It's kind of hard to believe the first decade of the third millennium is almost over. Seems like only yesterday we were pulling out our hair worrying about Y2K; now we worry about whether enough total strangers are following the minutiae of our lives on Twitter and Facebook.
The last 10 years have been dominated by the rise of Google and social networks, the surprising resurgence of Apple, and the gradual decline of Microsoft and Yahoo. What will the next 10 years hold? I have a few ideas.
[ Also on InfoWorld: Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it -- so check out the 10 dumbest tech moves of 2009 according to Cringely first | Stay up to date on Robert X. Cringely's musings and observations with InfoWorld's Notes from the Underground newsletter. ]
Here's how the world will look in the year 2020 (your reality may vary):
Spacebook. Having finally registered all 11.5 billion humans on the planet, Facebook will open up its social network to alien races. Also: Company co-founder Mark Zuckerberg will celebrate his 36th birthday by shaving for the very first time.
Third Lives. People will be born, raised, attend school, get married, get divorced, get fat, grow old, die, and never leave their keyboards, thanks to a new generation of realistic avatars living inside virtual worlds. And no one will think that's utterly pathetic.
Googleheads. The company's long-awaited gAmygdala implant, which links Android users' brains wirelessly to their portable devices, will finally be ready for consumer testing. Google's Brain Cloud service, however, will remain in beta for another 7 years.
Microbrains. Microsoft will release its gAmygdala competitor, Internet Explorer 17 With Live Bing Brain Implant 1.0. Two weeks later, it will release a firmware update to patch a bug that intermittently causes peoples' heads to explode.
Virtual movies. James Cameron's latest, "Avatar 6: Revenge of the Na'vi," will open in 3-D holographic theatres nationwide. However, it will be overtaken at the box office by "Porky's 11: Virtually Naked."