Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Cringley Asking for 12 Month Predictions 390

sckienle writes "Robert X. Cringely is asking in his pulpit this week for help in determining what's going to happen in the tech industry in the next 12 months." I expect that robots will take over the world, and openly hunt humans in a post apocolyptic landscape. This will occur in January. For the rest of the year, technology will take a vacation.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Cringley Asking for 12 Month Predictions

Comments Filter:
  • Yeah right! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Unknown Bovine Group ( 462144 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @12:37PM (#4432891) Homepage
    Anybody with any real insight into the technology of the coming year won't post it to Cringley or Slashdot, they'll run out and get a patent.

    Join the fun! patent the obvious next step and sue, sue, sue!
  • Three Words (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 11, 2002 @12:38PM (#4432894)
    Developers Developers Developers
  • February (Score:2, Insightful)

    Microsoft will claim that it is going to crush Linux.
  • Cringley Category (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gorsh ( 75930 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @12:39PM (#4432905)
    I know it's been asked before, but since it seems like Slashdot posts a news story about the Cringely column every week, there's no good reason these stories don't belong in their own category, as I'm sure many readers already read these on their own every week and don't need to be reminded of it.
    • by Rick the Red ( 307103 ) <Rick...The...Red@@@gmail...com> on Friday October 11, 2002 @01:23PM (#4433350) Journal
      Why in hell was this moderated "troll"?

      Why in hell was this story posted at all? Is Taco now Cringley's bitch? If Cringley wants people to send him their predictions, don't post them to Slashdot, send them to Cringley. If you already read Cringley you don't need Taco telling you this, and if you don't read Cringley you probabley (like me) don't read him for a reason. I don't need or want Taco or anyone else telling me what I missed in this week's column.

      What in hell is on-topic for this story? If you post a prediction here, you're doing it in the wrong place -- you should send your predictions to Cringley. If you bitch about Cringley, as the parent did, you're considered a troll. So mod me down, I don't care, but this is an opinion, not a troll. A troll is looking to hook newbies, and I'm not.

      • by bauble ( 158413 )

        Why in hell was this story posted at all? Is Taco now Cringley's bitch? If Cringley wants people to send him their predictions, don't post them to Slashdot, send them to Cringley. If you already read Cringley you don't need Taco telling you this, and if you don't read Cringley you probabley (like me) don't read him for a reason. I don't need or want Taco or anyone else telling me what I missed in this week's column.

        How far shall we extend this logic? Those of you who read LWN don't need things repeated here... those who don't, don't for a reason... How 'bout Wired, New York Times, etc....

        You understand what Slashdot does, right? It links to news/commentary/stuff that exists elsewhere on the net. ALL of this can be viewed without Slashdot.

        I know, we all want Slashdot to just post the COOL stuff, and not the LAME stuff, but guess what, that's different for everyone, so you're gonna get some of each. So just quit bitching.

        What in hell is on-topic for this story? If you post a prediction here, you're doing it in the wrong place -- you should send your predictions to Cringley.

        Last I checked, Cringley doesn't have a large-scale discussion board. There's no rule that says you can't do both. Besides, I wouldn't be shocked if the man reads Slashdot.

    • by Hell O'World ( 88678 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @02:36PM (#4433951)
      Here's how I responded to The /. artice about the Cringely preditions last year:

      Slashdot will link to every article written by Bob Cringely in 2002. Bob Cringely will start writing for Slashdot, under a level two pseudonym. This post will receive a +5 funny.

      Sadly, I was wrong about the third prediction. The second? Hard to say.
  • Robots (Score:3, Funny)

    by SVDave ( 231875 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @12:41PM (#4432918)
    I expect that robots will take over the world, and openly hunt humans in a post apocolyptic landscape. This will occur in January.

    Not surprising. My new robot [irobot.com] is already chasing my cat around the living room.
  • by Hairy_Potter ( 219096 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @12:41PM (#4432919) Homepage
    The tech world was shattered today by the news that two members of the open source weblog Slashdot hooked up at a slashdot.meetup.com meeting.

    Anonymously speaking, the female slashddotter was surprised that the two had so much in common "He likes anime, and thought I looked so good in my Sailor Moon cosplay, I was charmed. I was so charmed, he charmed me out of that suit later that night, giggle".

    The male slashdotter commented "Well, I was 23 and a virgin, and spending the night recompiling RedHat 8.0 did not appeal to me. I was sure about *****, she was a little chunky, but when I saw that she came out of the ladies room, and not the mens, I knew she was a real women. I think we'll have sex again."
  • by lamz ( 60321 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @12:41PM (#4432921) Homepage Journal
    I predict that sometime in the next 12 months, someone will release software that lets Mac OS X users make perfect copies of DVDs. Since OS X is enough under the 'radar' of the MS-lovin' types, they don't notice until millions of people get a copy of the application.
  • by Chocky2 ( 99588 ) <c@llum.org> on Friday October 11, 2002 @12:42PM (#4432932)
    Too many people have been so burned in the last few years that there's virtually no investment forthcoming in anything remotely blue-sky. If it's not safe and can't turn a profit in the short term, nobody want's to know. We're doing a lot in the broadband wireless direction, of vital long-term importance, but in the short term there's negligible buy-in :(

    The over-caution is only going to prolong the depression, but for many people there's no alternative -- R&D is going to be hurting for better part of a decade.
    • ...and what better way to start than to help launch the tools for helping launch the research [buskpay.com]?

      Stuff that's free for everybody's use should be paid for by the people who expect to benefit from it and want to be a part of it. Free software, basic research, space exploration... all stuff that could be completely funded by small donations from large numbers of interested individuals.

