Some Things on My Radar in 2014

I like this time of year.  It' s great time to look at the year gone by and look forward to the new.  Here's a quick list of things I think will be interesting to follow in 2014.

1. TV Content Delivery Will Rapidly Start to Change

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Netflix officially became bigger than HBO (in terms of subscribers) this year. That's pretty crazy when you think about it.  Streaming is the new big thing.  Sites that illegally stream live sports and brand new movies are rampant and near impossible to stop, while services that provide a la carte movies and TV are are thriving.  People are deciding to work a little harder to get their content as long as they save some money and at the same happen to be avoiding things that suck about the way most people currently watch TV.  I think we'll see bigger changes in this space in 2014, and it will be great for consumers.

2. Marijuana Reform Is Coming Fast

I'll come right out and say it: It is unbelievable to me that marijuana; a *plant* that comes from the *earth*, that is far less dangerous a drug than alcohol or tobacco and in many cases provides physical aide to people, AND would be a good source of economic stimulation, is still illegal in most states.   Washington and Colorado made it legal for recreational use in 2013 and its likely we'll see more in 2014.  Did you see how much money Colardo made in the first day recreational use was allowed?  This could change our economy. 

3. Wearable Tech

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Google Glass and Apple's yet-to-even-be-announced-but-already-talked-about-too-much-already's iWatch are getting a lot of attention but I think it's devices like the Fitbit and Jawbone Up which track your motion are going to be bigger.  Some of these devices are able to track your heartrate and how deep you sleep.  I think the wearable that helps you with these things and not the one that helps listen to music or make a phone call will be the one(s) that make it big.

4. Tech In Tha House

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It's called "home automation" and it's the next frontier of tech after wearables.  I think home automation could even be a bigger industry than wearable computing, and sooner too.  Have you heard of Philips Hue?  It's a cool way to control lights in your house.  Trust me it is __awesome__.  The Nest is doing well and now we have things like the Belkin smart slow cooker and "Mother" which is looking to help you with many more aspects of your life.  Some of this stuff is laughable, but there is huge potential for some really cool stuff to happen here.  I imagine a home where your mobile devices and more-so your *wearable* devices interact in concert with your home devices.  So much to think about!  

Here's a couple other things on my radar in 2014 that I don't think I'm all that qualified to talk about at length:

* U.S. combat troops (are supposed to) pull out of Afganistan by Dec 31 2014 
* Climate change - Have you noticed the weather is getting weirder?
* Renewable energy
* The bee death problem
* Orion spacecraft
* Personal drone technology 
* Google's self driving car and its purchase of a robotics company 

Marijuana Tasting Tours Are Popping Up In Colorado

In Colorado, one of the most progessive states when it comes to marijuana reform, there are actually places cropping up where you can take "tours" based on sampling high quality strains of locally grown marijuana.  While the linked article pokes fun, I don't think this is too far off from actually happening as laws progress.

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I did a little searching on Google and I very much believe that this could be a money maker.  Based around World Cannabis week, a yearly event in Denver (around you guessed it, April 20th) the tours sound like a souped up trip to Amsterdam where the fun is taken care of, all-inclusive style.

Each of the three packages offered for this particular tour include individuals being picked up at the airport, connecting them with marijuana-friendly motels that are fine with customers consuming on their premises, as well as connecting people with concerts, cannabis samples, etc..

Laugh all you want but people will pay for this.  Just take a look at the site where you can order one of these tours: all are sold out.  

Teen Narrowly Escapes Death After Smoking Synthetic Marijuana

After days in an induced coma, an MRI reveals Emily suffered several severe strokes, says Bryant.

I knew synthetic marijuana was out there but before reading this story I didn't know how "out there" it was.  I first heard of it when I visited Amsterdam in 2003 as it was readily available there (I did not try it).  But I've certainly heard a lot more about it here in the states over the past year ad it brings a lot of questions to mind for me:

1.  The story indicates this was sold over the counter at a gas station.  How is this allowed?

2.  Why would anyone prefer this over the actual thing?  I am guessing because it is easier to acquire.  

3.  Have there been any cases of this happening with real marijuana?  Methinks not.

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This story is pretty freaky.  The girl nearly died.  Doctors thought she would be brain dead.  Luckily she is not a complete vegetable, but she does have significant brain damage.  All from something she bought legally at a gas station convenience store.  

Spice, K2, and potpourri are all names for this stuff.  Essentially it is chemicals, yes CHEMICALS, that are added to a substance that looks like weed, designed to mimic the effects of weed.  People actually buy and smoke this stuff and it is all legal.  Wow.

And yet when someone who is near death, sick enough that they can barely eat, the federal government and most states in US won't allow the person to smoke a little weed to ease their pain and maybe give them some form of an appetite.  

But sure lets sell "Spice" over the counter and as much alcohol and cigarettes as we can.  

Insanity.  

Source: CNN