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Editorial

Tech Punditry In 2005 49

Wired has an article looking back at some of the most obvious, some of the most topical, and some of the least accurate predictions for 2005. From the article: "Wireless will continue to replace land line at a faster pace: Internet telephony pundit Jeff Pulver's prediction seems somewhat obvious, but nonetheless accurate. In 2005, personal calling on wireless phones in the United States exceeded that on residential land lines, even though 35 percent of the U.S. population doesn't have wireless, according to the Yankee Group."
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Tech Punditry In 2005

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  • Nobody saw this one coming. The invention of blogging [go.com].
  • Amazing, a Wired story that isn't credited to Roland Piquepaille's blog cut and paste.
  • by Starker_Kull ( 896770 ) on Monday January 02, 2006 @08:54AM (#14377959)
    ...is the link to Art Bell's predictions. The man never found a conspiracy theory/alien abduction/perpetual motion scheme he didn't like. But for laughs, here it is - it does illustrate the principle that if you guess wildly about enough crap, by sheer luck you'll get something right.

    http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/aspie/trueorfalse/newye ar.html [tiscali.co.uk]
  • by solios ( 53048 ) on Monday January 02, 2006 @08:55AM (#14377960) Homepage
    Yeah right. Wake me up when wireless is faster than gigabit ethernet. :P 802.whatever is great for web, streaming video and other reasonably lightweight tasks, but just try pushing a a few hundred gigs over a wireless link and see what happens.

    Serious amounts of finger-tapping, that's what.

    Conversely (upside!), in my experience, wireless isn't replacing land lines, it's creating new networks where land lines would be inconvenient, inadvisable or flat-out stupid Coffee houses, bars, etceteras - I can pop open my laptop in my WAP-free house and at the right time of night pick from three different WLANS. Do you really think the local bar and the houses on either side of me would be willing to run cable? No. So Zee Wahrluz is creating networks, not replacing them. My laptop can talk to the bar WLAN while staying tethered to the home LAN - it can pr0n off of the bar and still ing the media box and the workstation without the bar ever being aware of either of my G4s.

    Woot, yay, doom, etc.
  • you are (Score:2, Funny)

    by Susannchen ( 942563 )
    so "cool"
  • by edgr ( 781723 )
    Predictions that didn't pan out: ... The release of Microsoft's next-generation operating system, Longhorn (now called Vista), will be delayed to 2007. (Microsoft says it plans to ship in the second half of 2006.)
    I'd say given the number of delays already experienced (wasn't it originally meant to ship in 2003 or so?) that 2007 doesn't seem too far off the mark.
  • by MadFarmAnimalz ( 460972 ) on Monday January 02, 2006 @09:08AM (#14377988) Homepage
    That statements of the obvious with respect to perceived technology trends will continue throughout 2006. More daringly, I foresee the emergence of recursive self-referential statements of the obvious with respect to technology trends.
  • by pieterh ( 196118 ) on Monday January 02, 2006 @09:23AM (#14378019) Homepage
    1. The EU Commission will make a new attempt to introduce software patents in Europe.

    2. They will lose, again.

    3. The top gadget of 2006 will be the portable video player, specifically aimed at TV downloads.

    4. Music sales will fall and the RIAA will blame piracy.

    5. Apple shares will rise by 100% over 2006.

    6. Neither Linux nor Apple will make much inroad into Microsoft's PC market in 2006. The public has learned to live with viruses and spyware.

    7. Apple will announce deals with several more broadcasters and become the premier online distributor of TV shows.

    8. Microsoft will not buy Google.

    9. Google will not buy Sun but at least one Industry Pundit will suggest this.

    10. The big Internet technology of 2006 will be Ajax applications.

    11. The big Internet business of 2006 will be spyw^h^h^h^h Personal Data Security and Collection services.

    12. Someone will say, "the Internet is a terrible system but it's better than all the alternatives".

    13. Oil will hit $75 per barrel and there will be minor riots in several countries.

    14. Most of the rioters will be returned unharmed from police custody.

    15. The War on Terror will continue, unabated.

    16. Security services and telcos will gang up on free wifi, which will become known as "the service of choice for pedophiles and terrorists".

    17. At least one EU country will attempt to ban unmonitored access to web-based email services, and be roundly ridiculed for the attempt.

