I’ve used “prognosticator” as a veiled insult, just because it sounds so nasty. Last year I played that game though, in a post with a title like this one’s; now it’s a quiet New Year’s Eve (we’re tired and have a big day tomorrow), so why not consider last year the start of a tradition? So let’s look back and see how I did last year, then try again. And again toss in some pretty pictures of not much.

Not much, in Maui

Not much (Maui).

Looking Back · This time last year, I’d hoped that 2005 would be better than 2004, which was a pretty lousy year, and I guess that didn’t come off, the bad news predominated: Katrina, Earthquake, London bombs, Iraq grinding along, and so on.

Not much, in Vancouver

Not much (Vancouver).

Like last year though, 2005 was good to me and mine; work goes well, the family’s basically OK, and we got a kitten!

Last Year’s Prognostications · A mere 6 of ’em.

Not much, in Vancouver

Not much (Vancouver).

China Will Be Interesting ... the biggest news story of 2005 will be out of China.
OK, wrong-o. Katrina and the Kashmir earthquake and the London bombs trumped it. 0/1. But in a quiet way, as I wrote in April, the Chinese continue to stand up, and that’s huge.

Web Services? Yeah, whatever. There’ll be lots more XML messages hurtling around the network, but the proportion which play the WS-* game will be about the same at the end of the year as it is now.
Yep. 1/2

Dubya Will Have a Bad Year.
Sure did. 2/3

IBM Will Do Just Fine.
Pretty safe, that one, but good for 3/4.

The Indian-Ocean Region Will Bounce Back.
In the news, I see reviving Thai tourism and peace showing signs of breaking out in Aceh. Sri Lanka’s still unhappy, though. I’ll give myself 50% on this one. 3½/5.

Not much, in Oxford

Not much (Oxford).

The Software Business Will be Boring.
4½/6. I think that the interesting software news stories of 2005 were mostly from my employer; but we don’t know yet whether all the open-source and free-to-use initiatives will actually, you know, work.

Not much, in Saskatchewan

Not much (Saskatchewan).

2006 · I’ll take 75% accuracy any day of the week. How about next year? Reaching for my handy RDF-powered Laphroaig-enhanced prognostication engine...

  1. China Will Be Interesting OK, I missed last year, but I think I’ll let this bet ride. The infrastructural stress levels—political, economic, demographic—(and don’t forget, there’s North Korea teetering right across the border) are just too big, and they’re all growing. Barring more Katrina-scale disasters, I think the single biggest news story of the year will have “中國” stamped on it.

  2. Iraq Will Be Boring This is a terrible thing to say, because it amounts to “not much change in the ongoing litany of insurgency and disarray”, but that’s how it looks to me.

  3. Not much, in Prague

    Not much (Prague).

  4. The U.S. Republicans Will Have a Bad Year This just broadens last year’s prediction about Dubya. I think it’s a safe bet.

  5. Google Will Do Fine I think there are stormclouds on the horizon; Google created a scary-huge barrier to entry into their market, but there are big, smart, rich players scaling it right now, and some will make it over. But not in 2006.

  6. Global Warming Gets Real I mean politically real, to the point that more or less everyone believes it’s happening, and it’s politically damaging not to be vocally in favor of taking urgent action.

  7. Servers Will Be Interesting Intel is simply not going to sit still while AMD chews into its market share. Similarly, Intel and AMD are not going to sit still while Niagara makes a big noise in the web-apps space.

Not much, in Koper-Capodistria, Slovenia

Not much (Koper-Capodistria, Slovenia).

Best o’ the New Year To You · And thanks, once again, two thousand and six thanks for reading and for writing back. Talk to you next year and be careful, the world is a dangerous place.

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December 31, 2005
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