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Technology

Technology Predictions for 2006? 344

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the crystal-ball-that-we-can-look-back-at-and-laugh dept.
OffTheLip writes "As 2006 fast approaches it's time for some to gaze into the crystal ball of technology and predict what will be hot, what will make a difference in our lives or make someone rich and famous. The Mercury News takes a shot at predicting the coming year of technology. No great revelations but it nice to see clean technologies make the list. The list is light on pure technology and big on trends. Perhaps killer apps are not as important as they once were thought to be." What would Slashdot users put in their top 10?
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Technology Predictions for 2006?

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  • finally! (Score:5, Funny)

    by nuttzy (877548) on Monday December 26, 2005 @11:50PM (#14342933) Homepage
    this is the year we all get flying cars!
  • by moresheth (678206) on Monday December 26, 2005 @11:50PM (#14342935)
    I'm anxious to see dynamic (digital) paper, like with newspapers and junk, but I doubt we'll be seeing them this year.

    Most likely the number one spot will be a-la-carte television and music downloading. Not just to compete with piracy, but just because that's what people want.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 26, 2005 @11:51PM (#14342937)
    The domestication of the dog continues unabated.
    • ...this will be achieved by extracting DNA from the bones of the Dire Wolf [kokogiak.com], the Bone-Crushing Dog [kokogiak.com] and the Epicyon [nhm.org] then genetically embedding the fragments into a poodle. Aside from the fact that it will then have three ears and meow on thursdays, it will be much placated with the therapy.
      • by h4rm0ny (722443) on Tuesday December 27, 2005 @05:37AM (#14343817) Journal

        I think traditional breeding techniques have been woefully underused. Recent breeding experiments with foxes in Russia have shown that a noticeable difference can be produced in a much shorter time than expected. So my suggestions for controlled breeding are as follows:
        • Dogs should be bred for intelligence. Never mind making them big / small / whatever... selectively test and breed only those dogs that show exceptional intelligence. If we'd been doing that for as long we've been turning wolves into poodles and pugs, we'd have super-intelligent dogs by now.
        • Rabbits should be bred for size. Right now, rabbits are cute and make great housepets. But think how much cuter they would be if you bred them bigger! You could have a retriever-sized dutch lop hopping around your house. That would be so adorable and cuddly.
        • Bears should also be bred for both size and temperament. In addition to breeding really really big bears for security work and Japanese gameshows, you could breed really little friendly ones. They'd be even better than dogs because their body shape is squatter and more huggable. If they were bred without the claws, then you'd have great pets for young children. Very comforting for kids at night - I know I'd buy one for my children.

        And that's just off the top of my head right now. I'm sure I could think of much more when I'm sober.
  • easy (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    microsoft makes a boatload of cash while their demise is predicted on slashdot,

    linux is _almost_ ready for the desktop,

    and duke nukem forever will briefly reach beta, only to be pulled
    • by AoT (107216)
      And yet the amount of cash MSFT makes only effects the share price if it is more than last quarter.

      Odd how that works.
  • I predict (Score:5, Funny)

    by TubeSteak (669689) on Monday December 26, 2005 @11:52PM (#14342942) Journal
    That we will have _____ wonderful technology in 20 years.

    Because for some reason, everything wonderful always seems to be 20 years away.
    • For whatever idiot with mod points who modded me offtopic, I refer you to this current Wired article [wired.com] about developement of an AIDS vaccine

      The failure in the last couple years of one of the more promising vaccine candidates has bred some frustration. The United Nations' top HIV/AIDS official acknowledged earlier this year at a conference that it was no longer realistic to hope that the world will meet its goal of halting and reversing the spread of the pandemic by 2015. A British delegate to that conference

  • by TheNoxx (412624) on Monday December 26, 2005 @11:53PM (#14342946) Homepage Journal
    Although Microsoft didn't do so hot with their "trusted computing" initiative, they'll do much better with "trusted people". Check out a future issue of Playboy: "Hottest Places to Have Your RFID Chip Inserted! Please Your Woman and Keep Your Nation Safe at the Same Time!"
  • by Diordna (815458) on Monday December 26, 2005 @11:54PM (#14342948) Homepage
    I think that most innovations will come in video and handheld form. Things will get more consolidated very quickly, and the handheld will become even more central than it is now. I hope to see something like an iPod Video that can store movies at screen sizes creater than 320x240 just so they can be hooked up to TVs and played back anywhere. Also, the outcome of Apple Intel machines should be interesting - one place for OS X, Windows, and Linux to all run at the same time.
    • The Future is here (Score:2, Informative)

      by TheTopher (879626)
      hope to see something like an iPod Video that can store movies at screen sizes greater than 320x240 just so they can be hooked up to TVs and played back anywhere. You already can. If you want TV quality output, you have to save it to the iPod as that quality and the iPod will convert to 320x240 in real time when you use its screen. If you use an AV adapter and set the iPod to "video out" it will play it in the quality that you saved it as. Seems Apple has some fortunetellers working in R&D. http:// [apple.com]
    • Personal digital video players have been around for a few years now, you know.

      I've made this point before, but with Apple's control over the market, it makes sense for them to slow "innovation" rather than accelerate it. Recall the gigantic flame wars here back in 2004 when the Apple crowd was parroting Steve Jobs and vehemently insisted that Apple would never, ever, *ever* introduce a Video iPod? Well, of course, Jobs was just stalling on video to maximize the upgrade revenue. So, something like a wide-scr
    • I actually think that it is this latest leap to handheld video that will push forward adoption of a wireless (or wired) video eyepiece, similar to a Blutooth earset. People are fast becoming accustomed to having technology with them at all times, and being able to access it more freely at all times...with things like portable media players I see a wearable video screen eyepiece being the only real way to get around the small screen issue in the immediate future (aside from rollable LCD screens).

