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The Economist's Technology Predictions For 2008 117

Posted by kdawson
from the prediction-is-hard-especially-about-the-future dept.
mrcgran notes an article in The Economist with three technology predictions for 2008. Normally they're pretty good on technology, and the predictions seem sound enough, but the article contains a couple of bloopers. "1. Surfing will slow: The internet is not about to grind to a halt, but as more and more users clamber aboard to download music, video clips and games... surfing the web is going to be more like traveling the highways at holiday time. You'll get there, eventually, but the going won't be great. 2. Surfing will detach: Internet will doubtless be as popular among mobile-internet surfers as among their sedentary cousins. 3. Surfing — and everything else computer-related — will open: Rejoice: the embrace of 'openness' by firms that have grown fat on closed, proprietary technology is something we'll see more of in 2008... Since the verdict against SCO, Linux has swiftly become popular in small businesses and the home, largely the doing of Ubuntu 7.10. And because it is free, Linux become the operating system of choice for low-end PCs. Neither Microsoft nor Apple can compete at the new price points being plumbed by companies looking to cut costs."
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The Economist's Technology Predictions For 2008

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 25, 2007 @09:01AM (#21814048)
    2008 will be the year of Linux on the desktop?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by coldcell (714061)
      The only reason every year is finally the year for Linux on the Desktop is because it's already on everything else. The desktop is the last place to go.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by The Dobber (576407)
        No

        Every year is going to be the year of Linux because the previous years claim of year of Linux fell a bit short. Again.

        Linux is a great operating system. It's flexibility, versatility, open standards and lets face it, cost of ownership make it very attractive to technical applications. It will always fall short in the typical desktop market because it is perceived as being something geeky.
        • Ah... but here's the kicker. Every year it has fallen short, the developers have scrambled to catch up. Sooner or later, they'll not only have caught up, but they will surpass the competition.
        • Always?

          I can definitely see a time when spending $300-$400 on an OS is geeky, as opposed to using a free or low-cost linux distro.
    • 2008 will be the year of Linux on the desktop?
      Must be - I hear they're already working on the port of Duke Nukem Forever.
    • by rlp (11898)
      2008 will be the year of Linux on the desktop

      Linux on the desktop and the release of "Duke Nukem Forever". Wow, what a great year it will be!
    • by edis (266347)
      If you call desktop your inexpensive SSD-based 10" screen ultramobile.
    • The "universal" desktop is a dead end, as people are moving towards a combination of online services, very smart gadgets and virtualized personal appliances. The Linux kernel, though, will probably play a significant, if not preeminent, part in this future.

      See http://idling.atadon.dk/2007/12/vista-blessing.html [atadon.dk] for some elaborations on this subject (my own blog).
    • by tm2b (42473)
      2008 will be the year that people claim that Linux is finally ready for the desktop, unlike 2007.

      2007 was the year that people claimed that Linux was finally ready for the desktop, unlike 2006.

      You remember 2000? That was the year that people claimed that Linux was finally ready for the desktop, unlike 1999.
    • by sams67 (880846)
      2007 *was* the year of the Linux desktop. Didn't you notice?
  • by Rumagent (86695) on Tuesday December 25, 2007 @09:05AM (#21814070)
    From TFA: "The biggest road-hog remains spam (unsolicited e-mail), which accounts for 90% of traffic on the internet."

    Can anyone verify that number? It seems grotesquely inflated...
    • by slash.dt (701002)
      From TFA: "The biggest road-hog remains spam (unsolicited e-mail), which accounts for 90% of traffic on the internet."

      I think that is supposed to be 90% of all emails are spam, not 90% of all traffic.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      it is actually more like 91.2% according to some [ripway.com]
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by muftak (636261)
      90% of all email is SPAM, but email accounts for a very small proportion of internet traffic.
    • by rbanffy (584143)
      - Consider how many poorly managed Windows boxes (this is not Windows bashing - it's fun but it gets old very quickly) are connected via high-speed (DSL, cable) links to the internet
      - Consider how many of those are left running unattended downloading music or movies
      - Consider how many of them got infected by some spam malware during the lifetime of their installs
      - Consider they can be used to send spam and to infect other poorly managed Windows boxes for the full time they are connected to the internet

      I wou
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by nurb432 (527695)
      If i use the % on my personal domain, their number slightly low. I get more like 95%, from both direct to nonsence addresses on my domain, and indirect via 'replies' from stupid mailers that dont use spam rules before they send back replies on nonexistent addresses. I see about 2000 spam messages a day.