    18. China's economy will grow to be number 3 in the world.

    19. The USD will continue to prosper, as people realise that it's a terrible currency, but better than all the rest.

    20. Many of these predictions will be proved wrong.

    • 20. Many of these predictions will be proved wrong.
      Many of these predictions happened in 2005 so are unlikely to be proved wrong - things like mpeg4 players are coming out of China in increasing volume, there were oil price riots in Indonesia etc etc.
  • by C0vardeAn0nim0 ( 232451 ) on Monday January 02, 2006 @09:38AM (#14378063) Journal
    he is the only pundit that i feel is ballanced, (reasonably) impartial, does his research well, and most important: is not afraid to admit when he is wrong.

    i read some of the other guys, usually when thy're linked in sites like /. , ars or digg, but cringely is the only one who deserves a bookmark. most other guys seems to be industry whores, riding on hypes and/or cutting and pasting company's press realeases as if they were prophecies of the next Big Thing(tm).

    cringely's column is here [pbs.org]
  • "In 2005, personal calling on wireless phones in the United States exceeded that on residential land lines, even though 35 percent of the U.S. population doesn't have wireless, according to the Yankee Group."

    It seems to me that a lot of people who own cell phones talk on them just to be seen talking on them. "Hey everybody, look at me! I have a cell phone. I'm important! The person on the phone is more important to talk to than the other people I'm with!" Obviously, it's not the case with everybody. My wif

    • So, where do you live exactly?

      In most of the Western World, almost everyone has a cellphone. The only 'coolness' to be had is from the style/brand/features/color/smallness of the phone.

      Even my dad has a cellphone and he's 78!

      He hangs around the old folks home saying to himself "hey! look how cool I am dude!".

      Clue: cellphones are actually very useful if you have any friends, family, a job or something.

    • For a number of us, the mobile phone is now the primary communications medium. I'm a student and in many halls of residence landlines aren't even an option so everyone needs a mobile if they wish to communicate.
      The majority of people talking on mobiles are doing mundane things, the exact same mundane tasks that you do on your home phone. If I'm phoning up my housemates to tell them I'll be back late and will meet them at the pub, that's not a deep or meaningful conversation, it's not even that necessary,
    • It seems to me that a lot of people who own cell phones talk on them just to be seen talking on them. "Hey everybody, look at me! I have a cell phone. I'm important! The person on the phone is more important to talk to than the other people I'm with!" Obviously, it's not the case with everybody. My wife has a cell phone (I do not), and we typically only use it for minor emergencies. Has this been others' experience?

      It's the convenience of using a cell phone that makes me use it more than the land line. T

    • Even the exceeding residential land lines part seemed surprisingly backwards to me. My mother is the only one I know of who doesn't have a cell phone. Having a cell phone hasn't been unusual or a status symbol since 1996.

      This Business Week article [businessweek.com] from 1999 claims cell phone penetration was 58% in 1999 in Finland. Apparently 96% of the population [finland.fi] had a mobile subscription in 2004. The US isn't that much behind, is it?
    • My wife and I switched to cell phones for one very simple reason: it's illegal for spammers (telemarketers) to call us on those phones, at least in the state where we live (don't really know if that's a federal law). It got to the point where the number of advertising calls we received on the landline outnumbered personal calls nearly 10:1; apparently our various services (especially those bastards at AT&T) sold our information to anyone and everyone who had the money.

      How many spam calls do we get now
  • In 2005, personal calling on wireless phones in the United States exceeded that on residential land lines, even though 35 percent of the U.S. population doesn't have wireless, according to the Yankee Group.

    Yeah, because eveybody with a cell phone is always yacking on it all the time about nothing. Who here hasn't seen the guy standing in the grocery store asking about which ice cream to buy or what besides eggs, milk and bread he was supposed to get? Or the movie theater morons, or people at work who us

  • As a member of the 35%, I predict that I will continue to buck the trend in 2006. I have no desire for a cell phone, mostly because the people that use them are asses. Yeah, that's you, 65%. More to the point, having a cell phone transforms perfectly nice, bright, able, considerate people into asses, and I don't want to be one of them. I have yet to meet a person, even a few of my closer friends, who have not been thusly transformed after getting a cell phone.

    My definition of "asses"?: people who are

  • The Apocalypse (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dangitman ( 862676 ) on Monday January 02, 2006 @06:50PM (#14380998)
    Predictive punditry is about the lowest form of tech journalism. It's also one of the most amusing. I wonder if these pundits realize that a significant portion of their audience only reads their columns to laugh at the author and deride the predictions?

    2005's list is a real low-light. The opening paragraph of the Wired article is like a kick to the groin. Dvorak was right! Neener neener neener. Nevermind that he got the timing wrong, and just about everything else he says never comes true. Is it really predicting when you just throw as many possibilities out there as possible, and ignore the 99% failure rate?

    For your New Year's schadenfreude entertainment, be sure to catch Robert Cringely twist and turn his predictions ikn an effort to make himself look insightful in hindsight. Last time he claimed a 70% accuracy rate, or some bullshit figure.

    http://www.pbs.org/cringely/

    His New Year column isn't out yet, just some ramble about advertising killing print media. But he's always at his most hilarious when trying to justify his predictions.

To downgrade the human mind is bad theology. - C. K. Chesterton

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