2012 – the last year of the mayans

So new year new predictions.
In general i would like to lead off with saying that the world is now at or approaching another step towards becoming a true type 1 civilization, and much like the era around the start of the millennium it is filled with tension, uncertainty and turbulence in more or less every area of life, be it technological cultural, political or what have you.

We saw last year that a lot of the old powerstructures are beginning to break up as exemplified by the arab spring, occupy movement and most recently the successful protests against SOPA/PIPA and this is likely to continue.
regarding technology a lot has happened just the last year, but i can’t help feeling like this is just the beginning of a new cycle of a new distributed form of hardware independent computing.
Anyway all this makes things somewhat complicated to figure out, but i will give it a try.

Tons of new hardware at e3
So lets get to the biggest elephant in the room, the PS4 and xbox720, i wrote in my earlier post why i think it’s time for the PS4 to come out of the darkness, the xbox i am a little bit more unsure of as microsoft does not feel it is that much of a hurry or that it’s that important with top of the line hardware which recent rumors seem to point to.
I ultimately feel those rumors are wrong, but it could have been an earlier prototype it’s referring to, it’s not really important as the xbox unlike the PS3 uses pretty much consumer grade parts, so upgrading it would be a fairly quick job.

Either way it’s still a pretty high chance that we will see new hardware in one form or another from the big three.
Yes even Nintendo, it’s not unlikely that they have an upgraded system in response to the feedback they got the last E3, i am thinking maybe more ram and an HDD (or HDD expansion capability).

Android 5, integrates google TV and/or desktops
Nothing is really known about Jelly bean, but i do know they are working hard on Google TV.
They went from Chrome OS to android, but it’s not enough, they still haven’t found the right UI or services to use it with.
But android 5 or jelly bean could change that because there already exists a type of control interface thats suitable for displays like the tv, and that is whats being used in the ps3 or xbox where everything can basically be run with the d-pad and cross+circle buttons. Strap those plus some shoulder buttons to a small qwerty keyboard and you got yourself a real good system, but more about that in my next post.

So i think Google will integrate Google TV with ICS in the next android and in addition to that they may transition chrome OS to android as well in the same update by allowing for better mouse/keyboard interface and a fully featured browser

First 4k devices start shipping to high end consumers, HDR around the corner
Yea, though us mortals will still have to wait a while for the price to come down which should happen right around the time the PS4 comes out with 4K support, at the same time some of the first HDR devices starts to peek out from under the curtains. We already know of the Majestic D4 which has a pretty decent dynamic range to begin with, but in addition to that it can actually take HDR images by combining several exposures in the camera.
Another hint about HDR is the fact that there has been a lot of stuff like anime thats being released as 10 bit as opposed to 8 bit which is the maximum most displays can handle if you have a good one, bad ones could be as low as 6 bit.

Either way that’s the clear path to take as after 4K any increase in resolution doesn’t give that much better image, at last not at 2-3 meters away with a normal sized TV.
So if you can’t go with higher resolution in the x-y axis then why not go for the z axis.
It will be a slow climb to true HDR though, by next year i think what was last years choice between LED and CFL will be 8 vs 10 bit.

Apple Releases ipad 3 and iphone 5, features minimal improvements still uses LCD
Apple is dead set in making devices with their retina display technology which is nothing more than a higher resolution display. An while im sure it will be high res LCD that fact also has it’s drawbacks, cost and power consumption, especially for the ipad. Meanwhile more or less every other smart phone manufacturer have switched to AMOLED which are getting really close to the kind of pixel density of the iphone 4 has.

But that’s not apple biggest problem with iphone/ipad, their biggest problem is software, or rather lack of software  and user interface changes. Basically the original iphone and the latest one looks more or less exactly the same, and whats worse is that the ipad uses the exact same UI which might look ok on a iphone, but on an ipad it looks more like something made for kids.

Apple starts loosing sales to samsung with iphone 5 against galaxy S III
Which brings us to the SGSIII, samsungs flagship phone, it’s supposed to come with both a quad core processor and an HD display which means that the specs are a lot better than the rumored iphone 5.
then if you add the already excellent ICS and a bunch of other details one could easily imagine it starting to erode the apple userbase.
I think apples problem is that they never innovate, they take an already existing thing and make it look and work better, but once that is done it’s done. but that’s just the problem, nothing is ever really finished which means that for every year that passes iOS seems more and more outdated.

No apple tv, contracts to restrictive
So the rumor is that apple wants to enter the smart tv business, well not this year at least, the main reason being that they want to create an itunes like service for the tv.
But apple does not like to share, not one bit, so what they would like is to have exclusive contracts with publishers, but that’s not going to fly, not this time as Microsoft is already heavily invested into the content delivery business, so is sony and google, besides how many units are apple going to sell the first year, maybe 1-2 million world wide because after all it’s a really expensive device.
But 1-2 million is not a viable revenue stream for the larger content providers out there so that’s why it won’t fly this year, it’s like if Wallmart where to close down all their stores just to be the exclusive store in alaska.
Instead they are going to go the route of their already existing apple tv box and develop that for a while.

Obama wins by a landslide, republicans splinter even further
Well it’s not really a prediction, it’s either going to be Romney or Gingrich that gets the republican nomination, both of them have major problems, one is a robot that doesn’t understand that $300.00 is not small change and the other one is an egomaniacal douchebag, also both are in the far right fringe of the republican party which makes it really hard to convince independents and undecideds.

It is also clear that they are pandering to two different parties, the financial conservatives and the social conservatives while ron paul panders to the libertarian wing or the “leave me alone conservatives”.
It is not entirely impossible that at least one of these wings will run a third party and thus suck about 10-15% of the republican nominee.

Meanwhile obama has for now at least the high ground in the race, plenty of money and a more or less united party backing him up.
So this equation is definitely pointing his way this election

Assad gets toppled, Yemen, Iran and Belarus is next
Yea the arab spring continues, assad in syria is definitely in over his head and is getting pressure to step down, at least that’s the only way to stay alive at this point as he wasted the opportunity to reach a peaceful solution when he started killing people overtly, the same process is in effect in yemen, but there it might end in a more peaceful way.

I think iran is the next big one given that they already had a wave of the arab spring a few years ago, the first wave i might add, it was ultimately defeated. But if you understand that a lot of Iranians actually like western ideals and is one of the most culturally modernized countries in the middle east you will also know that a revolution is not far away, it’s just that it requires some more delicate planning on the grassroots level.

Belarus is also one of these countries that may experience dramatic change soon, it lies in the middle of Europe but for some reason never let go of the soviet era.
It is however surrounded by the european union, especially the former eastern european states that has really experienced some real growth the last two decades, one cant help imagine that the people of Belarus is sick of being stuck in 1984.

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