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Predictions for 2010

Originally published at BunkBlog. You can comment here or there.

2010. The year we make contact. Or not. Let’s see if I can beat 80% accuracy in this year’s predictions.

  1. Tablet PCs will continue to be something which almost nobody has heard of or cares about.
  2. President Obama will continue to be vilified by the Right as some sort of mythical evil being.
  3. The GOP will make some gains in the 2010 midterm elections.
  4. The US economy will improve enough that even people who watch Faux News have to admit it, although they will claim it’s improving despite anything that President Obama or the Democrats have done.
  5. There still won’t be a good crypto system that the public uses, despite ever-increasing threats from man-in-the-middle attacks.
  6. All the various ebook readers will continue to be incompatible with each other.
  7. Sarah Palin won’t go away.
  8. TSA flight restrictions will cause the airline industry to lose money.
  9. And, of course, the weather will continue to be remarkable, which will still not mean anything to denialists.
  10. Kat and I will still not fight.

I know, many predictions are just “things won’t change” – but they should change, and I’ll be happy if I’m wrong about them. We’ll see how that goes.

Apple Blue Beer


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 2nd, 2010 11:28 pm (UTC)
I have a modified version of 1 and 6 - namely, that the line between them will blur as ebook readers gain wifi and browsing ability in the short term, and miniaturization technology continues to advance over the long term.

It's another case of "all else being equal, buy a gadget with multiple uses," known (by me, anyway) as the Alton Brown school of thought. I just bought Matt a netbook that costs less than a high-end ebook reader. Yes, it's heavier. Yes, it's more fragile. But it's a multipurpose gadget, and such gadgets are getting smaller, lighter, tougher and cheaper. Just look at all the stuff an IPhone can do.

I'm betting we end up with tiny engines for large interfaces - like a watch-sized device that can recognize voice commands and body movement, and project a virtual keyboard or holographic image (Help me, Obi-Wan!). Tiny stuff is all well and good, but harder to interact with. I absolutely love the computer interaction scenes in Minority Report.

Another option for readers - why not wireless lightweight goggles with eye-tracking software, that "turn the page" at the appropriate time? Other features such as brightness and font type or size could be controlled either by eye movement or buttons on the frame. If you fall asleep reading, it powers off.

Why not Wifi stream to video goggles and earbuds? Virtual environments are another lively area of tech growth. Just fold it into the Wii and people will buy it.

It's amazing what I can brainstorm when I'm trying to avoid doing my homework...
Jan. 5th, 2010 02:27 am (UTC)
I have a hard time believing that ebooks will be truly huge until there are standards that everyone agrees on. Looks like ePub may become that standard, but so long as Amazon doesn't buy in, it won't happen.

Of course, I'm an old curmudgeon who is planning to buy the components to build my own new desktop this winter. The market is moving to all-laptops, but darned if I want a box that has such limited options. What happens when a 5-terabyte drive becomes affordable? How will I live without one?
Jan. 5th, 2010 02:39 am (UTC)
Oh, our desktops are NOT going away... and I've bought the past two church computers and my own computer by choosing parts at MWave and letting them put it together. I like that route. Matt's desktop will be the same. The Dell will be relegated to the back room with the Gateways, until I have time to play with them.

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )