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World-Changing Ideas

10 new technologies that will make a difference

By THE EDITORS, Elizabeth Svoboda, Christopher Mims, Francie Diep, Morgen Peck and Sarah Fecht

The Machine That Would Predict the Future

If you dropped all the world's data into a black box, could it become a crystal ball that would let you see the future—even test what would happen if you chose A over B? One researcher thinks so, and he could soon get a billion euros to build it

By David Weinberger

The Forever Health Monitor

Your smartphone can monitor your vital signs in real time, alerting you to the first sign of trouble

By Elizabeth Svoboda

Computers that Don't Freeze Up

People have to manage their own time. Why can't our machines do the same? New software will keep them humming

By Francie Diep

Currency without Borders

The world's first digital currency cuts out the middleman and keeps users anonymous

By Morgen Peck

Microbe Miners

Bacteria extract metals and clean up the mess afterward

By Sarah Fecht


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December 2011

Science for the Modern World