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Tech Predictions for 2004 281

Posted by michael
from the never-speak-of-2003-again dept.
Quirk writes "The Independent has the predictions of Charles Arthur for 2004. 'The ubiquity of the iPod, the return of the Mac, and the simplicity of the portable memory stick are just some of the developments that could change our lives in 2004.'"
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Tech Predictions for 2004

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  • My own list (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 01, 2004 @09:20AM (#7852369)
    # Moore's Law will be deemed "obsolete". Despite this, faster computers will still be produced. We will also see x86-64 chips proliferate the market.

    # Linux becomes ready for the desktop (they've predicted this every year).

    # Doom 3 still won't be released.

    # The total destruction of Microsoft's monopoly due to the utter, complete failure of their upcoming retarded product lines. Bill Gates' Ring Of Power tossed into the fires of Mt. Redmond and becomes molten slag. The towers of Microsoft crumble and all rejoice. (Note to Microsoft apologists : If you find this offensive, you need a sense of humour. If you're still unhappy with this, well, you suck.)

    # BSD finally dies. (Note to BSD snobs : See above about Microsoft apologists)

    # KDE and GNOME merge into one project. Supporters from both camps become outraged and civil war breaks out.

    # Linux 2.7 will be forked, ported to run on vending machines and kitchen appliances. 2.6 becomes truly stable, and nobody will care.

    # The RIAA will hand out more lawsuits, some of them for toddlers and livestock.

    # Darl McBride follows the RIAA's footsteps, and starts suing toddlers and livestock too for unauthorized use of SCO intellectual property.

    # Martians recover Beagle 2, reprogram it and send it back to to conquer Earth.
    • by questamor (653018) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @09:30AM (#7852393)
      The Amiga is coming back too. don't forget the Amiga.
    • by AndroidCat (229562) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @09:32AM (#7852401) Homepage
      The only Ring of Power that I see are the rights of any claim of ownership of UNIX. Whoever controls those without destroying them will be subject to the corrupting influence of trying to make claims of ownership of anything close to UNIX like the elven rings of Linux.

      Just look at what happened to Gollum McBride. Sad.

    • # Doom 3 still won't be released.

      I think it almost certainly will but no one should get upset if it isn't, ID (and carmack in particular) have always said the release date is "when it's done".

      Now Half-Life 2 on the other hand is a different story, anyone care to place any bets ?.
    • Doom 3 still won't be released.

      You sure you didn't mean Duke Nukem Forever?
    • # The total destruction of Microsoft's monopoly due to the utter, complete failure of their upcoming retarded product lines. Bill Gates' Ring Of Power tossed into the fires of Mt. Redmond and becomes molten slag. The towers of Microsoft crumble and all rejoice. (Note to Microsoft apologists : If you find this offensive, you need a sense of humour. If you're still unhappy with this, well, you suck.)


      You fool, Bill Gates' Ring of Power must be thrown into the fires of Mt. Raineir. We haven't destroyed the r
  • by Chazmati (214538) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @09:24AM (#7852379)
    I don't agree with everything he says, but I like this prediction:

    * If you're buying a computer in the coming year, don't get one that uses Windows. It's simply too insecure. (Did you know there's a secret "administrator" account and password on every machine? You didn't? Every hacker does.) Get one with the Linux operating system installed (Evesham does them, for example) or an Apple machine running OSX. Both systems are fast, stable and secure. With Windows XP... well, sometimes two out of three really IS bad.
    • by newsdee (629448)
      don't get one that uses Windows (...) did you know there's a secret "administrator" account and password on every machine?
      This is kind of misleading actually. AFAIK anybody skilled enough to manually configure Linux is able to find out this on Windows and change the default password. There were some "hidden" accounts in Linux too, but I suppose that new distros now come with a huge "warning: change such and such password now", so maybe even a complete newbie is safer with Linux indeed.
      • There were some "hidden" accounts in Linux too, ...