      At the office on a different more well known domain, we sometimes hit 10000 messages per HOUR.. ( and it promptly hoses our outside unix mail server and anti-spam engine, then freaks out exchange when it cant
      • Why do you believe Booth was a patriot?
      • At 64 KB per spam, 2000 spam messages totals to about 128 MB/day. I cover ten times that on a normal day through Bittorrent. 95% of traffic is grossly inflated, 95% of email seems more reasonable.
      • by guruevi (827432)
        A small tip: filter before it even hits the spam engine. My spam engine takes about 20 ms (standard e-mail) to 2s (with attachments that need virus-scanned) to process an e-mail. With 8 processes running on a dual core, we're talking about 10-50 messages per second (1-4M messages/day) that are able to be scanned by the engine and that machine also runs a web server, some applications and IMAP all over SSL. All-in-all we only get about 10000 e-mails (spam included) in a day for this server (one domain) so we
    • by RKenshin1 (899412)
      "In 2001, spam accounted for about five per cent of the traffic on the Internet; by 2004, that figure had risen to more than seventy per cent. This year, in some regions, it has edged above ninety per cent--more than a hundred billion unsolicited messages clogging the arterial passages of the world's computer networks every day. [2007] The flow of spam is often seasonal. It slows in the spring, and then, in the month that technology specialists call "black September"--when hundreds of thousands of students
      • by Talchas (954795)
        The New Yorker really needs to cite its sources too if you want people to be satisfied.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      and everything else computer-related -- will open: Rejoice: the embrace of 'openness' by firms that have grown fat on closed, proprietary technology is something we'll see more of in 2008... Since the verdict against SCO, Linux has swiftly become popular in small businesses and the home, largely the doing of Ubuntu 7.10. And because it is free, Linux become the operating system of choice for low-end PCs. Neither Microsoft nor Apple can compete at the new price points being plumbed by companies looking to c

  • What no flying cars? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by COMICAGOGO (1055066)
    Well another year gone and no flying cars (at least none I can afford.) I was promised flying cars by this time, can't they at least get me a rocket pack:)

    Ok, kidding aside. The statement about Linux gaining some ground is not totally out of line (although i don't think MS or Apple are quaking in their boots.) I have noticed a higher than normal percentage of people that hang out at our local library and browse the internet on a laptop all day using some variety of Linux. I have asked a few of them why
    • by Kelbear (870538)
      An Asus EEE PC (7-inch screen laptop) will be my first linux computer. I believe it uses linux because windows would be too costly and too inefficient to run well on these specs.

      It's fairly popular, popular enough that it was heavily pre-ordered and is selling out of stock(mine was backordered for a month or so). High on the top-viewed items lists on Amazon.

      Reason I'm bringing it up is that it runs Linux for PC use(as opposed to small gadgets)and is already setup for ease of use by those who have not had an
  • by brunocosta (831988) on Tuesday December 25, 2007 @09:08AM (#21814084)
    nuff said!
    • Most likely, yes. But I think it is awkward to talk about the Linux desktop as the article does, only mentioning:

      With open-source software maturing fast, Linux, OpenOffice, Firefox, MySQL, Evolution, Pidgin and some 23,000 other Linux applications available for free seem more than ready to fill that gap.

      They should have at least mentioned KDE and Gnome. And Wine of course.

      • i'm so sorry, my linux-desktop script was accidentally triggered by the article, it happens every single year =(
        • I've been trying various Linux and *BSD desktop environments for the last 8 years and every year they seem to get closer to the point why I would consider them sufficient. Hardware support is steadily improving (though not perfect, especially when it comes to videocard performance and functionality), installing has improved a whole lot (quite to the point where it is easy enough), usability and functionality of applications that people will daily use (surfing, emailing, IM, media-playback, office-applicatio
          • by bbdb (921914)
            "Sure, there is plenty of work to do to make Linux (or *BSD) a more competitive alternative to Windows or OS X, but AFAIAC, the groundwork is nearly finished."

