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A random story from the archives

What beautiful laser eyes you have, Mr Robot!
Robotic vision has improved exponentially, and it's making them more 'human'
Dateline: 12 January 2020
In the last three years, laser-based optical radar, or LIDAR has come a long way. LIDAR became famous when Google started using it on their self-driving cars; but it was big, clumsy and slightly threatening. That spinning cylinder on top of a car or robot might help it navigate, but it looks so mechanical! Then...

Older stories

Welcome to the whipsaw world
This roller coaster ride is… perfectly normal
Dateline: 29 August 2022
Hang on and don’t be alarmed. What goes up must go down, and the other way around. And it will probably happen sooner than you think; or maybe later. If you’re not confused, you obviously haven’t been paying attention! Nowhere is this more evident than in the American stock market, as demonstrated by the S&P500...
The Hyperloop is dead
Long live Tesla Tunnels!
Dateline: 21 August 2025
Despite every intention and many millions of venture dollars, there’s no denying that the Hyperloop is dead – except as a visitor attraction at Disney World and Dubai City. As a mass transit system between cities, it is an abject failure. While the idea of sending pods of people and freight zooming at Mach speeds...
Going back from the future
Not forward to the past
Dateline: 14 August 2025
It’s taken some companies and business leaders decades to master the art of learning from the future, but the real world is a patient teacher. After the Great Upheaval caused by the pandemic of 2020, followed by the political and economic shocks of ’21 and ’23, we had no choice but to face the fact...
Everyone’s an expert now
But where’s the expertise?
Dateline: 7 August 2024
Here’s the thing: Now that knowledge is universally accessible, it doesn’t take much more than a few hours of surfing the interwebs to glean insight into the most intractable conundrum. You can even acquire a valuable new skill by watching a few YouTube vids on the subject; DIY-as-a-Service. It’s no longer rocket science to learn...
The meal that changed everything
Who would have thought an exotic dish could cost so much?
Dateline: 29 July 2022
No one imagined that a meal of exotic animals from a wet market in Wuhan could come at such an incredible cost, both in terms of human lives and economic deprivation. The global tsunami that was coronavirus has weakened to a tropical storm that is blowing itself out in Venezuela, and people talk about the...
Pharma falls on flu season failure
Demand for cough and cold remedies nearly non-existent
Dateline: 19 April 2022
In a strange twist of fate for the big pharma companies, their profits were sharply down in the first quarter, as the regular flu season turned out to be a damp squib. It’s somewhat ironic that pharmaceutical giants that conquered Covid-19 with life-saving therapeutic drugs and vaccines, have now been ‘punished’ with a lack of...
Lithium survives battery breakthroughs
Can anything break lithium’s stranglehold on energy storage?
Dateline: 15 July 2024
Over the last decade, there has been a new battery ‘breakthrough’ announced every couple of months, but we’re still waiting for any of them to emerge from the labs and dethrone lithium as king of the battery technologies. Prototypes and conceptual chemical models have been demonstrated, some in dramatic fashion, but when it comes to...
Here’s to the mavericks!
When it pays to be unreasonable
Dateline: 10 July 2025
In recent years, there’s been a quest, on social media and the like, to appeal to reason, and search for a reasonable response to any contentious issue. Which is fair enough; we know that extremism is a hugely destructive force. There’s even a legal test of reasonableness; in any given case, what would the reasonable...
Tesla stock hits $5,000
Irrational exuberance overcomes investor fundamentals
Dateline: 30 June 2026
In the 16 years since its IPO, Tesla has seen incredible volatility and incredible resilience. Now it is at an all-time high, and investors keep piling in, hoping for further multiples on their stakes. “When Tesla hit $1,000, Baron told us he expected further multiples in the future, and he was right!” said one trader...
Shaking the magic money tree
What happens when the fruit stops dropping?
Dateline: 27 June 2024
It’s only natural to spend your way out of a crisis. When you’re feeling blue, there’s nothing like a little retail therapy to lift your mood. When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping. Faced with a big problem? Throw some money at it! But when governments do it, the rest of us better...

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