What The Future Of Robotics Looks Like

As a Science Fiction, Future Technology, and Military Tech writer, I often get asked about the future of war. Interestingly enough, our near future isn’t hard to predict 5-10 years out, but the further out you get the harder it is. Luckily, my batting average in prediction is fairly robust, comparatively speaking against other self-proclaimed futurist types. Recently, I was interviewed on the topic and I feel my answer might be enlightening, revealing and upbeat, so, let’s explore this for a moment shall we?

Interviewer Mr. Casillas asks; “How do you think wars will develop in the future?”

There is a very good likelihood that humans won’t have wars in the future, and before you call that statement naïve, I’d like to point out that everything I see is a progression towards abundance, peace, prosperity and ascendance to a higher state of cognition with humanity fully actualized. I see future virtual reality allowing the individual to create choices far beyond what is possible today under our current way of life.

No, I am not a crazy New Age wannabe spiritual guru asking you to send me money and to follow me on Facebook, what I am saying is that folks like Ray Kurzweil and the Singularity Institute have it mostly correct. No, their predictions are not perfect and yes, humankind will fall down and get back up a few more times before we get there, and yes, it will cost us twice as much along the way, and take us 3-times as long to get there, but that’s where we are headed. Give it another couple hundred years, and there won’t be any more wars.

One good thing about wars today is that wars are not killing millions of people, most of the recent wars have been surgical strikes, precision attacks on command and control personnel (or terrorist leaders), facilities, or small groups with some collateral damage and civilian casualties but far fewer than before. Smart bombs are better than the ‘drop them and forget about it’ bombs of the past.

My predictions on future wars, you ask? Well, let me take a stab at it based on my studies. One challenge we will see in the future is robotic systems going out and killing entire human armies, then we will see a global agreement to ban it because human populations will demand that. Then we might see robots fighting robots, with the loser giving in to the argument that started the political impasse.

Then we will see nations agreeing to arbitrate by way of virtual war gaming, multi-player VR (virtual reality) video games. No one actually dies, but heroes (best players of the game) are rewarded by their civilizations with accolades.

Humankind will eventually learn that “diversity is to be celebrated” (not forced) and without any scarcity in the world due to advancing technology, there will be so few things to fight over, and wars will seem like such a stupid thing that humans used to do. And, whereas, we humans, even us human+ types seem to be innately territorial, we will overcome this with our enhanced intellect and knowledge, joining as one in a common cause; to live or lives to the fullest and share our endeavors with one-another. And like I said, I am not coming at this from a spiritual awakening, I am not into that stuff, it is just where I see this all going, from everything I study, read and research, it is the inevitable future – and really for our sake, the sooner the better.

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Planning Vacations With Free California Travel Guides

Pick up some free California travel guides today to start planning your vacation to the land of sun and fun. No matter what time of year it is, you will find something in California to entertain you. In the winter, California still boasts warm temperatures and year round theme parks for your entire family. In higher elevations, you can find great places for skiing, so plan to hit the slopes for your next holiday vacation.

In the summer, California is particularly dynamic, as you will see when you visit the multiple beaches and enjoy the perfect temperature. When you look at free California travel guides, one thing they might not mention is that you should plan ahead.

Especially during the summer, you might find many hotels are booked, especially those hotels that are around public attractions. Expect longer lines during these summer months, and know that you might have to go exploring to find a spot of beach to keep to yourself.

If you want to avoid the crowds, fall is a great time to do that, and you can explore the many wine regions. Many free California travel guides can point you to the best ones in the area you plan on visiting.

Look through your free California guides to find the places worth visiting. Of course, you have the main, well-known tourist attractions, like Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure. You have most likely heard of the Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park, where you can be amazed at the immensity of the redwood trees. Take a trip to SeaWorld and Mission Bay, which are perfect locations for the entire family.

