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8 Can't Miss Predictions... for 1998 125

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the lot-easier-that-way dept.
alphadogg-nw writes "Tired of being wrong too often, a Network World pundit applies 20-20 hindsight to this list of prognostications for 1998, which if he's right will turn out to be quite a year. Among the forecasts: The U.S. Department of Justice will go medieval on Microsoft, Compaq will buy what's left of DEC, AOL likewise Netscape, Apple will introduce something said to look like an Easter egg ... and then there's the deafening buzz about this new search engine called Google."
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8 Can't Miss Predictions... for 1998

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  • Bad headline (Score:5, Informative)

    by MSTCrow5429 (642744) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @11:12AM (#21882276)
    The headline is misleading. These aren't predictions for 1998, they're written by a guy in 2008 as if they were written in 1998. That's what the "hindsight" part means.

    My prediction for 2008: Major worldwide recession, due to the massive inflationary bubble bursting, an inability of the central banks to continue using inflation to create a false sense of prosperity, and stagflation.

    • by elrous0 (869638) * on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @11:18AM (#21882346)
      And tell Taco to RTFA too.
      • Re:Mod parent up (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Pharmboy (216950) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @11:25AM (#21882420) Journal
        No reason to RTFA, its lame, and it appears it is a very slow news day and they needed something on the front page for this hour. I hate being so negative, but if you do REFA, you will see that this is really weak.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Forge (2456)
        Actually what's wrong with taco's post is the icon.

        This article should have had the "foot". Except that it was not that funny :(

        PS: In a side note, this journalist (Paul McNamara) is probably just training to become a stock market annalist. A profession dominated by guys who make a living by "Predicting the past" with moderate accuracy.
    • well, that's exactly what the headline and summary told me ^^
      maybe you're not so good at getting hints or so, but it was quite clear to me...

      and if the headline didn't make things clear, the summary should be...
    • by sm62704 (957197) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @12:13PM (#21882880) Journal
      My predictions for 2008, all will happen (balls of crystal, I tell ya)
      • the earth will not be hit by an extinction-causing assteroid [wikipedia.org]
      • Someone will invent something. The invention may actually be useful
      • Somebody will launch something or someone into outer space.
      • Someone will post "FIRST POST! with the comment "frosty piss" and be modded "offtopic"
      • Someone will say something about the USSR, Natalie Portmen, a Beowolf cluster, or CowboyNeal and be modded "+5 funny"
      • I will continue to write slashdot journals about prostitutes [slashdot.org]
      • I will get at least one haircut this year. Maybe this afternoon.
      • CmdrTaco won't command her "taco"
      • Google [whatever] will remain in beta
      • Microsoft will keep pissing everyone off
      • 2008 will not see Linux overtake Windows
      • I'll be turned down and stood up
      • CowboyNeal won't get laid


      -mcgrew
      • by fbjon (692006)

        (balls of crystal, I tell ya)
        So who's viewing them?
        • by sm62704 (957197)
          My Friends, the Whores [slashdot.org]

          And I probably shouldn't be making comments at slashdot this week because I got my nerd license suspended yesterday afternoon. I'd chronicle it in my journal but I got my nerd license suspended and they won't let me... will they?

          Damn, now I'm in trouble. I hope I don't get pulled over and ticketed for commenting on a suspended license!
      • by red_dragon (1761) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @02:26PM (#21884768) Homepage

        In Soviet Russia, Natalie Portman uses a Beowulf cluster built by CowboyNeal to submit a first post with the comment "frosty piss".

        There you go, you can scratch one off of your list. You're welcome.

      • Someone will say something about the USSR, Natalie Portmen, a Beowolf cluster, or CowboyNeal and be modded "+5 funny"
        Wait, so does your post count?
        • Apparently. Look at how his post was modded.
        • by sm62704 (957197)
          Someone will say something about the USSR, Natalie Portmen, a Beowolf cluster, or CowboyNeal and be modded "+5 funny"
          Wait, so does your post count?