            What's missing is some sort of self-repair functionality - one guy for whom I installed Linux for free gave it up (it was Mandriva I think) because a link to floppy disk on his desktop broke and he didn't know how to fix that, which pretty much made him dislike the entire package.

            Self-repair for Linux desktop would be cool and relatively simple to pro
  • by SamP2 (1097897) on Tuesday December 25, 2007 @09:18AM (#21814096)
    As more and more high-bandwidth content traverses the net, in the absense of development of new infrastructure, ISPs and backbone routing providers will arbitrarily throttle "intensive content" to allow other content through. Guess what type traffic to throttle is on the top of the list?
  • 2007 Predictions (Score:2, Interesting)

    by sciop101 (583286)
    What were the predictions for 2007?

    How true were the predictions for 2007?

    Give the prognosticators the chance to spin to seem brilliant and correct!

    • I think that 90% of all 'prediction' articles are actually the author's hopes/ideas summed up into an essay backed with only facts/sources supporting those ideas. I'd like to see more ~objective~ predictions, please.

      Linux is running the web, as far as I'm concerned. As for the web "slowing down", I think there may be a fundament for the idea that this might happen, but there are still many millions of computer users not yet using broadband services, and few of those who are using them only occasionally reac
      • ...As for the web "slowing down", I think there may be a fundament for the idea that this might happen...yet the net is nowhere near saturated...

        The notion of the web "slowing down" is because of the ad servers that many web sites are using. The advertisers frequently do not have the resources to handle traffic, particularily when a site gets Slashdotted or Dugg.
        • Ah, yes - yet another reason why things already are slow - even with questions of bandwidth nonwithstanding. Machine fatuigue - one ad server can only do so much. Pages don't finish loading until the content does too... grrr.
  • by unity100 (970058) on Tuesday December 25, 2007 @09:25AM (#21814116) Homepage Journal
    For something like this to happen, there should be at least an indicator of things to come, as some people having trouble with http access in any parts of the world. noone is experiencing this. additionally the only problem users are experiencing is due to some isps taking on the duty of being the internet police upon themselves and HAMPERING users.

    economist have put piece of crap articles before. but lately, the number and frequency of such crap have started to increase.
  • As usual with these predictions, they seem to think of 2008 as some far future. For example, Linux getting much more common on the desktop won't just take "Your correspondent has been happily using Gutsy Gibbon on a ten-year-old desktop with only 128 megabytes of RAM and a tiny 10 gigabyte hard-drive" because people don't care much for running computers with 10 GB drives and 128 MB RAM. What rather makes a difference is what operating systems new PC's use to come with and how well marketed this OS is. I don
    • by NorbrookC (674063) on Tuesday December 25, 2007 @09:50AM (#21814208) Journal

      What rather makes a difference is what operating systems new PC's use to come with and how well marketed this OS is. I don't really see a paradigm shift here among OEM's

      The paradigm shift has already occurred. 5 years ago, if you wanted to buy a desktop with Linux pre-installed, you either built it yourself, bought a custom-built from your local computer shop, or dug through the back areas of a limited number of computer suppliers. Today, I can go into a Wal-Mart and get one off the shelves, or pick up the phone and order one from any of several major OEMs. It's no longer a case of being forced to pay the "Windows tax" even if you weren't going to use Windows. What's even more impressive is the sales figures - and this is likely to grow.

      This doesn't mean that I think that in 2008 Windows will collapse and Linux will supplant it. I do think that this is one of the best opportunities for Linux in quite some time. You have a series of blunders by the dominant desktop OS provider, combined with an OSS alternative that is finally easy enough, with enough applications, for the average user to use. What this means is that you're going to see Linux start to increase its user base, as well as its mindshare.

      • The Linux based ASUS Eee sold out in Australia over two days a couple of weeks before Christmas. Schools were buying 30 or 40 at a time. Families were buying one for each member.

