“Predictions are difficult …”

Nostradamus picture, via wikipedia.as the great baseball player Yogi Berra is reputed to have observed, “… especially about the future”.

That hasn’t stopped John Naugton (Memex | Observer column), looking back at 2007 and looking forward to 2008 in his most recent Observer column “Apple and Google ruled a year to note in your Facebook”, which concludes:

What’s next? As usual, William Gibson‘s aphorism (‘The future’s already here, it’s just not evenly distributed’) provides the best guide. Apple will launch a 3G iPhone and cause even greater havoc in the mobile-phone business. It will also launch a micro-laptop using the new Intel 45-nanometre Silverthorne chip, and open more stores in upmarket locations. It will, however, feel the heat of European regulators as they focus on ‘interoperability’ issues, in particular the way songs purchased from Apple’s iTunes store will only play on iPods.

Next year will see mass outbreaks of a Facebook fatigue, as busy professionals realise they are wasting an hour or more a day on essentially mindless activities. By contrast, activity-based networking sites, such as Flickr.com, will continue to prosper, for the simple reason that they are not self-limiting in the way that ego-centric services are. It will also be the year when the world wakes up to what the bosses at Google already know; the computing industry has a colossal, and unacceptable, environmental footprint in terms of its consumption of electrical power and natural resources.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that spam will continue to increase and we may finally discover what the Storm ‘botnet’ – the colossal network of compromised Windows machines someone has been covertly building over the past year – is for. My hunch is that the net is headed for its own version of 9/11. So enjoy it while it lasts. Happy New Year.

Yikes! It is an apocalyptic vision, worthy of Nostradamus (pictured) himself.

Happy new year!!