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What to Watch for in 2007

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the crystal-ball dept.

Technology 122

An anonymous reader writes "InformationWeek picks its '5 Disruptive Technologies To Watch In 2007.' The list, which is based on the idea that these are areas which will move into the mainstream this year, includes RFID, graphics processing engines, server virtualization, Web services, and mobile security." What made your list?

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122 comments

Disruptive or just overall greatest? (and worst) (5, Insightful)

dada21 (163177) | more than 7 years ago | (#17428424)

Disruptive technologies? Anything that makes us more efficient tomorrow is disruptive to what fell short yesterday.

1. CRITEO [criteo.com] , the collaborative filter. They're moving forward with their API (it's free to register) and they're easy to integrate with from blogs and sites of all sorts. I'm a huge fan of collaborative filtering -- I think it's the next step beyond tagging.

2. HSDPA - High Speed Download Packet Access. T-Mobile should finally roll out some 3G services, allowing video phone calls, faster connections from the road, and a wider coverage of high speed access other than WiFi. I'm interested in WiMax, but I don't have as much faith in the technology due to our ridiculously tyrannical FCC regulations. HSDPA will seriously work to replace my car radio, Skype over GPRS, and other dead media.

3. More IP to POTS interaction. I'm really sick of the area code-phone number designations -- I use Skype for about 30% of my phone calls and 100% of my international phone calls, and I love it, but it isn't there yet. I can't wait for better ways to communicate vocally. My HTC Trinity P3600 phone supports WiFi, EDGE, GPRS and HSDPA -- hopefully soon we will see a move to an integrated POTS/WIFI(VOIP)/etc system where vocal communications can translate from one topology to another.

4. More bandwidth. I was one of the first testers of xDSL in Illinois before it was a catchphrase. I had a 128k/128k SDSL that I used for "free" for 6 months and then paid $200 a month for at the end of the trial period. It changed my world. Now we're rocking crazy speeds, but they're still not enough. I'm still blown away at what I pay for Comcast's 8mbps connection (2mbps realistic). The next jump won't quite be an order of magnitude, but everything helps, especially when running remote desktops, desktop collaboration, and high-bandwidth SQL requests.

5. Lower latency. I don't know if this will really happen, but I'm looking forward to even less lag. High bandwidth != low latency, and if anything I have seen worse latency lately than every before. My customers have been working harder to introduce faster websites, faster SQL responses and faster connections to their VPNs -- all to reduce latency. For me, latency is in the top 5 list of inefficiencies that slow me down. Reducing that inefficiency can likely double my producivity in many tasks.

Top 5 list of non-issues but seem to be important to others:

1. Mobile webpages. I run Firefox on my laptop tethered to my cell phone on the go. I also run Opera. Mobile websites sound great for the common phone, but the #1 reason why that is required is because cell phone companies lock out the ability to run better mobile web clients. Competition will hopefully knock this out -- releasing web designers from having to maintain a second mobile site (or a CSS that gives mobile sites better rendering).

2. RFID. This is a non-issue for me because it just isn't secure. While it is easy to fake a barcode (for example, to barcode a costly item with a less costly barcode and trick the check-out clerk), I'm not sure how RFID will really change my life. If anything, that form of automation will make my life more inefficient in having to deal with the "human check" follow through to verify that the RFID information is correct.

3. Credit Card security systems. I'm not concerned with credit card fraud. I hate Citibank -- they block my card about twice a week because I travel to a new city or country every week. If someone steals my card, I am not liable -- neither is Citibank. The retailer is. Security should be at the retail end. I do a chargeback, the merchant account provider charges back the merchant. End of story. I hate security on credit, it is ridiculous and limits me all the time.

4. Web 2.0. I'm getting sick of Web 2.0 interfaces, even though they look slick and they seem to work well for some websites. More than anything, they make my life difficult because they're not always compatible with the various OSes and hardware that I run. That leads to...

5. CSS. I love it, I hate it. I just finished testing a website for a charity I founded and run that failed 4 out of 8 web browsers checked. Even now it isn't perfect. If you're going to make a standard, make it standard! (Sidenote: CSS is a good example of why government fails, it tries a one-size-fits-all system that is always behind what the average citizen or consumer needs. CSS will prosper when people refuse to use clients that refuse to follow the CSS standard. Sites need to start testing visitor's web clients and letting them know if they're using a really incompatible web client).

Re:Disruptive or just overall greatest? (and worst (2, Insightful)

DittoBox (978894) | more than 7 years ago | (#17428748)

CSS is fine. CSS3 is even better. The problems you're encountering are just half-assed implementations of the standard, most likely in IE and Gecko (though webkit/khtml and Opera have known issues as well). The worst problems come from IE6 and IE7 where rendering bugs, improper implementation, and non-implementation of standards cause poor results with things that work just fine in all the other major browsers. Once you start applying (admittedly dodgy) workarounds, which are done by either restructuring your XHTML or adding goofy hacks to your CSS, or both...then you start to to degrade your design in the competition's browsers.

As far tin-foil hattage is concerned, I firmly believe that this is intentional on the part of Microsoft.

Re:Disruptive or just overall greatest? (and worst (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17429500)

CSS3 is 'fine' in the sense that it doesn't exist yet in any practical sense. What prevents every browser from interpreting CSS3 differently, as they inevitably will do?