      I truly thi

    • Hopefully more and more Video Blog [vobbo.com] services - which will lead to amateur TV over IP, begin integrating with amateur video to/from cell phones, and more video from more sources in more locations. More, better, everywhere.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 26, 2005 @11:55PM (#14342950)
    What are the odds of a new technology coming out of nowhere and becoming popular? Look at 2005 -- just an expansion of existing tech. Torrents become more popular, more bandwidth means people exchange more videos, bird flu will continue to be overrated and containable and there will continue to be few deaths, wifi will be more popular, more telephony, and so on.

    It's evolution baby, not revolution, and that's the way I like it :)

  • Linux on the desktop?
  • GoogleRate (Score:5, Funny)

    by zymurgy_cat (627260) on Monday December 26, 2005 @11:56PM (#14342957) Homepage
    Google will come up with GoogleRate, a neat application that will automatically search for, record, archive, and then verify all these claims and predictions that everyone makes.

    People will then be able to quickly find out how accurate companies, newspapers, etc. have been in the past when they now say that X will be popular this year or that the nano-wireless-widget market will grow from $2M to $100 billion over the next 5 years.

    • Sounds a little like Tradesports.com [tradesports.com]. They broker bets on non-traditional items like political events. Doesn't seem like a stretch for them to set up a pool on when a particular technology will reach a particular rate of adoption. Turns out that the (dynamically determined) odds that come up do tend to be a pretty good indicator of the likelihood of events.
    • Google will come up with GoogleRate, a neat application that will automatically search for, record, archive, and then verify all these claims and predictions that everyone makes.

      You're probably joking, but back in September Google mentioned [blogspot.com] that they've set up a prediction market system to use within their company, for the purpose of forecasting things like product launch dates and "many other things of strategic importance". I wouldn't be surprised if this is a lead-in to creating a publically-open predict
  • No, fuel cells! This is the year that they are only a year away! But maybe given all the stem cell research we could get monkeys flying from my butt. I predict digital ink will be big with lots of press releases and upcoming projects in future years. And this will be the year that a slashdot editor goes power crazy and tries to ransom sites with the threat of a slashdotting, and that he will fail miserably due to two other editors posting dupes of the story that editor #1 is threatening to post. The lack
  • How about (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BCW2 (168187) on Monday December 26, 2005 @11:59PM (#14342970) Journal
    Flash drives get priced competitivly with hard drives of the same size?
    • Re:How about (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ottffssent (18387) on Tuesday December 27, 2005 @12:42AM (#14343135)
      Why?

      400GB of flash would be bigger, heavier, and probably slower than 400GB of magnetic storage. It would also be less reliable. You might be able to get decent performance in a lower-power, quieter device, but even with price parity, why would you want flash with all its drawbacks?

      The winchester hard drive really deserves some sort of award. Second only to the microchip, the hard drive has been the most successful technology product of the past 20 years, I would say. Consider that its evolution in terms of capacity has far outstripped that of the CPU, while its price has remained low. The same basic principles have scaled from the largest several-hundred-pound devices of old to the 19 gram Seagate ST1, and from the early 1MB drives to current half-terabyte drives. These devices can be found in all but the smallest of consumer electronics and in the largest of mainframes. Only the integrated circuit has shown similar technical improvements and wider applicability, yet the hard drive gets little respect, even within the computer industry. Sad.
      • Re:How about (Score:4, Insightful)

        by matt21811 (830841) * on Tuesday December 27, 2005 @04:13AM (#14343661) Homepage
        "400GB of flash would be bigger, heavier, and probably slower than 400GB of magnetic storage. It would also be less reliable. but even with price parity, why would you want flash with all its drawbacks?"

        Given that a 32 GB SD flash card is likely to be available very shortly, that it only takes 13 of these cards to reach past 400GB, and that a pile 13 SD cards is still a tiny fraction of the size and weight of 3.5 inch disk drive, I think your size and weight assumption needs rethinking.

        As to reliability, I have no idea what you are talking about. I can drop and SD card from shoulder height onto conrcete and it will almost certainly keep working. Hard disks rarely pass the same test. If you are talking about the write limit of flash memory. A simple comparison with a hard disk of today shows this misconception to be just that. Taking a the example of a flash drive of 200GB with a write speed of 40 Megabytes per second (similar to a modern hard disk) and doing some basic calculations shows that it could be written to continuously for just over 15 years before every block passed the 100 000 write mark. The equivalent of todays 200GB drive some 15 years ago was the 210MB disk. There are not many machines running today with 210MB hard drives, let alone dong the kind of work that requires continuous writing to the disk. And 100 000 writes is often considered a minimum. The secret is wear leveling algorithms.

        So to sum up, given that you might be able to get decent performance in a lower-power, quieter, lighter, smaller, tougher device, with price parity, why would you not want to use the flash drive?
    • Re:How about (Score:3, Informative)

      by matt21811 (830841) *
      Actually, this is predicted this to happen in 11 years from now, not in 2006.

      http://www.mattscomputertrends.com/flashvsharddis k .html [mattscomputertrends.com]

      They didn't just make up the 11 year figure either. The prediction is based on price trends from the last few years.

