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Ask HN: What are your 2014 Predictions?
67 points by ChrisNorstrom on Jan 1, 2014 | hide | past | web | favorite | 61 comments
What are your predictions for the world in general for 2014?

1. Apple won't release a new product category (like an iWatch). But they'll do just fine by having the best industrial design and hardware.

2. Bitcoin and other digital currencies will take the world by storm.

3. Google will make a major improvement in AI with Google Now.

4. There will be another SnapChat or Instagram like product that'll make communicating with phones fun in a new way.

5. The internet and social networks will continue to cause social upheaval in authoritarian nations.

6. Facebook will add auto-playing video commercials and people will hate them.

7. Low-end cameras will start dying off rapidly. There will only be phones and high-end professional cameras in the future.

8. As technology automates more and more things, it'll contribute to unemployment of people who are unprepared to be knowledge workers.

9. People will start taking MOOCs a lot more seriously as an alternative to higher education, especially in meritocratic fields. Not a big change in 2014, but it'll be more obvious.

10. TV will start feeling like print media in the face of the internet, it's inevitable.

* There will be a major regulatory crackdown on Bitcoin in most countries due to money laundering concerns.

* It will become apparent that Apple's history is repeating itself. As mobile becomes commoditized, they will refuse to lower their prices and become a luxury niche player sliding slowly into irrelevance.

* Google will announce Go (golang) for Android.

* The U.S enonomy will grow fast at the start of the year and treasury yields will spike making the stock market and ultimately the economy crash. Next recession starting Q4 2014.

In-app purchases will be absolutely raping user's minds and wallets.

Virtual reality will make a strong come back. Steambox + Oculus combo will be quite popular among hardcore gamers.

There will be a growing disappointment in HTML5 not being able to provide proper mobile experience.

HTML5 spec will not be stabilized.

By the end of 2014, very few people have a smart watch.

Bitcoin continues to become more popular. Many physical places begin supporting the currency.

The UK government will start pushing for the porn block to be enforced for existing subscribers (not just new ones, as is the case now).

Low-end cameras are replaced by smartphones.

Linux's marketshare increases but remains relatively low. Steam OS has varying degrees of success. It's lack of mainstream professional games hinders adoption.

Low-end cameras are replaced by smartphones has already happened, surely?

Some people still have cameras but I suspect they will be off the shelves by the end of 2014.

1. Litecoin to the moon!

2. This guy is going to be very wrong... http://www.businessinsider.com/williams-bitcoin-meltdown-10-... >> I predict that Bitcoin will trade for under $10 a share by the first half of 2014, single digit pricing reflecting its option value as a pure commodity play. Miners/speculators will be best served to acknowledge the meltdown has begun, act quickly and take fleeting profit off the table.

....or, if he turns out to be right I will buy $5,000 worth of BTC and be a millionaire by EOY 2014 when the price spikes back up.

3. Snowden leaks will reveal something super-duper-crazy-out-there; e.g. AIDS invented in a lab or 9/11 really was an inside-job. Something almost beyond believable like that.

4. Blackberry will shutdown, be acquired or start making enterprise security phones. i.e., Blackberry will be to the mobile phone market what box.com is to the file-sharing services market.

Regarding #3, I'm pretty sure Snowden only had clearance for NSA-related materials. Those examples would be intelligence outside of the NSA's area.

Moore's Law remains halted. Nobody figures out how graphene will help. Programmers continue (see below) to move away from Java in favour of C to claw back some performance.

* See http://www.tiobe.com/index.php/content/paperinfo/tpci/index....

I doubt so. Programmers are more likely to adopt relatively new programming languages which are easier to learn and provide and produce software that is relatively fast, while not being as optimized as a C/C++ program. Java probably still has a long life ahead.

- No major changes in governments monitoring their citizens. Lots of intermittent hoopla. The story slowly fades.

