Friday Futures: car engines, the universe and a singing road

Image credit: Jurik Peter /

Welcome to Friday Futures, our weekly guide to the latest visions of The Future from around the web. This week: the secrets of the universe are under the bonnet; DHS admits stingrays in DC; is the internet healthy for society; fast drones; ocean health and a singing road.

Secrets of the universe are in your car engine

The next time you’re stuck in a mundane traffic jam, find some excitement in your car engine’s secret identity: it’s actually not so different from the exotic exoplanets in our universe. Seriously. Stay with me here. Read more…

The Department of Homeland Security just admitted there are stingrays in DC

Last week, the Department of Homeland Security confirmed for the first time that it is aware of unauthorized cell-site simulators, the surveillance tools often called stingrays or IMSI Catchers, in various parts of Washington DC. Read more…

Is the internet healthy for society?

The relationship between platforms and their users has never been more fraught. To see the evidence, look no further than Congress today. Read more…

Does Facebook have ‘terrible’ power?

This week’s Facebook hearings were never simply about the Cambridge Analytica leak, or Facebook’s lax reaction to misuse of its users data. Zuckerberg’s testimony is about bigger problems than the transparency of the advertisements. Read more…

These are the fastest drones on earth

Zipline is testing what it calls the fastest commercial delivery drone in the world. It can hit 80 mph, fly 100 miles at a time, and carry 3.8 pounds. Read more…

The days of the password may be over – thank goodness

The days of “Password123” and “qwerty” are numbered. And, honestly, good riddance. Single-factor authentication is laughably easy to crack, through things like phishing attacks and rampant malware. So not only are passwords obsolete, they in fact pose a huge risk. Read more…

Ocean circulation system weakest for 1,000 years

New research led by University College London (UCL) and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) provides evidence that a key cog in the global ocean circulation system hasn’t been running at peak strength since the mid-1800s and is currently at its weakest point in the past 1,600 years. Read more…

A singing road was always going to hit the wrong note

It was an idea to improve road safety: special strips on the asphalt would play a tune when cars drove over them at the correct speed. But residents of a nearby village in the Netherlands said the constant noise was driving them mad. Read more…

(Compiled by Alex Leslie and Violet Morley; Edited by John C. Tanner)

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Alex Leslie
About Alex Leslie 198 Articles
Alex was Founder and CEO of the Global Billing Association (GBA), a trade body focused on the communications sector. He is a sought after speaker and chairman at leading industry conferences, and is widely published in communications magazines around the world. Until it closed, he was Contributing Editor, OSS/BSS for Connected Planet. He is publisher at DisruptiveViews.

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