Friday Futures: internet blimps, drone hacking and that roadster

internet blimps
Image credit: Zvereva Iana /

Welcome to Friday Futures, our weekly guide to the latest visions of The Future from around the web. This week: internet blimps for rural areas; Mayan cities; the cascade effect on biodiversity; drone hacking and real wireless charging.

Rural areas: watch for the internet blimps

The task of bringing internet access to rural areas is a difficult one. Some want to build a global internet satellite network, while others want drones to do it. A startup backed by Japanese telecommunications giant SoftBank wants to use blimps. Read more…

Laser tech just found a huge Mayan city, and more

With the help of airborne laser mapping technology, a team of archaeologists, led by University of Arizona professor Takeshi Inomata, is exploring the history and spread of settlement at the ancient Maya site of Ceibal in Guatemala on a larger scale than ever before. Read more…

If one species goes, then so do many others – study

A new study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that less biodiversity in an area increases the risk of a domino effect of extinctions, where one species’ disappearance can cause other species to follow suit. Read more…

At last – proper wireless charging for smartphones

Engineers at the University of Washington have for the first time developed a method to safely charge a smartphone wirelessly using a laser. As the team reports, a narrow, invisible beam from a laser emitter can deliver charge to a smartphone sitting across a room. Read more…

Why companies are hacking drones

Drones are ending up in places where people might not want them. So companies are developing ways to hijack the drones’ software, forcing them to land. Read more…

What will happen to Musk’s space based Roadster: four scenarios

Thanks to the most recent Falcon Heavy launch, there’s now a Tesla Roadster zooming through our solar system. In the worst case, what damage could this unusual celestial body pose to the objects around it? Read more…

(Compiled by Alex Leslie; Edited by John Tanner)

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