Wishes for 2007

Post ImageInstead of predictions for the coming year, I’ve decided I’d rather just post some wishes. Lots of my predictions from last year were wishes anyway! So here they are, in no particular order.

I wish…

  • …the Edmonton Oilers could once again go all the way to the Stanley Cup Final after some truly impressive trade-deadline maneuvering by Kevin Lowe. And I hope they win this time!
  • …the Xbox Live Video Marketplace would come to Canada.
  • …that I could graduate and not have to go to school anymore!
  • …my parents would come to Edmonton for a bit in the summer!
  • Spider-Man 3 could become the top box office movie of all time, eclipsing Titanic. Seriously, it’s gonna be a kick ass movie!
  • …that Podcast Spot could become the number one podcast site on the net.
  • …that I could get a MacBook. And a new desktop with Vista.
  • …Microsoft would release Halo 3.
  • …that Microsoft would fix Outlook 2007!
  • …that by the time August rolls around I’ve found a good apartment downtown.

This will be a “living” list, which means I intend to come back and add to it later.

Review: Predictions for 2006

Post ImageLike a lot of people, I had some fun a year ago and made some predictions for 2006. Now that the year is pretty much over, I guess I should see how I did:

  1. SORTA RIGHT: Canada did indeed win the World Juniors, but we didn’t win the Olympic gold medal.
  2. SORTA RIGHT: In March, RIM settled its lawsuit with NTP, but it was later sued by Visto. I don’t think that has been solved yet. On the consumer front, the BlackBerry Pearl is off to a great start!
  3. WRONG: Ah not even close. The Steelers won the Superbowl.
  4. WRONG: Well we did get the Zune which has wi-fi, but I guess I was a little early on this one.
  5. MOSTLY WRONG: Apparently Toyota is still #2 in the world, but GM continues to have financial troubles.
  6. MOSTLY RIGHT: The PS3 did in fact launch, and it was in fact really expensive. Too early to tell what level of success it will have.
  7. WRONG: Man, who would have thought the Oilers would get so close! I don’t know why I picked Ottawa, they always choke.
  8. WRONG: Vista RTM’d in November, not September. I am sure the usual suspects made their usual claims.
  9. WRONG: Wishful thinking I’m afraid, but we did see Gears of War!
  10. WRONG: I think the iTunes/iPod combo still has a firm grip on the market, despite a (disputed) report that iTunes sales fell drastically in 2006.
  11. SORTA RIGHT: Apple launched their Intel-based machines very successfully, but I haven’t found anything that says their market share has increased. Some say it has decreased.
  12. SORTA RIGHT: Michael Schumacher did retire, but unfortunately didn’t win an 8th championship.
  13. RIGHT: I don’t have a link, but I seem to recall reading about Symantec suing Microsoft over security stuff in Vista.
  14. MOSTLY RIGHT: Not sure about big numbers, but TV shows made a splash on iTunes, and there are now dozens of online video stores. And for Americans, TV shows and movies are available on Xbox Live. And in general it was a huge year for video, thanks to YouTube.
  15. WRONG: No one bought TiVo.
  16. WRONG: The Liberals didn’t win the election.
  17. WRONG: Hard to say if Google stumbled in 2006. There wasn’t a big mistake, but maybe the little ones will add up.
  18. RIGHT: Looks like The Da Vinci Code was #2 at the box office this year!
  19. GLADLY WRONG: Thank goodness, the US did not invade Iran. The UN did recently impose sanctions however.
  20. RIGHT: I think lots of podcasting companies (pluggd, Podcast Ready, etc.) found success in 2006, ourselves included!

On January 7th I posted about multi-core processors. While it wasn’t in my list of predictions, it could have been:

Perhaps a year from now you won’t ask someone how fast their computer is. Instead, you might ask, how many cores do you have?

I think I almost nailed that one! Except that for the moment, the question is usually “do you have a dual core?” Close enough 🙂

I’ll probably come up with some predictions for 2007 later, and hopefully I do better next year!

Read: Predictions for 2006

Net Neutrality

Post ImageI haven’t said much about so-called “network neutrality” yet, but I do think it is a very important issue. I don’t pretend to know all about it, but I have read enough to form some opinions. First off, here’s how the term is defined at Wikipedia:

Network neutrality is a proposed principle of network regulation. It asserts that, in order to promote innovation, network service providers such as telephone and cable internet companies should not be permitted to dictate how those networks are used (ie. not permitted to ban certain types of programs, or to ban certain types of devices connecting to the network).

