What does 2008 hold in store?

With some prompting from Jamie Clague I thought that I’d give the Mystic Meg thing a try and throw out some ideas of what we’ll be seeing in the coming year.

Some things, like the second generation iPhone (my money is on it being sometime around June), have been all but confirmed and enough evidence is floating around for detailed speculation on other things.

  1. Contactless cash will take off.
    The chip on your new credit and debit cards will soon be a near-field communications chip and payments for items less than £10 in value will no longer require you to enter a PIN. A VISA/MasterCard scheme was trialled in London a few months ago. As usual the Japanese were several years ahead of us with their EDY (euro-dollar-yen) system.
  2. Microsoft release IE8 . . .
    . . . and it doesn’t suck. Going on their track record I am aware that this is a big ask but I can dream can’t I? IE8 will surprise everyone and a new multi-threaded rendering engine will be at the heart of a browser that fully supports standards like XHTML, CSS3 and SVG. It will also feature a blistering fast JavaScript engine, embrace HTML 5 and (optionally) ship with a metric ass-load of developer tools. Probably the least likely of the five — my colleagues thought I’d lost the plot when I was thinking out loud earlier today.
  3. There will be a massive hack of a major financial institution. Recent developments in quantum computing offer a huge boost to those trying to crack public key encryption with Shor’s algorithm. Provably unbreakable one-time pads will become a necessity for all e-commerce.
  4. The Internet will start to have serious problems.
    Not from the usual fraudsters, viruses and spammers but from a new direction. It will become a victim of the gathering popularity of IPTV and VoIP will start to cause problems. The Internet will start to show signs of brownouts and buckling under the weight of traffic unless a lot (and I do mean a lot) of capital is invested soon and QoS comes into play or the controversial network neutrality scheme gains popularity.
  5. Efficient hydrogen storage.
    Not something I know much about to be honest but the amount of money up for grabs to whoever gets this right must be attracting some serious research. A replacement for fossil fulled transport with only water as a by-product is an attractive proposition. The infrastructure to distribute this new eco-friendly propulsion at petrol stations will be in place in another five or so years.

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2 thoughts on “What does 2008 hold in store?”

  1. Thanks for your post.

    – Efficient hydrogen storage, would be a massive break through.
    – Small payments are almost certain, but retailers always drag their feet over new technology, chip n pin being the example.
    – IE7 was half hearted effort to keep Firefox from taking over.

    Jamie

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