Here's a culture-shock moment: When Dan was sneaking around trying to connect to the Internet on his honeymoon in 1993, there was no way for him to visit either Yahoo (introduced in 1994 as "Jerry and David's Guide to the World Wide Web") or Google (introduced in 1996 as "BackRub"). Now, take those years and project them forward: 13 years from now (the length of time Yahoo has been around), NASA plans to launch an asteroid-blaster with nuclear warheads, and 11 years from now (as long as Google has been around), O'Hare airport should finally be done with its renovations.
China plans to send an unmanned rover to the Moon by 2020. Google, on the other hand, is offering a $20 million prize to anyone who can do the same by 2012. All of these future forecasts can be found on Brian's Future Scale.
The New York Times has given up on charging for online access. If the Times can't make money by charging subscription fees on the Internet, it's hard to believe that any other paper will be able to. (Wall Street Journal, we're looking at you. Actually, the Journal is offering more and more free content all the time, so its days as a subscription-based site may be running out.)
Better computer models of smoke could not only bring about video games with realistic flamethrowerse, it could also lead to better wind-tunnel modeling of airplanes, cars, and ships -- which could be great for energy efficiency. And it could also lead to better training for firefighters.
Speaking of energy efficiency, the Department of Energy thinks that credit problems in the mortgage industry could mean cheaper gas prices.
The oldest man in the world just turned 112 and has no plans to die anytime soon. And if predictions like personal genome maps come true, that might be a reality for some people living today.
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Keywords in this show: airports • asteroids • China • energy • future • gas prices • genome maps • Google • health • inducement prizes • longevity • NASA • models and predictions • newspapers • New York Times • Moon • nuclear weapons • Wall Street Journal • Yahoo