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A random story from the archives

US BANS HELIUM EXPORTS IN ELEMENT TRADE WAR
China's medical and consumer electronics manufacturers in turmoil
Dateline: 15 August 2015
In a widely expected, but controversial, move the US has banned all helium exports to China and its major trade partners, following China’s banning of all rare earths exports. China, which still controls more than 75 percent of the world’s rare earth reserves – despite recent discoveries of deposits in Australia, Canada and Mozambique –...

Older stories

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,...
Beyond the rebellion
Climate change off the agenda as business reality bites
Dateline: 12 March 2022
We all remember the Black Monday crash of 2020, when the nefarious nexus of coronavirus shutdowns and the OPEC price war sent oil plummeting to US$ 33 per barrel. Stocks and shares went with it, and the rout was real, and global. Although precipitated by seemingly random, Black Swan events, the signs were there for...
Release the phages!
Targeting a viral outbreak with a counter-virus
Dateline: 5 March 2026
The latest outbreak of a contagious coronavirus from China came as no surprise – we’ve seen this movie before, several times. But now we’re better prepared, with the sort of biotech ‘weapons’ that just didn’t exist in 2020. We’ve known for a long time, many decades in fact, that you can use one microorganism to...
Word hacking for fun and profit
Using weaponized words for corporate gain
Dateline: 26 February 2024
We all know that businesses, political parties and governments openly use words to advance their causes. It’s called advertising, and sometimes Public Relations. If it’s an overt attempt to make us buy a product, vote for someone, or behave in a certain way, then that’s fine. But sometimes it’s a lot less ethical. Like when...
Smartwear can save your life
Beyond digital disguise, privacy and health tracking
Dateline: 17 February 2027
No doubt you’re unimpressed by ads for ‘smart’ wearables that can change your life. Whether it’s the latest gear or fitbit or smart watch, it’s just another wearable gadget that connects you, or measures and tracks your personal data, right? Sure, you can get health alerts, but it’s not like personal protection equipment or body...
Your automobile needs a tech support plan
Would you buy a software-defined vehicle from a used car salesman?
Dateline: 12 February 2024
If you’re like me, you love tech and you love cars. But you don’t like buying the latest model, with all the bells and whistles, only to see it lose a fifth of its value the moment you drive it off the showroom floor. Like me, you like to buy a good pre-owned, pre-loved model...
The food is all fake
But it never tasted this good!
Dateline: 5 February 2026
A lot of strange things have happened in the food business in the last seven years. First, we saw the improbable runaway success of Impossible Foods – burgers and chicken made from plants, that taste just like the real thing. And their stock price soared! Then came a major global health scare, the novel coronavirus...
The SIMs is not a game
Machine to reality is the new business paradigm
Dateline: 29 January 2028
We’re all living in a simulation, but it’s reality. You might suspect that life is just a Matrix-like simulation, a virtual reality experience that is so realistic, we just assume it’s real. Well, when it comes to products and new things, that’s how it works now. Eight years ago, when researchers were looking for new...
The kids are really serious about climate change
The hashtag movement turns out to have been #forreal
Dateline: 28 January 2029
Being in government these days is tough. Apart from the factors you know you can’t control, some of the things you thought you could always count on, like the natural human desire to procreate, are turning out to be just as uncertain. Growing female empowerment and education for girls have already knocked down the fertility...
Never pay for insurance again
Traditional insurance policies just became obsolete
Dateline: 15 January 2025
We all know how insurance works, or should I say, used to work. Life is full of uncertainties, so full of risks, that an unfortunate event could ruin you, or your business. So we take out insurance, and pay premiums, to recover from those losses, should they occur. But if we’re ‘lucky’ and those risks...

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