- In the U.S., the Republicans, which have been mostly given up for dead, somehow make a comeback. Mainly because voters have no other choices

- Portable hardware continues to amaze. Tablets, music players, and cell phones are just the beginning

- More startup incubators kick off. At some point, folks realize that while there's not going to be a new SV any time soon, there are going to be a hundred 5% versions in the next few years

- Everybody agrees that Facebook loses it's mojo but has enough momentum that it remains a viable concern -- and will for some time into the future

- The EU continues to skate just ahead of monetary crisis. As the end of the cash infusion appears, investors get nervous. Very nervous.

- Economists continue to argue using calculus, making the rest of us sad that we ever taught calculus to those guys

- Saudi Arabia seriously begins a nuclear program (probably covertly)

- Israel does not strike Iran

- Japan makes it's first steps towards becoming a true regional military power again

- China makes another hamfisted attempt at regional hegemony, continuing to alarm the neighbors

- The politicization of science continues unabated

- Open Science gains a little ground, but not much

- Christmas Tree machines still remain a distant possibility. 3D printing doesn't make huge gains

- Every week we're told of a new amazing discovery in energy -- batteries, solar cells, air storage, thorium reactors, fusion by means of tea kettles. It's always tantalizing, we always say the same things about it on HN -- and it always never amounts to much

- Some major discoveries about cancer are made, probably along the lines of immune system modification as a treatment

Okay, that's all I got. Wonder how many I'll hit on?

1. Stock market: up.

2. Economy (U.S. and world): up.

3. Political polarization: up.

4. Stupid-patent lawsuits: up.

5. World violence: down.

I'll shoot for;

1) We see a 'start-up' bubble form as sites like we funder open the mass market to VC.

2) Bitcoin has some big peaks and dips but ends the year overall on a reasonable up.

3) The US starts to feel inflationary effects from ongoing quantitive easing.

There will be an exponential increase in Bitcoin pseudo-intellectuals in the media (and everywhere else, of course).

We will see a one-man startup/app/product valued/acquired at north of $100M.

- Stock market correction. Maybe a crash if Murphy's Law holds true and there is a sudden major unwind. Will have genuinely new characteristics. For example, you might see a selloff in "safe" dividend paying stocks and not tech, due to rotation of retirement funds out of stocks into fixed income. Another theory is you might see a panic out of financial stocks again once we see two quarters of downtrending inflation.

- Bitcoin will hit $5k at some point. No bitcoin crash in 2014. Dogecoin gives us a glimpse of the long-term role of cryptocurrencies: not really to buy physical goods, but to send micro-payments to people for micro-services from simple tasks to just making you laugh or giving you insight. As mobile devices permeate our lives (see the iBand below) this form of exchange becomes more natural. This dynamic gains more traction as additional means of "tipping" are made on various sites (though this term may not be the way it is presented.) Twitter might lead the way here, building in a feature that allows you to tip any tweet with bitcoins or maybe even dogecoins, as absurd as that sounds now.

- UST 10yr will close about where it is now, ~3%, maybe lower yield if we see deflation/disinflation. Muni bond crisis is overdone and spreads tighten, regained interest in fixed income for the retirement investment crowd as it becomes clear no inflation is imminent drive rates down. Talking heads start to posit that we're seeing rapidly increased productivity in the economy due to technology, and this means deflation and low GDP for a longer time than we ever thought. Unemployment stays high and talk of a living wage gains traction though is a pipe dream in the US. Rotation out of equities here contributes to the market correction. GLD ends the year down another 10-15%.

