January 22, 2019

2005 Predictions Scorecard

Last January, I offered predictions for 2005. It’s time now to review those predictions, to see how I did.

(1) DRM technology, especially on PCs, will be seen increasingly as a security and privacy risk to end users.

The SonyBMG fiasco fulfilled this prediction.

Verdict: Right.

(2) Vonage and other leading VoIP vendors will start to act like incumbents, welcoming regulation of their industry sector.

We did see Vonage embrace 911 regulation (only to back away from it later). But that’s about all.

Verdict: Mostly wrong.

(3) Internet Explorer will face increasing competitive pressure from Mozilla Firefox. Microsoft’s response will be hamstrung by its desire to maintain the fiction that IE is an integral part of the operating system.

Firefox did make headway, and Microsoft was held back initially by a desire to hold back IE updates until the next version of Windows was issued.

Verdict: Mostly right.

As blogs continue to grow in prominence, we’ll see consolidation in the blog world, with major bloggers either teaming up with each other or affiliating with major news outlets or web sites.

We did see plenty of consolidation: TPM Cafe, Pajamas Media, Huffington Post, and so on.

Verdict: Right.

(5) A TV show or movie that is distributed only on the net will become a cult hit.

Readers informed me that this one was already true (Red vs. Blue). Perhaps I wasn’t predicting that this would happen, but that I would learn about it.

No verdict.

(6) The Supreme Court’s Grokster decision won’t provide us with a broad, clear rule for evaluating future innovations, so the ball will be back in Congress’s court.

The Court didn’t give us a bright-line rule, but Congress has kept its hands off, presumably on the theory that the Court’s decision is the best result that is feasible.

Verdict: Mostly right.

(7) Copyright issues will be stalemated in Congress.

Many bills were introduced, but no major bills came close to passing.

Verdict: Right.

(8) There will be no real progress on the spam, spyware, and desktop security problems.

Verdict: Right.

(9) Congress will address the spyware problem by passing a harmless but ineffectual law, which critics will deride as the “CAN-SPY Act.”

No such bill was passed.

Verdict: Wrong.

(10) DRM technology will still fail to prevent widespread infringement. In a related development, pigs will still fail to fly.

I predict this every year, and it’s always right. This prediction is so obvious that it’s almost unfair to count it.

Verdict: Right.

(11) New P2P systems will marry swarming distribution (as in BitTorrent) with distributed indexing (as in Kazaa et al). Copyright owners will resort to active technical measures to try to corrupt the systems’ indices.

There was talk about such systems, but no good ones were developed, so copyright owners didn’t have to respond to them.

Verdict: mostly wrong.

(12) X-ray vision technology will become more widely available (though not to the general public), spurring a privacy hoohah.

There was some discussion about airport security machines that can see through clothes, but they weren’t widely deployed and the privacy discussion was fairly minor.

Verdict: Mostly wrong.

The final score: five right, two mostly right, three mostly wrong, one wrong. Obviously my predictions weren’t sufficiently outrageous. Next: predictions for 2006.

[A few readers made their own predictions for 2005 in the comments on last year’s predictions post. I’ve re-opened comments there to allow discussion of the reader predictions.]

Comments

  1. “(5) A TV show or movie that is distributed only on the net will become a cult hit.”

    The Finnish Star Wreck movie became the most watched Finnish movie in history within three months of its launch. All thanks to being available on the internet for free on BitTorrent.

    For at least one country, this prediction was pretty well on target 🙂

  2. Ditto on Star Wreck. I downloaded a copy, my kids have watched it, someone here at work (Sun) wanted to see it, I burned them a CD. I run Azureus continuously; of the roughly ten torrents that I peer (all legal), Star Wreck has the highest share ratio (at the moment, I’ve uploaded 118x the download size).

    Current downloading peers are located in fi, gb (2), sk, mt, gr, and ee.

  3. “(11) New P2P systems will marry swarming distribution (as in BitTorrent) with distributed indexing (as in Kazaa et al). Copyright owners will resort to active technical measures to try to corrupt the systems’ indices.

    There was talk about such systems, but no good ones were developed, so copyright owners didn’t have to respond to them.

    Verdict: mostly wrong.”

    While no new significant development was made in this area, the eDonkey2000, Overnet, Kademlia networks and their cousins did make some headway in use. In essence, decentralized networks are either gaining swarming abilities or networks with swarming abilities are gaining awareness.

    However, your verdict remains correct: no new significant development has been made. I wonder if this is due to the recent Grokster case or if our crazy P2P-hacker friends were just sleeping this year.

  4. Incognito says:

    Another show that was distributed via the net that caused a stir was Global Frequency. The show was a pilot episode from a canned series that someone leaked on the net.

  5. the zapkitty says:

    But wouldn’t Ed’s prediction…

    “5) A TV show or movie that is distributed only on the net…”

    … reasonably imply a legitimately released show?

    Unless, as has been proposed, the “leak” was actually an attempt to build support for the series…

  6. “New P2P systems will marry swarming distribution with distributed indexing”

    This wasn’t so far off – http://www.bittorrent.com/trackerless.html

  7. Boing Bob says:

    And on the very same day that you evaluate your predictions, 12) comes true:

    New Device Will Sense Through Concrete Walls

    http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Jan2006/20060103_3822.html

    (via BoingBoing http://www.boingboing.net/2006/01/05/handheld_radar_scope.html )

  8. “New P2P systems will marry swarming distribution with distributed indexing”

    That one’s a hit, actually: The gnutella protocol has gained the ability to do distributed tracking/swarming.

  9. Anonymous says:

    DivX will set Codec and DRM standard in 2006 .

  10. the zapkitty says:

    Nope.

    h264 and no DRM will be the standard 🙂

    With mplayer’s Snow wavelet codec progressing, albeit slowly…

  11. Felix Deutsch says:

    Uh, Pajamas Media as an example for consolidation of bloggers?

    For what? A void sucking up several millions of investor dollars.