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Yet Another 2006 Tech Predictions List

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Many experienced, thoughtful authors in the tech world attempt to forecast what’s likely to happen in the forthcoming year; we’re glad they’ve done that so we can focus on getting a few cheap laughs at the expense of others.

Much as we’d like to detail the voluminous research and shed light on the more occult details on our look at the forthcoming year, we’ve decided it’s best just to put the Ouija board away, sweep up the chalk circles, and pretend not to notice the shadow on the wall that remained behind long after its caster had departed.

Someone once described magic as being nearly indistinguishable from advanced technology. Maybe it was the other way around. It doesn’t matter. Predictions are indistinguishable from the usual guesswork and hypothesizing most tech writers do anyway. It’s just that, around the beginning of a new year, they get assembled into lists and put forth as solemn pronouncements about the future of technology.

Sounds good to us. Here’s the WebProNews list of predictions we’d be surprised to see come true, but hey, if they do, you read it here first.

1) John Battelle will vanish from the public eye after his 700th Web 2.0 consulting session. He will be found months later in a shadowy underground realm at UC-Berkeley, using a machine running FreeBSD to play old Infocom text-based adventures and blogging anti-Web 2.0 posts to Flock Sucks from a Pine client.

2) Robert Scoble the blogger will be revealed to be an advanced Turing program created by Microsoft. Robert Scoble the person will write a book about his secret life, which will be picked up by Oprah and sell 18 million copies.

3) Steve Rubel will get stuck after creating 9 items for a 10-item list on hacking the Opera web browser.

4) The three people mentioned previously will all read their entries and then pretend they didn’t.

5) Microsoft will formally launch its AdCenter program in the US when its contract to place Yahoo ads on MSN runs out in June 2006. AdCenter will turn out to be Overture, which Microsoft will secretly buy from Yahoo in March.

6) Yahoo will also sell its search business to Microsoft and become a full-fledged entertainment company, so Terry Semel can join Lloyd Braun in Hollywood and go back to being pampered in restaurants in a manner befitting a studio executive, ’cause that sure don’t happen in Sunnyvale. Meanwhile, Microsoft will tweak the search to redirect all queries for “sony playstation 3″ to Xbox 360 listings.

7) Shares of Google stock will pass $1000 per share in April. Warren Buffett will dump longtime bridge partner Bill Gates and team with Eric Schmidt instead.

8) Having realized his dream of finally beating Gates at something, bad memories of Novell and Sun will fade away as Schmidt becomes a being of pure energy and spends the rest of eternity undulating within a Google lava lamp. CNet’s Google+balances+privacy,+reach/2100-1032_3-5787483.html class=bluelink>Elinor Mills will be hired on as Google VP of public relations afterward.

9) Ask Jeeves will finally lose the butler in the US and rebrand itself as Ask.com. Unfortunately, they’ll do it on the same day that Microsoft launches Vista and Google debuts its Calendar service online and no one will notice.

10) The news media will come to resemble the Dr Seuss story about the Google+balances+privacy,+reach/2100-1032_3-5787483.html class=bluelink>Sneetches, as unemployed reporters, columnists, and cartoonists become bloggers and form networks while current bloggers get gigs with major media outlets like the Washington Post and the New York Times.


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

Yet Another 2006 Tech Predictions List
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