- Apple introduces iBand, thin glass wristband that serves as a paired device to your iPhone or iPad. It's a beautiful curved display that wraps around your wrist, and calling it a "watch" seems pretty ridiculous since it is essentially a display surface for apps around your wrist, not some boxed-off tiny square screen encased by a frame and held on by a "dumb" leather or plastic band like the pebble or gear. (The analogy here is blackberry is to iphone as pebble/gear is to iband.) No on-board processors, RAM, or storage, iPhone/iPad does the heavy lifting. Use cases include obvious things like mapping, reading messages, fitness, and maybe payments with integrated touchID. Tim Cook demos FaceTime on the wrist on stage and points how just how insane it is that we have a Dick Tracy watch. Nerds write it off because it lacks features the Pebble has, is too expensive, looks stupid, has poor specs, or can't imagine why they would use it when you can't type on it. Will have a novel charging mechanism, design, or technology that makes it natural and easy to charge when not in use. The motivation for iOS7's focus on depth, layering, and typography and classic print design comes into clearer focus on a small screen which the user views at many different angles in quick glances. Might use gyros to enable fine scrolling control or flick gestures with tilt of the wrist. It's a major blowout hit with huge margins for Apple at a relatively low price point (prob $400 max.) Becomes a major cultural status symbol due to customization options (color, finish, maybe even different options catered to men and women) and is immediately the most visible Apple product a person owns. As such is the most fashion-conscious product Apple has ever created. For people who own the iBand, looking back on a time where they had to dig into their pockets to read a text message seems backwards and ridiculous. Samsung apes it, poorly, in Q1 2015 for Galaxy Gear line. AAPL closes 2014 in mid $800's, low $900's, maybe a 10-15% haircut from there if wider market takes a beating.

- By end of 2014 Obamacare will be generally accepted as a Good Thing as people actually start saving money. More people quit their jobs and start companies in 2014 than expected because they no longer fear having to lose employer insurance. Democrats will be a lock for the midterms. Obama gets 2 years left without obstructionism.

- North Korea status quo maintained. Diplomatic progress on Iran as tensions cool. Ceasefire in Syria created, then broken, then created again.

- Google makes an autonomous vehicle surprise announcement of some sort, or announces a consumer robot, or at least a dev kit for robotics that is a leap forward compared to the status quo today. (No, you won't get your self driving car in 2014, but I think you'll be able to spend money on something from Google that has "Google Robotics" on the side.) Basically at the end of 2014 Google acknowledges it is a robotics company. Glass gets rejected by the youth but finds applications in industry, though this is just starting to become clear by the end of 2014. 2014 is year of the smartband, not the year of the smartlens. (That year will come though, and yes, Apple will break the design challenges first again I think.)

- Momentum continues to build around the Oculus and awareness of its wider implications. The horse will still be in the barn in 2014 but it will be making some serious noise.

looking forward to checking back here in 2015 :)

"By end of 2014 Obamacare will be generally accepted as a Good Thing as people actually start saving money. More people quit their jobs and start companies in 2014 than expected because they no longer fear having to lose employer insurance."

Who is saving money? The small minority who have existing conditions are, but not the majority of healthy people.

Sounds like you don't run your own business or buy your own insurance. Small and healthy business owners like me just had a massive increase in the cost of doing business. Health insurance costs are much more and the benefits are much less.

A doubling of health care costs in my case, and a much higher deductible.

These plans are incentivized to keep people tied to their current employers. The costs of self-insurance is now just shy of a mortgage payment. Self-employeds are looking for a job, so they can be covered by obamacare.

>>Who is saving money? The small minority who have existing conditions are, but not the majority of healthy people.

I am saving money. I quit my job 2 years ago to be a freelancer and was declined health insurance due to a "high" cholesterol condition and was kindly offered a $1200/month plan. I declined to pay such a high premium. Now me and thousands of entrepreneurs are free to choose and get whatever insurance they want at group rates.

>>These plans are incentivized to keep people tied to their current employers. The costs of self-insurance is now just shy of a mortgage payment. Self-employeds are looking for a job, so they can be covered by obamacare.

You must be out of your freaking mind to say that

I'm not sure that the technology exists to make the iBand in the way you describe in 2014. Bear in mind that they would have to already be pretty heavily into development if they're releasing it this year. Curved displays are only just being worked out, and getting all of those features (and a large enough battery) into a device small enough to not be another Galaxy Gear watch looks tricky.

Just to heap on a little more negativity, I really don't think the Democrats are a lock for the midterms. Gerrymandered districts alone will that difficult, let alone the general objections to Obama that will stick around. Many will continue to hate Obamacare irrespective of any actual results.

What i meant there is democrats are a lock to win both the house and maintain the senate, provided Obamacare ends up being accepted by the public.