          Self-fulfilling prophesy?
      • by Kazymyr (190114)
        My predictions for 1945:

        WWII will end
        Hitler will commit suicide
        A new explosive device will be invented that can obliterate a city
      • by rubah (1197475)

        Someone will say something about the USSR, Natalie Portmen, a Beowolf cluster, or CowboyNeal and be modded "+5 funny"

        Re:Bad headline (Score:5, Funny) by sm62704 (957197) Alter Relationship on Wednesday January 02, @10:13AM (#21882880) Homepage
        Wow, you were right!
      • Just imagine a Beowulf Cluster of Natalie Portmans.

    • My prediction for 2008: Idiots predicting imminent doom like they always have.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MSTCrow5429 (642744)
        Yeah, but sometimes, if you have even a dim understanding of economics and finance, and you follow current events, it doesn't take a Cassandra to sound the alarms. I've acquired something more than a merely dim understanding of economics and finance, mind you. As for imminent doom, such as Earth being blasted by a gamma ray burst (unless we aren't being told something), or global warming, yeah, that's the idiots talking.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      My prediction for 2008: Major worldwide recession, due to the massive inflationary bubble bursting, an inability of the central banks to continue using inflation to create a false sense of prosperity, and stagflation.

      Add to that: $7/gallon gasoline in the USA, unemployment rates rising to 15% or higher, major upswings in crime rates, further tightening of the grip by the police state mentalities, more erosion of people's rights and freedoms and govt intrusions into privacy, riots in large cities, rise of vi
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Toonol (1057698)
        Amazingly enough, 2008 will be the year in which everything collapses. All economic, social, and political issues will come to their inevitably horrible conclusions.

        No, really, it will be this year. All the portents are there. Similar predictions for all previous years were due to misinterpreting the signs.

        Of course, if my warning is heeded, we may stave off the collapse for another year. That just reinforces how correct my predictions were.
      • by wertarbyte (811674) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @03:40PM (#21885940) Homepage

        Add to that: $7/gallon gasoline in the USA

        Oh boy, stop crying: 7 (U.S. dollars / US gallon) = 1.2587328 Euros / liter

        We are way past that in europe (approaching 1.5 EUR here in germany) for some time now. And guess what? Civilisation is not collapsing.

        • by Abreu (173023) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @04:06PM (#21886290)
          But please remember that most europeans have access to decent public transportation... Poor gringos have to drive everywhere...
          • by mlush (620447)

            But please remember that most europeans have access to decent public transportation... Poor gringos have to drive everywhere...

            more to the point the average European car does 43mpg and the average American one does 29 (stats from first source I found [greencarcongress.com]) granted some of this may be due to differences in testing but up to now fuel economy has not been a major selling point in the US market.

          • by rchargel (1211372)
            Please allow a Latin-American to define this term

            Gringo: 1. (literally) A foreigner. 2. (slang) A person who cannot trace their origins to Latin-America (e.g. not Latino/Latina). 3. (slang) Less commonly, any person who cannot trace their origins to Amerindian peoples, regardless of national origin (this includes White, Black, and Asian Latinos).

            This would include Europeans (including the Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Italians). While generally in Latin America the word "gringo" is used to refer to so
            • by Abreu (173023)
              I find it strange that you define yourself as a latin-american and yet find the word "gringo" as offensive...

              And your definition is completely out of whack. A gringo is:

              1- A native of the USA.
              2- More rarely, any foreign caucasian.
        • by turing_m (1030530)
          "We are way past that in europe (approaching 1.5 EUR here in germany) for some time now. And guess what? Civilisation is not collapsing."

          That's because your civilization was not engineered by oil and car companies.
        • by Khaed (544779)
          In addition to there being good public transport there, a lot of people don't live right on top of their jobs and have hour long drives back and forth. In many cases, because living in the same city would cost more than the gas; but if gas prices double or triple, it'll be a lot worse for them. Civilization may not collapse, but it'll but the hurt on a lot of people without much spare money.