CSS3 isn't any more fine than what's already around, but we can remain hopeful =)

Low latency (4, Interesting)

jd (1658) | more than 7 years ago | (#17428952)

Well, talking to some InfiniBand engineers, the next big push will be in wide-area networks running over InfiniBand, not ethernet. They think they've cracked the issues involved in wide-area communications and I would not be surprised if they have. If so, I would expect LAN parties in the later half of the year to be InfiniBand based, or using some other high-speed fabric. (If IB is going that way, you seriously imagine the others will want to be put out of business? No. We can expect a lot of the really high-end fabrics to start generalizing.)

I expect chip manufacturers to stop wasting time building more cores, more threads, etc. That doesn't scale linearly and gets horribly convoluted after a while. It is getting back to the level of complexity that caused RISC to evolve. AMD are already looking into building many specialist cores and this is a sensible way to go about things in many ways. 2007 may well spell the end of the "microprocessor" in favor of building a large number of specialist cores, producing a distributed processing unit, not a central one. Along with this, I also expect "Processor In Memory" to be revived as a technique - stuff that is small enough to be added to the RAM directly may as well be done entirely within RAM. There have been attempts at using this to reduce network latency - have the network stack within the memory itself. No bus traffic, so none of the problems of offload engines. Based on Cray's paper in this field, I'm guessing that you can cut latencies by 90% by this method, for stacks small enough to cram into memory.

Provided development goes well and we can eliminate the infighting, political intrigue and backstabbing, an organization I am connected with should have a major piece of disruptive technology out this year. If it doesn't go well, then it might easily be another twenty years before anything is produced at all. Just remember, you didn't hear it here first.

Re:Low latency (2, Interesting)

tm2b (42473) | more than 7 years ago | (#17429102)

I seem to remember hearing the same thing about ATM [wikipedia.org] from FORE Systems [wikipedia.org] engineers, about 10 years ago.

Re:Low latency (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17430026)

ATM got its use, but not where they expected. It is now widely used in DSL, but on high-bandtidth networks it is being replaced by...... Ethernet (GigE, but still Ethernet). So telling me that eth will be replaced by some other vaporous tech just makes me laugh.

Re:Low latency (1)

jd (1658) | more than 7 years ago | (#17431478)

ATM is widely used in DSL and has found uses in metropolitan-area networks such as GMING. The main drawback of ATM is that it is point-to-point. It has no support for many-to-many. The payloads are also extremely small, which is great for streaming (which is where ATM excels above all other network types) and for rapid error recovery, but does place limitations on the bandwidth available - and bandwidth is just as important as latency.

Re:Low latency (1)

mrand (147739) | more than 7 years ago | (#17431638)

<quote>Well, talking to some InfiniBand engineers, the next big push will be in wide-area networks running over InfiniBand, not ethernet. </quote>

Talking to <b><i>InfiniBand engineers</b></i> and finding out that they think that <b><i>InfiniBand</b></i> will be the next big thing isn't all that surprising, is it? When I was doing hardware design on ATM transport boxes, I thought it was the next big thing too.

<quote>They think they've cracked the issues involved in wide-area communications and I would not be surprised if they have. If so, I would expect LAN parties in the later half of the year to be InfiniBand based, or using some other high-speed fabric. </quote>

Hmmm - what "issues" have they supposedly cracked, and when did they crack them? InfiniBand has been standardized for quite a long time.

Also, why would cracking <i><b>WAN</i></b> issues change what <i><b>LAN</i></b> technology you and I are going to be using only 12 months from now? Surely you don't think that a technology that is mentioned on ebay only 50 times is going to take over LAN parties in a year? While technology does move forward spurts, they are slow and steady spurts - it takes considerable periods of time for wide adoption.

      Marc

Re:Disruptive or just overall greatest? (and worst (2, Interesting)

Chanc_Gorkon (94133) | more than 7 years ago | (#17429308)

Mobile web pages aren't important on cell sanymore because the providers try to keep you in their fence. I have a Verizon handset and the mobile web browser USED to be able to go to ANY mobile site on the web but now I am stuck in their walled garden. Examples are the FREE traffic web stuff on Google pluse just google searching at all. Verizon has both of them blocked. There's a software product called Metro which does subway time tables and would be damn useful in DC and Chicago when I go there and they just recently webified it for cell phones. Well, Verizon blocks this too. I have called Verizon supprt and bitched but got nothing. Verizion wants you to pay for all of the stupid java apps to get weather and more. Get it now should be called ROB me now.

One thing I would like to see friggin FIXED this year is a EVDO handset with bluetooth that Verizon will let me use my PDA with or failing this a fair price plan. I don' tlike the idea of paying them 80 bucks for EVDO which see's LESS use then my Cable modem yet my cable modem bill itself is HALF the cost of the EVDO plan. The first EVDO or HDSPA provider to have a 20 a month plan for unlimited bandwidth will see masses of users go to them.

Re:Disruptive or just overall greatest? (and worst (1)

CCFreak2K (930973) | more than 7 years ago | (#17432830)

That's funny, my Cingular 3G service lets me browse the "mobile web" all I want (and the "regular web" through Opera). The charges for data are a different matter, though...

More Bandwidth (1)

Shag (3737) | more than 7 years ago | (#17429620)

Friend of mine lives in Fukuoka, Japan. Has fiber-to-the-house. Has had it for years. Pays less for it than you'd pay for xDSL or cablemodem here, and the bandwidth is incredible.

I vote for the telcos actually rolling out all the fiber they promised us (and the FCC?) they would 15 years ago. They hung 72-strand SieCor in front of my folks' house back then, for commercial customers.

Re:More Bandwidth (3, Insightful)

macshit (157376) | more than 7 years ago | (#17429860)

Fukuoka, Japan. Has fiber-to-the-house. Has had it for years. Pays less for it than you'd pay for xDSL or cablemodem here, and the bandwidth is incredible.

