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A random story from the archives

Human-to-human transmission wins the day for mobile broadband
Dateline: 14 September 2019
First we tied the world in a tangle of copper cables. Next came miles of fiber optics. And all the time, the ultimate communications conduit was right there, under our noses. Now the PeopleNet – a global data network using humans as mobile transmission and receiving stations – has driven worldwide connectivity to new heights....

Older stories

Super steel for aerospace
Stronger than titanium, better than aluminium
Dateline: 12 May 2027
Elon Musk caused quite a stir when SpaceX decided to build their new Starship rocket out of stainless steel, rather than titanium alloys or carbon composites. But for sheer strength and durability, you can’t beat steel. It’s also more economical. “I’m in love with steel,” tweeted Elon, and to prove it, Tesla launched their CyberTruck,...
Electric cars and trucks are here to stay
Cities insist on cleaner air despite the slump in oil
Dateline: 15 May 2030
They’ve slowly been making inroads into the mainstream transport paradigm, but now electric cars are the mainstream – and trucks are right behind them. Ten years ago, cities from Shanghai to Venice to New York were treated to weeks of fresh air and cleaner rivers, courtesy of coronavirus shutdowns. It was remarkable how quickly air...
Living the lockdown legacy
Things are very different in this new world order
Dateline: 7 May 2026
Life ‘beyond Covid’ is strangely different from what went before the pandemic. Most obvious is the reluctance of governments and national leaders to relinquish their newfound powers of decree. What a wonderful time it was, for despots and democratically elected leaders alike! Given a golden opportunity to declare states of emergency and national disasters, most...
Making America make again
Going back to the basics of building things
Dateline: 1 May 2025
It’s taken five long years to climb out of the hole blown in the global economy by the viral pandemic of the early ‘20s, but now business is busy again. And making things is part of the new usual. For the past 20 years, innovation has been driven by tech and scaled by globalization. “Designed...
Send big planes, please
Large aircraft desperately needed by airlines
Dateline: 22 April 2027
Airlines that have survived the last decade’s roller coaster ride are back in business in a big way, and what they need most right now are planes – big planes; and quickly. The cycle has turned once again, and although many low-cost carriers and smaller feeder airlines went bust during the brutal travel bans of...
Life skills, for when life is interrupted
DIYOL is the new must-have ability
Dateline: 20 May 2022
Now that we have a vaccine for coronavirus, life has morphed into a new normal. But one thing is clear: we will not forget. One of the many lessons we learned is that Do It Yourself on Location (DIYOL) is the skill we should all be mastering. Restaurant dinners with friends are resuming and hotels...
Designer genes for all
Beat the next viral pandemic with modified immunoprotection
Dateline: 10 April 2025
Five years ago, we were taken aback at how quickly a new viral pneumonia could turn into a global pandemic, and decimate the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems, or underlying illnesses that made them vulnerable. And yet, even then, we had decades of experience, virtually a century, of dealing with viral and bacterial...
Sign up for the surveillance society
Automated contact tracing, for our own protection
Dateline: 3 April 2023
As any politician knows, you should never waste a good crisis. When Covid-19 raised its ugly head, demagogues and autocrats quickly seized the day, putting entire countries in lockdown, and requiring recovered or suspected cases to surrender their personal information, so that their movements could be tracked and their contacts traced. And we happily agreed;...
RIP Travel Industry
The year that travel died
Dateline: 21 March 2021
It’s a little over a year since the coronavirus outbreak became a global pandemic, resulting in travel bans, flight cancellations, and eventually widespread lockdowns of major cities and entire countries. Air travel, except cargo and mercy flights, ground to a halt. Interstate and intercity busses were parked. As people were confined to homes, taxis and...
Hello, Generation V
New generation is not defined by age, but experiences and lifestyle
Dateline: 19 March 2023
Hello. Hi. How are you? I won’t shake hands or hug.  But you didn’t expect that either. We don’t do that anymore. We’ve learned our lesson about casual social contact. ‘No touch’ is not just the auto sensor on the door, it’s become a way of life. And when we do touch, that’s very intimate,...

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