      The article also explains why performance and maximum write issues will not be an problem by then.
  • Predictions... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Wyatt Earp (1029) on Tuesday December 27, 2005 @12:01AM (#14342973)
    Advancements in artificial limb technology driven by the Iraqi Military Operations
    Advancements in stripping the psychotropic effects of drugs like Ketamine and X for use as pain killers, driven by the Iraqi Military Operations
    A video card that cracks the $1000 US price point
    More hybrid and bio diesel technology from the big Automakers
    F/A-22, Eurofighter Typhoon purchases get cut, F/A-22 or the F-35 programs might get totally eliminated by the US DoD
    Quad core AMD and Intel server chips
    US program to put GPS in all cars becomes a political hot issue
    UK program to track all cars does not become a political hot issue
    • Painkillers (Score:5, Interesting)

      by TubeSteak (669689) on Tuesday December 27, 2005 @12:24AM (#14343066) Journal
      I agree with the need for more/better pain killers

      One of the main problems with the current meds is their massive potential for abuse.

      I predict this [opioids.com] will take off in 2006
      To counter abuse, drug makers are developing ways to reformulate prescription painkillers. Purdue Pharma in Stamford, Conn., which makes OxyContin, is thinking of adding a second drug, called an opiate antagonist, that neutralizes the effects of the opiate.

      The antagonist would be walled off using polymers or some other sequestering technique, said Dr. David Haddox, the company's vice president of health policy.

      A patient who swallowed the drug would get full pain relief, as intended. But if someone tampered with the pills, the antagonist would be released.
      ...
      A second approach is to mix in a chemical irritant like capsaicin, the main ingredient of hot chili peppers, said Dr. Woolf, who has a patent on the idea.

      Because the esophagus and stomach do not have many receptors for hot peppers, patients could take the pills as prescribed and find relief, he said. But the lining of the nose and cheeks are loaded with pepper receptors, and anyone who ground up such a pill would get a burning feeling in the chest, face, rectum and extremities, as well as paroxysmal coughing.
      It doesn't really advance the effectiveness of painkillers, but it'll be a very very effective stopgap measure to basically kill the street trade in these meds.

      Doctors will also be able to perscribe powerful painkillers to the patients who need them w/out constantly worrying the DEA will investigate them for possibly overperscribing pain meds.

      BTW - the second method (with capsaicin) is really fucking evil. The Dr. describes the pain of snorting/injecting it here [blogspot.com]
      • A second approach is to mix in a chemical irritant like capsaicin, the main ingredient of hot chili peppers, said Dr. Woolf, who has a patent on the idea.

        What about people with involuntary acid reflux, or vomiting? If the capsaicin is released in the stomach, this could have horrible consequences even for those who take the pill as intended. I think the opiate antagonist is a MUCH better idea.
      • As I understqand it people grind the pill since it is time-released, so they can get the whole hit in one shot. While the antagonist thing might work, I expect some sort clever junkies would figure out how to cut the pills just so to get past it.

        As for adding capsicum, it would stop snorting/injection, but they could pulverize the pill and put it in a gelatin capsule to get it past the mouth, and they would still get a rush since it would still hit in one big shot instead of being time-released.
      • Re:Painkillers (Score:5, Insightful)

        by NixLuver (693391) <stwhiteNO@SPAMkcheretic.com> on Tuesday December 27, 2005 @02:03AM (#14343410) Homepage Journal
        I can't believe that this thread is treating this stupidity as if it were a good thing. The piles of red tape and bullshit that people have to go through to buy scheduled drugs are not because of the abusers, it's because of the War On Drugs. How can someone consider themself free if they don't have basic sovereignty over their own body? Good god, people, the only difference between abuse and use is whether or not a Doctor wrote you a prescription. As long as you don't get stupid, there are a million doctors who will prescribe basically whatever you're smart enough to request and provide basic, rudimentary symptom support and insurance for.

        The real technological advance would be a free society, not newer and better ways to fuck up people's days.
      • Re:Painkillers (Score:5, Insightful)

        by lysergic.acid (845423) on Tuesday December 27, 2005 @02:36AM (#14343479) Homepage

        Adding an opioid antagonist like nalaxone doesn't do anything when you snort it, only when you inject it. If you add enough of it that it has any effect when you take it orally or when you snort it, then you're blocking off just as much of its analgesic effects. Same with trying to remove the psychotropic effects of ecstasy--its the psychotropic effects that also make ecstasy theraputic (it's not really a pain killer).

        Our drugs laws are just dumb. People are always going to take opiates and other drugs recreationally because it's fun. It's like trying to prohibit the recreational consumption of alcohol (a societally accepted recreational drug which we have a double standard for) just because there are alcoholics. The funny thing is, before opiate dependence was made a crime, it was seen by Americans as less of a nuisance to society than alcoholism--people could also support their opiate habit on pennies a day and still be functional members of society. In fact, you'd be suprised at how many well known people in history used opiates such as opium/heroin/morphine regularly.

        What we need to do is just reform our drug policies and most of the societal problems related to drug abuse will simply go away--like people ODing on "ecstasy" because it was cut with more dangerous substances, or the prohibition style crime-wave which has sweeped the nation, etc.

        • by gorzek (647352)

          You made a lot of good points, but I think some additional information would be useful. Most people don't know why certain drugs are outlawed in the US.

          Opium was outlawed because Chinese immigrants in California were making a fortune selling it to Americans. Political elites were terrified by the idea of Chinese immigrants getting rich and having political clout, so it was outlawed. Keep in mind this was during the 1800s, and the very idea of white men and women hanging out with Chinamen just disturbed co

    • More hybrid and bio diesel technology from the big Automakers

      This is a scary one. The UK can produce enough biodiesel in an environmentally friendly manner (waste cooking oil) to supply 1/380 of its road transport fuel. After that, the most common form of biodiesel supply is oil palms. And this supply is an environmental disaster [guardian.co.uk] in itself - huge forests felled and burned to create space for the trees, peat bogs dried out.