      Sure it's awesome to get in there and get your hands dirty, but you can't actually work on every cool project. You could be an important part of each and every one through microdonations.
  • by bbk ( 33798 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @12:42PM (#4432934) Homepage
    I wonder why this hasn't happened earlier - I think someone evil is finally going to notice that Usenet is 95% warez/moviez, and go after the big companies that run Usenet servers. This will probably happen after someone makes a tool that allows for easy use of Usenet, ie, a "download, unpar, unrar" tool, that keeps track of binary groups.

  • by Marco_polo ( 160898 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @12:43PM (#4432947) Homepage
    in the next 12 months, I predict

    1) Fully functional computerized Voting (e-chad)
    2) Linux on the desktop!
    3) IIS releases a fully secure, bug-free version!
    4) BEOS Makes a stunning comeback!
    5) Bionics are introduced widely(and banned by the NFL, MLB still pending)
    6) The DMCA is overturned in the supreme court!
    7) BLOG's widely viewed as the thing to go on the 'net
    8) AOL Version 9, 10, 11, and 12
    9) Apple releases the new iMac - in new scratch n' sniff colors
    10) Slashdot wins pulitzer prize for news journalism!
  • by User 956 ( 568564 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @12:44PM (#4432953) Homepage
    I expect that robots will take over the world, and openly hunt humans in a post apocolyptic landscape.

    Yes, but only as retribution for the unrelenting barrage of spelling errors.
  • by L. VeGas ( 580015 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @12:44PM (#4432954) Homepage Journal
    We will continue our efforts to supplant staples, but glue will continue to be a stong player.

    Oh sorry, I thought you said tack industry.
  • by TheGreenLantern ( 537864 ) <thegreenlntrn@yahoo.com> on Friday October 11, 2002 @12:44PM (#4432958) Homepage Journal
    I expect that robots will take over the world...

    Fool. Everyone knows that it is really tornados that will take over the world.

    Warning: Persons denying the existance of tornados may in fact be tornados themselves.
  • by burgburgburg ( 574866 ) <splisken06NO@SPAMemail.com> on Friday October 11, 2002 @12:44PM (#4432960)
    Japanese toilet technology [nytimes.com] will advance to the point that nobody has a reason for ever leaving. Weeks later, people will start asking, "Hey, have you seen the Japanese lately?".
  • Robots (Score:3, Funny)

    by Twirlip of the Mists ( 615030 ) <twirlipofthemists@yahoo.com> on Friday October 11, 2002 @12:45PM (#4432970)
    I expect that robots will take over the world, and openly hunt humans in a post apocolyptic landscape.

    I can't find an exact transcript on the web, so I have to paraphrase the "Space" episode of News Radio.
    Joe: Who won the World Series?

    Beth: Which one?

    Joe: All of em!

    Beth: Well, the Cardinals...

    Joe: Called it.

    Beth: Then the Red Sox...

    Joe: Called it.

    Beth: Then it was the robots... robots... robots, robots, robots...
    See, 'cause robots had taken over the world while Joe was in hibernation... and the baseball... ha! That show cracks me up.
  • ...there'll a few dozen posts by slashdotters stating how they are wondering what "post-apocolyptic" means. Looks a like typo, but it ends up sounding naughty.
  • Not much really. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by snatchitup ( 466222 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @12:45PM (#4432973) Homepage Journal
    Sub $25 Wireless networking setup, including router and card.

    No major new operating system.

    Chickens will come home to roost. IT departments will continue to try and recoup their huge investments in technology made
    during the boom.
    The year of picking up the pieces and moving on....

    Actually, Hobby Robotic development will make great strides with several new product announcements all which will come out at an affordable price in 2004.

    There's so much room for extending upon the Lego Mindstorms concept and product.

  • by gpinzone ( 531794 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @12:46PM (#4432974) Homepage Journal
    Let's see how close he was... Anyone got a link?
    • by dildatron ( 611498 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @01:02PM (#4433148)
      here's his 2002 [infoworld.com] predictions.
      • by dildatron ( 611498 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @01:14PM (#4433265)
        Damn. I'll even sumarize for the lazy:

        o better application integration, for that hyped story called Web services.

        o a variety of new players offering integrated voice and data to even the smallest of businesses.

        o the rise of corporate wireless networks.

        o The dominant theme will be the continuing battle between evil and evil as Microsoft expands its .NET strategy and the rest of the industry responds.

        o The main technical tool for this reworking will be XML, and it will probably be easy to label 2002 as the Year of XML.

        o Look for emergence of an XML industry, which is to say a rash of new startups built around XML services.

        o KnowNow is a new company backed by Kleiner Perkins, the big venture firm, and represents the resurgence of venture capital in 2002.

        o other hot IPO areas besides XML will include security (thanks to bin Laden and Microsoft's continued incompetence in this area) and an emerging niche called rich media.

        o 2002 will be a pivotal year for broadband

        o And Microsoft will make itself a part of every deal, everywhere, no matter what happens with its anti-trust case.

        (see another link here [ianbell.com] for his complete article.
      • by zsazsa ( 141679 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @01:15PM (#4433278) Homepage
        here's his 2002 [infoworld.com] predictions.

        These are the InfoWorld Robert X. Cringely's predictions, who isn't the same Cringely that does things for PBS. That Cringely is actually Mark C. Stephens [blancmange.net], who took the pen name with him when he left InfoWorld in 1995. There have been other Cringelys both before and after Stephens writing the column for InfoWorld.

        InfoWorld/IDG has taken legal action in the past to prevent him from using the name, but Mr. Stephens continues to use Cringely.
        • by elemental23 ( 322479 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @03:19PM (#4434191) Homepage Journal

          These are the InfoWorld Robert X. Cringely's predictions, who isn't the same Cringely that does things for PBS. That Cringely is actually Mark C. Stephens [blancmange.net], who took the pen name with him when he left InfoWorld in 1995.

