It’s easy to predict the future!

It’s easy to predict the future. Tim Bray has just concluded an interesting series of postings on what he calls TPSM or Technology Predictor Success Matrix. I’ve had a belief for a while that actually it’s easier than you think to predict the future of technologies. I will limit my comments to technology and computer related predictions, but I bet this applies to other fields as well.

Want to see? I predict that in the future:

  • Computers will be able to recognize handwriting
  • Computers will be able to understand human spoken language
  • There will be pervasive, high bandwidth, wireless connectivity

And let me try some non computer predictions. I predict that in the future:

  • Personal aircraft will be a common mode of commuting
  • Self-piloting and automated terrestial vehicles (cars) will be commonplace
  • There will be a cure for cancer

Ok, enough nonsense.

My point is predicting what will happen eventually is easy… What’s hard of course is to predict when.

So the first question to try to pin down a prognosticator is When? Without that, the prediction is more or less useless. What do you think?

Wonderful Mars pictures? Unavailable! I

Wonderful Mars pictures? Unavailable! I was looking around the Mars Rover Web site for some of those amazing pictures, and to my surprise they are now asking for a password to get into the ‘raw images’ area. I’ve got to believe that this is not for security but because their server was getting totally beat up by people like me browsing around.

Hmm, maybe they should use some warez technology? Here maybe for the first time is a very ligitimate, legal, and useful place where Bit Torrent and other clever file sharing technologies could be used as a force for good 🙂

Walt Mossberg: “You may never

Walt Mossberg: “You may never go back to Internet Explorer again.” In the current episode of Mossberg’s Personal Technology, he sings the praises of tabbed browsers. Of course old hat.

“The Web browser is probably the most frequently used category of software in the world. But in recent years, the browser most people rely on — Microsoft’s Internet Explorer — has been stagnant, offering very few new features.”

He recommends Safari for Mac (of course,) and NetCaptor for Windows.

Of course in knocking Internet Explorer he neglects to say that both NetCaptor and MyIE2 are relatively thin skins over the core IE ActiveX controls. So much credit still goes to Microsoft. Sorry!

On Windows, I’ve found MyIE2 somewhat better than NetCaptor, but both are better than IE.

CRN: “NewsGator 2.0, which pulls

CRN: “NewsGator 2.0, which pulls news freeds in RSS or Atom …”: First Time I’ve seen a commercial announcement of Atom support. Full Quote:

“Also on Wednesday, NewsGator Technologies announced version 2.0 of its NewsGator news aggregator at CES. NewsGator 2.0, which pulls news feeds in RSS or Atom syndication formats from sources such as online news Web sites, blogs, and newsgroups, now lets users synchronize their news collection efforts on multiple machines, such as their in-the-office desktop and their on-the-road laptop. The new edition also offers an application programming interface (API) that corporate developers can use to build customized news apps for employees. NewsGator 2.0, which collects news feeds and then displays them within Microsoft Outlook 2000 and later, will ship Jan. 19, and cost $29 per user.”