      God knows what kind of destruction will take place if this "environmentally friend

      • After that, the most common form of biodiesel supply is oil palms.

        If you've ever seen the middle of the United States you would swear it was made completely of corn [google.com], a prime biodiesel source. In the US we grow so much of it due to subsidies [ewg.org] that it's in most [csmonitor.com] of what we eat. Here, that's pretty much what biodiesel equates to: Nebraska... er... Corn.

        Not that this makes it any better of solution for the UK, but it's been a huge part of the US energy debate since the 70s.

    • by DigiShaman (671371) on Tuesday December 27, 2005 @01:18AM (#14343249) Homepage
      How about a Quad core CPU. Two cores of Intel, and two cores of AMD technology all packaged togeather. No matter how your program is written, it will take advantage of the best set of cores for its function.

      Ya... I can dream can't I?
  • Fusion! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by headkase (533448) on Tuesday December 27, 2005 @12:02AM (#14342980)
    2006 will be the year we finally achieve a sustained controlled fusion reaction! My 1970 copy of the new book of knowledge annual edition says it's just around the corner! Let's hope its not around the corner for another 35 years as we really do need it....
    • Re:Fusion! (Score:3, Insightful)

      Yes, but will that get us closer to Fusion-powered Ramjets?

      But seriously, I'd predict better photovoltaics, thermoelectrics, and fuel cells. None of this will power anything bigger than a lawn-mower, but it will look great in the lab.

      On the other hand, what won't look better will be designer bioweapons. Not that they'll be released, just the capability will give us one more thing to worry about.

      Someone will realize that with Google's increasing suite of information organizing technology, that th
    • Re:Fusion! (Score:4, Funny)

      by FooAtWFU (699187) on Tuesday December 27, 2005 @12:42AM (#14343132) Homepage
      Actually, I believe that we already have "sustained controlled fusion" reactions. What we'd like are sustained controlled fusion reactions which produce more energy than they consume.
  • Predictions (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ackthpt (218170) on Tuesday December 27, 2005 @12:05AM (#14342994) Homepage Journal
    • 1. Someone will challenge Moore's Law as not being true any longer.
    • 2. Cell phone batteries will need longer life as people listen to music and watch video on them.
    • 3. Nano physics will be all the rage, but nobody will still have made anything practical with them.
    • 4. RIAA will continue to hound people who really don't affect their bottom line, then blame the loss of music sales for the expense.
    • 5. Howard Stern will not have the new customer draw Sirius is betting on.
    • 6. Red Wine will be found not to actually have any real impact on reducing heart disease when they find a bunch of drunken italian doctors made it all up.
    • 7. Video Games will continue to be ballyhooed as more realistic than ever, but movement will still look terribly wooden.
    • 8. New processors, mother boards, video cards will all come out and amazingly the top of the line will cost what the top of the line has cost for the past ten years.
    • 9. Moore's Law will be reaffirmed.
    • 10. Cheezy Poofs and Coke will be declared heart-healthy by firms in Plano, TX and Atlanta, GA, and the media will not question it one bit.
    • Re:Predictions (Score:5, Interesting)

      by slashname3 (739398) on Tuesday December 27, 2005 @12:24AM (#14343062)
      2. Cell phone batteries will need longer life as people listen to music and watch video on them.

      Which will result in cell phones the size they were back in the 80's, satchels weighing about 8 pounds.

      This will also result in a record number of car wrecks as more people are found watching their cell phones while driving which leads to several states banning the use of cell phones in cars.

      There will be a large number of complaints by cell phone users that even with 200 channels available there is nothing worth watching.

      There will also be a project started to port mythtv to these new video capable cell phones.
    • Re:Predictions (Score:4, Informative)

      by equallyunequal (877918) <equallyunequal@gm a i l . com> on Tuesday December 27, 2005 @12:41AM (#14343125)
      Howard Stern is definitely drawing new customers to Sirius radio. I work at Radioshack and my entire district is sold out of all Sirius recievers and we have waiting lists. 75% of the customers say they are buying because they wanted Howard Stern.
      • Re:Predictions (Score:3, Insightful)

        by pfhlick (900680)
        Stern is being replaced with David Lee Roth, at least in Boston. I bet that would drive some people to Sirius.

        On second thought, though, maybe not.
  • by Leontes (653331) on Tuesday December 27, 2005 @12:08AM (#14343009)
    Wikipedia will continue to grow, and content will continue to become more refined and generally better. Facebook will grow, and options for adding non-school connected individuals will be introduced before the end of the year. Myspace, Friendster and Liverjournal usership will decline. The television shows available on itunes will increase ten fold, some regular free television program downloads will become available by march. Political Speeches will become regularly podcast. A c-span like service will become reasonable popular on itunes podcasting service. Macintosh computers will sell more computers in this year than in the last two, combined.
  • From an area of my recent interest (new job) I'd say that hot tubs will go really high tech this year. Already they do both hot and cold tempertures, have hi-fi stereo, flat screen tv, etc. I guess they'll have full Internet access and video games within the next year. Pretty cool.
  • 3D iPod!!!
  • Number 7 (Score:4, Interesting)

    by rolfwind (528248) on Tuesday December 27, 2005 @12:17AM (#14343038)
    7. Even small start-ups go global

    Three major forces are driving the rise of the mini-multinational -- start-ups that are launched from the get-go as global operations.

    First, there's the promise of lucrative foreign markets, which are growing more quickly than in the United States. Some overseas opportunities are now even bigger than here, such as cell-phone sales in China.

    Second, U.S. companies can lower their costs and boost profits more quickly by outsourcing work to places like China and India, where labor is cheaper.

    Finally, the Silicon Valley model of nurturing start-ups has spread to other regions around the world. Venture capitalists are opening offices in those countries and are getting more comfortable with helping to nurture companies in those foreign markets.