In Japan there are many more high-population density areas where people have a reasonably high average income, and as a result, there are many more companies competing to provide the same service: in one place, even in the suburbs, you'll get the telephone company, the cable company, and the electric company all building high-speed networks, including the final segment to individual homes/apartments. Any company that has any kind of pipes or conduit that might be used for optical fibers (the electric company strings them alongside the power lines) is putting them in, and they know they can't overcharge for long without getting destroyed by the competition in this environment.

I dunno if the U.S. has the kind of density in many places to support that, or whether the utility companies have the competitive instinct to go for it even where it does make sense....

Re:More Bandwidth (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 7 years ago | (#17429984)

Certainly the East Coast and California have the population density for it. A lot of the land area of Japan is sparsely populated and mountainous, but they are still comparatively well connected compared to the megapolitan areas of the US.

Re:More Bandwidth (2, Interesting)

jackharrer (972403) | more than 7 years ago | (#17430202)

UK is very similar to Japan. But nothing like this in place. Why?
Copper is cheaper and most people have no clue about technology. It's easy to sell them anything.
In contrast in Japan education system is much better than US/UK so people are more aware of new technologies. And their culture is different - they don't want to make a quick buck and f*ck their customers. Their ethics are totally different. Example? Look at their crime rate.

Hope that helps with understanding.

Re:Disruptive or just overall greatest? (and worst (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17431038)

Hmmm ... I would like to see collaborative filtering applied to bookmark-collectors (such as del.icio.us) ... so that I could get personalized suggestions for interesting urls. Or does this already exist?

Re:Disruptive or just overall greatest? (and worst (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 7 years ago | (#17431956)

www.stumbleupon.com works great for me. I'm very satisfied so far.

Re:Disruptive or just overall greatest? (and worst (2, Insightful)

NDPTAL85 (260093) | more than 7 years ago | (#17431256)

Credit Card security has to be done by the banks otherwise it'll take too long per transaction for the retailers to do it. I don't want to wait longer in line for some store to run thru whatever authorization system they may have come up with. Plus there's a lot less banks then there are retailers out there which means there would be an order of magnitude more systems to choose from if retailers handled it. It would be chaos. And for what gain? The small number of people who travel as often as you do? Besides, banks are the only ones with your complete transaction history. How is a retailer going to have access to that? Its not even their right to have access to that information.

As for government failing....I didn't realize our government had failed. Is someone flying another flag over DC? Government isn't meant to do everything but what it does do it happens to do very well because no one else can do it better (or even as good.) The occasional bone-headed administration can't be helped however.

Re:Disruptive or just overall greatest? (and worst (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17432462)

you are adam.DADA at gmail.com ?

Includes? (2, Funny)

Bo'Bob'O (95398) | more than 7 years ago | (#17428444)

"this year, includes RFID, graphics processing engines, server virtualization, Web services, and mobile security."

By my count, thats 5.

And the rest of the article isn't any better. (3, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 7 years ago | (#17428636)

#1. RFID - nothing "disruptive" about that. It's been showing up in different uses for a long time now.

#2. Web Services -
Software-as-a-service (Saas), mashups, Web 2.0, RSS feeds, Wikis, blogs, the rewritable Web, social networking spaces, group chat rooms -- no matter which aspect you're talking about, clearly something new is happening here.

Yeah, "new" as in /. being around for years and years already.

#3. Server Virtualization (for free)! - I've been using VMWare since the close of the last century. It's "disruptive" now that it will be "free"? Whatever.

#4. Advanced Graphics Processing - Right. I'm sure everyone will find that typing their documents in 3d is so ..... the same as doing it on 2d.

#5. Mobile Security -
The perimeter is gone and the enterprise needs to protect itself from potentially infected remote users.

The "perimeter" needs to be re-established and re-evaluated as "defense in depth" with multiple levels of stateful firewalls and intrusion detection.

The stupid "scan the computer before you let it on the network" approach is too brittle. All it will take is the first virus / trojan / worm that can "reply" to that scan with faked credentials for the apps that are supposed to be scanned and you have an infected box on your network. Particularly with the new advances in rootkits for Windows.

Re:And the rest of the article isn't any better. (1)

epee1221 (873140) | more than 7 years ago | (#17429116)

#1. RFID - nothing "disruptive" about that. It's been showing up in different uses for a long time now.
No, nothing disruptive until you need to wear a tinfoil suit to keep the insecure tags from broadcasting your SSN, credit card numbers, and other personal info to anyone who asks for it.

They'll just sell "skins" for that. (2, Funny)

khasim (1285) | more than 7 years ago | (#17429162)

The same as the kind you buy right now to protect your iPod (but really to make it look different from everyone else's).

You'll be able to buy "custom" wrappers, skins, protectors, whatever with built-in Faraday cages and little velcro flip-up windows to unshield your RFID chip.

In fact, now would be a good time to start working on those designs and the marketing material.

Complaints will be #1 (1)

PurifyYourMind (776223) | more than 7 years ago | (#17428464)

People complaining about RFIDs in passports, complaining about how software-over-the-web is just a way for companies to have a constant revenue stream without a physical product to show for it, complaining about "what will be hot in year 2XXX", complaining about how we've already had articles like this posted not long ago...

Re:Complaints will be #1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17429168)

Yeah, that's the most positive thing about this article...