          I imagine the average American has a further daily drive than the average European.
    • by Swampash (1131503)
      It's shitty articles with shitty summaries like this that remind me why subscribing to Slashdot would be a total waste of money.

      I also expect Zonk to re-post this shitty article with a different shitty summary in three days.
    • by ezdude (885983)
      Yeah, I think we got it.
  • Altavista (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hey! (33014) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @11:13AM (#21882294) Homepage Journal
    Y'know, I liked Altavista a great deal. It was a rare case of a great product getting its block knocked off by an even better one. Still, for some time I found Altavista's more bells-and-whistley approach useful for triangulatin Google results, at least until Google engineers seemingly perfected their MROIPP (Mind Reading Over Internet Protocols Protocol) technology.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by scsirob (246572)
      Just wondering if 'Alta' and 'Vista' were actually meant to be two words, as in "Old Vista". Looks like they are doing equally well as the "New Vista". sort-of-ok start, followed by a quick demise once a real alternative shows up...
      • Re:Altavista (Score:4, Informative)

        by Ours (596171) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @11:40AM (#21882548)
        It's Spanish:
        Alta = something high
        Vista = view
        Translated to "high-view" and from my understanding it's some place in California.
        • by QJimbo (779370)
          I always figured the name was suggesting it gave you a birdseye view over the internet, or like looking at a city from a mountain top. Nice way to describe an internet search engine really.
      • Strange Coincidences?

        AltaVISTA was from DEC.
        A lot of the engineers who wrote windows NT came from DEC, Windows Vista is basically a reincarnation of NT.

        (PS: Yeah, I know, it's bullshit. And I am grateful that there is not a "-1 Stupid Moron" option, but you can use Troll or Flamebait as usual)
    • Re:Altavista (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Vellmont (569020) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @01:46PM (#21884202)

      Y'know, I liked Altavista a great deal. It was a rare case of a great product getting its block knocked off by an even better one.

      I liked Altavista too, and had a similar reaction about it being better than Google until about 2000.

      The only quibble I have is that AltaVista died because they started thinking they were a portal like Yahoo, and not a search engine. They didn't figure out targeted ads, turned their site into a Yahoo clone, and did a "me too!" with email. If they'd done what Google did, focus on the search technology, give away better email than Yahoo was giving away at the time, and stop trying to beat Yahoo at being Yahoo, I think Google would still mean "a really big number".
    • Re:Altavista (Score:4, Informative)

      by SharpFang (651121) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @02:22PM (#21884690) Homepage Journal
      Unfortunately, no, by the end, not.

      I stayed with Altavista quite long. I tried Google once, soon after it emerged, didn't feel impressed and went back to Altavista. And for the time, It Was Good.

      I kept using it for another 2 or 3 years and saw it go down the drain.

      First, they fell victim to spammers. People figured out how to position their sites with it, and any somewhat common keyword yielded many pages of commercial junk before you could get to content, and first 10 or so positions for mostly -any- keyword were occupied by spam links.

      Then they started adding ads. Sponsored links replacing first search results, some obnoxious popups, really bad junk. Remember these were times before Adblock. It was utter junk.

      Then it stopped keeping up with progress. Sites took months to get indexed, and 404s even more to get removed. The results were a total junk.

      I gave Google another chance and was hugely impressed. It was still before people figured out most of pagerank tricks and Google was almost totally spam-free. I had my results within first 3-4 links, not after 3-4 pages!

