffle; it’s a war for the future of the Internet
- New breed launched cyber counterattack in support of WikiLeaks
- Threat of Cyberwar Calls for Treaties, Hotlines
- 'Prepare for all-out cyber war'
- Digg critics allege vast right wing conspiracy
A new wave of mega-philanthropy is underway as the world's biggest tycoons take on humanities biggest problems.
- US rich pledge half of fortunes to charity
- Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg Joins Buffett and Gates in "Giving Pledge"
- Hedge-fund philanthropist: Physics can save the planet
- Peter Thiel seeks funding for the future
- Virgin Gets in on the Philanthropy Business
The future of TV is in flux as it merges with the Internet. Google, Apple, Netflix, and Hulu are a few of the big players making things interesting for the cable and broadcast companies. One thing is for sure. When the dust settles there will be a variety of services to choose from.
- Battle for the future of TV
- Entertainment industry flinches as Google TV charges in
- Apple's New iTV Could Finally Force ISPs To Give Up On All-You-Can-Eat Internet Access And Jack Up Your Bandwidth Bill
- Digg founder says Apple iTV launch in September will 'change everything'
- Twitter and the Future of TV
Tablet computing and virtual worlds promise to change education. Text books are becoming electronic and interactive, while global communications make the educational experience a mix and match proposition. Personalized learning will become the wave of the future.
- Replacing a Pile of Textbooks With an iPad
- iPads Instead of Textbooks – Trial Underway in California Middle Schools (video)
- The World Is My School: Welcome to the Era of Personalized Learning
- Google: 129 Million Different Books Have Been Published
2010 saw the first detection of a possibly habitable planet. Many say 2011 will be the year we find Earth's twin (in size and temperature). Meanwhile Stephen Hawking raised questions about the wisdom of announcing our existence to the universe. Could we in our search for ET's be inviting the wrath of hostile aliens?
- Don’t talk to aliens, warns Stephen Hawking
- Is AI More Common Than Biological Intelligence Across the Universe
- Is this the new Earth
- Only one of many: Soon, expect hundreds of earth-like planets that could host life
Google is everywhere - on the street, in space, under the sea, on our phones, and in our pockets trying trying get the car keys. Google's main goal seems to be the development of an intelligent computer agent that we can talk to which can predict our every want and need before we have to go looking for it. In the mean time they sure are having fun getting there.
- One Million Calls Placed From Gmail in 24 Hours
- Google Earth goes underwater
- Google unveils Instant search
- Google Purchases BlindType Keyboard AI! Plus New Video for Android Phones
- Gmail Gets an Algorithmic Mail Sorter
- Google Offers Cloud-Based Learning Engine
- Google Body Browser: Explore The Human Anatomy In 3D (pictures)
- Google Body Browser (video)
- Google Hits the Road in Self-Driving Cars
- Google's search for the perfect learning machine
It's proving to be difficult to catch terrorists before they strike. Botch jobs like the shoe bomber and underwear bomber have created a demand for alternative methods of detecting the bad guys. I think in the near future, we'll only need to ask.
- 'Are you a terrorist?' The simple question being asked at an airport which could rumble a suicide bomber
- Reading Terrorists' Minds About Imminent Attack
- Homeland Security to test iris scanners
It's just the beginning, but in 2010 3D printing's bright future became clearer. Why ship manufactured goods all over the world when we can just print our own at home? This is one of those sleeper technologies that is going to sneak up and change the world all over again.
- 3-D Printing Spurs a Manufacturing Revolution
- The Rise of the 3-D Printers
- The Future Of 3D Printing & Intellectual Property
- First 3D-Printed Car Hits The Road (Video)
- Orbiting 3D printers are the future of space exploration
Space tourism is fast becoming a reality with the Russians and the Americans leading the way. Private companies like Virgin Galactic, SpaceX, and Orbital Sciences are pushing the envelope and giving governments a run for their money, and sometimes a helping hand.
- FAA gears up for commercial traffic in outer space
- Branson's Virgin Galactic Completes First Solo Space Flight
- Spaceport America: The Future of Space Travel
- Russians Plan Space Hotels for Tourists
- Private Spaceship Could Start Carrying Tourists Within a Year
- Race for Private Space Stations, It's U.S. Versus Russia
- SpaceX mission could mark turning point for commercial spaceflight
- Jumping into the New Space Race, Orbital Sciences Unveils Mini-Shuttle Spaceplane Design
Productive quantum computing is still a long way off, but 2010 saw a lot of advances and stronger commitments in the field.
- Physicists demonstrate 100-fold speed increase in optical quantum memory
- ‘Ultimate’ solvent brings highly conductive quantum nanowire closer
- Physicists Build a Memory that Stores Entanglement
- Quantum computers move a step closer
- IBM Launches Five-Year Effort To Develop Quantum Computing
- Physicists demonstrate teleportation-based optical quantum entangling gate
Just a few of the scores of breakthroughs in mathematics, and theoretical and applied physics in 2010.
- Enter the matrix: the deep law that shapes our reality
- First Evidence That Quantum Processes Generate Truly Random Numbers
- New study suggests researchers can now test the 'theory of everything'
- Mass Can Be 'Created' Inside Graphene, Say Physicists
- Scientists create world's first 'super-twisted' light
- LHC May Locate The Higher Dimensions Next Year
- CERN Researchers Trap Antimatter Hydrogen Molecules For the First Time
- Theoretical physics breakthrough: Generating matter and antimatter from the vacuum