        You mean like nobody, cdrom, ppp, etc.? Some of them come without logon capability. You can easily define a logon shell, but they don't have one, so they can't log on. What they generally seem to be for is to allow file sharing without needing to re-logon. The others... well, they don't have administration capabilities, except over the programs that they are installed for. Some of them also don't have home directories, so they can only read/write in p
  • by cubicledrone (681598) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @09:25AM (#7852384)
    Practically the entirety of business now relies on computers for just about everything, yet few, if any, can find careers working with computers?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 01, 2004 @09:44AM (#7852436)
      Practically the entirety of business now relies on Post-Its for just about everything, yet few, if any, can find careers working with Post-Its?
    • by pigpilot (733494) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @09:52AM (#7852478) Homepage

      If by "careers working with computers" you mean doing more than just using them, i.e. writing software etc then I'm not surprised. Every major business that I can think of relies more on telephones and plumbing but relatively few people need to make a career out of them.

      For most of us computers are just a tool that help us get on with our job, and like most tools they are rarely a career in themselves.

      • For most of us computers are just a tool that help us get on with our job

        The computer is a lot like the electric motor of my childhood: you bought stand-alone ones and hooked them to your tools with v-belts, and inventors in garages came up with ways to put them in individual appliances, such as the washing machine. Later people even instaled them as starters in automobiles.

        --dave

    • A computer that works does not need anyone to work with it.

      In fact in 3 years I've never had to work with my iMac. I just hit the update button when it asks me to and put in a new OS CD every once in a while, it does the rest.

      Now my windows box (and mom and dads) on the other hand, need a IT staff of 20 to keep running.
    • How did this get modded as interesting? It's a gross exaggeration. Hey man, I was unemployed for 7 months before I landed my current gig a month ago. Yeah, it sucks. However, you should consider making your New Year's Resolution to be less bitter and more optimistic. It's like dating or sales... it's all a numbers game; just keep plugging away at it. You *will* eventually hit gold. Another bit of advice: if you cannot grow vertically (getting a job, promotion, etc.), grow horizontially: Learn new stuff to
  • by rinkjustice (24156) <rinkjustice AT NO_SPAMrocketmail DOT com> on Thursday January 01, 2004 @09:26AM (#7852387) Homepage Journal
    The ubiquity of the iPod, the return of the Mac, and the simplicity of the portable memory stick are just some of the developments that could change our lives in 2004.

    So, if I buy these Apple products and flash memory, my life will change and this gaping chasm which plagues my existance will be gone forever?

    To hell with new years resolutions! Where's my credit card!
    • Re:It's that easy? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by shplorb (24647) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @10:46AM (#7852671) Homepage Journal
      So, if I buy these Apple products and flash memory, my life will change and this gaping chasm which plagues my existance will be gone forever?

      To look at or touch Apple products is to experience the ultimate consumer orgasm - some sort of weird love-like feeling, where you can't help but feel good about forking over a wad of cash for the product that you've survived for years without, but now that you've held it you know that you can't live without it.

      Or maybe it's more like crack... they give you a freebie (test drive in the store) and then you'll do anything to get your hands on one.

      All I know is that I'm saving up for a dual G5 and iPod to complement my iBook =]
    • For most of my life I never though I would use a mac, but with the comming of OS X, I learned that was not true, I now have (and love) my G4 iBook, and the integration with the iPod and my cell phone is well words just can not state it.
  • Better predictions (Score:3, Informative)

    by sane? (179855) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @09:31AM (#7852397)
    I think he's indulged a bit too much over Christmas. Here's some better predictions:
    • ipod and mini ipod will be hit by a wave of cheap replacements that both allow you to store/play music AND video. These will integrate with mobile phones (2G).
    • Multi processor machines will begin to take off in the business environment. Single user, multi machine setups will smooth the rollout of Linux/OpenOffice and make people more productive
    • Appliances that take advantage of home broadband links and WiFi will take off.
    • Microsoft will get scared, and will run towards early launch of XBox 2 as a home machine. Failure will spell the fall of Microsoft.
    • The Apple House will be unveiled
    • ipod and mini ipod will be hit by a wave of cheap replacements that both allow you to store/play music AND video. These will integrate with mobile phones (2G).

