Predictions 2010.. and beyond!

by Maxpower & D4V

So 2010 eh? Almost but not quite (no year zero they say) another decade? It seems like just yesterday that the world was waiting for Y2K. R4NT started publishing in March 2001, so we’re not quite 10 years old yet, but in internet years we are already a senior citizen. One of the features of R4NT has been our yearly predictions which go back to 2003. We’ve had huge hits and some equally huge misses. We invite you to check out some of the old predictions (checkout the related articles). This year we are going to mix things up with predictions for 2010 and a few predictions for the next decade (till 2020!).

How did we fare in 2009?

MaxPower’s 2009 Predictions

Oil will break the $50 mark again. Take it to the bank. I took that prediction to the bank and got rich off my commodity forecasting skills! Actually no I didn’t, but if you did, you would have seen oil come into 2009 at sub US$40/bbl, it cracked the $50 mark by the end of March and is now threatening the $80 mark. Full marks and a double on your money if you invested in the commodity.

C$ will average around $0.85/USD. The C-buck averaged $0.877/USD in 2009, I think that is pretty damn close. Full marks.

Solid state hard drive alternatives will get cheaper. This one was a bit easy but, they sure did get cheaper. Recently there have been a number of announcements regarding new SSDs being available in laptops, with 128 GB models coming in under $1000. Full marks.

Netbooks gain traction at the < $300 price point. Like you needed to hear more about cheap laptops after all the Christmas ads, but sure enough there are many models to be had at under $300, with Asus selling some of their netbooks at $150 while Dell is more in the $230 area. Full marks.

Hybrid car sales decrease because gas is cheap again. – LA Times headline March 17, 2009 “Hybrid car sales go from 60 to 0 at breakneck speed” because “anxiety over gasoline prices evaporate”. Overall, hybrid sales dropped at about the same speed as the rest of the auto sales market, so perhaps there wasn’t as big of a decrease as I had anticipated. That leads me to believe people purchase hybrids only for the illusion they are contributing to the environment, and purchase decisions are not made by economics (of gas prices) at all. Part marks.

From an economic point of view the recession will probably be over in the second half of 2009Quote from this Vancouver Sun article on Dec 27, 2009 “The Canadian recession officially ended in 2009’s third quarter, when the economy grew at an annualized rate of 0.4 per cent.” Full marks, making me 3/3 on economic forecasts over 2009.

Back in 2006 I called for 2007 to have a “resurgence of all-things 80’s will continue lead by the upcoming Transformers movie”. Well going into 2009 I call, MORE 80’s resurgence. Did I say more ‘80s? Another Transformers movie, a GI Joe movie, 80’s fashion trends which were reinvented in 2009, how could you want more ‘80s? The real question is when will the ‘90’s come back? Plaid grunge rock for 2012? Full marks.

Total Score 6.5/7 – otherwise known as the best predictive year ever!

D4V’s 2009 Predictions

Year of the stem cell! Perhaps it wasn’t the year of the stem cell, but the fledgling US government did become more open to stem cell research. Perhaps there is a lag effect as all the science guys get more sciencey. Part marks.

Personal computers become less and less relevant. Web applications (cloud computing), and portable computing take a huge chunk out of the marketplace (I’d guess 10%). Talk about a specific prediction! Without doubt web apps, cloud computing and portable computing got more popular in 2009, but I don’t think they are at the 10% threshold yet and I can’t find any corroborating evidence. As for personal computer becoming less relevant? Well depends who you talk to, but there is undoubtedly a convergence around some portable devices (Smartphones) which reduce the need of an actual computer. Also keep your eyes on Google Chrome OS. Part marks (plus bonus marks for getting so specific).

Wireless power starts to hit consumers. It has not hit consumers yet, but big business is getting onside with wireless power. From Dec 5, 2009 “BlackBerry maker RIM will be contributing to developing a wireless charging standard called Qi as a part of the Wireless Power Consortium. The goal is to make Qi become to wireless charging what USB is to wired charging. RIM is not the first handset maker to join the quest. Nokia beat RIM to it in October and Samsung in May.” Full marks on calling the tech.