    Many companies, seeded by Silicon Valley venture capital firms, set up headquarters in the valley, where they employ high-end engineers, marketing professionals and senior management.

    But they have major operations in Bangalore, India, or Shanghai, China, and increasingly elsewhere.


    I thought it was easier - the herds who wants to make a fast buck in the stock market now jump on any tech stock hoping it will be the next eBay or Google. In short, there's a lot of demand for investments, but good ones are in short supply That might explain why so many stocks are so overpriced now (according to Buffett). But it should also be pointed out that most newcomers have a poor business plan and eventually are going to fail.
  • There are multiple sets of technology predictions just publisheed here [sys-con.com] too, at the AJAX Developer's Journal site. Amazing how AJAX is a-booming!
  • by selil (774924) on Tuesday December 27, 2005 @12:23AM (#14343060)
    1. The DMCA is overturned entirely when all the chief justices get threatening letters from RIAA for watching jib/jab videos. 2. The Patriot Act is declared dead in the water when it is found that undeclared wiretaps were actually against the FISA judges. 3. Video on demand systems requiring no physical media and available on multiple formats cause independent media moguls to become instant zillion-aires and they buy up studios by the dozens converting them to creative commons. 4. The really cool ultra slim portable gadgets found in Japan and Europe are actually released to North America versus gray market. 5. The hottest TV show involves high geek factor when a three guys, and a kid are marooned on a haunted island being bombed by the Pentagon, while a forgotten civilization forges forward trying to find a lost city in another galaxy with wierd looking zombie dudes who eat flesh play pool on the island with the guys and kid. 6. Video game ESPN sports takes on a new twist when they electrify the chairs with 100,000 volts. 7. Windows XP SP4 is released when nobody upgrades to the "late" Vista when no OEM produces a machine with a terabyte of disk space, and a 20Ghz processor required to do anything but load the OS. Bill Gates bursts into flames when demo-ing Vista from a microwave leaking processor. 8. Open Source Advocates actuall publish an agreed upon coding standard for all languages and it is ignored by all. 9. NASA launches a man to the moon sans rocket as it is determined that no rocket is safe therefore they get rid of the rocket and use a giant sling shot. 10. The Cubs win the world series.
  • Faster computers, hard drives with higher capacities and faster networks. Batteries that last (slightly) longer. New releases of Linux. New patches for Windows. Several new rounds of iPods. Google release more software. Security holes in Windows and Internet Explorer. And new web protocols will be announced.
  • by argoff (142580) on Tuesday December 27, 2005 @12:25AM (#14343068)
    My prediction is that technology predictions will be cut short because the US economy is getting ready to fall off hyperinflationary debt cliff. A rare condition where costs and prices become orders of magnitude larger while at the same time pay and employment become orders of magnitude lower. With over leveraged housing debt on a housing market that is getting ready to fall, too much credit card debt, too much corporate debt, too much trade debt, too much municipal debt, too much state debt, too much federal debt - and 270 TRILLION with a T in derivatives contracts that must settle wether thru default or thru printing up money. It wouldn't take too much in the modern efficient US economy for things to snowball and between the FED and a potential panic out of foriegn dollar reserves - it could really be a very very ugly global colapse. IMHO, people should really consider gold in their portfolios this year, there is a reason why it has been going up for the last 5 years, and recently those reasons have become a lot more immenent.
    • ... bla bla bla ... the sky is FALLING! ... bla bla bla ... so buy GOLD!
      • ... bla bla bla ... the sky is FALLING! ... bla bla bla ... so buy GOLD!

        Well, laugh in my face all you want, but it won't change the fact that I made an absolute killing in gold stocks this last two quarters. Well, I guess google did pretty well too, but if you want to cling to a technology stock with that high of a P/E - then good luck, you'll need it.

        BTW, everyone already knows that the dollar is going to get trashed ... the only question nowdays is can the derivatives market withstand the shock?

      • " ... bla bla bla ... the sky is FALLING!"

        The must anoying thing about making predictions are those guys that come saying " ... bla bla bla ... the sky is FALLING!". So, the sky really falls, and they shut up. But a week later, you make another prediction, and they say the same thing again.

        You know... There are people out there who really know what they are talking about. Those persons are capable of making a real diagnosis of the situation, and you'd better folowing their advice.

        Specificaly for this th

  • In Bizarro World (Score:3, Interesting)

    by daemonenwind (178848) on Tuesday December 27, 2005 @12:30AM (#14343086)
    - PS3 sales exceed all expectations as Sony delivers sufficient consoles and games at launch, while the user base ignores the glaring fair-use issues inherent to the Sony product line.
    - PalmOne resurges as the owner of the cell/MP3/Palmtop space by incorporating WiMax and Sun microprocessors.
    - Apple's move to Intel chips causes the biggest brand loyalty seachange in modern history as disgurntled users throw their WinTel boxes off of buildings.
    - Lawsuits will be brought against cities offering WiMax by local users who are hacked over their unsecured connection.
    - AOL manages to rebirth itself as a dominant Internet player by selling residential access to Internet2.
    - Dell actually "gets off the pot" and begins to sell AMD desktop/laptop systems.
    - Elliot Spizer raids the home of Bill Gates, finds a Linux machine running the automated home features, along with the full archive of goatse images as framed art in a hallway.
    - Europe splits off from the Internet As We Know It, China joins in, and most left-wing American political websites go strangely quiet on what comes to be known as "Internet Classic".
    - The DMCA is overturned by a housewife in New York state appealing a fight with the RIAA all the way to the Supreme Court. Her arguments before the justices become required reading at most major law schools.
    - The "Third-World Laptop" will be widely used....to grind grain. See also, "The Gods Must Be Crazy".
  • There are several killer apps still needed to make Linux a main stream system for the average user.

