future posts on CNET

future

Our doom will come sci-fi-style, NASA-funded study says

We've all seen movies depicting a dystopian future. Usually they envision a small group of elites living in sleekly designed homes wearing clean gray clothes, sipping pure water, and enjoying generally dust-free living while the rest of us schlubs reside in cardboard boxes beneath bridges. Now, a NASA-funded study is saying the collapse of civilization as we know it might not be all that different from what happens in movies like "Blade Runner," "Elysium," and "The Hunger Games."

The study, sponsored by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and first reported on in The Guardian, examined five key factors that led to the collapse of civilizations such the Roman Empire and Han Dynasty: population, climate, water, agriculture, and energy. It found that civilizations collapse when these factors coalesce in such a way that natural resources are stretched at the same time the gap between the rich (termed "Elites" in the study) and the poor (dubbed "Commoners") increases. Sound familiar? … Read more

Doc Brown finally admits Funny or Die hoverboard video is fake

To everyone's dismay, the future has not actually arrived. Folks, hoverboards are not real.

At long last, actor Christopher Lloyd of "Back to the Future" fame conceded Wednesday in a Funny or Die apology video that the strange and still confounding online viral campaign promoting a working hoverboard was indeed a hoax, throwing in the towel on what has been a drawn-out, exhaustive social-media time suck for the last 24 hours.

HUVr, the company purported to be behind the groundbreaking new technology, is fake, as are its "Back to the Future"-inspired hoverboards. The effort … Read more

The 404 1,438: Where we get a scorching case of HTML (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- This "Back to the Future" hoverboard will blow your mind.

- 11 percent of Americans think HTML is an STD.

- Explore Jerry Seinfeld's apartment using Oculus Rift.

- Check out the first episode of Comedy Central's "Review" with Andy Daly on Thursday, March 6, at 10/9 CT.

- Follow Andy Daly on Twitter.… Read more

1981 DeLorean modded with in-dash iPad interface

Dr. Emmett Brown made a good point in "Back to the Future" when he said to Marty McFly, "The way I see it, if you're gonna build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?"

If you plan on roaming the streets in a 1981 DeLorean, you might as well customize it to your liking. That's exactly what YouTube user DMCPat says in a video about the impressive modifications he made to his classic DeLorean, including adding an iPad Mini interface.

This 1981 DeLorean is a Vin 1880, which means it's one of the first 1,000 cars shipped to the US. It has many modifications, including a rear spoiler, a high-mounted third brake light, remote lock/unlock, new wheels and steering wheel, seal-beamed LED lights, LED fog lights, blue LED interior door lights, and blue LED underbody lights, just to name a few. … Read more

This 'Back to the Future' hoverboard will blow your mind

A hoverboard, like the wondrously 1980s pink variety Marty McFly cruises on in "Back to the Future Part II," is universally accepted as the most awesome thing we don't yet have. The wheel-less skateboard that floats above the ground and travels as if by magic has even become a bit of a pop culture trope recently for semi-sarcastically lamenting the slowness of technological innovation, of wanting the future right now. Sure, we have cell phone computers, car-sized roving science labs on Mars, and gigantic particle accelerators capable of recreating miniature versions of the Big Bang, but a hoverboard? Now that will be the day.

Unfortunately, anyone who stumbled onto a quickly-going-viral video Tuesday from a mysterious company called HUVr were probably devastatingly disappointed to learn, almost immediately depending on your incredulousness, that it was too good to be true. The hoverboards in the video don't just surpass the most advanced superconducting research of as little as three years ago, but blow it completely out of the water.… Read more

Obama: We're building Iron Man

The real news sometimes passes us by, as we eke out our survival and freak out at the state of our lives.

I am grateful, therefore, to have been sent this snippet that might just change the way you think and live.

For here, at a White House press conference earlier this week, is President Obama revealing a "secret project we've been working on for some time."

What could this project be? A crowdsourced surveillance program? A health insurance Web site that works?

No, America is building Iron Man. … Read more

Kyocera takes a stab at the future with quirky concept devices

BARCELONA, Spain -- In the future, the world will be full of wearables and smartphones that can bend whatever way you want -- at least, that's what Kyocera imagines it will be.

At MWC this year, the Japanese phone company showed off some of its quirky concept devices, along with its family of waterproof Hydro smartphones.

Though none of these devices are officially brewing inside Kyocera's R&D arm, they are still enticing to think about it.

In fact, some of these products don't appear to be that far into the future -- like the arced-display … Read more

Nike designer: 'Back to the Future' power laces due in 2015

"Back to the Future" fans and sneaker fans pretty much freaked out in 2011 when Nike issued a limited number of Air Mag shoes designed after those from "Back to the Future, Part II." In the movie, Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly time travels all the way to 2015, rides a Hoverboard, and throws on some kicks with "power laces" that tighten automatically.

The power laces were conspicuously absent from the 2011 Air Mags, but we might not have to wait much longer for them to become a reality. Tinker Hatfield, a Nike designer famous for his Air Jordan contributions, was asked about power laces at a recent event in New Orleans. His answer, according to Sole Collector, was that we should see them next year.… Read more

Great Scott! It's 'Back to the Future,' the musical

We're going back...to the future!

A full 30 years after the original "Back to the Future" film debuted, the time-traveling adventure is set to return, this time as a musical. Director Robert Zemeckis and screenwriter Bob Gale, who created the original films, will team up with British theater director Jamie Lloyd to write the book for the new production, Variety reported on Friday.

Lloyd will direct the stage version, which will gear up to open in London in 2015, just in the nick of time for the film's 30th anniversary. Alan Silvestri and Glen Ballard … Read more

Five ways Google could help start an apocalypse

A decade ago, we used to hear a lot more about Google's informal motto: "Don't be evil." It doesn't come up as much anymore, but those three words still lead off Google's corporate code of conduct. And given some of the company's recent acquisitions that are heavy on robotics and artificial intelligence companies, that's probably a good thing.

But still, with an Internet giant also buying up the know-how to make killer robots, it's not too hard to imagine something like the classic science-fiction conceits of SkyNet turning on its creators taking root at the Googleplex in Mountain View, Calif. "Don't be evil" is a great startup motto, but what's the old truism about power corrupting? Sometimes, it seems like Google is heading toward absolute power in some areas.… Read more