Facebook revolt! Droves of people leave, dubbing privacy concerns and a new hippie era! Did someone say privacy concerns and Facebook? Uh yes, that was all the rage in 2009, with Canada even forcing Facebook to alter its privacy rules and regs. Did people leave? Some I am sure, but more stayed. That coupled with insidious new apps like Blippy which tweets your latest credit card purchases just shows you that if the Government tried to put a video camera in your house to monitor your every move but marketed it as “social networking”, people would freely sign up. I, for one, welcome our new 1984-esque overlords. Full marks anyway.

An old school movie franchise comes back from the dead, perhaps Back To The Future 4, or Beverly Hills Cop 12. No Back to the Future IV yet, but perhaps THIS website from 1999 will convince you there is still hope! Oh wait, a new version of Karate Kid was made (which looks terrible), and coming out in a few months. OMG. Full marks!

Hydrogen cars become trendy. Yep. California (to get 46 retail hydrogen stations by 2014) and the Honda FCX Clarity.

Life is discovered on another planet! I wish!

Total Score 5.5/7 (not too shabby)

MaxPower’s Predictions for 2010

  • C$ will average around $0.90/USD, the Canadian economy will expand slightly in 2010 and the TSX will be flat from current levels.
  • Hybrid car resale values start to fall as more consumers figure out that after a hybrid battery dies, the car is basically worthless.
  • There will be more sunspots in 2009 than in 2010! Sunspots!

D4V’s Predictions for 2010

  • Movie theatres are given a second chance, whilst upgrading their technology providing a real reason to head out and purchase overpriced popcorn again.
  • Due to over-crowding, and the emergence of the 4G mobile telecommunications standard, WiFi dies a slow painful death.
  • Online identity battle royal between Facebook, Google and um.. Microsoft (sure why not). Oh and OpenID is dead.

MaxPower’s Predictions for 2010 – 2020

  • There will be a cure for one disease during this decade. Cancer, AIDS, the common cold, lupus, something!
  • Consumers will have one portable device, styled like today’s smartphones but slightly larger and thinner which will be able to do everything a computer, phone, ipod, credit card, debit card, loyalty rewards card, car keys, house key, and medical records can do now. I will call it a multipass.
  • The world will not suffer catastrophic warming by 2020, cities will not be underwater, coast lines will not be altered by increasing sea levels and people will have moved on to another trendy activism platform.
  • An equivalent computer which costs $500 today will be available in 2020 for the price of a beer in a bar ($6).
  • The price of a low earth orbit spaceflight will be cheap enough so that people can consider it for a vacation. There will be at least 1 spaceport in every major developed country.

D4V’s Predictions for 2010 – 2020

  • Photography is dead, long live photography. Not entirely dead, just everyone will be shooting video then using software to pick out the key frames they want to turn into stills. Traditionalist are going to loose their minds.
  • The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (el’CRTC) is destroyed.
  • Retiring baby boomers tear social services a gigantic black hole (is that even a prediction? It’s gonna happen people)
  • War sadly is still rampant in the middle east.
  • Water becomes the new Gold, second only to Wood.
  • One upping MaxPower’s prediction of the “multipass”: I say everyone will have chips (or even nano bots) implanted which could provide not only methods of data storage, but methods of keeping tabs on your health at all times. Big brother FTW!
  • Saying FTW, FAIL, and funny cat pictures become old school; making way for even sillier things.
  • Beer will not cost $6 at the bar, but will be more like $25 (by 2020).
  • Puzzles become cool.

Happy new year, and see you in 2011.. erm.. 2020? Wait wait! We leave you with a prediction that is already coming true: Puzzles being cool!

  • Predictions 2010.. and beyond!
  • by Maxpower & D4V
  • Published on January 2nd, 2010
Photos:
by David Gluzman, from springseven in graz, austria.

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