New Year's Prognostications (some forcasts longer in range than others)
1)Disney, through machinations of chief shareholder Steve Jobs, will acquire and streamline and re-purpose Sony. This will happen in more than a year, probably by Summer '08.
2)SonyMusic/BMG management and labor force will be purged from top to bottom. Fewer releases are on discs of any kind. Most back catalogue, remasters and re-releases will be available as digital download only - expect by Christmas '07)
3)SCO will finally implode but who cares?
4)Steve Ballmer and many others at Microsoft will be purged by new thoughtful purposeful focused yet ruthless regime - motto:subdivide and conquer.
5)The new AT&T and other telecoms will be attacked by clueless muttonheads in press for totally legal but ethical abuses of power regarding distribution of bandwidth - meanwhile Google is silently building it's own mirror of the Internet that runs on speeds that is like comparing the old pipes of current system to straws while Google's internet pipes are like twenty eight lane highways
6)OpenOffice, not Microsoft Office, will be seriously challeged by Google's online apps, which will include a simple but effective slideshow by end of Summer 07.
7)Ubuntu's Shuttleworth and Novell will each drop serious cash on Madison Avenue for campaigns promoting each brand's flavor of Linux desktop. Ironically, desktop OS'es will mean less and less as the network becomes the new OS.
8)More OLPCs turn up in developed world than in Third World - eventually sold for a profit at USD199.99 - becomes vehicle disrupting Microsoft's dominance of desktop in the Western world.
9)IBM and Red Hat sues Microsoft in a foot dragging trial that paralells the SCO vs IBM case.
10)Red Hat and Novell scoop up remains of SCO.
11.)There won't be a second generation Zune. This is not one of those items that Microsoft will get right in three tries.
12.)Sears Holding, not Apple Computers, comes out of nowhere to appear to rescue Blockbuster, only it's to snatch the real estate, dump management and employees and sell off the inventory at fire sale prices to Walmart.
13.)In the next three to five years, I can imagine a couple of hundred million OLPCs spread over the globe, a quarter to a half of that number will ironically be in Canada, the United States and Mexico and Europe, you can't beat the price and the performance. They'll sell like Commodore 64s and TRS-80 Color Computers, but have a longer shelf life and children will not be the primary users,though that childlike intuitive interface will undoubtedly, rest assured, be copied by Microsoft and Apple. China will be stamping out buckets of it's own OLPC versions. If internet connectivity truly becomes universally ubiquitous, this worldwide distribution of OLPC would be the single most revolutionary event of the first quarter of the twenty first century. After that, the next life shattering event we would have to prepare or pray for protection against would be an unscheduled EMP event, from either a series of overhead nuclear explosions or an asteroid or a extremely large meteor impact, or an unexpectantly large solar flare, now that we have a weakened ozone layer (human civilisation has only been on the electric grid for barely over a hundred years, now, it is not even remotely unlikely this type of EMP event will happen). The loss of data, communications and services from such an event will undoubtedly be universally traumatic, the great humbling, the universe rewards human hubris; afterwards, people may divide in two camps, those who continue to pursue communications and services via electronic and digital technologies, and those spooked enough by the first great EMP event to rely on earlier, slower but less ethereal technologies, those not adversely affected by electromagnetic impulses. How long that Amish approach could last is anybody's guess, for digital technology and its fruits are infectious and irresistable.