      I think instead the wave of small devices coming out to do what you say will be hit by the mini iPod. People might buy a phone with that capability, but still use an iPod.

      Multi processor machines will begin to take off in the business environment. Single user, multi machine setups will smooth the rollout of Linux/OpenOffice and make people more p
      • OK, sensible answer demands a sensible reply. Here's the thinking.

        ipod and mini ipod will be hit by a wave of cheap replacements that both allow you to store/play music AND video. These will integrate with mobile phones (2G).

        Manufacturers have noted the success of the ipod - they want a slice. Now a straight MP3 player is, in the end, a very simple device (the ipod score with the typical apple design flair). Thus they will look to see how that can be enhanced. One way is to add a video capability (that

  • ugh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by grubi (683777) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @09:32AM (#7852399) Homepage
    Picture phones will become pervasive; it'll be unusual not to have one.

    Dear God, no: I think it's dumb to have one device that does two things badly rather than own two devices that do each thing moderately well.

    But, then again, I'm a dreamer, eh?
    • Re:ugh (Score:3, Interesting)

      by znu (31198)
      There's one thing a picture phone does very well: it lets you take a picture and immediately send it to someone, from anywhere. Right now, to do that with two separate devices, you need a laptop to mediate between them. Hopefully digital camera makers will eventually hit on the idea of adding Bluetooth to their cameras, so they can send pictures directly to phones.

      Until then, I'll hang on to my Nokia 3650.
    • by Otter (3800)
      Dear God, no: I think it's dumb to have one device that does two things badly rather than own two devices that do each thing moderately well.

      I thought camera phones were the stupidest thing ever, and those commercials with Catherine Zeta-Jones didn't convince me otherwise. In fact, I now see people using them all the time.

      There's a simple reason. Do you normally carry a camera around with you? Professional photographers aside, no one else does. Adding a camera to a device you'd carry anyway means that when

    • I have a loathing for picture phones because I feel as you do. But I wanted good bluetooth support, and bought an Ericson T610... now I have a picture phone. Will I use it? Not much. I tried it once at a concert just for the heck of it and the results were really poor.

      So I think what he's saying here is that every camera maker will get in on the trend of providing a phone in the camera, not so much because consumers demand them as that the companies think they do.

    • Re:ugh (Score:3, Funny)

      by David Gerard (12369)
      They're already ridiculously popular in the UK. Remember that in Europe, the land of GSM, mobile phones are pretty much given away with breakfast cereal. Everyone I know wants a cameraphone for their next phone.

      Of course the real purpose of a cameraphone is to get too drunk to know what you're doing but not too drunk to do it and send pictures of your tits to vague acquaintances, leading to tremendous embarrassment in the morning.

  • Bah (Score:3, Funny)

    by Dark Lord Seth (584963) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @09:34AM (#7852407) Journal

    Irrelevant ramblings, false prophesies and old wife's tales. I don't trust ANY prediction unless said prediction is backed up by a) cold hard facts or b) senior, decision-making employee who can actually influence the fate of his/her own prediction. For the rest, all predictions are worthless. In fact, let's have a completely random top ten predictions from Seth for 2004!

    1. This year I will manage to get in bed with that cute girl studying photography.
    2. The US will start another war on $random_country for support of $random_terrorist_group.
    3. Alan Ralsky will confess his sins and become a Red-Cross medic in Eritrea.
    4. This list is absolute bullshit.
    • "3. The US will start another war on $random_country for support of $random_terrorist_group."

      $random_country appears as random, but really is an item from the @countries_of_interest list. But you are right about $random_terrorist_group, except that "Islam" is concatenated to each of these groups.