Re:Complaints will be #1 (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 7 years ago | (#17429374)

>People complaining about RFIDs in passports

I am complaining about RFIDs in passports, not because I give a crap about them, but because the rush to get a passport *NOW* has disrupted my local *post office*, which had been a low-traffic, pleasant post office to use, and has become a nightmare because of all the damn paranoid passport people. What started this phenomenon? Please tell me Fox News didn't run a story on it.

Something to look out for. (5, Funny)

ColaMan (37550) | more than 7 years ago | (#17428472)

Keep an eye on cheese. No,no, not ordinary cheese. Cheese by itself is pretty interesting, granted. But there's something better - I'm talking about cheese over the internet.

It's going to be bigger than tulips.

Mark my words, in twelve months time your world will be changed beyond recognition because of internet-cheese.

Re:Something to look out for. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17428566)

Sometimes there is a sunset. In that sunset is cottage cheese.

It doesn't burn, because it's made of tar and asphalt. Eat it if you want head worms.

They know what you're thinking.

Chef Brian, Beef Potato Wheelman, CtrlAltDel

Re:Something to look out for. (1)

MollyB (162595) | more than 7 years ago | (#17431240)

Mark my words, in twelve months time your world will be changed beyond recognition because of internet-cheese.
Finally, since we've already had internet-crackers for ages...

Biggest Disruptive Threat (5, Insightful)

notext (461158) | more than 7 years ago | (#17428474)

World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade

Lives, Careers, Friends all disrupted.

Re:Biggest Disruptive Threat (1)

S810 (168676) | more than 7 years ago | (#17428650)

WoW definately makes it. Also, the new LotR MMORPG as wel to be sure.

The most disruptive technology possible (4, Funny)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#17428512)

Ubiquitous spelling & grammar check for the internet.
3rd party or built into the browser doesn't matter.

That'll be the first step towards SkyNet becoming sentient.
Otherwise, it'll just be a retarded "LoL n00b" AI.

another one (3, Insightful)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 7 years ago | (#17428518)

Disruptive technologies to watch for, huh? I'm surprised they didn't mention even more advanced british cameras watching their citizens. People better watch for em cuz they'll sure be watching for people. With the latest loudspeaker and aggressive tone upgrades in 06, I bet some "disruptive" stuff is on the way this year. I'd bet any buck Britian will lead the way in AI camera technology in no time in the next year.

No, I live in the UK, CCTV capital of the world (4, Interesting)

GuyFawkes (729054) | more than 7 years ago | (#17430862)

To be specific, I live in a small city called Exeter, in the southwest of the country.

About six months ago a city woman was found wandering in the early morning, naked, confused and injured, she has been beaten and raped, since then she has had 159 days of hospital treatment and still ain't "right"

We have these privacy invading CCTV cameras all over the shop, and the local paper and national press has been posting images from them, here is the attacker walking behind the woman in sidwell street, here is the attacker in paris street, here is the attacker in high street, basically there is 15 minutes video of this guy from every angle you could hope for.

In CSI land they simply press the "enhance" button and keep zooming until you can see the suspects DNA.

In reality, despite it being a high profile crime, CCTV produces images that make drunken 1st generation camera phones look high quality, except instead of being taken at arm's length from the face, which is what we use to identify people, it can easy be 100 yards away up a pole.

Even if you could force pedestrians to walk slowly in a line underneath cameras focused on their faces, the analogy of the CCTV camera used to catch speeders on the road, or London congestion charging etc, it still would not work, because OCR is one thing, matching faces to identities is another.

For example, it is trivial to OCR a vehicle number plate and flag a stolen car, or add a congestion charge, or a speeding fine, but this is not identity. You get the fine because your name is linked to the vehicle ownership, and the vehicle is linked to the registration number, which is all well and good, but if I see you driving into London every day in your Ford Ka (blue) while driving my Ford Ka (also blue) then all I need to do is use a copy of your number plate.

CCTV is a lot of things, but the barriers to it being a serious curb on privacy or anything else are HUGE, 1080i CCTV cameras anyone, what you going to store the date stream on? what you going to process the images with?

RFID does the job a lot easier, with a lot less computing power, a lot more redundancy, a lot more accuracy, lot less bandwidth, and it can be done today, cheap.

The above long range blurry CCTV example, or the OCR of vehicle registration, is a feeble and distant cousing of.

Subject is wearing sneakers bought by john smith with john smiths credit card
subject is carrying mobile phone registered to john smith etc
subject is carrying packet of mints and newspaper bought by john smith 10 minutes ago
subject is wearing underwear bought by john smith
subject is wearing prescription spectacles worn by john smith

it won't pick up the acme disguise kit, stick on beard, trenchcoat, fedora, latex gloves, or anything else.

Total bandwidth required, dunno, doubt it would saturate a 14.4k modem though, total processing power required, negligible, total cost, fuck all, after all the consumer goods vendors already provided the RFID tags, you already have the network, just need readers and some new software.

The blurry CCTV will still be used.

if the image looks like you it will be used as evidence, "see, it is john smith"
if the image doesn't look like you it will be used as evidence "see, john smith is clearly wearing a disguise"

If you had ANY idea how close they already are to real time with simply correlating credit card data and mobile phone cell lock records, you'd shit yourself.

AT PRESENT the sheer volume of data, bandwidth and processing power means that this data is only actually processed AFTER the event, to identify terrorists and their final movements.

It is a race between the increasing use of things like ID cards to provide more data that can be used for tracking, and technologies like RFID, in reality I suspect BOTH will complement each other, so to paraphrase Scott McNealy all those years ago, "Privacy, no such thing, it ALREADY doesn't exist"

The Exeter rapist is still at large because we don't yet have RFID, and the shops were shut so not way to tie him into a credit card purchase, no cameras on hole in the wall cash machines and the only businesses open, pubs and takeaways, use cash.