          "I am not Robert X. Cringley," he said. "My name is Ryan. I inherited this column from the previous Robert X. Cringley, just as you will inherit it from me. The man I inherited it from was not the real Robert X. Cringley, either. His name was Cummerbund. The real Cringley has been retired fifteen years and living like a king in Patagonia."

    • by zsazsa ( 141679 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @01:06PM (#4433186) Homepage
      Let's see how close he was... Anyone got a link?

      Cringely prides himself on the accuracy of his predictions. Here's links to the last few years' worth:

      2002 [pbs.org]
      2001 [pbs.org]
      2000 [pbs.org]
      1999 [pbs.org]

  • will buy Apple, and one third [slashdot.org] of the slashbots of the world will have a collective heart attack.

    (and don't think it can't happen - $40 billion is nothing to sneeze at disdainfully)
  • by Matey-O ( 518004 ) <michaeljohnmiller@mSPAMsSPAMnSPAM.com> on Friday October 11, 2002 @12:46PM (#4432977) Homepage Journal
    I predict a large company will make an existing product smaller, and double the number of features for 90% of the current price.

    I also predict that 99% of the people that BUY that product will be unaware that those features exist and consequently not use them.

    I preduct the people least likely to use those features will buy that product because 'It's pretty'.
    • by bbc22405 ( 576022 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @01:45PM (#4433560)
      I predict a large company...


      will make an existing product smaller,

      So, then, not Microsoft.

      and double the number of features...

      Yes, then, stop teasing me, it is Microsoft Office!

      for 90% of the current price.

      Ah, so it's not Microsoft after all.

      I also predict that 99% of the people that BUY that product will be unaware that those features exist and consequently not use them.

      Now, come on, that's GOT to be Microsoft Office!

      I preduct the people least likely to use those features will buy that product because 'It's pretty'.

      Oh, wait, it's Apple.

  • by phorm ( 591458 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @12:47PM (#4432991) Journal
    what's going to happen in the tech industry in the next 12 months

    More than likely, a lot of what is happening already, just in a slight variation.

    Manufacturers of video cards, CPU's etc will bring out something that's newer, faster, etc, touting it over the competion. The CPU may be faster, but will be held down by the motherboard/peripheral bottleneck. To some extent the same will apply to the video card.

    Meanwhile, large companies will be looking for ways to take down users pirating their wares, and pirates will be looking for better/different ways to exchange those wares and or crack them.

    Hammer may come out, but again, for those who aren't currently hitting the limits of their PC's it's not really such a big deal.

    Summary: Sold old stuff, new marketing, somewhat faster.
    Oh, and chances are /. will repost many of the articles from today in the next several months (sorry, had to say it) :-)

    Skynet isn't due for another 27 years, in 2029, so nothing really exciting there - phorm
  • Does this refer to slashdot posts?

  • by doomy ( 7461 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @12:50PM (#4433022) Homepage Journal
    Well, the obvious choises are .. XP 2 or 2003, Mandrake/Redhat Z (where Z>7), OS X.A (Where A>1).

    Now the serious stuff.

    As Cringley likes to say Wifi would be more wide spread, I believe 802.11g would come out and outdate all other wireless lan technologies. Along with that, we'd see increasing number of community free wireless networks (That might or might not be connected to the Net).

    America would skip the whole little-phone-philia, instead we'd be into bigger more bulky gadgets. I believe, the PDA's would get better batteries and thus would slowly start replacing phones (probably the biz ppl and young kids first).

    Satellite based radio's would die and we'd see some nice shows on the sky when they fall out (just like the Iradium). This means Sirrus and XM. The cause for this would be better compression technologies and the recent opening of a spread spectrum by FCC that lets higher bandwith be sent over the airwaves. Stations would start to pump out studio (not cd as a /. story mentioned) quality audio out soon.

    We'll also see a revival of the Dot com like companies, but this would be a more apprehensive revial, companies would be more conservative and we'd see most invetment into technology related with Games (console) and Porn. The old sex and violence.

    IPV6 would be postponned and in return we'd see the invention of more and more firewalling/masqurading gadgets, routers would come firewalling/masqurading built in, people would start living within private networks.

    Laws would be passed to ban P2P and such similar technologies, but these laws could not be enforced due to jurastiction issues and technology issues. The ppl who'd get hurt in the end would be those sharing files, they might get raided and sentenced. Those who make these software would be out of harms way. We'd see a reduction in the amount of spy ware due to community backlash.

    Superman hype would create more superman games and gadgets. (Seriously).

    We'll go on war, but our military research facilities would create enough products to stimulate the stangnent information market. Even though this technology would come into the commerical maket 25 years from the time it's created.

    We'd see a decline in movie goers... DVD's would be released region free, but with hardware copyright devices.

    Slashdot would continue to post these stories. And Cringley would be just himself and ranting like this.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 11, 2002 @12:50PM (#4433026)
    "Stephen King dead at 54" trolls will need to be updated to "... dead at 55"

    "BSD is dying" posts will continue unaltered.

  • I expect that robots will take over the world, and openly hunt humans in a post apocolyptic landscape. This will occur in January. For the rest of the year, technology will take a vacation.

    Technology doesn't take vacations. Considering the post-apololyptic conditions, I expect we'll discover stone and then bronze weapons, the making coats from animal skins, and the Atari 800.

    - DDT
  • If we are allowed to include the science industry as well, here are my predictions:

    • Cold fusion will continue to gain acceptance among more and more "mainstream" physicists (it's at about 30% acceptance now)
    • 12 months puts us in late 2003, right before the next election. Hopefully Bush, in need of popular support, will finally stand up to the big pharm companies and tell the FAA to approve so-called "alternative medicines" which have been languishing. Most of those herbal remedies are clinically proven but are being suppressed.
    • As the economy continues to worsen, companies will begin to realize that they don't need to put up with arrogant, socially-inept programmers who live at the bottom of the food chain. Especially those that don't have any actual experience. On the downside, this means more of them will be posting here.
    • I expect ther to be several improvements in the Linux arena. For instance, I understand Linus Wall is intending to release a version of Perl that doesn't require that confusing CPAN stuff and uses regular DLLs like every other language in the universe.
    • Another Linux improvement is likely to be the inclusion of optically-differentiated subbuses on the front end buffer array to increase volatility throughput.
    • Hopefully Bush, in need of popular support, will finally stand up to the big pharm companies and tell the FAA to approve so-called "alternative medicines" which have been languishing.
      Would those be medicines that allow you to fly? Cause otherwise I don't see why the FAA would be holding them back!