  • Sane Advice (Score:2, Insightful)

    by smoking2000 (611012)
    After reading the no so well thought about Forbes [slashdot.org] advice, this guy has some great advice for Joe User. I've been saying this for a coule of years now, but maybe now they'll finally "get it":
    * If you're buying a computer in the coming year, don't get one that uses Windows. It's simply too insecure. (Did you know there's a secret "administrator" account and password on every machine? You didn't? Every hacker does.) Get one with the Linux operating system installed (Evesham does them, for example) or an Apple
    • I know about the regular one, but what's the secret "administrator" account? I'm kinda curious.
      Being a MCSE and all, shouldn't they have told me when I got the implant & swore the blood oath?

  • by buckhead_buddy (186384) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @09:35AM (#7852410)
    • There will be more viruses and worms that silently exploit holes in Microsoft Windows ... These are the offspring of virus writers hired by organised crime.
    • There will also be more "phishing" scams ... These too are from computer experts working for organised crime.
    • Legal music downloading stores will arrive properly ...

    Draw your own conclusions about the RIAA :-)
  • by Cryofan (194126) <cryofan@ya h o o .com> on Thursday January 01, 2004 @09:35AM (#7852411) Homepage Journal
    There will likely continue to be an increase in crime due to several factors, such as increasing poverty because of neoliberal economic policies, and also due to importation of poverty from 3rd world, which also lowers wages.

    I predict that this increasing poverty will cause a boom in home and auto security devices which are linked to personal computers in order to provide more sophisticated theft deterrents. For example, motion detectors which transmit detected motion signals to a personal computer via serial port or USB interface via either wireless transmission or signal wires.

    The motion detected signals will be detected by software that will be able to be configured by an unsophisticated user to take actions that will scare off burglars. For example, play useful sound files output to speakers outside. The sound files might be randomly selected files that sound like a security officer talking to a dispatched about an intruder.

    Also the computer could communicate with relays and stepper motors via via serial port or USB interface to turn on and move in a random, jerky manner an outside floodlight.

    There are some products currently out now that can provide these deterrents, but they typically too expensive, unreliable, or too hard to use right now.
    • There will likely continue to be an increase in crime due to several factors, such as increasing poverty because of neoliberal economic policies, and also due to importation of poverty from 3rd world, which also lowers wages.

      Judgeting from your diatribe, it appears the importation of 3rd world, mind altering substances is also on the rise.
  • more FUD? (Score:2, Informative)

    by grubi (683777)
    * At least one other download store will join Apple in using the Dolby "AAC" encoding format, because that's the only way to reach iPod owners.

    Um, hello? What? MP3 works perfectly well on iPods. Always has. Why is AAC the "only way" to reach iPod users?
    • MP3 doesn't provide any sort of DRM, and there's a lot of music which online stores are never going to be allowed to license for distribution without DRM.
  • IPod (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SatanicPuppy (611928) <SatanicpuppyNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday January 01, 2004 @09:40AM (#7852424) Journal
    I just can't buy it. I have a perfectly nice MP3 player that's really small, and only cost me about 180 dollars, as opposed to 300 for the smallest ipod. Sure that big 40 gig ipod is cool, but I'm not paying 500 dollars for something I'll carry/drop while jogging.

    For a lot of Mac products, the extra quality is worth the extra price, but I really don't see it for the ipod.
    • by ITR81 (727140)
      Most people want MP3 player that can hold more then hr or two worth of music. Main reason Apple will introduce the mini-iPod at $100-200 bucks in 2GB and 4GB range.
    • Re:IPod (Score:2, Informative)

      by ircShot_guN (737033)
      Ipod is actually extremely good value for money.

      $100 for a 256meg Portable Mp3 Player = 40 cents per megabyte.
      $500 for a 40gig Ipod = 1.25 cents per megabyte.

      Provided your legal music collection is at least 1.25 gigabytes in size, you end up with the same value for money, and I know which one is cooler.
      • by mdwh2 (535323)

        Ipod is actually extremely good value for money.

        ..when you compare it to a product with very poor value for money.