    1. visio replacement (dia is not quite there yet) 2. Income tax software (non-web based turbotax) 3. group calendar system 4. DVD/video editing packages 5. better wireless driver support
    • More drivers is about the most important thing.

      Bring the hardware, software will follow.

      Of course this would require the hardware manufacturers to

      a) open up their interface with documentation

      or

      b) write a GPL driver and give it out.

      But they won't because they're stupid and they think knowing how to make a wifi device send a frame in memory is "leaking how th design was implemented". Like knowing the encoding for the MUL instruction tells you how an AMD64 processor works ... :-/

      SPEW!!!!

      Tom
  • As has been requested from the writers of mIRC for nearly 3 years, mIRC will ship with upnp to deal with the nightmare of DCC ports.

  • Apple (Score:2, Funny)

    by JanneM (7445)
    Apple will encase a piece of rock in white, translucent plastic, name it iCon and immediately sell five million of them for $249 each to fans solemnly declaring that Apple has redefined the meaning of amorhpous silicates.
  • Simple. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Tatarize (682683) on Tuesday December 27, 2005 @12:34AM (#14343103) Homepage
    Wimax becomes huge.
    OpenOffice.org media campaign speeds adoption, achives 30% penetration.
    Britney Spears remarries.
    AJAX becomes even more popular making the internet kinda suck.
    UPnP applications become almost universal.
    Firefox penetration hits 25% before IE7 comes out and knocks it down to 15%, even though IE7 sucks.
    Pope Benedict XVI dies.
    Democrats take the house, gain in Senate.
    US troops remain in Iraq throughout the year.
    Bush's approval rating reaches 30%.
    2006 Hurricane Season exausts name list again.
    Somebody creates an effective non-website based bittorrent network.
    Pi proven to be normal.
    3 new higher prime numbers found.
    Bird Flu kills about a dozen people and is stopped completely.
    "The third man of the fire will empower the forces of the blue prince." - Deemed to be quite vague but fits several situations that occur.
    South fails to rise again.
    Majority of scientists backslide on existence of dark matter halos.
    RIAA/MPAA go even more apesh!t.
  • by Belseth (835595) on Tuesday December 27, 2005 @12:35AM (#14343105)
    Voterless voting machines. No longer will the average american be burdened with the inconvience or respnosibility of voting. Simply register and you're done. Diebold will even see that you get to have a say in elections after you're dead. Field tested last year in Ohio the system is now ready for widespread use just in time for congrssional elections next year. Sit at home in comfort and watch the results to see who you voted for election night.
  • The Bad News (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Lucas Membrane (524640) on Tuesday December 27, 2005 @12:36AM (#14343107)
    1. Radar range beam weapons for crowd control. Not lethal but completely inhumane.

    2. Lethal drone aircraft the size of insects.

  • by dangitman (862676) on Tuesday December 27, 2005 @12:37AM (#14343113)
    Chairs will be thrown.

    OK, maybe two things. Thrones will also be chairs.

  • by jd (1658) <<moc.oohay> <ta> <kapimi>> on Tuesday December 27, 2005 @12:44AM (#14343146) Homepage Journal
    • Wireless optical interconnects [lightfleet.com] replace switches in clusters
    • Polarized light video displays (3D in color, and it's pretty damn good, even if you do need polarized glasses) in the home
    • DVD vendors finally concede defeat and make their products genuinely interchangeable, even when using a home recorder
    • SCO completes the transformation into a Ringwraith and adds Frodo to the lawsuit
    • Someone develops a completely functional computer that runs Linux and Fedora Core, using only chip specifications from Open Cores [opencores.org] and programmable components. The computer then outsells at least one well-known PC manufacturer.
    • SGI reaches crisis point and can't continue. It is bought by OSDL, the Altix is moved to the Opteron and Linus Torvalds sets a new record for kernel build times.

  • Satellite raadio service will be all the rage... until people stop and figure out that they are paying monthly to *listen to the radio*.
  • Predictions huh? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sane? (179855) on Tuesday December 27, 2005 @12:57AM (#14343180)
    OK, some random predictions to keep in with the theme.

    1) At least on major country or trading block will attempt large scale taxation of the Internet and Internet commerce. This will be used as a cover for the removal of the last vestiges of anonymity, with the sop of removing spam in the same breadth. The approach will spread worldwide as governments find it a no brainer.

    2) Parallelisation will continue as not only to all normal machines become SMP boxes, but the flexibility grows to combine and split apart all the computer power you possess. The PDA/mobile phone won't be a separate item, it will become only a part of the wider entity that you can carry with you. Increasingly accessing and synchronising with the whole entity will become as norm.

    3) Wireless will go long range as mobile phone companies attempt to get over the still birth of 3G with WiMAX like services.

    4) TV will go Internet, and very quickly both transmission and country borders will look quaint.

    5) DRM will be added to everything, and just as quickly broken. Lies will be told and individuals will be taken to court.

    and finally, but not least

    6) Bird flu will hit home, preceding by a dry run of the first wave of infection. All those that have been playing down its impact will point to the first wave and ignore the second. They will die and the world that emerges from 2006 will look very different than the one we have now. The double wammy of the shock of peak oil will send the world into an introspective spiral that will shatter certain expectations.

  • of the cybernetic dildo. Giving a whole new meaning to the term "pop up." A couple of startups have tried to get into this field earlier, but I guess the VCs were still too scared from the dot-com bubble burst.