      Red Queen was right: "It takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place."
  • by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @11:14AM (#21882310) Homepage Journal
    My predictions for 1988:

    10. MS-DOS 4.0 will ship, finally, by mid-year. It will be so buggy and crash so much that Microsoft will be forced to release an update, MS-DOS 4.01, by year's end.
    9. Liquid crystal will be discovered by Frederick Reintzer.
    8. Someone will introduce a simple network management protocol, probably called SNMP. Nobody will care.
    7. An alternative bus to IBM's Micro Channel Architecture will be introduced. Expect it to be called something like EISA -- Extended Industry Standard Architecture.
    6. An Internet Relay Chat system called IRC will be developed.
    5. A company called Creative Labs will introduce a sound card called the SoundBlaster, which will establish defacto standards for years to come.
    4. People obsessed with clocks will introduce the Network Time Protocol, which will allow computers to sync their clocks over the Internet.
    3. The first T-1 backbone will be added to ARPANET.
    2. Motorola will release a new processor, the 88000. No one will care.
    1. Apple will sue Microsoft over the trash can icon.
    • by root_42 (103434) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @11:26AM (#21882432) Homepage
      > My predictions for 1988: ...
      > 9. Liquid crystal will be discovered by Frederick Reintzer.

      According to Wikipedia [1] that happened in 1888.

      [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liquid_crystals#History [wikipedia.org]
      • That sounds about right.

        I seem to recall liquid crystal displays replacing LEDs in watches and calculators in the 1970s.

        Actually, LEDs and those super-cool bluish neon tube thingies. Not nixies, the little ones. What the hell were they called?
        • by Dr. Zim (21278)
          Vacuum Tube Florescent Displays - still my favorite
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Your Pal Dave (33229)

          That sounds about right.
          Actually, LEDs and those super-cool bluish neon tube thingies. Not nixies, the little ones. What the hell were they called?
          Probably early vacuum fluorescent displays (VFD) [wikipedia.org]. I built a digital clock kit back in the '70s using them, they came as individual 7 segment displays packaged in what looked like small vacuum tubes with long solder leads.
    • by RAMMS+EIN (578166)
      I found your predictions much more interesting than the ones of TFA. Yet TFA got posted to the front page of /.. Well, at least it's sparked good posts. Like yours. Well done!
  • Wow! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Otter (3800) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @11:15AM (#21882314) Journal
    In a first-of-its-kind case, a California jury will convict a U.C.-Irvine dropout, Richard Machado, of sending threatening and hateful e-mail to students of Asian dissent.

    Between the timeliness of this story, his spelling, and his belief that Bill Gates is facing criminal charges, Paul McNamara sounds like he'd fit in well here as an editor.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ByOhTek (1181381)
      I like how the iMac revolutionized personal computing the most funny.

      It made it come in a smaller package, but hardly revolutionized given it's comparatively small takeup to other computer styles, and the fact that it didn't really change how a computer was used.
      • Re:Wow! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by MightyYar (622222) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @11:40AM (#21882542)
        About the only things you can give credit to the iMac for are re-animating Apple and popularizing USB.
        • About the only things you can give credit to the iMac for are re-animating Apple and popularizing USB.
          Don't forget getting rid of the 3.5" floppy drive. Those things were not going away in the PC world, even though they were good for nothing.

          I just with the iMacs popularized firewire instead of USB. USB for anything more than mice and keyboards (looking over at those external hard drives in the corener of the store...) is not nearly as efficient as firewire.
          • by blhack (921171)

            Don't forget getting rid of the 3.5" floppy drive. Those things were not going away in the PC world, even though they were good for nothing.

            is this supposed to be sarcastic? The loss of the floppy drive is one of the biggest pains in the butt as far as home/office computing goes. Without a floppy, there is no rewritable, removable, bootable media that you can use for recovery when something goes awry (at that time).

            Granted, cd writers have become ubiquitous...but there is nothing that beats a DOS boot disk in a pinch.

            • there is no rewritable, removable, bootable media that you can use for recovery
              You're right [tigerdirect.com].
              • by PReDiToR (687141)
                USB booting is a luxury that still hasn't come to my house.

