Sci-Fi Inspired Technologies of the Late 20th Century are Coming to Life

In the 1960s and 70s humankind believed that by 2014 trips into space would be as common as traveling across the Pacific. Cartoons and movies were full of depictions of space planes that could travel into Earth orbit, dock at space stations or travel to the moon.  While we are nowhere close to the future that many imagined for 2014, there has been noticeable progress in many of the sci-fi inspired technologies depicted in various movies and TV shows.  Below are five examples of futuristic technologies that are slowly becoming a reality.

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Corruption in Government Procurement – Bananagate, Lockheed and Operation Ill Wind

On the morning of February 3rd, 1975 Eli Black, the Chairman and President of United Brands Company, arrived early to his office on the forty fourth floor of the Pan Am building in Manhattan.   Using his briefcase, Black broke open the window then jumped to his death.  Investigations into Black’s death uncovered a large conspiracy between United Brands and the government of Honduras. The incident involved taxes on banana exports from the Central and South American countries such as Honduras, Guatemala, Ecuador, Columbia, Nicaragua, Panama and Costa Rica. 

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Is Boeing the Media’s Next GM

In my posts earlier this month I outlined my views on how the media has been one of the biggest contributors to GM’s demise in the past two decades.  With GM finally in bankruptcy, the press has been forced to abandon their daily front-page beatings of the automaker in favor of different topics.  You can’t kick them when they are down, unfortunately.  Boeing seems to be a target of growing interest to the media.  The announcement of the 787 Dreamliner test flights delay earlier this month has triggered a series of on-going articles on a variety of topics.

Consider the following three articles from the Wall Street Journal published in recent weeks:

  • Boeing Delays Upend Plans of Leasing Firms – describing how leasing companies such as CIT and International Lease Finance have been impacted by the Boeing delays.
  • Boeing feels new pressure to placate its 787 Buyers – describes how airline operators such as Qantas have cut approximately 50 orders for the new planes due to the announced delays.
  • Boeing’s Military Strategy faces Test in Downturn – argues that Boeing’s defense related sales will be impacted by the reduction in US Department of Defense spending.

Boeing’s public relations department has their work cut out for them as they must be careful to avoid the media death spiral that GM has endured.