        For example, $40 for an mp3 CD player works out at under 6 cents per megabyte. Sure, still worse than the iPod, but (a) unit cost generally goes down when you spend a larger amount, so at over 12 times the price, it's not surprising you get better value, and (b) if you're prepared to carry some extra CDs with you, value for money rockets (say 25 cents a CD gives 0.035 cents per megabyte fo

    • I have an iSkin case for it - thin rubber that helps a bit to cushion shocks.

      How durable are they? Well, I won't say why but my iPod has endured multiple repeated hard slams onto a floor - I don't mean dropping it, I mean throwing it as hard as you can at the floor beneath you.

      And of course the HD is almost never actually spinning. Lots of people jog, I use the iPod in my car which can get really bumpy at times, and never has it skipped or been hurt at all.

      If what you want is something where you can jo
  • by FrostedWheat (172733) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @09:44AM (#7852434)
    Return of the Mac? Mark Morrison [bbc.co.uk] is singing again?!

    Noooooo!!!!
  • by Yoda2 (522522) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @09:44AM (#7852437)
    ...it was nice of the author to provide an explanation of the word "consolidate":

    Some of the music download stores which opened in 2003, and are set to open in 2004, will "consolidate" - that is, close or merge, because it's not a great money-making market.

  • Processor wars (Score:2, Interesting)

    This year is the year we go 64 bit! Which is actually quite a big thing (remember when we went 32 bit?)

    The rivalry between AMD and Intel is getting pretty intense, and they're level right now. Who do you think will end up on top by this time next year?

    It's going to be down to If I had to say, I would vouch for Intel. They have the money and tech. I do love AMDs inexpensive chips though. It will be good to see who brings the world into 64-bit and who screws up.
    • We went 64-bit in the middle '90s.

      If you haven't gone 64-bit by now, you probably don't need to. If you really need to, you've done it already. If you need to and you haven't, why the hell not?

      For the near future: I can see a point to processors with more address lines, so the OS can load more 32-bit apps, yes, but that's nothing that the user or the application can see or needs to see.
    • This year is the year we go 64 bit! Which is actually quite a big thing (remember when we went 32 bit?)

      The rivalry between AMD and Intel is getting pretty intense, and they're level right now. Who do you think will end up on top by this time next year?

      I went 64 bit [apple.com] last year. Ho hum, old news, move along.

  • Who on earth posted this?? "The ubiquity of the iPod"? Where? Just because Macheads are gobbling the things up doesn't make it "ubiquitous" except within Mac circles. One can argue that cheapo MP3 players are far more "ubiquitous" than anything that Apple sells.

    "The return of the Mac"? Does that mean 4.1% of market share instead of 4.05%?

    Memory sticks as life changing? Sheesh - if my life was that pathetic I'd find a new life or take up raising sea monkeys.

    All in all this is about the most pathetic lis
  • Crappy Predictions (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gralem (45862) * on Thursday January 01, 2004 @09:49AM (#7852465)
    What is wrong with this picture (paraphrasing) "in 2004, the cost of 256 MB USB memory will cut in half from it's current $223 (125 pound) price". What planet is he buying flash memory from?

    "Spam will get worse"

    "Apple won't release a tablet, phone, or camera"

    These are some of the most amazingly crappy predictions I've ever seen. Easily half of them have already come true. The rest are obvious enough that my 5-year-old already knows they will happen.

    ---gralem
    • For instance:

      Digital media players will be released which can store and display gigabytes of photos. Hard disk space and small liquid crystal displays are cheap; and both nature and marketing people abhor a vacuum.

      Ummmm....I bought one last June. It's called a FlashTrax [smartdisk.com]. I got the 30GB one, but I think they're up to 80GB now. It backs up compact flash cards from digital cameras, displays the photos on it's 3.5" LCD, and can also play MP3s. The battery life is pretty crappy, though.
  • Good prediction... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pollux (102520) <speter.tedata@net@eg> on Thursday January 01, 2004 @09:51AM (#7852475) Journal
    USB "flash memory" sticks will become very popular, and applications will be released that can be stored on them to run on any computer without altering its settings.