                Even having 8 IDE devices onboard isn't enough when you just want to boot off your own USB recovery key.
                Chainloader doesn't work until you have USB support, and VMware isn't always the best test environment.
            • by eclectic4 (665330)
              Um, on a Mac, and you could even do this with the old G3 iMacs that had firewire, any FW external hard drive could be used as the boot drive. For PCs, yes, you are correct, but we weren't talking about PCs...
            • I don't know; I've been booting off of CDs for the longest time (mainly for installing some *nix), and all of my old floppy disks have since gone bad.
              • by MightyYar (622222)
                Yeah, I can't even tell you the last time I saw a floppy disk recovery disk. Spin Rite still goes that way, but can be put on a CD as well. I have a program that makes a floppy disk image into a bootable USB stick, but haven't used it in ages. It's hard to find a computer that can't write to a CD these days.

                Still have a floppy drive on my current PC, though it is behind the front panel of the case - you have to open the front of the case to get to it. I did that because it was ugly, I wasn't using it, and i
        • by ByOhTek (1181381)
          I thought USB was popular prior to the iMac. If I remember correctly, it was Firewire that they helped bring to the forefront.
          • by Otter (3800)
            No, it was USB. (It had been in use before, but was poorly supported.) For years after, almost all USB peripherals were made of translucent blue plastic.
          • Re:Wow! (Score:4, Informative)

            by egomaniac (105476) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @12:12PM (#21882872) Homepage
            I thought USB was popular prior to the iMac. If I remember correctly, it was Firewire that they helped bring to the forefront.

            Nope, it was USB. Everybody on the Windows side of things was still using the legacy ports, it was hard to find USB peripherals and they were buggy. The iMac's popularity forced manufacturers to add decent USB support to their devices. Printers went parallel + USB, mice switched over to USB w/ PS/2 adapters, etc. Plus everything was available in your choice of five translucent colors.

            And the damned legacy adapters still won't die over on the PC side of things. Most KVM switches, for example, still only support PS/2 connectors, and I had to buy a USB-to-DB9 connector to be able to program my universal remote control. Love Apple or hate 'em, you've got to admit that they're good at getting people to drop the old broken standards and move forward. We need to put them in charge of getting the US over to metric.
            • by ByOhTek (1181381)
              I bought my USB (no PS/2) KVM several years ago. IOGear, it's actually a nice piece of equipment. When I got it there were several models out by several companies. There have been a number since.

              My current mail/web server runs off of a circa 97 (maybe '98? It's a Tyan Trinity S1598 motherboard) x86 box with USB on it (built into the motherboard), and it works perfectly.

              I've seen plenty of legacy, but in every case, both legacy and non-legacy have been available, in many both have been available in the same
            • by Abreu (173023)

              Love Apple or hate 'em, you've got to admit that they're good at getting people to drop the old broken standards and move forward. We need to put them in charge of getting the US over to metric.
              We can only dream
          • by MightyYar (622222)
            My memory is a bit hazy, but I remember it being somewhat amusing. I think that Intel was pushing USB, while Apple and MS both wanted Firewire. Windows 98 shipped with good Firewire support, but not USB. The iMac was the opposite - shipping only with USB and no Firewire. Weird. I think that the iMac really is what pushed MS into supporting USB. I remember clearly having Intel-based motherboards with USB on the back, but they didn't do anything because the OS didn't support them.
            • by calyphus (646665)

              memory is a bit hazy...Intel was pushing USB, while Apple and MS both wanted Firewire Your memory is missing one item. Intel developed USB with a theoretical capacity of 127 devices per port, but had difficulty getting it to actually work as spec'd. Apple got it to work reliably. Until Apple engineers fixed it USB was not ready for mass use. It's a great example of how Apple delivers real plug and play vs. a microsoft slogan "Plug 'n Play" which really meant plug 'n pray.

