From smart cities to the self-induced placebo effect, these are the 18 must-read stories for the weekend.

Cities are getting smarter. And it’s happening fast. Four ways that will make our lives better.

Virtual reality has not yet come of age. But there’s growing excitement about the technology’s potential in media, gaming, shopping and travel.

Source: OpticsGamer

The future of energy is not what you’d expect. For one thing, oil prices might yet go up.

All cities are fragile. Some more than others. Are strong ‘social contracts’ the key to urban resilience?

A challenge to leaders: to create a world safe enough for our kids to walk to school.

Drones, killer robots and cyberwars. Digital advances mean brand new security threats. The message from Davos was clear: we are woefully unprepared.

What are ecorithms? They’re the mathematical rules that lie beneath life itself.

20 years ago an angry Davos participant declared cyberspace independent. By mass email. How does it stand up today?

The self-induced placebo effect. Training our brains to do what medicine and drugs do.

The fusion race is hotting up. Last week German scientists announced a step forward, this week it’s the turn of Chinese researchers.

Historic optimism about the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The past two centuries “were ones of technologically driven rising living standards and largely failed predictions of eminent calamity”.

Trying to understand bitcoin? A 300-page Princeton textbook, Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies, is just out and free to download.

An Indian social entrepreneur has a message for Davos bashers. (Huffington Post)

Has a robot taken your job? The US now has a record breaking 260,000 robots working in its factories. Cites Forum research. (Daily Mail)

Young, disruptive still voiceless at Davos. A 25-year-old Indonesian woman who took part says the Forum needs to do more. (Jakarta Post)

Bringing gay power to the boardroom. The issue was on the agenda in Davos: “We need companies to be open about and proud of their LGBT staff.” (The Advocate)

Reflections on Davos. “India is lucky that a window of opportunity has opened up again, the second time in 10 years. We cannot afford to let it slip from our grasp.” (Livemint)

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is a double-edged sword. Professor Klaus Schwab warns the World Government Summit that it carries risks as well as opportunities. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

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