    Heh heh OK, maybe not. What I'd REALLY like to see is for the Heliodisplay [io2technology.com] people ramp up production. Depending on how well it works, that technology has incredible potential and a lot of applications suggest themselves as soon as you look at it. I hope it pans out...

  • by Swamii (594522) on Tuesday December 27, 2005 @01:15AM (#14343241) Homepage
    Chris Pirillos 2005 predictions [pirillo.com]:

    1. MSN Search will be renamed to MSN Grahams Number
    2. Robert Scoble will be fired and/or hired by another company at twice his current salary
    3. George Lucas announces three more Star Wars films (dubbed Suckquels), after Special Editions for the Prequels and Super-Duper Mega Deluxe Power Special XP Uber Plus Editions for the Original Trilogy are re-pre-pro-issued
    4. Adobe Reader 7.0.1 will be released, solidifying its place in the Guinness Book of Worlds Records as the Most Painfully Long Boot Process for an Application that Everybody Needs.
    5. eBay will eBay itself on eBay
    6. Microsoft will begin issuing patches as viruses and spyware, thus boosting update adoption by ten billion percent
    7. The RIAA will make writing on any kind of CD illegal
    8. Everybody and their grandmother will have a podcast thats just as boring and useless as their blogs
    9. To compete with Atom in the marketplace, Harvard will start calling RSS Eve
    10. It becomes legal to castrate / sterilize spammers under vigilante justice

    Robert X. Cringelys 2005 predictions [pbs.org]:

    1) Microsofts entry into the anti-virus and anti-spyware businesses will be a disaster for users. This is based on everything I know about Microsoft, having watched the company for almost 28 years. They will make a big fanfare, spend a lot of marketing dollars, but in the end, the company simply wont be able to keep up with the demands of keeping virus signatures current, which isnt the real point of this gambit, anyway. There is so much to this story and so much that I could write that I think Ill do so next week, and just move on to the next prediction.
    2) Carrying over from last year, I predict that Burst.com will beat Microsoft in their current lawsuit. But to avoid having to eat crow again over timing, let me put this in greater context. IF a trial actually takes place, as it is now scheduled to do this summer, Burst will easily win. Microsoft is at a disadvantage already as a bully. Burst will probably get Judge Motz to tell the jury that Microsoft deliberately destroyed evidence, and it doesnt hurt, either, that Burst is just plain right on all counts Microsoft DID violate their patents, DID violate Bursts non-disclosure agreement, DID attempt to illegally put them out of business, and DID attempt to control the market.

    Of course, Microsoft might settle before trial, but at this point, I dont think that is likely out of simple arrogance on Microsofts part. Microsoft is furious with Burst for the little companys continued survival, plus Microsoft is listening to the wrong lawyers on this one. So Burst will win on some or all counts ,and I expect the damage award to be in the billions. Of course, Microsoft will appeal. But the key difference between this case and other Microsoft cases is that once Burst wins, Real Networks and Apple Computer, both of which are also infringing Bursts patents (along with TiVO and a bunch of other companies), will immediately buy Burst licenses, throwing $100+ million into Bursts coffers and leading to everyone else EXCEPT Microsoft taking a Burst license, too. At that point if it goes that far and Microsoft is that stupid Redmond wont be able to risk not having a Burst license and will settle, too. Only by waiting so long Microsoft will have blown any number of advantages it could have had. Typical.

    3) Apple will take a big risk in 2005. This could be in the form of a major acquisition. With almost $6 billion in cash, Steve Jobs hinted to a group of employees not long ago that he might want to buy something big, though I am at a loss right now for wh

  • "what will be hot"

    except for this one, Vista won't:

    "make a difference in our lives"

    hey, surely yet another Windows won't.

    "make someone rich and famous"

    Bill Gates is already very rich and famous.
  • by Animats (122034) on Tuesday December 27, 2005 @01:39AM (#14343315) Homepage
    1. Saudi Arabia finally admits the Gawar field has peaked. Oil passes $70 per barrel.
    2. US interest rate spike. "Homeowners" with adjustable-rate interest-only loans default and are foreclosed.
    3. Housing prices crash as foreclosures glut market.
    4. Congress finally starts investigating some activities of the Bush administration.
    5. No real change in Iraq. Neither side can force a decision, so both sides keep bleeding.
    6. China announces major progress in their space program.
    7. Micropayments flop, again. Goodbye, Bitpass.
    8. A Cat 4 or 5 hurricane wipes out another southern US city, or New Orleans floods again.
    9. One of the big three US car manufacturers goes bankrupt.
    10. Total number of active blogs decreases.
  • 4/1 (Score:2, Funny)

    by Whorebot (790918)
    An end to Slashdot's April Fools tech coverage.
  • by Shazow (263582) <andrey@petrov.shazow@net> on Tuesday December 27, 2005 @02:16AM (#14343436) Homepage
    1. A dozen of new web-based RSS feed readers will be announced, all featuring tags and various intricate social features. Eventually one or two will be considered the "norm" (as Blogger, Livejournal, etc are considered the norm for blogging, despite all the imitators). My bookmarks folder rejoices.

    2. AMD motherboards with DDR2 will finally show up. I finally upgrade from an obsolete 32-bit system. My applications rejoice.

    3. Sony PlayStation 3 will be released. It will be sold out. Then more will be released. Then more will be sold out. Then more will be released. Then the price will drop a little. Then I'll buy one. Then it will be hacked by various groups for various purposes. Sony pouts. I rejoice.