      • by peragrin (659227)
        The iMac tossed out the floppy drive and relied on USB instead of old connectors. If the iMac revolutionized anything It should computers didn't have to be a large beige box, that looked it like belongs in a cube farm instead of someone's home. It took Dell 5 more years to figure that part out.
        • by cnettel (836611)
          Yeah, but the fact that it took Dell five additional years could also be interpreted in the way that the introduction of the iMac wasn't really that groundbreaking. The same could be said about the 3.5" floppy drive -- they continued to be included in many PCs for many years after that, and the real killer there was reasonably the CD writers and (USB!) flash drives, in addition to very widespread networking. The original iMac didn't have a CD writer, and as small USB flash memories were non-existent, I woul
        • by rmerry72 (934528)

          If the iMac revolutionized anything It should computers didn't have to be a large beige box, that looked it like belongs in a cube farm instead of someone's home. It took Dell 5 more years to figure that part out.

          Cause that's the important feature of an computing device. It looks nice - well, er, nicer than a beige box. Cause Dell were just aiming at a different type of sheep. Maybe Apple can "innovate" handbags or fridges next. Hell, maybe Jobs should talk to NASA. I betcha a few "important" design modif

      • by mini me (132455)
        The plastic on the iMac was pretty revolutionary. Even today, you still see several products that were inspired by the original iMac design.
  • oooooh (Score:3, Funny)

    by LiquidCoooled (634315) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @11:17AM (#21882336) Homepage Journal
    6. Prediction: Congress to pass Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

    The skinny: Congress will approve the DMCA by a unanimous vote and President Clinton will sign it into law, because, well, everyone favors copyright protection.

    Long-term outlook: The only possible trouble with this one that I can foresee would be if someone were to launch a Web site that allowed anyone and everyone to post video clips of whatever they pleased. That might get sticky.


    I thought pornotube was stickier than youtube, but I suppose both are up to their necks.

  • Isn't this somehow a dupe since all those were probably posted when they really happened?
  • Deja News [archive.org] circa 1998.
  • by Per Abrahamsen (1397) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @11:31AM (#21882458) Homepage
    Eh, I guess I miss something, what is the point of predicting the past? Poorly?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by katre (44238)
      We have this thing called humor. This article may be a sub-par example of humor, but that would seem to be its point.
    • by tic!lock (1207584)

        Who knows? But it's popular - at least here in the US, our voting population does it every couple years.

        tic!lock
  • by banda (206438) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @11:39AM (#21882532)
    What exactly are "students of Asian dissent"?

    Would that include anyone who took a 20th century history class? Why be mad at them?
  • deafening buzz about this new search engine called Google

    Funny thing about that buzz [slashdot.org] -- other search engines of the time had equal or better results, such as directhit/HotBot [websearchworkshop.co.uk], which used click-throughs and dwell times to improve search results for subsequent users -- something Google is only now getting around to doing.

    • by cnettel (836611)
      The buzz are not about good hits, it's about funny ones, like all evil and Microsoft... (Hey, that's how I first heard of Google.)
  • Most one-year predictions are simple extrapolations of current trends, or guessing which pre-announced products will be hits. Even so they can be wrong. Subprime collapse was not in the 12/31/2006 prediction lists.

    Ten years out is a lot harder. In the late 1980s you had the feeling computer networks would be important, especially if you used them at an university. But the huge onrush in of the InterNet and browsers in 1994 was somewhat of a surprise. It was hard to foresee the quantum jump in use an
    • by RAMMS+EIN (578166)
      ``There was a lot of "toy" video stuff since 2000, but the 2006 youtube rush was a surprise to me.''

      What wasn't a surprise, though, is that _they_ have been promising us good quality movies on demand over th Internet since at least 1994, but that promise has completely failed to deliver.

      Seriously. Why is it that we can watch movies on TV for "free" (ad or public funding supported), but if you want to do the same on the Internet, you have to jump through all kinds of hoops (pay fees, install wacky proprietar
  • Why are the 5 and 8 not bold?
  • by toby (759) *

    The U.S. Department of Justice will go medieval on Microsoft

    ...And we know how that turned out. Sigh.

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