Odd that the iBand seems like the most "important" of your predictions even though it's objectively something we could do without with no loss of capability from today. I guess that's the definition of being a nerd :) (as well as v long AAPL)

I'm curious if funds will have enough freedom of action to stay out of fixed income more than they otherwise would. I honestly have no idea why even a 50-65 year old now would put anywhere near the "traditional" levels of money into bonds; longer lifespans, prolonged low interest rate environment, and a diversified global equity market seem to make going underweight bonds, even with the risk of a 20% (or even 50%) market correction in equities, rational.

I think on Obamacare you're letting your desire for a good future override rational analysis of what's most likely. I believe healthcare reform is a good thing, and some of what's in Obamacare is good, but it is a big change, and has people actively opposing it, and hasn't been implemented with much competence, so we're going to end up with a clusterduck for the next year at least.

Deflation is certainly a danger but I found this interesting: http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2013/12/mon...

It should be pointing towards inflation. That's not a prediction on my part, I really don't know.

Wish list?

Let me try :

- politicians will keep lying, bankers will keep ruining good people and stock markets will keep not reflecting the actual state of the economy amidst general apathy, mine included.

- taxes will go up, employment down.

- Miley Cyrus will somehow be nude somewhere on TV and this will appear on one of the many thousand news I will inadvertently consume this year.

- in the same vein, Linus Thorvalds, RMS, Mark Shuttleworth and Theo de Raadt will make outrageous comments (and or gestures for Linus) that will agitate the community (not taking risk here ;-).

- the start-up bubble will implode and common people will pontificate on how investors were throwing millions on stupid apps that a 14yo could have coded in 3 hours a rainy Saturday afternoon.

- on a personal note as a .net developer I will still be paid the same salary as a bus driver reflecting my management's valuation of my work. French job market outside Paris being what it is, I will keep churning business apps each time my manager has a brain fart ... huh ... idea ... while dreaming on the start-up stories that i will read on HN.

SpaceX will do a vertical landing of their Falcon 9 v1.1 first stage on land.

1) Actual international-conflict geopolitical risk will not bubble over in 2014. Stupid saber-rattling in Asia, insurgencies and wars in Africa, but nothing critical.

2) Security/privacy will become something normal people and businesses ask about, and ask fairly superficial questions about, during many transactions (e.g. people are going to stop being fucking morons and just relying on "the cloud" for sensitive data without questioning it; they may still end up using the cloud, but will want to make a more informed choice.)

3) Snowden, Manning, and Assange will remain in the same positions on 31 DEC as they started on 1 JAN. weev will remain in prison. aaronsw

4) Zerocoin will launch, and will be a lot more interesting than Bitcoin to many Bitcoin early adopters. Alternative digital currencies which are NOT purely proof-of-work will also start to be interesting; not necessarily USD backed, but maybe equities, or debt instruments, or whatever. Some may be based on bitcoin. Either Open Transactions or a strippled-of-XRP form of Ripple, or something like it (blinded tokens). BTC/USD will remain between 250 and 2000 on 31 DEC, even if it has excursions. If I had to bet, I'd bet today's price/no net change as the most likely center (the "most likely" single price is of course 0, but plenty of other prices are also likely)

5) Apple will continue to slide into irrelevance; the vanguard of most-technical users will move away from iOS and OSX, if not Apple hardware, due to Apple anti-freedom policies

6) Someone will actually put together a credible packaged solution for secure CPE (wifi-wifi, wifi-ether), secure basebandless pda thing, secure laptop (a modified chromebook or something), server solution, and network services, in a way which can be verified down to the metal, for pro and enterprise/intl sales, at semi-sane price points (i.e. not Crypto AG prices)

7) A non-US location will emerge as a serious startup location specifically due to NSA/USG policies. I'm betting on Germany with German/Swiss arbitrage -- people living/working in Berlin on dev and ops in Switzerland. Maybe other non-EU/EU splits.

8) US mid-term 2014 elections will consist of "fuck the incumbents", independent of political party.

