Kevin Maney’s Predictions for 2006 (USA Today):

This piece is just plain bad on so many levels. Here goes.

“Cellphone cameras will actually become useful.”

Wrong. First, I disagree with the premise that people want a camera on their phone. Yes, you can do it and have it and take pictures of your friends so that their photo comes up when they call you, but really how many of us were dying to have a camera on the phone? The camera isn’t very good, and while Maney is right that it’s difficult to get pictures onto the Internet or onto a computer, then you’ve got a new problem. He seems to forget that most cameras don’t have very good storage capacity. And by increasing the quality of the camera, you’re only going to produce larger files.

That will change in the coming year, says Bob Gove of Micron Technology, which makes the imaging chips in most camphones. Cellphone cameras are going to get good enough in 2006 to replace stand-alone digital cameras, Gove predicts.

Gee, this guy makes the imaging chips in cameras. He stands to benefit from people buying more cameras — Maney, don’t you guys at USA Today have any journalistic ethics? This guy seems like a real unbiased expert to me, yeah? Cellphone cameras are going to replace digital cameras? Give me a break. How long was it before digital cameras replaced stock film cameras? I thought so.

“We believe 2006 is the year of RSS,” says Mark Carlson, CEO of RSS company SimpleFeed. Adds author and consultant Steve Waite, “RSS is likely to take off in 2006 and could well displace e-mail as the killer app on the Net.”

Gag me with a spoon. The year of RSS? I still don’t think that most Web-surfing folks know what RSS is, much to Dave Winer’s chagrin. Yes, RSS is cool and is getting more and more attention as browsers have built-in RSS capability and such, but it’s still early. Displace email as the killer app on the Net? Dude, email’s been around a lot longer. My grandparents know how to email. They don’t know how to use an RSS reader. And by the way, what in the heck is an RSS company? Do any of them actually make money?

And finally, there is Apple’s Jobs — tech’s celebrity superstar. He seems due. Maybe he’ll humiliate a bumbling underling on stage at Macworld, unleashing a torrent of stories saying Jobs is the Lord Voldemort of managers. Or someone will discover malicious spyware hidden deep inside iTunes.


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