If you are looking for great family vacation spots, find free California travel guides that highlight these attractions. For example, there is the National Yo-Yo Museum, which is always a favorite with kids. There is Universal Studios, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom or Birch Aquarium, all of which are great locations to bring those with short attention spans. Free California travel guides should help you find places that interest you.

Alternatively, if you are traveling to California for a romantic getaway, one free of children, then choose free California travel guides that capitalize on that fact. Have a fun day out parasailing and walking around the heart of San Francisco before cozying up in one of the many romantic dining options available in California.

No matter which city you visit, you will find relaxation in the surrounding spas, culture in multiple museums and fun with all the different recreation places and parks. Using the various free California travel guides, you can set up the perfect vacation in no time, so get started and put it off no longer!

Why Travel Agents & Tour Operators Need To Focus On Authentic Local Experiences To Stay Competitive

The major elements comprising the generic destination competitiveness model helps to identify the key success factors of destination marketing. Among the many approximate set of indicators used to determine destination competitiveness, local experiences is one of the key points. Elaborate empirical as well as conceptual research points out the relative strengths and weaknesses of different tourism destinations, which can then be used to study the impact of local experiences on the travelers and vice versa.

The discerning travelers of today’s world love exploring unique experiences each destination has to offer and go much beyond staying in the top suite of hotels. Choosing the best dining options and spas has otherwise become passe. No online portal can take you to the hidden nuggets of the destination except the native folks. So, to match up with the millennials’ definition of travel, you need to indulge with the locals which is way beyond any packaged holiday or cookie-cutter options.

Blurring the borders of traditional definition of travel
It’s important for Travel Agents to realize that selling travel is actually selling happiness. Imbuing travel goals based on interaction with local people makes travel more meaningful than ever. Authenticity, simplicity, and culture are the new watchwords driving the growth of the travel tourism sector internationally. The evolution of the whole new travel genre is based entirely on indulging in local experiences. It is not about the best luxury experience but the intrinsic local touch will definitely add magic to the holiday memory. Remember that the most valued luxury is experience.

Present-day culture travelers have moved beyond the familiar environs and revel in the experience in itself. Clearly enough, tourists that like to break the mold are more interactive with local residents. This paradigm shift has not however, completely caught up with everyone yet. The focus of investments still remains on the traditional tourism-related components.

To create a layered travel experience, the hospitality industry is gradually promoting themselves as the portals for the local community. Although that might not be a necessity but local experience will definitely give a competitive advantage.

Blending national culture and heritage into luxury travel tours need careful planning and is bound to enhance tourist’s experience. Getting certified from the government tourism policies which include inter-cultural education policy helps to makes the travel agents’ outset more impressive.

Counter homogenization of the travel experience is the new clause of the tourism authorities. Embracing local cultural tourism will have an impressive lasting impact on travelers with like-minded outlook. Traditional vertical distribution chains among the travel providers has given way to complex value chains and thus in this increasingly competitive marketplace, providers need to seize every opportunity for competitive advantage. Collaborative advantage through local and government partnership is thus a new norm. Local culture and society has become an essential part of tourism value chain. The integrated inter-relationships between travel and other socioeconomic sectors are now conceived as a ‘value network’.

Promoting Local Cuisine
Sustainable tourism, which is tantamount to responsible tourism, has been a major concern in the travel industry for the past couple of years. Experiencing the local culture largely contours around the traditional gourmet industry. Trying traditional food completes the cultural experience of the place. Talking of the economic aspect, if you are eating at McDonald’s, instead of benefiting the local community, a major chunk of it leaves the local socioeconomic circle. The international traveler’s gang consist majorly the Western tourists and without much doubt, the need for Western food is always higher than the local recipes.

While traveling for a single night’s stay, people might think it not important enough to connect to the local traditions. However, pennies in the pocket of the local cuisine industry help to uplift the local tourism industry on a larger picture. Walking into a McDonald’s or a KFC might fill your tummy but will neither add to the local tourism sector nor enhance your experience. For instance, Vietnamese pho is now a big pull for travelers in Vietnam and when in Costa Rica, do not miss gallo pinto. Building connections with the local folks is not always the only token you get in return but you actually help to build a perception about your nationality as a whole. A country’s heritage is strongly rooted within the memories of the local people and as the old folks say, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach!