9) Yahoo will continue to slide into doom, and will be revealed to be the biggest collaborator among major non-financial, non-travel, non-carrier companies in the US. Alibaba will remain their only real value.

10) China will start to try to take the "moral high ground" on issues as a counterpoint to the US. It won't be universal, but it will hopefully cause US politicians (and electorate) to rethink things. They may offer to help in Afghanistan post US-withdrawal, in the same way they help in Africa today -- economic support, little political involvement.

No. 10: " little political involvement." - I don't know but they do kind of run Africa...Someone I heard of bought some land in Namibia or Mozambique or someplace. He planned to build a house so he got a geologist to check the bedrock, which turned out to be rich in copper. He thought he hit the Jackpot so he asked for mining rights, the government's reply was "We're sorry, you may build a house on the land but we have sold the mining rights to the chinese gov't".

>in the same way they help in Africa today -- economic support, little political involvement.

Ah, I think we know that kind of "help" from the past. Let local dictators have their way in exchange for exploiting a country's resources.

I predict I'll finish my HP 200LX clone running RetroBSD on the new PIC32 board that just arrived. I get an excellent web developing job working on interesting project(s). I finish my book. :)

And on the whole: 2014, year of the Linux desktop... Hey, I can dream, can't i?

I'm looking forward for this. My prediction is that I don't move forward on my RetroBSD running DIY calculator.

Hah, well keep an eye on the RetroBSD forums, I've been hacking away at the simulator and working on the PCBs for the keyboard and display. I've based it off the Fubarino, which I'm pretty sure is what my mail slip that arrived today is for, yay! I do predict it'll take me most of the year, as I'm going to have to hack in proper power management and other things, but it's so much fun that I don't care! I can't think of anything cooler than a HP 200 styled palmtop running a *nix. The question is, do I use the original 200LX case, or injection mould my own?

Got a link to your project at all? My website is in my profile, I'll be posting build logs once I pick up the board :D

Unfortunately on the hardware side I haven't done more than ordering a LCD and trying out several switches, and on the software side I'm not beyond POC software. I'm still not sure what kind of interface i want. Currently I think it should be RPL alike, but i see some UX issues i'd like to solve sometime. Sorry, no link.

A lot of predictions here with a US or tech perspective:

Like the Economist I see the EU succeed in putting more pieces of its banking union in place. This means large EU banks fall under ECB regulation rather than national regulation. This severs one link that exacerbated the € crisis but stops short of full fiscal transfers between regions which means more pain for the less resilient economies.

In Europe and the US inequality will continue to grow as nothing has been put into place that reverses the socialism-for-the-rich policies and the part-capture of politics by finance. There will not be another Occupy movement but with unemployment holding stubbornly steady and people unsure whether this is down to the 1% or tech automation expect to see undirected anger at the wealthy and the tech industry.

The centre of economic activity continues to shift to the far east. China stays on course to become the world's largest economy within five years. Chinese companies become more visible globally following the lead of Japan and Korea.

It becomes obvious that higher learning is being radically re-shaped by online courses and content. The current education players (publishers/universities) that do not embrace this new landscape will face hard times. Institutions will only be limited by linguistic boundaries, not (geographical) national ones. Primary and secondary learning unchanged because kids must go to school while parents work and must go to school locally. Pretty good chance that computer programming is adopted as a core skill by more and more regions.

Areas of activity in 2014 will be Space, Solar, Gas, Biotech, Cybercurrencies (rivals to BTC will emerge this year), and the FOSS gets serious about federated (anonymous/pseudonymous/real name) social networks and secure private chat platforms.

In terms of conflict I think we'll get more of the same. War of attrition continues in Israel, settlement activity continues, no progress on peace. No significant development in Syria unless China/Russia do a volte face. Possible internal turmoil in North Korea due to purge and defections - N. Korean regime will eventually collapse as no malevolent dictatorship or tyranny has ever survived as such but calling when is impossible. As the Arab Spring has everything to do with the spread of enlightenment ideals and very little to do with internet technologies expect to see more demonstrations around the region and concessions like allowing women to drive in Saudi Arabia and things like this but no government being overthrown. Iran pushes forward with its nuclear program (as do other petroleum states) and finds US/Israel to be implacable, as US withdraws from Afghanistan the likelihood of boots on the ground in Iran increases.

webRTC becomes easily usable and almost fully implemented by the end of 2014.

