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The imagination of the science fiction author Sir Arthur C Clarke bubbled over with ideas about the future of science, technology and human society. Here, BBC science and technology staff look at some that came true, and some that did not. 1. Space elevator 3. Space guard 5. Atomic travel 2. Millennium Bug 4. Communications satellites 6. Earthquake prevention 7. Brain backup 8. People freezing.

2008-03-19

 future technology satellite travel science earthquake space brain download Arthur C. Clarke cryogenics prediction
Predicting how large crowds will react in certain situations has long been the holy-grail for architects and planners.

2009-10-15

 crowd control complexity prediction statistics big brother sociology
I get all sorts of reactions when I carry my boa constrictor around town. Some people ask me about it, but others are suspicious and make remarks. I don’t want to threaten anyone, so I stay away if anyone looks scared. Sometimes, shops won’t let me in, and my doctor won’t allow the snake in her office. I have to accept that, but it won’t stop me from carrying Redrock. He’s changed my life. I have suffered from epilepsy for more than 20...

2009-11-28

 boa constrictor snake seizure epilepsy prediction
When you start to type a query, Google suggests popular search terms that include your keywords. Sometimes the suggestions are surprising, especially when the suggested queries are long and descriptive. A suggestion like [i was bitten by a turtle when i was a young lad should i still drink orange juice] might surprise you if you didn't know that it was a question on Yahoo Answers that became famous...

2009-12-20

 Google search engine prediction humour
Tipping points are found in ecosystems, economies and even bodies. But they’re usually recognized in retrospect, when it’s too late for anything but regret. Now a growing body of research suggests there are telltale mathematical signals. If scientists can figure out how to detect them, they may be able to forecast tipping points ahead of time.

2009-09-02

 complexity environment science mathematics future apocalypse prediction warning
Researchers have uncovered common patterns in the scale and timings of attacks across a variety of different violent conflicts.

2009-12-16

 terrorism war statistics prediction violence future
Perception is not about capturing a full picture of reality, but taking snapshots of the world and making the rest up. ... Information captured by the retina takes about 100 milliseconds to reach the brain. To compensate for this lag, the brain predicts what the world will look like in the near future and acts on this prediction rather than the real information at its disposal. This is useful in real-world situations such as driving a car...

2008-12-24

 magic perception attention reality humour illusion eye vision brain bug prediction psychology mind control trick false memory advertisement politics crime wizard
What’s missing from this electronic wonderland? Human contact. Discount the fawning techno-burble about virtual communities. Computers and networks isolate us from one another. A network chat line is a limp substitute for meeting friends over coffee. No interactive multimedia display comes close to the excitement of a live concert. And who’d prefer cybersex to the real thing? While the Internet beckons brightly, seductively flashing an...

1995-02-27

 Internet prediction social network mistake future
His main tool is game theory, which uses mathematics to predict what people will do in a situation where the outcome also depends on other people's decisions. "It's a fancy label for a pretty simple idea: that people do what they believe is in their best interest," says Bueno de Mesquita. ... His main tool is game theory, which uses mathematics to predict what people will do in a situation where the outcome also depends...

2010-03-17

 prediction fortune-telling future game politics game theory
When faced with a hard prediction problem, one possible approach is to attempt to perform statistical miracles on a small training set. If data is abundant then often a more fruitful approach is to design a highly scalable learning system and use several orders of magnitude more training data.

2010-04-06

 Google classification machine learning statistics prediction scalability data mining Internet
Common toads appear to be able to sense an impending earthquake and will flee their colony days before the seismic activity strikes. ... It is hard to objectively and quantifiably study how animals respond to seismic activity, in part because earthquakes are rare and unpredictable.

2010-03-31

 toad frog earthquake frequency prediction seismology
Scientists are planning to use the largest supercomputers to simulate life on Earth, including the financial system, economies and whole societies. The project is called "Living Earth Simulator" and part of a huge EU research initiative named FuturIcT...

2010-05-28

 simulation planet social prediction European Union supercomputer pattern statistics sentience complexity virtual reality real time
Your online traces are helping fuel a revolution in the understanding of human behaviour – one that's revealing the mathematical laws of our lives. Every move you make, every twitter feed you update, somebody is watching you. You may not think twice about it, but if you use a social networking site, a cellphone or the internet regularly, you are leaving behind a clear digital trail that describes your behaviour, travel patterns, likes...

2010-07-26

 social network behaviour popular mathematics prediction big brother future social control sociology

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