  • by Kenneth Stephen ( 1950 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @12:52PM (#4433036) Journal

    In no particular order :

    1. Ph.d's will start flipping burgers again to survive while desperately hunting for a buyer for their houses. (Yes, I know for a fact this actually happened in the early nineties when IBM decimated its plant in Kingston, NY).

    2. Folks who had the idea of waiting out the tech downturn by going to college are going to graduate only to find out that the tech downturn isnt over yet. Worse still, now they have to pay off loans.

    3. All challenges to the DMCA, Copright laws, etc are going to be beaten down. Consumers will have no rights whatsoever unless they all incorporate themselves.

    4. Symptomatic treatments of security will keep increasing. This is what I refer to as the treatment of brain tumours by prescribing aspirin. For example, the banning of nail clippers and other small personal items on flights when it is the mental state of the terrorist that is the true danger - not the everyday personal effects that can be transformed into weapons.

    • > 2. Folks who had the idea of waiting out the tech downturn by going to college are going to graduate only to find out that
      > the tech downturn isnt over yet. Worse still, now they have to pay off loans.

      One sign that the tech downturn won't have ended in 12 months:

      I heard last month that Intel was going to impose a 10% pay cut on all contractors (Green Badge) employees. My source expected that a number of people would quit to look for work elsewhere.

      In follow-up calls, I learned practically no one took this option -- they know just how bad things are on the outside. Many of them, however, are updating their resumes & are looking for an employer who may not be as eager to demonstrate a lack of loyalty to its workers.

  • the tech industry will be driven mostly by the worlds current events. More emphasis on security, but aside from that, unless you can predict who is going to bomb who next...
  • Cellphones (Score:5, Funny)

    by jackal! ( 88105 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @12:52PM (#4433045) Homepage
    Cellphones will continue to get cooler, have more options, do more things, have more features, make your life even better.

    Everyone will continue to not really care.

  • by commonchaos ( 309500 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @12:53PM (#4433050) Homepage Journal
    Is your company doing especially well? Are there sectors that are especially exciting, where products are bubbling to the surface and companies feel like they are about to show the world just how good they are? Tell me about it.


    My portfolio isn't doing so well. Anybody mind helping me out here?
  • My guess is that a lot of major companies will settle into Windows 200, and that it'll be permanent. They'll settle on that as a platform, and not move to XP. It's just too expensive to keep moving, and W2K finally really works, and works really well. We'll start to see companies settling there and actually USING a Windows product for years at a time like they do with *nixes now, as opposed to the annual upgrade that we've seen for the past 10 years.
    • We'll start to see companies settling there and actually USING a Windows product for years at a time like they do with *nixes now,

      WTF are you talking about...

      The typical company settled in a "Windows for Workgroups" for several years. And, Win95 has lasted for quite a long time.

      Win2k Will last for quite some time.

      Because, more and more, the Desktop O/S will be not be important anymore. Only browser versions will be important.

  • by grub ( 11606 ) <slashdot@grub.net> on Friday October 11, 2002 @12:54PM (#4433060) Homepage Journal

    I'm still waiting for my Flying Car from the year 2000..
    • by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @01:30PM (#4433405) Journal
      I'm still waiting for my Flying Car from the year 2000..

      Pinto's and GM trucks fly if you bump them in gas tank.
    • I'm still waiting for my Flying Car from the year 2000..

      It's coming [latimes.com].

      As far as predictions

      1. The technology sector will start recovering in a different form that is divided into smaller parts and tailor to specific needs rather than generalized solutions.

      2. Growing dominance and more technological power to big businesses is going to be a dominant theme on /.

      3. Mr. Cringely's column will be cancelled from pbs.org, as it will finally equal to the Book Review section [slashdot.org] in popularity, even though /. will [slashdot.org] try [slashdot.org] its [slashdot.org] best [slashdot.org] for [slashdot.org] some [slashdot.org] reason [slashdot.org].

      4. Mr. Cringely will be hired at /. and will continue his career as an editor for a new /. section called "SIR" - Semi-Interesting Read at sir.slashdot.org. Slashdot has successfully debuted such an idea recently with an astounding success [slashdot.org]!
  • Winter in Redmond
  • Linux (Score:2, Interesting)

    by blackmonday ( 607916 )
    In the next 12 months I see the arrival of *the* Linux Home Desktop Distro. I have no clue as to who will provide it, but the media is going to love it, the schools will love it, I will love it, and mostly everyone on Slashdot will hate it.
  • by wiredog ( 43288 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @12:58PM (#4433090) Journal
    Will stay up for more than 5 minutes. People will stop bitching about the slowness of the searches. No one will say "resection, MLP". Rusty will actually be able to earn a living from the place.

    And pigs will be seen circling overhead.

  • Predictions (Score:2, Interesting)

    Copyright law will still be here, with the 20 year extension.

    DRM will pass, and start to be implemented in technology, causing major problems to the tech industry.

    Someone major in the Linux community will go to a great deal of trouble to Break the DMCA, and circumvent the mandatory DRM. They will do this in a public arena, and be arrested. People will protest, but they will still be in jail in 12 months.

    Computers connecting to the internet must have some sort of DRM installed in their hardware. This will cause everyone to upgrade their hardware. This will raise the tech sector out of it's slump. This will also register everyone to a computer.

