12 tech predictions for 2011

Think you can guess what will happen in tech next year? Cringely does, and he won't let the facts stand in his way

As 2010 draws to a close, that can only mean one thing: Bloggers are conjuring up predictions lists so that they can take a few days off around the holidays. It's much the same here in Cringeville, but with one key difference: Unlike other prognosticators, I'm totally unencumbered by facts. That tends to make my accuracy much higher.

Here's what's going to happen next year. You can bank on it.

[ Check out Cringely's list of the 10 dumbest tech moves of 2010. | For a humorous take on the tech industry's shenanigans, subscribe to Robert X. Cringely's Notes from the Underground newsletter. ]

Apple will unveil new iPads, iPhones, and iWhatevers, instantly making all of our lives more magical and revolutionary. The face of Steve Jobs will be seen on a tortilla; the holy bread product will later be donated to the Computer History Museum in San Jose.

Apple will apply for, and be granted, a patent on tortillas featuring the face of Steve Jobs.

Google will debut its long-awaited social networking offering, GoogleMe. It will immediately inspire a massive kerfuffle over some stupid breach of user privacy that could have easily been avoided if only Google engineers left the Googleplex every once in a while and went to see a movie or something. The company will quietly shut down its Facebook killer 24 months later, except for the Portuguese-language version, which will inexplicably thrive.

In a speech, Google CEO Eric Schmidt will declare that the new Chrome OS will be able to actually read your mind through your keyboard. He says Google will only use this information to anonymously serve advertising to your cerebral cortex.

Steve Ballmer will declare that the ability to read people's minds through their keyboards has been present in Microsoft operating systems since Windows 98; it turns out people really do want their computers to freeze up repeatedly and run more slowly over time.

The population of Facebook members will surpass India's by late 2011. It will then apply to the United Nations for nation-state status but will be rejected when a majority of the governing body's members fail to click Like on its application.

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