Experiential travel – creating a deeper connect
The demand for ‘experiential travel’ is arguably the most significant as well as systematic trend in worldwide tourism. The term typically defines immersive, authentic, local, and more active travel trend. While some travel enthusiasts would like to argue that travel is inherently ‘experiential’ by nature and that the term is overused, the idea is to make it more mainstream. Travel consumer attitude has varied wildly when it comes to local tourism and it is its degree of definition varies widely how the overall trend is approached.

On a deeper emotional and more personal level, people want to travel better at the end of the day. Growing numbers of travelers shying away from the traditional packaged travel brochure is definitely a valid evidence of how local experiences matter for the new age travelers.

Going Social
Relying on technology and global networks of small and individual travel providers, travel brands are offering more connected experiences. Almost infinite online matrix of social media networks keep us connected no matter where we travel. But ironically enough these social networks are gradually isolating people in real life than helping them make closer to human connections. The online sharing portal pair travelers with the local citizen network and offer experience to travel like local.

With packaged tourism losing its appeal among modern day travelers digs the question of what exactly is authentic travel. Consumer data might reveal a section of these answers but tracking social media will give an organic result. For travel brands targeting specific niches, evaluating and adapting to the changing travel behavior is much important.

Tech tools
Undoubtedly, the most influential and dependable tech tool for millennials is the smartphone. Mobile phone location technology has made connection right. On niche apps, review-stuffed maps by Google etc. have made planning for set-piece events easier than ever before. The transparency of peer-to-peer accommodation and transportation services like Airbnb and BlaBlaCar add to the authenticity of the travel experiences and their reviews. The underbelly of a place can only be offered by the natives of the place and thus creates difference in the authenticity of the travel experience.

Large industry players have also chosen to go down to local level. The Instagrammable ideas and images of the less explored destinations is fun in itself. With a series of themed guides and commissioned travel advice by savvy locals has found intense popularity among the new age travelers. The aim is for travelers to get a genuine local experience of the destination. Travel Companies can do well to follow the adage – Think global, act local!

Experimental Home Furniture

Experimenting with home furniture

It is a courageous person that plays with the effective but somehow dubious furniture accessories such as the plastic lawn ornaments. The first advantage of these things is that they are very practical especially if you have young children to look after. It is expected that these kids will be boisterous and will play with the accessories on a regular basis. The risk of damage is very high and you have to ensure that you are prepared to go for that risk. In doing the work that is expected with the different furniture items that are meant to make the home stylish as well as comfortable for the residents, you will be getting something that can deal with the characters of your young children.

The cleaning process is fairly simple for the different products that you buy for your home in an effort to put it on top of the fashion stakes. You just need cloth and a bit of water. The rest is relatively simple and you can enjoy a relaxed atmosphere for a significant period of time. The downside to this sort of thing is the fact that you are expected to really work at getting the process to work for you. In due course you will find that the furniture is ultimately advantageous. The use of the latest furniture items that bring class or elegance to your domestic dwellings is to be admired. Some people are worried about the stylistic statement that such accessories make on the owner. To me that is just superficiality on a grand scale.

You have to know the practical benefits of the essential items of furniture that have to be selected from the most stylish shops in town or within the market. As a head of a family of children it is not within your range to get something that is delicate and classic. The children will run it down within a matter of minutes. You are really looking for furniture that is practical. It has to do the basic functions and yet not be too ugly for polite society. This balance is well achieved by the modern furniture items that try to combine efficiency and elegance with a touch of old world values into the home. On the one hand they are decorative in their appearance but on the other hand it is relatively easy to look after them.