Re:No, I live in the UK, CCTV capital of the world (2, Insightful)

Intron (870560) | more than 7 years ago | (#17431952)

Yes. And after we catch the Exeter rapist we can use that same RFID system to identify people protesting the government, people associating with known or suspected criminals, people buying things that are disturbing, and people who are different from other people.

Re:No, I live in the UK, CCTV capital of the world (1)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 7 years ago | (#17433138)

So I can put a politicians or judges license plate on my car and zoom zoom zoom? Sweet.

Cameras have no depth perception. Just wear a mask of your favorite politician.

Or Guy Fawkes.

Um, mobile security? (2, Funny)

Kohath (38547) | more than 7 years ago | (#17428546)

Wow, I got "mobile security" for Christmas. Thanks! This is going to change my life.

Huh (3, Insightful)

Umbral Blot (737704) | more than 7 years ago | (#17428568)

Would someone please tell me how server virtualization or graphics processing engines are disruptive. (Innovative, yes, but disruptive?)

Re:Huh (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17429086)

Would someone please tell me how server virtualization or graphics processing engines are disruptive. (Innovative, yes, but disruptive?)
Server virtualization is disruptive in that Amazon, et.al. are replacing thousands of $2000 hardware with $700 virtual hardware. This is not disruptive to Amazon as a user, but it is quite disruptive to HP/Dell as providers.

Virtualization's new in that it was rarely used in the recent past. Instead of big boxes running lots of things, the trend has been towards commodity boxes running in clouds or doing small tasks. Apparently the hardware (compiler?) dynamics are currently such that big iron is economical on a per cycle basis with small, cheap 1U boxes. Everything old is new again.

I suspect that there is a similar argument regarding graphics processing engines. For example, maybe they mean the trend towards using the GPU's cycles to supplement the CPU. Perhaps that will temper the need for bigger/better CPUs in the near term?

Re:Huh (1)

div_2n (525075) | more than 7 years ago | (#17431368)

Server virtualization is disruptive because it is a giant leap towards marginalizing the server space where servers become more like applications that can be loaded/unloaded at a whim, moved from server to server in real time and backed up with incremental changes logged so that you can roll a server back to a previous state in very little time. Of course, Linux and the BSD variants stand poised to take quick advantage of this since there are no licensing costs. Want a new DNS server? Create a virtual machine from whatever Linux or BSD ISO you want. Need to install some new hardware or replace a component in one server? Move your virtual machines in real time from one server to another without the clients even noticing.

Yes, it is highly innovative. But it is also highly disruptive to server economics. You have to look at how it can improve and change the lives of IT shops before you can grasp why it's disruptive. Hint: ridiculous server licensing costs are going to become a blatant stumbling block to IT very fast.

Re:Huh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17431738)

Would someone please tell me how server virtualization or graphics processing engines are disruptive.

Server virtualization is actually quite disruptive to current pricing and licensing models.

If I'm running 5 concurrent virtual instances of an application on the same server, do I require 5 licenses, or just one? If I tie 10 physical servers together into a single virtual server, then do I only need to purchase a single database license for it? The answers to these questions could cause quite an upheaval in the market.

No Neuronet!? (0)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#17428570)

Come on you guys, no Neuronet? The soon-to-be replacement of teh Internets, the powerful and mysterious thick pipes that will allow full immersive virtual reality in exchange for your domain registrations and membership fees?

I feel disenfranchised.

The thing disruptive about these technologies... (3, Insightful)

libkarl2 (1010619) | more than 7 years ago | (#17428622)

is when you they decide not to work properly (if at all).

I find articles written by starry eyed techno-prognosticators are quite possibly more disruptive than anything that has come out in the past 4 years, (possibly withthe exception of DRM: a truly disruptive technology).

Re:The thing disruptive about these technologies.. (2, Insightful)

trick.one (682514) | more than 7 years ago | (#17428750)

Amen. DRM is going to be waaaay more disruptive than virtualization or, uh, shiny graphics.

Do you use a computer? Are you in any way involved in the consumer computer industry? How about the creation of digital media content? Do you like music, movies or pictures? If you said yes to any of these, DRM is going to be a major pain in YOUR ass.

The thing disruptive about slashdot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17428856)

"Do you use a computer? Are you in any way involved in the consumer computer industry? How about the creation of digital media content? Do you like music, movies or pictures? If you said yes to any of these, DRM is going to be a major pain in YOUR ass."

Which at this point is more hot air than real result. You're more than free to demonstrate a content creator who couldn't play their own content. Read that again, their own content. Most of the DRM bellyaching is about content created by someone other than the owner of the device.

Re:The thing disruptive about slashdot. (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17430242)

Most of the DRM bellyaching is about content created by someone other than the owner of the device.

Therefore I can gaze at my Sony/BMG discs and think "Ooooooooooo, shiney," secure in the knowledge that if I could walk into Howard Stringer's office and pop it into his personal machine music would come out of it without rooting my box or nothin'.

KFG

Re:The thing disruptive about these technologies.. (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 7 years ago | (#17429130)

Do you use a computer? Are you in any way involved in the consumer computer industry? How about the creation of digital media content? Do you like music, movies or pictures? If you said yes to any of these, DRM is going to be a major pain in YOUR ass.

Amazing. Tell me, how big a pain has iTunes been now? Or the CSS on the DVDs your grandma bought? Because that's the consumer level of tolerance for DRM, and as far as PITAs go, it's kinda minor.