    These things are hard to part with once you get them. They're so nice to have, being able to carry around documents or what have you, but the only thing that stinks about them is that you can't just "hand them off" to others like you can do with floppy disks or CD-Rs. When something like that costs $40 or $50, it's hard to let it go.

    The other disappointing thing is that, unlike Floppys / CDs, if your system goes to hell, the BIOS isn't equipped to automatically boot or mount a USB memory stick, leaving you shit outa luck if Windows is behaving badly (reminds me of the time I thought I could help someone install a service pack on an XP machine by keeping it on my memstick...turns out that he needed the service pack to help fix a problem he had with USB devices (downloaded and installed a USB 2.0 driver fix for his motherboard that needed XP SP1, which he didn't have) and it left us both high and dry until I got back and burned it onto CD...he didn't really want to wait four or five hours to download the 50MB file from his modem).

    But you know, I'd LOVE to see a bootable pendrive option...it would be so sweet and easy to help someone fix their computer by just plugging your handy-dandy USB memstick right into a USB port and have everything right there at your fingertips, rather than carry around bulky CD-R media.
  • camera phones (Score:2, Interesting)

    by LowTolerance (301722)
    Camera phones will never be that big. I work at a cell phone store, and the only people interested in buying one are people too young to sign on a contract. Sure, we sell some here and there, but most people see no need for it, because there isn't one. My thinking is that PDA phones and smart phones are the next big thing. They have the benefit of actually having added functionality.
  • New Predictions ? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by EpsCylonB (307640) <eps AT epscylonb DOT com> on Thursday January 01, 2004 @09:52AM (#7852482) Homepage
    The ubiquity of the iPod, the return of the Mac, and the simplicity of the portable memory stick

    Haven't all these happened already ?
  • by deanj (519759) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @09:53AM (#7852486)
    This guy isn't going out on a limb at all.

    A few picks from his list:

    "Spam will get worse before it gets better",

    Well..... yeah!

    "legal music download sites will arrive properly"

    already happened

    "The majority of the download stores will keep using Microsoft's Windows Media Audio format, but Apple won't support that on the iPod."

    Of course.

    " Picture phones will become pervasive; it'll be unusual not to have one."

    This is not going out on a limb. It'll be hard NOT to buy a phone with a camera in it, since that's the trend already.

    "Neither the Windows Media Center nor tablet PC formats will take off. Both will grumble along in background sales, but won't ever become mainstream products, nor even significant in sales terms."

    Already happened. In fact, MS already sent out letters dumping the tablet PC within the last week.

    • When in regard to the music stores arriving properly he was talking about to the rest of the world not just the US. Apple is set to release stores for Europe, Japan, Australia, and Canada sometime this yr.
    • Already happened. In fact, MS already sent out letters dumping the tablet PC within the last week.

      No, they sent out letters killing the wireless "Mira" displays.

      There is a significant difference between the two.
    • Of course he's not going out on a limb. This isn't a tech article, it's a piece in a mainstream (British) daily newspaper informing people about what sort of technology they can expect to see in the next few months. Nothing to see here so move along.

      The most interesting thing was his advice to not buy a PC with Windows.

      HH
      --
  • by MadAnthony02 (626886) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @10:28AM (#7852589) Homepage

    I agree with what he said about viruses - that there will be more viruses out there that send spam, steal credit card info, steal passwords, ect. I'm not sure about his claim that those virus writers will be members of organized crime, though.

    However, he also says that viruses won't be that destructive because people who have made recent viruses didn't have them destroy hard drives when they could have. What he ignores is that a virus that destroys it's host is pretty much useless, because it no longer has that host. Viruses like Blaster and Sinkin are dangerous and destructive because they continue to spread for months while the user does not know they are infected. If the virus killed it's host quickly it would not spread nearly as much.

    • What he ignores is that a virus that destroys it's host is pretty much useless, because it no longer has that host.