The home will be better off with the dramatic furniture sets that inspire confidence in the client when they place them within the home setting. They might not be the branded products that the affluent neighbors have but they will do the job very well. In fact you might find that they are the right solution for the clients. You will need to chase up the benefits of the standard and exotic furniture items that bring a classical dimension to the general home setting. This means that you look after the furniture and do not do anything that is likely to damage the credibility of the home as a whole. I would not expect to find them in a historical palace. These are items for the mass market and they should remain that way for the foreseeable future.

Impact of Fashion Styles

When shopping for fashion clothes and accessories you have lot of choices to select; as many budding designers and small online fashion labels are competing with each other to put forward a great alternative in the market. Along with the advent of internet you can gain a little help from both online and offline fashion stores which offer originality, quality and flexibility as they are willing to provide you just the thing you want and as you wish. By doing an internet search or by visiting small fashion labels, will offer you a variety of huge choices and you can be aware of what is fashionable right now. There is a new take on almost each and every fashion trend among lot of companies which are at the fore front of new designs. In the modern competitive market trend there are extensive range of clothing materials and accessories which are having unique looks and styles, and are supplied by many fashion businesses.

Just think, can fashion be considered as an aspect which is connected with glamour or glitz? Is it worth to spend thousands in order to acquire the latest clothes and accessories? Whether it is the jeans, sweaters, pants, shirts, coats, jackets, suits, leather or fur which attracts the people with impressive images of fashion items regularly that are shown in television channels and in various fashion magazines. Whatever be the reason, this fashion craze will results in emotional illnesses like depression, low self esteem and many psychological and physical effects.

It is commonly believed that individuals are themselves are responsible for their own actions. On the other hand you should not underestimate the effect of the changing images in the fashion industry. In short our eyes are subjected to have a feast everyday due to the constantly changing fashion trends. It expresses the way a person looks, thinks and acts. So we have to move forward with these trends and probably if we are reluctant to accept this sequence then we will be termed as an old-fashioned dunce that lacks in taste. The effect of this is to bring the viewer’s mind under control and to make them to accept such unrealistic role without questioning them.

It had been made clear that fashion is not the reflection of a consumer’s real taste. It actually makes the people to deprive off the power and as a result they are not able to express it in honest manner. The consumers are compelled in an indirect way to decide what and when to buy, what all things and accessories to carry and the like. Thus these fashion styles had put us into a situation which make us helpless and leaves us at their mercy without representing reality. It summons up visual images of expensive and fashionable clothes and accessories are only for rich and famous people as they can only afford. The image sometimes includes clothes which paint women in a manner which gives us an emotional injury which not only hurts, but also affect the women’s mobility factor.

How to Look For Exquisite Home Furniture for a Fraction of the Price Using eBay

Every homeowner wants to get hold of exceptional furniture but few can actually afford the price tag. Thus, a majority resort to less expensive pieces but often end up sacrificing a lot in terms of overall quality of the home’s interior. Hence, it is common that people go to yard sales or other bargain sites which will allow them to get exquisite home furniture for just a fraction of the cost. The most common place for this is eBay.

However, as eBay is a configuration of a countless number of people, loosely regulated by a central administration, it is wise to take a couple of precautionary measures before transacting. Although there are safeguards which are placed to protect every buyer, it is still advisable to avoid being in such a position. After all, no one wishes to undergo through all the trouble of paperwork and investigations.

As much as possible, choose a payment process that supports some sort of payment protection. Companies like PayPal extend this to their customers. They enable returns on grounds of a breach in the terms of the contract. Furthermore, they also conceal as much of your personal information as possible, thereby lessening the risk of identity theft and credit card fraud cases, both of which are a pain to handle.

Before buying anything on eBay, check the background of the seller. If it shows that he or she fulfills his or her commitments on time and within the terms of his agreement, then it is a good sign. Some sellers who offer very tempting pieces may end up as shams which will only cause you so much disappointment with the kind of stuff that you will receive. Additionally, they may also run away with your money in the process. This is a very important step especially when you will not be using “protective” payment methods, as this measure will immensely reduce the risk of getting less than what you expected.

eBay gives more financial freedom to every customer, especially for those in very tight budgets. However, just like anything else in real life, it is best to proceed with the necessary precautions lest suffer the inconvenient consequences.

