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Here are the 15 predictions Gates made nearly 20 years ago — and how close they've come to being true. Sites like Nex Tag and Price Grabber are built specifically to compare prices. They will be able to check the news, see flights they have booked, get information from financial markets, and do just about anything else on these devices." What we see now: Smartphones, and now smartwatches, do all of this. 3: Instant payments and financing online, and better healthcare through the web.Gates' prediction: "People will pay their bills, take care of their finances, and communicate with their doctors over the internet." What we see now: Tech hasn't been able to change healthcare the way Uber changed transportation, but sites like Zoc Doc aim to make finding a doctor and scheduling easier.Google and Facebook can offer promotional ads based on the user's location and interests. Gates' prediction: "While watching a sports competition on television, services will allow you to discuss what is going on live, and enter a contest where you vote on who you think will win." What we see now: A bunch of social media sites allow this, with Twitter being the clear leader — and even streaming some games. Gates' prediction: "Devices will have smart advertising. Gates' prediction: "Television broadcast will include links to relevant websites and content that complement what you are watching." What we see now: Almost every commercial these days has a callout asking the viewer to go to a website, follow the business on Twitter, or a scan a QR code to add it on Snapchat. Gates' prediction: "Residents of cities and countries will be able to have internet-based discussions concerning issues that affect them, such as local politics, city planning, or safety." What we see now: Most news sites have comment sections where people can have live discussions, and many sites have forums where people can ask and respond to certain questions. Gates' prediction: "Online communities will not be influenced by your location, but rather, your interest." What we see now: All kinds of news sites and online communities focus on single topics. Gates' prediction: "Similarly, people looking for work will be able to find employment opportunities online by declaring their interest, needs, and specialized skills." What we see now: Sites like Linked In allow users to upload résumés and find jobs based on interests and needs, and recruiters can search based on specialized skills. This will be efficient for both big companies that want to outsource work that they don't usually face, businesses looking for new clients, and corporations that don't have a go-to provider for the said service." What we see now: Much enterprise software is focused on social aspects, so users can reach out to other businesses and start a conversation that could lead to bigger projects directly within their apps.Airbnb, which lets people stay in homes rather than hotels, started to offer specialized trips at destinations so you can live like a local, too. You can also leave comments in real time on sports sites like ESPN. They will know your purchasing trends, and will display advertisements that are tailored toward your preferences." What we see now: Just look at the ads you see on Facebook or Google — most online advertising services have this feature, where advertisers can target users based on their click history, interests, and purchasing patterns. It's rare to see a broadcast without a website linked at all. Twitter and Facebook played roles in political revolutions in Libya, Egypt, and Tunisia, as well as the Black Lives Matter movement in the US. Many news sites have expanded to include separate verticals, offering more in-depth coverage on a given topic. Gates' prediction: "Project managers looking to put a team together will be able to go online, describe the project, and receive recommendations for available people who would fit their requirements." What we see now: Tons of workflow software in the enterprise space is revolutionizing how you recruit, form teams, and assign work to others. The so-called gig economy, with sites like Upwork, lets big businesses easily connect with freelance designers, writers, or engineers to do work they're looking to outsource.Health officials instructed hospitals not to discharge homeless patients, even after treatment is finished, to save them from the cold.When freezing conditions struck in 2010, members of the armed forces were called in to help clear snow from the roads and assist residents in particularly hard-hit areas and help clear special locations such as hospitals and care homes.Reddit is a great example of a website that's divided into subgroups, or "subreddits," that focus on interests rather than who you know or where you are. Read more: • Brexit is easing the UK into recession like an old man lowering himself into a hot bath• Here are the most dramatic photos of protests at the G20 summit in Hamburg• Brexit is going to make the UK's labour market crisis even more severe The Independent's bitcoin group on Facebook is the best place to follow the latest discussions and developments in cryptocurrency.Join here for the latest on how people are making money – and how they're losing it.

Three ships were blocked on the Danube River - one German, one Dutch and one Romanian - and efforts were made to unblock them from ice.It will inform all the devices that you use of your purchases and schedule, allowing them to automatically adjust to what you're doing." What we see now: Google Now, a smart assistant that runs on mobile devices, is starting to head in this direction.Meanwhile, smart devices like Nest collect data on your daily routines and automatically adjust your house's temperature. Gates' prediction: "Constant video feeds of your house will become common, which inform you when somebody visits while you are not home." What we see now: Google bought Dropcam, the maker of a home-surveillance camera, for 5 million in 2014.Balconies resembled skating rinks as overnight rain froze and snow covered the ripe fruit on orange trees growing on the Roman terraces.North of Rome, a ferry that was just leaving the port of Civitavecchia for Sardinia slammed into a dock when the ship in the wind, Italian news agency ANSA reported early Saturday.

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Startups like One Medical and Forward are trying to change what the doctor's office is like by offering monthly memberships for online and data-driven healthcare. Gates' prediction: "'Personal companions' will be developed.