Currently, this is a big political issue in the United States, but I am not sure if it has received much attention elsewhere. A draft bill scheduled to be voted on tomorrow will be revised to ensure that the FCC has tools at its disposal to address violations. This is the main idea behind the bill, at least as I understand it:

The draft bill says broadband providers must provide connectivity speeds “at least equal to the speed and quality of service” that the operator offers for its own content or that of its affiliates, and “make available the same bandwidth” to everyone.

I encourage you to read the article linked to above (at CNET News.com) as it contains some background information in addition to the current happenings.

I was a little torn between whether or not network neutrality is a good idea or not. My gut feeling and initial reactions were that net neutrality is vital for the future of the Internet, and it must be protected. As I thought about it a little more, I turned to economics, and thus my secondary thoughts were that the market should decide how these services are charged for and offered. Upon still further consideration, I feel that net neutrality is important and we should all ensure the Internet remains neutral.

There are too many “ifs” associated with a network that might become tiered or fragmented in some way – who knows what the providers might do. The last thing I would want as a business consumer is to have different Internet access, whether in performance or throughput or bandwidth, than a larger company simply because the Internet providers can squeeze large sums of money out of them.

One of the great things about the Internet is that it is open and available to everyone (I realize there are people who cannot yet afford access, or areas for which access is unavailable, but as a blanket statement, the Internet is pretty open). I think it’s important we keep it that way, so I hope laws concerning network neutrality are ratified in the United States, and eventually, elsewhere.

Edmonton's Next Generation

Post ImageWe hear lots here in Edmonton about how our city needs to improve, but less about what is being done. I got an email recently about a survey from the Next Generation Task Force. If you’re in Edmonton, you might be interested in this:

The Next Generation Task Force is a temporary committee of Edmonton’s City Council. Chaired by Councillor Kim Krushell, it is charged with providing recommendations to City Council, on making Edmonton a more fun, attractive, and pleasant place to live. It is composed of twenty Edmontonians from diverse backgrounds and walks of life. Over the upcoming months they will be inviting public input on the six broad themes they have chosen (listed here in alphabetical order): Arts and Culture, Business Opportunity, Edmonton’s Image, Human Capital, Sports and Recreation, Urban Living Environment.

They have a ten minute survey up on the website that you can use to offer your opinion on these topics.

Read: Next Generation Task Force

Predictions for 2006

Post ImageWith the new year fast approaching, I thought it would be a good time for predictions. Not resolutions, but predictions. If you’d like to see some predictions from around the web, Alex Barnett has compiled a very interesting collection. Here are some of my predictions for the coming year, some specific and some more vague, in no particular order:

  1. Canada will win both the World Juniors Hockey Championship, and the gold medal in hockey at the Olympics.
  2. RIM will prevail in their legal troubles and will find success beyond the corporate market in 2006.
  3. The Indianapolis Colts will win the Superbowl.
  4. 2006 will finally be the year of Internet connected devices that make sense, are inexpensive, and are adopted widely. I am thinking of devices like digital cameras, little tablets for living room access, etc.
  5. Toyota will overtake General Motors as the world’s largest automaker, and GM shares will continue to plummet.
  6. Sony will launch the Playstation 3, but due to incredibly high prices, it will not match the success of it’s predecessor, nor the Xbox 360, except in Japan.
  7. The Ottawa Senators will win the Stanley Cup (at least I hope so, if Edmonton can’t).
  8. Windows Vista will RTM in September. Apple fans will claim too much is copied from OS X, and Linux fans will come out with roadmaps to copy all the functionality found in Vista.
  9. We’ll see a new Halo game (Halo 3 maybe) for the Xbox 360 sometime around November.
  10. iTunes and iPod will begin to lose their grip on the digital music market.
  11. Apple will successfully launch their Intel based machines and their market share will reach 6%.
  12. Michael Schumacher will win his 8th world drivers championship and then retire.
  13. A major security/antivirus/antispyware company will launch a lawsuit against Microsoft over Windows Vista, Windows OneCare, or other competing products.
  14. Movies, television shows, and other forms of video content will be sold in big numbers online in 2006, with almost every major content company taking part.
  15. Someone is going to buy TiVo before the year is over.
  16. The Liberals will once again win the upcoming Canadian election.
  17. It’s not really my prediction, but I agree with John Battelle who thinks Google will stumble in 2006.
  18. The Da Vinci Code will be in the top three movies at the boxoffice.
  19. The United States will invade Iran.

And in my final prediction, I am going to disagree with Jason Calacanis, who made the following prediction on December 27th:

12. No podcasting company will have any significant success in 2006, but a number of podcasters will be offered great jobs at Sirius and XM Radio.

I am going to predict that at least one company will be successful in 2006, and I fully intend to have Paramagnus be that company!