Transportation Services and Modes of Transport

In human evolution, the earliest means of transport were walking, running and swimming. Before the Industrial Revolution and modernization, water transport was the most efficient method of transporting large quantities of goods over long distances though it was very slow and expensive. The importance of water transport led to the growth of cities along rivers and sea-shores where boats, canoes and ships could dock.

The domestication of animals and the invention of the sled gave way to early animal transport services. Horses and oxen were used from as early as 3000 BC to transport goods and humans and traveled over dirt tracks. Later civilizations such as the Mesopotamian and the Indus Valley built paved roads for easier transport.

The Industrial Revolution of the 19th century turned transportation on its head. It was the age of many inventions that fundamentally changed the concept of transport. Communication, telegraphy, the steam engine and the steam ship sped global transport in all directions. Land transport became possible over large distances without the application of animal or human muscles. The Wright brothers’ successful experiments with aircraft paved the way for airplanes and air transport became a faster way to transport goods and people in shorter time-frames to further destinations.

Modes of transport

A ‘mode of transport’ is a method or solution that uses a particular type of infrastructure, operation and vehicle to transport people and cargo. A mode can be used by itself or in conjunction with several other modes; in this case it is referred to ‘intermodal’ or ‘multimodal’ transport. Each is distinct from the other and is used based on choice of factors like cost of transport, route taken, capability and so on.

1. Human-powered – this is the most common in developing and under-developed countries because of several factors like savings on cost, accessibility of location, physical exercise and environmental reasons. Human-powered transport is a sustainable form of transport and has recently been enhanced by the use of machinery and modern technology – e.g. cycling, skating, rowing, skiing which are extremely useful in difficult environments.

2. Animal-powered – whether ridden by humans or used as pack animals for movement of people and commodities, animals can work alone or in teams – e.g. mules, horse-carts, dog-sleds etc.

3. Air – airplanes and aircraft have reduced travel times considerably and is the fastest mode of passenger and goods transport. High costs and high energy use are the downsides of air transport; however, it is estimated that over 500,000 people travel in aero-planes at any given time.

4. Rail – Railroads and rail tracks run the length and breadth of every country in the world ferrying people and goods from place to place. Although they involve the use of large amounts of surface land, rail networks provide easy connectivity options within cities, within countries and between different countries as a mode of public transport- e.g. New York City Subway, London Metro, Eurotunnel or the Chunnel between England and France and the Euro Rail.

5. Road – road networks pass through cities, towns and villages and provide better connectivity options in addition to city rail networks and are ideal for public transport also. Road transport is entirely different from other modes as it allows a vehicle user to have complete freedom over speed, direction, timings of travel and change of location that other transport methods cannot provide. They require large surface areas, use high energy and are quite expensive.

6. Water – water transport includes barges, boats, sailboats and ships through canals, rivers and seas. The earliest boats and ships were routed through inland canals for transporting people and spices. Today large passenger and cargo ships provide an organized and efficient transportation method. Although the time involved is long, water transportation is significantly less expensive than air or road.

Other less used modes include cable and pipeline transports which are specifically purpose oriented – e.g. liquids and gases, water, sewage etc. for pipeline transport and conveyor belts, aerial tramways, cable cars etc. for cable transport.

All transport services involve three common elements – infrastructure such as terminals and facilities, operations that include government and private agencies and vehicles which are specifically made for the purpose.

Mens Fashion Tips: The Art of Creating Permanent Fashion Styles for Men

Many men and women do not have much idea about Mens Fashion. Very often the advice I have been approached on are what men can wear to appear professional or what men should wear so that they do not look outdated but overtly trendy.

I would greatly suggest understanding the basics of men’s fashion and put this knowledge into a permanent mens fashion style. There would not be anymore worry about following trends but perpetually looking stylish.

