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News & Previews from the World Future Society
May 2006 (Vol. 7, No. 5)

In This Issue:

 Digital Fingerprinting to Trace Child Pornographers
 Telecommuters Still Need to Travel
 Music Therapy 1: A Song for Your Pain
 Music Therapy 2: Rhythm Treatment
 Click of the Month: Enterprise Poetry
 News from the Futurist Community


A new technique to trace digital images back to the cameras that created them--like tracing a bullet back to the gun that fired it--could help in the prosecution of child pornographers.

Digital photographs are relatively easy to manipulate, such as by "pasting" an adult's head on a child's image in order to avoid prosecution. But the images themselves can be traced because they bear microscopic patterns of noise or scratches unique to an individual camera, created in the process of manufacturing the camera and its sensors, according to Binghamton University engineer Jessica Fridrich and colleagues.

The researchers have developed an algorithm to identify the originating camera of an image, based on the noise patterns in multiple images known to have been taken from that camera. The technique could also help combat image forgery.

SOURCE: Binghamton University, State University of New York,


The Internet, e-mail, videoconferencing, and other communications technologies have cut the need to travel, but the rapid growth of business in the global economy has increased it.

According to a U.K. survey by Barclaycard, the number of flights per business traveler is expected to increase by 12% by 2015. The main reason given is the increased expansion of businesses both domestically and overseas, thanks to enlargement of the European Union and the opening of China's economy.

Meanwhile, communication technologies will continue to help organizations avoid unnecessary travel: Use of videoconferencing by staff members will increase to 50% by 2015, compared with 26% now, according to the survey.

SOURCE: Business Travel Shows, http://www.businesstravelshow.com


Music can help reduce pain following surgery and lessen dependence on morphine-like drugs, according to an analysis of music-therapy research.

Listening to music can distract or relax patients, and because they can control it instantly with the push of a button (whereas calling for a nurse takes longer), their anxiety may be reduced.

"At least for acute postoperative pain, music decreases analgesic requirements and decreases pain intensity," says M. Soledad Cepeda, the study's lead author. While it will not eliminate the need for pain medications, music can be an effective supplement to the pain-relief specialist's tool kit, she says.

SOURCE: Center for the Advancement of Health, http://www.hbns.org/getDocument.cfm?documentID=1253


Prepare now for the World Future Society's annual meeting by reading some of the books written by the wide array of consultants, scholars, activists, and experts who will be speaking at WorldFuture 2006: Creating Global Strategies for Humanity's Future.

At Meet the Author sessions and during the conference itself, you'll be able to discuss books with such distinguished thinkers as Ray Kurzweil THE SINGULARITY IS NEAR, Joel Barker FIVE REGIONS OF THE FUTURE, Edie Weiner and Arnold Brown FUTURETHINK, Marsha Rhea ANTICIPATE THE WORLD YOU WANT, Joel Garreau RADICAL EVOLUTION, and Edward Gordon THE 2010 MELTDOWN.

The conference will be held July 28-30 at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Register by April 28 to save $100 off the on-site fee.

REGISTER BY APRIL 28 to save $100: https://www.wfs.org/2006regform.htm
LEARN MORE:  http://www.wfs.org/2006main.htm
ORDER BOOKS: http://www.wfs.org/2006spkrbks.htm



Cha-cha or hip-hop? Twist or waltz? Picking the right musical rhythm could help get Parkinson's patients moving more effectively than traditional forms of physical therapy.

"We already know that rhythm can make people move," says neurologist Ron Tintner of the Methodist Neurological Institute in Houston. "The question is, Are there particular rhythms that work better for these patients?"

With grant support from the Grammy Foundation, Tintner and colleagues will first work with non-Parkinson's patients to determine what rhythms help stimulate them to move. They will then test the most effective rhythms on Parkinson's patients, ultimately outfitting each patient with a specially tailored personal music device to keep them moving.

SOURCE: Methodist Neurological Institute, Methodist Hospital, Houston,

CLICKS OF THE MONTH: Enterprise Poetry http://www.enterprisepoetry.org

What can a poem tell you about your business that earnings reports cannot? For one thing, it can offer an inspiring vision of what is possible, rather than exclusively a historical perspective.

A unique new form of business foresight, then, is "enterprise poetry," the brainchild of business consultant and poet Brian Mulconrey. "The enterprise poet travels to the future in her imagination and returns with insights into what may happen," he says.

The format resembles a speculative essay more than a poem as most people would recognize it. Mulconrey explains that in enterprise poetry, "poetic technique is rendered in the language of enterprise, where driving forces such as breakthroughs in nanotechnology are the verbs and products, processes, and social movements are the nouns that animate the poems."



The World Future Society's 2006 "Visions of the Future" Art Competition is seeking the most compelling visual image of the world we are building--or hope to build. The competition ends April 29.

Entries may relate to visions of the future of resources, science and society, fun, transportation, education, relationships, fashion, or other subjects that inspire the artist.

The winner will receive $500, a one-year membership in the World Future Society, and a scholarship to attend WorldFuture 2006.

DETAILS: 2006 Visions of the Future, http://www.wfs.org/artcontest.htm



  • PEDRO H. MORALES DIES: Colombian business futurist Pedro H. Morales, president of CIMA International Group, died recently in Bogotá. He was a member of the Society's Global Advisory Council and a frequent speaker at Society meetings. DETAILS: http://www.wfs.org/obitmorales.htm
  • LEARNING TOMORROW: The online newsletter of the newly established education section of the World Future Society is now available on the Society's Web site. The newsletter will offer news briefs, trend bites, and networking links for educators interested in advancing their futuring skills. Prospective members may also join online. DETAILS: http://www.wfs.org/educnewsltr.htm

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FUTURIST UPDATE: News & Previews from the World Future Society is an e-mail newsletter published monthly as a supplement to THE FUTURIST magazine.
Copyright © 2006, World Future Society, 7910 Woodmont Avenue, Suite 450, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA. Telephone 1-301-656-8274; e-mail mailto:info@wfs.org; Web site http://www.wfs.org.

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The WORLD FUTURE SOCIETY is a nonprofit, nonpartisan scientific and educational association with a global membership. Regular membership in the Society, including a subscription to THE FUTURIST, is $49 per year, or $20 for full-time students under age 25. Professional and Institutional membership programs are also offered; contact Society headquarters for details: http://www.wfs.org

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