        I checked back about a week ago. The retailer now limits sales to four per person. They promised to have more available on the 22nd of December and I expect most of that batch will have gone by now.

        The people who are buying this product like the low price and the fact it has MS word like functionality out of the box. Cheap Linux bas
    • by xenocide2 (231786)

      I don't really see a paradigm shift here among OEM's and what's still often a grass roots movement of Linux (noticeable especially when Ubuntu of all distros is the most popular on desktops, and not Novell's distro, etc).
      Would Linux be less grassroots if the most popular distro were openSUSE, a grassroots encouraged branch of the SUSE distro that Novell purchased? For that matter, is Ubuntu all that grassroots when ultimately run by a millionaire's new startup?
  • by dancingmad (128588) on Tuesday December 25, 2007 @09:32AM (#21814140)
    I am a huge fan of The Economist - for the daily gripes on slashdot, digg, and other websites about the pap that is journalism today, the paper has been a bastion of good writing and in depth coverage, even when I don't agree with the editorial/political stances. That said, I read this article earlier today (students are on winter break but I'm stuck coming into the office with nothing to do!) and it seemed like a mix of the obvious (more user created content? You don't say!) and the unlikely - when net speed starts becoming a customer service issue, you can bet the ISPs will get on board. American ISPs and those running the infrastructure have been dragging their feet in the U.S., while in Asia you can get really high speed internet (anywhere from DSL to fiber) even in the boondocks (believe me, I live in the middle of nowhere and could have gotten fiber).

    The second prediction seems likely, though again, the U.S. is drawing up the rear. I know people here (Japan) that interact with the Internet solely or primarily through their mobile phone (not to mention things like GPS, and broadcast TV I got on a phone that cost less than $100 US). I hope Google does lead the way on this front next year, though I feel like we're going to have another year of baby steps unless Apple or Google or someone else with some clout decides to turn the American cell phone market on it's musty, stagnant head.

    The third prediction seems very pie in the sky. I've used Windows, Linux, and OS X extensively, and I think (for my needs) OS X best matches my needs. I think there's a level of polish that is very difficult to for Linux to achieve in relation to the power home user. Ubuntu has probably got almost easy enough for the average user, if you disregard games and things. Linux certainly has a place as a great developer tool, server OS, and power-power user OS, but the article seems to imply that Linux is set to take over the entire PC world in 2008. I've heard that it's "the year of desktop Linux" since Redhat 5 and experience has taught me to wait for actual proof on that claim.
    • by kamapuaa (555446)
      A site like Slashdot is unusable on a cell phone - as is basically every other thing I use the Internet for, except VoIP and maybe youtube. There's just no way around the tiny-ass screen and the inferior input methods. Japan uses phones for the Internet because it's a good way to kill time on the subway, not because there's anything superior about mobile phones as an internet device.
      • I agree with you there, mobile browsing has a whole slew of uses, killing time like you suggested, comparing competitor prices inside a retail store, 100X better than 411, etc, and about none of that overlaps with how we already browse the internet.
      • It is a good way to kill time, but there are people who don't have internet access at home (a lot of my college friends were like this) who primarily used their phones to access sites like mixi (the Japanese facebook), weather, news, etc.
    • by reidconti (219106)
      The Economist is good on virtually everything but technology. Their technology articles are usually well-researched and written, but ultimately the product of people who simply don't get it.

      But then again, these tech predictions don't seem well-researched OR well-written. I guess those people are on vacation.
    • by bbdb (921914)
      "I've heard that it's "the year of desktop Linux" since Redhat 5 and experience has taught me to wait for actual proof on that claim."

      What you say is true but not the whole picture - I've heard it since the days of Abiword and Gnumeric that it's alternative for MS Office. Sure it's been wishful thinking. But, and it's a big but, things are definitely and demonstrably going up -- just because things are at level of OO 2 and Kubuntu doesn't mean they'll stay there. Since things are going up, some day in futur
  • "Neither Microsoft nor Apple can compete at the new price points being plumbed by companies looking to cut costs." I'm pretty sure the first of those two could compete at a low price point for a VERY long time... Microsoft could (and possibly will) give away Windows XP for the OLPC to all the developing countries, just to make sure the first OS kids associate with computers is "Windows". As for the second, Apple needn't compete at the low price point, their money is made on premium computers, not dirt che
    • by mccabem (44513)

      I'm pretty sure the first of those two could compete at a low price point for a VERY long time...