    Some unfounded/unknown company (most likely a small startup) will put together a very inexpensive upgrade kit to bring your current computer into compliance with DRM. This company will make the founders millionaires overnight. They will be filthy rich at the end of this 12 months.

    I will drink several beers, sodas, and eat some pizza, not in that particular order.

    Commerzbank in germany will come very close to collapsing, bringing the european market down, the dollar and american tech sector will become stronger from this.

    Lawn-mowing robots and will quickly find their ways into american yards, faster than cellphones. Their prices will fall to equal that of a riding mower. People will purchase them as they get to be very good quality.

    HP will fire Fiona
    Televisions, affected by DRM as well, will set a time when people must switch to HDTV recievers. There will again be a company that comes out with conversion kits.

    An anonymous coward on slashdot will be moderated as a troll.

    Those are my predictions for the forthcoming year! Have a mysteriously spooktacular friday!
  • by miffo.swe ( 547642 ) <daniel.hedblom@NOSpaM.gmail.com> on Friday October 11, 2002 @01:00PM (#4433114) Homepage Journal
    First of all the slump in the overall economy will stop any significant new technologies in their crib. If current situation remains the only thing corporations havent saved money on is the IT departments. After they sacked half their staff and factories only IT and management is left to do any larger savings on. They will go after IT and not management for cost cuts. I presume that the biggest IT companies will have a hard time to withstand their high earnings if that will be the case.

    On the good side this would open up a new area of buisiness that i think would thrive. Companies like IBM that saves money for their customers will be very popular among corporations.

    New computer hardware wont be released with the same pace if no one is buying it. The current pace on uppgrades has been predicted to level off for quite some time now and its about time. At some point hardware is up to par with the tasks performed by 90% of people. The rest 10% cant hold the upgrade pace up by themselves.
  • by Xeger ( 20906 ) <<slashdot> <at> <tracker.xeger.net>> on Friday October 11, 2002 @01:01PM (#4433132) Homepage
    1) In a surprise move, the Taliban will announce its hostile takeover of the Disney corporation. The company's long-standing "no facial hair" policy will be replaced by a "mandatory beard" policy and animators will immediately commence work on a new flagship character, Mullah Mouse.

    2) Nevada, Arizona and British Columbia will all pass legislation legalizing marijuana, prompting Bush to name them as part of the "axis of evil" and authorize a retaliatory nuclear strike.

    3) RIAA will introduce a surgical throat implant that that causes people to gag and choke when they try to hum or sing copyrighted music. Marketing the device as the "iMusicFreedomSexChoicePod," they will offer it through major chain stores for $99 for a limited time only, while supplies last. After November, the price will increase to $399.

    and, finally

    4) Sometime in August, independent polls will indicate that Slashdot's daily readership has surpassed that of the New York Times, Washington Post and USA Today combined. In response to this market pressure, all major print dailies will target a 1st grade reading level. Headlines such as "Lame Senator Says He's Rubber, Opponent Is Glue" and "Superfund Site Smells Like Total Ass" will abound.
    • 2) Nevada, Arizona and British Columbia will all pass legislation legalizing marijuana, prompting Bush to name them as part of the "axis of evil" and authorize a retaliatory nuclear strike.

      Nine years from now, the evil despots in the Nevadan desert will be found guilty of terrorist and inhumane actions such as smuggling drugs and drug money into and out of the region through poorly monitored borders, laundering billions of dollars through shady pseudo-financial institutions, degrading the lives of women through their regime of ritual costuming, and mocking global art icons like the pyramids, Eiffel tower, and Statue of Liberty. Americans are especially worried about Nevada's stockpiling of fissible materials in highly fortified underground bunkers.

      Ten years from now, Congress will note that all of these situations, including the radioactive materials, were given to the Nevadans freely in past deals. Citizens and leftist cartoonists and pundits will wonder with great cynicism how we could have ignored those cases of propping up a new league of despotism.

    • "In response to this market pressure, all major print dailies will target a 1st grade reading level. Headlines such as "Lame Senator Says He's Rubber, Opponent Is Glue" and "Superfund Site Smells Like Total Ass" will abound."

      In other words, US Congress will turn into UK Parliament?
  • Jobs (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ksplatter ( 573000 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @01:02PM (#4433141)
    I'll lose my software engineering job and won't have enough money to buy any technology. Therefore I won't really give a rats ass!
  • Death of Metacity (Score:2, Interesting)

    by scotch ( 102596 )
    My prediction: Gnome and redhat and everyone else will finally get a clue and get rid of the piece of crap known as metacity. I've read the debates and the intent, but if the author thinks that my ability to make the window manager useable is "crackrock" - he's the one that has been smoking too much of it.

    How do I turn off opaque move in metacity? Because its slow to the point of unusable on my system. Oh, I guess that's "crackrock"

    How do I bind keys to things I want to do like maximize vertically? Oh I guess the poor newbies can't understand what "vertically" means. Let's just fuck all the users who've been using Linux and Redhat for years for these mythical infantile newbies. I guess vertical and horizontal maximiation are "crack rock"

    How do bind to shell commands so I can use those stupid multimedia buttons on my computer for something useful, like controlling xmms? The keybinding available in metacity are just a joke. Thanks god they gave me "take a screen shot" though.

    Prediciton: sawfish is back in 2003.

  • by Fizzlewhiff ( 256410 ) <jeffshannon&hotmail,com> on Friday October 11, 2002 @01:05PM (#4433174) Homepage
    There will be several new point releases of KDE centered mainly around look and feel rather than actual features.

    Oracle 9i will be discovered to be breakable and Larry Ellison's unbreakable ego will become broken.

    Steve Jobs sued when someone opens their eMac to better lick the "lickable" Aqua interface and fries themself when they discharge the monitor's capacitor.

