You won’t eat fresh in this subway, but it’s still pretty tasty
When Metro 2033 came out about three years ago, it didn’t make much of a splash at first. The name and cover art didn’t explain much, and its publisher did not have a Call of Duty–size ad budget. By the time we understood that it was set in a post-apocalyptic Moscow where everyone had to live underground (to avoid radiation sickness and hideously mutated beasties), Metro 2033’s moment had passed. However, probably thanks to aggressive and frequent discounts, it gained enough of a following to bring us a sequel.
Note: This review was originally featured in the August 2013 issue of the magazine.
Deep Silver, publisher of the upcoming Saints Row IV action-adventure open world game developed by Volition, is going all-out to promote the title that's set to release on August 20, 2013. With help from publisher Future US (yes, our Future), the two entities put together a hilarious government website in which you can vote on laws such as "No Whining" and "Flip the Bird," the latter of which would change the national bird from a Bald Eagle to a middle finger.
While it’s difficult to compare the widely differing architectures of consoles, PC’s, and phones, most experts agree we have almost reached hardware parity. Activision is the latest “expert” to chime in on the debate, and claim that by the time next-generation of smartphones hit the market, they will indeed have the equivalent amount of raw graphical grunt as the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. This has the company looking long and hard at its 30-year portfolio of more than 350 IP’s to see what would work well in the mobile space. Vice President of mobile development, Greg Canessa met with the guys over at CVG, and detailed what they have in store for the future.
Science and technology have always been close bedfellows, however sometimes scientist’s dream up new technologies that completely and utterly change everything. A pair of engineers at Harvard have been doing just that, and amazingly, have found a way to store around 704TB of data in a single gram of DNA. I re-read the findings of George Church and Sri Kosuri several times, but it took a while to finally grasp the concept that the entire contents of my NAS could be stored on the surface area of my pinky finger.
Intel's placing its bets on more than just the company's top-notch fabrication facilities; the company apparently has a stake in creating future generations of robot overlords, as well. Less than a month ago, Intel unveiled a new research project designed to make technology that's smart enough to learn its user's personal quirks and adapt accordingly; then just last week, Intel researchers published a proposal for a new, neuromorphic chip design -- hardware that mimics the human brain.
When web surfers aren't busy calling each other Nazis on forums, they're often cracking jokes about greeting their future robotic overlords with open arms. It won't be funny forever; the groundwork for our eventual demise is already being laid by the best minds in the land. IBM announced that it had created prototype cognitive chips modeled after the human brain almost a year ago, and today, Reuters reported that Intel is launching a research project in Israel dedicated to creating smart tech that can learn the habits of its users. (That way, SkyNet will know the best time to strike.)
After watching Captain Picard solving all those Victorian murder mysteries on the Enterprise’s holodeck, we have to say that staring at a basic, flat-panel monitor is sooooo 20th century. Wasn’t the future of television watching supposed to be way cooler than this by now? Yeah, it was, but don’t worry; those spiffy high-tech displays have only been delayed, not scrapped entirely. A veritable army of hard-working engineers have been laboring day and night to bring flexible phones, holograms you can feel, physical 3D interfaces, and touchscreen, well, everything to your living room, car and workplace sometime soon. And hey, we’ve got actual pictures to prove it!
Google engineers are known for doing whatever it takes to shave precious milliseconds off of page loads, but it’s pretty rare to see them steal a page from the past in pursuit of their goal. Upcoming releases of Chrome however will do just that, adding link pre-fetching/pre-rendering to the latest editions of the company’s flagship browser.
Imagine a world where peas grow as large as beets, where suburban commutes are completed in mere minutes and cost but a penny, where the letters C, X, and Q have been eliminated from the alphabet, where all wild animals have died, and where retail purchases (and even meals) are conveniently propelled to the consumer's home via a city-wide, nation-wide network of pneumatic tubes.
A wacky vision of the future? Sure, but this wacky vision was postulated in the year 1900 for the year 2000. In other words, according to the article, published in the December 1900 edition of Ladies Home Journal, all of the above should already be a familiar part of our world. It is not, and for that we give thanks. For the very idea of beet-sized peas is enough to make anyone run screaming from the dinner table. Blech!
Yet the Ladies Home Journal piece was, in some ways, prophetic. Of the nearly thirty predictions journalist John Elfreth Watkins, Jr. put forth, several would inevitably prove, at least conceptually, to be correct.
Watkins claimed automobiles would eliminate horse-based transportation. He predicted wireless communications, audio/video streaming, high-speed trains, air conditioning, and the widespread adoption of food refrigeration. Not too shabby.
Our point? Those who professionally paint a picture of the future leave themselves wide open for scrutiny once that future begins to unfold. And although they'll be seen as godlike wizards if their visions pop into focus, they can also look mighty silly if they're miles off base. It is with that in mind that we enlisted the aid of four of the world's most prominent futurists to help us understand what life might be like – particularly from a technological standpoint – 90 years from now, in the year 2100.