And yet it will still remain infeasible for real-world use due to no IE support.

Someone will make a plugin for IE if the demand is large enough, like they did for webgl (even though webgl demand isn't very big).

This still kills the only benefit of WebRTC that it has over existing solutions - it's no-install nature.

If a user gets to the point of installing something, there's really not much difference between Skype and the plugin. Except, of course, everyone is already on Skype.

IE will lose at least another 10-15% market share this year BECAUSE of the fact that they decide not to support WebRTC.

Is this no good for IE9+?


People will start switching to Google+

"People will start switching to Google+"

I expect Google will continue to strongly push Google+ on as many users as it can. Whether it will actually persuade users to join or actively use the service is another matter.

Social networking will be very important to Google in 2014, so says Eric Schmidt in his 2014 predictions (2 min video)


I'd like to believe that we'll be more privacy-conscious in 2014, but I don't actually think that will be the case. I'd like to see more scrutiny of the data companies collect about users, particularly because they are now collecting more data than ever before. Some companies like Google have staggering amounts of user data. They're probably salivating at the prospect of capturing even more precise user behaviour through an OS (Chrome) that potentailly captures everything you do online.

Far from the tech community (who you might hope would be most informed about this) actually raising concerns about the privacy implications of this, I think Google (and other companies) will continue to get away with barely any scrutiny at all.

Woah there, let's not be radical.

I'm never on Facebook anymore, but I'm not too keen on switching to Google+ either. I want an ADN for Facebook.

* Battery tech makes a leap forward - on the consumer level not academic.

* Google Glass goes nowhere. Makes for very interesting case study though - much is learned.

* Apple faces an uphill battle on all fronts. Manages to hold its ground well.

* US keeps pushing the copyright angle hard. Zero real world effect - pirates keep on happily pushing bits and bytes around the world.

* Startups in northern Europe soars. Not UK. Probably Germany - as rdl said in his prediction.

* Germany continues to kick ass on the economy side. Spain / Italy / Greece still in trouble. Tension within EU as a result.

* Elon continues to kick ass - at least on the Tesla front

* Startup scene becomes (more) overcrowded. Even the people with good products struggle to get noticed.

* Steambox takes off. xbone loses out to PS4 by a sizable margin.

* Win 8 adoption picks up significantly at home. Zero corporate interest though.

* The year of the Linux desktop doesn't happen. nix dominates everywhere else though (server, tablets, home entertainment etc)

* The hits keep coming for the USA - whistleblowers, NSA etc. Real world financial consequences - but only noticed by the tech crowd.

* More people start using VPNs. Internet security expenses become a must for the tech crowd (i.e. in addition to paying for internet).

* UK economy wobbles significantly. If the wobble is anywhere near their housing market then things could get shaky world wide.

* At least one serious flash crash / HFT drama of sorts. Widespread acknowledgement that its dangerous. Nothing happens to curb it due to powerful players protecting status quo.

* Military drone tech keeps soaring. US starts doubting their big budget manned fighter programs. China drone tech makes more progress than expected - USA caught off guard.

* Renewable energy takes off. Drama because the grid & energy sector just isn't ready for the distortions it causes.

* Epidemic of some kind comes from India. Everyone realizes global coordination is inadequate & medical sector panics about drug resistance.

* Fukushima keeps being a problem. Japan mans up and asks Russia & USA for serious help (i.e. not gestures) - only 3 years late.

Bitcoin is overtaken by something else.

JavaScript continues to get faster.

Google Glasses gets released and we see them grow quickly, similar to how stuff like the pebble has been growing traction. 2013 was the year of the smartwatch. 2014 will be the year of the smartglasses.

2014 is the year of the Linux desktop with SteamOS!

"2014 is the year of the Linux desktop with SteamOS!" - can't be 'desktop' since most of them will be under TVs.