    Jon Katz returns to Slashdot after figuring out yet another way to squeeze in a plug of his book about dogs in an editorial.

    Mozilla Project sued by Geiko's talking Geko over trademarks citing "confused public trying to reskin him to look like Ximian monkey."

    RMS changes his name to GNU/RMS.
  • Nortel (Score:5, Funny)

    by s20451 ( 410424 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @01:05PM (#4433176) Journal
    I predict that my Nortel stock [yahoo.com] will continue to be worth the square root of fuck all, after a reverse stock split to avoid delisting.
  • by Ma$$acre ( 537893 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @01:09PM (#4433216)
    Everything we see these days seems to be an incremental improvement or "synergy" type of product with nothing fantastic showing up.

    Of course I see the eventual "StarTrekification" [Copyright currently under attack by Paramount] of about every modern day device we have. PDA's become phones become cameras, become mobile webservers for on the go Amateur Porn actors with built in audio, video, and Solitaire.

    These Predictions are invariably insider information about products in the pipeline that were in the think tank not a long time ago and their usefulness is generally overplayed, but they are an easy, attention grabbing headline (you saw it on Slashdot didn't you?)

    With all that said, here are a few things that will almost certainly happen on the technology front:

    1) PDA/Phone/Camera combo's will do streaming video. No more lugging that mini-dv to your local Movie Pirate... just WiFi it. Hell... we could all watch a movie in real time from Mobile Pirates(tm).
    2) FINALLY something useful - fuel cell batteries for everything
    3) LCD's will big bigger and cheaper and somehow they'll figure out how to stop streaking in fast motion applications.
    4) Foveon CMOS will make it into high-end prosumer palmcorders
    5) DVDxR format will be released. Look for the DVD/R drive a year later. Oh, and the "end-all" DVD+-x/R drives from Sony should be due out about a year after that - don't get left behind, each new version is nominally more compatible than the last!
    6) Portable Hologram units (ala Star Wars). 'Nuff said.
    7) Virtual Porn on PS2/Xbox/Cube... Think Dead Or Alive X-treme Volleyball engine with a few more 'fun' features. This will be the killer app that finally brings Porn to it's intended audience in the way which we all really want - with full control, no lame acting, and in widescreen
    8) THX 9.1 Surround Sound. Get it on your PC now!
    9) Mac OS XI
    10) AMD turns things around with their monster chip (Please... I have a lot of stock!)

    I claim copyright on any and all ideas from this day forward... especially the Porn on the Gaming systems (maybe even the PC).
  • by Charlton Heston ( 588481 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @01:11PM (#4433229) Homepage
    But I can tell you what WON'T happen.

    Bluetooth will still be that great technology just around the corner that hardly anyone has an example of.

    Cell phones will still not be good at browsing the web or reading e-mail.

    Linux won't be the dominant force on the desktop (not for a few years at least).

    The United States won't be finished with the job of restoring order in Afghanistan or Iraq.

    PC's won't have a decent memory subsystem that can keep up with the CPU's.

    The record companies won't have a good solution for distributing music on the Internet. Neither will movie companies.

    Robots will not take over the world.

    The fast/good/cheap trilemma will not be solved with technology.

    Microsoft will still have a bunch of security holes in their OS. So will most distributions of Linux. OpenBSD will not.

    NASA will not be able to keep their launch schedule.

    The new Matrix movie will not live up to the hype, but it'll still be really good.

    OK, to announce one thing that WILL happen in 2003: The Supreme Court will undo the Sonny Bono copyright law. Micky Mouse will be free!
  • by Ektanoor ( 9949 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @01:13PM (#4433249) Journal
    Xbox will fail its two attempts get a fairly good Christmas sale. The only success will be near Antarctica, where penguins live.

    The world will be Doomed somewhere in these monthes. As people want to be doomed with the latest quality and speed, Taiwan will have some chances to revive its industry.

    M$ will try to gain once again the market with Palladin, no matter the viruses, trojans, worms and the hereditary and chronical immunodeficiency desease of its OSes.

    There will be several announcements of the "final version of Linux 2.5". We will see Linus yelling "and finally this is the most final of the final
    versions of the final 2.5!".

    We will see several distros fighting for "something else" as many approach the magic number 10 of their versions. However some will fail this, because they look at Windows and not Linux. Others may make some big surprises.

    As the economy is in fallout, with exception of Open Source and a few spots in industry, the rest will be radioactive.

    The world will be again in war. So the Internet will be in war too. So hackers, hackers and hackers, no matter the hats, will surely not blame the world for boreness while Pentagon will see ships passing by.

    At the end of all this, /. will publish an article about what will happen in the next 12 monthes.
  • by supabeast! ( 84658 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @01:14PM (#4433261)
    Having amazed everyone by creating a sensible, usable Linux desktop environment for the masses, Lindows will clean up the internals of the OS. Installs and post-install configuration will start getting better and better. Sales of pre-loaded Lindows boxes will spread out of the Wal-Mart niche, and the Linux desktop revolution will gain serious steam.

    Red Hat will continue their work integrating KDE/Gnome into a single usuable desktop, spurred on by the growing praise for Lindows. Mandrake, currently the king of the desktop Linux world, will go full steam ahead on matching the desktop work that Lindows and Red Hat are doing, throwing another vendor's hat into the make-the-linux-desktop-not-suck ring.

    Sun Microsystems will move into the desktop market, giving a familiar hardware name to Linux desktops, making it eaiser for IT staff to bring Linux PCs into their networks. HPQ will do the same, and Dell will rejoin the Linux desktop world to keep up.

    Apple will be keeping an eye on this, and keep refining OS X. OS X will gain popularity with the computer users who favor minimal administration. Mac users will learn the value of Open/Free software, and communication between the Mac/Linux world will grow.