    4. A new flavour of Cola: Chocolate! (Eww) Oops, not technological, sorry.

    5. Opera finally releases a stable, good, browser for PocketPCs. I rejoice.

    6. Enlightenment 17 [enlightenment.org] is finally released. I try it, don't like it, go back to XFCE.

    7. XFCE [xfce.org] 4.4 is finally released. I upgrade. I rejoice.

    8. Microsoft releases Vista. Only thing new from XP: Aero and 9 versions of the same thing with 9 different price tags. (The cheaper version users are stuck with an inferior plastic paperclip.)

    9. Apple releases their new line of Intel PowerBook laptops. No one notices -- attention diverted by the release of 4 and 8 gig iPod Nanos with FM radio. I consider buying one until I realize, again, that it's a waste of money. iPod lovers' collection of iPods grows to 9 units per person. Apple rejoices.

    10. I go to sleep. You rejoice.

    - shazow
  • Not quite 10, but... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ar32h (45035) * <{ten.idopat} {ta} {adj}> on Tuesday December 27, 2005 @03:31AM (#14343566) Homepage Journal
    1. Another technology bubble fueled by small startups with a focus on acquisition. Going public will not be a goal because of Sarbanes-Oxley.
    2. WiMax is a big flop. Implementations do not live up to the hype and "Channel sales" favoring established cell companies over municipalities, ISPs, and individuals will restrict the deployment of WiMax access points.
    3. Broadcast television decline in favor of video podcasts.
    4. Consumer backlash against RIAA due to their heavy-handed legal tactics.
    5. A general collapse of walled garden social networking sites.
  • Easy one (Score:4, Insightful)

    by houghi (78078) on Tuesday December 27, 2005 @07:07AM (#14344022)
    2006 will be the year of the Linux Desktop.
  • by jonwil (467024) on Tuesday December 27, 2005 @07:53AM (#14344147)
    Here are 4 technologies that are always seen as "just around the corner" but which I predict wont make much progress in 2006.
    1.Flying cars. Not because the technology isnt up to par but because of the difficulty of dealing with the huge regluatory hurdles.

    Right now, there are laws limiting where VTOL vehicles (which would include flying cars and also includes helicoptors) can take off and land. If flying cars were introduced, you would need to completly re-write the rulebook when it comes to aviation, flight paths, places you are allowed to take off and land from etc.

    2.Video downloading services offering content you can watch on your TV. (as opposed to content you can watch on a mobile phone or video ipod etc)
    Firstly, the TV operators (pay and Free-To-Air) do not want competition from "Internet Television" (be it true IPTV running as an actual stream you download or be it something you buy and watch later) and will pressure the content providers (a number of who have investments in cable/satelite/FTA TV) not to expand in this area (just look at what the TV networks did when ABC offered its shows on the iTunes store). Remember that several cable companies are starting to offer video-on-demand and would see internet downloading as a direct competitor to that.

    And secondly, the bandwidth required to download full-size movies and TV shows is huge (especially if compressed at a rate that doesnt sacrifice the quality too much and makes them worth spending the $$$ on vs buying the DVD) so many (normal) people (especially people on ISP plans that limit their monthly transfer allowance) are not going to want to download large files like that.

    The other problem is how to get the content from the PC where it was purchased and downloaded into something you can watch on your TV. Burning to DVD is not an option (not everyone has the time, skills or gear to burn a DVD and in any case, there is no copy protection method that can be applied to burnt DVDs AFAIK) and the other option (having your computer send the video to a box connected to your TV) is out too because the boxes just arent available (and there is no standards between boxes that do exist as far as what formats they accept or what, if any, copy protection they support)

    3.Stem Cells and related technology. (including such things as cloning body parts) There are too many people opposed to this sort of technology (including, I believe, George W Bush to some extent) and too many people worried about the negative effects (e.g. cloned babies) for this to advance out of the lab anytime soon.

    4.Online & home delivered groceries. There is some movement towards this idea but no-one has been able to make it work yet. In the vision of the future, you would just scan the barcode on something you want and it would record the item. Then, this combined with other items (items you dont have to scan or items that dont have barcodes like fruit etc) would be placed online and the items would be delivered directly to you.

    I am sure there is a big market out there from people wanting to be able to buy all their food etc online.
    Even better would be if the online supermarkets could combine with a store like K-Mart, Target or Big W (here in australia, Coles Myer owns K-Mart, Target and Coles Supermarkets and Woolworths owns Woolworths supermarkets and Big W) so you could have all sorts of variety goods delivered in the same order. Also, combine this with the alcohol sales too and you have a perfect item. (both Coles Myer and Woolworths own bottle shop chains)

    But even where you can buy online, the range and price dont compare favorably to the bricks & mortar stores and its only available to a limited area. (I have no idea if other parts of the world like europe and america are any better).

    As to why I dont think we will see any forward movement with this in 2006, I think it is because in order for this to really take off, the interface has to be dead simple to use.
    And it needs to be accessable where the food is
  • by Sierpinski (266120) on Tuesday December 27, 2005 @09:29AM (#14344529)
    How about a dupe-free /.?

    Nevermind, I predict flying cars will come first.
  • by walterbyrd (182728) on Tuesday December 27, 2005 @10:21AM (#14344861)
    Or was that last year?

    Isn't this supposed to the year that Linux *really* takes off?
  • by nektra (886676) on Tuesday December 27, 2005 @08:49PM (#14349391) Homepage
    1. Steve Ballmer will have his own TV show.
    2. Google will contract Dalai Lama.
    3. Many people will see Argentina winning FIFA World Cup 2006 on Internet.
    4. Nicholas Negroponte will design an iPod clone for 20 dollars.
    5. GNU Hurd will run on more machines.
    6. Blogs will have recursive references.
    7. New AJAX interfaces on your watch.
    8. Linux penguin will be married.
    9. XBOX Patched.
    10. Amazon will read books to childrens while parents watch TV.

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