Happy New Year from all of me at The Eclectic Light Company.
Here is my irreverent look forward to what we can expect this year, 2016. You can see why I gave up placing bets many years ago.
The weather becomes much colder in the northern hemisphere. Those who claimed back in November that the European winter would be long and bitterly cold claim vindication, conveniently forgetting the last couple of months of exceptionally mild weather. Tabloid newspapers start warning of a long, hot and dry summer in another effort to revive their flagging sales.
Experts from the Netherlands visit northern areas of the UK, now that their floods have frozen over, to advise them on promoting speed skating events and other suitable winter sports.
A leaked internal email reveals that Adobe’s Flash engineers resigned en masse in June 2015, since when updates have been produced by a shell script.
Negotiators working on the EU-US Safe Harbor 2 deal announce that they are close to reaching agreement.
The day after calling for restrictions on aviation because of its adverse effects on the upper atmosphere, organisers of the UN World Climate Change Conference announce that it is to start meeting monthly. Rejecting calls for meetings to become virtual, the next venues are announced as Honolulu, Acapulco, and Dubai, with American Airlines acting as sponsor.
The US National Security Agency and UK’s GCHQ jointly announce the development of a completely secure method of encryption which incorporates a ‘golden key’ backdoor. A week later, as part of a school project, a twelve year-old discovers a way of recovering ‘golden keys’ from encrypted messages.
Southern California suffers massive disruption following extensive snowfall.
A survey of leading politicians in the US and Europe reveals that 70% of them don’t know what a router is, 40% aren’t even sure how to connect to the Internet, and 95% think that Raspberry Pi is a baked dish popular in New England.
Apple announces OS X 10.12 to an ecstatic crowd at its annual World-Wide Developers’ Conference; it is to be named Half Dome (seized upon by critics as ‘Half Baked’), and iOS 10 is immediately dubbed The Other Half.
Northern Europe experiences a fine, warm, and dry day: the first and last of the summer.
After a rushed course through parliament, the UK’s Investigatory Powers Bill becomes law. By the autumn, the costs incurred by ISPs have grown to ten times those originally forecast. Although organised criminals and nascent terrorists have already migrated to offshore fully-encrypted services, courts quickly become clogged with thousands of cases of online bullying as a result.
Chris Froome wins the Tour de France a third time. Newspapers accuse him of using a concealed electric motor.
In the usual dearth of news as most of the northern hemisphere goes on vacation, broadsheet newspapers resort to automated construction of stories from celebrity tweets. Readers’ letters comment on the improved quality of their content.
As Firefox version 100.0 is released, the Mozilla Foundation announces that it is skipping the next hundred, and will resume with version 200.0, for the sheer hell of large numbers.
Amazon’s trial of drone deliveries is abandoned after a sudden squall showers streets with adult DVDs and Lego bricks.
Following another strong set of quarterly results, analysts once again predict that Apple is doomed, and cannot continue to be successful. New iPhone and Mac sales remain strong. Apple makes an offer to buy the whole of Belgium to house its new European headquarters.
Microsoft announces Windows 12. Millions of Windows 8 users are discovered to be waiting still for their update to Windows 10.
Negotiators working on the EU-US Safe Harbor 2 deal announce that they are still close to reaching agreement.
The remaining tabloid newspapers fill their front pages once again with dire warnings of a long and bitterly cold winter ahead, following the cool and wet summer which none of them had expected. Their sales fall as persistently as the rain.
As news of Donald Trump’s election as the President of the United States emerges, Twitter collapses in consequent twitterstorms, and sulks offline for two days.
The Turner Prize Committee awards itself the Turner Prize, for enabling art which enables art which…
President Trump severs all Internet connections between the US and the rest of the world, claiming that it has been taken over by foreigners with un-American ideas.
Negotiators working on the EU-US Safe Harbor 2 deal announce that they are going to skip version 2 and go straight on to version 3.
Heavy rainfall overwhelms flood defences in East Anglia. Major improvements to defences in Somerset and the south, Cumbria, Yorkshire, Lancashire and Manchester are all put on hold while everyone looks for someone else to blame.
The Eclectic Light Company predictions for 2016 are found to have performed better than weather forecasts, IMF economic predictions, or horoscopes, and came close to getting a couple of events right.