Re:The thing disruptive about these technologies.. (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 7 years ago | (#17429340)


>Amazing. Tell me, how big a pain has iTunes been now?

Well, Itunes did require me to deal with a woman who was literally sent into a murderous rage when it erased her ipod without warning.

DNF released (2, Funny)

Mogster (459037) | more than 7 years ago | (#17428646)

Duke Nukem Forever is released causing a widespread rift in the fabric of space and time

Re:DNF released (1)

Tatarize (682683) | more than 7 years ago | (#17428726)

Dude! Any fricking day now. They have told us, they are really close now. I hear it's going to be bad ass. A decade in the making.

Re:DNF released (1)

Mogster (459037) | more than 7 years ago | (#17428888)

A decade in the making.
We'll all be whisked back to '97 allowing 3D Realms to claim the shortest major game development in history. Vapourware will cease to exist, and ./ will fold in on itself and collapse into a singularity

Re:DNF released (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17430062)

I suppose that's the singularity Kurzweil keeps talking about.

Watch your rights disappear (4, Interesting)

syousef (465911) | more than 7 years ago | (#17428694)

That's what I'm tipping for this year. A DRM drunk OS and the acceleration of the political maddness we've seen over the last few years. I'm tipping we'll see harsh and draconian enforcement against individuals of the criminal IP laws we've allowed to pass over the last few years too. Happy f'ing new year.

eInk Displays (3, Interesting)

LBt1st (709520) | more than 7 years ago | (#17428730)

I'm shocked this hasn't been mentioned. I'm pretty sure were going to start seeing eInk displays all over the place.

Re:eInk Displays (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17428834)

I'm shocked this hasn't been mentioned.


I'm shocked no one has mentioned this to you: Your life must be pretty exciting. Getting "shocked" every time someone doesn't say/do what you're going to.

Re:eInk Displays (1)

ricree (969643) | more than 7 years ago | (#17428968)

Personally, I doubt we will see them become all that widespread until at least 2008. We will probably see them become a lot more common than they are now, but they aren't really ready to become widespread yet.

eink made my list in 2000, or so... :-( (1)

BerntB (584621) | more than 7 years ago | (#17429066)

I have stopped holding my breath re eink.

But sure, there seems to be some appliances coming. Now we just wait for e.g. support from the major book publishers -- and a good code browsing/annotation application.

Adendum. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17428802)

"What made your list?"

Taco really fixes the problems with slashdot.

Multicore goes mainstream (3, Informative)

earthforce_1 (454968) | more than 7 years ago | (#17428814)

Massively parallel software development will move towards the mainstream as CPUs with 4 or more cores start to become mainstream. Inherently parallel languages such as system C intended for hardware design (and never really took off in this arena) may garner a second life as a way to reuse C/C++ libraries in environments with large numbers of processor cores running in parallel. Software engineers will eventually have to wrap their brain around the concepts found in HDL languages such as Verilog/VHDL whee everything is assumed to happen in parallel, with program state changes at defined synchronization/clock intervals.

Re:Multicore goes mainstream (2, Informative)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 7 years ago | (#17429098)

I wouldn't go too far with the hardware analogy. Synchronization in digital hardware is needed because of the unequal delays in different gate paths and determining the worst case timing is trivial by comparison to a similar calculation on software functions. On modern PC's caches can cause significant timing variations so synchronization based on time intervals would be quite problematical. Of course, one could probably choose a time interval so long that these variations would be swallowed, but you'd have to be willing to waste a lot of cycles which would defeat the purpose of adding multiple cores.

Slashdot fixes Y99 Dates in 2007 (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17428852)

I predict that Slashdot will fix the Y99 Dates in 2007

http: //it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/01/01/2359254

would become:

http: //it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=2007/01/01/235925 4

Re:Slashdot fixes Y99 Dates in 2007 (1)

HeroreV (869368) | more than 7 years ago | (#17429378)

I just wish they would actually show the year all the time. It's extremely annoying when I'm looking at something old and I can't figure out what year it was posted in. Two digits is better than no digits.

Re:Slashdot fixes Y99 Dates in 2007 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17430046)

Go to homepage preferences [slashdot.org] and pick a new date format that includes the year.

How about getting facts straight... (4, Informative)

ameline (771895) | more than 7 years ago | (#17428948)

From the article; "Nvidia has had its CUDA program for several years now to assist developers that want to harness their graphics engines for computational applications."

Nuh uh. CUDA is new with the G80. They may have had something going, but it wasn't cuda.

As for being disruptive -- maybe using the GPU for computation will speed some things up -- those things that are extremely parallelizable, and single precision FP -- thats about it. The GPUs are not easy to program to -- CUDA is pretty tricky, and it's fairly well tied to nVidia's new architecture (I don't see ATI adopting it). The stuff from PeakStream and RapidMinds is a bit higher level, and can work on both ATI and nVidia chips, both have their pros and cons. It's early days yet for this -- I don't see it catching on in a big way for another couple of years. Then I think it will catch on in a big way -- but the tools are too immature at the moment for that to happen, and it's hard to predict what is going to catch on. Anyone interested in this stuff should be paying close attention to all of them -- I know I am.

A better list (3, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 7 years ago | (#17429080)

Those are kind of lame predictions. We can do better.