      Agreed. In fact, through the 80's and particularly through the 90's (and most likely to a significant degree today) MSFT literally thrived on piracy of its OS. (Better to prevent the sale than to let it go to 'the other side' after all.)

      BTW, concerning Apple... Supposedly they are up to >$15 Billion in cash. According to my calculations, even at full retail that would be a LOT of 'free' copies of OS X. ;

  • hmm (Score:2, Insightful)

    by GregNorc (801858)
    Can't seem to find their 2007 predictions online... how convenient.
    • ya didn't save a copy?

      web pages, particularly interesting ones, have a bad habit of ,-- disappearing!!

    • by Tablizer (95088)
      Can't seem to find their 2007 predictions online... how convenient.

      Prediction #7: "2007 will be the year that people finally realize how disturbing it is when old web pages go offline".
           
  • at the Economist / Technology 2008 we find

    Any gizmo worth its silicon these days has its own internet connection--so it can update itself automatically
    -like the iPhone, an easy target for the hacker what we need in 2008 is a re-thinking of the idea that remote updates are de rigeur we need t get the guys who throw this stuff together without first addressing security requirements and get them out in the parking lot for a short red-neck lesson in manners.
  • I predict in 2008 I will not be getting my tech predictions form the Economist. Although they have few valid points, their conclusions seem detached from reality. The whole article feels like a bunch of half truths and crappy conclusions. Maybe they want to move the technology forward, to be honest doesn't the article feel like a wish-list? Maybe the internet infrastructure needs updating. Maybe they want the type of portable internet that Japan has. Maybe they see that with the EEE PC, this year there is a
    • ==>"the market was ready for this device, but the providers were not"

      a most excellent observation!

      large organizations tend to stagnate and respond poorly to sea changes in the market

      this opens the door for the up-start:

      the large organization can ignore the upstart and gradually go obsolete and fade into history

      or

      begin production of a competitive offering

      or

      send goons out to quash the competition

      all of these methods are tried and true

      ~*~

      we have a couple products right now that are setting ducks

      ~ Blink cloc
  • You meant "surfing will CONTINUE to slow".
  • We have the perfect Unix based desktop already and it's called Mac OS. It's not free but it's better than any of the crap Linux ppl put out. Linux found it's place as great server software and that's where it will remain. The problem with Linux was also it's strength, the fact that ppl can make their own 'version' of linux distro. The problem is that the community is so fragmented that the uniting factor is going to be Microsoft going forward, not necessarily bc it's hands down the best but bc it's united.
    • by canuck57 (662392)

      You say the strength of Linux is also it's weakness. But I don't see the weakness in morphing new distros and versions. In fact, unlike Mac OS and Windows it is free to evolve! Even it's very weakness is a strength.

      Lets just wait a few years, all those One Laptop per Child PCs is going to harvest a computer literate crop of talented kids in a few years. Oh, many will wind up broken in dumps, but many will educate and open up a whole new world. And it will not have Apple nor Microsoft as the monopoly.

      • by jaykali (1207794)
        You make some valid points. It does evolve, but in a thousand different directions. I've played with a bunch of distros and they're not bad tho setting up wireless has been a challenge. Anyways it doesn't matter now bc my love is Mac. And it has office and the programs I really need. I hope that there are more cross platform apps in the future and certainly the web helps make that possible. I think linux and google and IBM help push the momentum towards more open platforms. I just think it's folly to think
    • we have our OS ppl it's Mac! Get one! -J

      Your a bit late, many linux desktop users jumped on the Mac OSX bandwagon a few years back, myself included.

