Energy innovations, the death of the laptop, tech trends

Fast Company has predictions from around the web for 2012; The Economist goes around the world to do the same thing. Here at JWTIntelligence, we released our annual 100 Things to Watch list, while The Wall Street Journal consolidates predictions from ad land.

The Guardian publishes its technology trends for the year ahead.

McKinsey Quarterly discusses five energy innovations to watch, including grid-scale storage, clean coal and biofuels.

Mashable takes readers through eight predictions for CES 2012.

-Smashing the American myth: Researchers reveal “Americans enjoy less economic mobility than their peers in Canada and much of Western Europe.”

The New York Times reports that employment in U.S. manufacturing companies is expected to rise for the second year in a row.

-Bob Garfield and Doug Levy of Ad Age outline why the human element will trump positioning, preemption and unique selling positioning in the future.

-The writer Pico Iyer, in The New York Times, extols about “The Joy of Quiet,” a manifestation of De-Teching, one of our 10 Trends for 2011.

The Economist outlines the opportunities as well as potential pitfalls of social media.

Mashable predicts how social media law might take shape in the upcoming year.

-Is self-publishing on Apple’s to-do list? Businessweek takes a closer look. Meanwhile, tech analyst Tim Bajarin outlines four industries ripe for disruption by the company.

-While supercomputers may be available in the near future, Newsweek reports that the U.S. is lacking the brainpower to use them.

Fast Company declares the death of the laptop.

-Digital music sales crested over physical music sales for the first time ever in 2011 while full album sales made gains over individual track sales.

-Across New York, alternative, somewhat informal, lecture series on heady topics are popping up in bars and theaters, allowing “the intellectually curious go back to school, without the homework,” according to The New York Times.

The New York Times looks at what happens when online shoppers drink and hit the “buy” button.

-The U.K.’s Independent calls it “disaster voyeurism:” A British company has nearly sold out two cruises that take passengers on the same route as the Titanic on the 100th anniversary of its sinking.

-Priced at $200,000 per ride, the first “affordable” flights to space will launch this year thanks to Virgin Galactic.

-The latest fitness craze sweeping the U.K.? MovNat—or moving naturally—a system based on the theory that “running, climbing, jumping, crawling and balancing like the animal species nature intended,” will yield better fitness results than superficial goals.

The New York Times outlines the rise of the bodybuilding vegan, a stark contrast to the anemic-looking, bone-thin vegans of yesteryear.