friday-rant
Business Management

Rant: This is the news for 2015

Future-gazers and others who benefit from boosting the prospects of the technology industry like to paint the sector as thrillingly unpredictable. That’s true up to a point: who could have foreseen the way that the web would change communications and information access? Who could have forecasted the return of Apple? The emergence of fleets of drones? OK, you knew, but not many other people did…

In fact though, there’s also a large element of the utterly-to-be-relied-upon, some events that will happen just as night follows day. Consider, for example, our prospects for 2015…

Apple. Apple will launch some Big Things. There’s the Watch of course but there are bound to be others. Obviously there’ll be a plethora of rumours in advance, then journalists will write more nonsense based on the invitation. And then there’ll be the liveblogged announcement. After that there’ll be The Problem. A minor bug will be blown out of all proportion, generating more stories. And then there’ll be The Medical Effect. Will looking at the watch cause a change to eyesight, for example, sparking a rush of business for opticians? Nope, but that won’t stop the stories based on ‘research’ from some publicity-hungry college.

Security. Lots of places will get hacked. It would be more newsworthy if they didn’t in a strange way, but oh no, we’ll have to pretend to be surprised when a well-known brand gives away our names, addresses, passwords and compromising photographs.

Companies will buy companies. We’ll be invited to ponder the consequences of Acme Corp. buying ZBXQSoft and how that changes the dynamics of the market for online storage. Some companies that buy other companies will be big companies so there’ll be several months of waiting for regulators to say, righty-ho, go ahead.

Something will jump the shark. It might be 3D printing or optical character recognition or operating systems or whatever, but we’re bound to see some chancer proclaiming Something Is Over when it probably isn’t.

Spying ‘scandals’. Uber got in late in 2014 but it’s highly likely that somebody will get into trouble next year for some sort of snooping, whether it’s the government, Google or a retailer. File under They Never Learn.

Windows. There’ll be another version. Some people will say it’s awful and make a connection with all sorts of other stuff. The UI is different! This feature made me delete stuff! This one doesn’t work! But really it’s just another version of Windows.

IPOs. It’s likely that there will be lots of them - based on the fact that there are usually lots of them. Stories will obsess over valuations and the subsequent movement of stock values and what that means for the personal wealth of those involved. This means The Journalist Is Jealous.

Graphene. Things will appear based on graphene. The complicated explanations will be replaced by the catch-all ‘wonder material’.

Wonderkids. Even if you’ve never made any profits and your idea is daft, people love a high-profile young person – it helps to be photogenic and a ‘character’.

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Martin Veitch

Martin Veitch is Contributing Editor for IDG Connect

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