      I had dumped Windows for better than 90% of the apps I was running back in the late 90's in favor of linux on the desktop. Not long after Mac OSX came out I purchased a Wind Tunnel G4 [wikipedia.org] and was able to completely dump Windows. I did not dump my linux desktop and instead ran both linux and OSX, but in the end I always went back to my linux desktop because IMO its b

      • by jaykali (1207794)
        I am definately late on the Mac OS X bandwagon but I couldn't be happier. I think both the hardware and OS have won me over. And Mac has MS Office support which in the biz world is a must have. That's the only app I really have to have (please don't tell me ab Open Office or I will throw up in my mouth). I think google docs might help on that end and reduce the dependency on office into the future. I'm a programmer and I just want my OS to work. I don't need to tinker with it or hack anything, I just want i
    • by bbdb (921914)
      "We have the perfect Unix based desktop already and it's called Mac OS. It's not free but it's better than any of the crap Linux ppl put out."

      Except 20% of the market, the 80% doesn't give a damn if it's better, only if it's 1. _good enough_ 2. cheaper.

      And Linux is those two things.

      "Worse is better" applies to economics, too, not just to purely technological merits.

      • by jaykali (1207794)
        Ya I think a big part of the market does care if it's better. Even the most "user friendly" distro I've played with is hard to set up and hard to configure. People just want something that works. Today you can get a macbook for $1100, take it home and get started. No mess. You don't have to compile anything, you don't have to look in forums for compatibility issues with your PC and that distro, it just works. I think linux servers are great, but the year of the linux desktop isn't ever coming, it just isn'
    • We have the perfect Unix based desktop already and it's called Mac OS.
      Why should I trade one proprietary platform for another?

      I'm working on migrating from XP Pro to Ubuntu 7.04. I will still have to keep my 2 - XP partitions around - there is some Windows-only software my wife needs for work, and my employer's VPN software won't work with Linux.
      • by jaykali (1207794)
        Ya and why does it matter? Why does it matter if it's proprietary? It's the wrong question. The question is can I use something that's affordable, easy to use that will make me more productive and perhaps let me have some fun too (I refer you to Mac vs. PC commercials). I can get a macbook or a mini for the price of your average PC. OK maybe you want to whitebox a PC and save a few bucks and put Linux on it. That will do you fine, tho you'll still need a license for XP as you mentioned there's rarely a way
        • Ya and why does it matter? Why does it matter if it's proprietary? It's the wrong question.
          It's actually the correct question. Microsoft wants to lock you into their software and upgrade cycle. Apple wants to lock you into their HARDWARE and software along with their upgrade cycles.

          If you want to spend your money on costly hardware and software upgrades, that's your choice. I prefer to spend my money on other things.
          • by jaykali (1207794)
            Well I think in this world there's no such thing as a free lunch. If apple makes good software and good hardware, then I'll keep paying. When they stop doing so then I'll go elsewhere, no one's pointing a gun at me when I buy a mac or upgrade the software. There's nothing wrong with proprietary products if they offer something I want to consume I'll keep buying. Linux is free, the hardware isn't free though. Blackboxes come with OS's for not much more than the hardware, and all other software is optional. I
  • The following is my letter to the editors of The Economist:

    ----

    To: letters@economist.com

    There are many mistakes in the section about "SCO."

    >>The trend toward openness has been given added impetus by the recent collapse of the legal battles brought by SCO, a software developer. Formerly known as Santa Cruz Operations, the firm bought the Unix operating system and core technology in 1995 from Novell (which, in turn, had bought it from its original developer, AT&T). >Short of cash, SCO initiated a
    • Sorry, post was messed up, trying again:

      To: letters@economist.com

      There are many mistakes in the section about "SCO."

      The trend toward openness has been given added impetus by the recent collapse of the legal battles brought by SCO, a software developer. Formerly known as Santa Cruz Operations, the firm bought the Unix operating system and core technology in 1995 from Novell (which, in turn, had bought it from its original developer, AT&T).

      The company is not named "SCO" the name is "The SCO G
    • IBM did not just decide to fight TSG. TSG sued IBM.

      IBM didn't initiate the case, but they certainly rejected the option to surrender^H give in to blackmail^H^H^H^H settle out of court.

      If you think that's not deciding to fight, then you have a faulty grasp of logic or you can't understand plain English.

      Although TSG has filed chapter 11, the case is not over.