  • Telcos move into the music business. We're about to see a big collision - phone companies vs. the music industry. The music player will move into the phone, and the telcos will control music distribution. Big losers: broadcast radio and Apple.
  • Flat-screen TVs pass CRT sales. 2007 will be the year Joe Sixpack gets a flat screen. Look for low-end units with fewer cables and connectors.
  • Semi-automatic driving deployment begins. The driverless car is coming. In the meantime, we're starting to see cars shipping with systems that prevent rear-end collisions. Those systems will acquire more control authority.
  • ISP authentication of client systems starts. Microsoft's system for authenticating systems during DHCP negotiation starts to be adopted by ISPs. This has many implications, some related to DRM, others to spam. Look for things like "you have to run Vista to send more than three e-mails per hour" as a way to make a dent in the zombie problem.
  • Robots start to matter. There's been quite a bit of progress lately. Look for more machines doing real work in service industries.

Re:A better list (1)

CapitalT (987101) | more than 7 years ago | (#17429408)

"Semi-automatic driving deployment begins. The driverless car is coming. In the meantime, we're starting to see cars shipping with systems that prevent rear-end collisions. Those systems will acquire more control authority."

Don't glitch and drive!

Re:A better list (2, Insightful)

TodMinuit (1026042) | more than 7 years ago | (#17429422)

The driverless car is coming.

Never, ever will happen for legal reasons. Car companies themselves stated this in the early 90s after some of the first tries at driverless cars were made.

Re:A better list (3, Funny)

mattkime (8466) | more than 7 years ago | (#17429504)

>>Telcos move into the music business.

Telcos? No way!

The GAS companies!

Why? Bigger tubes.

Re:A better list (2, Interesting)

umbrellasd (876984) | more than 7 years ago | (#17429552)

Robots start to matter.
Robots have always mattered. It's just that for a long time, no one cared that they did. In the near future, many of us will be replaced by robots, and then we'll care very much about robots, since we'll mostly be robots. We've always been quite excellent at caring about ourselves, after all.

The economic implications of robots are enormous. Historically, the higher the efficiency of a worker at producing the necessities of life, the greater the disparity between the wealthy and the poor (the guy that owns the huge grain thresher compared to the guy that employed 30 people to do that job in the past). Robots will provide nearly infinite cost efficiency. Consider the man that owns a robot that can create clothing. For a nominal cost (maintenance and some electricity), the robot produces marketable goods at 0 labor cost to the owner. This should drastically reduce the cost of goods in many markets, but then the incentive for human beings to work changes radically. Either costs for necessity items will be kept artificially high, thus making the owners of the robots incredibly wealthy (virtually free labor to produce valuable goods), or all items that can be manufactured by robot labor will be free. You would think we would all be liberated at that point. No need to work. Just do something creative and enjoy it. But I think it is likely that huge segments of our population would descend into a destructive spiral of hedonism, or apathy, or violence. This would be most severe of the advent of robot labor occured in a single human generation, and that is extremely likely when considering the pace of advancement in the area. If you think about the implications of free labor, it means that property is king. Transforming the materials into goods becomes extremely cheap, so owning the land with the raw materials is everything. In the past, the need for laborers to transform it helped distribute wealth, but without it, I suspect massive concentration of wealth and power into a small elite of property owners.

I'd love it if we were all freed to pursue artistic, scientific, and atheletic endeavors, and many would. But even now, where goods are still expensive enough that most work a good portion of each week, there are many, many unhappy people. Perhaps it is not as gloomy as I think. But I feel very certain that there will be tremendous social upheaval when robots reach a point that they can handle the majority of manual labor tasks (and computers are coming along nicely on the higher order analytic tasks as well). And people with wealth just tend to seize every opportunity to protect and increase that wealth...not a positive scenario.

I am skeptical that 2007 is the year, but I am certain that this change will occur and when it does it will likely occur in less than a decade, and that will create challenges...big challenges.

Re:A better list (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17431200)

These are much of the same fears that run through the minds of Americans at the prospect of losing our manufacturing jobs to cheap labor overseas. While the threats you realize are valid, I would tend to think that a robot based economy would actually create MORE jobs!

Robots running our labor force poses a large initial capital investment that goes into designing, programming, building, maintaining, and repairing.

The bulk of human work into a robot run society shifts from labor to overhead as such robotic systems would be terribly complicated and require skilled professionals and computers and software, all of which requires people like you and me.

I do think that more and more people will be able to pursue artistic or scientific endeavors however robotics will be a HUGE industry and employ millions.

Server virtualization is going to be disruptive? (3, Insightful)

doormat (63648) | more than 7 years ago | (#17429156)

Last I checked it is disruptive now. One 4p server hosting 20VMs. Saving power, saving space, etc.

Steorn (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17429170)

Even though many people consider it a hoax, Steorn claims to have a jury of scientists gathered ready to start analyzing their supposed technology. Hoax or not, it's definitely something to keep an eye on in 2007. http://www.steorn.net/challenge.aspx?p=1 [steorn.net]

Re:Steorn (1)

HeroreV (869368) | more than 7 years ago | (#17429488)

Oh gawd, not another free energy device. At least they have a pretty website. It'll be interesting to see how they react after their claims have been examined by credible scientists.

omg another thing! (0, Offtopic)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 7 years ago | (#17429362)

what you should really watch for, at the same time even, are robot or other AI rebellions and alien invasions (and asteroids I suppose too but that's not technology but yes aliens are cuz it's...alien technology lol) Your homework for 2007 is to go watch the movie Signs and i Robot back to back, alright?

Caution (3, Funny)

umbrellasd (876984) | more than 7 years ago | (#17429386)

These many answers are good, but I think we should all be wary of the Spanish Inquisition. No one ever expects them, possibly due to their many elements of surprise...let's see, there was uhm...