    Microsoft will sit in the background, watching the TCO of Windows rise and the TCO of Linux drop, and the path for Linux domination will be ready for the world to walk down.
  • In today's news....

    Bacteria, engineered by the US Army to clean up oil spills, have infected a major oil deposit in Iraq. After being released in the War Against Evil (TM), the bacteria quickly spread out of control. Experts estimate that within two years, the bacteria will have infected oil wells throughout the middle east, consuming about half of the oil reserves in the region, or, in other words, 30% of the world's known oil reserves.
  • It's a little longer of a time horizon than 12 months, but every scientist/engingeer should drop whatever they're doing and start concentrating on creating a real, functioning holodeck. Hopefully we can figure it out before I'm too old to use it...
  • After multi billion Class action suit win against Riaa and Disney upheld by the Supreme court Human Brain Space is no longer free.

    Copyrighted material owners will have to pay a minimum of 25 Cents per song that an individual carries in his or hers head.

    Advertising being too costly for random dissimination will find itself effectively restricted to special YYY cinemas located in seedy areas of any metropolis.

  • I predict that in 12 months time my prediction will be prooved right!
  • The IT services industry stock will continue to tumble as investors realize a company whose "only asset is its people" has no assets after it has pissed off its people.

    The new HP will still only be known for its printers and calculators

    Dell will start branding other peripherals not only printers.

    Walmart will stop selling Lindows PC's after all of their service lines explode because of an overload of "My AOL CD doesn't install properly" questions

    Microsoft will continue to follow the "guidelines" of the federal court judgement, slashdotters will complain, but no-one else will care.

    People will continue to make obscure bluetooth devices, but users will only to be able to find bluetooth headphones at any retail outlet.

    Tablet PC's will appear, and then fade into the horizon

    The Digital Camera Megapixel war will continue, a 11 Megapixel camera will be affordable.

    CowboyNeal will appear as all options in a slashdot poll.

    Slashdot and X Cringley will have the same article as this one next year and noone will remember this years results.

    • By the end of 2003 90% of the US households will have broadband
    • By mid-2003 people will no longer "surf" the web, everything will come right to them through "push technology"
    • By the end of 2004 Gateway and Dell will no longer sell full featured PC's, instead opting for thin java client computers
    • By 2004 you will run all programs through the browser
    • Wal-Mart will go out of business because of online shopping
    • Dow 100,000 [amazon.com]
  • by RailGunner ( 554645 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @01:35PM (#4433464) Journal
    Here's some predictions for the next 12 months:

    Steve Ballmer will leave Microsoft to join the circus sideshow, as the only man who can put his foot in his mouth while his head is still up his ass. The Circus will generate billions of revenue, while Microsoft will be forced to have Craig Mundie scream "I Love This Company!" at this years COMDEX.

    There will be at least a dozen more Outlook Worms infecting the Internet. People's Inboxes will become so flooded with viruses, that millions will quit using email all together. With the loss of a huge potential market, companies selling weightless, pumpless penis enhancement devices will go out of business, and millions of dollars will still be tied up in Nigerian banks while the King's widow lives in poverty.

    Hundreds of people will be arrested for printing paychecks on their computer and trying to cash them at a bank.

    The RIAA will create another method to prevent people from copying CD's, this one will be defeatable by a common stapler.

    The RIAA will reveal that Hilary Rosen has actually been dead for 5 years, that they've just been propping her up "Weekend at Bernie's" style.

    Scott McNealy will release several press releases over the next year bashing Microsoft.

  • Basic Research (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bperkins ( 12056 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @02:03PM (#4433698) Homepage Journal
    Why are tech pundits always claiming the sky is falling?

    For over 10 years I've heard that a lack of basic research is threatening to cause the United States to lose it's technological edge. As the technology industry continues to be battered, it isn't surprising that the amount of basic research that is being done is declining. Decreasing revenues and an uncertain future make new investment difficult to justify. This will change, as it always has in the past.

    It's true that many of the behemouths (such as Bell Labs) have taken a beating, but other tech companies (for instance Micron) have started new research divisions. Biotech research has increased by leaps and bounds in the last few years. IBM research has had its share of increased and decreased funding, but continues to be a productive and profitable venture for IBM.

    Although comercial oriented university research is something that has had an increase in the last few years, it is by no means dominant. For those with close ties to companies, the hassle of dealing with patents and trade secrets is going to be a price you pay for extra grants. Anything that stops research is bad, even if it ends up with more grant money. Fortunately, there are many universities in the US that would love to attract talented researchers. If all the big name schools mire their researchers in paperwork and IP nonsense, they will go elsewhere.

    I don't want to undemphasize the importance of basic research. Deep cuts to the NSF and a _real_ decline basic research would indeed be something to worry about, as would a real, continued decrease in industry research. I don't think this is happening.

  • by Gonj_The_Unjust ( 183519 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @02:10PM (#4433759) Homepage
    My predictions:

    DRM will be gradually introduced into the core PC hardware. At first it wont do much, but towards the end of the year we will see more hardware/software that requires DRM to be present. Creative marketing pushes by DRM backers will ease any public discontent, having learned from earlier examples (ie, PIII id, DIVX).

    Microsoft will start a campaign to improve it's image with Techie types by continuing to try to create a linux-like community of users/developers. They will publicaly open up small portions of code or create limited APIs that allow individuals to modify windows directly. These alterations would however be under very strict licenses, giving MS all rights to anything produced.

    G3 will oh-so-very-slowly make it's way into mainstream use in the US. Cellular data services will become a lot more common in lower price-point PDA-like devices.

    Linux will continue to grow in the server market, but more and more linux-targeted viruses will appear as well. Linux on the desktop will once again make an attempt, and be more successful than before, but still fail to gain a significant mainstream user base.