      Hmmm, not sure how you missed it, but I'm pretty sure that's exactly what he's saying here:

      Any of the viruses which appeared in the past year could have wiped hard disks clean once they'd propagated; they didn't. That suggests that,

      as in real life, where very few primary infections kill their hosts, the writers of "malware" have realised that destructive programs have shorter lives.

      • Well, I did kind of miss that sentance, but at the same time, he started the paragraph with There won't be a huge internet-busting data-destroying worm or virus.

        I would submit that while, say, blaster or code red wasn't a data-destroying worm, it was certainly a very damaging virus to the internet and to networks. The way he starts the sentence makes it sound like data-destroying viruses are more dangerous to the internet, while I would argue that they are less dangerous because they affect fewer people

  • by xlurker (253257) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @10:45AM (#7852661) Homepage
    • (And if you want to check my predictions for 2003 - which I'd say stand up well - they're online at http://news. independent.co.uk/digital/features/story.jsp?story =366810).

      yeah. sure.
      did anybody actually click on this? You have to pay to read the 2003 article...

    • Some of the music download stores ... will "consolidate" - that is, close or merge, because ...

      very kind of him to explain "consolidate"
      oh, btw what does "galvanise" mean?

    • The majority of the download stores will keep using Microsoft's Windows Media Audio format, but Apple won't support that on the iPod.

      is this really noteworthy? all download stores use mp3.

    • At least one other download store will join Apple in using the Dolby "AAC" encoding format, because that's the only way to reach iPod owners.

      yeah. sure.

    • USB "flash memory" sticks ... and applications will be released that can be stored on them to run on any computer without altering its settings.

      aka "files"
      on the computer there will be a general software framework that can "read" these "files" and enable you to "work" with the "contents" independent of the OS and hardware: document files, excel files, image files, html files, audio files.

    • You could soon carry a stripped-down operating system in your pocket to boot any machine to look like yours.

      can anyone imagine normal users doing that?

    • There won't be a single virus or worm that attacks the Mac OSX operating system.

      I don't use the Mac, but I can't imagine that to be true: document and email macro viruses?
    • is this really noteworthy? all download stores use mp3.

      All? Only one, the only one that doesn't offer music from major artists and labels. ITMS uses AAC.

      I also agree with the prediction that one other store will cave to using AAC, after the wave of miniPods arrives and gives the market a sound marketshare thrashing.

      a "files"
      on the computer there will be a general software framework that can "read" these "files" and enable you to "work" with the "contents" independent of the OS and hardware: document
    • You could soon carry a stripped-down operating system in your pocket to boot any machine to look like yours.
      can anyone imagine normal users doing that?

      Not to mention the part where computers have different hardware...
    • xlurker wrote: You could soon carry a stripped-down operating system in your pocket to boot any machine to look like yours.

      can anyone imagine normal users doing that?

      Actually I do at work: when I'm not at my desk, I stick my badge in a local machine and it pops up my saved session. The whole OS isn't on the chip, but that's mostly due to cost issues.

      --dave


    • There won't be a single virus or worm that attacks the Mac OSX operating system.

      I don't use the Mac, but I can't imagine that to be true: document and email macro viruses?


      Hasn't happened yet, after three years of OS X, and there's no reason to think that'll change in 04. Document macro viruses are technically possible, as IIRC the macros that work on Office for Win also work on Office for Mac. But it seems as if virus writers prefer to hit the low-hanging fruit, which is email and/or auto-propagating
    • "is this really noteworthy? all download stores use mp3. " Simply not true. iTMS, for one, is .aac (i believe is the entension). And all the others use Windows Media files for DRMness "can anyone imagine normal users doing that? " I could imagine Windows user profiles being saved on a stick drive, and once plugged, it logins you in with your user, settings, documents). That could very well happen. "I don't use the Mac, but I can't imagine that to be true: document and email macro viruses?" Talk to me i
  • by Spoing (152917) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @10:49AM (#7852680) Homepage
    I was expecting some lame article, and true many of the predictions are of the "Duh..." variety, though a few were quite interesting as well as plausable;
    1. * USB "flash memory" sticks (which you plug in to a port on a computer to provide extra storage space) will become very popular, and applications will be released that can be stored on them to run on any computer without altering its settings. Presently, 256Mb costs 125; expect that to halve this year. You could soon carry a stripped-down operating system in your pocket to boot any machine to look like yours. In the long term, this could lead to stripped-down computers where the machine holds no important data; it'd all be on the USB stick.

