The WikiLeaks info-dumps, as a lot of the public realized as they started to be released, contained a whole lot of info--both genuine nuggets of military action and wartime marginalia. But by cataloguing all of the events logged in the WikiLeaks Afghan War Diary--91,000 reports from 2004 to 2010--researchers from the University of Edinburg have been able to accurately map the past of the conflict, which could lead to predicting the conflict into the future.
National Geographic has a new feature up today in which they discuss the new finding of a cave in the midst of an unexplored Mayan megacity--a cave with very particular glyphs on the walls. Those writings include charts to predict lunar cycles and other calendrical workings--including a cyclical Mayan calendar that counts many thousands of years in the future. Which means, um, that stuff about the Maya predicting the end of the world is kind of...factually problematic.
Last year the criminals of Santa Cruz, California, stole 160 cars and committed 495 burglaries. For a city of 60,000, that’s about average. And so are the challenges facing its police force. Since 2001, the SCPD has laid off 10 of its 104 officers, even as the city’s population grew by 5,500. The department now has to do more with less, which is the story of just about every police force in America. But this summer, the way the SCPD fights crime changed.
Nipping at the heels of yesterday's story about the software that automatically writes news articles comes another technological innovation changing the shape of journalism: software that reads news articles.
It’s long been regarded as pseudo-science or simple lore, but precognition – that is, the ability to not just predict but to actually perceive the future – is getting a fair shake in some scientific circles lately.
By Morgen Peck
Posted 11.08.2010 at 1:21 pm 0 Comments
Toads. Clouds. Radon gas. Scientists have studied the movement of each of these in desperate attempts to improve earthquake detection methods by even just a few minutes. Now there’s a technology to test the radon theory for good and possibly give warning days before a quake.
As uranium in the earth decays, it emits radon gas, some of which collects in pockets underground. Some seismologists hypothesize that earth shifts imperceptibly in the days before a quake, causing fractures that puncture the pockets and release more radon. But it would take a lot of data to test the theory.
Remember Recorded Future, the future-predicting information analysis company that made a splash earlier this year when it scored investments from both Google and the CIA? The company has recently revealed a bit more about how its technology works and just how well the firm has done recording events before they happen. And, presumably, how well it will continue to do in coming days.
A world rife with burst economic bubbles and the threat of global pandemics might look more manageable through the prism of a giant SimEarth-style model that puts even Google Earth's overviews to shame. The proposed "Living Earth Simulator" would aim to model both Earth and the details of its societies in detail by 2022, at the cost of about $1.3 billion, Technology Review reports.
Such "reality mining" would track everything from financial transactions to individual travel itineraries, from medical records to carbon dioxide emissions. If computer modelers can pull off the feat of simulating not only the planet's systems but also every one of its inhabitants, it could potentially lead to simulating the future in a way similar to how weather forecasters predict the weather.
Tapping into the wisdom of the crowds to forecast future trends has served prediction markets well for years, but Twitter might be even more effective than even the biggest and most widely used market, the Hollywood Stock Exchange.
Predictions for the future generally come in two flavors: blighted hellscape or techno-utopia. Last week, Microsoft Business Division President Stephen Elop introduced Microsoft’s vision of 2019 with a slick new video, and it is a future that falls decidedly in the later, more optimistic category.
The problem? The 2019 Microsoft details with this video is almost identical to the 2004 predicted in this video produced by Sun Microsystems in 1992.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.