Tuesday, January 01, 2008

what's coming for 2008?

Prediction is a chancy game, particularly if you're more than casually invested in being right, or at least closer to right than average, which I certainly am. That said, I'll jump right in...

2008 will *NOT* be the year in which Apple loses it's status as the coolest of companies, however it will be the year in which a few other companies demonstrate that they've managed to assimilate some of the lessons Apple has been teaching by example, meaning the competition will start to get more interesting. Meanwhile, Apple will be surging ahead, introducing new product lines and connecting the dots between technologies they've introduced over the last decade. Hidebound competitors will continue slipping toward oblivion.

2008 will not, unfortunately, be the year in which Dick Cheney is removed from office via the impeachment process, but it will be the year in which those who believe he should have been impeached long ago come to outnumber those who believe otherwise.

2008 *WILL* be the year in which George Bush's successor is selected, by the closest thing to a free and fair election we've seen in awhile, despite the best efforts of the remaining few who really believe we're better off with the sort of government they've managed to foist upon us two terms in a row. However those efforts will provide some interesting distractions.

2008 will be the year in which a critical mass of the population comes to understand that their vintage television sets will soon become useless without a converter box, and in which many more than ever before will recognize 700 MHz as being the band in which the soon-to-be-discontinued television signals (channels 52 through 69) are currently being delivered, and more than a few will take an interest in how that band is being repurposed. The ranks of amateur radio operators will swell somewhat. (Broadcast television will continue on channels 2 through 51, but digital only, which is why older sets will need a converter box.)

2008 will *NOT* be the year in which the practice of doling out spectrum to the highest bidder is seriously assailed. Neither will 2009, although more people will begin to pay attention and wonder whether it's a good idea.

With the exception of Apple and a few other bright spots, 2008 will be more about consolidation and clarification than anything new. Old issues will be resolved at a prodigious rate, unfortunately probably not including the feud between Israel and its Islamic neighbors. (Prove me wrong on that one!)

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