    That's something I'm looking into and it is very interesting. 256M, though, is not enough. A 1G USB stick could be the sweet spot for having both apps, data, and (optionally) an entire OS. At current prices for 1G sticks, though, I can't see many people doing it so development will be stalled.

    Most apps need to be installed or require a runtime environment that has to be installed

    To boot a USB stick currently requires BIOS changes or a boot diskette/CD and waiting. The alternative is to have a VM of some sort 'run' the OS as a guest.

    Fixing either of these issues seamlessly will take awhile...probably won't happen in 2004.

    • Half-life 2 is released and Steam doesn't cripple it.
    • Doom3 comes out and it can be played on as many machines as the original doom could.
    • Gnome and KDE teams work together and the trolls on either side work together to troll the other desktops.
    • 2.6 patches trickle down signalling ready for use when your ass is on the line.
    • Microsoft announces further delays to Longhorn and some features will be queitly dropped. Signalling the questioning of those who signed up for license 6.0.
    • There will be a review on th
  • Generally I thought his predictions were pretty good, but this one was a little too late:

    Digital media players will be released which can store and display gigabytes of photos. Hard disk space and small liquid crystal displays are cheap; and both nature and marketing people abhor a vacuum.

    There are already a lot of these things around! There's the Archos if you also want to listen to music, but plenty of photo-only oriented devices like the XDrive or Nixvue Vista. Heck, even the iPod has an attachment
  • Why is it that for the past couple of years we hear that Apple's MACS are returning? Didn't they return with the IPod last year or the IMAC so long ago? What the hell? Do they keep getting flat tires on their way to the party?

    My prediction is that pro apple people will continue to say the ay of apple is on the horizon. *note I like apple I just find it funny that we hear the same pro apple stories very couple of months*
  • by mabu (178417)
    I think we were all surprised that one of these crosslinked pundit proclaimations was actually well thought out. A refreshing change. Still I'd like to comment on some things from the article:

    * There won't be a huge internet-busting data-destroying worm or virus, because virus writers appear to have moved past that stage of simple, wilful destruction. Any of the viruses which appeared in the past year could have wiped hard disks clean once they'd propagated; they didn't. That suggests that, as in real l
  • I don't think the USB drives will take off like he is thinking, I think that maybe that the SD cards will become the portable media for the new year and years to come, I truly belive that they cards are the floppy drive replacements of the future. With every one having a PDA, and both palm and MS both supporting the SD card. There is the key (as much as this is not liked here a /.) the backing of MS will push the SD cards into the like light. I have a card reader, and an SD card and some of the people I
  • "Did you know there's a secret "administrator" account and password on every machine? You didn't? Every hacker does"

    This guy is clueless.

    Sure, Windows has a hidden Administrator account. And Mac OS X has a hidden root account. And every Linux/Unix system has a root account.
  • by sacrilicious (316896) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @02:10PM (#7853926) Homepage
    ... can be found here [pbs.org].
  • can i have an ipod cradle in my flying car?
  • Windows may now be (reasonably) stable and there may be 3rd-party apps to help out with what's missing, but I really do agree with the author when he asks people to get a non-Windows system. Think about it. When you get a new Windows computer these days, you have to:

    - put it behind a software firewall or a router
    - get antivirus software (or else use something besides Outlook/Outlook Express)
    - get 40-something critical updates, including SP1
    - consider anti-spyware and/or pop-up blocking software

    Can you i

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