      So just how many shares are you trying to sell? It's like when a general's men are all dead, prisoners or have run away but you're claiming that he has

  • I want my sexbot [backofthebook.ca]! I don't want a cute dog robot, I don't want a dinosaur robot, what, is there no market for sexbots?
  • A few lottery balls ought to unclog the tubes.
  • by knorthern knight (513660) on Tuesday December 25, 2007 @07:15PM (#21817346)
    1)The biggest road-hog remains spam (unsolicited e-mail), which accounts for 90% of traffic on the internet.

    Spam does *NOT* constitute 90% of all internet traffic. It constitutes 90% of all emails. At 10-to-15 kbytes each, they're not exactly overwhelming the internet. I should also point out that an email with multiple recipients at the same ISP goes as one email, and is exploded into multiple copies at the receiving ISP. This reduces the internet traffic even more. The biggest single traffic use is bittorrent and friends. Streaming video and legit online/download sales of movies might challenge it in future.

    2) Soon, portable media-players, personal navigators, digital cameras, DVD players, flat-panel TV sets, and even mobile phones won't be able to function properly without access to the internet.

    OMFG, NNNNNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! The only way you'll see that is if linux is outlawed, and DRM-crippled computers/mediaplayers won't function without a live connection to the mothership.

    3) Apple's initial response was to attempt a heavy-handed crackdown. But then a court decision in Germany forced its local carrier to unlock all iPhones sold there. Good news for iPhone owners everywhere: a flood of third-party applications is now underway.

    The decision was overturned on appeal [sfgate.com] three weeks ago.

    4)The trend toward openness has been given added impetus by the recent collapse of the legal battles brought by SCO, a software developer. Formerly known as Santa Cruz Operations, the firm bought the Unix operating system and core technology in 1995 from Novell (which, in turn, had bought it from its original developer, AT&T).

    Dear Economist, please hire Dan Lyons. He's a helluva lot more knowledgable about the SCOX case than you are. Sad, isn't it? Santa Cruz Operations sold their Unix distribution business to Caldera, who later renamed themselves The SCO Group and started trying to shake down linux users.

    5)Pressured by worried customers fearing prosecution, a handful of Linux distributors settled with SCO just to stay in business.

    NO. A handful of firms that use linux in their business signed SCOSource licences. None of these firms were linux distributors. The reporter might be confusing the SCOSource licence, with Microsoft's FUD licence, which a few distributors actually have signed.

    And fer-cryin-out-loud, please knock off this bit about "The Year Of The Linux Desktop". Linux is growing slowly, relative to the overall market. It will overtake Apple, and eventually Windows. But it will be a long slow grind. What might happen is that one year people will stop counting sales (obviously $0 even for millions of free copies) and start counting desktops. Much to the establishment's surprise, they'll discover that there's a helluva lot more linux desktops than they expected.
  • What will happen in 2008? I mean there is nothing new really on the horizon as far as I can tell:
    We've seen many things happen in the past 10 to 15 years
    1. Revolution in digital music.
    2. Unification of devices(finished with Apple iPhone)
    3. New web technologies things like Ruby, J2EE, ASP.NET and PHP
    4. A Web 2 woe
    5. XML
    6. RSS
    7. Podcasts
    8. Blogs
    9. Forums
    10. Office applications
    11. Accounting software
    12. Database software( MySql, MS SQL, Oracle)
    13. wikipedia and other online research tools like answers.com
    14. O
  • This is why when your computer breaks, there's a technician that fixes it, not an economist.

    The internet will slow down.... assuming traffic demand rises and ISP's don't bother upgrading their infrastructure.

    Maybe, just maybe, ISPs might be putting in more and fatter links? But I guess they wouldn't have thought about that, those plucky tech savvy economists, they know there's only a series of tubes and you can't have more tubes.

    Realistically this might be a very lame push by the anti-neutrality groups fur
  • When non-technologists write about technology....

    They're so CUTE!

    The Economist puts random words in random order:

    Technology in 2008... Three fearless predictions...

    1. Surfing will slow

    Peering into [our] crystal ball, the one thing we can predict with at least some certainty is that 2008 will be the year we stop taking access to the internet for granted. The internet is not about to grind to a halt, but as more and more us

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