    RIAA/MPAA will continue to make a lot of noise and wail that online piracy is killing them. The major difference is that this will start to become in a small way true. MP3 devices will continue to become more and more popular. More DRM Digital Music devices will be introduced, but because of the diversity of the companies producing these devices, will lose out to more open ones. No significant DRM/anti-digital-piracy laws will be actually passed.
  • by TheSync ( 5291 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @02:12PM (#4433772) Journal
    Two big predictions for 12 months:

    1) Cell Phone "camming" will become a rage among teenagers, who mainly use it to flash each other. Sprint (under CDMA2000) will benefit greatly from this.

    2) A quantum computer will be built using a 2D array of hundreds of quantum dots using Si or GaAs. The theory is there today, all that remains is an efficient read of electron spins. The machine will factor a number in the range of 2^16, which will look much more interesting than IBM's factoring of 14 or whatever.
  • by timothy ( 36799 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @02:13PM (#4433784) Journal
    a) More people will use Ogg Vorbis, and like it, on their personal computers

    b) A true standalone hardware player will be introduced, followed by another. Perhaps an iPod upgrade, even.

    c) Just as many people as do right now will be able to name 2 audio codecs besides MP3 and Ogg Vorbis -- the same people as can right now, in fact.

  • by Jouster ( 144775 ) <[moc.qaflegna] [ta] [todhsals]> on Friday October 11, 2002 @02:16PM (#4433807) Homepage Journal
    J2ME/MIDP. BREW. Our cell phones are getting brains!

    In the next year, I see mobile (cell phones and networked PDA's) code usage exploding. It's already big in the corporate market, where it's running custom enterprise apps. In Eastern Europe, they lack a credit card system, so they beam money from their cell phones. China is coming into its own with telecommunications, and with a huge, unallocated spectrum to play with over there, cell phones get a lot of bandwidth, nice and cheap. Commuters on the Pennsylvania-to-NY trains have four hours to spend doing SOMETHING. Why not learn, play, communicate, or work on their convenient hand-held, networked computing device?

    It may or may not be in the U.S., but there's no doubt in my mind that in the next year fully-programmable handsets using J2ME or BREW will come into their own.

  • by Target Drone ( 546651 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @02:22PM (#4433860)
    My predictions for the upcoming year are the same predictions I always make.
    • nuclear-powered cars
    • daily commuting by personal helicopter
    • lunar colonies
    • human control over the weather
    • automated-houses with a robot butler
    Dam it! I've been predicting this stuff will happen since the 1950's and I just know this is going to be the year!
  • My Predictions (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bwt ( 68845 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @02:38PM (#4433971) Homepage

    1) $100 PC

    2) Greater PC/TV integration leveraging wireless networking

    3) A Fortune 500 company will deploy desktop Linux. A Fortune 100 company will deploy Open Office.

    4) Tech hiring will pick up as corps beef up cybersecurity and integrate handhelds into core business processes

    5) IBM buys Sun and changes Java to their open source licence

    6) Boucher's bill passes, Berman's bill passes (both modified and clarified), while Hollings bill fails as the tech industry (sans MS) rallies against it.

    7) DVDCCA loses both the jurisdiction and on the merits in CA, meanwhile all Federal threats to the DMCA fail, and no major new litigation commenses even though flagrant violations become commonplace.

    8) The MS trial concludes by the judge adopting a slightly tougher final judgement than the DOJ version, and both sides declare victory. MS promptly combines innovating new forms of anticompetitive behavior and routine violations of the agreement.

    9) US based laws for open source procurement fail, but many succeed in the developing world.

    10) Spam increases by 30%. Some lawsuits succeed, others fail. Congress introduces legislation making forged headers illegal.

    11) AOL converts its users to the Netscape browser, and web-based XUL applications start to appear. The browser war 2 is declared in the media. Tech users embrace Phoenix as their browser of choice.

    12) CD sales revenue will fall by another 10% even though existing P2P networks become unusable. Semi-private, trust based P2P networks become the rage.
  • Storage (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Salamander ( 33735 ) <jeff.pl@atyp@us> on Friday October 11, 2002 @03:02PM (#4434102) Homepage Journal

    My big bet is that storage is going to be the interesting area in high-tech next year...and I don't just say that because I happen to work in that area. CPUs, video cards, and memory will all get faster in not-very-interesting ways. Wireless networks will grow in not-very-interesting ways (mostly; see below). But there will be heaps of storage-related news:

    • Portable removable storage devices will be a growth market. Wireless versions, probably based on some flavor [intel.com] of wireless 1394 [eetimes.com] will be particularly handy.
    • Someone will start shipping some form of removable storage (probably optical) that offers 50GB or more on something the size of a CD or smaller. Initial versions will be write-once and expensive; lower costs and rewritable versions won't hit until 2004.
    • Products and services to synchronize and distribute data will grow steadily as people want to share that data between more and more devices.
    • People will continue to ignore distributed filesystems and their cousins as alternatives to the above-mentioned synchronization nightmare.
    • iSCSI will continue to be hyped until (about mid-year) people realize that it doesn't give them anything they didn't already have. That plus a continuing soft IT economy will create a wave of rolled-back claims and changed strategies from all the router-company refugees behind the hype.
    • The BFDA (Big Fine Disk Array) vendors will continue to pay more attention to lawsuits among themselves than to designing and implementing actual products that meet customers' needs.
    • More and more storage-related functionality will be packaged as separate appliances (for reasons see above). People will eventually realize that all this "virtualization" hype is just a bunch of garbage anyway, but will continue to support the appliance approach for other kinds of functionality.
  • 2% of the column (Score:3, Interesting)

    by blamanj ( 253811 ) on Friday October 11, 2002 @04:34PM (#4434554)
    ...was about predictions. The rest was about a very disturbing trend in the industry: the death of pure research. Far more worthy of comment that a few lame predictions.

God helps them that themselves. -- Benjamin Franklin, "Poor Richard's Almanac"