Stuff to watch for.. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17429612)

- The first U.S. Passport RFID virus.
- The first virus to successfully attack the passport reader at an airport.
- A marketing gadget that enables Mobile-spam phone calls via automatic IMI look-up.
- Binary or Trinary component virii that adapt by downloading components off the web based on the environment they execute in.
- Hardware Update viruses that embed themselves into the Flash-ROM of your devices and cannot be removed.
- Botnets on cellphones.
- "Spam servelet" applications that do something actually useful (contact management, phonebook, etc) in order to disguise their primary function as open-relays.
- IT wages to continue to decline as PHB's start believing "Network Management for Dummies" sales-droids.
- Singapore becomes the next IT Out-sourcing capital of the world after American companies realize that 'pore labor is even cheaper and better educated than Indian, and a 'porean speaks better English.
- 'Firmware-By-Software-Driver' companies panic after a buffer-overflow exploit cripples Vista.
- Microsoft tries to buy more bloggers, and fails miserably, again.
- Some middle-eastern country becomes the first nation to be suborned into a single bot-net.
- 'Dumbing Down' of American Television continues. The number of people who cannot find Canada on the map sky-rockets.
- A 'Family First' politician resigns over a sex-scandal with a neighbor.
- A 'Ethics First' politician commits suicide over a sex-for-influence scandal.
- Hollywood releases the first movie in 30 years that is worth paying full ticket price to see again.
- The RIAA sues someone who doesn't even know what a computer is for downloading music illegally.

Funny thing... (1)

ErGalvao (843384) | more than 7 years ago | (#17429736)

... to see 'Web services' in that list. AFAIK Web services are used already in many applications. Maybe not calling it selves 'web services', but still...

So I wonder: What exactly people consider "main stream"? Quantification (how many people use it) or advertising/popularity (how many people scream "I use web services and I'm happy with it")?

Web services - Always the bridesmaid... (1)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 7 years ago | (#17431462)

AFAIK Web services are used already in many applications

It's been the year of web services for the last five years. It's just a freaking tool. Sometimes it's the right tool for the job, sometimes not. We've got some mid-managers at one of my contracts that think web services are the solution to every IT problem and overlook other more secure and convenient solutions in their headlong quest to implement the tech buzzwords of yesteryear.

Not coincidentally these are the same people who took a working application built by three people and turned it into a barely functional application managed by a committee of 30 people. But they got them some web services. Yessirreee. They got them some web services.

What a sham! (1)

Stephen Tennant (936097) | more than 7 years ago | (#17429738)

Boo! Hiss! These technologies are not nearly disruptive enough!

How about an actual, working neural disruptor? Or an off the shelf EMP generator? Where are my touchless tasers? What about a new growler, with digital cycling of frequencies for maximum, ear-bleeding auditory annoyance?

I would settle for a better stinkbomb - more farty, if you please.

I'm just saying, if we're talking disruptive, let's be disruptive. I read the article looking for real goodies and ended up suffering fatigue and dismay.

They left one out: DRM (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 7 years ago | (#17429816)

Digital Restrictions Managament (DRM) is getting more and more so every year. This is a truely disruptive technology, disrupting your ability to use material you have paid to be able to watch/listen to.

Re:They left one out: DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17432174)

Digital Restrictions Managament (DRM) is getting more and more so every year. This is a truely disruptive technology, disrupting your ability to use material you have paid to be able to watch/listen to.

Actually, the DRM techology itself is harmless. The real harm comes from the new laws that make it a crime to circumvent DRM, violate our fair-use rights, and even strip our free speech to discuss tinkering with DRM. Without these draconian new laws, DRM would be only a minor annoyance, and incapable of causing any real disruption.

Legal changes will be much more disruptive than technological ones. We will soon see new legslation that will forbid us from building a computer that does not adhere to Trusted Computing standards, under the guise of making the Internet a "safer place".

The technology is harmless, because it's nothing but a pattern of bits. The real threat comes from the law that mandates the use of the technology.

My pick is simple (3, Funny)

svunt (916464) | more than 7 years ago | (#17430348)

Web 2.0 was a lot of hype, but I hear they're bringing out the point release this year. Web 2.1 will be the shit.

games (1)

name*censored* (884880) | more than 7 years ago | (#17430530)

I'm really looking forward to (video) games being more and more useful in real life; for example, the end of 2006 saw the launch of Wii, which helps nerds excersize (of course, let's not forget DDR for the same reasons :)). Then there have been games which inadvertently teach problem solving skills (although somewhat limited to real-life application) since the dawn of computer games. And then there's MMOs, which encourage social interaction. I'd like to see 2007 herald more and more "useful" games - perhaps in the games becoming more realistic, we'll see skills (like driving, marksmanship, dating?) translating to ability in real life.

Again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17430716)

Wasn't this 2006's list?

How about ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17430946)

A standard option built into firefox that will allow users to place (and stick!) comments on just *any* site (or page/url)

Implications:
- You could start a forum on just any url.
- On commericial sites, users can place recommendations or criticism, *without* intervention of the vendor.
- On political sites, users can do basically the same.
- Basically, with such a tool, slashdot could be reduced to just a set of lead stories (the forum-part will be dealt with by firefox / some
moderation system of your own preference).

Of course, you would like some moderation system for this, but perhaps you could choose one from a set of options (just like you can select your favorite search-engine for the search-tool).

I hope it's indi (2, Interesting)

tcopeland (32225) | more than 7 years ago | (#17431068)

e.g., get indi [getindi.com] . Sure cuts down on spam, and you can reliably transfer large files within a group of people.

Plus, it's probably the largest desktop out there that uses Flash for its primary user interface. w00t!
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