The Future And You
Ideas and opinion about the future based on verifiable facts of today.
 

Stephen Euin Cobb is today's featured speaker.

Main Topic: A detailed description of a new form of Internet spam so cleverly disguised that you have probably read lots of it without even noticing. It's called Spintax (a contraction of the words spin and syntax).

Secondary Topics: A sampling of Forecasts for the next 25 years from the World Future Society; Nine Ways to Bias Open-Source Artificial General Intelligence Toward Friendliness (a new peer-review article by Ben Goertzel and Joel Pitt of Novamente); how to use Speakeasy Speedtest (a free website) to make sure you are getting all the Internet speed for which you are paying; the most popular free downloads at C/Net.com; a mention that your host recently switched from DSL (at 6.0 mbps) to cable modem (at 20.0 mbps).

Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the May 30, 2012 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 34 minutes]

Stephen Euin Cobb is an author, futurist, magazine writer and host of the award-winning podcast The Future And You. A contributing editor for Space and Time Magazine; he is also a regular contributor for Robot, H+, Grim Couture and Port Iris magazines; and he spent three years as a columnist and contributing editor for Jim Baen's Universe Magazine. He is an artist, essayist, game designer, transhumanist, and is on the Advisory Board of The Lifeboat Foundation. His novels include Bones Burnt BlackPlague at Redhook and Skinbrain.

Note: A listener named Rainer sent links to three lectures which are videos on YouTube. I watched the first one: a one hour lecture about the paleolithic diet by a medical biochemist. It was excellent: full of well-researched science. All three videos make a case for the paleolithic diet. Here are the second and third videos.

Announcement: For a limited time, one of my novels is on sale. The Kindle edition of Skinbrain (Cerebrodermus Fantastica), my most recent and most futuristic novel, has been reduced to just $2.99. That's right, under three bucks for what I consider my best novel.

Skinbrain description from Amazon.com: On an earth-like planet far from Earth the remains of a long dead alien civilization have been found, but this news has not reached the authorities—nor will it. Fourteen murderers—a mixed bag of human and alien criminals—have seen to that by killing the team of forty scientists who discovered the remains. These professional criminals combine their talents to search through the rubble for a hypothetical alien super-weapon. One under-age street-tough thinks she's got what it takes to rub shoulders and bump heads with the worst of them but soon realizes she’s in way over her head. Worse, as conflicts struggle to tear it apart, she learns just how unstable a team of criminals can be. Call it anything you like: treachery, betrayal, or just reducing the number with whom one must share the final spoils. Here, as in all of life, cowards and the dead reap nothing.

If you like science fiction, especially science fiction which involves strange alien worlds, strange alien species, strange alien cultures, and strange alien criminals. Check it out. If you enjoy reading Skinbrain a hundredth as much as I enjoyed writing it, you are in for wonderful experience.

Direct download: TFAY_2012_5_30.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:05 AM

Stephen Euin Cobb is today's featured speaker.

Topics: Erotic novels are getting a sales boost from ebooks such as the Kindle and the Nook; Google's anticipated eyeglass computers; many (and possibly most) human beings are chimeras; the next big boom-time for programmers who write apps; how science fiction's vision of the future changes based on the decade in which it is written; sequencing each patient's personal exome; and the steadily falling price of sequencing a patient's personal genome. I also mention interviewing Ari Kiirikki (then Vice President of Knome Inc. The world's leading provider of personal DNA sequencing) several years ago at the Singularity Summit in New York City.

Mini Speculative Essay: The news article I read into this episode about Human Chimeras specifies that expectant mothers get a dose of stem cells from their fetus, and that these stem cells travel through the mother's body and become a permanent part of her various tissues, including the brain. It just struck me that this may be part of why women have a statistically longer lifespan than men, who of course never get this or any bonus dose of fresh cells during their adulthood. The obvious test of this as a correlation would be to compare the longevity of a population of women who had no pregnancies, verses those who had many pregnancies. It should also be mentioned that births in this case may not be relevant. Pregnancy alone, even if only temporary, may be sufficient to dose a woman with fresh stem cells. It should also be mentioned that, the amount of stem cells received by the mother may be trivial to her longevity, that this amount my vary widely from mother to mother, or even from pregnancy to pregnancy for the same mother. There are many possible interesting variables to explore. Some of them may be meaningful. Maybe. This is just a speculative idea. Right now I have no strong opinion on it either way. An opinion would be impossible without data.

Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the May 23, 2012 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 42 minutes]

Stephen Euin Cobb is an author, futurist, magazine writer and host of the award-winning podcast The Future And You. A contributing editor for Space and Time Magazine; he is also a regular contributor for Robot, H+, Grim Couture andPort Iris magazines; and he spent three years as a columnist and contributing editor for Jim Baen's Universe Magazine. He is an artist, essayist, game designer, transhumanist, and is on the Advisory Board of The Lifeboat Foundation. His novels include Bones Burnt BlackPlague at Redhook and Skinbrain.

Direct download: TFAY_2012_5_23.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:02 AM

Stephen Euin Cobb is today's featured speaker.

Topic: A major photovoltaic problem will hit the United States, and many other nations, in about two or three years (in 2014 and 2015). There is no need to speculate as to how this photovoltaic problem will play out since it has already hit the state of Hawaii. We need only observe the existing problem to fully understand the problem that is to come, since the effects it is currently having on consumers and business and government are all available for scrutiny. Stephen Euin Cobb provides a description, assessment and commentary.

Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the May 16, 2012 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 31 minutes]

Additional sources of information: First and Second Maui News artcles read in this episode; PV-Magazine; Wikipedia article about Smart Grids 

BTW: A smart grid would solve some, or most, or possibly even all of the problems I've described in this episode. However, within the next three years, the United States is not going to replace all of its existing power grid network with a shiny new smart grid. Its just not going to happen that fast. We will need it, but we wont have it until after we have suffered.

Stephen Euin Cobb is an author, futurist, magazine writer and host of the award-winning podcast The Future And You. A contributing editor for Space and Time Magazine; he is also a regular contributor for Robot, H+, Grim Couture and Port Iris magazines; and he spent three years as a columnist and contributing editor for Jim Baen's Universe Magazine. He is an artist, essayist, game designer, transhumanist, and is on the Advisory Board of The Lifeboat Foundation. His novels include Bones Burnt Black, Plague at Redhook and Skinbrain.

Direct download: TFAY_2012_5_16.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:54 AM

Les Johnson (author, speaker and NASA deputy manager) is today's featured guest.

Topic: Part 2 of Trends in space exploration. What's going on now, and some of the missions which are planned for the future.

Les Johnson serves as the Deputy Manager for the Advanced Concepts Office at the NASA George C. Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. He was the technical consultant for the movie Lost in Space. And In his spare time he writes popular science books and articles--for example. In collaboration with C Bangs (an artist) and Greg Matloff (a professor of astronomy) he wrote:Paradise Regained: The Regreening of Earth (2009); Living Off the Land in Space (2007); and with Greg Matloff and Giovanni Vulpetti he wrote Solar Sails: A Novel Approach to Interplanetary Travel (2008). And with Jack McDevitt, he has a new book coming out this month called: Going Interstellar.

Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the May 9, 2011 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 35 minutes] This is the second half of an interview recorded using Skype on April 27, 2012.

News item: This is the 250th episode of The Future And You.

Direct download: TFAY_2012_5_9.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:36 AM

Les Johnson (author, speaker and NASA deputy manager) is today's featured guest.

Topic: Trends in space exploration. What's going on now, and some of the missions which are planned for the future.

Les Johnson serves as the Deputy Manager for the Advanced Concepts Office at the NASA George C. Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. He was the technical consultant for the movie Lost in Space. And In his spare time he writes popular science books and articles--for example. In collaboration with C Bangs (an artist) and Greg Matloff (a professor of astronomy) he wrote:Paradise Regained: The Regreening of Earth (2009); Living Off the Land in Space (2007); and with Greg Matloff and Giovanni Vulpetti he wrote Solar Sails: A Novel Approach to Interplanetary Travel (2008). And with Jack McDevitt, he has a new book coming out this month called: Going Interstellar.

Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the May 2, 2011 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 39 minutes] This is the first half of an interview recorded using Skype on April 27, 2012.

News item: The BBC news website published an article describing research showing ways in which pacemakers and other medical implants can be attacked by hackers. Some of these attacks have potentially lethal results. And Listener Emails: Concerns with Marshall Brain's new book Manna: Two Visions of Humanity's Future.

Direct download: TFAY_2012_5_2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:01 AM