"2013 was the year of the smartwatch" - did not really happen though.

I'm hoping coding will enter the mainstream and more people will learn to create software that helps them in their lives and work.

Being smart and having a specific mindset will become mainstream? Cool!

I am 100% sure the world will not end again.

Because if it does no one can call me on this prediction.

Micropayments go mainstream.

People tend to overestimate what can happen in a year, but underestimate what can happen in a decade....

That said -

* Current economic recoveries are too top-heavy and debt-focused; businesses and investors are taking for themselves without giving back enough to the workers to provide customers and make recovery sustainable. Real terms wages aren't recovering, household debt is rising. I don't see a track record of that sort of thing correcting naturally, so I'd suggest it'll be a brake on recovery through 2014 and possibly push one or more major economies back into recession.

* Apple's iOS market - the cash cow supporting the whole business - continues to decline. iOS lost market share leadership on phones (aside - one of these days we'll start calling them tablets too, accident of history that they're called phones now) some years ago, and by some measures has recently lost it on tablets too. I see no practical way back for a single company releasing 2-3 devices a year against an ecosystem releasing hundreds. Stocks will continue to decline, I doubt they'll be more than a niche player in 5 years time. (Links - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4431730, https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3076576)

* Mark Zuckerberg has a track record for spotting the Next Big Thing, if possibly also for overpaying for it. Facebook.com will continue its move towards being a social hub for varied sources rather than just a single entity, while stories continue dismissing its relevance. Facebook, Inc. will continue growing through this expanding footprint, whatever the core property's traffic does.

* I hope I'm wrong, but China seems to have been spoiling for a fight in various ways for some time. From its currency manipulation used to build up a balance of payment surplus which is then used to buy up real assets overseas, to its territorial stances - Taiwan, South China Sea, Senkaku / Diaoyu.... I suspect much of this is pre-emptive distraction from the fact that it needs to keep the economy growing at 7% annually to sustain their young population (and suggestions that they've been cooking the books to cover failures in this), but.... Too big a power, too much sabre rattling, too much nationalism being invoked. North Korea is clearly far from stable, Japan has a leader who wishes to paper over much of the 1931-1945 period. My hope is for China to collapse in on itself as with the former USSR; I'm not confident that we won't see war in that region in the next few years.

* Speaking of authoritarian regimes trying to use mineral wealth to paper over internal cracks and rattle sabres, Russia seems a matter of concern. Sochi 2014 is a pure vanity project; hosting a Winter Sports festival in a summer resort that's very near a region with a recent history of violent political instability (witness the recent bombings in Volgograd), building facilities in somewhat geologically unstable areas that then collapse and require rebuilding, large-scale corruption... I would be very surprised if the Sochi games go without interruption and I sincerely hope that they can prove the start of Russia freeing itself from Putin.

Microsoft retrenching into "IBM mode" under the new CEO.

Google Now will grow to be scary!

This thread is a gold mine!

- Coup d'état in North Korea, with civil war between pro-democratic forces and loyalist forces. American, South Korean forces entering North Korea from the DMZ and Chinese troops entering from the Yalu river. North Korea is divided in half. China declares a large buffer zone, forcing South Korea to concede 25% of the peninsula. Japanese Self Defense Force clashes with Chinese Navy in a limited naval/air battle which results in Chinese loss. Both sides declare victory.

- Another dot-com bust. Facebook is delisted from stock exchange after share prices crash and investors lose confidence in rapidly declining user-base. Amazon crashes, Walmart takes over the space left behind by Amazon after being acquired. The idea of valuation from future profits in technology stocks is wiped out with the major market correction. Warren Buffet addresses it in his annual shareholder's meeting.

- United States announces return to the gold standard angering China as the treasury notes become worthless.Global recession many times bigger than the 2008 market crash soon follows.

- Bitcoin is made illegal as it is discovered the Founder of Bitcoin turns out to be Ross Ulbricht, the founder of Silk Road. Cryptocurrency is banned in United States and other nations follow.

Your predictions got more and more outlandish as the post went on.

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