Sunday, January 1, 2012

Predictions For 2012, 2011 Prediction Grading

It's been awhile. I wont make any excuses, I've been busy with a lot of other projects over the past few months. With the new year here though I wanted to make a few predictions and go over what I said last year. My 2010 wrap-up/2011 predictions can be found here. This will be a fairly short post.

2011 Prediction Results
I had a several different predictions associated with the iPad and iPhone. As is typically the case I got some things right and some things wrong. I was right about a Verizon friendly iPhone and wrong about the next generation iPhone being stylistically different from the iPhone 4. I had a reasonably good read on Amazon and the Kindle and had a pretty good read on software patents. Then again, it's not hard to predict continued insanity on that front.

Overall I think I did OK.

2012 Predictions
For me there are two very interesting technology stories this year. Both are a bit far afield of the ground I  normally cover.

The first is DNA sequencing. My Mom was adopted and I've recently been helping her locate her birth family. The paper trail is minimal and subject to errors and omissions. Fortunately there is a much more reliable body of evidence and it lives in every cell of my body. A month or so ago I received my partial DNA testing results from My Mom recently agreed to be tested as well and her sample is on the way to processing as I write this.

While I was not adopted, I do have a once removed understanding of what it feels like to not know where you came from through my Mom. Through my sequencing I now have a much better understanding of my background and am using my results to locate possible relatives on my Mom's side. This quest also inspired me to do a lot of research into my Dads family which has lead to some very cool results. I now know where most of his family came from dating back well into the 19th century.

The advances in this field are significant and rapid right now both on the cost side and the discoveries that are being made. This year we may see full sequencing for under $1000. When that barrier is crossed the pace of discovery is going to accelerate even more.

There are of course potentially scary outcomes to all this but every upside has a downside, it's inevitable.

The second area I'll be following is cold fusion. I'm still very much doubter but there is a lot of smoke right now, primarily from the direction of one Andrea Rossi and his E-Cat generator. The face of the world would be changed radically in less than a decade if cold fusion turns out to be both real and economically feasible to mass produce. This is particularly true if generators could be made small, safe and reliable enough to drop anywhere in the world.

Final Thoughts
I'm hoping for a lot of positive change this year both on the macro and micro level. There are many reasons to be pessimistic right now given the state of the economy but if there is one thing I've learned over the years its that nothing is easily predictable and life just loves to throw us curves.