R.I.P. The video call

Plus: The first email
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The Futurist is your daily tech, cosmic, and science (both weird or otherwise) newsletter with articles and content curated just for you.

In today's edition:

// Space station on an asteroid

// Transforming methane

// NPCs

// The death of video calls

AI now lets you have real conversations with NPCs in video games | Freethink

“The non-player characters (NPCs) you encounter in video games might be skilled at fighting or giving you valuable items, but nobody has ever accused them of being clever conversationalists. Some simply grunt or utter two-word replies. Even the more elaborate NPCs often only possess a few preprogrammed lines of dialog, each recorded by a human voice actor, leaving the computer characters liable to repeat themselves if you talk to them for more than a minute.”

Unlimited data, talk, text, and hotspot for just $25/mo. | Visible

“Only $25 per month?” you ask, in shock. Yes. Visible wants you to be able to afford and enjoy your mobile plan to the fullest. Best of all, they don’t lock you into a contract and there are no hidden fees. Also, because they run on Verizon’s award-winning 5G and 4G LTE networks, Visible’s network covers 99% of the population. They even have a premium plan, Visible+, which you’ll have to see to believe but trust us, it’s very powerful. Well, what are you waiting for? Throw away your old mobile plan and give Visible a spin today. (And if you already have Visible, get $20/mo off Visible for every friend you bring. Pretty cool, huh?) [Ad]

The video call revolution is dead | The Verge

“Three years ago, video chat appeared set to revolutionize the way we work. All we actually got was slightly better video chat.


Video-first communication obviously became much more important to many with the covid pandemic. With people suddenly forced to use video chat for work, school, and even to visit with their families, there was a rush of interest in apps and platforms that promised to make the concept of sitting in front of a webcam a bit more exciting.”

Scientists find a way to turn methane into energy, materials | Interesting Engineering

“Methane is an extremely harmful emission and one that is rarely recycled. Now, researchers from the University of Central Florida have found a way to transform it into energy and materials. This is according to a press release by the institution published on Friday. The new development is the work of nanotechnologist Laurene Tetard and catalysis expert Richard Blair.”

The AI Tool Report just wants to make your life easier

Do you know how things like budgets, finances, your job, and other tasks take up way too much time? Oh, you do? Of course you do, you’re human! And as a human, you deserve to live your life to the fullest. That’s where the AI Tool Report comes in. It’s a daily newsletter that gives you all the tools and hacks to let AI take the wheel and automate all the stuff you need to automate so you can, as we mentioned above, live your life. [Ad]

Futuristic paper shows it’s feasible to build a space station on an asteroid | Inverse

“The basic idea of turning an asteroid into a rotating space habitat has existed for a while. Despite that, it’s always seemed relatively far off regarding technologies, so the concept hasn’t received much attention over the years. But, if you’re retired and have an underlying interest in researching space habitats, developing a detailed plan for turning an asteroid into one seems like a great use of time. And that is precisely what David W. Jensen, a retired Technical Fellow at Rockwell Collins, recently did. He released a 65-page paper that details an easy-to-understand, relatively inexpensive, and feasible plan to turn an asteroid into a space habitat.”

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//Quiz: What year was the first email sent?

What year was the first email sent?

This incredible medium has certainly endured.