The basics of fashion for men boil down to knowing what each piece of apparel is made up of. The fabrics used determine a lot on the quality of the apparel. Good fabrics allow the apparel to withstand wear and tear.

If any men’s clothing or accessories that wear out fast would naturally make it look old and badly cared. This does not reflect well of the men wearing it and easily put most men out of style just by looking shaggy.

The next important point we need to note are the details found in every apparel and accessories. Details can be subtle but it creates a very big impact in the eventual outlook of the styling.

So before we start playing with details, the knowledge of each detail’s responsibility and how it helps in holding up the item or even gives significance to it in style can assist us in choosing the best men’s clothing.

Learning how to coordinate is another tough thing for many men. It does not need to be if they just understand about the various concepts of coordination. Starting from differentiating the type skin complexion they belong to would be the most basic knowledge to acquire.

Then they just need to put on the right color clothing against their complexion that perks up their facial skin tone and brings the attention to their face.

After that, coordinating colors between the various men’s clothing is another method. There are various ways to match different and similar or same hues as well as the shades of hues to achieve the nicest blend of colors.

If they are adventurous, then there are more that they can create that puts two very contrasting colors and yet a harmonious fusion of such colors without looking weird or clownish.

Putting patterns against each other is another challenging task in mens fashion. It is through the play of patterns that can make many men look very trendy and stylish.

If not properly done, those clashing patterns would be a very trying and poorly executed attempt. It boils down in knowing the types of patterns and their scale before choosing how to put them together.

Men can go for two to four similar or different patterns coordination without even looking overdoing the matching. It is fundamental to keep the flow of patterns as natural as possible and create a relaxing look from the combination.

It is good to have an idea of how to put all these mens clothing and accessories together. From there we can develop a permanent styling and never have to worry about the next trend or whether it is unprofessional. At least all aspects of men’s fashion have been touched on. Therefore, if you are daring enough it is always possible to transform it into fashionable styling.

Go Green With Green Construction and Hardwood Installation

Astonishing is the fact that while environment degradation has been included in the official list of ten threats by High Level Threat Panel of United Nations; we are getting more careless about this phenomenon. We have increased the use of toxic products that reduce the sustainability of the environment. Are we not mindful of how this carelessness can harm the life of humans and wildlife? If we are, why don’t we try to practice ways that make our environment sustainable?

There are several ways to avoid causing further damage to the environment. One of the easy ways to protect environment is by practicing green construction or green building. For those who are unaware of this term, let me give you a flavor of what is it all about. Green construction is the simple process of designing building in ways that make efficient use of resources and conserve energy. If you have cooling units installed in your homes you are going against green construction. Can’t you replace it with ceiling fans and large windows which will keep your home naturally cool and will use less energy than giant sized and heavy powered cooling units? The point is to conserve energy and make your home a healthier place to live in. Along with saving energy, it will save your cost as well.

Once you have made the structure of your house green, an additional change you can bring to add further value to your house is hardwood installation. Especially made for people who are prone to environmental allergies, hardwood installation is a byword for cleanliness, shine and elegance. It makes your interior cozy and warm. No more would have to spend a lot of time on cleaning food spills, for hardwood installation can be cleaned with simple mop or vacuums. It has replaced all other types of flooring because it is durable and easy to maintain. However it is expensive and thus it is out of reach for those who deem costly living an extravagance. Moreover this type of wooden flooring is more vulnerable to moisture. Even a little contact with water can decay hardwood installation.

But all pros and cons considered green construction and hardwood installation definitely enhances the value and functionality of the house. With the level of environment degradation reaching fearful heights, all of us need to practice green construction to avoid long term costs. Green construction increases resource efficiency, reduce the need for maintenance and saves the energy. Similarly hardwood installation complements green construction in its purpose of making the house Eco-friendly and maintenance free. The next time you plan to renovate or build your house don’t forget to make these two styles a part of your construction scheme.